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7 Breathtaking Snowy Winter Destinations in the US

7 Breathtaking Snowy Winter Destinations in the US

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Are you looking for the best places to visit in winter in the United States? Keep scrolling for my list of 7 incredible winter destinations in the US where you’re sure to experience a winter wonderland!
This list of snowy winter destinations in the US was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

There are two types of travelers: Those who flee the cold temperatures and those who embrace them.

If you’re the latter, chances are you’re currently plotting your next escape to make the most out of the winter months.

Ski adventures, snow-capped mountains, and evenings spent cozying up by the fireplace? Sounds just like heaven to us, too!

If you’re wondering where to head next to this winter, here are 7 of the best winter destinations in the USA to embrace your inner Elsa.

Best Winter Destinations in the United States

1. Vail, Colorado

Vail is probably the most quintessential of winter towns. While there’s plenty to do at this cozy mountain town in Colorado year-round, winter is undoubtedly the most special time of the year to visit this alpine gem.

Panoramic view of skiing slopes in Vail, Colorado
Vail is one of the best skiing resort towns in the United States.

Tucked underneath the alluring Gore Range, Vail offers pretty much everything you could ask for from a mountain resort. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular US winter vacations.

This includes world-class winter sports, an incredible foodie scene, and some of the most luxurious hotels in the country.

It’s perfect if what you’re after is to SEE the snow, but not necessarily feel the cold (staycation, anyone?).

Where to Stay in Vail

If you’re heading to Vail with kids, here are a few amazing ski resorts worth checking out.

2. Park City, Utah

Known for its world-class ski resorts and unbeatable winter sports (think activities like wild snowmobiling, dog sledding, and ice skating), Park City in Utah offers a (mountain) range of things to do that you’ve got to experience at least once in your life.

Park City is another top US ski destination for families.
Park City is another top US ski destination for families.

A walk through this quaint little town will make you feel as though you’re wandering inside a real-life snow globe as you gawk at the century-old buildings and mansions that line the valleys. It’s one of the best winter vacations with snow.

Tip: January hosts the town’s annual Sundance Film Festival, which is THE place to be if you want the chance to see some of your favorite celebrities (hey, you might even run across them at your hotel!).

Where to Stay in Park City

If you’re heading to Park City with kids, here are a few resorts worth checking out.

3. Telluride, Colorado

Known for its snowy peaks and scenic beauty that will have your jaw dropping to the ground, Telluride is one of Colorado’s most picturesque mountain towns and a must-visit if what you’re after is winter outdoor adventures galore.

Bridal Veil Falls Spring in Telluride Colorado
Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride Colorado.

While in Telluride, don’t miss out on exploring a few of its hiking trails. Just make sure to check the weather conditions before you venture in.

Or get those Instagram vibes on at Hotel Madeline’s ice-skating rinks. Plus there’s sledding down the San Juan Mountains.

If you’re up for some serious mountain adventure, you can try your hand at ice climbing (yes, it’s a thing!) or venture deep into the mountains in a cross-country ski adventure.

If you’d rather not break a sweat and would much prefer a relaxing vacay (or a combo of adventure and luxury), Telluride’s surroundings host plenty of insanely beautiful hot springs where to can relax your muscles after a day of snowy adventures!

Where to Stay in Telluride

If you’re heading to Telluride with kids, here are a few resorts worth checking out.

4. Camden, Maine

There’s something incredibly charming about New England in winter, and Camden is the king of winter wonderlands in the area.

Camden Harbor in Maine
Camden Harbor in Maine

Located on the charming Penibscto Bay, Camden Harbor feels as though it came straight out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.

While visiting, make sure you book a unique ski adventure at Camden Snow Bowl, where you’ll get to get your shred on with the views of the ocean backdropping your every move.

Another must is to go in search of all the lighthouses in the area, which look as though they came straight out of a fairytale when dusted by white snow!

Where to Stay in Camden

If you’re heading to Camden with kids, here are a few kid-friendly places worth checking out.

5. Ouray, Colorado

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains, Ouray in Colorado is your go-to if you want to feel as though you’re walking around in Europe rather than the USA.

Looking down on Ouray, Colorado in winter.
Looking down on Ouray, Colorado in winter.

Popularly dubbed the “Switzerland of America”, Ouray is the perfect place to head to for some serious winter-y vibes and that fairytale feeling deep in the mountains.

There is an endless array of mountain outdoor adventures and hot springs galore to relax your muscles in! It’s one of the best places to visit during winter.

Ouray also knows how to make the most out of the colder months with events like the Ouray Ice Festival and San Juan Skijoring. Both of these celebrate winter sports and the importance they have on this gorgeous little town in the heart of the Colorado mountains.

Where to Stay in Ouray

If you’re heading to Ouray with kids, here are a few kid-friendly places worth checking out.

6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is a gem of a place any time of the year. But during the winter months, it becomes a mecca for those in search of a snowy utopia.

Image of bison in Yellowstone National Park in winter
Yellowstone during winter can be breathtaking.

Think snow-capped landscapes, forests dusted in snow, frozen lakes, and steaming geysers that make the landscapes look out of this world. It’s one of the most gorgeous winter vacation spots in the US.

Another thing that makes this national park worth the trek? Yellowstone is set right next to Jackstone Hole. This means you can combine your visit to the national park with some serious après-ski scene and luxury stays to relax in after a day spent adventuring!

Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park

If you’re heading to Yellowstone with kids, here are a few kid-friendly places worth checking out.

7. Gatlinburg & The Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

More popularly known for being the base to explore the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg in Tennessee has a ton more to offer for those who linger a while at this quintessential mountain town.

Snow fall along Little Pigeon River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Check out Little Pigeon River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Aside from its classic alpine vibes and incredible food scene, Gatlinburg burst to life with several winter festivities such as the Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter festival, where you’ll find twinkling lights every step you take and delicious food to help you beat the winter blues.

Once you’re done exploring Gatlinburg, head into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you’ll find an array of winter sports to choose from and cozy cabins and chalets to experience winter in the middle of nature.

Seriously, it doesn’t get more magical than waking up and having a hot cup of cocoa in the middle of nowhere! Especially if you’re staying in one of the many Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg

If you’re heading to Gatlingburg with kids, here are a few kid-friendly places worth checking out.

Winter Vacations in the USA Wrap Up

We hope this list of destinations in the USA to spend winter in gave you some inspiration to start planning your next getaway!

Whichever town you wind up choosing, you’re guaranteed a true adventure. A beautiful, snow-capped adventure you won’t soon forget!

Looking for more winter travel content? Check out the best winter getaways from Seattle, how to pack for winter travel, winter holiday travel tips, and magical Christmas getways in the US!

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