24 Best Places to Visit in February in The USA

war memorial monument during sun rise in washington dc

February presents an ideal time for exploring the diverse landscapes and cultural experiences across the United States. Whether you’re chasing the allure of warm beaches or the thrill of snow-dusted mountains, this month offers a unique blend of destinations catering to every traveler’s taste. From the adventure-soaked terrains of national parks to the festive ambiance of cultural hotspots, you have the opportunity to curate a travel experience that can be as relaxing or exhilarating as you desire.

The USA is vast, and with each region boasting its own climate and attractions, your February adventure could lead to the sun-soaked streets of Key West, Florida, or the powdery slopes of Big Sky, Montana. Looking beyond the weather, the month is ripe with activities and events that can enhance your visit. Whether you’re interested in festive celebrations, outdoor activities, or simply a serene retreat away from the daily grind, you’ll find an array of options to create lasting memories.

Key Takeaways

  • February offers a variety of travel experiences across the United States tailored to your preferences.
  • Your trip can range from snow-filled adventures to beachside relaxation.
  • The month is rich with events and activities to enhance your travel.

Winter Escape Destinations

If you’re looking to trade the winter chill for warm sunshine, these destinations offer the perfect haven for your February getaway. Expect rejuvenating warmth, vibrant sceneries, and diverse activities that cater to any traveler’s preference.

1. Sarasota, Florida

beach filled with tourists in Sarasota Florida with white sands and blue skies

Your Florida escape should include Sarasota, an often overlooked gem with an average February temperature of 72°F. Sarasota spoils you with its glistening beaches and a vibrant art scene, ensuring a well-rounded vacation.

  • Beach Day: Relax on the pristine sands of Siesta Key Beach.
  • Culture Trip: Explore the Ringling Museum of Art, showcasing impressive baroque art.

2. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

blue water waves crashing on rocks with palm trees in the background in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

With ideal beach temperatures hovering around 81℉ in February, Kailua-Kona is a slice of paradise for beach enthusiasts and tropical explorers alike.

  • Ocean Adventures: Snorkel in the clear waters of Kealakekua Bay.
  • Coffee Culture: Visit the coffee plantations and taste world-renowned Kona coffee.

3. Santa Barbara, California

view of the beach and mountain background in santa barbara, california

Encounter the diverse landscapes of California in Santa Barbara, where February offers mild temperatures perfect for exploring the outdoors or lounging by the ocean.

  • Outdoor Activities: Hike in the Santa Ynez Mountains.
  • Leisurely Strolls: Wander around the historic Stearns Wharf and enjoy the coastal view.

Cultural Hotspots

In February, the USA turns into a canvas of rich cultural experiences, from lively festivals to majestic historical landmarks.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

festival in new orleans with a large crowd and a float driving by

When you visit New Orleans in February, you’re in for a vibrant cultural explosion. This month sets the stage for Mardi Gras, a spectacle of parades, music, and colorful costumes. The city’s streets buzz with energy, with locals and tourists alike indulging in the festive spirit.

5. Washington D.C.

war memorial monument during sun rise in washington dc

In the nation’s capital, you can explore a treasure trove of American history. Take a walk along the National Mall, where you’ll encounter iconic landmarks such as the bold Lincoln Memorial and the towering Washington Monument. These sites are not only architectural marvels but also pillars of the American narrative.

6. Savannah, Georgia

line of spash moss tress in Savannah, Georgia

Your cultural exploration isn’t complete without a visit to Savannah, Georgia. Here, you can embark on historic tours that transport you back in time. Meander through the cobblestone streets, admire the antebellum architecture and immerse yourself in the city’s storied past. The rich tapestry of Savannah’s history is palpable at every turn.

Mountain Getaways

If you’re looking for a winter escape, consider exploring America’s mountain towns. You’ll find a range of activities from skiing to apres-ski culture in these high-altitude destinations.

7. Colorado Ski Resorts

aspen city lights under a large ski mountain during night time

Colorado’s ski resorts are a winter sport enthusiast’s playground. With towns like Aspen and Vail offering a mix of luxury and family-friendly options, you can choose the resort that fits your style. Expect world-class slopes and vibrant town centers.

  • Aspen: Premium lodging and dining, with four main ski areas.
  • Vail: One of the largest ski areas with a famed European-style village.

8. Utah’s Park City and Deer Valley

mountains of snow with a ski park in park city utah

Utah is known for having ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth’, and the ski resorts here live up to this claim. Park City and Deer Valley provide ample opportunities for both skiing and snowboarding, set against breathtaking scenery.

  • Park City: America’s largest ski area, with a historic main street.
  • Deer Valley: Known for its upscale amenities and no snowboarders policy.

