19 Most Beautiful Cities in America

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Exploring the United States during winter can be an incredible adventure. There are so many beautiful cities that truly capture the magic of the season. From snowy landscapes to festive vibes, these places are perfect for a winter getaway. Here are 19 of the most stunning U.S. cities to visit during this cozy time of the year.

1. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado
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Aspen’s charm lies in its breathtaking Rocky Mountain backdrop and top-notch ski slopes. The town’s streets, filled with chic boutiques and cozy restaurants, give off a classic winter vibe that’s both fancy and welcoming.

2. New York City, New York

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
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In New York City, winter is more than just the holiday season. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the city from observation decks like The Edge or One World Observatory, giving you a different perspective of the winter landscape​​. Explore the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and take in the scenic views of Manhattan and the East River​​. Museums like the American Museum of Natural History offer a warm escape from the cold, where you can spend hours discovering natural wonders and historical artifacts​​. For those wanting outdoor adventure, Central Park in winter is magical, perfect for a brisk walk or ice skating at one of its rinks​

3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
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If you’re an outdoorsy type, Jackson Hole is a paradise. The Grand Teton National Park and the challenging slopes of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offer stunning views and thrilling adventures. Plus, the town itself has this rustic charm with wooden walkways and cool art galleries.

4. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaNevada
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Lake Tahoe is one of America’s treasures with its serene lake surrounded by mountains. The ski resorts like Heavenly and Squaw Valley are fantastic, and there’s an activity for everyone, whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, or just taking in the views.

5. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico
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Santa Fe in winter is an absolute delight! The adobe-style buildings, classic Southwestern structures are beautiful when they’re covered in a fine layer of snow. It’s a sight straight out of a painting and deserves a spot on this list.

6. Portland, Oregon

Portland Oregon in winter -
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Portland, during winter, offers a unique blend of urban charm and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for those wanting a mix of city life and outdoor activities. The city’s mild winter weather is perfect for exploring the eclectic neighborhoods, vibrant food scene, and many (many!) coffee shops that provide a cozy refuge from the outdoors. Additionally, Portland’s proximity to the mountains makes it easy to access winter sports and scenic hikes, showcasing the stunning Pacific Northwest at its best.

7. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago in winter
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Chicago in winter is like a giant snow globe, with tall buildings covered in snow and bright lights shining on the streets. Even when it’s cold, there’s a lot to do inside, like visiting amazing museums and watching shows. Plus, you can go ice skating in Millennium Park or check out the cool winter events and markets, making Chicago a fun and lively place to explore during the winter season.

8. Anchorage, Alaska

Dogs dog mushing in Anchorage Alaska
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In winter months, Anchorage is a snowy wonderland where you can see nature’s magic up close. With fewer tourists, you can enjoy all the outdoor fun like dog sledding, skiing, and maybe even the northern lights. The city feels cozy, and there are plenty of places to warm up and learn about Alaska’s culture and wildlife, making Anchorage a special spot for winter adventures.

9. Park City, Utah

Park City Canyons Ski Area in Utah
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Park City is a winter paradise with activities like skiing at Park City Mountain and Deer Valley. For family fun, Woodward Park City offers snow tubing with tracks for all ages. Explore the historic Main Street for shopping and dining, or learn about the area’s Olympic history at the Utah Olympic Park and its Alf Engen Ski Museum

10. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
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Boston in winter dazzles with activities like skating on Frog Pond and exploring the festive ZooLights at Stone Zoo. Venture out to Blue Hills for nearby skiing, or dine in a cozy igloo overlooking the city at The Envoy Igloo Bar. Indoors, the Boston Public Library and Museum of Science offer escapes from the cold with rich educational experiences​

11. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina
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Asheville in winter offers a charming mix of outdoor and cultural activities. Explore the frosty beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway or enjoy skiing at Cataloochee Ski Area. Inside, the Biltmore Estate’s winter tours provide a glimpse of opulence and history, while Asheville’s breweries and cafes offer warm, inviting spaces to unwind and savor local flavors. It’s the perfect amount of cozy Southern charm.

12. Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
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Breckenridge is another American winter playground, offering cross-country skiing at Gold Run and the Breckenridge Nordic Centers, surrounded by stunning mountain vistas​​. The town’s craft beer scene will warm you up with local brews from Breckenridge Brewery and other cozy spots​​. Main Street dazzles with its historic charm, shopping, and dining, while the International Snow Sculpture Championships provide a one-of-a-kind artistic display​​​​. The gondola ride is a must-do, showcasing Breckenridge’s natural beauty from above.

13. Sedona, Arizona

Courthouse Butte in Sedona, Arizona
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In Sedona, you’ll find a blend of natural splendor and luxurious relaxation. Adventure seekers can enjoy scenic drives, hot air balloon rides, or explore the unique trails like the West Fork Trail, showcasing the area’s winter beauty. There’s no shortage of cultural experiences with visits to local wineries, art galleries, and the festive Tlaquepaque Art Village, giving a taste of Sedona’s heritage and local flavors​.

14. Bar Harbor, Maine

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine
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While Maine gets a ton of recognition during leaf-peeping season, it’s surprisingly peaceful during winter. Located on the coast, Bar Harbor offers a serene escape. The trails of Acadia National Park offer scenery that is ideal for outdoor adventures like snowshoeing or peaceful winter hikes. And after a day spent outdoors, the cozy inns dotting the coastline provide the perfect retreat.

15. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
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Winter season in Charleston offers a delightful mix of activities, from festive events to cultural experiences. Enjoy the Lowcountry Oyster Festival at Boone Hall Plantation, featuring fresh oysters, contests, and live music. Explore historic sites like Fort Sumter National Historical Park for a dive into American Civil War history or take a leisurely stroll along King Street, known for its shops and vibrant architecture​​​​. With Charleston’s mild winter weather, it’s also perfect for outdoor activities like visiting Kiawah Island or Sullivan’s Island for beach walks, nature trails, and historical exploration​​.

16. Taos, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley resort in Taos, New Mexico
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Winter in Taos is great for snow fun at Taos Ski Valley, with slopes for all kinds of skiers and snowboarders​​. If you’re not into skiing, the hot springs near Taos, like Manby and Black Rock, are perfect for warming up and chilling out​​. Visiting the Taos Pueblo offers a cool peek into over a thousand years of history, showing how people lived long ago.

17. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan
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You know Traverse City for its stunning cherry orchards in the summer, but come winter, it transforms into an enchanting snowscape. You’ll find the town has a cozy winter vibe, with its downtown area bustling with cute shops, cozy cafes, and restaurants serving up delicious winter dishes.

18. Hood River, Oregon

Hood River, Oregon
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Hood River is the ideal getaway for nature lovers. After a day on the slopes, the local craft breweries offer the perfect spot to unwind with a locally brewed beer while soaking in incredible river views. It’s this laid-back vibe against the majestic landscape that makes Hood River the ideal mix of adventure and relaxation during winter.

19. Stowe, Vermont

Base ski lodge in Stowe, VT
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Ah, Stowe—the epitome of New England charm, and not just in the fall! During winter months, the town itself becomes a picture-perfect postcard with its classic church steeple and quaint streets filled with cozy inns and shops. And let’s not forget those cozy lodges—perfect for warming up after a day on the slopes!

We Spent Three Days on Mackinac Island and This is What It Was Like

horse drawn carriage
Image Credit: Karee Blunt | Our Woven Journey

Stepping onto Mackinac Island feels like entering a storybook setting. It has a Norman Rockwell meets Disneyland’s Main Street type of feel, which had us immediately enchanted, soaking in the nostalgic charm and timeless beauty around every corner.

Recently, my family and I were invited to come and experience what Mission Point Resort has to offer on Mackinac Island. Not having been before, we weren’t sure what to expect of an island where cars weren’t allowed, but we were (very!) pleasantly surprised by the charm and quaintness the island offers.

Here’s what it was like to spend a few days in this laid-back Michigan town.

We Spent Three Days on Mackinac Island and This is What it Was Like

No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries

woman backpacker tourist
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

If you’re an American citizen traveling out of the country, you have to have a passport to be allowed into somewhere else, right? While that’s mostly true, there are some exceptions. Some are independent countries, while others are U.S. territories that largely operate independently.

Note: Before you visit any of these places, make sure you look into what the entry requirements are. For example, you may need an enhanced ID or proof of certain vaccinations.

No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries

Featured Image Credit: Victoria Fox/Shutterstock

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