Top 7 Winter Destinations in the US

Are you thinking of going away on an out-of-town holiday this winter, but you don’t have an idea where you should go? There are plenty of awesome winter destinations in the US, so you can enjoy a winter holiday without taking out your passport. It all depends on what you want to do. To help you decide where to spend your holiday this winter, here is our list of recommended winter destinations in the US.

Honolulu, Hawaii

winter destinations in the us: honolulu
Honolulu skyline | David Mark/Pixabay

Heading to the beach may not be your idea of winter fun, but if you want to escape the winter cold in the US mainland, fly to Honolulu. That Honolulu is one of the best winter destinations in the US is supported by the fact that it can get crowded in this state capital of Hawaii. Braving the crowds is worth it, though. The weather is warm and sunny, and there are lots of amazing things that will occupy your time there, such as surfing monster waves, watching humpback whales, and partying the night away. Don’t forget to catch a performance of Ballet Hawaii’s performance of The Nutcracker at the Blaisdell Concert Hall if you’re going to Honolulu in December.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

You’re sure to find Jackson Hole in any list of amazing winter destinations in the US, and don’t be surprised about it. Jackson Hole sits right at the heart of Wyoming’s winter wonderland, with beautiful scenery and lots of cold-weather activities to indulge in. The slopes around Jackson Hole have some of the best snows for skiing. If you’re not into skiing, you can always go snowboarding, snowshoeing, winter hiking, ice skating, and so many others. Stargazing is magnificent here, too. Definitely one of the best things to do in Jackson Hole in winter is to go on a National Parks tour – Jackson Hole is right at the borders of Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, not to mention the Bridger-Teton and Shoshoni National Forests.

Key West, Florida

Honolulu is not the only place in the US where you can escape the winter cold. You can also enjoy some warmth and sunshine in Key West too. Key West is one of the many winter destinations in the US that American and Canadian snowbirds often escape to, so be prepared for the crowd when you get there. Swimming, snorkeling, boating, and fishing are water activities you can do all year-round in Key West. You can also go on a tour of historic houses on the island, such as Ernest Hemingway’s house.

Keystone, Colorado

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Bridge over Snake River in Keystone | Pixabay

The one big reason why Keystone, Colorado is a top winter destination in the US is the skiing. So if you’re crazy about zipping through powder-fine snow, Keystone is where you should go. But what if you’re not into skiing? Well, you can still enjoy yourself by tramping through snow-clad terrain on snowshoes. Winter horseback riding is available if you want to channel your inner cowboy/cowgirl. A gondola ride to Keystone Mountain or an early-morning hot air balloon ride will treat you to breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide. 

Lake Placid, New York

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Skiing in Lake Placid | Phillip Belena/Unsplash

Like Keystone, New York’s Lake Placid is a popular winter destination in the US for the skiing opportunities available there. But there’s more to Lake Placid than just powder-fine snow. Because this resort town sits on the feet of the Adirondack Mountains, intrepid climbers flock here in winter to climb the High Peaks. You don’t have to be a climber to enjoy winter in Lake Placid, of course. You can play golf, try your hand at winter fishing, enjoy a game of ice hockey, or go skating.

Las Vegas, Nevada

If you think Las Vegas is bright and colorful on any regular day, wait till you see the city in winter, especially during the holiday season. The Strip becomes even brighter with holiday lights, the singing fountains of The Bellagio break out the yuletide tunes, and you can expect fireworks to blaze across the night sky. If the Strip gets too overwhelming for you, you can escape to the desert wildernesses outside Vegas and take the opportunity to explore them without getting fried under the sun, as you would be if you go there in summer. Death Valley National Park, for instance, is an awesome destination in winter. So are Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire.

New Orleans, Louisiana

winter destinations in the us: new orleans
Mardi gras mask | Erika Wittlieb/Pixabay

New Orleans is not a snowy wonderland, but it becomes a wonderland of its own kind come winter. The city gets decorated with Christmas grandeur from top to bottom and becomes rife with yuletide activity, with most of them centered at the French Quarter and a good many of them free. If you’re a foodie, December is a great place to be at NoLa, as the city’s famous restaurants take part in an old Creole tradition, the Reveillon Dinners. The Crescent City also ushers in Christmas in style, with colorful events such as the Krewe of Jingle Parade and Christmas Eve bonfires on the levee. Of course, there’s the great NoLa Mardi Gras at the end of winter. If you’re traveling with family, you’ll have loads of fun in NoLa in winter.

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Lake Solitude, Wyoming | Pixabay


Anna is a wandering writer. If she isn't wandering, she's working on other blogs. And if she's not doing that, either she's reading or she's busy with a crafting project.