best places to visit in February in the USA

20 best places to visit in February in the USA

There are many benefits of taking a trip in February in the USA, fewer crowds, better deals, and very atmospheric scenery sometimes verging into the truly spectacular. You have a few choices if you want to take a beautiful winter US break either embrace the cold and have as much fun as you can in the snowy landscapes or head to states where you’re guaranteed warmer weather. Here our best places to visit in February in the USA…

Big Sky, Montana – one of the best US winter destinations for outdoor lovers

Big Sky Montana in the winter

Big Sky, Montana is the perfect US winter destination with the amazing levels of snowfall it receives and the abundance of winter activities it offers. February is a good time to visit Big Sky because snow levels provide great slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Winter activities include sledding, snowmobiling, snow-go bike rides, ice-trekking, and cross-country skiing.

For those less adventurous, the après ski scene is extremely happening and well worth a visit. Big Sky is truly the perfect winter destination! Other activities include nature zip lines, hikes, and escape rooms, and visiting the famous Yellowstone National Park.

New Orleans – for fun and partying in February

New Orleans - best places to visit in February in the USA

The best time to visit New Orleans is from February to May when the weather is comfortably cool and the celebrations are in full swing. February in New Orleans is host to a number of events, celebrations, and holidays. The famous festival of Mardi Gras typically falls during the month of February and partaking in the celebrations and parades is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Other festivals in Crescent City are the Vietnamese New Year that features traditional Vietnamese food, performances, music, and activities; Valentine’s Day that is celebrated by lovers across the country; and Black History Month that honors African American history.

Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” New Orleans is known for its vibrant nightlife and live-music scene, and spicy, singular cuisine that comes from its history of French, African and American cultures. Some interesting sights include the French Quarter, Garden District, and the National WWII Museum.

Mendocino – a gorgeous coastal gem to visit in February

Beautiful Mendocino USA

With sunshine and scenic views all year round, Mendocino Coast is a beautiful destination at any time of the year. February is the ideal time to visit for those looking to get away from the cold snowy winters and bask in the warm sun and fresh ocean breeze. Temperatures usually range from low 40s to high 70s.

Both visitors and locals alike are enchanted by the picturesque landscape, which features stunning shorelines, magical sea caves, cliffside trails, and breathtaking beaches. This coastal city offers lots of land and sea adventure activities and is home to the Mendocino Headlands State Park and Museum, Mendocino Art Center, Russian Gulch State Park, and the 1909 Point Cabrillo Light Station.

San Antonio – one of the best places to visit in the USA in February

San Antonio River Walk

Situated in south-central Texas, the city of San Antonio is known for its a rich colonial heritage. Sights to visit include the Alamo, an 18th-century Spanish mission preserved as a Museum, the San Antonio River, and the miles-long River Walk. The promenade is filled with cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Because of its historical importance to the state and its family-friendly theme parks, San Antonio attracts tons of families with kids during the summer break. However, Texan summer is almost unbearable with high humidity and temperatures exceeding 90F. The lesser crowds and pleasant weather make February a far better time to visit this incredible destination.

Death Valley, California – a much safer time to visit

Death Valley with Moon

At the edge of the Great Basin Desert is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Known to be one of the hottest places on Earth, Death Valley is often compared with deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara. As one of the hottest, driest, and lowest national parks and places in the world, Death Valley has unbearably blistering summer temperatures. Therefore, winter with one of the months February is the best time to visit.

The national park in the valley is known for its unique wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep, lizards, and the tiny pupfish, which live in pools saltier than seawater. The valley offers breathtaking views by day and stargazing across this mesmerizing landscape by night.

Palm Springs – one of the best warm February vacations

The most romantic places to stay in Palm Springs

The perfect place to escape winter, Palm Springs, California is easily one of the best places to visit in February in the USA. Located 100 miles east of Los Angeles in the Coachella Valley region of the Sonoran Desert, the popular resort city is known for its clear blue skies, soft sunshine, natural hot springs, and luxurious amenities. With opulent hotels, fine dining restaurants, world-class golf courses, and amazing weather, it is no surprise that Palm Desert is a winter favorite pick, especially amongst celebrities!

Summertime can get extremely hot. February is a great time to visit because temperatures are not too hot, at around 80F, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, sunbathing, and spa pampering.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado – for some of the best skiing in February in the USA

Vail Ski Resort in the winter USA

Located near the town of Vail in Eagle County, Vail Ski Resort is a spectacular ski resort known for its quality of snow and slopes. Vail’s varied landscape offers over 5000 acres of skiable area. Besides skiing and winter sports opportunities, Vail offers pristine conditions with the perfect combination of over 300 days of sunshine and over 370 inches of snow each year.

