Best Winter Getaways: 10 Winter Vacations|
What are your winter plans? If chilly weather and soft snowfall is your cup of tea, maybe you’re planning to visit the mountains. Or, if you cringe at the thought of freezing temperatures and would rather be soaking up the sun, a warm-weather getaway might be what you’re searching for.
Whether you’re looking to experience snowy adventure or relax on the beach—we’ve compiled a list of the top winter getaways so you can do it all. Keep reading to figure out where you should travel before the winter season is over!
Five of the Best Winter Wonderlands:
Sitting by the fire enjoying a warm mug of hot chocolate, hitting the slopes, or watching the snowfall near a cozy fireplace are all stereotypical winter activities. If you spend most of your days somewhere warm, or you just want to visit the best winter wonderlands, here are our top picks!
Breckenridge is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains’ Tenmile Range in Colorado. The area is known for its world-class ski resort, small-town charm and colorful history.
Find everything from beginner slopes to expert terrain in this magical mountain town! Breckenridge Ski Resort has 2,908 skiable acres, 187 trails, and a vertical drop of 3,398 feet.
If you’re not interested in hitting the slopes, Breck (as the locals call it), has so much else to offer. Take a tour through historic downtown, go gold panning at Lomax Placer Mine, or visit one of the many local museums. You can even take a ghost tour and explore the haunted side of the wild west.
New York City, NY
The 5 boroughs of New York City are located where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Hudson River. The winter weather can be harsh and cold, but at the same time, it can be an extraordinary winter wonderland.
Some experiences you just can’t miss in New York City in the wintertime include skating at Rockefeller Center (usually open from November through mid-March), experiencing a musical or theatrical performance on Broadway (known as the heart of the American theater industry), and taking a stroll through snowy Central Park.
The Big Apple has a lot more to offer. New York City is also known for its shopping scene—one of the most famous (and expensive) shopping streets is Fifth Avenue. Visitors can also explore incredible museums throughout the city, get a bird’s eye view by visiting an observation deck in a skyscraper (there are 8 and a 9th is coming to the Chrysler Building), and experience a truly one-of-a-kind and exceptional culinary scene. If you visit during Restaurant Week (normally the end of January until the end of February) you can try many elite dishes and meals for a standard rate.
Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe is an unforgettable spot to visit during the winter months. This freshwater lake (considered one of the most beautiful lakes in America) is on the border of California and Nevada in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The lake isn’t lacking in exciting activities, but many winter visitors come to the area to simply admire the stunning views.
Lake Tahoe is home to six ski resorts: Heavenly (4,800 total acres), Kirkwood (2,300 total acres), Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe (1,200 total acres), Northstar California Resort (3,170 total acres), Sierra-at-Tahoe (2,000 total acres) and Palisades Tahoe (6,000 total acres). You can participate in a variety of outdoor activities like downhill skiing, snowboarding, riding gondolas, skydiving or even snowkiting. (Yep. Snowkiting.)
If you’re not an adrenaline junkie and you just want to relax with some incredible views, visit one of the many spas in Lake Tahoe. The lake is also home to craveable cuisine and vibrant nightlife—including nightclubs, theaters, and casinos (on the Nevada side).
Park City, UT
Park City is just east of Salt Lake City, located on the back of the Wasatch Mountains. There are two ski resorts in the area—Deer Valley Resort, voted No. 1 ski resort in America in 2021 by Conde Nast, and Park City Mountain. These two resorts have more than 9,000 skiable acres combined.
Granted, if you’re not a winter sports enthusiast, you can visit Park City’s Historic District, shop at unique antique stores, visit art galleries or eat!
Another incredible experience in Park City is the Sundance Film Festival. See and hear unique stories from creators and actors, listen to panel discussions and even catch some live music. The festival usually occurs every winter toward the end of January.
Located in northern Vermont, Stowe is the alpine “Ski Capital of the East” and one of North America’s premier cross-country skiing areas. The city is also considered a top ski town in the U.S.
For downhillers, Stowe Mountain Resort offers 116 ski trails and 12 lifts. The Nordic Ski Center offers about 30 miles of groomed trails and 20 miles of backcountry terrain for cross-country skiers to explore.
The town also boasts other chilly outdoor activities like ice skating, ice fishing, ice climbing, fat biking, snowmobiling and much more. The winter carnival is held annually, and hosts events like ice carving competitions and snow volleyball tournaments.
In case you’re still hungry after trying the variety of amazing dining options in Stowe, you can visit the only Ben & Jerry’s factory open to the public. Take a guided tour, then grab a scoop or try a Vermonster sundae!
Five Warm Weather Vacations to Escape the Cold
If you’d much rather spend the winter season roasting in the sun than freezing your you-know-what off, head somewhere warm(er) this season! Here are our top warm weather destinations to visit.
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, located in southern Nevada, is known for gambling, shopping, entertainment and decadent dining. Weather in Las Vegas during the winter often includes highs in the 50s and 60s, but it beats the sweltering heat of the summer. Plus, winter is one of the cheapest times of year to visit.
The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that dazzles visitors with neon lights, hotels, casinos and more. (Did you know? There are about 60 casinos on or near the Strip.)
Las Vegas is home to a variety of venues with acts ranging from concerts to comedy shows. It’s also known as a world-class food destination, so trying some of the top dining spots in the city is essential. Stop by the observation decks at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod Casino for the best views of the sparkling city.
