The Top Ten Winter Destinations in the USA

Updated on Dec 09, 2023 | Online US Visa

The US is filled with unique and beautiful places, and especially during the winters, the nation exemplifies its beauty with snow-adorned mountains and cities decorated with fairy lights. So this winter, pack your bags and head over to the most beautiful tourist destinations to spend your holidays in the USA.

There are two types of travelers in this world - ones who flee far away from cold winters, and the second type, ones who flock around the chilling weather. The United States is a country that is incredibly wealthy in terms of culture, natural diversity, and varied climate conditions, so it is no surprise that here you will also be offered a marvelous assortment of winter getaways.

Winter is one of the most popular seasons for travel bugs to take a break from their routine life - tourist destinations become much less crowded, and the snowy destinations are bound to take your breath away. Whether you prefer to spend your winters in white snowcapped mountains, or walk through the beaches and escape the cold, or stroll in cities amongst the Christmas crowd, or have a picnic in national parks enjoying the diversity of nature - the great USA has it all! 

To make this mammoth task of finding the perfect winter holiday destination easier for you, we have listed the best winter escapades in the US. So, wake up your inner travel bug, pack your bags, and get lost in the winter wonderland!

San Antonio, Texas

One of the most popular destinations for tourists to visit in Texas, San Antonio rightly deserves the fame owing to its magnificent view. Here you will find the moderate Southern weather and charming atmosphere, which makes it the perfect getaway for all winter festival lovers. The off-season is likely to help you find hotels at a cheaper rate and the attractions, such as the local museums and the Alamo will be less crowded. 

The famous Riverwalk will be more open, and thanks to the mild climate, you can sit outside and enjoy the local Tex-Mex with a margarita in hand! During the holidays the riverwalk is decorated with more than 200,000 holiday lights, which are strung around the trees and bridges, making it look like a fairyland. You will find plenty of other festive events here as well. You can go Christmas shopping and enjoy the decorations at Market Square, or witness the Mexican New Year’s eve at HemisFair Park and La Villita.

Situated in between the hip-town of Austin and the oil-city of Houston, here at San Antonio you will be offered a unique vacation that is majorly different from the megacities that are located only a few hours away. Enriched with an interesting piece of history, it is the place where the first chartered civil settlement occurred in Texas. The perfect family holiday destination, you will love the events and decorations at the surrounding water and theme parks.

Boulder, Colorado

Offering a stunning view of the enchanting Rocky Mountains, Boulder is the best place to enjoy exciting winter activities and mouth-watering healthy food in one place! One of the most beautiful places where you can spend your winter holidays in the USA, make sure that you explore the area on foot. 

Here you will be offered ample opportunities to enjoy your winter - you can go shopping at the Pearl Street Mall, a stunning outdoor street mall which is located in the middle of downtown Boulder, or simply walk around the snow-covered college campus of the University of Colorado Boulder, or go skiing on the Eldora Mountain, and enjoy your holiday in the peace of the hospitable Eldora Mountain Resort. If you are a fan of hiking, you can go to the Flaritons and enjoy the scenic views as well!  From the top spot of Lost Gulch, you will be offered a stunning view of the Rocky Mountain Range in the west, and an incomparable look of the Boulder that is laid out in the east.

If you consider yourself to be a foodie, then we will recommend you relish the delicious burger from the famous The Sink restaurant, and have a craft beer to help it go down. As a matter of fact, Boulder has earned a notable reputation for being the beer crafting capital of the US - make sure that you do not miss out on the wildly popular Craft Beer Festival! A winter wonderland of the US, make sure that you pack plenty of warm clothes for your visit!

Savannah, GA

One of the best spots for a winter getaway, even during the coldest months of the year, here at the Sunny Savannah the highs sometimes touch the mid-70s! When you are there make sure to visit River Street, where the mesmerizing sunset is bound to take your breath away, and shop at Broughton Street to all your heart’s content. Especially during the holiday season, the Paris Market is a must for all tourists to visit, since all the fanciful window displays make the perfect background for all your Instagram photos.

