Trying to get away from the holiday crowds? Check out these five underrated, but fun, winter destinations in the US.
A lot of winter destinations around the world and in the US are fairly obvious. We travel to famous ski towns to embrace the cold, try winter sports, and soak up wintery atmosphere; we escape toward the equator or Southern Hemisphere if we’re looking to get away from the harsh temperatures; and sometimes, a big city decked out in holiday decorations is just the thing.
Within these categories or types of destinations, there are specific places that stand out as well: Aspen or Vail for the ski atmosphere, the Caribbean for some warmth, and New York and Chicago for charming winter cities, for example. But just like with any other type of travel, there are some less heralded destinations that can be just as appealing.
In that spirit, and approaching the holiday season, we’re taking a brief look at five underrated winter destinations around the US…
Heading north to Alaska may not sound like the most logical way to handle a winter vacation. Then again, if you just love a wintery setting and you’re seeking a natural wonderland, it makes a lot more sense! Most all of Alaska can be breathtakingly beautiful with snow cover and throughout the winter season, and there’s one attraction in particular that makes it a particularly worthwhile consideration: a winter train ride.
The Aurora Winter Train in particular takes you through incredible scenery, provides easy access to Denali National Park, and simply looks and feels like something out of a movie. It’s a great outside-the-box winter vacation idea to keep in mind.
Pro Tip: Here are more reasons you “otter” go to Alaska!
Georgia really isn’t a major tourist destination, save perhaps in the spring when the golf crowds flock to the state. The Augusta Masters takes place in April of every year and not only draws a crowd, but showcases the sunny beauty of Georgia to the whole world. In winter however, most of that warm sun disappears and most wouldn’t think twice about a trip to the southern state.
We’d say think again. For one thing, it’s far enough south that it’s not usually that cold (though we won’t pretend it’s exactly tropical). Additionally, the town of Savannah – perhaps Georgia’s biggest draw in general aside from the Masters – is simply a charming place to explore amidst holiday festivity. It’s a city known for old buildings and neighborhoods, tours, and pretty sights, all of which you can still enjoy – with fairly light crowds – during the winter.
Breckenridge is not quite as original an idea as Alaska or Savannah for winter travel. It’s a renowned ski destination in Colorado, which means it attracts plenty of tourists on an annual basis. It makes the list though because despite its strong reputation, attention devoted to this ski town pales in comparison to that attached to Vail or Aspen, or perhaps even Beaver Creek or Steamboat.
Breckenridge, however, offers ski slopes to rival any of these places, and has that same wonderful ski town atmosphere as well. Plus, it can be marginally cheaper to enjoy than some of its counterparts, though it’s still a rather pricey destination.
San Antonio is somewhat like Savannah in that it’s warmer than most of the country, but not exactly tropical. Still, you can enjoy some time there without settling into a winter freeze, and there aren’t many more festive big cities come holiday season.
Now, some happen to find San Antonio’s particular brand of Christmas cheer a little bit silly, but if you don’t mind overt festivity, constant Christmas music, and twinkling lights everywhere, you should absolutely head to this city’s famous “Riverwalk” area. It’s what it sounds like – a winding river with walking paths on both sides – but it’s surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars, and it comes alive in brilliant fashion during Christmas.
Fun Fact: San Antonio made our list of 14 Destinations For Breathtaking Kisses!
Branson is a little bit of a dark horse here in that, even more than Georgia or Alaska, it’s a place that doesn’t pop up on many tourists’ radar. However, if you spend a bit of time researching America’s most charming holiday towns, or the best Christmas celebrations, you might just see Branson coming up.
Its Ozark Mountain Christmas celebration has become famous thanks to shows, decorations, shopping opportunities, and a general feeling of special tradition that’s been built up over the years. If you simply want to travel to find the best holiday cheer you can find, look no further!
There you have them- five underrated winter destinations in the US! Each is unique and has its own appeal. Have you been to any of these destinations? Are there any other places you’d suggest for a winter vacation in the US?
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