50 States of Winter Travel Destinations

50 States of Winter Travel Destinations

If the thought of hibernating inside all Winter long makes you shiver, it's time to start planning your next escape. And thanks to its massive size - 3.8 million square miles, to be exact - and incredible diversity, America is certainly the hot spot when it comes to wintertime travel. No matter if you're looking to flee the piles of snow or flock to them, this country oozes with adventure for every type of wanderer. So go ahead, pack your bags. We've combed through each state and listed an array of dazzling destinations, guaranteed to satisfy your bubbling wanderlust. All you have to do is decide which place to choose first!

Alabama: Fairhope

With dozens of local art galleries, studios, and antique shops lining the streets - plus twinkling lights - the delightful little town of Fairhope is a culture-rich hub like no other, making it a perfect spot for creative snowbirds seeking to escape blistering weather.

Alaska: Fairbanks

If your bucket list includes taking in the spectacular northern lights, there are very few places in the world that offer a better view than in Fairbanks. And the best part? You can take a train through Alaska's Winter wonderland to get there. Just be sure to bring your puffiest of jackets, as temperatures can dip down to 20 degrees below zero.

Arizona: Grand Canyon

Thanks to milder temperatures and far less crowds, wintertime is the Grand Canyon's best-kept secret. Not only will visitors find paths less traveled during this season, but the crisp air and occasional dustings of snow are guaranteed to bring forth fresh perspectives.

Arkansas: Bentonville

Serving as the ninth-largest city in all of Arkansas, Bentonville puts the "fest" in festivities when it comes to memorable fun. From its famous Winter Wonderland to the annual parades and local exhibits, you're bound to stay entertained all season long.

California: Lake Tahoe

Straddling between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe lays claim to some of the country's top alpine resorts. Whether you're seeking to hit the slopes, feast your eyes on breathtaking views, or simply curl up around a fire and sip on hot toddies, you can do it all here.

Colorado: Silverton Mountain

If you're an avid - and advanced - ski fanatic, there's no question you'll find the right kind of powder at Silverton Mountain. With an average total snowfall of over 400 inches, this mountainous adventure is certainly all thrills, no frills.

Connecticut: Hartford

The historic city of Hartford is seeping with charm, as well as things to do. No matter if you're yearning to travel back in time at the remarkable Mark Twain House and Museum or enjoy an intimate concert at Infinity Hall, this corner of Connecticut is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

Delaware: Wilmington

From the beautiful hotels to the inspiring theater performances - not to mention tax-free shopping - a trip to Wilmington is a wonderful way to take a break from the everyday. And with a collection of more than 12,000 objects, no visit is complete without stopping at the Delaware Art Museum, as pictured here.

Florida: Sarasota

If you're itching to shuck your jacket and smear on the sunscreen, Sarasota is the way to go. Home to miles and miles of beaches with fine, white sand and clear, shallow waters, you'll be reaching for your shades as soon as you arrive.

Georgia: Jekyll Island

As one of the Golden Isles of Georgia, Jekyll Island has captured hearts for generations. From wide-open space (and seashores) to delightful cottages and live oaks draped in Spanish Moss, there's something here for every interest.

Hawaii: Big Island

If you're yearning to live your days at a much slower pace, pack your bags for the Big Island. With its diverse terrain, massive size, and endless list of things to do, you can indulge in your spirit of adventure, all while discovering unexpected wonders at your desired speed.

Idaho: Sun Valley

While the United States is home to an abundance of amazing ski resorts, none can match the rich history of Sun Valley. Serving as the nation's first destination ski resort - as well as the world's first chairlift - this town is where the very idea of an American ski vacation was born.

Illinois: Chicago

Although most people tend to gravitate toward Chicago in the warmer months, the wintery season is just as alluring. With its world-class cultural attractions, dynamic food scene, and wondrous architecture, this cosmopolitan corner buzzes with energy and entertainment all year long.

Indiana: Parke County

For a serene weekend getaway, head to Parke County. As the covered bridge capital of the world, this peaceful pocket of Indiana offers the perfect setting for a scenic drive. And because it's a bit off the beaten path, you'll practically have the historic bridges all to yourself.

Iowa: Des Moines

From festive celebrations such as "Jingle in the Junction" to highly-anticipated annual events, there is no shortage of wintertime fun in Des Moines. And while this capital city does receive its fair share of snow, don't let that deter you from visiting if this wintry powder isn't your cup of tea. The wonderful thing about Downtown Des Moines is it has tons of skywalks you can navigate yourself through.

Kansas: Clinton State Park

Located just four miles west of the city of Lawrence, Clinton State Park is a dreamland for nature enthusiasts. Home to 1,500 acres sprawling with wildlife, this area has an extensive trail system for hikers, bikers, and cross-country skiers, making it one of the state's most enticing outdoor destinations.

