Many Americans have never thought about a sunny winter holiday while planning a family vacation during winter months. In our minds, sand beaches are connected with summer. For most people, winter is reserved for skiing, snowboarding, making a Snowman, ice climbing, bobsled riding, snowball fighting, and sleighing.
Which group of people do you belong to? If you are a classic type who likes snow, there are a huge number of spectacularly good ski resorts in the United States. It seems that the most complicated will be to choose the right one which suits your family the best. On the other hand, if you hate coldness, you should pick out the warm and pleasing destination. That means that rich California, romantic Florida, and magical Hawaii are waiting for you. Depending on your budget, find the best winter holiday ideas in the ‘tropics’.
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1 – Big Island of Hawaii
This famous island, where everyone would like to spend at least one summer vacation, is probably not the first place that comes to your mind when you start to plan where to experience winter spells this year. However, thanks to the wonderful climate throughout the year, Hawaiian Islands are actually a desirable destination where many people spend their winter holidays.
Come to an unforgettable holiday on the Big Island of Hawaii and feel tropical warmth in December and January. Don’t miss enjoying viewing the lava flowing over the ground in the Volcanoes National Park. Spend time watching the spectacular sunsets and the fiery glow during the pleasant nights.
Rent a bike and go riding or merely hike to one of a few waterfalls at the island. Enjoy green and black sand beaches, spend a day snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, and swim with the manta rays. Be sure to afford yourself a phenomenal sailing between smaller islands Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. It will be a day that you and your children will remember for the rest of your lives.
2 – Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park was protected in 1864 as a miracle of nature in all its beauty. Very fast it became a favorite destination for Americans during the summer months, but it didn’t go long until it was discovered that this place is actually an ideal winter destination.
I understand that you would like to see amazing, worldwide famous waterfalls, but don’t miss admiring the strength of granite and tranquility of a peaceful valley too. At about 1,200 square miles, the whole fortune of grand meadows, mysterious valleys, a vast wilderness area full of ancient giant sequoias wait for you to come, enjoy all that beauty, and learn a lot about nature.
Can you imagine the magnificence of a frozen waterfall? Come here and see it. Do you have a desire to admire unreal snowy reflections? Come here and enjoy. Have you ever seen frazil ice? Come here and stay astonished by the magic. Or just bring your ice skates and spend an amazing day with your family in the family-friendly outdoor skating rink. When you become entirely tired, sit next to a cozy fire and rest your eyes looking at the heart of Yosemite Valley which will leave you breathless.
3 – Clearwater Beach, Florida
Have you always wanted to spend a ‘warm’ winter vacation with your family? I believe that Clearwater Beach is a perfect place which will overcome your dreams. Pick out any date from the beginning of November to January, go to the Winter Wonderland, and enjoy a spectacular celebration at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Experience brightly lit and decorated aquarium and let your kids enjoy the holiday-themed habitats and learn a lot about Sea World. They can hear Winter the dolphin’s story of survival, spend a great time hanging out with dolphins, and feed these magnificent creatures.
Feel the soft sand under your feet, go kayaking or surfing, and rent a paddle boat for kids. Family-friendly lodgings and elegant restaurants with a large selection of tasty seafood and other delicacies make this resort the ultimate warm winter destination for a family. When kids go to sleep, find the exciting downtown night out venues or visit their well-supplied shopping district. Make sure to find time to enjoy the spectacular sunset at Pier 60 in a great company of talented performers including musicians, fire-eaters, and other unbelievable artisans.
4 – Golden Isles, Georgia
Come to Golden Isles in Georgia and enjoy four-for-one benefit on the unique holiday. Explore all four spectacularly beautiful islands including Sea Island, Jekyll, St. Simons, and Little St. Simons. Thanks to an interconnection between the islands by boats and highways, you can easily enjoy all the places during one holiday.
Experience the mixture of famous Southern hospitality, rich history, and the gentleman’s game of golf. Learn about the sea turtles, discover a mystery of marshlands, enjoy the breathtaking landscape while strolling along Driftwood Beach, and visit as many historic museums, landmarks, and galleries as you can. If five-star resorts are out of your budget, find one of their bed-and-breakfast inns and discover that all stories about unique Southern charm and hospitality are more than true.
5 – Snowmass, Colorado
There is an old saying that Aspen Snowmass is the gold standard for the US skiing and SKI Magazine recently confirmed it. They have honored this ski resort as the Best of the West Resort of the Year in 2019. Probably everybody has heard about glamorous Aspen, but it is time to discover the beauty of family-friendly Snowmass in its neighborhood, the ideal place for a quiet and calm family vacation.
If you are a novice, excellent instructors from their award-winning ski school will help you learn the basics of skiing and how to enjoy this exciting sport. For more advanced skiers there is the terrain for full enjoyment. Go to the Snowmass Base Village and enable your children to enjoy Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center all day long. It is an opportunity for kids to spend delightful indoor adventures after exciting snow activities outside.
Don’t miss driving a dog sled and enjoying the breathtaking wilderness all around you. If you don’t prefer the classic hotel accommodation, look for an ideal apartment for yourself and your family through Airbnb.
