Best U.S. Cities to Visit in Winter

Like Shia LaBeouf, this year’s winter storms just won’t go away. Beat the gloom by booking a fabulous trip to the States. Sure, there’s snow and deep-dish pizza at home, but going somewhere new makes winter easier to bear. After all, you want to look forward to something other than scraping ice off your car window each morning. Here are some of the best U.S. cities to visit in winter:

San Francisco, California

The City by the Bay is pretty much cold all year, so you might as well visit in winter! San Franciscans are used to living in a chilly climate, which is perhaps why the city is filled with a ton of bookstores, coffee shops, and diners offering you some famous Bay Area clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. If you ever do need to beat the cold breeze, you can always duck into any of the acclaimed theatres like the Orpheum or Curran. The San Francisco Opera is also world-famous, if you’d prefer to hear someone sing to the rafters in joy rather than squeal in pain from the cold.

Park City, Utah

It doesn’t matter if you’re a movie buff, history buff, or just like skiing off bluffs, make a point to check out Park City, Utah. Each January brings the Sundance Film Festival, which showcases some of hottest new movies of the upcoming year. Once it’s time for sports, Park City Mountain Resort provides soft powder for an assortment of skiing, snowboarding, and other stomach-dropping adventures. After your afternoons on the slopes, head back to downtown and Main Street, which has maintained its 19th-century saloon look. You might not see any gold miners of yore, but you can certainly order some Goldschläger to put off the chill.

Chicago, Illinois  

cw07_1_Chicago Mile

You may be thinking: Chicago in snow season? Yes, it’s freezing cold in the Windy City during winter, but the residents have more than compensated with an impeccable bar scene, piping hot deep-dish pizza parlours, award-winning theatres, and the famous Second City improv group. You may even want to brave a walk to the famous “Bean” sculpture. Then you can officially say you’ve “bean” there and done that when it comes to Chicago.

Seattle, Washington

One of the best places to be in a winter storm is a toasty café with espresso beans at full caffeine capacity. So head to Seattle—the home of the original Starbucks®, as well as dozens of other independent coffee shops. While it’s certainly cold in Washington during winter, snow in Seattle is rare. You might have to deal with rain, but that’s why there are countless umbrellas in storefront windows. Luckily, the weather won’t stop you from checking out the famed EMP Museum, which houses memorabilia from Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana. You can also go up the Space Needle and see the Puget Sound and downtown. It may be winter, but you don’t have to worry about the cold needling you during your trip to Seattle.

Honolulu, Hawaii

cw07_2_Honolulu Lifeguard Tower

Some people think that life is better with snow, but that’s because they’re not currently sipping on a Mai Tai in Hawaii. The word “paradise” gets passed around like a Kardashian, but the label 100% applies to Honolulu. Warm sunshine, soft sand, beautiful views—honestly, you can travel to Honolulu at any point in the year and experience good living. Hike up Diamond Head for impeccable views; explore Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil; and rock out in your speedo at Waikiki Beach. Everyone back home can complain about freezing their tush off in the snow. You’ll be sitting on a lawn chair on the beach, coconut drink in hand.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s snowing, and it sucks. So plan a trip south of the border! Any of these American towns are more than ready for snowbirds looking for some adventure to mix up the dreary winter monotony. Cheers!

What’s your favourite U.S. winter destination?

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About Author

Jennifer Cuellar

Jennifer Cuellar is a writer, an avid explorer, and fan of all things Games of Thrones-related. When she’s not sipping tea in a café by the beach, she’s off writing about wondrous cities you simply have to visit. From mountain peaks to downtown streets, there’s a world of adventure waiting to be explored. She spotlights top cities to tour, which attractions you’ve got to see, and off-the-beaten path activities to try during your next vacation. Let’s go travel!

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