Best Places to Travel in February: USA & Beyond
The end of the cold wintery season is coming to a close for many across the United States in February, which means something diferent for everyone. If you’re tired of the cold, you’ll want to plop down on pristine sand somewhere. For many in the South, we’re trying to embrace the winter season! That means at home we’re mostly going stir crazy and looking for the best places to travel in February. (We’re finishing up a home remodel, trying to get rid of those last Covid pounds, and working!)
This guide will cover the best cold and warm destinations to travel to in February. Beyond easily traveled USA destinations, we’ve also covered the international best places to travel in February!
COLD edition: Best Places To Visit In February in The USA
Are you from somewhere warm? In the Southern USA, February brings a few sprinkles of snow throughout the season with no more than 3 inches of accumulation. The most snow below the Mason-Dixon line is in North Carolina along the Atlantic Coast or in the mountains of West Virginia. Then in the Southwest USA, most areas stay arid and warm all through the winter.
When you’re craving that picturesque Polar Express experience, these are the best places to visit in February for a true winter wonderland adventure!
Yellowstone & Whitefish, Montana
We’ve recently become obsessed with all things western because of the show Yellowstone. If you haven’t watched it – we can tell you it’s worth a little binge-watching! Regardless of whether or not you’ve watched the show, you’ll appreciate the quiet wild beauty of Montana. Tourists can drive for hours in one of the most remotely beautiful destinations left in the USA. Visitors will leave feeling like they stepped back in time before the West was won.
- You’re reading the best places to travel in February in the USA. Are you a fan of dramatic landscapes far away from the crowds? Peruse our guide on all the best remote hiking destinations in the USA!
After you’ve checked into your cozy weekend retreat this February, book one of the above trips for what Montana does best in the winter: wildlife watching. Take wildlife watching tours across the Yellowstone National Park from half a day to multi-night camping trips. Tourists will see wolves, elk, and wild bison!
Any avid skiiers in your group? You won’t want to miss out on a little physical activity on your trip and with mountains coursing through the state like the Rocky’s, there must be somewhere to go skiing right? As a state, Montana isn’t necessarily the biggest skiing destination, but the gorgeous resort town of Whitefish Mountain is worth a trip! Rent a cozy cabin or stay at one of Whitefish Mountain’s many resort lodges to complete your weekend getaway.
Ready to head a little further South? After visiting Montana, a quick road trip to Aspen, Colorado just might be in order. No longer the land of swaying yellow leaves from the fall, Aspen in February is a true snow-lovers playground.
After choosing a resort, decide what kind of trip you’re looking for. Intense skiing or snowmobile tours through the Rockies? Maybe just a few hot tub soaks with good bourbon? Either way, Aspen has everything you could ask for in a winter resort town. Plenty of delicious restaurants around every corner, a good bookstore, and even an art museum!
- Need a little reprieve from the cold? Get our guide to the historic Glenwood Hotsprings. Less than an hour from Aspen, this naturally fed pool is the largest hot springs in the world! You’re reading ‘Best Places to Travel in February USA: Cold Destinations.’ Add this world wonder to your bucketlist best places to travel in February before it’s too warm to enjoy!
One of the more popular events in Aspen is a Full Moon Dinner. Under the twinkling light of the full moon in winter months, skiers can trek up Buttermilk Mountain to Cliffside for a scrumptious meal. Surf and turf spreads, cocktails, and more await those daring enough to take on the mountain!
BEST HOTELS IN ASPEN: The St. Regis Aspen Resort, The Little Nell, and Chamonix
After skiing your way through Aspen and scouting herds of elk in Montana, take time to visit the cutest Bavarian town in the USA! Leavenworth, Washington is one of the most perfect places to travel in February as a family. (Not to mention much more budget-friendly than Aspen, Colorado!)
So what to do in this tiny village in the Cascade Mountains? Visitors can play with reindeer at the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, then enjoy The Nutcracker Museum and even eagle watch at the stunning Wenatchee River!
