- Winter in the US brings stunning snowy scenery unlike anywhere else in the world, from snow-capped mountain towns to metropolitan hubs buried under drifts of lake effect powder.
- These beautiful snowy destinations offer quintessential winter charm, with idyllic villages, glittering city skylines, and natural attractions all transformed by a blanket of white snow.
- Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, from playing in the snow and exploring charming downtowns to hitting the slopes at world-class ski resorts, making for endless magical moments in America’s prettiest snow-covered locales.
When sparkling blankets of snow transform cities into magical winter wonderlands, it’s a special time of year to travel. From snow-capped mountain towns to metropolitan hubs buried under drifts of lake effect powder, winter in the US brings stunning scenery unlike anywhere else in the world.
For those looking to experience the most beautiful snowy destinations in America this season, these are ten of the best places to visit in the US in winter to witness nature’s wonderland magic.
Whether travelers want to bundle up and play in the snow or enjoy an epic adventure in any of the classic and most popular ski resorts in the US, these snowy settings deliver quintessential winter charm. Idyllic villages become storybook hamlets, city skylines glitter with fresh snowfall, and natural attractions take on a whole new grandeur capped in white.
From exploring quaint downtowns to hitting the slopes at world-class ski resorts, there are endless magical moments to be had when visiting America’s prettiest snow-covered locales.
Syracuse, New York
East Genesee Street in downtown Syracuse, New York, located between the SA&K Building and the State Tower Building
With an average annual snowfall of more than 115 inches, Syracuse is one of the most beautiful snow-covered US cities. Travelers can take in stunning views as the snow coats landmarks like Crouse College and downtown’s Armory Square.
The city also boasts a vibrant arts scene and several unique museums.
- Average Snowfall: 130 inches
- Best Time to Visit: January through March
- Top Attractions: Erie Canal Museum, Landmark Theatre, Syracuse Zoo
Christmas lights along Church Street in Burlington, Vermont, USA
Nestled along the shores of the renowned Lake Champlain with the Adirondack Mountains as a backdrop, Burlington is among the most beautiful US cities in the winter; it looks like a winter paradise when covered in snow.
Famously, Burlington has lots to do in the fall and is a popular autumn destination, but it’s also among the best winter cities in the US, too. Travelers can take part in seasonal activities like ice skating on the lake or sipping hot cider after a day hitting the ski slopes. The Church Street Marketplace also makes for great shopping and dining in a quaint snow-covered downtown.
- When Ice is Experienced: December to March
- Things to Do: Lake Champlain cruises, ECHO Center, Church Street Marketplace
- Tour Duration: 3-5 days recommended
Aspen, United States
With majestic mountain vistas greeting travelers at every turn, Aspen is another one of the most beautiful US cities when it snows; it transforms into a magical snow globe scene every winter. It is no surprise it is one of the cities with the most beautiful winters in the US.
From hitting the world-renowned slopes to snowshoeing through the backcountry, Aspen offers limitless winter recreation. At night, travelers can cozy up next to the fireplaces found throughout the city’s charming lodges or dine at one of the top-rated restaurants in Aspen.
- Best Ski Resorts: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands
- Average Snowfall: 300+ inches
- Top Attractions: Maroon Bells, Aspen Art Museum, John Denver Sanctuary
Park City, Utah
Dog sledding in park city, Utah
Utah is known for its excellent skiing, and Park City is its crown jewel come wintertime. Just a short drive from Salt Lake City, Park City boasts three world-class ski resorts perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
Travelers can also go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride, check out the Sundance Film Festival, or simply relax in the hot tubs many accommodations boast.
- Best Ski Resorts: Park City, Deer Valley, Canyons
- Things to Do: Main Street, Alpine Coaster, Utah Olympic Park
- Average Snowfall: 350 inches
Northern lights illuminate the sky in Anchorage.
Anchorage truly becomes one of the most beautiful winter wonderland in the US, with nearly 75 inches of snow falling per year on average. Nestled between the Chugach Mountains (the closest mountain range to Anchorage) and Cook Inlet, the snow-covered views are breathtaking.
Travelers can take advantage of unique Alaskan activities like dog sledding, ice fishing, glacier trekking, and even reindeer sleigh rides. Or stay in town to peruse the sculptures at the Anchorage Museum.
- When Ice is Experienced: November to March
- Top Attractions: Flattop Mountain, Kincaid Park, Alaska Native Heritage Center
- Average Snowfall: 75 inches
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
Overlooking the shores of Lake Superior and with ski resort Spirit Mountain just minutes away, Duluth glistens after winter storms. Travelers can take in the magnificent lake views on the seven-mile Lakewalk trail or visit the Glensheen Mansion all dressed in white.
The city also boasts breweries, museums, and a vibrant arts district in Canal Park to enjoy.
- Things to Do: Lake Superior, Enger Tower, Great Lakes Aquarium
- Average Snowfall: 70+ inches
- Best Time to Visit: December to February
Snow in Bozeman, Montana
Surrounded by snowcapped peaks, Bozeman looks absolutely picturesque after wintertime snowfalls. Bridger Bowl ski resort sits just minutes from downtown, known for its fluffy “Bozeman champagne powder.”
Travelers can also enjoy snowmobiling, ice skating, sleigh rides, and more. After playing in the snow all day, downtown offers a lively restaurant and craft brewery scene to unwind in.
- Top Attractions: Museum of the Rockies, Bridger Bowl, Big Sky Resort
- Average Snowfall: 80+ inches
- Best Time to Visit: December through March
Leavenworth in winter
This Bavarian-style village looks like a charming European hamlet after getting blanketed in snow. Travelers can browse the local shops, go sledding and snow tubing on the hills nearby, and drink hot cocoa during a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
At night, Leavenworth lights up with holiday lights, making it feel even more like a winter wonderland. The village also hosts German-themed events and festivals all season long.
- When Ice is Experienced: November to April
- Things to Do: Skiing, sledding, sleigh rides
- Tour Duration: 2–3 days recommended
Buffalo, New York
Fireman’s Park in Buffalo, New York during winter
Buffalo sees its fair share of lake effect snow, with almost 100 inches blanketing the city each winter. As such, there’s no lack of whimsical winter adventures in Buffalo each year.
Travelers can take advantage of the chilly season by cross-country skiing through Delaware Park, snowshoeing at Chestnut Ridge Park, or ice skating at Canalside. Or witness the awesome power of Niagara Falls transformed into an icy wonder. At night, the city’s architecture glows under the winter sky for stunning light displays.
- Average Snowfall: 94 inches
- Top Attractions: Niagara Falls, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo Zoo
- Best Time to Visit: December to March
Traverse City, Michigan
Downtown Traverse City covered in snow in the winter, Michigan, USA
Overlooking Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City boasts incredible snow-covered views. Travelers can head to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to traverse towering dunes capped in snow. Or hit the slopes at one of the local ski resorts nearby.
At night, savor craft beer at the Hop Lot or indulge in Northern Michigan’s wine region. The downtown area also dazzles after fresh snowfalls.
- Things to Do: Sleeping Bear Dunes, wineries, breweries
- Average Snowfall: 50+ inches
- Best Time to Visit: January through March