8 Best Winter Vacations in the U.S.

8 Best Winter Vacations in the U.S.

8 Best Winter Vacations in the U.S.

Whether you're looking for a place to escape the cold or hoping to embrace and enjoy it, you'll find the perfect destination for your winter vacation in the United States. From snowcapped mountains to tropical beaches, the U.S. has everything to offer a winter getaway. Consider any of these eight places before you start planning your snowy season vacation.

  1. Santa Claus, Indiana

Get ready to break out your Notre Dame Fighting Irish sweatshirts and head to Indiana. It may sound like a random destination, but there's a very special town in the state that is perfect for a December getaway. Santa Claus, Indiana has humbly embraced its name and wrapped the town in Christmas cheer. You can stay at the beautiful Corner House Bed & Breakfast for cozy, cabin-style accommodations. Take your family to the Holiday World Theme Park for all the Christmas-themed fun you can imagine. The local shopping is perfect for antiquing enthusiasts, and you'll find plenty of souvenirs in the specialty boutiques. 

  1. Big Sky, Montana

If you're looking for snow, mountains, evergreens and hot cocoa by the fireplace, Big Sky will meet all your vacation plan needs. Of course, there are plenty of ski spots to accommodate every level of experience from the diamond run to the bunny slopes, but there are plenty of other winter sports activities as well. You can go snowmobiling and dog sledding through the hills. Take a leisurely horseback ride through the snow, or go fly fishing in the river. Stay at The Summit Hotel, where guests can ride the first chairlift in America to seat eight people. Don't forget to catch a horse-drawn carriage to Lone Mountain Ranch for dinner.

  1. Key West, Florida

For those that want to escape the cold and forget about winter, fly into Miami and take a four-hour drive to the U.S.'s southernmost point in Key West. You'll cross 42 bridges to get there, including the famous 7-Mile Bridge, and enjoy perfect weather throughout your stay. Even in January, you can go diving and snorkeling to see the beauty of the coral reefs. Feel the Caribbean ambiance and drink with the locals in Key West's historic district. While you're there, check out the Ernest Hemingway house for an interesting history lesson.

  1. Savannah, Georgia

There's something very special about the city of Savannah. You can feel the old charm of the South and know that you're in the presence of fascinating history. Savannah has been the home to some well-known movie magic as well. Stop by Chippewa Square to see where the famous bench scene from Forrest Gump was filmed. Take a walk through Forsyth Park; you'll likely recognize the fountain and the iconic mossy oak trees. If you love ghost stories and spooky season, keep in mind that Savannah was once deemed the most haunted city in America. You'll know why once you see the historic architecture.

  1. Stowe, Vermont 

If you're thinking you'd like the activities of a ski destination with the charm of a small town, Stowe is right for you. Avid skiers have their choice of slope at Stowe Mountain Resort, home to over 450 acres of ski-ready land. Lovers of New England charm will find quaint local shops and cozy cafés with delicious pastries. Be sure to try everything maple-flavored; Vermont is famous for its award-winning maple syrup. 

  1. New York, New York

There will forever be something magical about New York City in winter. If you visit around the holidays, you can see the famed Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and take in the window displays at Bergdorf and Saks. Take a stroll throw Central Park, but be sure to have your camera ready for fresh snow on the fountain in the morning. Stop by the Central Park Zoo and visit the Women's Rights Pioneers Monument while you're there. Of course, don't forget to catch a Broadway show. 

  1. Honolulu, Hawaii

Skip the cold weather and soak up the sun on a beautiful beach in Honolulu. The weather stays warm, and the coconut drinks stay full. You can watch the breathtaking sunsets on white sand and go snorkeling to see the vibrant, tropical fish. Take the time to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center where you can learn all about the allure of island life. 

  1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The last destination on this list is for the snow seekers. Jackson Hole gets an average of 500 inches of snow each year. It's a haven for winter sports enthusiasts and is just next door to Yellowstone National Park, where you can see Old Faithful, take a snowmobile tour and spot the bubbling mud pots. If you're looking for classic winter scenery, Jackson Hole is here for you. Be sure to take a horse-drawn sleigh tour through the town.

Winter doesn't have to be about hiding inside and riding out the weather. Trade in your slippers for a pair of snow boots or a scuba fin. Either way, make the most of it with any of these adventurous cities.