Navigation Menu

Authored by Clara Gruger

Searching for the top winter getaways? Whether it’s snowy slopes, peaceful parks, or beachside warmth, this guide details the best winter vacations in the US, directly addressing your wanderlust.

Discover your ideal cold-weather retreat or sunny escape with our no-nonsense insights.

Top 20 Best Winter Vacations in the US: Your Ultimate Cold-Weather Getaway Guide

Key Takeaways

Grizzly bear in Alaska on snow RF

  • Ski resorts across the US cater to all levels and offer a variety of experiences, with spots like Aspen and Park City also providing a lively après-ski scene.
  • National parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite transform into serene winter wonderlands, offering activities such as snowshoeing and ranger-led tours.
  • For a cozy ambiance off the slopes, explore small winter towns like Stowe and Leavenworth or opt for warm winter escapes to places like Key West and San Diego.

Top Ski Resorts for Winter Fun

Ski snow RF

Get ready to experience the excitement of skiing down rugged trails, as you explore the diversity of slopes and winter sports opportunities at ski resorts in the US.

These snowy destinations range from towering peaks in Colorado and Utah to expansive terrains in Idaho, each offering a unique adventure. Among popular options are Aspen Snowmass, Park City Mountain Resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Sun Valley Resort and Vail Mountain Resort.

With something for everyone (whether beginner or pro), these ski resorts cater to all skill levels with well-equipped facilities. Grab your skis or snowboard and embark on an unforgettable winter escapade through some of the best locations west of the Rockies.

Strap on your gear now because these fantastic ski resorts await! From seasoned enthusiasts seeking challenges to first-timers eager for thrill-seeking experiences, there’s no better way than hitting up places like Winter Sports Hub park city.

Excellent spots where one can take advantage whatever their proficiency level may be when visiting any Ski resort this side of the Rockies.

Aspen, Colorado

Ski slope snow RF

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen Snowmass has become a top winter destination for skiing.

Its four distinctive mountains – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass, offer diverse experiences to cater to all levels of skiers. It is no surprise that many travelers have added it to their must-visit list.

Aspen’s ski resort has recently expanded with an area called Hero’s boasting 153 acres of steep glades and breathtaking views. This development adds even more appeal to this popular winter spot.

From novices to experts, there are endless opportunities at Aspen thanks to its varied terrain, which allows every skier to find their own snowy paradise.

Park City, Utah

Snowboard ski winter RF

Located just a short distance from Salt Lake City, Park City, Utah boasts the largest ski resort in the country.

This renowned winter destination offers consistent snowfall and sunny days as well as diverse terrain suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders across its 7,300 acres.

Park City is more than just a skiing hotspot. Its lively après-ski scene draws crowds looking to unwind after hitting the slopes while also providing opportunities for spotting celebrities.

The charming shops add to its charm making it an ideal winter getaway that goes beyond traditional skiing and snowboarding experiences.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Backcountry ski snow RF

Sun Valley, located in Idaho and known for its excellent skiing opportunities, also boasts exceptional service and lodging options that contribute to the resort’s charming mountain atmosphere. What sets Sun Valley apart is its recent additions.

The newly added Sunrise area spans 350 acres of advanced terrain, creating a backcountry-like environment that draws experienced skiers.

Whether you’re carving your way down new trails or relaxing amidst the comforts of the resort facilities during winter, Sun Valley promises an unforgettable experience.

Winter Wonderland National Parks

Yellowstone National Park winter

After enjoying the excitement of ski resorts, take some time to explore deeper into nature’s heart.

Picture towering trees coated in snow, frozen lakes glistening under the winter sun, and mountains crowned with white peaks standing still as guardians.

These are just a few examples of the stunning landscapes you can find at national parks transformed into winter wonderlands.

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park RF

During the winter, Yosemite National Park is a stunning sight to see. Covered in snow, its cliffs and trees are truly majestic.

This park offers various outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing on designated routes or downhill skiing at Badger Pass Ski Area.

But there’s more than just sports available during this season in Yosemite. For a unique experience, visitors can go ice skating under the stars while admiring iconic views of Half Dome and Glacier Point. The Curry Village Ice Rink is open from November until March for anyone looking for an enchanting adventure.

No matter if you’re seeking thrills or relaxation, Yosemite National Park has something special to offer during the winter that cannot be found anywhere else – making it perfect for your next winter getaway destination.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Tetons winter RF

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming is a popular destination for winter activities. The park offers various options such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing along the scenic Teton Park Road, or designated areas for snowmobiling.

One of the distinguishing features of Grand Teton is its educational opportunities. Visitors can join guided tours with an interpretive ranger to learn more about the park’s unique winter ecosystem or participate in organized hikes on snowshoes.

