Top Ten Winter Destinations

When it comes to people’s behavior, nothing affects it as much as winter.   People who live in warm climates travel to cold climates to ski, people who live in cold climates travel to warm climates. It never ceases to amaze how much people will go out of their way during the winter.  Wouldn’t it just be easier to move to where you prefer to be all year round?  However, it happens every year.  It’s the human version of migration.  So if you plan on migrating this year, here are the top 10 winter destinations that you should consider visiting!

10.  Texas

Texas big mountain

Coming in at the number 10 spot is the state of Texas.  Texas is the second-largest state in the
United States.  Because it covers such a
large area, it has a wide range of temperatures, geography, and options.  For the people looking to escape the cold,
Texas is a pretty comfortable option. 
Temperatures rarely dip below the 32-45 degree mark.

The size of Texas offers a little something for everyone,
for beach and ocean lovers, the east region of Texas borders the Gulf of
Mexico.  The mountain lovers can find
some arid mountains and desert steppes on the western side of Texas. 

With major cities spread out from the west to the east,
there is an abundant nightlife to be found throughout the state.   Winter is the best time to visit Texas
because it’s worst weather feature; the tornadoes don’t appear until the
beginning of spring.

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  Texas has no skiing or winter sports

9.   New Mexico

Big air balloon flying over New Mexico sky

Usually, when New Mexico is on a list, it is for places you
don’t want to go.  There is an age-old
joke that the only thing New Mexico has going for it is that it isn’t Old
Mexico.  However, according to Rockrunner, the outdoor
adventure journal
, “New Mexico is one of the most underrated states
when it comes to recreation, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.”  Rockrunner may be onto something.  When it comes to sunshine, New Mexico has 167
clear days per year, second only to Arizona, and that place gets so hot, you
need oven mitts to drive.

Winter temperatures can be a little on the cool side in New
Mexico, with an average winter temperature about 43.   However, the cold temperature brings some of
the lightest and fluffiest powder snow to Taos ski resort in the northern part
of the state for some of the best skiing in the nation.  New Mexico isn’t one of peoples first skiing destinations,
so the prices for lift tickets are still relatively modest compared to Colorado
and Utah.

If you migrate to New Mexico slightly before Winter, you
will be just in time for the Taos Balloon Festival, which brings out 25-40 hot
air balloons every year.

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  It is still New Mexico.

8.  Alaska

Water and mountain covered with snow in Alaska

Alaska is still a great mystery.  Alaska is so far removed from the contiguous
United States that it almost feels like another country.  It feels even further removed than
Hawaii.  However, for the extreme winter,
sports fanatic or traveler Alaska is a premier winter destination.  As the biggest state it should have a variety
of terrain, but it doesn’t.  It has one
terrain, Rugged.  Even though more people
travel here during the summer, during the winter, Alaska makes for spectacular
backcountry and helicopter skiing or snowboarding.

Exploring glaciers and sea kayaking with the appropriate dry
suits is fun all year round.  During the
winter you don’t have to fight the crowds, but you do have to deal with the

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  There is nothing for heat seekers here.

7. Nevada

Las Vegas famous welcome sign

Nevada has a little of everything, warm weather, cold
weather, skiing (via California), gambling, prostitution, and of course,
regret.  What could be a better winter
destination? Well, six places which put Nevada on this list at number 7.

Nevada can be broken down into two areas, Reno and Las
Vegas.  Las Vegas is one of the
best-known cities in the United States and is one of the most visited tourist
destinations.  There is an abundance of
shows, night clubs and entertainment venues along the Las Vegas strip.  With winter temperatures sitting around the
60-degree mark, a winter in Las Vegas means you don’t have to spend any money
on winter clothes. 

Up north is Reno. 
Reno is a smaller version of Las Vegas, which claims the title of the
Biggest Little City in the World.  It
still features all the gambling of Las Vegas, but just across the border and up
I-80 in Lake Tahoe is some of the best skiing. 
According to Turnkey Vacation Rentals’ annual ski report, the number 1
ski resort in 2018 was Squaw Valley ski resort, just a hop skip and a jump away
from Reno.

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, except
regret and there is a lot of that waiting for you.

6.  Hawaii

Great Sun rise picture in Hawaii.

Hawaii is one of the warm destinations on this list. It has
spectacular scenery with a lot of warm things to do. The winter is the rainy
season, but with an average winter temperature of 78, a little rain is more
like a warm shower for the mainland folk. 

Hawaii has some unique activities for the people rich enough
to make the flight.  Night dives with
manta rays are one of the more amazing adventures that will make for a story
sure to steal the attention away from anyone not named Neil Armstrong.

On the Island of Kauai, there is sugar plantation tubing,
which features riding a tube on the canals that used to water the old sugar
cane fields. 

Why isn’t it higher on the list?   It’s

5.  New York

New York downtown time square

If you are like me and avoid big cities like they are the
plague, then you are wondering why New York is on this list.  Well, that is your mistake; there is more to
New York than the city.  New York happens
to have several ski resorts.  They don’t
have the most vertical drop. People on the west coast would consider them the
bunny hill, but the prices of lift tickets are modest compared to the west
coast resorts, and they are closer to the major metropolitan areas than the ski
resorts in places like Colorado, Idaho or Wyoming.

