Travel & Leisure
America’s Top 5 Cities for Winter Travel
1. St. Louis, Missouri
Daytime temperatures are usually in the 40s during winter months, but when it feels too cold to be outside, there is a lot to do indoors. The palatial St. Louis Art Museum founded in 1879 and moved to its current home during the 1904 World’s Fair, which is one of the country’s premier museums. Visitors can ride a tram to the top of the Gateway Arch, the tallest man made monument in the United States at 630 feet, for a spectacular view of the city or cruise the Mississippi in a riverboat to enjoy the St. Louis Skyline.
2. Biloxi, Mississippi
This small Gulf Coast city has recovered from Hurricane Katrina’s extensive damage, and it’s better than ever with new restaurants, hotels, and casinos. Temperatures in the 60s make it pleasant in winter and a good time to visit the 1848 Biloxi Lighthouse, ride the open air Biloxi Tour Train through the city’s historic district, or take a boat trip for shrimping or fishing. The Mardi Gras Museum features displays of costumes, photos, and artifacts from many years of the annual celebration.
3. St. George, Utah
A four-hour scenic drive or short flight from Salt Lake City, St. George offers mild winters and a desert climate with daytime temperatures in the 50s and cooler nights. Their historic downtown features museums, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Nearby spectacular Zion National Park is open all year, with hiking and mountain biking trails. Snow Canyon State Park, with red rock mountains, horseback riding, and gorgeous scenery seldom sees snow – it’s actually named after past Utah leaders named Snow, not the white stuff.
4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
With more than 500 inches of snowfall each year, the ski slopes attract lovers of the sport, but there’s also snow tubing, ice skating, snowmobiling, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and back country skiing. Snow coach tours to nearby Yellowstone National Park make it possible to explore the park in a comfortable, warm vehicle with access to Old Faithful, bubbling mud pots, and wildlife. Snowmobile tours through Yellowstone are also available for an exciting winter adventure.
5. Astoria, Oregon
This historic city, founded as a fur trading post in 1811, is set on the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific. A two-hour drive from Portland and three hours from Seattle, Astoria is connected to Washington by the 4.1-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge. The fascinating Columbia River Maritime Museum describes the treacherous waters of the Columbia Bar along with local history of the salmon fishing area. The quaint downtown features the restored 1925 Liberty Theater, the Flavel House Museum, restaurants, and shops.