Top Ten Winter Destinations for the USA

Disclosure – I received a small gift as compensation for writing this blog post. However, as always, all opinions expressed here, including my love for the movie The Shining, are my own.

Last week we were sitting around the lunch table at work and the conversation turned to winter vacation planning – specifically, where were people planning to go for winter vacation.

And that got us asking, what are some of the top vacation places, particularly in the USA. Of course lots of my lunch friends assumed Hawaii is the go-to winter vacation spot. But guess what? After a quick search, I found the vacation rental website Vacasa and … drumroll please …. Hawaii is not on the list of winter vacation destinations!

Well, to be fair, the Vacasa source I used was focusing on winter destinations – as in, places to go for winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, hot tubbing, sitting by a roaring fireplace, and all the other amazing winter fun stuff to do.

So without further ado, here are the top ten winter destinations according to Vacasa:

  1. Okemo, Vermont
  2. Mount Hood, Oregon
  3. Leavenworth, Washington
  4. Park City, Utah
  5. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  6. Big Bear Lake, California
  7. Pagosa Springs, Colorado
  8. Flagstaff, Arizona
  9. Stowe, Vermont
  10. North Lake Tahoe, California

Do any of these winter destinations surprise you? Do any look familiar?

Me? I am a west coast guy so I have visited a couple of the west coast locations.

Early one spring my best buddy and I drove to Mount Hood, Oregon. That’s the resort where they filmed The Shining.

As well as being an awesome location to film a movie, Mount Hood is also an incredible place to ski – with snow that lasts very late into the spring and even into the summer. I can understand why Mount Hood is on the top ten list.

And then Leavenworth, Washington. Two hours east of Seattle, Leavenworth is the Bavarian-themed community nestled into the North Central Cascades. Not a place I expected to see on the top ten winter destinations list, but definitely worth a visit!

I have to admit, this is a place I love to visit on my motorcycle in the summer – I will add it to my list of places to visit in the winter to explore the countless hiking and cross-country ski trails in the area. 

Another surprise for me on the top ten list – Big Bear Lake, California. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only person who thinks of sun and surf when thinking of California. But did you know that Big Bear Lake gets 63 inches (160 cm) of snow a year AND 300 days of sunshine?

So while some people are thinking of places to go to escape the cold winter months, there are just as many people thinking of places in the USA where they can find all the winter fun. Which group are you part of? Are you headed somewhere to escape the cold and wintery weather, or are you like me and actively looking for the cold and wintery weather? 


    • If anyone in your family skies or snowboards, Mt Hood is incredible in the spring. And the lodge is unbelievably beautiful.

  1. I’m an Oceanside, Oregon Coast wintertime traveller with lots of sandy beaches for brisk and refreshing wind-swept walks!! Cheaper than Tofino, too!

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