Category Archives: USA

Travel guides to help you plan your trip to the United States.

1-4 day itineraries and things to do in popular states including New York, Boston, Chicago and Austin.

Winter in Montana: Fun Winter Activities & Snow Destinations

Scenic view of lake and snow with an sitting on a bench at Glacier National Park in winter

Winter in Montana is an experience you should have at least once. 

The state is absolutely breathtaking when blanketed in snow, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy no matter what your interests are. 

Montana is home to some of the best skiing in the country, and whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s a slope that’s perfect for you.

If you’re not into hitting the slopes, you can always go for a scenic hike or build a snowman with the kids.

To help plan your trip, this guide listed down places to visit and activities you can do during winter in the state.

If you scheduled your trip earlier and are looking for things to do in Montana in November, read this guide.

Northwest Montana in Winter

Let’s start in the northwest of Montana, where the temps are freezing and the powder is fresh.

This region is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts hoping to ski, board, or even bike!

Things to Do in Whitefish, MT in Winter

Whitefish, Montana in winter is a great place to enjoy the snow and the cold.

There are many ways to stay busy here, from skiing and snowboarding to ice fishing and fat biking.

Plus, if you want to get the most out of your trip, you can spend a full day of activities in one of Montana’s winter resorts located in the area.

Ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort

If you’re looking to ski, snowboard, or snowshoe in Whitefish Montana, then the Whitefish Mountain Resort (1015 Glades Dr) is a must-visit.

Located in Big Mountain in northwest Montana, the resort gets more than 200 inches of snow during winter making it an ideal location for winter activities.

The resort also offers lift rides and ski lessons, as well as equipment rentals.

Ski boarder at sunset on snowy mountain

Go for a Bike Ride through the Snow

Winter fat biking is a popular pastime in Montana in the winter.

Guests can visit Whitefish Bike Retreat (​855 Beaver Lake Road, Whitefish) to rent a winter bike with fat tires and explore the snow-covered Whitefish trails.

The Whitefish Bike Retreat also offers lodging, guides, and everything you need to take a bike ride through the snow.

Take an Ice Fishing Lesson on Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake Charters (14980 MT Hwy 35, Bigfork) offers guided ice fishing lessons on Flathead Lake.

A guide will take your group out to the lake, show you how to drill a hole, and provide all the equipment you need for ice fishing.

It’s a great way to enjoy the winter weather while trying something new.

Winter Activities in Western Montana

Western Montana during winter is worth the visit because the landscape is absolutely stunning- blanketed in a layer of snow, the mountains and forests take on a whole new level of beauty. 

And there are few better ways to experience this than by strapping on a pair of skis or a snowboard and hitting the slopes. 

Below are more of the winter-worthy activities you can find in the region.

Experience Glacier National Park, Montana in Winter

One of the best places to visit in Montana during the winter is Glacier National Park.

You can simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-covered peaks and valleys in the area.

The park also offers tons of natural trails that are perfect for cross-country skiing, but none are as majestic as Going-To-The-Sun Road.

Going-To-The-Sun Road is over 12 miles of great views of the glaciers, lakes, and wildlife that make up the park.

It can be difficult to do the whole road in one go, so it is suggested that you take on small parts of the road at a time, especially during the avalanche season.

Glacier National Park is also featured in our list of national parks for backpacking

Scenic view of lake and snow with an sitting on a bench at Glacier National Park in winter

See the Frozen Waterfall at Kootenai Falls

Kootenai Falls (Libby) is located in the Northwest corner of the state and is, at times, the coldest place in Montana.

Below freezing temperatures cause the river and the connected Kootenai Falls to freeze into a beautiful ice structure that shimmers in the sunlight.

Camp in a Yurt in the Swan Mountains

Yurtski offers unique camping options for Montana winter getaways in the Swan Mountains.

The yurts are canvas-sided tents with a wood-burning stove and all of the furnishings you need for a relaxing winter vacation.

They are positioned in the mountains and can be used as base camps for all kinds of skiing adventures both downhill and cross-country. 

Enjoy your Montana Winter Vacation in a Private Lodge

Downing Mountain Lodge (1017 Grubstake Road, Hamilton) offers beautiful wood cabin lodging in Western Montana.

You can choose a room at the main lodge or a private cabin that is all your own.

All lodging offers access to cozy fireplaces and access to the beautiful natural area surrounding the lodging, perfect for a hike, ski, or snowshoe through the snow.

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Packages 

Looking for things to do in west Yellowstone in winter? 

Take the Yellowstone Vacation Tours which offers a snowmobile tour of Yellowstone throughout the season in Montana.

A guide will provide you and your group with fully equipped snowmobiles and lead you through trails in Yellowstone National Park.

See the natural beauty of the park off the beaten path and enjoy the excitement of riding a snowmobile through the freshly fallen powder.

Snow Coach Tour in Yellowstone National Park

If you’re looking for west Yellowstone winter activities and snowmobiles don’t tickle your fancy, try a snow coach tour.

Snow coaches are giant raised vans equipped with snow treads so you can travel through the parts of the park that are closed to other guests.

The snow coach is heated and comfortable and features an experienced driver and tour guide to show you the side of Yellowstone you’ve never seen before.

You may also like our guide to the best national parks to visit in October which features Montana for the Yellowstone National Park.

Norris Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park in winter

Southwest Montana in Winter

In this section, we’ll cover activities and destinations in and around Bozeman, one of the most famous cities in Southwest Montana.

Things to do in Bozeman, MT in Winter

Bozeman is one of the places to visit in Montana in winter, especially if you want to go ice skating or snowshoeing or just relax in a hot spring.

Go for a Skate at the Outdoor Rink at Bogert Park

Bogert Park (S Church Ave & Bogert Pl, Bozeman) is a fantastic place to go in Montana in the winter.

The park hosts an outdoor rink every year for ice skaters of all ages to enjoy.

Guests are welcome to use the rink, which is covered from the elements, fenced in, and is free of charge.

Bring a thermal-fueled picnic for a perfect winter afternoon at one of Bozeman’s best parks.