9. North Carolina’s Appalachian Range

ski park full of people in North Carolina's Appalachian mountain range

The Appalachian Range in North Carolina offers a more subdued ski experience, perfect for those looking to avoid the larger crowds. Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain are two popular destinations with a variety of runs for different skill levels.

  • Beech Mountain: Highest resort in Eastern America, with 17 slopes.
  • Sugar Mountain: Wide range of winter activities, including ice skating and tubing.

Nature Exploration

Embark on a journey through America’s splendid natural landscapes, where you’re invited to witness the magnificence of nature’s creations up close.

10. Sedona, Arizona

sunrise in sedona arizona with large red mountain rocks

In Arizona, you have the opportunity to experience the unique tranquility of Sedona’s red rock formations. February offers the ideal climate for outdoor activities such as hiking, with daytime temperatures that are typically mild and inviting.

  • Average February Temperature in Sedona: 57°F (14°C)
  • Recommended Activity: Guided Red Rock Tours

11. Cannon Beach, Oregon

haystack rock in Oregon's coastal beach

Venture to Oregon’s coastline for a much different scene. The rugged coast presents dramatic vistas and the chance to capture stunning photographs, especially at spots like Cannon Beach, with its iconic Haystack Rock.

  • Average February Temperature on Oregon Coast: 40°-55°F (4°-13°C)
  • Must-Visit Location: Ecola State Park for coastal trails

Adventure and Activities

February presents a unique opportunity for you to pursue adventure and engage in exciting activities across the United States. This month offers the perfect mix of wintry landscapes and milder climates, catering to a range of outdoor pursuits and experiences.

12. Alaskan Northern Lights

northern lights at night in Alaska

In Alaska, the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are at their most striking. You have the opportunity to witness this celestial phenomenon dance across the sky. Key locations for viewing include Fairbanks and the Denali National Park, where clear, dark nights provide the perfect backdrop for the lights.

  • Best Viewing Dates: Typically, mid-February to early March.
  • Suggested Activities:
    • Night-time photography tours
    • Dog sledding under the aurora

13. Albuquerque, New Mexico

hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The New Mexico Balloon Fiesta allows you to marvel at the sky dotted with vibrant colors and shapes. Although the main event is in October, February still gives you the chance to see hot air balloons pepper the sky on clear days, particularly around the Rio Grande Valley.

  • Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Offerings:
    • Balloon rides for panoramic views
    • Balloon watching at sunrise

14. Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park with moutain trails and blue skies

Nevada is not just about Las Vegas’ electric atmosphere. In February, you can immerse yourself in the state’s natural beauty, with activities ranging from hiking to stargazing in areas like the Valley of Fire or Lake Tahoe.

  • Things to Do:
    • Hiking: Try trails in Red Rock Canyon for breathtaking vistas.
    • Stargazing: Away from city lights, areas like Great Basin National Park offer clear nighttime skies.

By exploring these destinations in February, your craving for adventure and activity will surely be satisfied amidst some of the most awe-inspiring settings the USA has to offer.

Romantic Escapes

If you’re seeking a February getaway filled with charm and romance, consider the quiet allure of Vermont or the sophisticated pleasures of California’s wine regions.

15. Stowe, Vermont

In Vermont, you’ll find a perfect blend of idyllic scenery and cozy accommodations. Woodstock and Stowe are especially picturesque, with snow-dusted main streets and warm inns that beckon you inside. After a day exploring antique shops and local galleries, you can curl up by the fire with your significant other, perhaps at a bed-and-breakfast renowned for its hospitality.

  • Things to do:
    • Sleigh rides through snowy trails
    • Sampling maple syrup at a local sugarhouse

16. Napa Valley, California

napa valley sunrise with vineyards in the background

Alternatively, explore the renowned Napa Valley or Sonoma County, where the mild winter weather is ideal for touring vineyards without the summer crowds. Savor the robust flavors of world-class wines in intimate tasting rooms, and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants offering the freshest California cuisine.

  • Noteable Wineries:
    • Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley
    • Ridge Vineyards, Sonoma County

Relax in a luxury spa, or take a hot-air balloon ride for a breathtaking view of the rolling hills. Either choice offers a memorable escape that combines natural beauty with indulgent experiences.

Family-Friendly Spots

With February’s milder weather, you’ll find plenty of warm, crowd-pleasing destinations fit for the whole family. These spots offer a blend of entertainment, education, and the chance to create lasting memories.

17. Orlando’s Theme Parks

aerial view of universal studios in orlando florida

Orlando is a treasure trove of theme parks that offer exhilarating experiences for all ages. During February, the temperate weather makes exploring the expansive parks more comfortable.

