10 Winter Bucket List Destinations In The U.S. You Need To See


Wintertime in the U.S. is a beautiful sight to see and is filled with great activities. In fact, for avid winter sports fans, there is an abundance of wintery goodness in the U.S. that awaits. Even if hitting the slopes is not necessarily your ideal of a good time or a getaway well spent, visitors can find a wealth of other things to do in these highly rated winter wonderlands. So whether it’s snowy mountain peaks, snow-covered slopes, or simply the most majestic-looking cold weather scenery, one is after; here are ten winter bucket list destinations in the U.S. that you absolutely need to see ASAP.

Related: 10 Cities With The Most Beautiful Winters In The US

10 Beaver Creek, Colorado

Colorado, in general, has more than a few bucket list destinations for winter enthusiasts. Sure, one could head to Aspen or Denver for some good old-fashioned winter fun. But for travelers who have yet to explore Beaver Creek, now is definitely the time. Home to the famous Beaver Creek Resort, Beaver Creek is a wonderful area that attracts world-renowned athletes, snow-related activities fans, and moderately experienced skiers and snowboarders alike. Not only is this resort amazing, but it is also where many premier ski events are held. Plus, with gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains and more, visitors can’t go wrong with Beaver Creek.

9 Kings Canyon National Park, California

Speaking of spectacular vistas and gorgeous scenery, Kings Canyon National Park, located in California, is truly a sight to behold. With an expansive deep glacier-carved valley, a forest of towering sequoia trees dusted in snow, and the icy roaring Kings River, visitors will be simply delighted. The main road leading to this underrated national park is closed when covered in snow. Still, explorers can access the Kings Canyon Visitor Center, Giant Forest Museum, and Foothills Visitor Center. Plus, surrounding attractions, including Grant Grove and Hume Lake, are marvelous around this time of year.

8 Mount Hood, Oregon

Travelers looking to scale a snow-enveloped inactive volcano needn’t look any further than Mount Hood in the scenic state of Oregon. One of the most popular tourist attractions, Mount Hood, is the tallest and most magnificent mountain in the entire state. With lovely ski resorts and other accommodations nearby, visitors can spend ample time out exploring this natural wonder. Mount Hood also has more than a few hiking trails with stunning views of the entire area. While there, visitors should definitely make it a point to check out Ramona Falls.

7 Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park, on the other hand, is home to an active volcano. Though, for the most part, safe, Mount Rainier is situated in Washington State’s pristine wilderness. But that’s not all; visitors will find blue alpine lakes, rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, ancient glaciers, beautiful meadows, deep valleys — all around Mount Rainier — and an abundance of wildlife in this glorious park. There are also several campgrounds, cabin rentals, and other accommodations available nearby. Overall, this is just one more bucket list-worthy winter getaway that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.

6 Castle Rocks State Park, Idaho

A trip to Idaho is also in order for winter vacationers. This is yet another incredible park that draws visitors from all over. Castle Rocks State Park is nestled at the base of the Albion Mountains in Big Cove. A true winter wonderland with countless snowshoe hiking trails, fragrant pine forests, unusual rock formations, farmlands, and diverse terrain— all of which make this a perfect outing for wintertime explorers. Castle Rocks State Park is also a great getaway for wildlife lovers, with all kinds of wildlife, including moose, cougar, deer, and more. For the winter birdwatchers, there is a variety of bird life (horned owls, northern shrikes, and rough-legged hawks).

5 Washington, DC

Of course, no one’s bucket list is full of only national and state parks; there are other places to see and things to do — enter Washington, DC. Usually, around the start of each year, this city is covered in snow, making the everyday local attractions much more beautiful. Here, visitors can head on over to the National Mall and the White House to marvel at how picturesque everything looks. There are also incredible museums, such as the Smithsonian, that are full of history, artifacts, and other relics of the past that one must simply see with their own eyes.

4 Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

In the winter, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is downright magical. More than a few scenic routes are available for travelers who prefer to take it easy and marvel at all the gorgeous winter scenery from the comfort of their vehicle. Of course, for anyone looking for some chilly adventuring, there are many trails with unreal lookout points, slopes, and frozen ponds here that make for some amazing cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking, ice skating, sleigh riding, and even snowmobiling. So, if this sounds like your type of winter excursion, add this to the list too.

3 Sandpoint, Idaho

Located on the shoreline of Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho, Sandpoint is a wondrous city to visit in the wintertime. Sandpoint is surrounded by multiple mountain ranges — Selkirk, Cabinet, and Bitterroot — so visitors have ample opportunities for mountain and snow-related fun. Thanks to all these picture-perfect mountain ranges, there are a handful of ski resorts in Sandpoint that range from budget-friendly to pricey and numerous local attractions. But regardless of where you opt to stay, Sandpoint is the place to be for winter sports and recreational activities.

2 Whitefish, Montana

Cold-weather sports enthusiasts should also make it a point to spend some time this winter in Whitefish, Montana. Here, visitors can enjoy more first-rate skiing, the Skijoring” Championship in January, and outdoorsy fun in Glacier National Park. Whitefish is also on the map thanks to the legendary food at the uniquely decorated Bulldog Saloon or at Craggy Range, which is another local favorite. So for anyone headed to Whitefish, a burger and beer at either place (or both) is a must after a long day out in the cold.

Related: 10 Absolutely Magical Winter Destinations To See In New York State

1 New York City, New York

Last but not least, New York City during the winter months is an absolute dream come true. So for anyone who has yet to knock this iconic destination off their bucket list, now is the time. With wonderful and shimmering Christmas markets, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, festive eats, Time Square, Central Park, and countless must-see attractions, it really doesn’t get much better than a trip to NYC in the winter. Plus, only a few hours away, Upstate New York awaits in all its wintery best.


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