Destination, USA

USA Winter Bucket List Destinations

Ice Skating at Keystone

Looking for incredible winter vacations in the US? We’ve got you covered! From ski resorts to Christmas capitals, check out our USA winter bucket list. Here are five great US places to enjoy winter.

5 Great US Places to Enjoy Winter

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado

Breckenridge Ski Resort

No USA winter bucket list would be complete without a visit to Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado.

Breckenridge Ski Resort is an alpine ski resort in the western United States, in Breckenridge, Colorado. Just west of the Continental Divide in Summit County, it’s one of the most visited ski resorts in the western hemisphere. You can’t go wrong taking a Breckenridge ski vacation, especially if you stay on-site and utilize the amazing ski in/ski out properties.

The main street in Breckenridge is not only adorable, but it’s also very walkable and has lovely shops and restaurants. There are play areas and museums for the kids and plenty of choices for the adults.

One of our favorite activities at Breckenridge, other than skiing, is riding 2,500 feet down the mountain on the Gold Runner Coaster.

Breckenridge, or at least within driving distance, also has snowmobile rentals, carriage rides, historic tours, gondola rides, snowcat tours, snowshoeing, indoor and outdoor ice skating, ski and snowborading lessons, and much more.

Lake Placid, New York

Ice Skating at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, Lake Placid, New York

One of the oldest winter playgrounds in the US, Lake Placid is a stunning mountain town that excels at adventurous winter fun.

Outdoor winter fun is what we love about Lake Placid, but it doesn’t all have to be extreme backcountry, high peak exploration. Whether you’re looking for a cool day trip to a mountain you’ve never skied, new ways to make family memories, or classic winter fun, Lake Placid has a wide variety winter adventures.

Host of not one but two Olympics, Lake Placid knows winter fun. Visit Mt. Van Hoevenberg for the exciting Cliffside Coaster. Part bobsled, part roller coaster, all thrilling fun, the ride lets you control your speed as you coast down the mountain alongside a bobsled track.

At the Olympic Jumping Complex, soar into the winter sky on the SkyRide gondola, which whisks you up to the base of the ski jumping towers. Up in the towers, get a stunning view of Lake Placid and the High Peaks!

Mirror Lake is home to classic winter fun and games for the whole family. Skate the day away, join a pickup hockey game, or experience the exhilaration of a real dog sled ride. Want even more speed? How about a toboggan chute that will send you whizzing out onto the ice? They have that, too. Just across the street from the lake, the newly renovated Olympic Oval is another icy destination for skating.

Travel New York Now said skating the Olympic Oval is “definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”

Lake Placid also has some some amazing snowy cross-country adventures. Head to beautiful lookouts over easy grades that are good for skiers of all ages and abilities, or try a deep woods loop. If you’re more comfortable on snowshoes, in winter, the exceptional hiking trails of Lake Placid switch over to snowshoeing, offering adventures winding through stunning forests where the trees are covered in snow and the air is crisp and clear.

Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish, Montana is a wonderful winter destination, especially for those who love winter sports.

Skiing, both during the day and at night, is the first attraction that comes to mind, but if you’re looking to step it up a notch, there’s always the World “Skijoring” Championship held every January, where brave skiers are towed through an obstacle course by a horse.

If that sounds more terrifying than fun, you can go snowshoeing in nearby Glacier National Park, and there are Nordic ski trails set around the golf course in town.

The free S.N.O.W Bus runs daily in the winter, making it easy to take advantage of everything the resort and town has to offer without having to worry about driving.

Mammoth Lakes, California

Winter Mammoth Bucket List - Woolly’s Tube Park

Mammoth Lakes is majestic in a way that I didn’t even know possible. The natural beauty is grand and the name speaks to the size of the mountains, the expanse of the valleys, and the endless opportunities for adventure. Regardless if you’re traveling with your family, your partner, or on your own, Mammoth will rock your winter world.

The area is beautiful all year round, but in the winter, it takes on the most remarkable beauty. Majestic mountains and evergreen forests surround the town, and in the winter, the landscape looks like a winter wonderland.

Apart from traditional skiing, you can snowboard, snowmobile, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. You can ride a snowcat, ice skate, snow tube, build a snowman, and have a snowball fight all at Mammoth Lakes. If you just want to take the gondola to the top of the mountain for hot chocolate and to take in the magnificent views, that’s great too!

Tip: Mammoth Lakes is very popular in the winter, so book early!

Grapevine, Texas

Grapevine Visitor Information Center

If you don’t ski or even enjoy the cold of winter, Grapevine, Texas is a USA winter bucket list must.

Grapevine is a go-to destination when planning a vacation in Texas, especially during winter. It’s the perfect place to create wonderful Christmas memories with your family and friends and you don’t have to be in the snow to do it.

You’ll be amazed at 40 days of unique and traditional Christmas events, as you see Grapevine sparkle with millions of lights, enormous decorations, animated characters, and much more! As the Christmas Capital of Texas, there are plenty of unique family activities to experience for the holidays.

One of our favorite winter activities in Grapevine is riding the Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express. Join Mrs. Claus on a holiday adventure as she takes her guests to bring Santa to the Christmas Capital of Texas. Guests will receive a cookie baked in Mrs. Claus’s North Pole kitchens, a beautiful “We Believe” bell, and a taste of Santa’s Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk that’s served in a keepsake Memory Mug.

You can celebrate all things winter at Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. Explore acres of lights, activities, shows, and events. Step into the world of Buddy the Elf in the Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf. Take part in classic holiday family activities like photos with Santa, spectacular light displays like Merry & Lights and thrilling experiences like snow tubing and ice skating. There are activities for every family member, and you can do it all with So. Much. Christmas. At Gaylord Texan Resort.


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