Escape the Winter Weather at the Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies (600 W Kagy Blvd, Bozeman) is the state’s best museum and a great place to see all of the natural histories of Montana while escaping the cold.

The museum features a dinosaur exhibit with a world-class collection of bones and full skeletons.

One of the best things about the museum is its commitment to featuring native art and histories both as permanent exhibits and special collections.

Warm Up in the Bozeman Hot Springs

Escape the cold winter air with a dip in the Bozeman Hot Springs (81123 Gallatin Road

Bozeman).

The hot springs have been used to heat the local bathhouse since the late 1800s and now there are 12 different pools to choose from.

Pools are all clothed and some are separated by age group for a more relaxing setting despite the icy temperatures of winter in Montana.

Go Snowshoeing Around Hyalite Canyon

Hyalite Canyon recreation area (Hyalite Canyon Road, Bozeman) has a handful of trails that are open for snowshoers in the winter.

You can rent snowshoes on site and choose the trail that is the right difficulty level for you.

Explore the trails, walk over frozen lakes, and enjoy the calming silence of a hike through the snow.

Picture of snowshoes in winter

Take an Ice Climbing Class to Explore the Frozen Frontier

Montana Alpine Guides (13 Enterprise Blvd) offers ice climbing courses for every level of climber.

The course provides everything you need to get climbing along with the expert guidance of an experienced instructor.

A variety of courses offered by Montana Alpine Guides allow you to climb key ice structures in and around Bozeman.

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is a mountain resort that’s just an hour-long drive through the Gallatin National Forest south of Bozeman.

The place features around 5850 acres of terrain for skiing.

Other Big Sky winter activities include snowmobiling, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and chairlift rides.

The ski resort is America’s largest and one of the places to see in Montana in winter.

Big Sky Mountain Village ski resort in dusk with the view of Lone Mountain covered in snow

South-Central Montana in Winter

The final region which offers dreamy Montana winter adventures in the south-central area.

This includes Billings.

Winter Activities In and Around Billings

There’s no shortage of fun activities to enjoy in Billings, Montana in winter.

Whether you want to sled, ski, or simply walk around in one of the city’s sites to enjoy the weather, this list will explore all the wintry things you can do.

Enjoy the Winter Brews on the Billings Brew Trail

The Billings Brew Trail is the only walkable brewery trail in Montana.

As you walk the trail, you will pass nine breweries including Angry Hanks (20 N 30th St., Billings) and Uberbrew (2305 Montana Ave.).

Most of these breweries offer food and seasonal beers that will warm you up during the cold Montana winter.

Go Sledding at Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park (301 Parkhill Dr, Billings) is a great place to go sledding in Billings.

The hills at Pioneer Park are steep enough for an exciting time, but not too steep that the entire family cannot enjoy them.

At 32 acres, the park features public-use bathrooms and shelters so you can enjoy an entire day sledding.

Custer Gallatin National Forest to Get Your Own Christmas Tree

The Custer Gallatin National Forest (Nye) is one of the only public lands where you can cut down your own Christmas tree.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you can purchase a $5 permit to cut your tree from the national forest.

The experience of walking around the forest and finding the perfect tree is straight out of a fairytale. 

Go Skiing at Red Lodge Mountain

Located just over an hour outside of Billings, Red Lodge Mountain (305 Ski Run Rd, Red Lodge) is a ski resort with everything you need for the full downhill skiing experience.

The hill has multiple runs of all difficulty levels spread all around the mountain so there is something for everyone.

Warm up around the fire of the lodge or spend the night in your private cabin. 

Winter Festivals in Montana

For more things to do in Montana during the winter, be sure to check out some of its winter festivals and events.

Whitefish Winter Carnival

Looking for things to do in Montana in February?

Held during the first weekend of the month, the Whitefish Winter Carnival is the biggest winter celebration in Montana.

Join in this fun event which features a parade, a penguin plunge, and even a snow sculpting contest.

It’s a free event that’s open to the public and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

SnoFlinga

SnoFlinga is an annual winter festival in Butte held around the last week of January and features dozens of ways to get out and enjoy Montana in the winter.

From a winter 5K to a bike race to an art fair, SnoFlinga has something for everyone.

SnoFlinga features everything that makes winter great from sports to music to food, it is one of the most activity-packed festivals in Montana.

Kids N Snow in West Yellowstone

Kids N Snow is a family-friendly event held in West Yellowstone on selected weekends during winter.

Families can enjoy activities and programs like ice skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing.

The event is held in a safe environment so little kids can join in the fun too.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed all the things to do in Montana in winter listed in this guide.

And if you have a favorite winter destination in Montana, don’t forget to share them in the comments.

California in December: Snow Places, Warm Destinations & Winter Activities

Images of California in December image one beach landscape image two people skiing image three Joshua Tree arid desert

If you’re looking for a fun snow adventure or sunny escape in December, look no further than California! 

The Golden State is basking in glorious weather this time of the year, with temperatures ranging from 48°F to 67°F on average.

You’ll get to enjoy fewer crowds and there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy. 

To help you plan your trip, we compiled some of the best places to visit in California in December including the best spots for winter activities and holiday events.

Listed below are destinations and activities categorized from snowiest to warmest and ordered north to south.

Also, note that December is also the month when some parts of California may experience rainfall, so be sure to pack an umbrella just in case.

You may also like our California bucket list.

Best Snow Places in California

If you’re looking for snow in California in December, you’ll likely find it in both the northern and southern regions of the state. 

Most areas that have higher elevations and low temperatures, like around the Sierra Nevada Mountains for example,  generally see their first snowfall as early as November.

So if you want to enjoy snow activities like skiing and snowboarding, you’ll want to head to the places listed below.

Mount Shasta

About a four-hour drive North of San Francisco, Mount Shasta sees snow in the winter. 

If you dare, you have an opportunity to snowboard down an active volcano at Mount Shasta Ski Park (4500 Ski Park Hwy, McCloud)

If you want something less challenging, the area also offers snowshoeing opportunities.

