Top Winter Travel Destinations in the US

Top Winter travel destinations in the US by Ari KellenMost people associate vacations with the summer, but winter travel is an awful bit of fun.  Whether it’s a ski trip or a tropical getaway, there are some phenomenal winter travel destinations in the US.  Here are a few of them:

Puerto Rico: A combination of sunshine and stellar deals have drawn visitors to Puerto Rico for years now.  It’s affordable, has great beaches, good drinking and excellent food.  Whether you want to visit a celebrity chef or head into the backcountry’s “Lechon highway” for authentic roast pork, it’s great food you can’t get anywhere else.  

Hawaii: Even before Elvis made “Rock-a-Hula”, Hawaii has been attracting Americans with its stellar beaches, great weather and fabulous outdoor activities.  And the best part is that it stays fun and happening all year round.

New Orleans: New Orleans in the summer is humid and disgusting, but in the winter the weather is actually tolerable!  There’s a lot more than just Mardi Gras: lower hotel rates, great Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and fewer tourists.  

California: The beaches and sunshine of southern California make both Los Angeles and San Diego an idea winter getaway.  The colder months are also a great time to find cheap hotel deals.  

Florida: One of America’s most well-known and timeless snowbird destinations is the Sunshine State.  Whether you want to visit the Gulf beaches of Fort Myers and Tampa, take in the vibrant nightlife of Miami or go on rides in Orlando, it’s hard to go wrong here.

Salt Lake City: If you’d rather be skiing this season, then no worries, Salt Lake City is the place for you.  You can easily stay downtown and then drive just half an hour to the slopes, a winning combination.  

Savannah: Arguably the epitome of southern charm, Savannah is one of the most romantic cities in the country.  Apart from Valentine’s Day, winter is the low season here, giving you plenty of room to check out this charming historic city.  

Santa Fe: Yes, it’s a bit off the beaten path, but Santa Fe is wonderful to visit in the winter, with mild temperatures and access to ski slopes.  

Memphis: There isn’t much to do in Memphis, but there’s certainly enough to make for a phenomenal long weekend for anybody who loves food and music.  You can listen to live music on one of the many blues bars in Beale Street, get barbecue at Central (Rendezvous isn’t that good if we’re being honest) and visit Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley first recorded.

Anchorage: Most people would prefer to visit Alaska during the warmer months, but this is the prime season to see the Northern Lights, a natural phenomena as beautiful as it is unusual.  It’s tough to get there, but hotel rates are at an all-time low this time of the year.  

Tips For Travelers in NOLA

Thinking of heading down to the Bayou this year? You will not be alone as scores of tourists visit New Orleans every year to get their taste of culture and gumbo. WhileBarataria-Preserve-e1375250099100 you are there it would be prudent of you to keep an eye out for those nasty tourist traps though. No one enjoys getting caught up in costly, crowded places that attract the eye and are nothing special other than an instagram picture opportunity. To find the real New Orleans see my list of tips and places to check out in order to visit like a local.

The Barataria Preserve, lying 30 minutes south of NOLA offers guided walks along cypress swamps and bayous. You will be in the natural habitat of many birds, turtles, snakes, alligators and insects so be prepared to take some pictures!

If you’re a fitness buffs looking to stretch your legs after that flight in, there is a 10 kilometer jogging tour that takes you around historic New Orleans. Do not worry about being able to make it 10 km all in one swift bound, your guide will keep to your pace and point out the interesting and historical landmarks as you pass them.

Head down to the French market on the Riverfront streetcar to walk the roads that have been serving a similar purpose for centuries. The French heritage is rich in this part of town as you can inspect local produce, fish and hot sauce before heading to the French Market Restaurant for lunch. I recommend their Jambalaya.

Sticking to the food theme, for those cooking nuts there is a way to bring more than just a souvenir home with you from your trip. On Canal St. there is the New Orleans School of Cooking where they offer a three hour class on making the basics in NOLA eating. Fun, informative and historical, the cooking class will leave you well fed physically and intellectually.

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