Best States For Winter Vacation

David Lawrence
• Thursday, 12 November, 2020
• 10 min read

The United States of America is one of the most geographically and culturally diverse countries in the world. A country of 50 states, USA offers a great variety of winter getaways.

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There is snow, there are sunny and warm beaches, city lights and music, shopping, history, and more. You can escape the winter blues and head to beaches (in Miami or Key West), or if you love activities like skiing and snowboarding there opt for a winter wonderland getaway (like Colorado, New York, or Vermont or any state in the New England region).

Also don’t forget the glamorous big cities and their Christmas lights (in Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle). New York is at its best immediately after Thanksgiving and before Christmas when the entire city gets into the holiday spirit.

Activities: Snow and metro city vacation, ice-skating, culture and museums, New Year and Christmas celebrations Once you have explored all the winter and Christmas activities in town, don’t forget to visit a museum or two, to acquaint yourself with Washington history.

San Francisco is also home to film festivals, music concerts, and live theater. Other activities worth considering in winter in San Francisco include whale watching tour and wine tasting at the Fisherman’s wharf.

To avoid the crowds, Bryce Canyon in the winter is the perfect time to visit. The Bryce Canyon Snowshoe Program is designed for all levels of experience, from beginner to expert.

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Seattle, in the continental Northwestern US, is one of those cities you’ll fall in love with, instantly. Maybe it is the friendliness of the locals or its diversity, Seattle is like that stranger that makes you feel as if you had known them your whole life.

What about taking a ride on one of the 1910s manually operated elevator of the first “skyscraper” in the West Coast? Maybe taking in the peace amongst the bustle of the city at Waterfall Garden park or maybe exploring the Pinball museum for a trip down memory lane.

And if that wasn’t enough, during the ski season, you have plenty of chances of squeezing in a day on the slopes, with many resorts in the area. Another perk of visiting the Northwestern city is their undying love and support for local products, which aren’t few.

Whether you want a city escapade, a foodie adventure, or a relaxing ski retreat, Seattle has you covered. If you are looking for epic snow-covered mountain views and outdoor winter activities like skiing, snowboarding dog sledding, then head to Stowe in Vermont.

Stowe Mountain Resort welcomes visitors during winters for ice skating, snowboarding, skiing and pretty much enjoying all the lights and glitter (and snowfall) of the holiday season. Another attraction called the Smugglers North Park, which was originally used as a smuggling route to Canada.

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This takes place in February, and it’s a great time to visit (but book far ahead). Even outside of Mardi Gras, New Orleans still has a great vibe, and it’s fun to visit Bourbon Street at any time of year.

The beginning of winter is a fun time to visit as Chicago is one of the best US cities for Christmas and holiday festivities, events, and shopping. Highlights include Christkindlmarket, a large free traditional Christmas market, and Winter Wonderment at Navy Pier for family-friendly fun.

After the holiday season is over, the rest of the winter is off-season with fewer tourists, so you will likely be able to find cheaper than usual prices for accommodation. Another reason to visit Chicago in the winter is that the popular tourist attractions are significantly less crowded than they are the rest of the year which means less time waiting in lines or people getting in your photos.

You cannot leave Chicago before checking out an amazing comedy show (this and deep-dish pizza kind are a few things). Some of the most popular winter festivals are the Christ kindle Market, Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, Winter Wonder fest at Navy Pier, and the West Town Winter fest (these are most popular to attend before the holidays as they display beautiful light shows and are all holiday themed).

Now, I couldn’t just end the list without mentioning the coveted deep dish pizza and Chicago dog. Utah may be best known for its red rocks, slot canyons, and incredible national parks.

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As the largest ski resort in the United States, Park City offers skiers and snowboarders more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. Also, within driving distance, the charming town of Midway will make you feel like you are visiting the Swiss Alps rather than the Rocky Mountains.

Nestled in a picturesque valley at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, the quiet town is also home to one of several Ice Castles in the United States. The acre-sized attraction built entirely from ice is a frozen playground for kids and adults alike.

With ice slides, fountains, crawl spaces, caves, and tunnels that are all illuminated at night with color-changing lights, this icy wonderland offers its visitors one of the unique winter experiences you’ll find anywhere in the world. Although touring the temple is not permitted for anyone who is not a member of the LOS church, the castle-like exterior, and the surrounding gardens and plazas are equally impressive.

If it’s live music you crave, there are legendary venues hosting groups big and small. Try rich and delicious IPA or Porter from one of the many breweries on the South Slope in downtown.

At night during the holiday season, Biltmore lights all the candles and dozens of fireplaces in the house. Unwind from your big trip with a relaxing massage or warm up by the massive stone fireplace.

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One reason is practical- winter is technically off-season since the temperatures are slightly cooler and there are more rainy days compared to the summer. San Diego is also a great winter choice if you need to pretend it’s summer again.

