You may think that traveling in the US in February is a no-go. After all, much of the country is still experiencing freezing temperatures and is buried under feet of snow. But for some people, that snow is exactly what makes a February vacation so ideal. From ice castles to ski resorts, there are plenty of places in the US, like Fairbanks, Alaska, that offer some winter fun that can’t be beat!
However, not all of the US is experiencing the cold in February. And traveling to these spots in winter results in lower crowd levels, despite the temperatures being mild and comfortable, than if you were to visit in the summer. From sipping wine in Napa Valley, California, to going for a round of golf in Naples, Florida, there are plenty of places to visit in February in the US if you’re looking for warm weather to escape from the winter chills.
With so many places to visit and see, you may need some help planning your perfect February vacation. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the best places to travel in the US in February for you. From skiers’ paradises to sites to see the Northern Lights, stick with these February travel recommendations, and you’re bound to have an incredible time on your winter vacation!
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15 Amazing Places to Travel in the USA in February
1. Big Bend National Park
Although camping in Big Bend National Park isn’t recommended due to the chilly nights, the weather in Big Bend in February is perfect for days filled with adventure. Located in Texas along the border with Mexico, Big Bend’s winters are generally mild, which is why it’s one of the few national parks where nearly everything is open in February.
With many trail options, Big Bend is one of the best places to visit in the US in February if you’re a fan of hiking. There are trails that are perfect for the whole family, like the Window View Trail. Or, if you’re up for the challenge, head up higher into the Chisos Mountains for a breathtaking view.
Visiting in late February is ideal, as it’s the start of the bluebonnet season in Texas. The landscape will be painted with beautiful shades of blue and purple. Big Bend is also home to an incredible bird migration season from late fall to early spring, making February an ideal time to do some bird-watching.
2. Everglades National Park
The Everglades in Florida has two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The wet season lasts from the middle of May to the end of November, so February falls right in the middle of the dry season, making this time of the year a perfect time to pay a visit to this natural wonderland.
Traveling to the Everglades in February means sunny days with less rain and lower humidity than you’ll often find in Florida throughout the rest of the year. The Everglades are home to an abundance of wildlife, even more than usual, because February is a prime time to see birds that have migrated for the winter. Although you’re likely to see many people because this time of year is the busiest time for the national park, you’re also likely to see everything from alligators to egrets.
And because this time of year has a high volume of visitors, guided tours and excursions are more likely to be open and available. If you’re looking to explore on your own, the mild weather will allow you to do plenty of outdoor activities, from kayaking to hiking to bird-watching.
3. Canyonlands National Park
Although Utah’s Canyonlands National Park may be a bit chillier in February than Big Bend or the Everglades, it offers one of the best US vacations in February if you’re looking to escape the crowds. Canyonlands, in general, is one of the lesser-visited national parks, despite its wealth of natural beauty. And in February, you may barely see anyone else there at all!
There may be some snow on the trails in Canyonlands, so be sure to check for closures and pack accordingly. Despite the chilly weather, Canyonlands’ campgrounds are open throughout the winter on a first-come, first-served basis. However, visitor services are reduced in general throughout the winter.
When you visit Canyonlands, you’ll find it divided into four districts: the Needles, Island in the Sky, the Maze, and the Rivers. Island in the Sky is the most accessible and offers beautiful panoramic views. Be sure to stop at the visitors center to check road conditions before heading into the park.
If you’d like to explore from the comfort of your own vehicle, a scenic drive through Island in the Sky, stopping at all 10 overlook points, is a can’t-miss activity. But Needles is a great option for those who would love to hike to some of the most astounding natural geological formations ever seen.
Because Canyonlands is so remote, the sky is completely filled with stars each night. Stargazing is a must when you visit this gorgeous national park.
4. Naples, Florida
Although the ocean may be a bit chilly in February, Naples, Florida, is one of the best warm places to visit in the US in February. Not too hot, but not too cold, this location gives off Goldilocks vibes. You’ll find a vacation here is just right.
Naples is a great vacation spot if you love spending time in the great outdoors. But it’s also a wonderful spot if you like upscale shopping and dining. Naples is considered a golf capital of the world, so any golf lover will adore spending their vacation on one of Naples’ more than 90 courses.
For even more fun outdoors, the city also has a lush botanical garden, an incredible swamp sanctuary, and even a floating tiki bar! Manatees are located in the waters around Naples all year round so be sure to book a boat tour to see them up close.
