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best winter destinations in usa
Destinations United States

10 Best Winter Destinations in USA You Must Visit At least Once

When the season begins to change and temperature drops, we know holidays are just around the corner. Because winter is the time of the year when we all dream of going on vacation, in this guide, you will find the 10 best winter destinations in the USA.

Whether you are looking to go somewhere more exotic or chase down those perfect winter wonderlands.

Or if you live in a warm climate, getting away to a nice snowy destination can really make the holiday a special and memorable experience.

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There is something magical about winter. The world takes on a crisp cold beauty as weather patterns change, and it seems even the clouds have a story worth telling.

The holiday season is one of the tales told around the fire; memories spun from Christmases past those experiences can be found at well-known destinations full of light and music.

These destinations in the US are wonderful in winter because festive lights are everywhere, and people love to celebrate the holiday season by viewing the magical winter lights. The USA is home to some of the most iconic and stunning winter wonderlands.

There is no bad time to visit the United States, but the festive winter months truly transform the entire country into a charming fairytale land.

Moreover, you can do many fun activities during winter holidays such as Enjoy a Snow Day, Have a snowball fight, build a snow fort, Go sledding, Catch snowflakes, Build a snowman, Go ice skating, etc.

If you plan to spend your winter vacation at some unique and serene place, visit any of these winter places in the US.

These are the Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Winter in USA

1- Park City, Utah

Park City is on top of the best winter vacations list in us; it is a winter wonderland packed to the brim with activities for all snow lovers.

The beautiful ski town is nestled within the Wasatch Mountain Range and sits less than an hour from Salt Lake City international airport.

And within its savagely beautiful setting lies off the mountain adventure cultural and culinary experiences and, of course, some of the best skiing around.

From mountains climbing into the sky to its cozy downtown scene, Park City has a lot to offer. It is one of the best places to hit the slopes in winter, and it is quickly becoming one of the top winter destinations.

Park City is an amazing town with charm, style, sophistication, and incredible natural beauty. The short drive into Salt Lake City takes you high into the Wasatch Mountains, which is the playground for you to create your own adventure.

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Things to do in Park City in Winter

Park City is actually made up of two resorts, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley. The magnificent and unique resorts make up the Park City ski experience.

The Park City Mountain resort is a highly ranked family resort located in the heart of the town. From long sweeping trails to progressive terrain parks and comprehensive ski schools, you can enjoy the best ski experience.

 However, the best way to start your adventure is the activity that everyone has always wanted to do, “Dog Sledding.”

Just buckle up and enjoy the thrill of a lifetime that everyone in the family will love.

Additionally, one of the coolest things you can do here is skiing, Park City played host in the 2002 winter Olympics, and that legacy is still very much alive. 

Park City is so big; my tip to make sure you see as much as possible is to head country to enjoy a snowmobile experience in your own powder paradise. This is a must-do experience in Park City.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Park City, Utah
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2- Yellow Stone National Park

Another great location for the winter holidays is Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was the first National Park to open in the US and is one of the country’s most popular destinations.

It’s a place known for its wildlife and geothermal landmarks and is even designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yellowstone is a place that should be on your bucket list if you haven’t been there already. It is also a destination that draws four million visitors every year, that’s incredible.

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With endless green prairies, magnificent mountain ranges, and abundant wildlife, Yellowstone is the very best of North American wilderness covered into a 2-million acre, a paradise for adventure loves & outdoor enthusiasts.

Yellowstone is huge. It got the largest collection of geysers and hot springs in the world, and it has got some of the most elusive wildlife, the grizzly bears, wolves, and Bison.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park in Winter

Yellowstone is surely the best winter adventures in the USA. If you are going to Yellowstone and are up for a wet and wild adventure, check out whitewater rafting on the Yellow Stone River.

It’s not permitted in the park, but you can put it up River from the north entrance, and it’s perfect for families.

Animals constantly migrate in and out of Yellowstone, so you will have plenty of viewing opportunities even before you get into the park.