Whether you’re seeking excitement or knowledge, Grand Teton National Park has something special to offer during the colder months, combining adventure and education into one unforgettable experience.

Charming Winter Towns

After experiencing the beauty of winter in nature, why not explore some of America’s charming small towns?

These quaint destinations offer a unique perspective on winter vacations with their scenic views, variety of dining options, and thriving arts communities. Each town has its own character to discover.

From Stowe, Vermont (known for skiing) to Leavenworth, Washington, which is inspired by Bavarian culture. Put on your warmest jackets and venture out to these cozy retreats that provide a peaceful break from city life.

Stowe, Vermont

Ski snow couple kiss RF-001

Ranked as one of the ‘Top 10 Best Ski Towns in America’ by Forbes, Stowe, Vermont is a must-see winter getaway. Renowned for its skiing opportunities and diverse culinary options, it also boasts a thriving arts community.

But what sets Stowe apart is its unique ambiance.

Imagine strolling through town after hitting the slopes for some après ski excitement, breathing in the delicious scents wafting from local eateries, or being drawn into galleries glowing with warmth – these are just some of the experiences that make Stowe an enchanting destination during wintertime.

In short, whether you’re seeking adventure on skis or simply want to soak up cozy vibes amidst great food and art-filled streetscapes, there’s no place quite like charming winter Stowe, Vermont.

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavinworth Washington winter town RF

Venturing from the snow-covered landscapes of Vermont, our next stop is on the west coast in Leavenworth, Washington.

This charming town boasts a festive atmosphere with its Bavarian-themed architecture and lively decorations that bring to life a true winter wonderland.

But there’s more to Leavenworth than just picturesque buildings and sparkling lights. The town offers an array of outdoor activities perfect for embracing the season.

  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing
  • Sledding

Alongside these thrilling adventures comes ice climbing as well, making this destination ideal for those seeking some excitement amidst nature.

As night falls, Leavenworth truly comes alive with live music filling up the air accompanied by cheerful laughter and clinking beer steins. It’s this spirited ambiance that makes it an absolute must-experience spot during winter.

Warm Winter Escapes

Beach maxi dress female traveler RF

Swap your snow boots for sandals and escape the chilly winter weather to bask in sunny landscapes and charming towns. Warm up with outdoor adventures, lively nightlife, and endless beach activities at these top destinations:

  • Key West, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Cancun,Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • San Diego,Caifornia

Embrace a warm retreat from the frosty temperatures as you explore sun-drenched locales like Key West in the southernmost point of Floria or San Diego’s coastal paradise.

Say goodbye to layers of winter clothing while indulging in these delightful getaways that offer plenty of sunshine.

Key West, Florida

Key West Pelican RF

When it comes to winter vacations, Key West in Florida has a completely different feel. The weather is warm and pleasant, the sea waters are crystal clear, and the sunsets are truly unforgettable.

Whether you’re exploring Duval Street for shopping, enjoying a swim at Dry Tortugas Island, or simply admiring the stunning sunset views from Mallory Square, there’s no place quite like Key West for an ideal escape during this season.

But beyond its beautiful beaches and mesmerizing sunsets lies another side of Key West that comes alive during winters – its vibrant nightlife and festivals.

This charming town offers the perfect blend of relaxation coupled with entertainment options such as music festivals, romantic sunset cruises on pristine waters, exhibitions showcasing various art forms, and delectable food paired with fine wines at popular food fests.

San Diego, California

La Jolla Beach Seals RF

San Diego offers a unique and pleasant winter experience. With its moderate temperatures during this season, beautiful beaches, and popular attractions, it is the ideal destination for those looking to escape the cold weather.

From leisurely walks on sandy shores to exploring famous sights or simply basking in the warm sunrays – San Diego has something for everyone seeking respite from winter’s chill.

Its mild climate and stunning coastal vistas make it a top choice among travelers searching for a cozy yet rejuvenating winter retreat.

Winter City Breaks

After basking in the warm sun, immerse yourself in the bustling city scene. Experience winter holidays like never before with exciting events, cultural offerings, and indoor activities that bring cities to life.

Metropolises such as New York and Chicago offer a perfect blend of winter enchantment and urban liveliness. Bundle up and uncover all the winter wonders these cities have waiting for you.

New York City, New York

New York City winter RF

During the winter season, New York City transforms into a captivating winter wonderland. The iconic Central Park becomes even more magical as it gets covered in snow, while the city’s towering skyscrapers shine with festive lights and bustling holiday shoppers roam Soho.

Beyond its picturesque snowy landscapes and popular shopping destinations lies an array of indoor activities that make a visit to New York City during this time truly unforgettable.