5. Phoenix, Arizona
During the summer, Phoenix can be so hot that it’s hard to enjoy all the beauty it has to offer. But by visiting in February, you’ll avoid the high heat and spend your days and nights in milder weather. Phoenix often tends to be a busy spring break spot, so you’re also avoiding the crowds by planning your vacation in February.
With mild weather and lower crowd levels, you’ll find that February is a perfect time to make the trek to Camelback Mountain, which offers one of the most scenic views in the city. It’s also a great time to head to the often-busy Papago Park, where you’ll also find top attractions, like the Desert Botanical Garden, in addition to hiking trails for all activity levels.
6. San Diego, California
San Diego’s weather in February isn’t the warmest. It’s mild, and it’s one of San Diego’s rainier months. But most days in February, the sun is shining, despite the weather and water temperature not being fit for a swim. But there are still many reasons why San Diego is one of the best US cities to visit in February!
For starters, San Diego is a popular spring and summer spot, so visiting in February will result in lighter crowds. February is also San Diego Museum Month, which means that you can get half-off admission fees for museums, zoos, historic sites, and much more. Just head to a local library and pick up a pass, which is good for both San Diego residents and out-of-towners.
Visiting later in February will result in you seeing the desert landscape truly transform. The rainfall causes the wildflowers to bloom, and a great place to see them is at the nearby Anza Borrego Desert Spring Park. February is also an ideal month to go whale watching in San Diego, especially if you want to see gray whales.
7. Park City, Utah
Park City may not be one of the best warm places in the US to visit in February, but colder temperatures are exactly what makes it an excellent location for a February vacation. The weather is perfect for a ski trip.
One can’t-miss attraction that you can only see in the winter is the Ice Castles. These Ice Castles look like they came right out of a fairytale. Race down ice slides, crawl around the icy tunnels, explore a frozen maze, check out ice sculptures by a world-renowned artist, or go on a sleigh ride through the wooded winter trail.
You can also head out on a snowshoe tour, where you’ll explore the natural beauty of Park City as it’s covered by a brilliant blanket of white snow. If you’re a film lover, plan your trip to Park City a little early and come at the end of January to catch the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the US. This festival often occurs in the last weeks of January and sometimes spills over into February.
8. Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky is another skier’s paradise. This Montana town is one of the best places to travel to in the US in February if you love the great outdoors, even when, or especially when, it’s chilly.
There are plenty of options for getting out in the snow in Big Sky, from headlamp night skiing to SNO-GO biking. Or you can hop on a snowmobile or enjoy the comforts of a snowcoach for a one-of-a-kind tour. You could also take a snowshoe tour or hike on your own to the beautiful Ousel Falls Trailhead, where the waterfall transforms into a dazzling wall of ice in the winter.
Take a journey through an Enchanted Forest atop a mountain. Some tour groups also offer horseback riding throughout the winter, making for another unique way to do some sightseeing. For a more festive option, you could also book a magical sleigh ride through the Big Sky wilderness!
9. White Mountains, New Hampshire
The White Mountains are a truly majestic place in February and one of the best places in the US to visit during winter. Go skiing, snow tubing, sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or however else you want to enjoy the snow at this scenic spot.
Like Park City, the White Mountains are home to their own Ice Castles, with a few additional attractions. Explore the Winter Fairy Forest, grab a drink at the Polar Pub, stroll through the Mystic Forest Light Walk, or go snow tubing at this fun and interactive location.
Love rock climbing? Try your hand at ice climbing. Or go on an aerial adventure with a zipline tour. For incredible views, you can take a snowcoach tour or hop on the Mount Washington Cog Railway, a train that will take you up 4,000 feet while you get toasty in a warming hut with some hot cocoa.
One word of caution: The White Mountains are a notoriously tough mountain range. Mount Washington is considered one of the most dangerous mountains in the US. The weather here can often be unpredictable and can turn deadly quickly. If you’re going to venture out into the mountains, go out with an experienced guide rather than going alone.
10. Napa Valley, California
Looking for a romantic getaway? You’ll find it when you take a Napa Valley vacation in February. The weather is mild and much warmer than other February destinations. Dress in layers because the mornings are often chilly, but the day gets warmer as it goes on.
February is the off-season for Napa Valley, meaning you’ll be able to head to the many wineries without too much competition for reservations. Tastings will be much more peaceful than if you tried to visit during a busier season, like in the summer. Despite it being a bit chillier and rainier than you’ll find during the busy season, you can cozy up with a cabernet on a heated patio, and you’ll hardly notice.