With plenty of fresh powder and tons of accessible terrain, February is prime time to visit Colorado and especially the ski resort of Vail. Besides on-slope action, Vail offers gourmet restaurants, local pubs, high-class entertainment, shopping, and a lively après scene. The lovely Vail Village, designed with cobblestone streets and alpine-inspired architecture, is sure to charm any visitor! Easily one of the best places to visit in February in the USA! 

The Keys, Florida – a beautiful winter vacation destination

Florida Keys - world's best sunsets

The tropical islands of Florida Keys are situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 100 miles south of the state of Florida. These fabulous islands are known for their relaxing atmosphere, seaside sunshine, gorgeous scenery. There are plenty of activities like boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Other attractions include art galleries, local boutiques, and fresh seafood. The southernmost city of Key West is famous for its bustling bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration, and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. February is a great time to visit with winter crowds tapering off, hotel prices becoming reasonable and the weather conditions being optimal 70s and 80s.

Leavenworth, Washington – a snowy winter paradise with plenty of charm

Leavenworth in the winter

Tucked in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, 100 miles east of Seattle, is Leavenworth. This charming U.S. town has full-on Bavarian vibes from architecture, and street names, to seasonal festivals and tourist attractions. February in Leavenworth is full of fun activities like wine tasting, reindeer farm visits, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding, live music events, and other typical winter activities.

With beautiful architecture, cozy cafes, and gourmet restaurants, Leavenworth is the perfect winter escape that takes you right to the heart of Europe. 

Hot Springs, North Carolina – for a great alternative February break

Hot Springs, North Carolina

Nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina, along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, Hot Springs is a town rich in history and culture. Only a short distance from Asheville, this charming town is the intersection along the historic Appalachian Trail. Surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest, Hot Springs is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers various hiking paths, white water rafting, mountain biking, or a visit to Rich Mountain Lookout Tower.

However, as the name suggests, Hot Spring is best known for its hot mineral springs. Though the hot mineral springs are open year-round, the experience of soaking in hot water at temperatures of 102F in cold climates is truly unique (and often preferred). It is the perfect February destination for anyone interested in outdoor adventure, healing, and relaxation, or even a romantic getaway.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada – pleasant temperatures and incredible scenery

Valley of Fire Scenic Drive

Valley of Fire State Park is known for its 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops that are tucked in gray and tan limestone. Key natural attractions include the Rainbow Vista, Pink Canyon, Fire Wave, White Domes, Seven Sisters, Fire Cave, and Beehives Cave. This historic park houses ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs that date back more than 2,000 years. A walk through this park is truly like walking through history. Summers in the Nevada region can be extremely hot and harsh, making autumn and winter recommended times to visit. Here you can go hiking, trekking, or just exploring the incredible scenery at the Valley of Fire State Park.

Alta, Utah – one of the best US winter destinations

Alta, Utah - best places to visit in the USA

Located in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah in Salt Lake County, Alta is an amazing ski area, known for its wide array of slopes. Alta averages 550 inches of snow each year and its soft snow slopes offer incredible skiing opportunities for every level of skier. Alta is popular for its stunning snow-covered scenery and fresh powder snow terrain.

Alta is best visited in the peak winter month of February when they have received plenty of snowfall, and the snow is soft and powdery.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – the park takes on a different kind of beauty in February

Yellowstone National Park in the winter

One of the most celebrated national parks in the US, Yellowstone is known for its picturesque natural beauty and exceptionally diverse wildlife. Though summers are most popular, winter offers a unique experience and pristine views of white frosted trees. Skis, snowshoes, snow coaches, and snowmobiles are the main modes of transportation as roads close, rivers and lakes freeze, and winter storms blanket the park with fluffy, white snow. Outdoor activity options are endless. Yellowstone offers miles of trails that lead past frosty woods, steaming hot springs, and snow-covered meadows and that can be explored on skis or snowshoe.

February is a good time to visit the national park because of the idyllic scenery, thinning crowds, and better chances of spotting iconic animals that tend to move to lower elevations in cooler temperatures. In cooler climates, Yellowstone bears and wolves can often be spotted from the road, as they forage for food in preparation for hibernation. At Mammoth Hot Springs, you can easily spot bull elks and bison covered in snow. Views of the steam from the geyser contrast against the snow and the blue skies are mesmerizing. Yellowstone’s winter white landscape is truly heavenly. In February, Yellowstone becomes a quiet haven, where you can truly escape, reconnect with nature, relax and renew body and spirit.

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona – less crowds and more pleasant temperatures

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park, in northeastern Arizona, is home to the beautiful world-renowned Rainbow Forest. The Rainbow Forest is filled with colorful petrified wood and logs and offers stunning views. The Rainbow Forest Museum displays exquisite paleontology exhibits, petroglyphs of Newspaper Rock, and the ruined village of Puerco Pueblo.