Another way to experience Yellowstone is one of the simplest, “Just Drive.” Driving is not just the way to get around. It is part of the adventure, and a route you will really love passes through a hidden valley along the Yellow Stone River. It is also the perfect way to spot wildlife.

Be sure to stop at the west thumb geyser basin on the Shore of Yellowstone Lake. The largest thermal basins, colorful, steaming hot, and surrounded by green trees, it is easily one of Yellowstone’s greatest attractions.

Lastly, the rainbow-colored Grand Prismatic Spring is a must-visit. The most photographed most beautiful feature in the entire park is such colorful and worth checkout.

Where to stay? Best Hotels in Yellowstone National Park
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3- New Orleans

New Orleans sits on southeastern Louisiana and holds both sides of the Mississippi River. Its low-lying topographic location New Orleans is home to bayous and recreational areas perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

New Orleans is known for its vibrant history. The city is a blend of cultures that truly comes together and creates an extraordinary place to be, especially in winter.

The winter in New Orleans comes in February with the Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival that is famed for its costumed parades and street parties.

Music lovers, especially fans of Jazz, will be in heaven in the city, but food and art lovers are equally well catered for.

The city’s oldest section and heart of downtown the French Quarter are located on the River’s north side.

New Orleans is also known as a great walking city, with many attractions located in or near the French Quarter, but you may want to hop on a historic streetcar to explore.

And the festive winter months truly transform the city. Everything gets dressed up for Christmas with lights and decorations. Everywhere you look; there is something fun to do.

Beautiful Christmas houses where kids can buy sweets & there are also cartoon characters just roaming around, which one of the biggest entertainment for kids.

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Things to do in New Orleans in Winter

Visit French Quarter, the city’s historic heart, and famous for its vibrant nightlife and colorful buildings with cast-iron balconies.

This is the area where you can find the world-famous Bourbon Street. It’s crowded, it’s nocturnal, and most importantly, it is the life of New Orleans. Neon lights lit the street, and in winter, the Christmas lights illuminate Bourbon Street.

Another great attraction in New Orleans is known as Jackson Square. It is a National Historic Landmark found in the center of the French Quarter.

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You can also book a beautiful boat tour down the Mississippi River, which is a fantastic way to admire the beauty of New Orleans.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in New Orleans
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4- New York in Winter

No matter how many times you have been to New York, the city can always overwhelm you with the crazy amount of things to experience.

With its massive skyscrapers, diverse cultures, and the hustle and bustle atmosphere, it’s a place that needs to be experienced.

New York City is one of the most magical places, and it is one of the best winter destinations in the USA, and I bet you will maximize your stay because there is a lot to see and do.

During the winter, the best thing is that there is the least amount of tourists and the prices are significantly lower, and the hotel price can decrease by five times. Moreover, the snow makes the city a winter wonderland.

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Things to do in New York in Winter

The number one on my list is to visit the Rockefeller tree. The Rockefeller tree is the main attraction for New Yorkers, and the 750,000 daily visitors expected.

The tree is lit during the first week of December or the last week of November and stays up until January 7th, and when the tree is taken, the lumber is donated to Habitat for Humanity.

The best time to visit the tree is early in the morning or very late at night, as it is the most visited spot in New York during the holiday season.

Next on our list is the Saks Fifth Avenue light show in New York. The tradition started in 2004 and has continued now for over two decades. It’s surely a must-see if it’s your first time in New York City during the holiday season.

Furthermore, there are many places for ice skating for everyone in the family. But the three are main rinks to skate on during the winter season; the most iconic is the woman rink in Central Park.

Second is the rink at Rockefeller Center. Skating here is on a first-come-first-served basis, which means some days you might have to wait long.

The third is the Winter Village at Bryant Park, the only free ice-skating rink in the entire city, so make sure to check it out.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in New York
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5- Chicago

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and is a truly world-class city. From stunning architecture to diverse culture, beautiful green parks, food, shopping, and a wonderful lakefront.

It is hard to decide which one should be experienced first with so many great things to do.

But you are sure to find plenty of things to see and do. Chicago is a destination everyone should experience even when winter is coming.

