Looking for an affordable winter escape? Whether you’re dreaming of heading south to sunnier shores or hoping to hit the slopes this ski season, winter getaways can be expensive. Choosing the perfect destination can be key to saving on your next vacation, so Hotels.com picked these 10 places for their great winter rates and found properties with below-average prices in each. Luckily, many of these spots happen to be located near major airports, too, so you can look for a great flight deal to save even more.
From Vail to Telluride to Steamboat Springs, Colorado has some of the nation’s best ski resorts, but travelers on a budget should opt to stay in Breckenridge, according to Hotels.com. This charming town has everything you need for a perfect ski vacation: You can hit the slopes on 187 trails across five peaks, explore the historic downtown, and even take a ride on the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster — all before resting at Gravity Haus, a trendy ski-in/ski-out hotel, or The Lodge at Breckenridge, a 45-room hotel offering great mountain views.
Park City, Utah
Another favorite U.S. ski destination, Park City has something for everyone, from first-time skiers to families. When you’re not skiing down the 330-plus trails, explore the shopping and dining options spread across three villages — Old Town, Mountain Village, and Canyons Village. Hotels.com suggests booking a stay at Newpark Resort or Zermatt Utah Resort & Spa Trademark Collection by Wyndham.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offers great skiing in an incredibly scenic part of the country. Of course, you can hit the slopes and enjoy fresh powder and exciting terrain, but there’s just as much to do off the mountain. Spot wildlife in the nearby National Elk Refuge, where thousands of elk spend their winters, or visit Grand Teton National Park. Jackson Hole is just 90 miles from Yellowstone’s south entrance, too, so this destination perfectly combines winter sports and outdoor adventure. Book at stay at The Lodge at Jackson Hole or The Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole for a great value
If you’d rather head south for warmer temperatures and sunny skies, Miami, Florida, could be your ideal destination. There’s plenty to do here, from walking along world-famous South Beach to browsing galleries in the Design District to visiting the nearby Everglades National Park or Biscayne National Park. Hotels.com recommends staying at Ithaca of South Beach Hotel or Palihouse Miami Beach.
San Diego, California
Even if it’s a little too chilly to take a dip in the ocean, there’s still lots to keep you occupied in San Diego during the winter months. Temperate winter weather means you can still soak in the scenery with outdoor activities like hiking or biking or visit the San Diego Zoo. Book at stay at Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego or The Sofia Hotel for affordable accommodations near popular attractions in Downtown San Diego.
Las Vegas, Nevada
You don’t have to be a high-roller to have a great time in Las Vegas. It’s free to stroll through the ornately decorated casinos along the Strip, but don’t miss the chance to explore nearby parks, like Red Rock Canyon. For an unforgettable day trip, take the approximately two-hour drive to the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. Check out the NoMad Las Vegas or Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa for an affordable stay.
Key West, Florida
With winter highs in the 70s, the Florida Keys offers a tropical getaway within the U.S. Take a drive down Florida’s 113-mile Overseas Highway — one of the most scenic drives in the country — before exploring this island’s palm tree-lined streets and beautiful beaches. Hotels.com recommends booking Kimpton Winslow’s Bungalows or The Gates Hotel Key West for a well-priced room.
With year-round sun and temperate, dry winter weather, Phoenix is ideal for travelers hoping to escape the cold. Explore the Sonoran Desert on a hike or bike ride, and be sure to check out the desert’s famous saguaro cacti. While in Phoenix, visit the Heard Museum to see Native American art and learn about local cultures, and take a tour of nearby Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home. Take a day trip to see the well-preserved cliff dwellings at Montezuma Castle National Monument or to charming, red rock-surrounded Sedona. Arrive Phoenix in Alhambra and Hyatt Regency Phoenix in the downtown area are affordable options for places to stay in the sunny city.
Known as the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is truly a year-round destination. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy frosty hikes through the park, skiing and snowboarding at Ober Gatlinburg, or thrilling rides on one of the area’s alpine coasters. Hotels.com recommends staying at Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa and The Park Vista for great rates.
Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Split between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is surrounded by lake and ski resorts offering a range of activities depending on the season. The Landing Resort & Spa is near Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, where visitors can traverse 4,800 skiable acres, and Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort is located in Incline Village, Nevada, close to Diamond Peak Ski Resort. The 72-mile drive around the perimeter of the lake is also one of the most beautiful winter road trips in the country.