America’s Best Cities for Winter Travel ( part 3 )

No. 25 Atlanta

Winter is actually travelers’ favorite time of year here—perhaps because the season tends to be relatively tame—and the city is a business-travel magnet year-round. Otherwise, readers’ favorite things here were two great tastes that don’t necessarily go together: barbecue and luxury shopping.



Portland Head Lighthouse in winter, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USANo. 26 Portland, ME

Even though Portland is much-loved in the summer, the New England city has plenty of accessible winter fun—sledding, cross-country skiing, and ice skating on actual lakes. Some of the city’s best qualities are both year-round and indoors: checking out the highly ranked antique stores, or touring the famed Shipyard Brewery to taste why the city is famed for its microbrews.



Kansas CityNo. 27 Kansas City, MO

Passionate sports fans don’t care if it’s blustery outside: they’re inside the local sports bars watching college hoops. You can also find exceptional values in the city known for both affordability as well as barbecue. And here’s some reassurance if the roads get slick: locals have a reputation for some impressive driving skills.



Lincoln memorial, Washington monument and Capitol, WashingtonNo. 28 Washington, D.C.

If you want to explore the Smithsonian without hordes of tourists and school groups, this is a fine time to visit our nation’s capital. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting your rental car to start in the cold: the city has extremely accessible mass transit.



SeattleNo. 29 Seattle

Drizzly? Yes. Dark? Sure. But the Northwestern city has actually become increasingly popular for travelers. Besides, winter is a fine time to sample the nation’s best coffee. There’s also something to be said for all that quality time inside: Seattle residents are known for being smart and tech-savvy.



No. 30 Baltimore

Even though those famous crabs are out of season, the city’s waterfront gets lit up throughout the holidays, and travlers love the city’s best indoor diversion: the local classical music.



Portland, OregonNo. 31 Portland, OR

What’s not to love about this outdoorsy city? Walkable streets, fabulous street food, and a pet-friendly attitude—but its soggy winters put a damper on all of that. Pack enough Gore-Tex, however, and you can still find your way to the acclaimed coffeehouses and micropubs.



bostonNo. 32 Boston

The original Boston Tea Party happened on a December night in 1773—proof that you can whoop it up here during the winter. But today’s preferred activities are inside and near a heating vent: cheering at a Bruins or Celtics game, or taking in a concert.



No. 33 Anchorage

Granted, most people would rather come to this Alaska city during summer, to soak up the midnight sun and majestic landscape. But the cold, snowy winter is high season for seeing the eerily beautiful northern lights—especially if you get a little outside the city. Hotel rates plummet this time of year, too, a nice perk in a city that’s otherwise extremely expensive.



Minneapolis5No. 34 Minneapolis/St.Paul

Visitors love the Twin Cities for being clean and safe, but such niceties can go only so far when the mercury dwindles this much. If you know how to dress for the cold, though, you can join the locals tobogganing in Theodore Wirth Park, or snap great pics in front of the frozen Minnehaha Falls. Then get inside: both the local theater as well as the live music scenes are hot.



CHICAGONo. 35 Chicago

People tend to take the whole “Windy City” notion pretty literally. While it may not sound that enticing to stroll outside and admire the top-ranked architecture during winter, it’s hard to argue with that soul-warming pizza, a night of theater, or a cozy evening in a bar. To embrace the weather, go to one of the Polar Adventure Days on the city’s Northerly Island, featuring craft-making, folk music, snowshoeing, and meet-and-greets with Siberian huskies.


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