From exploring heated museums and indulging in world-class dining experiences to catching Broadway shows, there is something for everyone to enjoy on their wintertime stay in the vibrant city.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago snow RF

Chicago, also known as the Windy City, offers a diverse range of experiences during winter. One popular activity is ice skating in Millennium Park where visitors can admire the stunning city skyline while gliding on the rink.

Chicago’s appeal doesn’t end there. The city boasts renowned cultural attractions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, which provide a warm and cozy escape from the cold weather.

Whether you’re enjoying an afternoon on skates or exploring its cultural gems, visiting Chicago for a winter break guarantees unforgettable moments to cherish.

Winter Adventure Activities

Experience an adrenaline rush with our winter adventure activities after you have explored the cities. Embrace the mix of excitement and tranquility as nature becomes your playground.

Whether it’s gliding through Alaska on a dog sled, sliding down snow tubing lanes, or scaling icy cliffs in Ouray, Colorado, these experiences are not to be missed.

Get ready for some daring challenges across frozen landscapes in Alaska and treacherous heights in Colorado. These adventures require courage and proper gear. Don’t miss out on this thrilling journey through wintery wonderlands!

Dog Sledding in Alaska

Dog sled winter snow RF

Dog sledding in Alaska is a one-of-a-kind experience. You will have the opportunity to be pulled by a pack of dogs through snowy surroundings, with the chilly air rushing past you and an exhilarating sense of navigating on icy terrain.

This adventure is truly unforgettable, whether you opt for a tour during summer months using wheeled carts or flightseeing while touring glaciers, or if you decide to try winter dog mushing or snow biking.

Each option guarantees its own unique and remarkable encounter. Don’t forget to bundle up warmly before gripping tight and getting ready for an amazing ride.

Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado

Known as the ‘Switzerland of America,’ Ouray, Colorado is home to the artificial ice climbing venue known as the Ouray Ice Park. Nestled in a natural gorge and boasting more than 150 named climbs, this park offers an exciting winter adventure for climbers at any level.

To being a popular destination for ice climbing enthusiasts all year round, the park also hosts an annual event called the Ouray Ice Festival that attracts skilled climbers from around the world.

Whether you’re new to ice climbing or looking for your next challenge, exploring these icy walls in Ouray will provide:

  • A thrilling experience during wintertime
  • The chance to push yourself beyond your limits
  • Breathtaking views of majestic mountains surrounding you

Plus, with experienced climbers on hand providing guidance and instruction. 

Tips for Planning Your Perfect Winter Vacation

Snow RF

After exploring the various thrilling winter activities available, it’s time to start organizing your dream winter vacation.

Whether you have your heart set on hitting the slopes, discovering snow-covered national parks, strolling through quaint wintery towns or enjoying a sunny destination during this season, careful planning can make all these dreams come true.

First, choose the perfect location that suits your preferences. Next, make sure to book your flights in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.

Don’t forget to pack your travel essentials and take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy during your journey. 

The United States has something to offer for every type of traveler seeking a winter vacation. Whether you prefer thrilling ski resorts or peaceful national parks, quaint winter towns or warm getaways, there is an experience suited for your preferences in this diverse country.

So start planning your dream winter getaway today – whether it be filled with adrenaline-pumping activities or bustling city adventures – and don’t forget that the enchantment of winter will add an unforgettable touch to your holiday no matter where you go!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to travel during winter?

Duval Street Key West RF

For those seeking warm weather in the winter, Key West, Florida is an ideal destination.

Along with Sarasota and Miami in Florida, travelers can soak up temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees while enjoying beautiful beaches, bustling streets and tasty cuisine.

What is the best state to go to in winter?

If you’re searching for the top destination to visit during the winter season, Colorado is highly recommended for its wide array of activities such as skiing and snowboarding.

On the other hand, Georgia offers a more moderate weather and captivating historical sites that are worth exploring. Enjoy your journey!

Where is the best warm place to travel in December?

Sea turtle RF

In the month of December, Cozumel, Mexico is the ideal destination for those seeking warm weather with average day-time temperatures reaching 82°F (28°C).

Indulge in sun-drenched days and unwind on a tranquil getaway!

What are some of the best ski resorts in the US?

Three top ski destinations in the United States are Aspen Snowmass, Park City Mountain Resort, and Sun Valley.

These premier resorts located in Colorado, Utah, and Idaho respectively offer exceptional skiing opportunities for all levels of expertise.

What activities can I do in Yosemite National Park during winter?

In the winter at Yosemite National Park, visitors have a variety of options for outdoor activities including ice skating, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoeing.

With so much to do and explore in this beautiful park during winter season, there is no shortage of ways to stay active and enjoy the snowy surroundings.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *