10 Happiest Winter Travel Destinations in the U.S.

Increase personal happiness with winter travel

Traveling during the winter months can increase personal happiness during the most depressing time of the year. To help beat the winter blues, Hilton HHonors commissioned a study to identify the happiest U.S. cities to travel to during the winter months.

“Research shows that the anticipation and savoring that comes from an upcoming vacation often increases a person’s level of happiness,” said Dr. Aymee Coget, happiness expert and CEO of the American Happiness Association. The destinations  selected by Sperling’s BestPlaces were judged by their ranking in a number of categories: relaxation, nature, culture, climate, uniqueness, accessibility, and urban appeal.

 
Each city was rated on its annual number of sunny days; average winter temperatures; number of restaurants; number of cultural institutions; number of bars, lounges, and nightclubs; and number of ice cream shops.
 

The Ten Happiest Winter Cities

  1. Tucson, AZ: 286 annual sunny days, 39 golf courses, above average temperatures
  2. St. Petersburg, FL: Fort De Soto Park, home of “America’s Top Beach” for its seven miles of waterfront, is just a short drive away
  3. Charleston, SC: history, southern charm, mid-sixties winter temperatures 
  4. Napa-Sonoma, CA: as the off-season for Napa and Sonoma, travelers can still enjoy the 452 wineries, blooming mustard fields, and temperate weather
  5. Seattle, WA: highest concentration of coffee shops in the U.S. (612), 26 major museums, and some of the best music and food in the country
  6. Los Angeles, CA: 284 sunny days a year, nearly 200 ice cream shops for vacationers to cool down, and possible celebrity sightings
  7. Palm Springs, CA: Hollywood’s former playground has plenty of luxurious desert architecture tours to keep vacationers active when they aren’t relaxing at the spa                                
  8. Washington, D.C.: Fewer crowds visit America’s capital in the winter, 23 national monuments, and dozens of restaurant stops
  9. Las Vegas, NV: the winner for most sunny days (294), Las Vegas’ weather is more comfortable in the winter, 120+ casinos and countless shows
  10. Houston, TX: Good drinks and good eats with more than 2,100 bars and 5,123 restaurants—and for an added kick, 12 custom boot makers

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