By Imamul Haq
There’s no denying that winter can be a dreary time of year. But with the right incentive, it can also be the perfect opportunity to take a much-needed vacation. If you’re looking for someplace to escape the cold weather, check out our top 10 picks for winter getaways.
The United States has a lot of locations to choose from for both the pro-snow and pro-sand sides, thanks to its size, natural variety, and varied climates. There’s something for everyone, from snow, beaches, mountains, and cities to national parks. So pack your bags and get ready to explore some fantastic destinations!
1. Beaver Creek, Colorado
The Beaver Creek Resort is home to some of the best slopes in the state and most prestigious ski resorts in America. In December, the resort attracts hundreds of athletes from all over the world to compete, watch others perform on their slopes, or take part themselves. With more than 1800 acres of terrain, the place comes with powdery snow, great restaurants, and amazing views, making it the perfect place to stay for a winter vacation.
If all of this isn’t enough, the magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains from virtually every location in Beaver Creek will make an impression.
2. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is an American icon, and it’s easy to understand why. The park holds some of the most stunning views in America, with high granite cliffs, waterfalls, and ancient sequoia forests. Yosemite is a great place to visit any time of year, but winter is an especially great time to visit because the crowds are smaller and the air is crisper.
While the park can be enjoyed by hikers and nature lovers of all levels, it’s also an excellent place for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
3. Magic Mountain Ski Area, Vermont
If you’re looking for a skiing and snowboarding destination that’s a little off the beaten path, Magic Mountain Ski Area in Vermont is a great choice. This small ski resort is popular with locals and offers a more laid-back atmosphere than some of the more well-known resorts.
The mountain has a decent selection of slopes for all levels, and the staff is welcoming and helpful. Kids will love the terrain park, and beginners can take lessons or try out the tubing park if they want to try something different. After skiing, you can have a drink in the tavern. Sometimes there is live music, and you can see the mountain from inside.
A cozy spot in the heart of Vermont, Magic Mountain Ski Area, is the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy a fresh blanket of powder.
4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park is a winter wonderland for those who enjoy outdoor activities, pristine beauty, and spectacular scenery. The park offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family, including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and much more.
The several roads of the park are closed for regular traffic starting in early November, but if you have over snow transportation like cross country skis and snowmobiles available, then this is your chance! Although winter offers fewer visitors, it’s still worth the effort, especially when you can see scenes of frozen lakes, white-frosted forests, and steaming geysers.
After a snowshoe excursion or a ranger-led nature program at Yellowstone, take advantage of the area’s plentiful activities and nightlife options in nearby Jackson Hole. Nothing beats exploring Yellowstone National Park with its pristine landscape and diverse wildlife on a snowy winter day.
5 . Key West, Florida
If you’re looking for a winter holiday in the United States that isn’t cold, snowy, or rainy, there’s no better option than Key West, Florida, the country’s southernmost point!
You can go to the island by car from the mainland using the Overseas Highway. This small island of Florida has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 64-80°F year-round, making it perfect for your next vacation.
With everything for everyone, Key west has excellent beaches and oceanfront views to offer its visitors without any doubt why this would be one of your best winters ever!
6. Kings Canyon National Park, California
If you’re thinking about winter getaways, look no further Kings than Canyon National Park is also an excellent destination. Located in California, Kings Canyon National Park is another national treasure that offers an exciting and relaxing adventure that the entire family can enjoy. The park is great for hikers of all levels, and there are also ranger-led activities for those who want to explore the park further. You can see the General Grant, the second-largest tree in the world.
It is beautiful to see giant granite cliffs, deep valleys from glaciers, the roaring Kings River, and dense forests of sequoias.
In winter, the park is less crowded, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the park without any distractions. So, if you want a relaxing vacation experience, winter is the best time of the year to visit Kings Canyon, National Park.
7. Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska
Although Alaska might seem like a long way for some, it’s just the place to go if you want to experience winter in America. Fairbanks and Anchorage are both fantastic destinations for those who want to experience the great outdoors and enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and more.
There are a variety of activities to do in Anchorage that will allow you to get up and close with the cold, from glacier hikes to dog sledding excursions (that start in March). The Museum of the North in Anchorage, Alaska, tells the history of both humans and natural history.
The journey to Fairbanks is long, but it’s worth the scenic views. Aurora Winter Train takes you through heavy snow-covered trees, and we make our way towards Alaska’s largest city!
8. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a must-see destination if you’re looking to travel in the United States during winter. It’s located in Michigan and is known for its beautiful ice formations and frozen waterfalls. The park offers ranger-led activities, making it the perfect place to visit if you want to get a closer look at the winter landscape.
The annual Michigan Ice Fest is one of the most anticipated events in winter sports here. It’s attended by ice climbers each February who come from all over to watch and participate, but even if you can’t climb up there yourself, no worries! There are classes for visitors at varying skill levels available, so don’t miss out on your chance this year.