Winter rings many opportunities for visitors and turns the city into a winter dreamland. The popular River Chicago transforms ice, and the beloved Chicago bean gets completely hide into the snow.

But regardless of its frosty temperature, this vibrant city comes to life even more in the winter holidays.

winter in Chicago, winter holiday in usa

Things to do in Chicago in Winter

Spend your visit checking out famous landmarks like Millennium Park ice skating rink, which attracts over 100,000 ice skaters each year.

McCormick Tribune ice rink at Millennium Park is free to enter and open to the public. However, there is a small fee for renting out the ice skating gears.

But you don’t have to ice skate to enjoy this attraction. It’s great for people watching and incredibly scenic.

If you have never been to Chicago before, most people will recommend you head up The Bean, which is in Millennium Park.

Looming right over the ice skating is one of Chicago’s most bizarre and fascinating sculptures. And when the snow is falling, The Beans turn into a huge snow globe.

Another awesome thing you can do in Chicago with family is visit the Shed Aquarium; it offers connections to the whole aquatic world.

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With animals for ocean, rovers, and reefs to meet, include dozens to touch a treat for all the family. It is one of the best winter destinations in USA.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Chicago
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6- Seattle, Washington

Seattle is the capital of Washington, surrounded by water, mountains, and evergreen forest, and because of those evergreen forests, Seattle’s nickname is the Emerald City.

Seattle is also known as the gateway to Alaska because it is the closest big city in the US to Alaska. Many flights leave here to go to Alaska, as well as cruses.

Seattle is home to some major US tech companies, including Amazon and Microsoft. It was formerly home to Boeing, but there are a lot of big industries in Seattle.

No matter which direction you enter Seattle from, you cannot help but admire its water scenery.

beautiful places to visit in winter in usa

Things to do in Seattle in Winter

The first thing you want to do in Seattle is to explore its iconic 520-foot landmark, The Space Needle. Nearly 20,000 people a day ride its glass elevators to the top from 8 am to midnight.

It has a great 360-degree view with an open-air observation area. I recommend taking the monorail from the Westlake Center to the Space Needle; it is a great ride and offers magnificent views.

When visiting Seattle, a definite must-do is a trip across Puget Sound on the Bainbridge Island ferry part of the Washington State ferry system, currently the largest ferry system in the United States.

Another great thing you can do is visit Kerry Park offers one of the best views in the city; it provides an amazing Vista of downtown Seattle the Space Needle, and even Mount Rainier.

Also, visit the Gas Works Park. It is a famous park in Seattle, and it has amazing views of the Seattle Skyline and the remains of an old gasification plant that ran from the early 1900s to the mid-1900s.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Seattle
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7- Leavenworth, Washington

The ultimate holiday town in the USA, this Bavarian village with a snow-capped mountain backdrop will make you feel as if you have stepped into a historic German village.

The Christmas lighting festival includes old-fashioned caroling, and an array of sparkling lights are everywhere making this place magical.

People from all corners of the world start traveling to a secluded Bavarian village in the mountains of central Washington.

winter towns in us

They flood Leavenworth streets, shopping, sledding, sampling traditional German food, and tasting the wine from the nearby vineyards.

The beautiful town feels like you have been transported thousands of miles to the European Alps.

Right in the heart of Leavenworth village, the kids have an excellent hill to play on during the winter months.

Wenatchee River runs right through Leavenworth and makes for a great for hiking, fishing, and exploring. There is nothing like Leavenworth during the holiday season to get in the spirit.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Leavenworth
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8- Vermont in Winter

Vermont is an awesome place to visit or relocate if you are looking for the perfect New England setting to live in.

Vermont’s interesting facts are that they have many Maple Syrup, Vermont receives about seven feet of snowfalls per year, and there is one cow every 3.8 people, which equals many cows and dairy. But that is okay because we love cows.

People so love Vermont for its amazing scenery and weather; if you enjoy outdoor activities, you can’t go wrong at any time of the year.

