Nine Winter Vacation Ideas if You Live in the Southeast U.S. (Closer to Home)

Top photo: Nashville, TN. Maybe not your typical winter vacation spot, but there’s plenty of iconic indoor attractions to explore in any weather. Photo credit Chad Morehead via Unsplash

I could really use a vacation, and I’m not the only one. According to Expedia’s Annual Vacation Deprivation study earlier this year, 81% of working adults worldwide are placing more value on vacation. Here in the U.S., 64 percent of respondents reported they felt vacation deprived, and 26% noted they haven’t taken a vacation in over a year, compared to 16 percent in 2019. If you live in the southeast U.S. like me, and you want to avoid long plane trips and overcrowded destinations, this article is for you. I did some research on the best Winter vacation destinations near the east coast, and this is what I found:

The PlanetWare travel website has a few good cold-weather suggestions, including:

• Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont: “You will find hundreds of trails throughout the state crossing natural and pristine woodlands that you can explore with your own skis or rentals. Many resorts offer ski excursions that include a hot lunch or other perks to complement your day in the snow.” PlanetWare

• Skiing in the Finger Lakes, New York: I grew up skiing in the northeast, and there are some great options that are easy to get to from major highways. Likely, this area won’t be as over-crowded as the major resorts in Vermont or Colorado, too.

• Take in Iconic Sites in New York City: There is nothing like NYC, and you’ll find some of the best travel deals after the holidays.

The PureWow website adds some warmer-weather destinations, including:

Naples, Florida: “Sun-seekers looking for a more subdued, relaxing alternative to Miami and Key West should consider Naples. This upscale vacation destination on Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast is one of the best towns in the Sunshine State and has a lot to do for families with kiddos, couples and retirees.” – PureWow

Photo: I have never been to New Orleans, but it’s on my vacation wish list!

New Orleans, Louisiana: This is one of the destinations on this list that I have never been to. If you’ve been there, please share your thoughts in the comments below! I know the sites are legendary, and the winter temperatures are mild.

Charlottesville, Virginia: “Charlottesville puts wineries, farm-to-table fare and history within easy reach. It’s chilly, but far from frost-bite status so that shouldn’t be a deterrent from doing things outdoors. Just pack a coat and you’re ready to go…” – PureWow

Travel & Leisure’s website adds a few more interesting options:

Boston, Massachusetts: Boston has so many great historic sites, shopping destinations, dining options, and more… just be sure to bundle up!

Nashville, Tennessee: “Armed with a scarf and some hot cocoa, you’ll be ready to take on the Music City. Many of Nashville’s most iconic attractions are actually indoors (think live music in the city’s famous honky-tonks, the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the National Museum of African American Music).” – Travel & Leisure

Miami, Florida: If you want warm temperatures and sunny skies, you can’t beat Miami for a winter vacation!

I hope this gave you some ideas for destinations that are not too far from your home in the southeast U.S.

Have any suggestions to add to the list? Leave a comment below!

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