10 Best Winter Getaways in the US
The best way to get through the cold winter months is to go on a trip to warmer destinations. Choose between a beach vacation, a hiking adventure, exploring national parks, or relaxing in coastal cities. Continue reading the best 10 winter getaways in the US to get ideas for your next winter vacation.
The best winter getaway in the US is Hawaii. Shocking, I know. Hawaii is made up of eight unique and beautiful islands. It is possible to visit six of the eight islands, and each island offers a different kind of experience. Oahu is the best island if you are looking to hike, kayak, and explore. On Kauai you can see the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, fly over the island, and find beautiful hidden beaches. Visit Maui for a relaxing vacation and to see Road to Hana which takes you to incredible sights including a bamboo forest, a black sand beach, and a red sand beach. On the Big Island you can find diverse landscapes, active volcanoes, lush rainforests, scenic white sand beaches, black sand beaches, and more. If you are looking to spend more time relaxing, you can always add a couple days to your trip and spend it near Kona where you can find sunnier weather and white sand beaches.
Note that winter in Hawaii is known as the rainy season, but in most areas it is only brief showers and it is significantly cheaper to travel to Hawaii in the winter. Now you just have to decide which island to visit! Start planning your Hawaii winter getaway with these guides:
2. Southwest Road Trip
Embark on a road trip to see unique natural wonders in the Southwest including Sedona, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, and more. This detailed 10-day American southwest road trip itinerary guides you through the best route to see the highlights of the southwest. Places such as Sedona and Monument Valley can get too hot to hike in the summer, so winter would be a better time to visit. Parks like Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park can get snow in the winter but that would make them even more beautiful. Make sure to check the weather conditions for each destination ahead of your road trip as the weather can vary widely due to elevation changes and can affect road conditions.
3. San Diego
San Diego is a relaxing city with great weather year-round. Explore Little Italy where you can find many delicious Italian restaurants and a farmers market on Saturday mornings. Spend time walking along the Marina and visit the USS Midway Museum. Enjoy Balboa Park which has many gardens and museums including a Japanese Garden and a Botanical Garden. If you are planning to visit several attractions in San Diego, you can save by getting a pass with Go City.
On your winter getaway to San Diego don’t miss Torrey Pines State Reserve and Coronado Island. At Torrey Pines State Reserve you can enjoy a beautiful beach with large cliffs and walking paths to viewpoints. Coronado Island offers many shops and restaurants along with a long stretch of white sand beach and the historic Hotel Del Coronado. For more ideas of what to do during your winter getaway to San Diego, search for experiences on Get Your Guide.
4. White Sands National Park
One of the top off-the-beaten-path winter destinations in the United States is the worlds largest gypsum dunefield at White Sands National Park. White Sands National Park is located about 30 minutes from Las Cruces in New Mexico. Explore White Sands by driving the eight mile Dunes Drive and stoping at different spots to enjoy the sand dunes. Make sure to spend time at the furthest end of the road where the largest sand dunes are located. One of the best things to do at White Sands is to hike on the dunes following one of the marked trails or creating your own path. Another highlight is sledding down the sand dunes, so make sure to bring your own plastic disk or purchase one at the monument gift shop. Start planning a winter getaway to White Sands National Park with our article: Best Things to Do in White Sands National Park.
Sedona is a town in Arizona surrounded by beautiful red rocks. Located two hours north of Phoenix, Sedona offers the perfect escape in the United States for a relaxing trip away from the city. Spend time hiking, exploring the shops and galleries, and dining with a view. Top hiking trails in Sedona include Soldier Pass Trial, Broken Arrow, Devil’s Bridge, and Bear Mountain.
Plan your Sedona winter getaway with these articles:
Explore Sedona with this FREE Google Maps list of 30+ destinations including hikes, viewpoints, and restaurants. Additional notes are included for off-the-beaten-path hiking trails. Subscribe below to get the link!
6. Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is known as one of the hottest places on earth and the lowest elevation in North America. The extreme conditions of the park make for unique natural wonders to explore including salt flats, badlands, canyons, waterfalls, craters and more. The best time to visit Death Valley National Park is between November and April, when the weather is cooler and comfortable to hike in. Note that the weather in the park can vary largely depending on where you are due to the vast difference in elevations. For example, Dante’s View is at 5,475 ft so it is significantly cooler than at Badwater Basin which is 282 ft below sea level. Plan your winter trip to Death Valley with our Death Valley National Park Guide.
Temecula is a beautiful wine region in southern California with comfortable weather in the winter. In Temecula you can find over 40 wineries, many of which are open for wine tastings and tours. A convenient way to explore Temecula is by booking all-inclusive wine tour with transportation directly from your accommodation. If you are looking for more to do in Temecula beyond wine tasting, you can experience a Hot Air Balloon Flight, visit the Saturday Farmers Market, and explore the restaurants and shops in Old Town Temecula. For more information to get you started on planning the best winter getaway to Temecula, read our Temecula Guide.
8. Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is located off the coast of California and is made up of five islands: Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island, and Santa Barbara Island. Santa Cruz Island is the largest island in Channel Islands National Park and only about an hour away from the mainland. In the winter a visit to Channel Islands National Park offers the perfect opportunity to hike in cooler weather. For more information on how to visit Channel Islands National Park, read our guide to visiting Santa Cruz Island.
Take a winter getaway to the coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina. Browse food and crafts at the Charleston Farmers Market and explore the Charleston Historic City Market which spans four city blocks. One of the top things to do in Charleston is to see Rainbow Row, a stretch of colorful houses. As you wander through the city, make sure to stop at Charleston Waterfront Park. Charleston has mild weather in the winter, offering a great escape from the cold in the north.
10. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is a great national park to visit in the winter with perfect hiking weather. Throughout the park there are numerous spots where you can explore the rock formations and Joshua Trees. You can get out and hike for miles, climb rocks, and relax with a beautiful landscape. Continue to our Joshua Tree National Park guide to start planning a winter getaway to Joshua Tree.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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