Winter is a great time to explore all 50 states in the US. You’ll find USA winter activities for all ages and interests. There are snow activities in the northern US states like skiing, ice fishing, and even a polar bear plunge!
For those who want to enjoy warmer activities during your winter US travels, you can head to the southern states for whale watching, walking on the beach, and visiting Disney theme parks!
We’ve put together a list of the Best Winter Activities to Enjoy in all 50 States that includes 5 things to do for each state. Be sure to get the free printable at the end of this article!
There are fun winter festivals, polar express train rides, sledding, snowshoeing, and even sipping wine in an igloo when visiting states in the north. In the south you can view holiday lights on a river cruise, at the zoo, or on a scenic drive!
If you’ll be visiting the cold destinations, be sure to use our Winter Vacation Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear. Get the packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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Fun List of USA Winter Activities
Winter is the perfect time to enjoy some of the best activities in the US. From skiing and snowboarding to hiking and scenic drives, there are plenty of fun activities to do during the winter.
Check out this list of winter activities to enjoy in the following 15 states! Remember to grab the free printable that includes a list of 5 winter activities for each of the 50 states in the US at the bottom of this article!
Alaska Winter Activities
Alaska offers various exhilarating winter activities that capture the essence of a snowy wonderland. Embark on a Northern Lights tour to witness the breathtaking dance of colors across the night sky.
Experience the thrill of dog mushing, where you will harness these remarkable sled dogs’ raw power and boundless energy as you glide through pristine white landscapes.
For a tranquil escape, try ice fishing on the serene frozen surfaces of Jewel Lake or Birch Lake, feeling the thrill of reeling in a catch from beneath the ice. To explore the wilderness on a snowmobile tour, speed through snow-covered trails and discover the untouched beauty of Alaska’s winter terrain.
And if you’re looking for classic winter charm, take to the ice at Portage Lake in Anchorage, where graceful ice skating against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains creates a picture-perfect memory.
Arizona Winter Activities
Discover Arizona’s delightful winter activities that bring warmth to the season. Try the Polar Express Train Tour in Williams and witness the snowy landscapes. In Flagstaff, indulge in The North Pole Experience, a whimsical journey that immerses you in Santa’s enchanting world and creates cherished memories for the whole family.
Experience the sparkling beauty of The Winterhaven Festival of Lights in Tucson, where dazzling displays illuminate the night and fill the air with festive cheer. Witness the enchanting glow of Las Noches de las Luminarias in Phoenix, where thousands of luminarias create a mesmerizing holiday ambiance in the heart of the desert.
And for a truly nostalgic experience, hop aboard a sleigh ride, letting the jingling bells and snowy vistas transport you to a winter wonderland straight out of a storybook. In Arizona, winter combines tradition, warmth, and enchantment.
California Winter Activities
Embrace the winter magic in California with a diverse range of activities that cater to every interest. For those seeking an aquatic adventure, hop on a paddleboard at the pristine La Jolla Beach, where the winter sun casts a golden glow over the turquoise waters.
Wine enthusiasts can savor the season with tastings in Sonoma County and indulge in exquisite flavors surrounded by picturesque vineyards and cozy fireplaces.
Enjoy the California National Parks in the winter like hiking through the captivating landscapes of Joshua Tree. Channel Islands National Park offers an unforgettable opportunity to witness majestic whales on their migratory journey as they breach and spout amidst the breathtaking coastal backdrop.
And for a touch of whimsy, experience the holiday charm at a winter-themed Disneyland, where iconic characters and festive decorations transport you to a wonderland of joy and imagination.
Colorado Winter Activities
Many exhilarating activities showcase Colorado’s adventurous spirit. You can take your skiing to new heights with heli-skiing at renowned spots like Telluride Helitrax or Silverton Heli-Skiing, where you will carve through untouched powder on remote slopes.
For an unconventional twist, try snowkiting and harness the wind’s power to glide gracefully across snowy landscapes. Or enjoy snow kayaking as you cruise across frozen lakes!
If you’re seeking a quieter pursuit, indulge in ice fishing, dropping a line through a frozen surface, and relishing the peaceful solitude of nature. In Colorado, winter offers a playground for both thrill-seekers and nature lovers.
