Maybe you live in a state that sees plenty of snow and you’re over it and can’t wait to visit someplace warm. Maybe you live in a state that is still fairly warm during the winter and crave some ski action on some fresh powder. Either way, we’ve put together a list of 10 cities that might strike your fancy as the perfect getaway this winter season.
The oldest city in Georgia is known for its parks and squares, so every step you take amid Spanish moss-covered trees looks like you’re walking through a postcard. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible to take a bad photo in this town. Featured in movies and the setting for bestselling books like “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” Savannah is brimming with antebellum history, modern art, scenic views, delicious food and delightful shopping venues.
- Forsyth Park
- Pedicab rides around Savannah’s squares
- Bonaventure Cemetery
- Telfair Museums
- River Street and Waving Girl Statue
- Historic home tours (Owens-Thomas House, Davenport House, and more)
- Tybee Island
- Taste a seasonal flavor at Leopold’s Ice Cream
Colorado Springs, CO
The state’s second-largest city is home to natural landmarks, family-friendly attractions and museums geared toward tourists and nature lovers alike. Aside from beautiful Pike’s Peak, one of the most dramatic scenes is at its foothills – the Garden of the Gods. The park is all the more stunning when you stay at the Garden of the Gods Resort and open your drape in the morning to reveal the red rock landscape. The city is also close to Manitou Springs where shopping and dining is nestled in a small-town setting and where visitors can see ancient cliff dwellings of the Anasazi, the ancestors of modern Pueblo culture.
- Pikes Peak Cog Railway
- Garden of the Gods
- Seven Falls
- Garden of the Gods Trading Post
- S. Air Force Academy
- Olympic Training Center
- Glen Eyrie Castle
- Dinner at Summit at the Broadmoor
San Antonio, TX
With a blend of history, culture, modern amenities, music and food, it’s no wonder San Antonio sees north of 25 million tourists per year. Remember the Alamo when you go to this major city in south central Texas. The 18th-century Spanish mission has been preserved as a museum of Texas independence. The River Walk, composed of restaurants, hotels and more has expanded and continues to grow, allowing for additional walk and bike access. There is so much color to see, music to hear and cuisine to taste as you make your way from beloved missions to amazing cultural shows.
- The Alamo
- River Walk
- San Antonio Zoo
- Tower of the Americas
- Natural Bridge Caverns
- San Antonio Botanical Garden
- Visit gift shops for Spanish and Mexican-influenced home décor
- Grab lunch at a food truck park
For sports fans it’s all about the black and yellow, but Pittsburgh has some pretty interesting things to see and do, especially in the winter. For example, you can ride a century-old cable car and see views of the city on the Duquesne Incline, or take a look at some serious pop culture art at the Andy Warhol Museum. Don’t forget to check out Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney about 1.5 hours away from Pittsburgh to see Phil, the famous spring forecasting groundhog! If you can’t make it in time for the Feb. 2 weather prediction, you can still see him in a terrarium built into the town library.
- The Duquesne Incline
- Enjoy Friday nights of winter lights at Phipps Conservatory
- Catch a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game
- The Andy Warhol Museum
- Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
- Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
- Head to Punxsutawney to see Phil the groundhog and memorabilia
- Grab a beer in an unusual venue at Church Brew Works
St. Augustine, FL
If you love history, this town is for you, as it celebrated its 450th anniversary in September 2015! See some of Florida’s most historically significant areas by visiting the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the site of the first 1565 Menendez settlement and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. For amazing scenery, check out the Lightner Museum and courtyard or visit Anastasia Island for some relaxation. Whether you want to sip on a drink by the palm trees or get a taste of colonial life, St. Augustine is a great combination of old and new, yesterday and today.
- Castillo de San Marcos
- Book a walking tour of the city, a food tour or pub crawl
- Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
- Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
- Lightner Museum
- Anastasia Island
- World Golf Hall of Fame
- Feast on some surf and turf at O’Steen’s Restaurant
If you are interested in scenic views, a vibrant art and jewelry scene and relaxing spas, Sedona is an oasis in the middle of the desert. Hiking trails and vortex sites draw visitors even in wintertime when light dustings of snow rest on red rock formations. A special vantage point is the Sedona Airport Mesa where panoramic views are perfect at sunrise and sunset. Most stores and galleries close by 6 p.m. so be sure to get an early start and leave the evenings for a special dinner or drinks at some of the local bars. Not too far away is Montezuma Castle National Monument where you’ll find 1,000-year-old cliff dwelling ruins of the Sinagua, and Montezuma Well, source of water and wildlife, with 1.5 million gallons of water flowing into the well every day.
- Pink Jeep tour
- Hike Slide Rock State Park
- Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
- Downtown shopping
- Enchantment Resort Spa
- Winery tour
- Visit Montezuma Castle and Well
- Try one of 101 different omelets at the Coffee Pot Restaurant and purchase one of their famous mugs to take home
New Orleans, LA
The “Big Easy” has so much to offer year-round, but it’s no secret that Mardi Gras is a draw for visitors from around the globe. With elaborate parades, costumes, beads and revelry, a trip to New Orleans will take you from winter blues to singing the blues in one of their live music nightclubs. Walk through the French Quarter and the Garden District to see architecture unique to the area and enjoy antique shops on Magazine Street. Historical places are virtually everywhere, from elaborate cemeteries to a bar as old as Captain Jean Lafitte, serving drinks since the 1700s. Creole and Cajun food is available at many fine restaurants, but no trip is complete without a plate of classic French beignets and coffee at Café Du Monde, open 24 hours for that late-night craving.
- Walk the French Quarter
- Jackson Square & Louis Cathedral
- Listen to jazz at The Spotted Cat Music Club
- Learn about legendary tales on a ghost tour
- National WWII Museum
- Take a ride on the Charles streetcar
- Coffee and beignets at Café Du Monde
- Dinner at Arnaud’s and visit their onsite Mardi Gras Museum
San Diego, CA
There is no shortage of things to do in this Pacific coast city. Balboa Park is the epicenter of San Diego, with museums, gardens, performing art centers, a carousel and perhaps, the most beloved, the San Diego Zoo, which is celebrating 100 years in 2016! One of the coolest places is the USS Midway Museum, where restored planes, flight simulators and more are located on the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Take in some shopping and live entertainment at Seaport Village and experience ocean views from Cabrillo National Monument and Old Point Loma Lighthouse on the peninsula. Did I mention that there is more sunshine there in winter than summer? Bonus!
- Balboa Park
- San Diego Zoo
- USS Midway Museum
- Seaport Village
- Presidio Park
- Cabrillo National Monument
- Relax on the beach at La Jolla Cove
- Enjoy an entrée and glass of wine at R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, voted in the top 10 in 2015 for San Diego outdoor dining.
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this southwestern Montana town is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Get close to grizzly bears or see Palisade Falls while it’s frozen for amazing photographs that will make you feel like Ansel Adams. Just 1.5 hours away is Yellowstone National Park where geysers, forests and wildlife attract millions of visitors each year. If you need a break from outdoor activities, boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and more await you in downtown Bozeman, or you can see one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world at the Museum of the Rockies.
- Bridger Bowl Ski Area
- Museum of the Rockies
- Palisade Falls
- Montana Grizzly Encounter
- American Computer & Robotics Museum
- Shopping in downtown Bozeman
- Visit Yellowstone National Park and see Old Faithful Geyser
- Enjoy breakfast at The Nova Café where locally sourced food is king
Las Vegas, NV
In the middle of the Mojave Desert is a city that never sleeps. You can walk the four-mile strip and observe spectacular buildings, lights, water fountains and shops, but there are plenty of other things to see. Besides trying your luck in any of the casinos, visit the original Vegas by heading to Fremont Street, take a tour of the Hoover Dam or see an elaborate show or concert from popular artists who have residencies there. Food options are endless, but there’s nothing quite like the over-the-top buffets offered at many of the top casinos and hotels. Enjoy nightly attractions like the Bellagio fountains, ascending to the top of Paris’ replica Eiffel Tower, the erupting volcano at the Mirage or swashbuckling atop a pirate ship at Treasure Island. Last but not least, since it’s wintertime, prices are ridiculously low for hotel stays during winter (as low as $17 per night), giving you plenty of dough to spend on entertainment!
- Walk the Las Vegas Strip
- Get a glimpse of classic Vegas with the Fremont Street Experience
- See a live show or concert
- Hoover Dam tour
- Ride the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel
- Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the Conservatory & Botanical Garden
- Bar & club crawls
- Eat a buffet dinner
Whether you want to escape to a warm climate or make the most of icy weather on the slopes, these cities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding the perfect getaway this winter season.
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