Winter Holidays in the USA

A bald eagle flies over a snowy Grand Canyon

America is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but the country takes on an extra-special feeling during the winter months. Some parts of the country are cold, crisp, and snowy, while others are warm and sunny, so there’s a perfect winter holiday in the USA for every type of traveler. Whether you’re chasing winter sun in Florida, hitting the slopes in Colorado, or enjoying golden sunsets in California, you’ll be blown away by the winter activities and sights on offer. Here is our ultimate guide to winter holidays in the USA.

Jump to;

Winter City Breaks in America

The US is home to some of the most iconic cities on the planet, so it’s the perfect place for a winter city break. 

Winter holidays in Los Angeles

Glamorous L.A is one of the great American city break destinations. It’s a fabulous spot for a winter holiday, especially for those looking to escape from the cold. Winter temperatures in Los Angeles are warm and comfortable, with little rain. These conditions make winter the ideal time to explore L.A’s cultural attractions, theme parks, and outdoor sights. In fact, Los Angeles is so stuffed full of things to do, we made a whole post about it! Family favorite theme parks Disney World and Universal Studios are much quieter during the winter as well. Outside of the Christmas holidays, there will be short lines and fewer crowds.

San Francisco winter holidays

The Golden Gate Bridge. Fisherman’s Wharf. Alcatraz. These are just some of the many attractions San Francisco has to offer. In the winter, the city becomes an even more exciting place to be. Festivals and celebrations take place throughout the season. An annual highlight is the Illuminate SF Light Festival, which takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year. During the festival, San Francisco’s famous landmarks are beautifully lit in colorful displays. With mild temperatures (around 13 degrees) and far fewer crowds than in the summer, winter is the ideal time to explore this wonderful destination. We have some beautiful homes to rent in nearby Monterey, which are an ideal base for exploring San Diego.

Warming winter holidays in Hot Springs

As the name suggests, Hot Springs in Virginia is a popular US break because of the thermal waters. Attracting visitors since the 18th century, the historic bathhouses are wonderful places to relax, unwind and wash your cares away. Temperatures in the pools range from lukewarm to steaming hot, and the mineral-rich waters have been celebrated for their healing properties. Enjoy a rejuvenating winter holiday in Hot Springs while staying at one of our lovely traditional rental homes.

Snowy city breaks in Denver

Some people prefer their holidays with a bit of snow. If that sounds like you, check out Denver for your winter holiday in the USA. Between November and March, Colorado’s capital experiences chilly temperatures and plenty of snowfall, which turns the city into a winter wonderland. Denver makes the most of its cold weather conditions, with activities and events celebrating the chill throughout the season. Ice skating, a 110-foot Christmas tree, and food markets are some of the outdoor attractions. If the cold gets too much, you can escape the chill and explore Denver’s fantastic museums, such as the Denver Art Museum. We have beautiful Colorado villas in Breckenridge, not far from Denver.

Denver skyline in the snow

A winter city break with a difference in Scottsdale

Perhaps you want somewhere a little different for your USA winter holiday? How about Scottsdale, Arizona. This desert city is a fun, unique, and unforgettable destination for a winter break. Part of the Greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale is a great base to access the best of the city’s charms, including fantastic nightlife, dining, and shopping. The biggest draw is the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Winter is the perfect time to explore the region because the temperatures are far lower than in the summer. For something truly memorable, visitors can release their inner cowboy, and saddle up for a Western-style horse trek through the desert landscape. We offer a fantastic range of outstanding villas in Scottsdale, perfect for your winter holiday in Arizona.

Winter holidays in the USA for nature fans

America is not only about cities and theme parks; the country is home to many of the most spectacular natural sights on the planet. Winter is the perfect time to explore the famed national parks because the searing temperatures and thronging crowds of the summer months have long since disappeared. Here are some of our top picks for US winter destinations for nature lovers.

A winter sunrise in Death Valley

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park in winter

Joshua Tree National Park covers not one, but two deserts. So it will come as no surprise that in summer, the temperatures get pretty unbearable during the day. So if you want to explore the wonders of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, winter is a much better time to visit. Temperatures are far lower than during the summer months, allowing you to comfortably explore fantastic sights such as the Chasm of Doom, the Indian Trail, and spot the famous Yucca trees. 

Joshua Tree National Park can easily be reached from Palm Springs and La Quinta. This area is fantastic for a warm winter holiday in the USA.

Winter in Death Valley National Park

A formidable name for a foreboding place. At over 5000 square miles, Death Valley National Park is the biggest national park in America. Temperatures in the summer are some of the hottest recorded on Earth, so winter visits are recommended. During the cooler months, you can really appreciate the awe-inspiring diversity of landscapes in Death Valley. Mountains and deserts are side-by-side in a place that’s as unique and unforgettable as they come. 

Yellowstone National Park winter breaks

Places don’t come much more iconic than Yellowstone. The park is an absolute must-visit for fans of the great outdoors. Yellowstone is home to totally unique geological formations and natural attractions, including the spectacular Old Faithful geyser. The park is much quieter in winter, and some roads close to traffic, but with a bit of careful planning, you’ll experience an unforgettable winter wonderland. For more information, take a look at our Best Time to Visit Yellowstone post.

The Grey Whale winter migration

Every winter, pods of majestic Grey Whales embark on the longest migration on the planet, from Alaska to Baja California. If you’re taking your winter holiday on the West Coast of the USA, there’s a good chance that you might see them. Popular spots for whale watching include San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. It’s a magical, humbling sight to see these magnificent animals, so it’s an experience not to be missed by nature fans. For more wildlife and national park vacation ideas, check out our brilliant guide to vacations for nature lovers.