9. Death Valley National Park, California, and Nevada
There’s no other place on Earth quite like Death Valley National Park in the winter. This is a time when the park’s usually barren landscape is covered in a blanket of fresh snow, making it look more like the Alps than the American Southwest.
While daytime temperatures can still be quite warm, nighttime lows often plummet below freezing, so be sure to pack some warm clothes if you’re planning on visiting.
The park has some fantastic things. The lowest point is from the vast salt flats of Badwater Basin (282 feet below sea level); the park offers some magnificent vistas. The highest point is the mountains rising into the sky and looking at the dunes and the red and gold plains.
10. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Known for its hoodoos rock formations that look like spires or chimneys, Bryce Canyon National Park is a favorite winter destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Visitors will come across a stunning drive that leads to several lookout points to see the natural arena full of spires called hoodoos. Due to its unique geographic location, visitors can see many different types of wildlife in one day, including mule deer, elk, porcupine, wild horses, and the Utah prairie dog.
So if you’re looking for a winter getaway with stunning views, Bryce Canyon National Park is the place for you!
Top 15 things to do in those areas
Beaver Creek, Colorado
1. McCoy Park Nordic Skiing + Snowshoeing
This park is a local favorite for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. There are over 20 miles of groomed trails to explore, making it the perfect place for a winter hike.
2. Beaver Creek Snow Tubing
Beaver Creek is an excellent place for kids and families to enjoy snow tubing. Several tubing lanes are well-maintained and provide hours of fun for everyone. There are also hot chocolate drinks available next to the campfire so that everyone can get warm after their adventure on slides or playing games.
Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska
3. Find the Northern Lights
No need to travel far for a fantastic show of lights! Alaska is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of this natural. The Northern Lights are one of nature’s most amazing phenomena. In Alaska, the lights are green, purple, red, or blue. They are very bright and can be seen almost every night.
4. Sled Dog Rides
What could be more Alaskan than a sled dog ride? Visitors can enjoy a ride pulled by a team of trained and friendly dogs through the forest trails of Anchorage. This is an excellent activity for the whole family, and dogs are amiable. This is one of the best things to do in Fairbanks during the winter season.
5. Aurora Museum of the North
The Aurora Museum of the North provides a unique educational experience. The museum focuses on showcasing indigenous cultures and their relationship to the Aurora Borealis. With exhibits on everything from traditional storytelling to ice fishing, the Aurora Museum of the North is a great place to learn about the culture and history of Alaska.
6. Aurora Winter Train journey
Aurora Winter Train journeys are a unique way to see the beauty of Alaska in the winter. The train travels from Anchorage to Fairbanks, winding through the picturesque landscape of the Alaskan countryside. There are many different packages available, each with its own unique set of activities and attractions.
Kings Canyon National Park, California
7. Skiing and Snowshoeing
There are many opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing in Kings Canyon National Park. With over 121 square miles of trails, there is something for everyone.
8. Winter Ranger Programs
Kings Canyon National Park provides families with a unique experience during the winter season. Kids and adults can learn more about the park’s history through special ranger programs while enjoying a fun afternoon of activities.
Key West, Florida
9. Sunset Cruise
One of the best things to do in Key West during the winter is to go on a sunset cruise. With temperatures in the 19°C-25°C, the weather is perfect for a relaxing cruise on the ocean. There are many different cruises to choose from, each with unique activities and attractions.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
10. Snowshoeing in Yellowstone
There are well-kept trails for snowshoeing, making it an excellent way to explore the park during the winter months. Yellowstone in winter is also a great place for cross-country skiing for the more adventurous.
11. Snowmobiling in Yellowstone
Snowmobiling is the perfect option for those looking for a more exciting way to explore Yellowstone in winter. There are many trails to explore, and the scenery is simply stunning. Plus, it’s a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Make sure you dress warmly, though; it can get pretty chilly out there.
Yosemite National Park, California
12. Ice Skating
Ice skating in Yosemite National Park is a popular wintertime activity. The rink provides a unique opportunity to ring in the New Year with family and friends. It’s also a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors.
13. Sledding and Snow Tubing
Whether you’re looking for a romantic outing or fun with the family, sledding and snow tubing in Yosemite is an excellent wintertime activity. Kids and adults alike will love this adrenaline-pumping activity. Whether you have your equipment or rent from a local vendor, there is something for everyone.
Death Valley National Park, California, and Nevada
14. Dante’s view
One of the best things to do in Death Valley National Park during the winter is taking a trip to Dante’s view. Not only will you be treated to some of the most stunning views in the park, but you’ll also be able to see the valley lit up by the light of the stars. Viewpoints are very close to the parking lot.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
15. Ice Climbing
Ice climbing is one of the best things to do during a winter visit to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Ice climbing is popular in the winter when there is ample lake effect snow, several waterfalls, and porous sandstone cliffs.