For the lively nightlife crowd who still wants to live a
little, New York can’t be beaten.  There
is always a party or something to do in NYC and if you are there over the New
Year, Times Square is the place to be. Hey the ball drop is something special,
why not get in on that.

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  New York is an acquired taste.  The people there are unique; some people find
them honest and abrasive.  They are! Not
everyone is okay with that.

4.  Utah

Man doing ice skating in Utha

Traveling to Utah is unique. 
Utah’s license plate says, “the greatest snow on earth.”  That is indisputable.  They hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and are
putting in a bid for another Winter Olympics. 
It’s the only place you can fly into an international airport, and be
skiing at your choice of 7 different ski resorts in less than 45 minutes.

Salt Lake City also has one of the top 20 tourist
attractions in the nation, Temple Square. Temple Square is an old Gothic Roman-style
temple built by the Mormons, the predominant religion.  Despite strange liquor laws, such as you can
only by hard alcohol at state-run stores, Salt Lake has an abundance of night
clubs and bars.

Within a 4 hour drive of Salt Lake City, one can be at their
choice of 5 national parks or four national monuments.  The southern half of the state is usually a pleasant
20 degrees warmer than the northern half. 
It made the number
one state for outdoor recreation
according to one list.

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  Utah is a Theocracy masquerading as a
democratic state. It has a low crime rate but funny laws including the nation’s
lowest DUI law.  You may come on vacation
and leave on probation.  If you can get
past the ridiculous alcohol laws, you will still have to deal with the locals
trying to convert you to Mormonism.

3.  Colorado

Colorado with Icy mountain

Colorado is best known for its skiing and marijuana laws.   When it comes to skiing, Colorado is the best-known
state.  It has the best developed and
most technologically advanced ski resorts in the nation.  The resorts have become small towns on their
own, and they define winter culture.   
Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs is what skiing is.

Most of the ski resorts and towns have winter festivals,
carnivals, or themed events that happen at various times during the
winter.  Breckenridge hosts Ullrfest a
tribute to the Norse God of Snow. 
Steamboat Springs hosts a torchlight parade, and Glenwood has an
adventure park.

To the south are Telluride and Ouray.  Telluride is another ski resort.  Ouray offers a unique winter activity on a
mass scale that few others on this list offer, ice climbing.  The town of Ouray installed water pipes on
the cliffs overlooking the city. During winter they drip water along the cliff
to create a massive sheet of ice that draws ice climbers from all over the

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  Colorado was the first state to legalize
marijuana for every use.  Some parents
and people may not find this the ideal location for this reason.

2.  Florida

Florida Pam beach with beautiful water

Florida is a haven for people looking to escape cold
weather. It is one of the top retirement states for people looking to have
amicable temperatures year-round.  It has
more golf courses than any other state, and it has beaches on all three
sides.  It has something for everyone
except the ski bunny.

For families, Florida is home to Sea World, Busch Gardens,
and Disney World.  Dad can golf, while
mom shops at any number of designer stores in any one of Florida’s cosmopolitan
cities like Orlando, Tampa or Miami. Couples can even find a little romance in
Naples Florida, currently listed as one of the best romantic
weekend getaways

All of the major cities in Florida have a vibrant
nightlife.  With a complete roster of pro
and college sports teams competing year-round, there will never be a dull
moment in Florida.

Why isn’t it higher on the list?  There are no winter activities to participate

1.  California (Northern)

Great bridge picture in the California

At this point, you probably guessed California would be
number 1.  I mean, who else was
left?  South Dakota?  The only thing in South Dakota is a bunch of
guys carved in rock, and if they weren’t chiseled out of granite, they would
have split a long time ago.  To be fair I
did have to clarify that I am making a distinction between Northern and
Southern California, which are as different as Utah is when compared to rest of
the 49 states.

California is so different depending on where you are that
people have proposed splitting it up into 3 to 6 different states.  What there is to do in California differs depending
on where you are located.  The Northern
part is the best winter destination, so that is what will be covered here.

Northern California features cities like San Francisco and
Sacramento.  At one point Sacramento was
considered the most diverse city in the United States.  San Francisco is one of the most iconic cities
in America, and many people would believe the most iconic on the west coast,
second only in America behind New York City. 
With notable landmarks such as Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge it is
the site seers dream.

Two amusement parks are located just a hop skip and a jump
from San Francisco, Paramount’s Great America, and Six Flags Over Marine
World.  If that isn’t enough to get your
adrenaline flowing, Northern California is one of the few places where you can
participate in several outdoor recreation activities year-round. The northern
part of California provides for rafting during the winter.  Rivers are fed from rainfall, which isn’t
much colder than many snowmelt runoff rivers in other parts of the United
States in the spring.  East of San Francisco
and Sacramento are the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe.  Most of these resorts are the same ones that
provide skiing for Nevada residents.

Why should you avoid California?  Because it has a little bit of negative from
everything else on this list except Utah. 
That place is just weird.

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