Daytime temperatures are usually in the 40s during winter months, but when it feels too cold to be outside, there’s lots to do indoors. The palatial St. Louis Art Museum, founded in 1879 and moved to its current home during the 1904 World’s Fair, is one of the country’s premier museums. Visitors can ride a tram to the top of the Gateway Arch, the tallest manmade monument in the United States at 630 feet, for a spectacular view of the city or cruise the Mississippi in a riverboat to enjoy the St. Louis skyline.
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This small Gulf Coast city has recovered from Hurricane Katrina’s extensive damage, and it’s better than ever with new restaurants, hotels, and casinos. Temperatures in the 60s make it pleasant in winter and a good time to visit the 1848 Biloxi Lighthouse, ride the open air Biloxi Tour Train through the city’s historic district, or take a boat trip for shrimping or fishing. The Mardi Gras Museum features displays of costumes, photos, and artifacts from many years of the annual celebration.
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St. George, Utah
A four-hour scenic drive or short flight from Salt Lake City, St. George offers mild winters and a desert climate with daytime temperatures in the 50s and cooler nights. Their historic downtown features museums, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Nearby spectacular Zion National Park is open all year, with hiking and mountain biking trails. Snow Canyon State Park, with red rock mountains, horseback riding, and gorgeous scenery seldom sees snow — it’s actually named after past Utah leaders named Snow, not the white stuff.
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Jackson Hole, Wyoming
With more than 500 inches of snowfall each year, the ski slopes attract lovers of the sport, but there’s also snow tubing, ice skating, snowmobiling, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and back country skiing. Snowcoach tours to nearby Yellowstone National Park make it possible to explore the park in a comfortable, warm vehicle with access to Old Faithful, bubbling mudpots, and wildlife. Snowmobile tours through Yellowstone are also available for an exciting winter adventure.
This historic city, founded as a fur trading post in 1811, is set on the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific. A two-hour drive from Portland and three hours from Seattle, Astoria is connected to Washington by the 4.1-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge. The fascinating Columbia River Maritime Museum describes the treacherous waters of the Columbia Bar along with local history of the salmon fishing area. The quaint downtown features the restored 1925 Liberty Theater, the Flavel House Museum, restaurants, and shops.
Known for the Kentucky Derby, Bourbon Trail, Louisville Slugger baseball bat, and great food, Louisville is cold in winter, but there’s lots to do indoors and bourbon to warm you up. Set on the Ohio River along the Indiana border, the city offers many unique attractions based on its claims to fame. The Kentucky Derby Museum explores the history of the annual thoroughbred horse race. The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory will appeal to baseball fans, and the Urban Bourbon Experience celebrates the ever-popular local spirit.
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Palm Springs, California
About two hours east of Los Angeles, this desert city enjoys comfortable daytime temperatures in winter, golf courses, spas, casinos, and nearby hot springs. Trendy restaurants, boutique hotels, resorts, and elegant shops offer something for everyone. The Aerial Tramway provides a fun ride, spectacular views, snow, and cold temperatures for anyone seeking a wintry environment for a day. Joshua Tree National Park is less than two hours away, with extraordinary rock formations, cacti, and starry night skies.
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Key West, Florida
A four-hour drive from Miami, the trip takes visitors across 42 bridges to Florida’s southernmost point. Winter temperatures in the 70s, night life, history, and water sports attract fun-loving tourists from around the world. Diving and snorkeling among its coral reefs are popular during the day, and in the evening, lively Duval Street’s restaurants and bars feature live bands and Caribbean-style ambiance. Historic architecture, the Key West City Cemetery, and the Ernest Hemingway House are among attractions in this quirky Florida city.
Located on the Pacific a few miles north of Los Angeles International Airport, Venice is more than its famed Muscle Beach, street vendors, and canals — although those are part of the fun. Excellent restaurants, food trucks, and casual cafes offer creative dining opportunities, and shopping also ranges from upscale stores to T-shirt and kitschy souvenir shops. People watching is unmatched, and the beachside skate park is a great place to start. Strolling along the canals to ogle the unique homes and gardens is a popular pastime as well.
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Located in northwestern Vermont on the shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington is Vermont’s largest city conveniently located near Burlington International Airport. Ski resorts include Stowe, Smugglers’ Notch, Bolton Valley, and more, with slopes for skiers of all levels. Its appealing downtown boasts shops, restaurants, micro-breweries, live music venues, and charming Church Street Marketplace. A variety of lodging includes cozy B&Bs as well as hotels. The Ethan Allen Homestead Museum was the home of the Revolutionary War hero, and it’s now an exhibit of life on the Vermont frontier.
Credit for Article:
DOHERTY, P. (2018). https://www.travelandleisure.com. [online] Travel + Leisure. Available at: https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/americas-best-cities-for-winter-travel [Accessed 4 Jan. 2019]