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Top 10 US Destinations for a Winter Getaway

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Need a winter getaway to recharge before Spring? You can skip expensive cruises and resort vacations since there are a lot of great US destinations for winter getaways. There’s plenty to see and do without having to leave North America!


a collage of different outdoor locations with title text reading 10 Best U.S. Winter Destinations

In the US, no matter where you decide to go, chances are that you will always get a better bargain when you choose winter as your preferred getaway season. Many people go out to vacations during the summer season, which means winter months often offer discounted rates.

Fall and winter getaways have started becoming popular as people have started realizing that they could get real value during this season. While most are folding their bags and getting ready to retire indoors in preparation for winter, do not be afraid to pack yours and head to any of the U.S. destinations we have listed below for an amazing winter experience.

Top 10 Destinations in the US for a Winter Getaway

Whether you’re looking for a warm weather getaway or want to enjoy a winter wonderland, you’ll find a great winter getaway in the list below. Several of these locations are great for family vacations, while others are perfect romantic getaways.

The destinations will take you north, south, east and west so no matter where you live, you’re bound to run into one of these if you choose to hit the roads rather than board a plane.

Here are some great places to visit in the USA this winter.

1.    Sedona, Arizona

During winter, the landscape in Arizona is very enticing and picturesque. The normally fiery-red mountain tops in the summer change when winter knocks.

The skies are bright blue with fewer crowds, allowing you to take amazingly scenic photographs. You can hop onto a hot air balloon and ride across the mountains which have been dusted with white powder.

At night, the clear skies will allow you to have some moments to star gaze. This is a great place to visit with your loved ones.

2.    New Orleans

The Halloween capital of the world holds gratifying mysteries and promises experiences that will leave you awed. There is a lot of rich history here and the town is beset amidst an architectural setting that promises that there is a story behind everything.

a fancy building in New Orleans with plants hanging from the balconies

Get to enjoy the live music and entertainment as you party with the locals. The boat trips on the massive Mississippi cannot be missed on this getaway, neither should the vintage street car rides.

3.    Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

This 2.2 million acre park is a haven for all kinds of outdoor activities during the summer season. People from all walks of life flock here for camping and hiking experiences.

an animal with horns in the snowy mountains of Yellowstone

In the winter, things are a bit different. The place becomes a bit isolated and activities change.

You can enjoy cross country skiing and snowshoeing in these mountains. You may also get the chance to see amazing wildlife with wild bison, grizzly bears and Elks making an appearance.

4.    Santa Fe, New Mexico

Just about 40 minutes’ drive from Albuquerque lies Santa Fe, a little town full of amazing attractions you should check out during the winter season. The meals in almost every café you find in this locale are to die for.

Maybe it’s the cold, or maybe it’s the way they cook their coffee that makes this brew irresistible. The temperatures here are moderate, allowing for people to flock to the little town even in winter as they escape the cold bites from other locations.

5.    Death Valley National Park, California

This is one of the hottest locations in the United States. It is the venue for the highest ever recorded temperature at 134 degrees in 1913.

Death Valley

The name probably serves this location right as nothing can survive here during the summer season. Things make a complete turnaround when the winter season comes knocking.

Suddenly, the temperatures drop drastically enough to allow for exploration without feeling baked. It never freezes out though, so do not expect to see the place covered with snow like other avenues here.

The temperatures are cool during the winters and the sky is very clear. The days are actually sunny, allowing you to bask and have some moments in the sun. Go hiking or star gazing here.

6.    Fairbanks, Alaska

This location is perfect for viewing the Northern lights and a background of beautiful forests. The sky at night is crystal clear, allowing for a perfect star-gazing moment.

the northern lights in Fairbanks, Alaska

The attractions you will find here during the winter season as fairly priced. You get to sled, snowshoe, visit the ice caves and ski whilst staying at some of the beautiful and cozy locations here.

7.    Grand Canyon, Arizona

The deep canyons here attract snow, contrary to what people think about Arizona. This actually translates into some of the most magical and appealing landscapes on the planet.

You get to enjoy hiking, camping and watching wildlife throughout your stay here. Rock and cliff climbers find themselves in heaven here and when you get to conquer that rock, a majestic scene awaits you as a reward. The hotels offer amazing bargains for people seeking to have a winter getaway.

8.    Lake Tahoe, Nevada

This lake lines along the California and Nevada borders. One interesting thing to note is that this was once a site for the 1960 Olympic competitions.

Naturally, the downhill skiing routes are well charted here. You may even visit the little museum on location to learn more about this Olympic competition.

The main activity here during winter is skiing. There are numerous ski resorts set around the lake and they all offer good discounts during the winter season.

snowy mountains with a lake and more mountains in the background in Lake Tahoe, California

The blue waters of the lake offer quite a spectacle and if you are still hungry for more you can explore the surrounding areas by taking a scenic drive. Temperatures could go very low here, so dress warmly.

9.    Magic Mountain Ski area, Vermont

Ready for some magic for your winter getaway? Then plan to explore this destination. The 1500-foot vertical drop is the highlight of this location, coupled with one of the most sophisticated ski routes and challenging terrain.

The destination is designed for people who seek to ski and snowboard and have a ton of fun doing so. If you are a ski lover, you will feel right at home here. Get to enjoy watching others make this amazing drop from the comfort of your resort.

10. Estes Park, Colorado

Colorado has a lot to offer as well when it comes to winter getaway. The park is located on the Eastern side of the Rocky mountain national park.

There is so much to do here, with snowshoeing, sleigh riding, ice skating, sledding and many more. You will also be able to watch amazing wildlife at this spot. The elks are some of the highlight animals you will see here. The nature has been very well conserved and the landscapes are very photogenic.

Honorable Mention

After drafting this post, some of my family members chimed in with some other destinations they believe should have made the list. So here they are for your consideration:

  • Las Vegas: Easy to find inexpensive flights and accommodations plus plenty of fun things to do
  • Charleston, SC: A charming beach town with a rich history
  • Napa Valley: Beautiful countryside and plenty of wine tours make this a great romantic winter getaway destination

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