Winter in the USA brings a magical transformation to its landscapes, painting them with a pristine white blanket of snow and offering travelers a unique opportunity to experience the country’s natural beauty in a new light. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or a solitude seeker, the United States boasts an array of scenic winter destinations that will leave you in awe. From snow-capped mountains to charming towns covered in snow, here are 23 picturesque places to visit this winter.
1. Aspen, Colorado:
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is a winter wonderland for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. The town’s charming streets, luxury resorts, and world-class slopes make it a top destination for winter sports lovers.
If you’ve never driven Independence Pass, it’s a beautiful drive that will take you from the Twin Lakes area to Aspen. Please be sure to look at the dates it’s open, but we highly recommend this scenic drive! For more information, you can check out our video below.
2. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada:
The breathtaking Lake Tahoe region offers a stunning combination of serene blue waters and snow-covered peaks, providing the perfect backdrop for winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. There are so many amazing year-round activities to enjoy in Lake Tahoe.
3. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming:
Winter transforms Yellowstone into a serene paradise with geysers and hot springs surrounded by ice and snow. Guided snowmobile tours and wildlife watching make it a unique winter destination. Yellowstone was such a surprise for us, making this our very favorite National Park we’ve visited.
4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming:
Known for its dramatic Teton Mountain Range, Jackson Hole offers top-notch skiing, cozy lodges, and a charming Western atmosphere.
5. Vermont’s Green Mountains:
With quaint villages and classic New England charm, Vermont’s Green Mountains are a haven for cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, and anyone seeking a picturesque winter escape.
6. Adirondack Mountains, New York:
Don’t underestimate New York. When people think about NY, they tend to think about the city with honking taxis and billboards. But there is so much more to NY than that. The Adirondacks boast frozen lakes, snow-draped peaks, and charming alpine villages, making it an ideal spot for winter photography and outdoor activities.
7. Anchorage, Alaska:
For an extraordinary winter experience, head to Anchorage. Witness the Northern Lights, enjoy dog sledding, and explore the stunning Chugach State Park.
8. Grand Canyon, Arizona:
While not the typical winter destination, the Grand Canyon offers a unique beauty during this season. The contrast of snow against the red rock formations is a sight like no other. Looking for some other fun things we found to do in Arizona? Check out our blog here: Off the Beaten Path in Arizona
9. Gatlinburg, Tennessee:
Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg becomes a winter paradise with its Winter Magic Festival, skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, and festive lights. Have you been to Anakeesta? Check out our blog about it here: Discover the Magic of Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN: A Unique Adventure Park
10. Lake Placid, New York:
Home to two Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is a hub for winter sports. The frozen Mirror Lake and surrounding peaks offer breathtaking vistas for both adventurers and relaxation seekers.
11. Mammoth Lakes, California:
With its vast snowy landscapes, Mammoth Lakes is a playground for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, along with natural hot springs to unwind.
12. Taos, New Mexico:
Experience Taos’s unique blend of Southwestern culture and winter activities. Ski on the slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and explore the artistic town.
13. Acadia National Park, Maine:
Winter offers a tranquil beauty to Acadia. Traverse snowy trails for scenic views, and don’t miss the breathtaking sunrise from Cadillac Mountain.
14. Mount Hood, Oregon:
Winter adventurers flock to Mount Hood for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The Timberline Lodge, a historic WPA-era building, adds to the charm. A fun destination is also Newport, Oregan. We visited in the summer, but definitely a great place to visit! You can read more here: The Top Places to See in Newport, Oregon
15. Park City, Utah:
Renowned for its world-class ski resorts, Park City also offers a vibrant après-ski scene, making it a perfect destination for both adventure and relaxation.
16. Whitefish, Montana:
Escape to Whitefish’s winter wonderland. Ski on Big Mountain and relish the cozy vibe of the town’s lodges and eateries.
17. Virginia Beach, Virginia:
This may not be a typical winter destination. However, after living in Virginia Beach for four years, I can tell you it’s incredible in the winter. Finding a beautiful place to stay right on the beach is breathtaking, relaxing, and not crowded!
18. Door County, Wisconsin:
Embrace the quiet charm of Door County in winter. The frozen coastline, lighthouses, and cozy cabins create a romantic atmosphere.
19. Bryce Canyon, Utah:
Winter casts a serene spell over Bryce Canyon’s hoodoos and amphitheaters. The snow-covered rock formations are a photographer’s dream.
20. Steamboat Springs, Colorado:
Famous for its “Champagne Powder,” Steamboat Springs offers incredible skiing opportunities and natural hot springs for ultimate relaxation. Looking for more fun things to do in Colorado? Explore Bishops Castle! You can read more about it here: Exploring Bishop Castle – The Most Unique and Bizarre Find in Colorado!
21. Mackinac Island, Michigan:
Winter can sometimes be brutal in Michigan, however, if you’re looking for an amazing winter destination, check out Mackinac Island! Accessible only by ferry, the island offers a peaceful ambiance, historic architecture, and snowy landscapes.
22. Natural Bridge, Virginia:
Marvel at the Natural Bridge, a geological formation and historical site. Nearby, you can explore Natural Bridge State Park and Caverns.
23. Stowe, Vermont:
With its charming village and proximity to Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, Stowe is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders.
These 23 scenic winter destinations in the USA promise enchanting experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re seeking the thrill of winter sports, the serenity of natural landscapes, or the charm of cozy towns, these places will surely make your winter journey unforgettable. Embrace winter’s beauty and adventure to these diverse and picturesque locations nationwide.
Here are a few more blogs we think you’ll love!
- Off the Beaten Path in Colorado. Our Top 10 Hidden Gems in Colorado!
- Discover the Magic of Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN: A Unique Adventure Park
- 19 Exciting Things to Do in Destin, Florida with Kids – Ultimate Family Guide
- The Ultimate Guide: 22 Breathtaking Waterfalls to Visit in North Carolina
- Exploring Crystal River in Florida
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