Fun Winter Getaways in the US

While many winter destinations in the U.S. are known for small crowds and a more solitary feel, other destinations offer tons of excitement. When you’re looking for an active place to go for a winter getaway, you have plenty of places to consider from coast to coast. Whether you want a big city vibe with traditional winter weather or a lively town with milder temperatures, these are some of the best winter getaways in the U.S.

Chicago, IL

The Windy City becomes a cold, snowy winter wonderland filled with activities and events, making it a top place for winter vacations. Go ice skating at Millennium Park’s ice rink, sledding on the hills surrounding Soldier Field, or snowshoeing on nearby Northerly Island. Visit penguins, polar bears, and other arctic animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. Walk along the Lakefront Trail while admiring views of frozen Lake Michigan, or stay warm while exploring Lincoln Park Conservatory. Chicago also has plenty of places to go shopping and dining while you’re in town. Accommodations in Chicago include hotels and inns, with some offering views of the lake.

Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg provides many kinds of entertainment and opportunities for outdoor adventures for all ages. Family-friendly attractions and other amenities are open all year round, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Gatlinburg Space Needle. Enjoy rides and other attractions without long lines and big crowds. For outdoor fun, go skiing or snow tubing on Ober Mountain, with an aerial tramway from downtown Gatlinburg, or explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park, open  year round with free admission. Visit nearby Pigeon Forge for even more entertainment and attractions, including Dollywood. You can also have fun while staying warm in one of the hundreds of luxury Gatlinburg cabins in the foothills, filled with amenities. Expect snowy conditions during a winter Gatlinburg vacation, but without bitterly cold temperatures.

New Orleans, LA

For parades and festivities, New Orleans is the ideal place to go for a winter vacation. With Mardi Gras starting in early January, many fun events take place during the Carnival Season. Enjoy festive king cakes, warm up with a bowl of gumbo, and sample the city’s other culinary treasures. Go dancing to live music in Frenchmen Street, take tours of the historic Garden District, or explore the French Quarter. Visit art galleries, clothing boutiques, and specialty shops. For accommodations, New Orleans offers stately inns, historic hotels, artsy bed and breakfasts, and much more.

Vail, CO

Vail is known for being a ski resort, but it also has a busy nightlife scene. Relax with drinks after spending a day on the slopes, dine at charming bistros, or enjoy fine dining. Explore local art galleries and attend cultural and performing-arts events. Go snowshoeing or fat biking through the mountains for stunning views. Take a sleigh ride, do some ice skating in the village, or go on ice bumper cars. For places to stay during your winter vacation in Vail, choose from resorts, hotels, condos, or vacation home rentals with easy access to the slopes.

New York City, NY

The Big Apple is another big city that makes a great winter vacation spot. Heading to NYC, expect wintry weather, although some winter days can be milder. Go ice skating in Central Park, enjoy winter shows and festivities at Radio City Music Hall, or catch a musical on Broadway. Explore the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and other world-famous museums. Take in the many sights and sounds of Times Square, grab a bite to eat in diners, delis, and cafes, and go shopping for whimsical goods in Greenwich Village. Book a hotel in the heart of NYC, or check out hotels just over the George Washington Bridge in NJ.

Orlando, FL

While in summer, Orlando is hot, humid and crowded, joining the other seasoned travelers who visit Florida in winter means you get more comfortable weather and less crowded attractions. This is a great time to visit Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld for exciting rides and other attractions. Go canoeing on the Wekiva River, explore Dickson Azalea Park, or wander through Harry P. Leu Gardens near Lake Rowena. Visit nearby Winter Park to see peacocks strolling through the streets. Accommodations in Orlando include hotels and resorts in or near theme parks, as well as bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles is filled with things to do all year round, but winter means fewer crowds and mild weather. Go hiking in the Hollywood Hills without breaking a sweat, head to Disneyland or Universal Studios for thrilling rides and attractions, or visit the Los Angeles Zoo. The zoo features a winter-lights display from November through January each year. On colder days, explore the city’s museums, such as the Natural History Museum or Hollywood Museum. Go whale-watching along the coast, go ice skating at Pershing Square, or take a day trip to nearby Big Bear for skiing and snowboarding. Accommodations in Los Angeles include hotels and guest houses.

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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