If you’re sick of shoveling snow and wearing heavy coats, head to San Diego to spend time in warm weather again. You can bike down the beach boardwalk, go on a hike without needing a ton of gear, day drink at an outdoor bar, and even surf if you bring a wetsuit.

If it is one of the few rainy days on your winter escape, you can explore indoors- San Diego has tons of museums, craft brewery tours, and random activities- like axe throwing! You can even go inside the Fellatio and see the Winter -inspired displays including Christmas lights, which is one of the popular attractions in Las Vegas.

As you walk along the street, you’ll see great performers from dancers, human statues, painters, to singers. And the Grand Canyon deserves a visit if you are holidaying in Las Vegas (on a day tour) or staying in Arizona.

Make sure to visit the Grand Canyon during sunrise, and you will be mesmerized by the multitude of colors on the craters. Winter in Grand Canyon is considered off-season, so it is less crowded and very easy to find accommodation as well.

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Depending on how much snowfall the national park is expecting, on some days the roads could be inaccessible. Because the weather is so mild, you can enjoy the holiday sights and sounds without bundling up and freezing your toes.

For upscale, modern lodging, stay at Hotel Emma in the Pearl District. The lake makes Standpoint a tourist destination in the summer, but ski bums and snow-aficionados also love to spend time there in the winter.

Schweitzer Mountain ski resort, with a top elevation of 6,400 feet, overlooks Lake Pend Oreille and the city of Standpoint. Schweitzer mountain can also be explored through snowshoeing and hosts two different snow tubing operations.

There are also fantastic craft breweries (Cuffs & Laughing Dog) and a delicious local winery, Pend d’Braille, whose tasting room is a must-visit for wine-lovers. There are several hotels and Airbnb’s available for visitors to the area in both the city of Standpoint and on Schweitzer Mountain.

From Canal side take the free streetcar into downtown where you can enjoy a gourmet meal at one of Buffalo’s many new up-and-coming restaurants. After dinner, be sure to catch a Broadway show at the beautifully restored Shea’s Theater.

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Browse the hotel’s hallways and explore the vast open spaces which are decorated with different art exhibits. Be sure to stop at the nearby iconic Elmwood Village neighborhood, which is filled with boutique shops, cafés, pubs, and restaurants.

If you have never been to Key West, Florida then you are in for a treat especially if you are looking to escape the winter chill and in need of some sunshine. This southernmost city of the United States, which is closer to Cuba than it is to Miami, is not like any other part of Florida.

Key West is an island with tropical vibes that has crystal clear waters, year-round sunshine, palm trees, and a laid-back Caribbean feel, exactly what you need to cure those winter blues. There are many unique experiences and something for the entire family such as visiting the southernmost point, snorkeling the biggest coral reef in the world, the best Key Lime Pie, and spectacular sunsets, just to name a few.

The best way to explore Key West is by foot as most of the attractions are within walking distance and this way you can stop at many restaurants and bars lining Duval Street. Be sure to catch the beautiful sunset at the port where the cruise ships are and get ready for the nightlife along Duval Street.

Activities: Sunny beaches, laid-back resort life, relax and unwind, visit museums, enjoy nightlife Take the chair lift and access the mountain views and relax with warm cocoa at the Ajax Tavern.

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Aspen is popular for shopping and music shows including G games and other local events. Or if you prefer driving, hit the road with your skiing gear and carry warm clothes.

And while Yosemite is certainly stunning in the summer months, it transforms into a snowy wonderland in the winter. There are all kinds of activities, including gingerbread house decorating, ornament making gatherings, and much more.

If you’re looking for a cozy winter getaway that is under the radar yet easy to visit then Kohler, Wisconsin is the place. Kohler WI in winter Spend the day snowshoeing in their nature preserve before one of their signature hydrotherapy treatments and a cup of hot tea by their rooftop fireplace.

Finish off the night with an Old Fashioned in The Library Bar or a delicious burger and pint of Wisconsin craft beer. You can even spend an afternoon in the Kohler Design Facility and create your own custom kitchen and bathroom.

Activities: Snowy (indoors) getaway, cozy and romantic resort stays, relax, and unwind With average temperatures ranging from 20 °C to 24 °C and 4 rainfall days, you can expect a sunny escape from the cold.

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Miami has a heavy Cuban and Caribbean influence, which is apparent in the cuisine and vibe of the city. Head to Little Havana for the best Cuban food and cigars, or to Espinoza Way to enjoy live flamenco dancing with your tapas.

With its colorful lifeguard huts, it’s one of the most iconic locations in Miami, and the perfect place to enjoy some winter sun. Lynwood is a hip district in Miami, where you will find graffiti covering pretty much every inch of all the walls in sight.

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