Kentucky: Lexington

Although Lexington is an exciting place to visit all throughout the year, it is the Winter months that truly play up its enchantment. Whether it's visiting the beloved Kentucky Horse Park - this is the "Horse Capital of the World" after all - or basking in the glow of candlelights at one of the many elegant historic museums, you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable trip.

Louisiana: New Orleans

As a city that's acclaimed for its exuberant celebrations, Winter in New Orleans is no exception. From unique holiday festivities to Carnival and Mardi Gras, just wait; your social calendar will be packed until the ides of March.

Maine: Kittery

First settled in 1623, Kittery is steeped with fascinating history, not to mention delightful charm. Although this coastal town has long been a gathering place for Summer tourists, its cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and cozy cafes makes it a lovely getaway in the Winter, too.

Maryland: Patapsco Valley State Park

Situated just west of the city of Baltimore, the Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River and encompasses over 16,000 acres of land. With over 190 miles of trails - for bikers, hikers, you name it - there's no better setting for those yearning to embrace the great outdoors. That is, bundled up, of course.

Massachusetts: Boston

Although Boston's cold temperatures can make any teeth chatter, this city still boasts an abundance of indoor fun. Thanks to its magnificent museums, beloved breweries, and vibrant live performances, you'll be able to experience the best of Boston, all while staying warm and cozy in the process.

Michigan: Frankenmuth

Often referred to as Michigan's little Bavaria, Frankenmuth is the perfect place to go when looking to escape the ordinary. Known for its eccentric German vibes and laid-back atmosphere, this eclectic city radiates warm hospitality on even the coldest of days.

Minnesota: Ely

There's no better place to go for heart-pumping outdoor activity in the Winter months than the quaint town of Ely. Located in northern Minnesota, this area offers a pristine countryside that’s perfect for dog-sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, and ice-fishing. Whatever you choose to do, brace yourself for an exhilarating time.

Mississippi: Windsor Ruins

Surrounded by natural beauty and breathtaking scenery, Windsor Ruins sit like a lonely "Stonehenge" off a beaten track. What once stood as a lavish four-story mansion overlooking the infamous Mississippi River was essentially destroyed by a fire back in 1890. While these 23 Greek-inspired columns are the only remains, they were designated an official Mississippi Landmark in 1985 and have attracted curious minds ever since.

Missouri: St. Louis

Although the iconic 630-foot Gateway Arch is enough of a reason to visit St. Louis, you’ll want to extend your stay once you read about all the fun-filled activities there is to be had. From indoor festivals and theater performances to annual parades and traditional lighting ceremonies, the Winter months in this city are nothing short of extraordinary.

Montana: Lone Mountain Ranch

Tucked between the Montana Rockies, rivers, and grasslands, there's a reason the Lone Mountain Ranch has been alluring guests for over 100 years. With miles of cross-country ski terrain along some of the most purest wilderness in all of North America, this wilderness retreat embodies serenity at its finest.

Nebraska: Omaha

Thanks to its quirky vibes and eccentric energy, Omaha has been crawling to the top of many bucket lists over the last few years. Founded in 1854, this city has since grown to be the largest in the state, and offers an amazing selection of things to do. Whether you’re looking to step back in history or step out of your comfort zone, this corner of Nebraska has it all.

Nevada: Lake Mead

Adored for its fantastic weather all year long, there's no wonder why thousands of people flock to Lake Mead in the cooler months. Located just 24 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, this striking reservoir is a splendid location to escape the crowds and reconnect with Mother Nature.

New Hampshire: Bretton Woods

Boasting 464 acres of pristine skiing and snowboarding fun, Bretton Woods is the place to be when eager to hit the slopes. Plus, this area is also home to the renowned Omni Mount Washington Resort. With its signature spa, decadent dining facilities, and enchanting live music, it's the perfect place to warm up after a day of frigid outdoor fun.

New Jersey: Princeton

While the city of Princeton may be small in size, it's one of the world's most famous college towns. (Princeton University, anyone?) Whether you stroll along the downtown Nassau Street, enjoy a show at McCarter Theater, or meander around the intriguing Princeton University Art Museum, this area not only illuminates with enchantment during the Winter months, but it also encompasses a plethora of things to do.

New Mexico: Sandia Mountains

Situated toward the east of Albuquerque, the Sandia Mountains are guaranteed to pull anyone out of hibernation. From thrilling snow sports to steaming hot springs, you'll beat any dose of Winter blues in no time. And if you're looking for an unforgettable experience, make sure to take a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. Although this attraction is open year-round, it's even more memorable when the mountains are carpeted in snow.

New York: New York City

Just one glimpse of Central Park under a fresh coat of powder is all it takes to realize why so many visitors choose the Winter months to make their way to New York City. It's simply magical. From open-air ice-skating rinks to holiday markets and festive performances, very few places can compare to wintertime in the Big Apple.

