When it comes to the winter months, there are two types of people: those who dread them and those who embrace them. But guess what? There are loads of fantastic winter getaways in the USA guaranteed to put a smile on your face—no matter which side you’re on.
Whether you’re a fan of sultry sand or fresh snow, you’ll find the United States is jam-packed with great winter destinations. And winter is a perfect time to snag terrific deals on flights, hotels, and restaurants!
Dreaming of hitting the snowy slopes of Park City? Lolling on the sun-kissed shores of Honolulu? Soaking up the Southern charm of Charleston? Check out this guide to the best winter escapes in the USA and find your perfect match!
Top-rated USA winter escapes
If you’re craving some serious sun time during your winter vacation, soak it up in Miami, Florida. With beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a fantastic culinary scene, Magic City really brings the heat.
The southernmost major city in the US, Miami boasts winter temperatures soaring to the upper 70s. Use those long sunny days to explore – because there’s plenty to discover on the Gold Coast!
Are you a nature lover? Explore beautiful Miami destinations like South Pointe Park, Virginia Key Beach, and Everglades National Park.
A stopover in fabulous South Beach is a must. With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and glittering after-dark scene, this is the crowning jewel among Miami’s oceanside gems. Wander at will and enjoy world-class shopping, stunning mid-century architecture, and Miami’s best restaurants.
Take a stroll or a cruise along Ocean Drive, Magic City’s world-famous strip. It’s jam-packed with striking architecture, cool cafes, high-end boutiques, and bustling bars.
Be wowed by Miami’s Art Deco District, home to beautifully-preserved buildings dating back nearly a century. Browse the vibrant galleries of the Design District. Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of Cuban culture in Little Havana.
At day’s end, hit up a popular rooftop bar like Rosa Sky or Sugar, settle back with a cocktail, and take in a spectacular sunset.
If your idea of heaven is fresh powder snow, then you’ll find paradise in Breckenridge, Colorado. Nestled in a valley just 45 minutes from the legendary Vail Resort, this winter wonderland has it all: amazing skiing, fantastic restaurants, cozy après-ski spots, and magical snow-covered landscapes.
Breckenridge is one of the world’s top-rated ski resorts – but it’s far enough from Vail that you won’t have to deal with lineups at the chairlift! It’s the perfect spot to max out a snowy getaway.
Not up for hitting the slopes? No problem! You’ve got a wide range of winter-time things to do in Breckenridge. Rent a snowmobile, sit back for a carriage ride, strap on snowshoes for a snowy hike, or lace up some skates and hit the ice.
Want a bird’s eye view? Hop on a gondola to take in spectacular peak-top views for miles around. And if you’ve got youngsters in tow, you can keep the whole crew buzzing at Breckenridge’s family-friendly play areas and museums.
Be sure to make time to explore the charming streets of this historic Victorian-era mining town. Take a stroll and check out Breckenridge’s renowned hot chocolate hot spots.
Discover one-of-a-kind boutiques and delectable eateries. Enjoy the full “local” experience at super-popular Eric’s, featuring stick-to-your-ribs eats, a selection of 30 beers, and arcade gaming.
If you’re bent on beating the chill, get your glow on in the winter sun of Honolulu, Hawaii. This ocean-side site has earned star status as a tropical paradise. With winter temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the high 80s, Honolulu is a natural for sun lovers and fans of water activities.
Want a warmup? Head for legendary Waikiki Beach and stretch out on its toasty sand, or splash in its warm blue waters. Up for some action? Grab a board and hit the surf, or strap on some scuba or snorkeling gear and view the pristine coral reefs and colorful marine life.
Honolulu is hiker heaven! Trek through the Round Top Forest Preserve and soak in stunning views of the city and surrounding rainforest. Or hit the Manoa Falls Trail and be awed by one of Oahu’s most spectacular waterfalls. Up for a challenge? Tackle the iconic Diamond Head Crater Hike for incomparable island vistas.
Explore top Honolulu attractions that showcase its rich cultural heritage, including the Iolani Palace, the Bishop Museum, and Washington Place. Seeking intriguing retail therapy options? Check out the International Marketplace and Honolulu’s bustling Chinatown.
To end your day in Honolulu, make tracks to the white sands of Waikiki’s beautiful Kuhio Beach. Witness the traditional blowing of the conch shell, then sit back and savor authentic Hawaiian music and hula performed by Hawaiian Island’s finest musicians and dancers.
Want to chase away those winter blues? Schedule a sunny sojourn in Phoenix, Arizona – aka “The Valley of the Sun.” Arizona’s capital city, Phoenix boasts one of the warmest climates in the country. (We’re talking a winter average of 68°F to 72°F!) And there are loads of ways you can enjoy it!
Nestled in a valley framed by scene-stealing mountains, Phoenix is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts. Among Phoenix’s top activities is to explore the gorgeous trails that wind in and around the city. If climbing is up your alley, head for the popular Camelback Mountain. When you reach the 2,800-foot summit, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping vistas.