Las Vegas is also nearby a variety of outdoor adventure. The Hoover Dam is less than an hour away, offering guided dam tours or self-guided tours of the visitor center. About a 30-minute drive from the city is Red Rock Canyon, an incredible spot to hike, camp, bike and more. The 13-mile Scenic Drive through the canyon offers exceptional views, scenic stops, and trailheads, but it does require reservations October 1st through May 31st.
Seeking something a little quieter than the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas? Visit Savannah during the winter months. You’ll find this city on the eastern coast of Georgia, near the border of South Carolina. Winter high temperatures are around 60 degrees, with lows around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
This southern town boasts a variety of historic sites including the Bonaventure Cemetery, Factors Row, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, the Telfair Academy, the Marshall House and much more. The Historic Landmark District is also home to parks, museums and restored 18th-century homes.
Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in the U.S., so be sure to take a ghost tour, stay in a haunted historic hotel, or check out underground experiences in spooky Savannah!
Depending on when you visit Savannah, the city is home to a few awesome winter festivals. The Mountainfilm on Tour-Savannah Festival normally takes place in January, and the Savannah Book Festival is a well-known event held in February.
While you’re visiting, don’t forget to check out the entertainment scene, admire the Savannah River on River Street, and try some spectacular southern cooking.
San Diego, CA
San Diego is the ultimate warm weather winter vacation. Highs are consistently mid-60s in this sunny Southern California city. Although the winters are mild and warm, the ocean will be cold! If you’d like to hop in the water, we suggest wearing a wetsuit.
If you do want to get on the water, consider visiting La Jolla, San Diego’s Jewell by the Sea. Take a kayak tour and explore the Seven Caves of La Jolla, snorkel, SUP (standup paddleboard) and more. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offers beautiful hiking trails with spectacular views.
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is considered one of the best zoos in the world. The zoo is home to more than 12,000 rare and endangered animals, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home to more than 3,600 animals. Don’t miss out on this awesome experience in San Diego.
The city boasts an incredible arts scene (just check out The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park or The Conrad), along with beautiful parks and gardens and fabulous food. San Diego is also home to the U.S.S. Midway Museum, which honors the historical aircraft carrier and the many who served on the ship between 1945 and 1992.
Key West, FL
White sand beaches, tropical weather, unique attractions and breathtaking waterfront views make Key West a top winter escape. Average high temperatures are in the 70s and average lows are high-60s.
Spending time on the beach and on the water is a must in Key West. Smathers Beach, White Street Pier and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park are popular areas for outdoor activities including snorkeling, kayaking, volleyball, fishing and more. Visitors can also check out the Southernmost Point Buoy, marking the southernmost point in the continental U.S.
Historic sites and attractions in Key West include the Hemingway Home and Museum, Truman Little White House and more. Take an Old Town Trolley tour to learn about the history of Key West at your own pace. Or, if you’d like to experience the dark side of Key West, take a ghost tour. Be sure to try some of the best eats on the island, too!
While you’re in the area, take a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park (via seaplane charter or ferry boat). The park is home to a magnificent 19th-century fort, and also offers fishing, camping, birdwatching and more. Be sure to visit anytime October through January to experience all of the islands (Bush Key is closed part of the year).
Visiting Sedona during the winter comes with moderate to cold temperatures (highs around 60 degrees and lows in the 30s), fewer crowds and lower rates. Many of the outdoor recreation companies stay open year-round—so winter is the perfect time to experience everything Sedona has to offer.
Some epic outdoor tours to try in Sedona in the winter include hot air balloon tours, helicopter experiences and jeep tours. Kayaking on the Verde River, hiking and biking are other popular outdoor adventures.
Find the best shopping in Sedona in Tlaquepaque, an arts and crafts village with more than 50 shops and art galleries. In case you work up an appetite, stop by El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano for some excellent Mexican cuisine. Try even more of Sedona’s delicious dining on a wine or food tour, or check out this list of tasty restaurants. If you’re seeking a romantic and relaxing winter getaway, visit one of Sedona’s world-class spas!
FAQs: Winter Getaways
Q: What is the best place to vacation in the winter?
A: The places listed above are great places to visit in the winter, but other tropical vacations include Sydney, Australia, Caribbean destinations like St. Lucia Puerto Rico and Turks & Caicos, or Central American destination of Costa Rica.
Q: What is the best place to visit in Colorado in the winter?
A: Some of the top places to visit in Colorado in the winter include Breckenridge, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte.
Q: Where is the best place to spend winter in the U.S.?
A: Some popular places to spend winter in the U.S. include North Pole, AL; Whitefish, MT; New York City, NY and Key West, FL.
Q: What is the warmest state to visit in January?
A: The warmest U.S. state to visit in January is Hawaii.
What do you think of our list of winter getaways? Will you head to any of these destinations? Let us know in the comments below!
If you decide to extend your tropical winter vacation, or you’d like to repeat it every year, you may be turning into a snowbird! Find four stellar tips for snowbirds in our blog. Frequent travelers need more space from time to time. Store Space offers secure storage units at affordable prices, just use our storage finder to locate your nearest facility.
Sarah Dirks is a Junior Content Writer for Store Space who enjoys watching movies, being active and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.