Panoramic view of Mt Shasta Volcano with snow and glaciers in California

Lassen Volcanic Park

Often overlooked as one of the best snow places in California, Lassen Volcanic Park can get up to 30 feet of snow starting in December.

Sledding and skiing are popular activities, and visitors can also take free snowshoe tours led by rangers to see some of the most captivating winter views in the state. 

Soda Springs

Head to Soda Springs to find one of the longest-running ski resorts in the state.

Soda Springs Ski Resort (10244 Soda Springs Rd) is where you can enjoy wide-open slopes that are perfect for exciting snow activities during the winter.

Their kid-friendly tubing is a must for your little ones.

Older kids and adults get their own area for tube sliding at the Woodward Start Park.

They also offer ski and snowboarding lessons as well as lift rides.

Truckee, California

Truckee’s Johnson Canyon (Billy Mack Rd) can’t be missed if you’re looking for a great destination to enjoy the snow during your California winter vacation. 

There is a 5.6-mile out and back trail in the area featuring moderately challenging slopes that is perfect for skiing or snowshoeing.

You can also bring your sled or go tube sliding at one of the monitored lanes of Tahoe Donner.

Tip: In the Sierras, snow chains are mandatory, and you can be turned back without them.

Lake Tahoe

If you’re looking for one of the best places to visit in California in December, Lake Tahoe should be on your list.

The area averages 75 inches of snow during the month and offers ample opportunities for winter recreation.

It is also home to some of the most scenic slopes combined with enchanting resorts, casinos, and shopping.

The Village at Northstar is especially popular as it has an ice skating rink and gondola rides- and hosts holiday events in December.

If you want to explore the outdoors, the surrounding mountains offer activities like skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. 

Find more activities in Lake Tahoe during winter featured in this guide.

View of a ski park in Lake Tahoe in winter

Sequoia National Park

Set amongst the Sierra Nevadas, Sequoia National Park is one of the snowy places in California that’s worth visiting.

It gets about 45 inches of snow so it’s a great place for skiing, snowshoeing or just taking in the scenery.

It’s also a great opportunity to see some of the largest trees in the world covered in a blanket of sparkling snow. 

Yosemite National Park

California in December is off-season, which means there will be fewer crowds in many of its parks and more play space for you.

Yosemite National Park becomes a winter wonderland when the snow covers the valley floor.

Head to the Badger Pass Ski Area for sledding and snow tubing opportunities. 

You can also go on a winter hike close to Mirror Lake for breathtaking views of Half Dome in a wintery landscape.

Yosemite also features in our list of backpacking national parks.

Tip: Safety and preparation should be the priorities. Wear proper winter gear like hiking shoes with traction to avoid slips.

Snow on the ground and man walking at Yosemite National Park in winter

Mammoth Mountain

Head to Mammoth mountain for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in California in the winter.

From Los Angeles, the drive is just over four hours and worth it if you want to play in the 30 feet of snow that the mountain gets in the winter.

Big Bear Lake

Visit Big Bear Lake in winter to take advantage of one of the best snow places in California. 

If you’re looking to experience adrenaline rushes, head to Big Bear Snow Play for activities like snow tubing during the day and glow tubing during the night.

Make it worthwhile financially by staying the entire day; you can leave and return.

No steep hill to walk up (unless you just want to) because they have an escalator to take you to the top.

Parking is free and close by, which is always a plus. 

Tip: Bring cash or use the available ATM, as credit cards aren’t accepted.

Aerial view of ski resort in winter in Big Bear Lake

Other Places to Visit in California in December

Check out other places to visit in California in December.

Though the following destinations don’t really get lots of snow, they still boast activities and events that are perfect for the winter season.

Planning to visit in the autumn? Read our guide to California in the fall.

 Napa Valley

 Napa Valley is magical in December and makes the list of things to do for the winter season in California.

Journey to the north pole, with Santa, on the Napa Wine Train, which is transformed into Santa’s coach.

Kids and the young at heart will enjoy hot cocoa, live entertainment, singing, and games.

Napa also features in our guide to fun bachelorette ideas.

Napa Valley welcome sign

Sacramento

Sacramento in winter enjoys relatively mild weather; in December temperature ranges from 39°F to 59°F.

There’s something for everyone in this charming city – whether you’re looking to soak up the holiday spirit or just enjoy the season.

If you’re around the downtown area, check out the majestic Theatre of Lights at the Old Sacramento Waterfront-  a spectacular annual event where lights and festive decor adorn the city.

Or you can go ice skating at Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink (7th & K Streets) which is open from November until January.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a fun city all year round but it sparkles in winter.

See the Fisherman’s Wharf Holiday Boat Parade light up the water, watch the San Francisco’s Nutcracker at the War Memorial Opera House, and the tree lighting at The Bank of America Tower or Union Square.

Take advantage of fewer crowds at Muir Woods or Presidio for a winter hike.

Finally, support the Golden State Warriors in December at the Chase Center.

For more on San Francisco in winter, read our guide.

San Francisco City Hall in blue and red holiday lights and giant Christmas tree

Death Valley

Believe it or not, Death Valley is one of the best places to visit in California during winter. 

You can see mountain peaks dusted with snow and waterfalls continue to flow.

The landscape contains yellow, gold, and tan hues from the dunes and colorful rocks.

Sunrise and sunset views at Zabriskie Point are gorgeous and photo-worthy.

Death Valley also made it to our list of the best national parks to visit in November.

Woman standing in Death Valley desert with water bottl

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is not too far from Los Angeles, and an opportune time to visit in December as the temperature is doable.

See the famous yucca trees and hike the trails.

Hidden Valley Trail is one of the most popular as it is an easy one-mile loop.

Skull Rock Nature Trail is equally as famous and a relatively easy, partly paved two-mile hike with incredible rock formations at the end worth seeing.

Although December offers manageable temperatures in Joshua, it has little shade, so as you explore, bring a sunhat and plenty of water.

Tall trees with leaves at Joshua Park with blue sky

SkyPark at Santa’s Village 

One of the most popular places to visit in winter in California for biking, climbing, and zip lining, plus Christmas entertainment, is a forested park in the mountains.

If you’re spending winter in Southern California, go to SkyPark at Santa’s Village (28950 Highway 18, Skyforest).

You can pop in and say hello and take pictures with Santa or shop for your Christmas list at the on-site store.

Take photos with the park characters that roam free for your amusement.

For the best cookies, Cinnabons, and ginger doodles, visit the Gingerbread House Bakery. 

 Metal Sculptures in Galleta Meadows

The Galleta Meadows metal sculptures are a one-of-a-kind attraction that some people may not know about and that you won’t see anywhere else.

About three hours from Los Angeles and a 2-hour drive from San Diego, there are predominantly scattered along Borrego Springs Road and a total of 26 sculptures. 

December is an excellent time to visit the sculptures as the temperatures are pleasant and it is free. 

Warmest Place in California in December

If you’re not a fan of the chilly winter weather, there are actually warmer spots to visit in California in December.

Read on to find out some of the best places that offer great escapes from the winter’s cold temperatures in the state.

If visiting in December or January, you’ll want to look out for orcas who are also migrating to warmer ocean!

You may also like our USA bucket list featuring sites and activities in California.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles in the winter, temperatures approach around 67 °F, making for excellent walking weather and exploring outdoors.

You can go on a guided afternoon tour of famous spots in LA including Downtown, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.

In the evening, these places are especially beautiful with all the holiday lights and decor that fills up the area.

Los Angeles also features in our guide to the best places to spend New Year’s in the USA.

Large lake of water and cityscape at Echo Park in Los Angeles

Venice Beach

The summer crowds have gone, and so have the high temperatures, so grab a slice of pizza and sit on a bench, and people watch along Venice beach.

And while you’re here, catch the annual changing of lights of the iconic Venice sign from white to red and green during the Venice Sign Holiday Lighting ( Windward Ave and Pacific Ave).

The event features live music, exhibits, contests, and sometimes special guests including celebrities.

Venice Beach is also featured in our guide to spring break in California.

Venice Sign in LA

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica beach boasts a lively atmosphere not only during summer but in the winter as well.

Aside from stunning ocean views, you can find winter-themed events held around the area starting in December.

The Holiday Cheer on the Pier is a month-long event in Santa Monica Pier featuring live art installations, family-friendly activities, and holiday programs.

Visit this website for the updated schedule.

Santa Monica Pier at night

Long Beach

Long Beach is south of downtown Los Angeles and with temperatures ranging between 48°F and  66° in December

With waterfront activities, bike-friendly pathways, and cultural festivals, Long beach is a favorite winter destination in California for locals and travelers alike. 

You may also like our guide to beach towns in California which features Long Beach.

Port in Long Beach with palm trees, boats and buildings, California

Anaheim

Anaheim, home of Disneyland Resort and Knotts Berry Farm, is one of the two warmest places in California in December–the other being Palm Springs.

December is the first winter month in Anaheim, with daily high temperatures ranging between 67°F to 69°F.

Laguna Beach

Centered between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna beach has so much to offer, including festivals and events that promote art and culture, making it a top pick for winter getaways in California.

Catch the Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival, which runs on weekends from November to December, for some live music, holiday lights, community performances, food and drinks, and more.

Temperatures in December in Laguna beach average about 67°F, making it a hiking, biking, and exploration paradise.

Laguna Beach with visitors in California

Temecula 

About 90 minutes south of Los Angeles and 60 minutes north of San Diego, Temecula is the spot for wine tasting in southern California. 

In December, temperatures stay pleasantly in the 60s, which might explain why travelers come to Temecula for patio dining and outdoor recreation. 

Annual Tree Lighting in Palm Springs 

Palm Springs in December rarely goes below 59°F and rarely exceeds 80°F.

There is so much to do in Palm Springs this time of year, but the annual tree lighting is one of the most popular. 

Take a ride on the Aerial Tram and watch to see which celebrity will flip the switch to illuminate the Coachella Valley sky.

San Diego

San Diego has a number of family-friendly festive events running throughout the winter season including the annual Winter Wonderland Festival, Holidays at Legoland, and  Encinitas Holiday Parade.

Locals and visitors will also enjoy the Christmas lights and decor in the Old Town, Balboa Park, and Botanic Garden Lightscape.

Take advantage of crowd-free hiking and cooler temps at Torrey Pines State Park, or winter surfing at La Jolla (Black Beach), Oceanside, and Grandview.

For more, check out our guide to San Diego in December.

La Casa de Estudillo in Old Town San Diego, California

Final Thoughts

We hope you find this guide helpful in planning your next trip to California in December.

And don’t forget to share your favorite spots or activities in the state in the comments below.

Prost!! 20 Best Oktoberfests in the USA

Oktoberfest couple with beer

Prost to the best Oktoberfest in the USA, which will get your lederhosen dusted off this year?

Our guide features the most popular best Oktoberfest beer in USA and lesser-known, more intimate events.

Below you’ll read about the longest-running festivals, the biggest in terms of footfall, alpine villages, music, food, and of course beer!

You may also like our guide to the best places to visit in October in the US, the best things to do in October, and which national parks to visit for fall.

Helen Oktoberfest, Georgia

If there is one Oktoberfest in the US you need to visit, make it Helen Oktoberfest, the longest-running fest in the country.

Hosted by the Helen Festhalle, you can visit most weekends in September and October for an amazing time.

The most notable feature of Helen Oktoberfest is that the town is actually designed as a German-style alpine village.

You get to explore throughout the whole town, not just fairgrounds like other Oktoberfests.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Of all the Oktoberfests in the US, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the biggest Oktoberfest in the USA.

More than half a million visitors congregate in Cincinnati every year in September to celebrate; in 2021, there were 700,000 guests.

This Oktoberfest is presented by Samuel Adams and features tons of amazing authentic German cuisine.

It is located on 2nd and 3rd Streets, between Elm and Walnut Streets downtown.

Dozens of restaurants, hours of music, and glass after glass of cool beer make this one of the best Oktoberfests in the United States.

Trapp Family Oktoberfest, Stowe, Vermont

One of the newer Oktoberfests in the country, the Trapp Family Oktoberfest in Stowe, VT features a more exclusive, upscale version of the traditional German festival.

Germans settled in Vermont in the late nineteenth century to support Vermont farmers.

This rich history inspires the locally-grown and fresh German food on display at the Von Trapp Brewing Prost for the festival.

Today, the Vermont-based descendants of the von Trapps, a famous Austrian family, host this Oktoberfest.

You’ll love the local and global beers, fresh fare, music, and contests at this yearly festival.

Wooden building Trapp-Family-Lodge-Stowe-Vermont-USA.-An-Austrian-style-named-after-the-Von-Trapp-Family-inspiration-of-the-famous-movie-The-Sound-of-Music

Oktoberfest USA, La Crosse, Wisconsin

The amazing festivities La Crosse put on for their Oktoberfest put them on the map for a 1961 All-American City Award.

If you can believe it, 42% of Wisconsin natives claim some amount of German heritage.

Local industries, small businesses, and hundreds of volunteers bind together every year in La Crosse, Wisconsin to put on an amazing Oktoberfest for locals and travelers alike.

The chamber of commerce, or the town’s governance, has always been the sponsor of this event, making it hyper-local and originally built for its citizens.

Live music, fresh beer, and events and competitions make this one of the best Oktoberfests in America.

Visiting this October? Don’t miss our Wisconsin in fall article.

Saint Paul Oktoberfest, Minneapolis

St. Paul Oktoberfest is hosted at the Germanic-American Institute.

There is a packed line up of cultural activities such as keg tapping, maypole dancing, and live music.

The two-day celebration includes favorite German food like Gerhard’s bratwurst and BBQ!

Fredericksburg Oktoberfest, Texas

Celebrate Fredericksburg, a town founded by German immigrants in 1846, in their Fredericksburg Oktoberfest activities every year at the beginning of October.

With dozens of authentic german beers, amazing continuous live German music, arts and crafts booths, hours of shopping, and more, you won’t be surprised that Fredericksburg Oktoberfest is one of the best US Oktoberfests.

More than 40 years running, this Oktoberfest takes place on the 100 block of W. Main St in Fredericksburg, TX.

Try your hand at a yodel contest or a lederhosen contest; whatever you choose, you’re sure to have an amazing time.

Check out our Texas road trip guide for more on Fredericksburg.

Hats Headquarters High Street Fredericksburg Texas

Addison Oktoberfest, Texas

Known as one of the most authentic Oktoberfests outside of Munich, Addison puts on quite the show.

Featuring polka bands, traditional entertainers, multiple stages, interactive games, and the Dachshund Dash.

This award-winning Oktoberfest is aimed at all ages.

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, Michigan

The Frankenmuth Oktoberfest is the first festival in the US that was officially blessed by Munich mayor, which means it’s just about as authentic an Oktoberfest as you can find.

Plus, an actual German brewery, Hofbrauhaus, sponsors the festivities every year.

The festival starts on the same day as the official start date of the traditional Munich Oktoberfest, which means you can start celebrating in September!

The star of the weekend are the wiener dog races, which take place on one day during the fest and features 100 star wiener dogs.

Be sure to explore the festival and make the most of one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the US.

Chicago German-American Oktoberfest, Illinois

Every year in mid-September, Chicago hosts one of the best Oktoberfests in America.

Located in Lincoln Square, at the corner of Lincoln and Western, you’ll love the traditional German hospitality that will greet you in the third largest city in the U.S.

From authentic German food to traditional German drinks and live music, you’ll be in awe when you visit Oktoberfest Chicago.

You’ll love the classic German dance performances and the silly carnival games in the historic Logan Square in Chicago.

Be sure to arrive on time for the incredible Oktoberfest parade!

You may also like out guide to Chicago in fall.

Tinley Park, Illinois

Tinley Park Oktoberfest takes place over three days.

The extended weekend event features three days of music, food and beer vendors.

There is also a family-friendly carnival.

The Oktoberfest team encourage Bavarian dress styles to keep in tradition!

Downers Grove, Illinois

Another Illinois favorite is Downers Grove Oktoberfest.

The two-day festival welcomes adults and kids.

Knackwurst and bratwurst, Bavarian soft pretzels, chicken schnitzel with gravy, roasted corn, German chocolate cake, and apple strudel can be enjoyed during the event.

Previous beers have included Sam Adams Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Revolution Oktoberfest, Tangled Roots Vermillion River Weiss, Hacker Pschorr and Miller Lite.

Tulsa Octoberfest, Tulsa, Oklahoma

For the one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the US, be sure to visit Tulsa Oktoberfest.

You might not believe it, but thousands of people congregate every year to celebrate Oktoberfest in Tulsa.

Traditional and authentic Bavarian music, cuisine, and arts and crafts make this event truly special.

With more than 200 taps featuring German and local beers, you won’t want to miss one of the five top Oktoberfests in the USA, according to USA Today.

Plus, this particular Oktoberfest in the US lasts 6 days instead of a single weekend.

New Ulm Oktoberfest, Minnesota

For 40 years, the New Ulm Oktoberfest in Minnesota has been dazzling locals and travelers alike.

Even though you might not expect it, New Ulm is one of the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in the US.

The Germanic-American Day Parade steals the show every year, with dozens of floats and local businesses showing their support.

Plus, Oktoberfest activities take place all over town, making this a city-wide Oktoberfest celebration!

Be sure to check out the full schedule on their official website.

Denver Oktoberfest, Colorado

Over the course of two weekends, Denver, Colorado transforms into one of the top Oktoberfests in the USA.

Located at Larimer and 21st in the Ballpark District, you’ll love this rowdy display of German heritage pride.

Keg bowling, stein drinking, live music, and silly games and competitions make this festival one of the best in America.

Elevate your experience with a VIP ticket, which includes All You Can Eat and Drink and so much more!

You won’t want to miss the exclusive beer and wine offerings, the private bathrooms, and a special Sunday Boozy Brunch.

Four Peaks Oktoberfest, Arizona

If you’re looking for the best Oktoberfest songs in the US, make sure you visit Four Peaks Oktoberfest in Arizona for amazing polka music all weekend long.

The best part of Four Peaks Oktoberfest is that it is a fundraiser for an incredible international exchange program.

Ticket funds go towards hosting international students in Four Peaks, and it funds the travel for Four Peaks students to travel abroad.

This incredible cause makes the festival that much more amazing!

You’ll love this traditional German festival; but if your family is getting a bit bored, they’ll certainly appreciate the carnival full of games and rides.

You will have to pay for an admission ticket, but with your entry, you receive amazing perks and can fund an international trip for students!

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Sierra Vista also puts on an Oktoberfest event in Arizona.

The two-day festival is suitable for all ages.

The line up includes Der Biergarten and Sun Valley Rides Carnival.

Live music will be played at the main tent and on the main stage.

Mount Angel Oktoberfest, Oregon

If you’re looking for a truly authentic Oktoberfest experience, travel to Mt Angel, a town founded by Germans.

Mt Angel Oktoberfest attracts more than 300,000 visitors every year, earning it the title of one of the largest Oktoberfests in the US.

You’ll love the dozens of food stands, traditional German arts and crafts, authentic German architecture, races and competitions, and so much more.

Plus, most events at Oktoberfest are free!

Check out our guide to Oregon on fall too.

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, Southern California

If you don’t like the pressure of having all the Oktoberfest fun in a single weekend, visit Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest in southern California.

For almost 10 consecutive weekends in September and October, you can enjoy the magic and festivities of Oktoberfest in southern California.

Running until November, you can choose to stop by on one weekend or a few!

Both German and German-American bands share the musical stage to provide you with nonstop festive tunes to dance, eat, and drink to.

Order tickets and check availability on their ticketing website.

For more on California in fall, click here.

Alpine Village Oktoberfest, California

One more amazing California Oktoberfest: Alpine Village Oktoberfest is an incredible and fun-packed experience you can’t miss this fall.

Alpine Village puts in so much effort to make it a truly authentic experience, which means you are in the right hands when you visit this town!

Traditionally built as a Bavarian market, you’ll love exploring the shops and restaurants during Oktoberbest.

The best part of Alpine Village Oktoberfest is that it is located very close to the beaches; take a quick beach trip once you’ve had all the fun you can at the festival.

Leavenworth Oktoberfest, Washington

One of the most classic Oktoberfests in the US, Leavenworth Oktoberfest focuses on the best bratwursts and brews.

Usually taking place over three separate weekends, you can explore two full venues with live music, fresh food, and some of the best Oktoberfest beers in the US.

This festival has been running for just about a quarter century, and it takes the extra effort to import only the best German beers every year.

Levenworth is one of the best places to visit in the US in December for its alpine-style architecture which won’t disappoint for Oktoberfest!

Check out our Washington bucket list too.

Fall in Montana: Foliage, Hikes, Tours, Festivals & More

Scenic view of lake and fall tree at Glacier National Park, Montana

Whether you’re looking to explore nature or just hoping for a wonderful fall getaway, you’ll find no shortage of fun if you visit Montana in the autumn.

Also known as the ‘’Treasure State’’, Montana is famous for its natural wonders and rich mineral reserves.

The state is also where you can find the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National Park.

To help plan your trip, this guide will talk about the activities and places to check out during fall in Montana including spots for leaf-peeping opportunities, fall hikes, corn mazes, joining in one of its festivals and events, and more.

The following list of destinations and activities below are sectioned based on the city or town they are located.

Montana also features in our USA bucket list.

Things to Do in Western Montana in Fall

If you’re looking for a beautiful, scenic destination to visit in the fall, western Montana is definitely worth considering.

The region is home to many outdoor adventures, fascinating American history sites, and state parks like the iconic Glacier National Park.

Read on to see the activities to do and spots to visit in western Montana in the fall.

Take in the Natural Wonder of Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park (64 Grinnell Drive Glacier National Park Headquarters, West Glacier) offers views of some of the last remaining glaciers in the contiguous United States. 

In the fall, the entire park turns shades of orange and red and the setting sun glistens off the glaciers making it one of the best spots to take in the fall colors in Montana.

Glacier National Park has dozens of visitor centers where you can learn about the nature surrounding you and even features resident Native American educators that will teach you the history of the land and its people. 

For a fully immersive experience, take a scenic raft trip down the Middle Fork Flathead River while learning about the park’s history from a guide.

Glacier National Park is also featured in our list of national parks for backpacking

Scenic view of lake and fall tree at Glacier National Park, Montana

Visit the Museum of the Plains Indian 

If you want to spend your fall in Montana learning a bit of history, visit the Museum of the Plains Indian (19 Museum Loop, Browning), located near Glacier National Park.

The museum is funded by the U.S Department of the Interior and features a historical center and collection of art, tools, and traditions of the Plains Indians.

Check the museum’s website for exhibits you can catch during the autumn months.

Try a Local and Seasonal Brew

Western Montana is home to many craft breweries that make delicious local brews right around Glacier National Park. 

Backslope Brewing (1107 9th St. West Columbia Falls) offers an ever-changing rotation of seasonal beers in their taproom.

A fall afternoon at Backslope is full of delicious beer perfect for the season and tasty food that is perfectly paired.

Paddle a Kayak Around Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake (490 N Meridian Rd, Kalispell) is a large lake in the mountain valley of Kalispell. 

The lake offers great views of the mountains and fall is the perfect time for a paddle around the lake to see the fall colors change. 

Sea Me Paddle has everything you need to get on the lake and enjoy the scenery.

Get Scared in the Field of Screams

Field of Screams (1497 US-93, Victor) features 5 acres of haunted attractions featuring creepy characters that are sure to give every visitor a spine-tingling scare.

If you visit during the day, the place offers hayrides, slides, and a hay bale playground.