- P.S. Seattle is only 2.5 hours away from Leavenworth. If you’re ready to get back to city life or see more of Washington, add one of these tours to your trip. Seattle is gorgeous as the water freezes along the banks of the Puget Sound. Together, Leavenworth and Seattle are some of the best cheap places to visit in February in the USA!
BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN LEAVENWORTH: Icicle Village Resort and Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. Going without the kids? Try the Post Hotel Leavenworth. It’s adults-only.
The Snowy Forest’s of Idaho
Idaho is often overlooked when planning vacations. Most people go in the summer, but it’s certainly one of the best places to travel in February! Every year, Idaho receives around 28 inches on average of snow. For anyone looking to traverse a winter wonderland, Idaho is a budget-friendly vacation gold mine!
(Are you road tripping with the kids? Find all of our favorite sugar-free road trip snacks here.)
There are hot springs, easy wintery hikes, snow tubing, and even snow sculpture competitions! All perfect for a relaxing long weekend getaway with the family. The best time to go is early February during the McCall Winter Carnival. Giant snow and ice sculptures are erected for the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships, and winners have created a Sphinx, snow gods, and even trains!
- Will you be doing any hiking? Make sure to read our guide on how to pack for day hiking!
BEST HOTELS IN IDAHO: Shore Lodge, The Scandia Inn
Travel The Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Whats keeps you warm from the inside, never freezes, and ages for 5-10 years before it’s ready?? If you guessed Kentucky bourbon – you’re correct!! (Because as Kentuckians, we’re not convinced any bourbon not actually distilled here is bourbon.. **sighs**) Nevertheless, adding a chunk of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to your list of ‘best places to travel in February’ is a must.
But which part of the state should you choose? If it were up to us to plan a bourbon lover’s itinerary for February, here’s what we would suggest:
Start by flying into Louisville’s SDF International Airport. From there, try one of the many distilleries peppering this river city’s streets. Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, The Old Forester Distillery Experience, and Evan Williams are just a few of the notable tours available. After your tour, make sure to share your adventures on Instagram! Our guide to 60 Kentucky Quotes and Instagram Captions will help you get the job done.
- BEST HOTELS IN LOUISVILLE: The Seelbach, The Omni, Moxy Louisville
After spending a few days in Louisville, take I-64E and head to Lexington. In February, catch blanket-covered horses dotting the snowy hills as you drive out to visit one of the most famous distilleries in the state: Woodford Reserve. You’ll also be able to watch a University of Kentucky basketball game! After seeing horses, sampling bourbon, and experiencing the mighty Big Blue Nation – you’re Kentucky certified!
- Best Hotels in Lexington: Origin Lexington, 21C Museum & Hotel, The Sire Hotel
Best Warm Places to Travel in February USA
There are parts of the United States that people keep personal snowblowers to clear their driveways. While it’s hard to wrap our minds around in the South, we imagine anyone would be ready for a little warm weather at the end of that kind of winter. The best destinations in February for warm weather are sprinkled across the southern portion of the US. Deserts, beaches, and marshy cities alike!
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a fun city pretty much year-round, but never more popular than during Mardi Gras and Carnival season in February. These Catholic traditional celebrations start in January at the end of the Christmas season and continue through March.
February is a great time to visit if you want to participate in these celebrations without being a part of the wild night that is Mardi Gras. (Mardi Gras takes place on ‘Fat Tuesday’, the day before Ash Wednesday.)
Carnival is the time to eat drink and feast before the sacrificial period of Lent. Traditional dress costumes, Renaissance masks, and beads are common for this time of year! Make sure you pack appropriately to keep safe in the crush of the crowds.
- After partying down in New Orleans, you might need to spend a weekend relaxing. There are plenty of resorts in the South including a few stunning plantations! Get our guide to the top 14 Resorts and Hotels in the South East USA.
BEST HOTELS IN NEW ORLEANS: The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, The Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Hotel Mazarin
The Beaches of Florida Keys
Looking to getaway to the warmest place you can road trip to? The Florida Keys island chain is the warmest part of the United States you can drive to. A true tropical oasis within the varied landscape of the USA – it’s a great destination for February for so many reasons! No.1? Finally soaking in all the Vitamin D you’ve been missing and lifting the wintertime blues.
Beyond being incredibly beautiful, the Florida Keys also boast an impressive array of pristine sandy shores. In Key Largo, Cannon Beach and Far Beach are well known to be some of the most beautiful beaches. Then on Marathon, the lesser-known beaches like Sombrero Beach and Curry Hammock State Park Beach beckon travelers from all over for a quiet experience.
- P.S. Looking for a good playlist for the beach? We have you covered with our Epic Lake & Beach Playlist. A little mix of country, rock and hip hop!
With the Keys becoming more and more popular every year, families will also find them to be one of the best places to travel in February in the USA. There are tons of activities ranging from parasailing to swimming with dolphins!
BEST RESORTS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS: Tranquility Bay Resort (Families), Cheeca Lodge & Spa (Adults), Bungalows Key Largo All-Inclusive Resort (Adults Only)
santa fe, new mexico
Beyond beaches, you may be looking to escape to the tranquility of painted skies and cactus blooms in the desert. Last on our list of best places to travel in February in the USA? Santa Fe, New Mexico. With a sky that seems to stretch for miles and picturesque mountains at the borders of the landscape, you can get a little of everything in Santa Fe. (Including skiing in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Taos or Sipapu!)
BEST HOTELS IN/NEAR SANTA FE: The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, La Posada De Santa Fe Resort & Spa (Budget-Friendly), The Inn of Five Graces
Did you know this region was originally the territory of the Anasazi? Their ancient Native American culture influences the region’s architecture, art and so much more. Tourists can visit popular attractions like the Museum of International Folk Art and the San Miguel Mission to their daily itineraries to get a further sense of these incredible Native American civilizations. If you’re looking for a little contemporary art, try the Georgia O’Keefe Museum!
- Have you ever seen a Southwest USA desert sunset? Specifically in Santa Fe, these legendary sunsets have inspired artists and musicians everywhere. Once you’ve watched the sun go down here, get our guide to The Best Sunsets In The USA!
Best International Places To Travel In February
Getting up early and catching your flights may not be your cup of tea, but traveling somewhere new may chip away at the nuisance! If none of the USA destinations have caught your fancy try playing tourist somewhere across the pond. (Or at least across the United States borders.)
See The Northern Lights In Canada
Have you ever wanted to see the Northern Lights? Even though it’s one of the most photographed natural phenomena in the world, very few people ever get to see them! To really get a good view, you won’t be near the big cities of Canada and the best time to go is December through February.
**Quick Tip** Are you’re planning this trip with your favorite adventurous lady? Get our guide to all of the best gifts for female travelers!
To see the Northern Lights without guided help, your best bet will be in Aurora Village. Almost everywhere else will require a guided tour to navigate the sub-40 temperatures and wildlife. This may be the most extreme adventure on our list of best places to travel in February, but well worth it to see these elusive and magical light shows!!
- Want a guided tour? Book a Northern Light’s sightseeing guide through the hinterlands of the Canadian Yukon.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Located on Mexico’s rocky shores between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean – Cabo has long been a romantic getaway for lovers. Although great any time of year, Cabo’s temperatures hover in the upper 70s during the day in February. (A far cry from below freezing in much of the US!) This little beach oasis has quickly become one of the best places to travel in February for a quick getaway outside of the United States.
With picturesque stretches of sandy beaches and tons of resorts offering upscale cocktails, spas, and excursions – there’s little to worry about!
GORGEOUS RESORTS IN CABO: Zoetry Casa del Mar Los Cabos, Grand Velas Los Cabos Luxury All-Inclusive Resort, ME Cabo
The Austrian Alps
What’s better than skiing in on a resort in the USA? Skiing the famous Austrian Alps! Famous for some of the worlds steepest runs amidst gentle slopes for the less adventurous, the Austrian Alps are a bucket list winter destination.