February is also when mustard season is in full bloom. The vineyards will be carpeted in a vibrant yellow, creating a beautiful landscape for you to enjoy while you sip your wine.
11. Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is a magical place for a vacation in February. This Alaska town is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights, which are most visible between August and April, making February the perfect time to look for them. Take a Northern Lights tour to really get the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, as an experienced guide can take you right where you need to be.
In addition to seeing the Northern Lights, you can also spend your Fairbanks vacation going snowmobiling, ice fishing, skiing, or ice skating. For even more fun, visit a reindeer ranch or take the Aurora Winter Train to see all that Alaska has to offer.
Fairbanks is also home to the World Ice Art Championships every February into March. This incredible art competition brings together artists from all over the world who use a one-ton block of ice as their canvas. More than ice sculptures, these displays are often interactive. You may just end up racing down ice slides or getting lost in ice mazes filled with all kinds of creatures.
12. Lake Tahoe, California
February is one of the snowiest months in Lake Tahoe, making it one of the best vacation spots in the US in February if you’re a skier or snowboarder. With so much fresh snow on the mountains, the skiing here can’t be beat.
But there’s plenty to do here, even if you’re not a skier. Go on a snowshoe trek to the iconic Castle Rock, go ice skating at one of several rinks at the ski resorts, or hop on a snowmobile tour.
And if you don’t want to be out in the snow, how about going out on the water? The massive lake never freezes, which means you can hop on a boat and enjoy the incredible views anytime. Book a scenic sightseeing cruise or go on a Lake Tahoe fishing expedition. For even more amazing views, you can also take to the sky on the Palisades Tahoe Aerial Tram.
13. Hot Springs National Park
Located in Arkansas, Hot Springs National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US in February. February marks the beginning of one of the park’s peak seasons, so you may be seeing some larger crowds than if you’d gone earlier in the winter. These bigger crowds tend to come out later in February when the weather starts to heat up for the spring.
But you’ll want to travel to Hot Springs National Park when the temperatures are a little warmer because many of the attractions here are outdoors. If you’re ready to relax after hiking Sunset Trail in Hot Springs National Park or taking in the Views from the Hot Springs Mountain Tower, head over to Bathhouse Row in downtown Hot Springs.
Bathhouse Row is a National Historic Landmark, so be sure to take some time to enjoy learning about the history of this fascinating area. First, learn all about the city’s historic bathhouses at the lavish Fordyce Bathhouse and Museum before enjoying a traditional bathing experience at Buckstaff Bathhouse. After that, sip some craft brews at Superior Bathhouse Brewery, which is housed in the 100-year-old former Superior Bathhouse!
14. Maui, Hawaii
Maui is one of the best warm places to visit in February in the US. It’s a little wetter and cloudier than if you were arriving in the summer, but the weather is still hotter than much of the rest of the US.
Plus, you’re visiting during the off-season, so there will be fewer crowds to contest with. And the ocean temperature in Maui is high enough to go for a swim without a wetsuit all year round. Off-season also means better rates on Maui’s amazing hotels and resorts!
One of the best things about visiting Maui in February is that you’re there during one of the best times for whale watching. Even cooler, the entire month is when you’ll find the Maui Whale Festival, which celebrates the return of migrating humpback whales. This festival has several events, from beach cleanups to the annual Parade of Whales.
Art lovers will also enjoy the Maui Open Studios Event, which takes place every weekend through February. Talk with artists and watch them work, learning more about their crafts and marveling at what they create.
*Note that the devastating Maui fires may have changed some Hawaiians’ opinion on tourism on their land. Be sure to read the latest news before booking a ticket to ensure that it is the right time for you to visit.
15. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach may be a popular spring break spot, but that’s exactly what makes it such a great place to visit in the US in February. Though it may be too chilly to get in the ocean, the weather is still mild enough to enjoy spending time outside. And with fewer crowds around, many of the area’s top attractions will be fairly quiet. This South Carolina city will be yours to explore.
See a show at the Carolina Opry, grab a hot cocoa and hop on the rides at the Boardwalk, or take the kids to see the highly acrobatic Pirates Voyage dinner theater show. Your days and nights here will be filled with fun things to do without much competition to land a ticket or reservation.
If you’re a chocolate lover, you should head to nearby Conway for a little trick-or-treating – emphasis on the treat. The Conway Chocolate Walk is an annual event that arrives at the start of every February. Spend a Saturday strolling downtown as you enjoy chocolates prepared by chocolatiers of all kinds.
There you have it! The 15 best places to visit in the USA in February. What’s your favorite place to visit in February?
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