Florida Winter Activities
The sunny side of winter in Florida will never disappoint you with its exciting and relaxing activities that capture the essence of the Sunshine State. Dive into the sweet festivities at the Florida Strawberry Festival, where juicy strawberries and vibrant entertainment create a delightful experience.
Get your adrenaline pumping by catching a thrilling hockey game, adding a sporty twist to your winter getaway. Embark on a magical journey at Walt Disney World, where enchanting characters and whimsical attractions bring out the kid in everyone.
Bask in the warm coastal vibes by enjoying Florida’s legendary beaches, where the sun, sand, and sea create the perfect backdrop for relaxation. For a dose of holiday charm, stroll through the enchanting Night of Lights in St. Augustine, where millions of twinkling lights transform the historic city into a winter wonderland.
Hawaii Winter Activities
Have a taste of the tropical paradise of Hawaii during winter with a captivating mix of activities that celebrate its natural wonders. Head to the North Shore to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of some of the world’s largest waves, where surfers conquer the majestic swells in a daring dance with the ocean.
Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Sharks Cove for an unforgettable swim amidst vibrant marine life, making cherished memories beneath the waves. Catch a breathtaking display of nature’s grandeur as whales frolic and breach in the waters of Kaupulehu, Hapuna Beach, and the Waipio Valley lookout, adding a touch of enchantment to your island experience.
Journey to the summit of Mt. Mauna Kea for a mesmerizing stargazing adventure. And for a burst of festive spirit, join the Jingle Rock fun run, where the vibrant Hawaiian culture and holiday cheer combine for a joyful and memorable event. In Hawaii, winter is a time of extraordinary sights and lively celebrations, making it an idyllic destination for a tropical escape.
Idaho Winter Activities
The winter wonderland of Idaho offers many activities. Hit the slopes and carve your way through fresh powder at one of the many ski and snowboard resorts, where adrenaline and scenic views go hand in hand.
Find relaxation amidst the cold by soaking in the warm embrace of Idaho hot springs like Bonneville and Kirkham, offering a soothing escape amidst the snow.
Join in the lively festivities of the Winter Carnival in McCall, where ice sculptures, parades, and a cheerful atmosphere create an enchanting celebration.
Experience the thrill of snow tubing as you slide down snowy slopes for pure fun. Venture to Boise for a culinary journey, savor delectable food and enjoy live music that adds rhythm to your winter escape.
Maryland Winter Activities
Your winter escape in Maryland can only be completed by venturing onto the frozen expanse of Deep Creek Lake for an ice-fishing adventure. Glide and twirl on ice skates, zip down snowy slopes on tubes or hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding at Wisp Resort in McHenry, a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.
Dive into the frosty waters of Chesapeake Bay for the exhilarating Polar Bear Plunge, a daring tradition that’s all about fun and charity. Appreciate nature as you hike through the scenic Loch Raven Reservoir Park in Baltimore. You can also explore the state parks for invigorating hikes and snowshoeing adventures to add to your snowy escapade.
Nevada Winter Activities
Nevada is ideal for a unique blend of activities celebrating the winter season’s charm! Picture yourself ice skating in the heart of the desert at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, a surreal experience that adds a touch of winter wonder to the bustling cityscape.
Discover the tranquility of winter bird watching at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, where feathered friends gather against Nevada’s natural beauty.
Be in awe of the enchantment at the Magical Forest of Opportunity Village, where dazzling lights and festive cheer create a magical holiday spectacle.
You can also journey on the Polar Express at Nevada Northern Railway, a nostalgic adventure that whisks you away on a charming ride through snowy landscapes. In Nevada, winter is a time of unexpected delights and memorable moments.
New York Winter Activities
Nothing beats New York for a winter adventure too! Channel your inner angler with ice fishing on the Hudson River, where the serene frozen waters offer a peaceful escape in the city’s heart. Feel the rush of excitement with a bobsled ride in Lake Placid, an adrenaline-pumping adventure that takes you hurtling down icy tracks.
Explore the snowy landscapes of Tug Hill Plateau on a thrilling snowmobiling excursion, speeding through a winter wonderland like no other. Add a touch of old-world charm to your winter with horse-drawn carriage rides through the bustling streets of New York City, where the clip-clop of hooves creates a nostalgic ambiance.
You can also immerse yourself in the enchantment of the holiday season by visiting Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole, a whimsical destination brimming with festive magic. In New York, winter is a time of romance and festive joy.
