Although the weather has been bouncing around, winter has finally come.  Whether you’re looking for a good ski trip or want to check out a tropical island to escape from the cold, there are luckily plenty of great winter getaways located right in the US.  Listed below are some reasonably-priced American vacation winter destinations, based on an article I found on the site “Budget Travel”:

Key West Florida

Fort Jefferson, a massive but unfinished coastal fortress, is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, with more than 16 million bricks.

Key West, FL: With its reputation for a hard-partying vacation spot, Key West doesn’t disappoint those looking for a rocking spring break.  Yet it also offers something for those looking for something more quiet, with kayaking, art galleries and stellar beaches.

Old San Juan

Old San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: With old-world charm (it’s one of the oldest European settlements in the Americas), spicy music and food, plenty of beaches and natural beauty, Puerto Rico has something for everybody who wants to go somewhere warm this winter season.

River Run Village

The River Run Village.

Keystone, CO: With a strict “kids-ski-free” policy, this is a great place to take your family for a ski trip.  The resort has a range of reasonable lodgings, and the River Run Village has the perfect amount of small-town charm.

Tybee Island GA

Sunset on Tybee Island.

Tybee Island, GA: Conveniently located just 17 miles away from Savannah, Tybee Island stands over five miles of perfect beach, and features an old-timey boardwalk and affordable low-key lodgings.

Vegas Christmas time decorations

Holiday decoartions in the Bellagio.

Las Vegas, NV: Although it’s gone one heck of a reputation already, Las Vegas could be developing into a new Christmas city, with incredible displays that still don’t look out-of-place in the middle of the desert.  You can also find lodging here for under $50 a night, and while it’s traditionally a gambling place, there’s plenty of kid-friendly entertainment as well.

Harry Potter Universal Studios

Diagon Alley in Universal Studios.

Orlando, FL: While Disney has held court here for some time now, Universal Studios’ Hogwarts park has been attracting no shortage of Harry Potter fans since it opened, and the momentum doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo.

San Diego: Forever staying classy, San Diego features one of the best zoos in the country, with polar bears, pandas, gorillas, hippos and tigers.  You can purchase combo tickets that can get you into the zoo, as well as museums and other parks.

Stratton ski slopes

The ski slopes in Stratton.

Stratton, VT: Not only one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the country, Stratton also features amazing terrain and one of the most reasonable lift ticket programs in America.

French quarter New Orleans

On the corner of Royal and St. Peter Streets, the heart of New Orleans’ “French Quarter”.

New Orleans, LA: Mardi Gras aside, New Orleans calls tourists with cobblestone streets, jazz and unforgettable food.  If you can visit before Mardi Gras, you’ll be able to save big.


A golf course in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale, AZ: If you can make it out in December, Scottsdale has got desert sun, spa treatments and golf courses.  Yet beware: prices go up fast after the holidays.

Catalina island California

Overlooking the bay on Catalina Island.

Catalina, CA: About 20 miles off the coast, you arrive here via ferry for browsing and relaxing.  There are no cars, but you can rent a golf cart to move faster.

Big ben jackrabbits

Black-tailed jackrabbits are a common site at Big Bend National Park.

Big Bend National Park: Right on the border between the US and Mexico is the Santa Elena Canyon, which in the winter offers a temperate climate, sparse rain and not too many people.

Honolulu shark cage

If you’re on the more adventurous side, you can go cage diving in Hawaii.

Honolulu: The weather here is always great, but it does get a bit rainy in the winter.  Yet this means misty mornings, rainbows and plenty of hotel bargains, which is a pretty decent trade-off.

St. Croix reef

St. Croix is known for its coral reefs.

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands: With excellent swimming, snorkeling and golf, America’s easternmost point might be small, but it packs one heck of a punch.

caladesi island florida

The white sandy beaches and clear-blue waters of Caladesi Island.

Caladesi Island, FL: This is one of America’s “secret islands” that’s always warm, with three miles of beach and a boardwalk nature trail.  However, there are no hotels, so stay in nearby Clearwater Beach.

Bridger Bowl

The powder in Bridger Bowl is some of the best in the country.

Bridger Bowl, MT: In the heart of the rockies, this ski town has beginner-to-expert terrain and tons of affordable lodging packages.  Nearby is Bozeman, which is home to the Museum of the Rockies, which features both history of Montana and dinosaur fossils.