Another thing that Savannah is quite well-known for, is for being a foodie’s heaven. From the Six Pence Pub to the Crystal Beer Parlor, or the tourist’s favorite, the classic Olde Pink House, here you will find some of the tastiest food that you have ever had in your life! If you are craving some delicious desserts, head over to Leopold’s Ice Cream - here the line stretches down the block even during the coldest of months.

Although the Cathedral of St.John attracts visitors all around the year, during the Christmas season it looks particularly stunning with its beautiful display of the nativity scene. One of the most popular holiday events in Savannah, at The Holiday Tour of Homes you will find the finest homes of the area decked up at their seasonal best. Since January is considered an off-season for the destination, you will find some great deals during that time. The Tulip trees begin to sprout huge pink blossoms by early February to welcome the spring season, decorating the area in a magnificent hue!

Joshua Tree National Park, California

JoshuaTreeNationalPark Joshua Tree National Park

If you want to visit the National Park in Joshua Tree, January is the best time to do so. December to May is the peak season to visit Joshua Tree since during the summer months the temperature can reach well up to over 100 degrees! Located in southern California near the Mojave Desert, it derives its name from the Joshua Trees, a species of the Yucca family, found in the park. Other than the Joshua trees you will find other varieties from the family spread around the Ryan Mountain Trail.

Joshua Tree is most known for its Hiking prospects. A moderate hike that will bring you plenty of magnificent views, the Ryan Mountain Trail is best hiked in winter rather than in the scorching summer heat. The hike takes around two hours of time, wherein you will elevate a height of 1000 ft from sea level. Once you reach the peak, you will be offered a picturesque view of the national park and its surrounding mountain range. Amongst the hiking trails, one tourist’s favorite is the Skull Rock hike, which is an easy hike of only 1.8 miles round trip, but in this rock that looks like a skull, you will get the perfect view of the whole of Joshua Tree. 

If you want to take a break from the polluted city atmosphere and go to a light pollution-free zone where you can spend your night stargazing, Joshua Tree is the place for you! Here at Joshua Tree, you will find several options to go camping, which is the perfect way to go stargazing with your loved ones.

Key West, Florida

Soon after Christmas and New Year’s eve, if you feel your post-holiday blues kick in, you know it is time to go for a fabulous winter getaway! If you are a lover of winter sports, but would also like to be in a warm place at the end of the day to shake off the winter chills, Key West, Florida, is the place for you to be. Here you will find a sub-tropical climate throughout the year, so your water will always remain warm, making it the perfect destination to go and enjoy water sports in.

When you are in Key West, you will not want to miss out snorkeling on the sunset champagne snorkeling cruise. They will provide you with all the necessary equipment, and on the way back, you can enjoy the glorious sunset view with a glass of champagne in your hand. But if you would like to take part in something a bit more adventurous, you should go scuba diving in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

When you are at the fisherman’s paradise, you will find innumerable angler options around you! You can choose from the off-shore and in-shore adventures, or you can simply rent a jet ski or boat and cruise around the inshore water. If you want to enjoy some tasty local food, you will get numerous dining options of cafes, restaurants, and bars, that will serve you a huge variety of seafood - make sure to try out the Key West pink shrimp and the delicious Key Lime pie.

Leavenworth, WA

A little Bavarian-themed town that is nestled in the heart of Cascade mountains, Leavenworth, Washington, falls amongst one of the best tourist getaway zones in the US. It is also one of the most gorgeous Christmas towns in the US. Every single building in this tiny town, from the Starbucks to the gas station, looks straight out of a fairytale village. 

