Winter is often the best time to plan a vacation in the U.S. — popular tourist hotspots are quieter, temperatures across the south are milder, and snow turns the northern states into a winter wonderland. Florida is one of my dream destinations to visit in the USA and I would love to visit and do lots of little trips at once. If you’ve got a weekend off during the winter months and you’re not sure how to spend it, consider a trip to one of these idyllic destinations.
#1 Spend some time in the Big Apple
Winter is one of the best times to visit NYC, with snow often blanketing the city, giving this sprawling metropolis a magical Christmassy feel. Drop off your bags and head straight to Rockefeller Center for a spin on its iconic ice rink.
Another great activity for your winter weekend getaway in the Empire City is a visit to Central Park. You’ll find this famous park extra special during the winter, and if you’re feeling romantic, plan a horse and carriage ride through Central Park for you and your significant other.
#2 Hit the slopes at Lake Tahoe
One of the most popular winter weekend excursions in the U.S. is skiing. If you’re on the West Coast, Lake Tahoe is the perfect winter sports destination. Surrounded by the sublime Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe features a plethora of ski resorts, with groomed slopes, which are excellent for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and much more.
#3 Avoid the cold with a trip to Miami
Holidaymakers looking to escape the cold weather for a weekend might want to plan a trip to Miami. Thanks to Florida’s tropical weather conditions, it never gets particularly chilly in the Sunshine State, with the lowest temperatures in the 50s, rising up to the high 70s.
These high temperatures mean you can still soak up some rays on South Beach, even in the dead of winter, while avoiding the busiest months for tourism.
#4 Get in touch with nature at Yellowstone National Park
If you’re looking to avoid crowds of people, and experience a stunning natural setting in peace, make sure to visit Yellowstone National Park this winter. Heavy snowfall makes many of Yellowstone’s roads inaccessible during the winter, meaning you won’t find too many other travelers exploring this remarkable landscape.
The lack of people means that nature is out in force, and spotting the park’s fauna, from bison to elk, becomes a whole lot easier. The best way to reach Yellowstone is by heading to Colorado.
#5 Join the party in New Orleans
Winter is arguably the best time to spend a weekend in New Orleans, as the weather is milder, and there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate. One of the biggest draws to The Big Easy is Mardi Gras, which takes place during February on Shrove Tuesday. Tens of thousands of tourists descend on New Orleans during this period to watch the parade and take in the unique carnival atmosphere. When you visit, you can store your belongings at a New Orleans luggage storage spot, to avoid lugging your stuff through the bustling city streets.
#6 Try your luck in Las Vegas
Weekend warriors looking for thrills and spills during their vacation should certainly spend a couple of days in Las Vegas. Sin City is the ultimate gambling destination, with dozens of casinos lining its world-famous strip.
If you’re not much of a high roller, you’ll also find plenty to do around Vegas, with excursions like visiting the Valley of Fire State Park and relaxing adventures like the Gold Strike Hot Springs.
#7 See the sights in Washington D.C.
Spending a weekend in the nation’s capital is superb for a winter getaway. As well as the many free attractions, including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, you can also peruse the Washington D.C.’s ornate Christmas decorations or warm-up at one of its many classy eateries.
#8 Feel the love in Philadelphia
The City of Brotherly Love is ideal for a winter retreat if you’re looking to experience a variety of amazing festive celebrations. Philadelphia hosts some of the best Christmas events in the country, including the Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Christmas Lights Show at Macy’s.
#9 Get weird with a weekend in Austin
Austin is known for taking pride in it’s weird and wonderful culture, and there are few better cities in Texas to spend a winter weekend. Plan on stuffing your face at some of the best restaurants in the Lonestar State and keep an eye out for fun activities. Winter in Austin brings tons of festivals, including the Red River Culture District’s Free Week, which features over 150 local bands playing for free across dozens of venues.
#10 Soak up the culture of Portland
Portland is known to be very cold during the winter, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of activities in The City of Roses. Visitors will love catching one of the city’s exciting winter festivals, like the Portland Winter Lights Festival and PDX Jazz Festival. If you fancy partaking in some winter sports, stash your bags before heading to nearby Mount Hood, which is ideal for skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and more.
Here are some other great resources for travel inspiration to the USA: