Orange County: Surf Cities And Theme Parks
A road trip to Orange County will save you from the harsh winters up north without taking away the spirit of the season. The milder weather is still not great for a dip in the sea, but the beach views are all yours to enjoy. Splurge on an oceanfront hotel room or rental for that holiday with a view. Bringing your car along is useful for day trips to nearby cities like Huntington Beach. But thats not all Orange County has its share of winter events too!
Now, when it comes to California, you cant ignore Disneyland. The Anaheim theme park will be busy during this season, especially the holiday weekends. But the crowds thin out in January and February. If you plan to go after New Year, theres plenty of time to make it affordable. Road trippers can check out affordable Disneyland parking tips right here.
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Escape the scorching temperatures as the season changes, and enter a winter paradise down south in the United States! Winter is the best time to go on a vacation, with the cooler weather, smaller crowds, and beautiful falling snow! If you cant decide on where to go and what to do, weve compiled a list for you that will help you make your decision! You can make your trip unique and fun at the best themed hotels in the country, or you can rough it up and explore the states with RV and campervan rentals. Try all the listed suggestions or just a few, and see what some of the best winter vacation spots in the US have to offer.
Wisconsin is one of the states that meet a freezing winter, with temperatures around -30Â°F . The state is popular for winter activities like ice fishing and snowmobile derbies. If youâre going for a quiet, White Christmas with your family or closest friends, Wisconsin is a great spot to rent a mountainside cabin.
Who wouldnât enjoy waking up to the snow falling down, with hot cocoa in hand, all while in your pajamas and gathered around the Christmas tree to open presents? Thats a holiday to remember, for sure.
More Amazing Vacation Destinations Usa
There are 2 particularly pretty vacation spots in the US located outside the mainland. Theyre both US territories though, and visiting requires no passports from U.S. citizens. Here are some more good places for vacation in the US that are just a bit further away.
2. Puerto Rico
Why vacation here: Known as the Island of Enchantment, the US territory of Puerto Rico is an amazing place to experience rich Spanish culture and dreamy tropical vibes. Boasting historical attractions and unique water activities, this Caribbean island has plenty to offer.
Kayak in sparklingwater: One of the most magical experiences on the island is kayaking in the dark and seeing the water around you light up in a neon blue-green color. This rare phenomenon is thanks to Puerto Ricos famous bioluminescent bays. To enjoy this glow-in-the-dark paradise, head into the waters of Mosquito Bay, Laguna Grande, and La Parguera.
Travel back in time: Dont miss out on San Juan, the historic capital of Puerto Rico. This city is filled with historical landmarks, impressive forts, and colorful colonial buildings. Be sure to stop by Castello San Filipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal to get a history lesson!
Read more: 37 Epic Places to Travel to Without a Passport
1. U.S. Virgin Islands
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Best Warm Winter Getaways In Usa: A Recap
I hope you found some inspiration from these warm winter vacation spots USA! If youre not so keen on the blankets of snow this winter, fret not, because there are plenty of gorgeous white sand beaches and sunkissed towns awaiting you. If youre looking for more vacation ideas, dont forget that the US is also filled with .
I hope these warm winter vacation destinations in the USA were inspiring!
For more travel inspiration in the US, discover:
Plan Your Next Trip To The Us With These Resources
Travel Planning Resources
Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.
Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner
Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor
Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:
- World Nomads – Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
- Allianz – Occasional Travelers.
- Medjet – Global air medical transport and travel security.
Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.
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Big Bend National Park Texas
Big Bend National Park is located on the Southwest Border of Mexico and Texas, adjacent to the Rio Grande River, and it is an excellent winter escape.
Since the highs in the national park reach well above 100, which results in some sections of the park being closed, Big Bend is one of the best places to visit in winter in the USA.
The winter weather is mild, making hiking the trails much more comfortable. Plus, the park has hot springs where you can enjoy where you can get chilly!
The best activity in Big Bend is to simply hike. Some of the most popular hikes include the Lost Mine Trail, The Window View Trail, The Grapevine trail, The Boquillas Canyon Trail, and the Santa Elena Trail.
One of my favorite trails is the Santa Elena Trail, as it takes you through the famous Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande.
Another one of my favorite activities is enjoying the Hot Springs located on the Rio Grande. The trail to this hot spring is an easy 0.5 miles.
The area can get crowded, so I recommend going around sunrise to enjoy this place all to yourselves. If you ever get too hot, take a refreshing dip on the Rio Grande River.
Big Bend National Park is not one of the more famous National Parks, but it is indeed a hidden gem and a great spot to visit during the winter months.
to check accommodation near Big Bend National Park!
Michelle at The Wandering Queen
Red Rock Canyon National Park Nevada
The area surrounding Las Vegas, Nevada may be best known for bright lights and casinos, but it also holds some of the most picturesque nature and desert attractions in the Southwestern United States.
Red Rock Canyon National Park is located just 25 minutes outside of Sin City, but it couldnt feel farther away.
Winter is the best time to visit, because triple digits are a distant memory and the air is cool.
While in summer, the 13-mile one-way loop road around Red Rock might be all you can enjoy from inside of your air conditioned car, winter will open up a number of hiking options through the parks beautiful trails.
You could easily spend several days exploring the breathtaking rock formations and streams around the park.
Another must-see that is found just 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas is the public art installation in the desert called Seven Magic Mountains.
Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created this piece from locally sourced boulders which he painted in vivid neon.
You can easily hit both of these desert attractions in one full day. Its amazing to see two vastly different sights made of stone in the Nevada desert!
Monica This Rare Earth
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Las Vegas Nevada: Top Warm Winter Destination For Usa
Its true there is no other place on earth quite like Las Vegas, NV. The oasis in the Mojave Desert is nicknamed the Entertainment Capital of the World and it is one of the best places to visit in the winter.
While the legendary pool parties are on hiatus during the winter season, there is still plenty to see, do and eat in Las Vegas.
At Christmastime, the citys resorts rev up for the holidays with phenomenal holiday displays. Seriously, Vegas is one of the best places to visit in the US in December just for the abundant Christmas decor.
Throughout the winter in Vegas, the evenings do tend to be cool, but you can always warm up in the casinos or if that is not your style go out for an entertaining evening and watch one of the fabulous Las Vegas shows.
That said, Vegas winter travelers dont need to be stuck indoors. With daytime temps in the 60s, the mild winter weather is the perfect for exploring the outdoors in Vegasor even just walking The Strip.
Maui Hawaii: Best Winter Destination In The Us
There may be no better place to take a US winter vacation than tropical Maui, HI. The Hawaiian Island destination is popular throughout the year, but there are a few reasons why visiting Maui in wintertime is a top choice.
First, the weather tops out at a balmy 75 degrees, which lets face it is perfection. Second, the winter is whale watching seasonand its spectacular! Beginning in mid-December, Humpback whales make their migration to the warm Hawaiian waters.
Finally, Maui ranks as the best place for winter vacation in the USA for fun, festive events. Christmastime in Maui is made special with the annual lighting of the Banyan Tree in Lahaina, appearances by Santa, and holiday concerts. The biggest event in January is the PGA Tournament of Champions and in February, visitors can partake in the celebratory Chinese New Year festival.
Like we already mentioned, Maui is a top destination in every season so there are many things to do on the island during a trip. Top activities are to drive the Road to Hana, visit Haleakala National Park, walk on the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park and hike the Pipiwai Trail to stunning waterfalls.
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Channel Islands National Park California
One of my favorites on this list of warm winter vacations USA is also one of the most underrated vacation destinations! The National Park Service refers to Channel Islands NP as Close to the California MainlandYet Worlds Apart. And its so true!
Its one of Americas least visited National Parks, likely because it requires a ferry ride from the mainland. However the 5 uninhabited islands of Santa Cruz, Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa more than make up for the travel there!
You can opt to ride the ferry back and forth for as many days as youd like, or you can opt to camp on the islands. Just be sure to book your campsite in advance. Spend your days hiking and kayaking , and otherwise enjoying the views.
Pro tip: come prepared. Theres no services on the island for food, trash, etc. Potable water is available at the campsites.
Id recommend a hotel in Ventura, as its the closest to the ferry. With highs in the 60s during winter, this is definitely one of the best warm winter getaways in the USA! Visiting the Channel Islands National park could be part of a larger California Coast road trip, or an off-the-grid national park adventure!
Recommended by me Nikki of She Saves She Travels
Warm Beaches Of Hawaii
You cannot really go wrong with any of the Hawaiian islands. All of them are wonderful for a winter vacation. But Oahu and Big Island are just the most popular ones for the beach getaway.
Big Island has amazing nature, stunning sunsets, a warm ocean, and incredible coral reefs. You can find all types of beaches there that are great for swimming and sunbathing, surfing or diving. And they are all going to be warm with water in the Pacific Ocean at 75-77 degrees.
Oahu, the capital with the biggest number of flights, has 112 miles of beautiful coastline. It offers a wide variety of beaches including the one like peaceful man-made lagoon Ko Olina. Or rugged, relatively undeveloped beaches like Yokohama Bay with white sand and warm turquoise waters.
Oahu beaches are grouped into four zones based on their geographic location on the island. The famous North Shore has iconic surf beaches such as Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. The South Shore is where Waikiki is located. Westside beaches are sheltered from the wind on the island. Here you will find peaceful beaches with gentle surf such as Ko Olina and Turtle. On the east side, called the Windward Coast, youll find popular but unspoiled beaches like Waimanalo and Kualoa.
Kauai is a perfect island for seeing active volcanoes and exploring unique untouched nature.
Prices in winter in Hawaii go down, so even tourists on a budget can plan a winter vacation there.
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Olympic National Park Washington
Combining some of the unique ecosystems such as the temperate rainforest, lakes, beaches and snow-blanketed mountains, Olympic national park is probably the most distinct national park in the whole of the United States.
The greatest part about visiting this place in the winter is that it would be devoid of the usual crowds and you can have a more intimate travel experience.
Most of the areas of the park remain accessible, although there are some ranger-led programs. While working in the USA, I visited it a few times and I loved it in winter.
Lake Crescent can be your first stop, if you are coming from Seattle. It has many picnic areas with a great view. You can rent a kayak or canoe, and go for a scenic paddling experience.
The charm of the otherworldly Hoh rain forest is the highlight of the Olympics, which has more than 130 species of mosses, lichens and ferns.
Hike to the Sol Duc falls is something I would definitely recommend. Olympic national park has a long coastline with wild beaches, out of which the Ruby and Shi Shi beaches are everyones favorite.
And you cant miss the snow-blanketted Hurricane Ridge. This where you can go for tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing and snowboarding.
There might be road closures sometimes, so do check about it before planning your visit.
Deb Pati The Visa Project
Phoenix Arizona: Best Winter Vacations Usa
Without a doubt, Phoenix, AZ is one of the best winter destinations in USA! The sun shines bright on the desert city year-round, but in the wintertime its sublime. During the winter months, temperatures in Phoenix reach the high 60s and there is very little precipitation, which is absolutely phenomenalespecially if you live in a cold, northern state.
With ideal weather, visitors can get outside and experience many of the best things to do in Phoenix, AZ.
Golfing and hiking in Phoenix are top outdoor activities that make the Valley of the Sun one of the best places to visit in the US during winter but there are so many more things to do! We particularly like the al fresco dining opportunities, city exploration on two wheels and festive wintertime events.
Winter events, like the Desert Botanical Garden Holiday Las Noches de Las Luminarias and the downtown New Years Eve Block Party, are why Phoenix is one of the best places to visit in December in USA.
With so much going on, it is easy to understand why Phoenix is one of the best winter places to visit in USA!
Looking for more New Years Eve destinations? Use our tips for the Best Places to Go for New Years Eve.
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Stay In An Icy Paradise In Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska, is absolutely bubbling over with winter activities, making it one of the coolest places to visit during this time of year. Go dog-sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, tubing, ice skating, and more in one of the absolute best winter destinations in the world. Plus, you could catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis during its peak season!
One of Fairbankss best winter attractions is Chena Hot Springs, which not only has some steamy waters but is also home to the worlds largest year-round ice environment, the Aurora Ice Museum. I dont know about you, but I cant think of anywhere more deserving of the title winter wonderland than Fairbanks.
Find more ideas on what to do in Alaska during the winter months here!
What Makes Jekyll Island Among The Top Hidden Vacation Spots In The Us
During the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, Jekyll Island was an exclusive retreat for the worlds wealthiest people, including William Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, and William Rockefeller. These influential people were members of the Jekyll Island Club, the worlds richest and most exclusive club at the time.
After World War II, the island was sold to the state of Georgia as a state park, but many of the mansions remain in-tact. If you want to see how the other side lived, youll love the Jekyll Island Historic District. Id go so far as to consider it the Newport of the South.
Like Molokai, Jekyll Island doesnt have any trafficsignals. In fact, only 35% of the island has been developed due tostate-protected lands. This lends itself to Jekyll Islands laidback, unhurriedlifestyle. Beaches are plentiful, but if you want to do something more active, bikingis a popular activity and mode of transportation along the 20 miles of bikepaths sprawled throughout.
Today, Jekyll Island welcomes all types of visitors looking for raw nature, historic architecture, and an interesting blend of old and new.
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