You might think that summertime is the busiest travel season for all destinations. After all, the kids are out of school and parents are itching to use up their personal time off days when the sun is shining.
But some destinations experience their busiest season of the year during wintertime. This year, consider using up your vacation days during the winter at one of these crowd-pleasing locales.
Key West, FL
Between December and February, snow birds from all around thaw out their wings to Jimmy Buffett tunes and salty margaritas. While there, take a photo of yourself in the southernmost point of the US (at the corner of South & Whitehead Streets), take in the historic architecture, and check out the Tarpon and Pelican feeding frenzy on the Harborwalk at 4:00 p.m. each day.
At 3.5 million visitors a year, Yellowstone is one of America’s most treasured and sought-after parks any time of the year. When the degrees plummet, the geologic wonders fueling things like Old Faithful and the Morning Glory Pool react with the snow and ice to put on a really lovely show. Additionally, animals flock to the warm waters during Wyoming’s freezing temperatures. Activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tours by snowcoach or snowmobile.
Miami Beach, FL
Access John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park — the only undersea park in the United States — by glass-bottom boat from Miami, or travel inland for an airboat tour of the Everglades. While in Miami, check out the amazing Cuban cuisine and the Art Deco District’s exquisite architecture.
Salt Lake City, UT
Looking for light, airy, fluffy snow? Because of Salt Lake City’s dry climate and proximity to the Great Salt Lake, this place receives over 500 inches of fluffy flakes each year. Watch a bobsled competition at Utah’s Olympic Park, ski through one of the 10 ski resorts within a 45-minute drive, explore the Wasatch Mountains by snowshoe, and ice skate at the Gallivan Center.
Known for its killer wintertime waves, Oahu’s North Shore offers surfing competitions that aren’t to be missed. Also check out the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Ali’i Luau, the filming location for Jurassic Park (Kualoa Ranch), and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park at Pearl Harbor.