North Carolina: Pilot Mountain State Park

Offering stunning views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains - plus a handful of cascading waterfalls - Pilot Mountain State Park is one the most popular destinations among nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in North Carolina. And because the trails are fairly uncrowded during the Winter months, they warmly welcome those seeking a haven of solitude.

North Dakota: Frost Fire Ski Area

Snow-tubing, snowboarding, skiing, and tubing - the Frost Fire Ski Area has it all. Located in the charming town of Walhalla, this outdoor oasis features trails for every skill level, making it an ideal spot to spend a weekend away.

Ohio: Cleveland

Situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, the metropolis area of Cleveland overflows with activity during the colder months. From the adrenaline-pumping Polar Bear Plunges to the beloved Brite Winter Festival and dazzling holiday decor, it won't take long to realize why so many others find this city so captivating.

Oklahoma: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Measuring approximately 59,000 acres in size, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has been protecting unique wildlife habitats since 1901. Home to some of the most diverse species in the country, visitors can reconnect with nature and enjoy an abundance of outdoor activity - for free - all while exploring the breathtaking Wichita Mountains.

Oregon: Wallowa Mountains

When in Oregon, you simply can't beat the glorious Wallowa Mountains. With sweeping views, remote wilderness, and land carved by the iconic Oregon Trail, this area is steeped in tradition and envelops endless thrills.

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

Despite the drop in temperature, Philadelphia is known for heating things up in the Winter months. Thanks to the festive holiday spirit spilling from shops, restaurants, theaters, and stadiums, chances are it'll be a tough choice deciding where to even get started. Yet no matter how you end up kicking off your Philly adventure, you're guaranteed to have a phenomenal time.

Rhode Island: Newport

While most people make their way to Newport during the warmer months, this city by the sea is just as charming in the Winter. Whether you peruse the oddball antique shops, dine at the top-notch restaurants, or walk along the world-famous Cliff Walk, you'll quickly realize why this historic destination remains a magnet for east coast travelers, no matter the season.

South Carolina: HIlton Head

There's no question Winter is the absolute best time to make your escape to Hilton Head Island. Thanks to consistent 70-degree weather and year-round sunshine, you can indulge in all your favorite beach activities, without the crowds. The best part? Because it's the area's off-season, you'll practically have the shores to yourself at half the cost.

South Dakota: Badlands National Park

Colorful, dramatic, and surreal - the sculpted pinnacles and stark, rugged beauty of the Badlands are unlike any other terrain in America. Spanning across 244,000 acres, this national park offers an array of activities, including hiking, wildlife spotting, and epic nighttime stargazing.

Texas: Austin

There's no need to worry about blizzards and frostbite throughout Winter in Austin. With temperatures barely dipping below 50 degrees, this eclectic cosmopolitan hub makes for an incredible weekend getaway. Whether you're looking to spend some time outdoors - St. Edwards Park is a great option - or enjoy a live performance at Hyde Park Theatre, the wintertime list of activities is endless.

Utah: Park City

Nestled high in the Wasatch Mountains, the historic ski town of Park City has long been a gold medalist in the Winter category. From slope fun to sleigh rides and snowmobiles, this unique pocket of Utah offers an outdoor experience unlike any other.

Vermont: Sugarbush Resort

With more than 100 trails of terrain for all skill levels - spread across two mountains - Sugarbush Resort brings the flavor of Western skiing to the East. Located in the delightful small town of Warren, this cherished recreation area offers plenty of invigorating activities, including pond skimming, as pictured here.

Virginia: Richmond

Once the temperatures start dropping in Richmond, the crisp, cold air brings forth an abundance of awesome seasonal activities for everyone to enjoy. Tacky light tours, pop-up ice-skating rinks, and local art exhibits - what's not to love?

Washington: Olympic National Park

Encompassing nearly a million acres, vast wildlife, and thousands of years' worth of human history, there is no doubt the Olympic National Park is one of America's most treasured destinations. While the entire park is accessible year-round, one area in particular to explore in the Winter months is Hurricane Ridge. With its snow-blanketed mountains dense evergreen forests, and winding roads, get ready for the sweeping vistas to be forever etched in your mind.

West Virginia: Babcock State Park

Situated just 20 miles south of the New River Gorge Bridge, Babcock State Park is one of West Virginia's most iconic locations. Home to more than 4,000 acres of wooded trails and rippling, rock-strewn streams, it's no surprise why this area is such a popular spot amongst nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers on the East Coast.

Wisconsin: Sturgeon Bay

As soon as wintertime hits in Wisconsin, fishing heats up as the waters freeze over. But for the ultimate ice-fishing experience, head to Sturgeon Bay. Here, you can test your skills and fish the iconic Door County Peninsula. And don't worry about the bone-chilling frigid temps; all shanties come with heaters!

Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park

While Yellowstone National Park is open all year, very few people remember the beauty it bestows in the colder months. With fewer crowds, steaming geyser basins, and tons of hot springs waiting to be discovered, this majestic region transforms into one of the most glorious Winter wonderlands of all time.

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