The park also contains the 1930s Painted Desert Inn, a museum with Hopi murals. There are various hiking and trekking trails, on which you can find fossils, wildlife, and wildflowers. February in the Petrified Forest National is definitely calming, and serene beauty makes it worth visiting even in the winter/February.

Kirkwood, California – receives one of the highest snowfalls in the world

Kirkwood, California February

Kirkwood Resort is a wonderful ski resort that receives one of the highest snowfalls in the world. It offers an extensive selection of terrain and several winter sports at affordable prices.

February is the perfect time to enjoy Kirkwood and its snow-covered surroundings. Kirkwood combines the conveniences of a destination resort with the laid-back atmosphere of a day hill. The quaint village is home to a handful of eateries, bars, and other shops.

San Diego – for a beautiful and warm February city break

San Diego in the winter

San Diego is an excellent destination to visit in February because it offers a great escape from cold dreary weather. San Diego offers a lot more than just pleasant temperatures and clear skies in the winter. It is known for its sandy beaches, ocean-side activities, and family-friendly parks. You can choose from various activities such as sunbathing, surfing, kayaking, bodyboarding.

San Diego offers almost picture-perfect year-round weather with sunshine and soft ocean winds. Average winter temperatures range from the mid-60s to 70s Fahrenheit making it ideal for more than seaside activities. It also boasts 70 miles of pristine sand along its stunningly beautiful coastline, laden with cypress trees. Other sights include the Immense Balboa Park, Japanese Botanical Gardens, Old Town San Diego, art galleries, museums, and gardens. With its rich cultural heritage and magnificent Pacific Ocean views, San Diego is one of “America’s Finest City” and winter destinations.

Magic Mountain ski resort, Vermont – a winter paradise

Magic Mountain in Vermont

Located in Southern Vermont in New England is Magic Mountain is a ski resort on Glebe Mountain that features a 1,500-foot vertical drop. This true skiing treasure is known for its steep narrow trails, glade skiing, and of course its affordable prices. The no-frills experience keeps the focus on the riding and the prices low. Hiking is another popular activity in this scenic region.

With uncrowded slopes and fresh snow tracks that often last days, locals know Magic is the place to ski. The region is scenic with gorgeous views of the Green Mountains. And when it snows, Magic simply looks magical.

Providence Canyon, Georgia – explore wonderful scenery with less crowds

Providence canyon Georgia

Providence Canyon, a 1,000-acre Georgia state park, is often referred to as “Little Grand Canyon”. It is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. The park is below sea level with 16 different canyons, exposing 43 different shades of soil ranging from light orange, salmon, and red to white, purple, and pink.

These magnificent colors make this one of the most beautiful and breathtaking hikes in Georgia. The trails along the canyon offer striking views and make a great place to view a glorious sunset. Nearby attractions include Amicalola Falls and Tullulah Gorge. Winter is a lovely time to witness the fascinating Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area, in the absence of hardwood foliage and vegetation.

St Augustine, Florida – makes a charming February destination

St Augustine - best places to visit in the USA

Known for its marvelous beaches, St. Augustine is an amazing destination all year round. Winter is especially a great time because while the rest of the country is dealing with harsh cold temperatures and snow, St. Augustine is reveling in the sun. In February temperatures are pleasant, fluctuating between 40 to 70F, crowds are less, and you can often find many off-peak season deals.

Attractions include St. Augustine Fountain of Youth, the Spanish masonry fort of Castillo San Marcos National Monument, and St. Augustine’s Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. The region has an interesting ghost tour, plenty of golf courses, and the remarkable San Sebastian Winery

Table Rock State Park, South Carolina – perfect for nature and outdoor lovers

Table Rock State Park, South Carolina

At the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Pickens County is a 3000-acre park called Table Rock State Park. The park contains the Pinnacle Mountain, the tallest mountain in the state, and is known for its remarkable natural beauty. The towering mountain serves as a beautiful backdrop for the park and its facilities. The park contains cabins, a campground, and an old-fashioned swimming hole on one of the park’s two lakes.

Pinnacle Lake and Lake Oolenoy are populated with diverse fish including bass, bream, and catfish. Activities include camping, swimming, boating, paddling, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, and bird watching are offered in the park. Table Rock is also an access point for the well-known Foothills Trail and Palmetto Trail. Table Rock State Park is a classic getaway for any looking to enjoy the cool winter air and natural outdoors. Enjoy! 

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

2 Comments

  • Amelia

    14 May, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Yellowstone is AMAZING in the winter. We used to live there and I loved when it cleared out of tourists (mostly) , was quieted with a blanket of snowfall and the animals were everywhere. We had many XC ski trips dodging bison herds. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  • Linda Smith

    19 April, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing the list of the best places to visit in the USA in February. Great post. My favorite place is St Augustine, Florida, it is an amazing destination all year round.

    Reply

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