And if skiing, tubing, sledding, or anything snow-related is your thing, you need to pack your bags, and head to Sugarbush Resort, just 50 miles from Burlington airport people travel from all over the world to go to this mountain.

Sugarbush is one of the largest and most love ski resorts in New England, covering 4,000 acres. There are 111 runs and 53 miles of trails for people of all ages and ski levels.

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Anytime time of the year that you visit will see some of the most beautiful sights in Vermont and have a huge variety of activities to choose from.

Finally, if you are in Vermont, you must visit Burlington, it is the biggest city in the state, but it is still a pretty small town. Head to Church Street, where you can shop and explore and eat great food and celebrate your holidays.

places to visit in winter usa, winter in vermont

Things to Do in Vermont in Winter

Visit the home of Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of former President Lincoln. Built-in 1908 and sits on 412 acres of park-like grounds. You can tour the 24-room estate and see all the original furnishings like they are frozen in time.

Vermont may be famous for their Maple Syrup. Don’t forget about their ice cream. In the Town of

Waterbury, you can visit the Ben & Jerry’s factory and see where the ice cream is created each day.

Furthermore, the Shelburne Museum is a must place to visit while in Vermont. When you picture a museum, you usually think of a building with historical significance in them, but the Shelburne Museum will change that.

Located in Shelburne’s small town, this museum has an open-air concept that has a ton of things to see. There are around 39 exhibit buildings.

Lastly, be sure to visit Lake Champlain. There are many choices for lake activities in Vermont but arguably one of the best to visit Lake Champlain.

Providing an exceptional venue for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, you will be surrounded by mountains.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Vermont
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9- Yosemite Valley in Winter

Winter is a wonderful time to visit Yosemite, with hiking opportunities, playing in the snow, waterfalls, and snow tubing. Yosemite National Park is very accessible throughout the winter season, with tons of things to do in the winter.

Once you realize that Yosemite is an accessible playground in the winter, the doors are wide open to new adventure even for families.

However, higher elevation areas like Tioga Road, Glacier Point, and Mariposa Grove are closed to the vehicle in the winter, but most of the park’s roads remain open.

Hotels and restaurants buzz with activity, and many offer special rates and events that add to the experience.

Yosemite Valley is one of the best winter destinations in USA because you have so much freedom to stroll around at your leisure and see things at your pace.

If you travel to Yosemite in your vehicle, you will indeed need to carry the tire chains in your vehicle, but driving to Yosemite Valley rarely requires using chains. Still, chains can be necessary and even adventurous part of visiting in winter.

Yosemite in winter

Things to do in Yosemite Valley in winter

Start exploring the valley by visiting the Bridalveil Fall; it is one of Yosemite’s most popular waterfalls and one of the easiest to access in the winter.

You can get some great views of the waterfall just from the parking area, or you can take the quarter-mile trail up to the viewing platform to get a better view.

Next, head to mirror lake. It is one of the best easy hikes you can take in the valley; you can’t park near it, so have to take the shuttle.

But the flat road that you hike is nice when it is covered in snow, and along the way, it gives you some great views of half dome.

Another great attraction is the Yosemite falls; it is the tallest waterfall in North America and an amazing place to see in the winter.  The entire valley’s scenery is unique, and there are many things, and it attracts many outdoor enthusiasts

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Yosemite Valley
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10- Alaska

Alaska is famous for its stunning views, lakes, giant glacier, abundant forests, remarkable mountains, romantic lodges, abundant wildlife, and more.

With over 33,000 miles of coastline and a land area twice the Texas-size, there is much more to explore than just one visit can cover.

Although it is physically not connected with the rest of the United States, Alaska offers some of the country’s awe-inspiring views.

where to travel in winter

Families will find a little something for everyone, from history buffs to fishers and skiers to hikers.

Alaska offers many outdoor recreations like skiing, snowboard, snowshoe, hiking, and camping. Events and festivals abound year-round.

To learn more about all the things to do in Alaska, check out this guide.

Where to Stay? Best Hotels in Yosemite Valley
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Do let me know in the comment section about your experiences

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