Put the lovely and historic town of Kitzbühel into your running for best places to travel in Feburary. Situated in the Alps betwen the bigger cities of Salzbureg and Innsbruck – there’s more to do than just shredding fresh Alpine snow. High-end shopping, luxury resorts and upscale restaurants line the charming streets overlooking the mountins. Perfect for a romantic couples getaway in February!
BEST HOTELS IN KITZBUHEL: Grand Tirolia Kitzbuhel, Tennerhorf Gourmet & Spa de Charme Hotel, Hotel Kaiserhof (Budget Friendly)
When we traveled to Venice in September, it was a lovely fall atmoshphere, but BOY was it crowded. Everywhere we went more people were streamed out of museums and crowded eateries dotting the sidewalks. February, however, is a great time to visit Venice because it’s off season. Walk the historic city streets as snow gently falls on the canals that you’ll have to yourself for the most part! (Especially if you go on a week day!)
BEST HOTELS IN VENICE: Palazzo Veneziano (Budget Friendly!), The Gritti Palace (Luxury Stay), Bauer Hotel (Mid-range and romantic!)
Another reason to add Venice to your ‘best places to travel in February bucketlist’ is for the cities historic Carnival celebrations. (We mentioned New Orleans as one of the best places to travel in February in the USA for this same reason!)
The atmoshphere is electric with glittering masks covering the faces of every passerby, glamourous coture ball gowns sweeping the eerie streets and parades around every corner. Venice in February is truly a delight for the senses, and a photographer’s day dream.
- Looking for more Italy inspiration?! Get our guide to 10 Romatnic Things You Must Do In Italy and our Ultimate Guide to Transportation in Italy.
Did you know that on the opposite side of the world from the USA, the Earth quite literally spins differently? In February in the USA, our temperatures are the darkest berfore the dawn. The coldest temperatures sit heavy over the states before the spring thaws us out in March. In Australia though, our winter is their summer!
This means Australia is a bucketlist best places to travel in February for anyone in the world. Temperatures hover in the upper 70s and 80s, snorkeling is in full swing and beaches are pristine. All of those blog posts people have written about how to pack for a two week backpacking trip will come in handy when you only need a few dresses and bikinis!!
Plan ahead with our ultimate beach packing guide and make sure to book your hotel early. February is the most popular time for vacation in Australia because schools let out in January.
BEST HOTELS IN PERTH: Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough (Beachfront!), Joondalup Resort (Budget Friendly)
Haven’t had enough of the beach yet? Get our guides for enjoying an amazing two weeks in Aruba and how to do your own ATV island tour!! Then, find one of the best-kept secrets in Aruba: Tres Trapi Beach.
For more of the best places to travel in the winter in the USA, check out our guide for our favorite winter hike in the USA so far and all the best places to travel in December! We also have monthly travel inspiration for July, August, and September, but until then, maybe find a good book to curl up with? Shelb’s is a huge reader and these are just a few of the books she’s curled up with during past winters.
Doing a roadtrip out west? Get our guides for 24 Hours in Las Vegas, the stunning red landscapes of Monument Valley and how to explore Native American culture across Arizona!
Inspiration for students: Still trying to decide what you want to be or where you want to go in life? We have a few practical guides that might help!
Share This Guide!
Looking to get away this February? Whether you need something warm or to chase that powdery fresh snow, these are all the best destinations to getaway! Share this guide with your gal pals, your family, or friends and get something on the books.
P.S. If you’re traveling with friends – here are 13 strategies for not going crazy during group travel!
Best Places To Visit In February Quick Guide
- Yellowstone, Montana
- Aspen, Colorado
- Leavenworth, Washinton
- McCall, Idaho
- Central Kentucky & the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Beaches of Florida, Keys
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- See The Northern Lights in Canada
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- The Austrian Alps
- Venice, Italy
- Perth, Australia
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Until next time friends,