Not up to a vertical challenge? Explore the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park and Preserve, one of the largest municipal parks in the US. Take your pick of over 58 miles of scenic trails – or just cruise the road to the top of the mountain for spectacular views.
In town, check out winter events like ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo. Or be dazzled by Las Noches de Las Luminarias when the Desert Botanical Garden comes alive with thousands of lights and live music.
Patio dining and rooftop tippling are always in season here. Sample the city’s James Beard Award-winning restaurants, or check out food festivals like the Devour Culinary Classic and Arizonan Strong Beer Festival. Cheers!
Palm Springs, California
Does your idea of a great winter getaway include hitting the golf greens? Hiking scenic trails? Being pampered at a swanky resort? If you said “yes” to any or all, then chart a course to Palm Springs, California. With average winter temperatures in the 70s, non-stop sunshine, and gorgeous landscapes framed by the San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs makes for a sweet Southern California escape.
Take your pick of outdoor activities, including fishing, golf, or tennis. Get your adrenaline pumping with a trek on the Cactus to Clouds Trail. Go horseback riding through the stunning Indian Canyons. Hop aboard the tramway at the foot of San Jacinto Peak and take in amazing views for miles around.
Feel like staying in town? Among the top-rated things to do in Palm Springs is to visit the residents of the Palm Springs Zoo, browse the Palm Springs Art Museum, or meander through the beautiful Moorten Botanical Garden.
In a shopping mood? Hit Palm Canyon Drive to browse a wealth of upscale boutiques. For something more cutting-edge, head to the Uptown Design District. This is the city’s hot spot for vintage threads, modern art, and retro home décor – much of it housed in fabulous vintage buildings.
When you need to refuel, you’re covered with a fantastic assortment of eateries ranging from hearty gastropubs to elegant tree-filled patios.
Park City, Utah
Hunker down for a winter getaway in Park City, Utah, and you might get a dusting of Olympic gold. Just a 30-minute schuss away from Salt Lake City (the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics), Park City hosted most of the Olympic skiing and snowboarding competitions. Today, it’s a winter sports haven, so wax up that snow gear for Olympic-grade action!
The biggest ski resort in the US, Park City boasts the best powder in the country. Whether your tastes run to skiing, snowboarding, or just trekking through the snow, you’ve loads of outdoor activities to choose from. Up for a unique thrill? One of the best things to do in Park City is to go for it at the bobsled track or ski jump – both carefully-preserved Olympic originals.
Park City offers a great selection of accommodation options, ranging from cozy chalets to the luxurious Waldorf Astoria. And hardcore park rats will want to snag a spot at a mountainside ski-in/ski-out lodging like Deer Valley Resort or Park City Mountain.
You’ll want to slip out of your skis to do some in-town exploration. Dating back to the silver mining boom in the late 1800s, Park City has a colorful history, and many of its original buildings still stand. Stroll historic Main Street and discover cozy cafes, vibrant galleries, and upscale shops.
Black Diamond pro or a bunny hill baby, top off your day with a laid-back après ski scene featuring live music and hot cocoa by the fireside.
If you’re a music fan seeking shelter from the winter chill, swing down to Austin, Texas. Awesome Austin isn’t just the capital of Texas: it’s the Live Music Capital of the world, boasting more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the country. This is Outlaw Music country, so get ready for a unique vibe that combines down-home ease with a modern edge.
One of the country’s fastest-growing cities, Austin is ripe for exploring – and with moderate temperatures in the 60s during the winter months, you won’t break a sweat. Scope out the city’s brilliant street art. Or put on your shopping shoes and step lively on South Congress Avenue to browse a bevy of hip boutiques and galleries.
Want an outdoor experience inside the city? Explore miles of trails in the Barton Springs Greenbelt. Ramble over 200 acres at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. Take an evening hike on Mount Bonnell to witness a breathtaking sunset.
Attention foodies! Austin is legendary for its amazing Tex-Mex, hearty breakfast tacos (try Guero’s Taco Bar), and mouthwatering barbecue (check out world-famous Franklin’s). But the Austin menu is also rich with new arrivals offering everything from traditional Japanese sushi to fragrant Indian cuisine.
Top off your day in Austin with a hit of live music in the Red River Cultural District. Set at the intersection of Red River and Sixth Streets, this is the city’s nightlife hub. Check out hotspots like Antone’s or the Parish to get in the groove.
Want to savor some Southern charm on a warm winter getaway? Sashay down to Savannah, Georgia. The oldest city in Georgia, Savannah boasts a rich history, gorgeous parks, and beguiling 19th-century architecture. With average temperatures in the mid-60s, the “Hostess City” of the South makes the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.
One of Savannah’s must-do activities is to walk around its beautiful Historic District. Founded in 1733, the town has a rich and colorful past. Head for River Street, where Savannah began life as a bustling commercial port (and occasional pirate haven).
Stroll the cobblestone streets along the waterfront and feel the past come alive. Discover dozens of intriguing boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and music venues – all set in repurposed 19th-century warehouses.