Family Winter Holidays in America

Winter is a fantastic time to take the whole family on holiday to America. Particularly over the Christmas and New Year period, family favorite destinations such as Florida are jam-packed with festive fun for all ages.

Orlando Family Holidays at Christmas

Orlando is well-known to be the ultimate family holiday destination all year round. In the winter months, especially at Christmas, the city becomes even more magical. The world-famous Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks are decked out in spellbinding decorations and lights and host Christmas character parades. The parks get pretty busy over the Christmas season, but with a bit of forward planning, it will be a magical family Christmas holiday. For family vacations to Disney, we have a fantastic range of villas nearby.

Christmas lights in Orlando

Best places for a winter ski holiday in America

The USA has got what is arguably some of the best ski resorts in the world. Traditional ski towns and cities offer visitors slopes in picture-perfect mountain locations, with fantastic facilities and astonishing views to boot. Here are some of our top destinations for ski holidays in America.

Lake Tahoe winter breaks

Lake Tahoe is one of the most loved ski destinations in the USA. Fans of the white stuff flock to the beautiful lakeside resort each winter to hone their skills on powdery snow. There’s an ex-Olympic resort, Squaw Valley where visitors can ski in the footsteps of the world’s greatest, along with a museum talking about the resort’s history. There are plenty of other winter sports available in Lake Tahoe. Snowshoeing, tubing, and cross-country skiing give everyone a chance to don their snow gear. If you prefer something a little less adventurous, Lake Tahoe is a fabulous winter destination for dining, scenic drives, and hiking. Find out more about skiing in Lake Tahoe.

Ski holidays in Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort attracts countless keen skiers each winter, who are drawn to the magnificent scenery and fantastic slopes. The area has over 150 trails and is one of the largest ski resorts in America. After a fun-filled day on the slopes, worn-out skiers can enjoy a great range of dining and social facilities in the town. For more information, have a look at our Mammoth Mountains ski guide.

A POV shot of a skier on a snowy mountain

New Mexico ski breaks

Sitting at over 8000 ft up, Taos Ski Valley boasts some of the finest, driest snow in the States. Winter travelers flock to this New Mexico resort for some of the best skiing conditions around, and some spectacular views to go with it. The four resorts in the region are the wildest and most untamed on this list, where skiers pass through the sacred wilderness and breathtaking mountain passes.

Winter festivals and events in the USA

During the winter, particularly in the festive period, America’s social calendar gets pretty full. There are festivals and events in almost every destination across the country, so chances are that you’ll come across something which takes your fancy. Here are a few highlights of the season.

Amazing Christmas markets in America

There’s nothing quite like a Christmas market. Cozy cabins selling homemade gifts, twinkling lights, and the smell of mulled wine drifting through the winter air. For many years, European cities have had a monopoly on the traditional Christmas market, but America is starting to take a stand. There are several fantastic traditional Christmas markets across the country, with big ones in Orlando, San Francisco, Denver, and Torrance, California.

Christmas and New Year festivities in America

Celebrate the festive season in style at a USA holiday party. There are events and festivals all over the country at this time of year, from family-friendly events in Florida to snow sculpture competitions in Colorado. Towns and cities go all out with Christmas decorations, so a winter holiday in America is a great opportunity to see some truly fantastic light shows. Some of the best can be found in Charleston, South Carolina, Park City in Utah, and Tybee Island, Georgia.

Out of focus street Christmas lights

Winter sun beach holidays in the USA

If you prefer your winter holidays with a side order of sun and sand, the good news is that America has got plenty of fantastic winter sun destinations. 

Winter beach breaks in Florida

Florida sits right at the top of the list of great winter sun holiday destinations in America. World-famous beaches such as Clearwater Beach, Miami Beach, and the Florida Gulf dot the coastline, and winter is the best time to relax and enjoy the perfect sand. Temperatures stay warm throughout the winter, and the beaches are less crowded than in the peak holiday season. Conditions are good for snorkeling and watersports, or simply relaxing on the sand and watching the world go by. For more beach inspiration, check out our guide to Florida’s best beaches.

Spend winter on the beach in San Diego

San Diego is a Californian gem of a city. Laid-back, cosmopolitan, and framed by beautiful beaches, it is the ideal spot for a bit of winter sun. The range of beaches here makes it the perfect place for sun-seekers. Oceanfront highlights include Coronado Beach, with sand so beautiful it landed a starring role in the iconic film ‘Some Like It Hot’, La Jolla, also known as The Jewel of San Diego, and Mission Beach, which invokes feelings of a classic boardwalk town.

Booking your USA winter holidays with Top Villas

If you’re ready to beat the winter blues and head to the USA for an epic holiday, you’ll want some fantastic accommodation to stay in. Luckily, we specialize in just that. Our range of USA villas is perfect for your winter holiday. We have fantastic homes for groups large and small, in fantastic destinations including Florida, California, Colorado, and Arizona. 

To book a villa, use our website to check the availability of the home you want to stay in. Once you’ve chosen your dates, click reserve to book it. You can also hold a property while you do a little more research, or you can contact our wonderful team for more information.

Travel Extras

We also have a range of brilliant Travel Extras to choose from, which will make your holiday even more special. Private chefs, equipment hire, and attraction tickets are just some of the options available. Contact our Guest Experience team to find out more about this service.