But at night, thrill-seekers can explore the place’s spooky corn fields, swamps, graveyards, and ghost town infested with horror creatures.

Walk Through History at the Daly Mansion

The Daly Mansion (251 Eastside Hwy, Hamilton) is the historic home of “Copper King” Marcus Daly but now serves as a venue for tours and many fall events. 

Visit the mansion for a tour of the grounds to see all of the fall foliage surrounding the mansion. 

The mansion hosts events during fall, from murder mystery dinners to tours of the historically preserved rooms of the mansion.

Take a Haunted Trolley Tour through Downtown Butte

The Spooks and Spirits Haunted Trolley (Butte) tour is a fun way to learn about the haunted history of Butte. 

Ride downtown on a historic trolley as your tour guide shows you the spookiest places in the area.

Go for a Scenic Fall Foliage Drive

If you’re looking for some of the best spots to see Montana’s fall colors, go for a scenic drive in the Bitterroot Valley Corridor 

The lovely route comes with 79 miles of fall foliage and mountain sights. 

Right on the west border of Montana, this road takes travelers between the valley of two mountain points and offers views of the Bitterroot River. 

The course stretches from Lolo to Sula and can be broken up into shorter trips if need be.

Things to Do in Southwest Montana in Fall

Fall Activities In and Around Bozeman, MT

Bozeman is located southwest of Montana and home to Montana’s State University.

In this list, you’ll find fall-worthy things to do in the city like a fall foliage hike and pumpkin picking.

You may also like our guide to winter in Montana featuring activities around Bozeman.

Take a Relaxing Dip in the Bozeman Hot Springs

Escape the cold fall air with a dip in the Bozeman Hot Springs (81123 Gallatin Road). 

The hot springs have been used to heat the local bathhouse since the late 1800s and now there are 12 different pools to choose from. 

Pools are all clothed and some are separated by age group for a more relaxing setting.

Visit Bobcat Stadium for a Montana State Football Game

One of the highlights of fall in Bozeman is the Montana State Bobcat football game.

The Bobcat Stadium (1 Bobcat Cir) becomes one of the busiest places in the city every weekend during the season.

You can head here to simply watch the Bobcats play or go to tailgate and enjoy the stadium food.

The site also offers a view of the mountains, so you are sure to see a glimpse of the fall foliage from anywhere in the stadium. 

Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte in Downtown Bozeman

Pumpkin spice lattes are a must-have for autumn and several coffee shops in downtown Bozeman offer this fall-inspired drink.

One of the best places known for offering this beverage is Zocalo Coffee House (117 E Main St).

Their pumpkin spice lattes are known to be richer and creamier in texture than others.

After sipping on a PSL, you can explore the rest of the area while enjoying the crisp autumn weather.

Go for a Fall Foliage Mountain Hike on Bear Canyon Trail

Bear Canyon Trail (Bear Canyon Road) is located southeast of Bozeman and offers 20 miles of trails to explore at the base of Mount Ellis. 

During the fall, the colors surrounding the trail are vibrant and provide a perfect backdrop to enjoy a hike of any difficulty level.

Aside from hiking, mountain biking and dirt biking are also popular activities around the area.

Pick the Perfect Pumpkin at Rocky Creek Farm

Gallatin Valley Botanical at Rocky Creek Farm (34297 Frontage Rd) puts on a festival all fall long with pumpkin picking, fall foods, and hayrides.

 All their pumpkins and produce are organically grown and perfect for carving and pie making.

 The farm is in the Rocky Creek bottomlands and is surrounded by beautiful fall foliage. 

Things to Do in South Central Montana in Fall

Fall Activities In and Around Billings, MT

Billings is located in the south-central part of Montana and is the state’s largest city.

Whether you’re looking to take a fall hike at Bighorn Canyon or looking to visit a corn maze and pumpkin patch in Billings, MT, this list will explore all the activities you can do around the area during the autumn.

You may also like our guide to the best national parks to visit in October which features Montana for the Yellowstone National Park.

Watch the Sunset at Rimrocks

The Rimrocks, also called the Rims, are a geological formation that can be seen in Billings and offers amazing views of the city in fall colors below. 

You can hike up the rims to see the magnificent views of the sunset while taking in the cool autumn breeze.

Find Your Way through the Billings Corn Maze

The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm (2201 58th St W) is another great way to enjoy Montana in fall.

This corn maze in Billings, MT is artistically shaped into a new design each year and is great for guests looking for a fun adventure in the fall.

The farm also offers hayrides, a pumpkin patch, and some fall treats like candies and donuts.

Take a Splash at The Reef Indoor Water Park

If you missed the fun of a water park in the summer, head to The Reef Indoor Water Park (1801 Majestic Ln) during your visit to Montana in the autumn.

The Reef is the state’s largest water park, measuring around 30,000 sq ft.

Enjoy the place with fewer crowds, and have fun in their waterslides and wave pool without freezing in the fall air as the water is temperature-controlled.

Go for a Fall Foliage Walk Through Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park (8001 South Billings Blvd.) offers three walking trails around Lake Josephine that are great for a fall foliage stroll.

See the fall colors of Billings and enjoy the crisp lakeside autumn air as you take in the sights.

Find all the Fall Colors in the Custer Gallatin National Forest

The Custer Gallatin National Forest (Nye) is located southwest of Billings and offers a sprawling forest, plains, and buttes.

During the fall, this national forest is a great place to see the leaves change on all native varieties of trees.

The Custer Gallatin National Forest is right next to Yellowstone and features some of the same great views of the Montana ecosystem without as many visitors as the national park.

Take a Hike Through Bighorn Canyon

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (Fort Smith) features a large canyon overlooking Bighorn Lake. 

The layers of earth that were cut through by glacial movement are clear and the surrounding flora turns the same color as the canyon wall in the fall.

This national recreation area has 17 miles of hiking trails of various difficulties so everyone can enjoy a trek through the canyon. 

Fall Festivals in Montana

For more things to do in Montana in fall, check out the state’s autumn-themed festivals and events listed below.