  • Walt Disney World: The magic just doesn’t fade here, boasting four theme parks and two water parks.
  • Universal Studios Florida: Step into the worlds of your favorite movies and TV shows, with rides and attractions that immerse you in the action.

For those seeking enchantment, Disney’s Magic Kingdom remains the quintessential experience with lighter crowds this month. For a rush of adrenaline, Universal’s Islands of Adventure delivers with its cutting-edge rides.

18. Texas’s Historical Sights

inside of the space center in houston, texas

Texas is steeped in rich history, and you can explore numerous sites that are as educational as they are enjoyable.

  • The Alamo: Remember to visit this emblematic historic site in San Antonio, which played a pivotal role in Texas’ struggle for independence.
  • Space Center Houston: Experience the wonder of space exploration in Houston, offering hands-on exhibits and genuine spacecraft.

In San Antonio, stroll along the iconic River Walk after a day at The Alamo for dining and scenery. At Space Center Houston, engage with interactive displays and marvel at astronauts’ spacecraft.

Relaxation Havens

If you’re seeking tranquility and a rejuvenating experience in February, the USA offers some serene destinations known for their natural beauty and calming properties.

19. Hot Springs National Park

small waterfall inside of hot springs national park in arkansas

Discover the therapeutic properties of natural thermal waters at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. You have the unique opportunity to bask in the warmth of the renowned hot springs that have been a source of relaxation for centuries. Here, nature offers a quiet respite with:

  • Bathhouses: Revel in traditional spa experiences at the historic bathhouses lining Bathhouse Row.
  • Hiking Trails: Tranquil trails, such as the Sunset Trail, which provides a peaceful walk through the park’s untouched landscapes.

20. Maine’s Peaceful Shores

aerial view of bar harbor in maine

Maine’s coastline, with its lighthouses and quaint fishing villages, presents a peaceful winter escape. The icy serenity of its shores in February provides you with a reflective space away from the hustle, consisting of:

  • Quaint Towns: Coastal towns like Camden and Bar Harbor, nearly silent in the winter, can be the quiet havens you’re looking for.
  • Scenic Views: The bold, snowy cliffs and lighthouses overlooking the Atlantic are breathtaking and notably less crowded during the colder months.

Festivals and Events

February in the United States is vibrant with festivals and events, boasting unique cultural experiences that you won’t want to miss. From food and wine festivals to colorful carnivals, these occasions bring together local traditions with festive atmospheres.

21. Miami’s Food and Wine Festival

friends cheering with red wine during the miami food and wine festival

Miami’s Food and Wine Festival draws gourmets and culinary enthusiasts to a multifaceted celebration of flavors. At the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, you can indulge in a gastronomic journey with renowned chefs and wine experts. This event typically features tastings, cooking demonstrations, and a chance to interact with some of the brightest stars in the culinary world.

22. New Orleans’ Mardi Gras

a balcony in new orleans decorated with mardi gras bead necklaces

The South comes alive with carnivals and Mardi Gras celebrations. Perhaps the most famous is New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, an event synonymous with spirited parades, vibrant costumes, and lively music that culminates on Fat Tuesday. During this period, you can immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere and cultural festivities that are a hallmark of this historic city.

Hidden Gems

Exploring the United States in February offers you the chance to uncover the country’s lesser-known treasures. Venture into Montana and South Dakota, where the beauty of winter reveals itself in tranquil landscapes and pristine trails.

23. Big Sky, Montana

ski trails and snow during winter at big sky mountain

In Big Sky, Montana, you can find tranquility on unspoiled trails. Your visit during this low-tourism season means fewer crowds and a personal connection with nature. Enjoy the crisp air as you trek through snow-laden paths, ideal for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

  • Cross-Country Skiing: Glide through quiet woods.
  • Snowshoeing: Crunch over fresh snow on serene trails.

24. Custer State Park, South Dakota

beautiful day with blue skies at custer state park

South Dakota’s winters are marked by peaceful solitude. Custer State Park’s trails and vistas are yours to enjoy without interruption. The stark beauty of the Black Hills in winter is a canvas waiting for your footsteps.

  • Hiking: Trek the less-traveled paths dusted with snow.
  • Photography: Capture the Black Hills’ winter splendor in its most undisturbed state.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the USA offers a diverse range of destinations perfect for a February getaway. Whether you prefer a tropical paradise, a vibrant city, or a winter wonderland, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and explore the best places to visit in February in the USA.

Read more “Places to Visit in the US” series:

About Ronaldo Stewart

Wantigo was born out of a deep passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. With a keen sense of adventure and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I’ve traveled far and wide, immersing myself in the beauty and wonder of the world.

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