Pennsylvania Winter Activities
Winter in Pennsylvania is one-of-a-kind! The state offers many activities that highlight the season. You can enjoy gliding across frozen waters with the exhilarating sport of ice boating at your state park choice.
Also, experience the thrill of ice fishing at Lake Chillisquaque at Montour Preserve in Danville, where the frozen lake offers a peaceful and delightful spot to cast your line and enjoy the calmness. Add horse-drawn cozy carriage rides if you’re in for a more charming and nostalgic escapade.
If you’re seeking thrills, the state’s numerous ski areas offer snow tubing opportunities. To explore the exquisite beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania, escape to the cross-country skis. Glide through picturesque landscapes and fully immerse yourself in the serene allure of winter’s embrace.
South Carolina Winter Activities
Take in the charm of winter in South Carolina with a mix of activities that showcase the state’s unique offerings. Lace-up your skates and glide on the ice in Greenville, adding a touch of winter magic to the southern landscape.
Bask in the coastal beauty of Myrtle Beach, where, even in winter, the charm of the ocean beckons with its sandy shores and relaxing ambiance.
Discover the nautical heritage of Hilton Head Island with a tour of the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. And back in Greenville, enjoy another round of ice skating on Main Street, creating a festive and delightful winter scene in the heart of the city.
Texas Winter Activities
Enjoy the vibrant winter spirit in Texas with a medley of activities that capture the state’s diverse charm. Cruise along the San Antonio River during the December Downtown Holiday Lights Boat Cruise, where dazzling lights illuminate the riverbanks, creating a magical holiday atmosphere.
Go on a Big Bend National Park adventure where you can witness the rugged landscapes and starry skies of West Texas unfold in a breathtaking display. Immerse yourself in the festive ambiance of the Trail of Lights in Austin, a joyful stroll through a unique wonderland of colorful displays and holiday cheer.
Journey to Grapevine and hop aboard the enchanting North Pole Express, a whimsical train ride that transports you to a world of holiday magic and delight. Ring in the New Year in true Texas style, as the state comes alive with celebrations and festivities that mark the beginning of a brand new chapter.
Utah Winter Activities
In Utah, a mix of activities showcase the state’s snowy wonders. You can try a fat-tire snow biking adventure in Park City, where you will cruise through snow-covered trails on specially designed bikes. There are fun dog sledding activities as well!
For a touch of old-world charm, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride at Deer Valley Resort, a cozy and enchanting journey that mimics a winter fairytale. Also enjoy Deer Valley’s Montage and St. Regis hotels for the best après-ski in the Park City area. The Après Lounge at the Montage Deer Valley is a Veuve Clicquot-themed yurt lounge with easy access to Deer Valley’s ski lifts.
Winter hiking in Utah National Parks is one of the best ways to explore the parks without the heat and crowds! All five Utah National Parks experience cold weather in the winter. Be sure to wear and pack winter clothing essentials.
Washington Winter Activities
Last but not least, never miss an opportunity to embrace the winter wonders of Washington! The state offers many activities that celebrate the season. You can relax and rejuvenate at Goldmyer Hot Springs, where the soothing waters and pristine surroundings create a peaceful escape from the cold.
Also, embark on a rewarding hike to Blanca Lake in Gold Bar, where you can breathe fresh air from the stunning alpine lake, nestled amidst snowy peaks. Or try cross-country skiing in Washington’s picturesque landscapes if you’re in for a snowy adventure.
Enjoy one of the best winter hikes at US National Parks by exploring the Hall of Mosses trail. Located in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, this is a terrific year round hike thanks to its temperate coastal weather. In the wintertime, the Hoh Rainforest receives quite a bit of rainfall that makes the moss hanging from the enormous trees and primeval ferns look even more luscious than usual during this wet period.
Winter Activities In All 50 States Packet
Every state in the U.S. has unique winter activities to offer: skiing and snowboarding, holiday markets, festive light displays, holiday boat cruises, and more! Grab your free printable by clicking the graphic below!
Winter Packing Tips and Resources
Tips and resources for what to pack, what to wear, where to stay and other helpful information for taking a trip in the winter.
- Winter Clothing Guide for Outdoor Travel
- Winter Road Trip Supplies
- Winter Hiking Gear
- Winter Photography Gear