Do you know that the coldest months of the year in the southern hemisphere are June, July, and August while the coldest months in the northern hemisphere are December, January, and February? During the winter months, some people flee cold weather while others flock into it.
If you are a type of winter traveler loves running into cold weather, United States can be a perfect destination for you. Thanks to the varied climates, natural diversity, size, and tons of destination across the country. Based on my experiences and intensive research, I have compiled a list of the 10 Best Winter Vacations in the United States. Let’s dive in!
Alaska is one of the destinations where you can have the best winter vacations in the US because of the unforgettable attractions and outdoor activities it offers. One of them is the magical display of light known as the aurora borealis or northern lights.
You can stay at the Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbank where you can relax in an outdoor hot tub and have a glimpse of the jaw-dropping light display and also enjoy the starry sky. Some of the other activities you can enjoy in Alaska are bonfires, ice skating, ski races, festivals, dog sledding tours, and snowmobiles.
2. Yellowstone National Park
During the winter in Yellowstone, you have a chance to know how what Yellowstone was like before now. There are always steaming geysers and fewer crowds. Most of the roads are closed, and the park is transformed into a winter wonderland by snow. This gives you the opportunity to explore through snow coach and snowmobile tours or cross-country skis.
The winter period in this destination is also a perfect time to know about different wildlife and photograph them. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins is a place where you can stay to have a more intimate experience.
3. Hawaii – The Big Island
An adventurous winter break to Hawaii is one of the 10 best winter vacations in the United States that can help keeps the theme of tropical warmth. You can view the fiery glow of the Kilauea in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park at night. The lava will definitely keep you warm, and you can also take a cruise to watch as it flows into the ocean.
Also, you can bike or hike to where the lava is flowing over the ground. You can visit beautiful waterfalls and stunning beaches on the Big Island. Additionally, this destination offers unbeatable access to topnotch rainforest hikes and snorkeling that don’t break the bank. It is also one of the top spots where you can watch humpback whales.
4. Half Moon Bay in California
If you love surfing or watching people surf the Half Moon Bay is one of the most challenging surfing spots in the world where you can enjoy your winter vacation in the US. During the winter this spot becomes insanely challenging. You can experience you-got-to-be-kidding me waves that can get as high as 50 feet. Additionally, you can appreciate the stunning coastal beauty of the area by visiting the nearby forest, bluffs, and beaches.
5. Navajo Nation in Arizona
With the museums, majestic canyons of the Navajo National Monument, and tribal parks showing the legacy of the Anasazi people, the Navajo nation is one of the 10 best winter vacations in the United States. At this destination, you will see where prehistoric sandstone villages are amazingly carved into alcoves with rock arts used as decoration. Have you heard of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument? It is one of the largest archaeological preserves in the US, and it is located in Southeast at Navajo Nation.
6. Sedona in Arizona
Sedona is a paradise for winter vacationers. It is a true oasis located in the middle of the Arizona desert. In the winter time, the dusting of snow on the mountain tops that display rusty red color makes the spot magical. It offers great hiking spots such as the Bell Rock and Oak Creek Canyon which allows you to experience the desert tapestry.
There are a fantastic range of scenic tours if you would like to sightsee with a guide. In addition, you can take a drive to the Grand Canyon to see the jaw-dropping beauty of a canyon dusted with snow.
7. New York City
Even though New York is known to be a pricey city with ultra-luxury stores, it is a winter city where Christmas is unabashedly festive. Of all the 10 best winter vacations in the United States, New York City is no doubt a perfect destination to visit during Christmas.
You will get to see astonishing Christmas lights and trees such as the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. You won’t get bored with the lots of sporting matches, music venues, Broadway shows, restaurants, and stores where you can shop for your favorites.
8. New Orleans
Just like every other time of the year, New Orleans offer amazing tours, activities and memorable experience during the winter. You can take a boat trip to the Mississippi and listen to quality live jazz day and night. With different event centers, lots of parks and museums a trip to New Orleans can melt any lingering winter blues away.
To spice up your visit to the city don’t forget to attend the annual Mardi Gras celebration. The event is surrounded by king cakes and colorful and rich tradition of Krewes, pageantry, and parades.
9. Park City, Utah
Are you a movie enthusiast, so why not head to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah? It is the largest independent film festival in the US where thousands of Hollywood hotshots, directors and filmmakers gather. You can also participate in some breathtaking winter sports in the gorgeous mountains. If you visit the eclectic galleries, quaint shops, and lively bars you have a good chance of stargazing for celebrities.
10. Yosemite National Park in California
With the valley blanketed in white, trees coated with frosts, frozen waterfalls, snowy reflections, and frazil ice, this spot is indeed one of the 10 best winter vacations in the United States. From ziplining, snowshoe walks, and snowboarding to stargazing and skiing Yosemite offers tons of outdoor adventures.
Final Words and Tips
Have you ever thought of how you can benefit from the fun and excitement the 10 best winter vacations in the United States has to offer you as an international traveler? Before you leave your country, there is something you need to add to your checklist aside from your passport. You either need a visa or ESTA.
If you are a visitor from a country that is not under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you will need to go apply for a visa. But if your home country is eligible for VWP, you will apply for ESTA, and the only way to apply is online through the ESTA website. A visitor from a country that qualifies for VWP should know when to apply for ESTA. Note that if your passport expires within two years and you receive a new passport, you must apply for a new ESTA.
Winter is one of the best times you can plan a perfect vacation for you and your loved ones. You can save a little bit of money and avoid the usual crowds in most of the destinations. From culture, sights, nightlife, and food to romance and adventure, the destinations mentioned above can make a perfect winter vacation.
photos from Pixabay and Unsplash (Half Moon Bay)