For some winter travelers, the holiday season means dusting off the skis and snowboards and taking to the slopes. For others, it means leaving the heavy jackets at home and packing up the golf clubs instead. So whether you’re searching for snow or headed south or west to chase the heat, we’ve gathered up the top destinations in the country for every kind of traveler.
With an average high temperature above 70 degrees, it doesn’t take too much convincing to head to Miami, Florida this holiday season. Despite the allure of warmth for those shivering in the northern states, Miami stays relatively uncrowded throughout the winter months – a marked departure from spring and summer.
Delicious Cuban cuisine, glowing waters, and warm, sandy beaches are just a few added benefits to a trip down south. Planning an extended stay? Be sure to take a day trip to the nearby, and equally as impressive, Everglades National Park or the Florida Keys.
Salt Lake City, Utah
If you’re looking to embrace all winter has to offer, Salt Lake City should be at the top of your itinerary. Although the city is notorious for producing the “greatest snow on Earth”, there’s plenty to do off the slopes, too.
SLC was truly put on the map after hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics. The winter wonderland now features luxurious spas, ice-skating, and horse-drawn carriage rides through the Wasatch Mountains. Plenty of après-ski options await you, too, with vintage bars and cozy saloons throughout the city.
Winter, or “Hoolio”, in Honolulu is relatively similar to its preceding months. Average temperatures continue to hover around 80 degrees and the native flora and fauna remain in bloom. But, the Aloha State always has something special in store for its winter visitors.
Humpback whales call the warm waters of Hawaii home from November to May. With their abundance in numbers, the majestic creatures can be spotted from shore daily. Boat tours are also available for a closer look at the action.
Winter in Honolulu almost means waves. Expert surfers from all over the globe flock to Oahu’s north shore for recreational and competitive wave riding. Observers can safely watch from shore as surfers brave the massive swells.
Winter in the “Windy City” calls for puffy jackets, mittens, and a couple tubes of chapstick. But don’t let the cold deter you from exploring the incredible city this holiday season.
Spend the day exploring museums and art galleries and the evenings ice skating in Millennium Park under twinkling lights. Breweries and old speakeasies across town make for a warm escape from the cold sidewalks, too. For a different kind of spirit, take a spooky bus tour of locations throughout the city where infamous mobsters once resided.
San Diego, California
Escape winter’s gloom and immerse yourself in the sun and warmth of San Diego, California.
Thinner crowds and temperate weather make it easier to explore the city safely and at your own pace. With many of the city’s popular theme parks and zoos reopening, a trip to San Diego will bring fun for the whole family.
Winter also means stunning sunsets along the Pacific coast. While many attribute the beauty to differing cloud patterns throughout the seasons, all agree there’s no better ending to a day than a San Diego sunset.
Featuring 105 trails over 3,000 skiable acres, Whitefish is a sought-after destination among skiers and snowboarders. But despite its powder hound-popularity, the little mountain town feels a world away from anything and everything.
While some westerners hunker down when the temperature drops, Whitefish locals flock to the slopes for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fat tire biking, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. And as with any other ski-town, Whitefish’s quaint downtown area offers an excellent après-ski scene, too.