Our Favourite US Winter Destinations, From Sun to Snow
Whether it's snow and a fresh coastal breeze or a sunny retreat to forget the cold, we've got you covered for where to spend winter in the US.
Everyone likes to celebrate winter (and the festive season that comes with it) in different ways. Some will prefer to be surrounded by the soft snow of the Rockies, knocking back tequilas in the après-ski bars of the exclusive hubs of Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail after a day of learning to ski. Others would enjoy taking a brisk walk by the water in the Hamptons, while some of you want to skip the whole winter vibe altogether, which can certainly be done in Los Angeles. The City of Angels is like a year-round film set, sunny and warm at all times. Plum Guide has deluxe homes spread far and wide across this vast country, and we’ve sent a team to check out each and every one to ensure they’re perfect for your stay. Without further ado, here’s our list of the best US winter destinations.
We felt we just had to start with this charming town in the Rockies, because it hosts the famous Race of the Santas. Countless contestants, almost certainly including a member of your party, dress up as Santa (you know the drill, big tummy, red costume…a beard) and waddle along a 5K-route to reach the finish line. If that wasn’t enough festive fun, there’s also a Holiday Dog Parade on Main Street, where no Scrooges are allowed (so says its website). Of course, the winter continues long after Christmas is done and dusted, so it’s a good thing you also have 187 ski slopes, with spas, restaurants and bars making up an eclectic après-ski setting. Unwind completely and forget the blizzards outside in the Rejuvenation Spa at One Ski Hill Place in the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Go for fine dining in the Aurum Food & Wine Breckenridge or the Hearthstone Restaurant.
Colorado is without a doubt one of the best US winter destinations, which is why we've included two of its wintry towns on the list (Aspen, Vail and Steamboat Springs are all worth a look too). Telluride is a one size fits all kind of place. It’s as luxurious as its competitors in the Rocky Mountains, and has a bit of everything, from its ice skating ring and Santa workshop to its excellent ski facilities and spas. Don’t miss the Torchlight Parade and fireworks displays to celebrate Christmas.
The Hamptons, New York
So, you’ve already rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous in the Rocky Mountains, but feel like those shoulders could do with a bit more rubbing. Then, to the Hamptons with you. Many of those mansions you see in the villages making up the eastern end of Long Island are on our books, and you can find them here at Plum Guide. Curl up by the fire of one of our cosy homes, looking out at the snow covering the scenic coastline. Get your boots on and embark on snow-laden nature trails or go ice skating. It’s less crowded in winter, so you can stroll along the snowy beach in utter tranquillity.
All this talk of snow is making us shiver. It might be that you’re not a cold-blooded creature, and seek warmth whenever possible. Los Angeles is warm year-round, so you can still do all of that Hollywood stuff without a thick coat. Stroll along Venice Beach and snap photos of the topless models doing their thing on Muscle Beach. Post said pics on social media to make all the cold, shivering folk back home jealous. This is particularly effective if you’ve managed to work up a tan. Then head back to your Plum Guide home – choose from one of the many we’ve got in Los Angeles. Bring the kids to Universal Studios or Disney World and continue showing off to everyone else stuck back home.
The best US winter destinations don't have to be all about snow and snuggling up: how about sea and surf? If you want something a little less Hollywood, but just as warm and delicious, get on down to San Diego. They’ve got the famous San Diego Zoo, as well as the Liberty Public Market, the ice skating rink at the Hotel del Coronado and Balboa Park. Go whale watching from the beach and enjoy the pleasant, sunny weather that’ll make you forget that it’s even winter.