Let it Snow! The Top Four Winter Holiday Destinations in the United States

Typical SoHo Street, lined with European style coffee shops and consignment stores. photos by Megan McDonough.
Typical SoHo Street, lined with European style coffee shops and consignment stores. photos by Megan McDonough. 

When planning a winter trip to the States, your first choice might be the crowded, brightly lit streets of New York City. There is nothing like strolling through NYC’s department stores or ice skating in Rockefeller Center, but the downside to visiting is that several thousands of your fellow tourists have the same idea.

When it comes to experiencing winter in America, there are many other entertaining and less congested places to visit. Here are four holiday destinations in the United States to consider that are less obvious than others.


The weather outside might be frightful in Chicago during the winter, but it’s worth braving the blizzards and chilly feet. Start your trip by walking down the historic Magnificent Mile. Each February, Chicago also hosts “Restaurant Week.” The annual event features cuisine samples from some of Chicago’s most famous eateries. Several museums — including the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium — also participate in “Museum Free Days” throughout January and February.

Washington D.C.

If you’d rather remain on the East Coast, don’t make the mistake of assuming your best chance for revelry and grandeur is found in NYC. Instead, head to America’s capital and enjoy everything Washington D.C. has to offer. The temperatures in D.C. can get frigid in the winter, so why not enjoy some of the city’s historical landmarks? From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. features several indoor attractions.

Asheville, North Carolina

Chances are you’ve never heard of Asheville, North Carolina, or could even point it out on a map. Don’t let this stop you from visiting this quaint, beautiful little city. One of America’s largest private residences, the Biltmore, was the home of George Vanderbilt. Skiing is another “hot” activity in Asheville, and the city boasts several of the state’s best conditions and resorts. When you’re ready to warm your icy toes, look no further than the lodge’s fireplace or any of Asheville’s amazing restaurants.

Orlando, Florida

You could spend your time partaking in the dozens of festivities this family-friendly city has to offer, or jump off the plane, skip the hotel and immediately reawaken the kid inside of you by heading to Disney World. There’s nothing like Disney to excite the entire family, and this theme park has got creating a unique and spectacular holiday wonderland down to a science. However, even though you may have missed these, Disney World is still captivating throughout the winter.

If you can find the time to pull yourself away from Disney, you can explore any of the many other winter activities Orlando has to offer. From the exhibitions at the Orlando Museum of Art to Florida’s version of the Scottish Highland Games, you’ll find a variety of ways to entertain your whole family that don’t involve a certain massive (and sometimes chaotic) theme park.

From the sunny shores of California to the snow-covered fields of America’s heartland, the spirit of the holiday season and winter can be felt no matter where you travel. Start the journey on Expedia to locate your ideal winter journey by finding some helpful holiday information to help you plan the perfect getaway.