6 – South Carolina
South Carolina is well-known for mild winters. The average temperatures are ideal 60 F (16 C) during the day with almost no snowfall. It is the perfect time to visit Brookgreen Gardens, a floral jewel of the state, and experience night of a Thousand Candles.
The festive season in December is an ideal period for a family vacation while thousands of lights and candles light up the garden walkways. During the whole month, three nights per week cheerful carols fill the air, and a hundred thousand lights illuminate a huge fir tree while the day turns into night.
This magnificent place, covering an area of the 9,127-acre, is a historic site which keeps the natural landscape. Come to see 250-year-old Live Oak trees at the Live Oak Allée planted in the early 1700s, spectacular sculptures in the Huntington Sculpture Garden, and the butterfly garden full of horticultural surprises. A unique part, completed in 1950, is dedicated to Carolina’s state tree – Sabal palmetto. Be sure this is an excellent place for a family holiday where your children will enjoy every possible moment.
7 – Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee
On June 14, 1920, the U.S. Forest Service created Cherokee National Forest in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the jewel of east Tennessee. This whitewater paddling destination, which extends to 655,598 acres, is ideal for outdoor recreation. Enjoy in chasing for wildlife and discovering stars on the magnificent dark blue sky. Go to a drive through the mountains and a walk all over a backcountry trail with your dearest.
If you are a passionate fisherman, take the opportunities for trout fishing. Brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout are waiting for you in the river as well as crappie, bluegill, and bass in the forest’s lakes. For ones who adore water sports, big lakes are open for boating, water skiing, and windsurfing and the Ocoee River is famous for paddling and whitewater rafting.
Experience the wonders of this fantastic national forest while hiking through their famous recreation areas. Except for hiking trails which criss-cross the woods, you can use bicycle tracks and route designed for equestrian use if you enjoy riding. Book one of the numerously available accommodations or be a guest of tent-only camping areas if your family prefers camping even when it is colder weather.
8 – Sedona, Arizona
If you don’t mind drastic temperature differences from 70 F (21C) during the day and freezing overnight, spend your winter vacation in Arizona. Admire the rusty red mountain tops while enjoying the magic of snow, driving through the canyons, and riding a hot air balloon.
The hot air balloon? Yeah! Imagine the clear blue sky, light wind in your hair, and a view of pristine white snow on the mountain tops viewed from above! Sedona’s wildlife, canyons, and valleys will be in front of your eyes during an astonishing four-hour ride. Organize a champagne picnic while watching the sunrise.
Only a 100-mile drive from Sedona is the Grand Canyon dusted with snow. Regardless of whether you have come on your vacation with your car or you need to book a tour, don’t miss a day trip to this marvelous place! Walk along the Grand Canyon Village’s rim and have lunch at the National Park with breathtaking view to this wonder of Mother Nature. If you have luck, you can see the piece of wildlife such as bald eagles and mule deer while hiking.
Also, if you have time and possibility, organize your visit to the Navajo Nation. Enjoy tribal museums, parks, and national monuments which honor the legacy of the Anasazi people. Admire ancient sandstone villages in the impressive Navajo National Monument’s canyons and rock art carved into the alcoves.
9 – Stowe, Vermont
Feel welcome in Stowe, a small village famous for Vermont maple syrup and fluffy pancakes. Their fantastic ski resort Stowe Mountain Resort, which extends on the slopes of the two mountains, is an excellent place for skiing professionals, intermediate skiers, novices, and snowboarders as well.
Take ski lessons, rent snowboard or skis, explore expert routes, and seize the day. Take advantage of the reliable gondola and ski lifts which link the two mountains and have effortless transport around the slopes. If you are a cross-country skier or snowshoer, or just looking for an opportunity for hiking and riding a bike, you are in the right place.
Warm up in one of the perfect micro-breweries after spending an active day. Dusted colonial style houses and the church steeples make this place romantic like the magical place from a Christmas story. Come here with your family and spend some wonderful time together.
10 – Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
As an American national park established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park is a desirable place for a winter family vacation. Avoid crowds and explore this winter wonderland on a snowmobile or exciting snowcoach like your favorite heroes from some adventure movie.
Feel a power of steaming geysers, admire the beauty of colorful hot springs, take a photo of the spectacular wildlife, and enjoy cross-country ski trails. Spend time among coyotes, bison, moose, bighorn sheep, and grizzly bears in their natural habitat and find a moment to look for herds of wild horses outside of the park.
Enjoy the yellow and pink walls of the canyon and stay astonished in front of three glorious waterfalls. Discover 1,300-mile hike trail system, go paddling or take rafting trips. The park is also a kingdom for fishers. Yellowstone Lake hides the secret of fishing that you have been dreaming of for years. Just enjoy!
Regardless of whether you are a fan of hot winter destinations or you are a real ‘winter man’, it is not too hard to find the family-friendly destination for the holiday that is created just for you.
Before you go, maybe you should think about one more interesting idea. Nearly all tourists book an apartment in the hotel. Why don’t you try something different? When you go with your family, especially if you are a large family, you might consider renting a house in the desired ski resort. In fact, if you go on a winter holiday in warmer climes, this is a perfect and budget-friendly solution. Think about it!