Top 10 USA winter destinations to escape to

  • Miami winter holidays

The sun might have his hat on right now, but come September, October and beyond, the dreaded winter weather looms. Dull, dreary evenings, raincoats and scarves await. But what if there's a better way to spend your time?

Just imagine the total awesomeness of the States, but with fewer tourists and more bearable temperatures. Sounds tempting right? Here are our picks for some winter sun in the good ole' US of A.


1. San Diego

San Diego in winter

"San Diego, drink it in, it always goes down smooth", legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy's sentiments about this jewel of California couldn't be more on the money. While it doesn't mean a whale's private parts in German, it is one of the most liveliest and vibrant cities on the West Coast.

With warmish weather guaranteed, grab your board and hit the likes of Ocean Beach, Mission Beach or La Jolla for some great surf. Head to the lively Gaslamp Quarter to try a beer from any one of the microbreweries that populate San Diego. Why not round it off with a ballgame at PETCO Park and watch the Padres take on the MLB's best?

As Ron puts it. "It really is the greatest city in the world".


2. Death Valley

Death Valley Winter

Like it hot? Well it doesn't get much hotter than Death Valley. Even in November and December, temperatures soar to the high 30s, which is pretty cold for the area, bearing in mind it hits almost 60 degrees C in July.

Home to the Death Valley National Park, you can get the ultimate hipster photo shots when walking out on to the salt flats. With just the mountains and desert for miles around, it can be somewhat of an eerie place – it's not called Death Valley for nothing.


3. Miami

Miami winter

The humid Everglades are the best place in the country to see alligators. From Miami, head to the swamps and embark on a safari to see these gators in their natural habitat. Climb aboard the airboat and dart around the swamps seeing amazing wildlife you won't be able to find anywhere else.

Head into Miami to discover its notorious nightlife. Get dressed up to hit the upmarket nightclubs and mix with the stars in the VIP sections or have a more relaxed night in the pubs and bars lining the streets.


4. Las Vegas

Las Vegas winter

Do something a little crazy and take a trip to Las Vegas! Sin City has it all – bright lights, stunning fountains, glitz, glamour and a smattering of magic shows. Oh yeah, and the simply endless amount of casinos.

Here you can party long into the night trying your hand at blackjack, roulette or slots until the sun comes up. Whether you're sampling cocktails in the MGM Grand or watching the fountains at the Bellagio, a day or two in Vegas will make you forget all about your daily routine. You're living the high life now!


5. Los Angeles

Los Angeles winter

Home to the very rich and the very famous, Los Angeles is the perfect place to soak up some rays in the winter months. Head down to Hollywood and do the typical tourist stroll down the Walk of Fame, and the obligatory selfie on your favourite star (Lionel Ritchie, obviously). Hop on a star tour and see where the famous faces reside in the City of Angels.

Climb up the Hollywood Hills and get a picture with the famous Hollywood Sign, while also getting the best views in all of Los Angeles from the top of Mount Lee.


6. Memphis


The hometown of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, and the birthplace of blues and jazz, there's always a good vibe about Memphis. Hit Beale Street with a $5 beer in hand and sample some great live music in the heart of where it all began.

Memphis is also a poignant place for American history. Learn about how the town overcame slavery at the Civil Rights Museum and how it was able to reinvent itself after those difficult times.

Any music fan will be in their element with a tour of Graceland, the home of the King himself – an absolute must before you leave wonderful Tennessee.


7. Monument Valley

Monument Valley winter

One of the most dramatic pieces in the whole of the USA, Monument Valley is characterised by clear blue skies and huge sandstone buttes, some reaching 1,000 ft above the valley floor. It's been a backdrop for everything from Metallica videos to Hollywood movies to battles between Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner.

Sat on the Arizona-Utah stateline it's bound to be toasty during the winter months making it an ideal place to sit and just marvel at one of the greatest natural creations in the worlds. Lying within the Navajo Nation Reservation gives it that extra bit of spirituality as the wind quietly blows through the canyons.


8. New Orleans

New Orleans French Quarter

The Big Easy is the ultimate party destination in the winter months. Head down to Bourbon Street in New Orleans' French Quarter to soak up the atmosphere with a couple of rums and a few beers to really get you in the mood. Dance all night to the soulful jazz music pumped out of any one of the many bars lining this iconic street.

As the hangover subsides in the morning, get to know New Orleans a little better with a streetcar ride around on the oldest of its kind in the USA. Banish the grogginess once and for all with some good old classic southern soul food including a po-boy sandwich dipped in gravy.


9. Hawaii

Hawaii Winter Sun holidays

With average highs hitting the mid 20s, even in December, it's a perfect time to enjoy Hawaii's stunning beaches. If you're accustomed to colder winter weather and need a cool down, take a dip in the stunning seas surrounding this incredible island.

As well as soft sands and sunbathing, you can also check out some natural wonders in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and take in the balmy, starry nights at the Mauna Kea Observatory. See the silhouettes of the palm trees against the sunset and take plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures to make everyone back home jealous!


10. Orlando

Orlando Florida

Embrace your inner child in Orlando with a trip to any one of the theme parks around the city. Meet your childhood heroes, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck at Disneyland and embrace your inner big kid again.

As the sun beats down, go behind the scenes at Universal's Harry Potter World and explore the magic that made the franchise so popular. With a full day exploring the theme parks behind you, hit the town with a few beers on Wall St. Plaza.


Find your own USA adventure this winter

San Diego, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Monument Valley, Orlando: iStock
Death Valley, New Orleans, Hawaii: Shutterstock

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