Especially during the holiday season, the town decks itself up with over 500,000 twinkling lights, transforms into a winter wonderland, and becomes ten times more magical! If you want to enjoy an authentic Christmas spirit, this town is where you will get it - with carolers strolling the streets, chestnuts roasting, and the famous Gluhwein tent. If you miss out on Leavenworth during the holiday season, worry not, you can still enjoy the winter vibes here by gazing at the snowcapped Cascade Mountain range that envelopes the town, with a glass of wine in your hand, sitting next to a roaring fire.

If you want to taste something that screams winter, try out the bratwurst with a side of a self-served vat of sauerkraut at München Haus, or hop to the Danish Bakery to grab a flaky strudel, and help it go down with a pilsner from the Icicle Brewing Company!

New York

A city that is beautiful and lively all throughout the year, the atmosphere of New York becomes especially magical during the winter - when the days are shorter, the fairy lights become much more prominent! If you visit the city in December as it dresses itself up for Christmas, the New York City will look like pure magic under a blanket of white snow.

New York City in winter will provide you with no dearth of things to do to keep yourself entertained and busy. Make sure that you visit the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade - taking place since 1924, this tradition of almost 100 years screams of New York over and over again. Starting at sharp 9:00 am at 77th street and Central Park West, the parade goes all the way up to Central Park and Columbus Circle, from where it takes a turn to the 7th avenue to get to the store. When you are there do not miss out on the delightful Thanksgiving meal at Market Table in the village. 

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree with its enormous ice rink is a must that you simply cannot miss, along with the New Year’s eve on Times Square - it is a magical experience that simply cannot be expressed by words!

Alaska , North Pole

Alaska Alaska

One of the best places to visit in the US, the North Pole will offer you beautiful landscape, frozen lakes, cozy cabins, and lots of snow! Besides, winter is the time when you will be able to witness the magical northern lights in the North Pole. Thanks to the long hours of darkness and the clear night sky, winter is the best time to see the mesmerizing natural phenomenon. If you are planning to visit the USA in winter, Alaska must fall on your list!

Lake Tahoe, California

One of the best winter destinations in California, Lake Tahoe has no shortage of things to offer you. With a perfect combination of snow and sunshine, it is known as the adventure lover’s playground. Enjoy the bluebird ski days at Lake Tahoe, as it receives 300 days of sunshine in a year, and has some of the finest ski resorts in the US. 

With over 13 ski and snowboarding resorts, Lake Tahoe is the best destination to hit the slopes, as all the resorts have one or the other event or activity running throughout the season. One of the best family-friendly destinations, you will find various activities for kids as well, such as the kids’ clubs, ice-skating, Kidzone museum in Truckee, and tubing hills. Once your kids are entertained you can go ahead and enjoy the local concerts and festivals that feature both renowned as well as smaller local artists.

Most of the late-night events happen on the eastern side of the lake, where you will find casinos open all night long. You will also be offered great dining options, especially in the Mexican restaurants. Make sure to visit the Hacienda in Tahoe City, which offers a great happy hour tour after spending a long day on the slopes!

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Situated in Wyoming, here you will get a perfect adventure-filled winter vacation! The most challenging ski resort, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is widely popular for its extreme ski runs. With dangerous drop-offs, rugged terrain, and steep slopes, you will need exceptional skills to ski in this run. However, if you are visiting the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with kids, you will get plenty of both on and off-slope activities to keep the little ones occupied. With a world-class ski school, the resort caters to each and everyone’s unique ability level.

Off the slope, you will be offered numerous activities as well. Snowmobiling on Continental Divide will present you with mesmerizing panoramic views of the white Teton Mountain Range. Or you can go for the horse sleigh ride at National Elk Refuge, which is the home of thousands of wild elks that roam freely in the valley. 

If you want more of a relaxing mountain escapade, Jackson Hole has some of the most stunning views that you will find nowhere else in the US. It also comes with a variety of locally owned restaurants, shops, and breweries to satisfy the visitors!

Home to more than four hundred national parks spread across its fifty states, no list mentioning most astonishing parks in the United States may ever be complete. Read more at Travel Guide to Famous National Parks in USA

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