Head over to quaint, picture-perfect Broughton Street and take in the graceful beauty of its historic buildings and moss-draped live oaks. Browse a multitude of eclectic shops, or scope out a delicious selection of restaurants. Alligator Soul Funky Brunch Café, anyone?
Looking for great photo ops? Check out the iconic Forsyth Park fountain, explore the remarkable 18th-century estate ruins of the Wormsloe Historic Site, or capture some living color at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.
Genteel, yes – but Savannah can party with the best. Check out City Market in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District. Dating back to the 18th century, this neighborhood hub bustles with shoppers by day – but after dark, its pubs, restaurants, and music venues vibrate with nightlife.
Las Vegas, Nevada
What do you call Las Vegas, Nevada, minus the heat and the crowds? A great winter getaway! Sure, Sin City still blazes with neon during the chilly months – but the winter season has a way of highlighting the less shiny Las Vegas attractions. And the mild low 60s winter temperatures invite you to get out and discover them.
Las Vegas boasts loads of beautiful hiking areas. Explore the spectacular beauty of sites like the Red Rock Conservation Area and the Valley of Fire State, featuring miles of trails for all skill levels. If you’ve got more than a day in Vegas, challenge yourself with the scenic five-mile Arizona Hot Springs loop, then relax those aching muscles with a soak in the hot springs.
Of course, no Vegas adventure would be complete without paying homage to the town’s two superstar landmarks: the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. Both spectacular sites continue to operate guided tours throughout the winter – and the stunning views are eternal.
Want to entertain the whole gang with the greatest of ease? Swing along to Circus Circus, home to the world’s largest permanent circus. This thrilling Cirque de Soleil-style show features trapeze artists, unicyclists, acrobats, and more. Free!
If you’re looking for the real deal (snow-wise), zip up to Lee Canyon Resort. Less than an hour from downtown Vegas, this winter getaway offers skiing, boarding, snow tubing, and lessons for every skill level. Round out your day on the slopes with a cozy evening of après-ski leisure.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Sizzling jazz, mouthwatering food, exuberant Southern charm … what more could you want in a winter getaway? Delicious sensory overload awaits you in New Orleans, Louisiana. While winter temperatures hover around a “cool” 65°F, don’t worry: the Big Easy will wrap you in a welcoming bear hug.
An amazing mosaic of indigenous, African, French, and Cajun history and culture, New Orleans is home to more historic districts than any other US city. The jewel in the crown is the French Quarter – and its beating heart is Bourbon Street. The site of stunning centuries-old buildings, funky jazz clubs, and delectable eateries, the Vieux Carré is a must-see. Experience this neighborhood at its festive best in February. Mardi Gras, y’all!
Immerse yourself in New Orleans art, history, and culture in a bevy of top-flight museums. Among the most popular New Orleans activities is to explore the city’s famous cemeteries, where you can pay your respects to luminaries like Tennessee Williams. Or relax in the natural splendor of beautiful green spaces like Jean Lafitte National Park.
Animal lovers will want to explore the city’s world-class Audubon Zoo and Aquarium. The bayous surrounding New Orleans teem with life. If you’ve got more than a day in New Orleans, take a tour or slip into a kayak for close-up glimpses of native species, including armadillos, alligators, bobcats, and more.
Worked up an appetite on your journey? New Orleans is chock-a-block with amazing eateries, some dating back a century – so get those tastebuds dancing with down-home favorites. Check out legendary Dooky Chase’s for its world-famous fried chicken or 110-year-old Parkway Bakery and Tavern for its mouthwatering Po’ Boy sandwiches. (They scored big with Barrack Obama!)
Charleston, South Carolina
Want to immerse yourself in the heart of Southern history and culture? Make Charleston, South Carolina, your warm winter vacation spot. With cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and pastel antebellum homes, this town oozes charm. And with mild temperatures in the 50s and 60s, it’s perfect for sightseers on the move.
Journey back in time as you explore Charleston’s elegant French Quarter, a 17th-century neighborhood in the heart of Charleston’s historic district. With its charming gardens, colorful galleries, and French-infused cuisine, this romantic destination is a magnet for visitors.
If you’re in a shopping mood, one of top-rated Charleston activities is to browse the Charleston City Market, one of the oldest public markets in the US. Dating back to the 18th century, this popular spot brims with artwork, handcrafted treasures, and great places to eat.
And speaking of eating… Charleston’s thriving culinary scene features a fantastic mix of upscale Southern cuisine and downhome comfort food., including the city’s signature dish – shrimp and grits. Come hungry and loosen that belt!
Ready to discover more about Charleston’s history? Stroll the Battery promenade, originally a defensive Civil War sea wall and now home to a string-of-pearls set of antebellum mansions like the Roper House. Across the water, explore Fort Sumter, a Union stronghold that saw the first shots fired in the Civil War.
If you want to look deeper into Charleston’s complex past, carve out time for the Old Slave Mart Museum. Housed in an antebellum-era slave auction gallery, it provides a sobering glimpse into the history of enslaved peoples in the American South – 100,000 of whom had their fates determined at auction in Charleston.