The Great Northwest Oktoberfest

The Great Northwest Oktoberfest (Whitefish) is a two-weekend long Oktoberfest that celebrates all things German in Montana. 

Try German foods, drink German beer, and dance the polka to ring in the harvest. 

The Montana Film Festival

The Montana Film Festival (718 South Higgins Ave, Missoula) is hosted at the Roxy Theater every fall and features four days of films from around the state. 

Connect with up-and-coming artists as they share their work with audiences for the first time. 

The event even offers panels and interviews with the creative minds behind the films.

Townsend Fall Fest

The Townsend Fall Fest (Townsend) features a weekend-long of live music, kid-friendly activities, and a food and drink display from vendors.

You can see the highlights of the event usually takes place on the first weekend of October.

Annual McIntosh Apple Day and Liquid Apple Night

If you’re looking for things to do in Montana in October, why not head to the city of Hamilton for a full day of apple festival held at the Ravalli County Museum (205 Bedford St)?

During the day, you can join in the McIntosh Apple Day for fresh produce from the Hamilton Farmers Market.

There are also arts and crafts featured in the event, but one of the highlights is the Bake Sale where you can taste some of the freshly baked apple pies.

In the evening, there’s Liquid Apple Night where you can listen to live music and sample delicious ciders and fall treats.

Final Thoughts

We hope you find this guide helpful in planning your next trip to Montana in the fall.

And don’t forget to share your favorite spots or activities in the state in the comments below.

Wisconsin in Winter: Places to Visit & Winter Activities

Aside from being recognized as “America’s Dairyland”, Wisconsin is also known for its freezing cold winter.

Temperatures can drop to around -40F during the coldest month, which is usually January.

But fret not, Wisconsin in winter is a fantastic destination. 

The state’s snow-covered landscapes are like straight out of a storybook and many of its towns and cities offer plenty of opportunities to have some frosty fun.

To help plan your trip, this guide will discuss the amazing things to do in Wisconsin in winter like snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, visiting scenic spots, and many more.

The activities listed below are sectioned by regions where they are located.

So get ready to put on your layers and prepare for your next winter adventure in Wisconsin.

You may also like our guide to Wisconsin in fall.

Activities in Door County, Wisconsin in Winter

Located on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County is a winter wonderland with plenty of outdoor activities, cozy retreats, and amazing winter views.

Go Ice Skating at the Teresa K. Hilander Outdoor Ice Rink

The Teresa K. Hilander Outdoor Ice Rink (Autumn Ct., Sister Bay) is a great place to enjoy the winter air and ice skate with a beautiful backdrop.

Open from Mid-December through February, the rink features skate rentals and a concession stand.

If you are looking for a fun and competitive winter activity, this rink also offers broomball a few nights a week.

Take a Candlelight Snow Hike

Peninsula State Park (9462 Shore Rd, Fish Creek) offers candle-lit hikes through the Wisconsin snow every winter.

Enjoy the calm silence of a winter hike lit by the warm glow of a hand-held candle.

The trail used for the candlelight hike is easy and meant for a relaxing walk through the snow.

Visit Door County’s Longest Running Inn

The White Gull Inn (4225 Main Street, Fish Creek) is a beautiful inn that has been open for over 120 years.

With an onsite restaurant and cozy fireplaces, the inn provides a warm and nice place to stay during your Wisconsin vacation in winter.

Explore the Frozen Beaches of Door County

The beaches of Door County in winter offer the wonderful experience to take in the views of Wisconsin’s frozen lakes.

All of the shoreline surrounding Door County gets cold enough to freeze around the beginning of January and you can see the huge chunks of shifting ice on both the Green Bay side and Lake Michigan side of the peninsula.

Door county also features in our USA bucket list for its beaches.

The beaches of Door County in winter offer the unique experience to take in the views of the frozen lake.

Visit the Cave Point Park

Check out Cave Point Park (5360 Schauer Rd, Sturgeon Bay), a popular photography spot known for its wave-worn limestone cliffs.

During the winter, the constant wave activity at Cave Point forms icicles that stick to the rock formations, creating a spectacular scene during the season.

If you’re out exploring the area, rocks can become slippery when wet or covered in ice, so it’s best to proceed with caution.

Ice Fishing at Sturgeon Bay

Ice fishing is one of the most popular activities in Sturgeon Bay in winter.

Some of the areas where you can fish are around the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Channel or the Little Sturgeon Bay.

You can bring your own equipment and expect to catch northern pike, whitefish, lake trout, salmon, and more.

There are also plenty of charters available to take you out on the frozen waters like the one with the Sturgeon Bay Sport Fishing Association.

Red Lighthouse in a lake in winter in Sturgeon Bay, WI

Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells in Winter

Winter may be the last thing that comes to mind when you hear about Wisconsin Dells, the city also known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World”. 

While many enjoy going here in the summer,  did you know that there are also plenty of exciting things to do in Wisconsin Dells in the winter?

Listed below are some of them including skiing, visiting spots with great winter scenery, mouth-watering eats, and more- activities in nearby areas are also included.

Ride on the Winter Zipline

Bigfoot Ziplines (1550 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, Wisconsin Dells) offers winter zipline tours around Lake Delton in the Wisconsin Dells.

Each zipline tour comprises 6000 feet of lines that go through the snow-covered wooded area surrounding the lake.

Eat and Drink at a Traditional Wisconsin Supper Club

The best way to take a break from the cold Wisconsin weather in winter is to spend the evening hours in a warm and cozy log building eating prime rib and drinking brandy old fashions (a Wisconsin specialty)

The Ishnala Supper Club (S2011 Ishnala Rd, Lake Delton) has been voted the ‘’Best Supper Club’’ in the state for four consecutive years since 2019.

Ishnala has a great atmosphere with views of Mirror Lake from the dining room and a delicious menu of traditional supper club dishes.

Go to a Waterpark

Want to enjoy taking some splash in a waterpark despite the frigid Wisconsin winter?

Head to the Kalahari Resort (1305 Kalahari Dr, Baraboo), one of the biggest indoor waterparks in the world.

Go down the slides, ride in the wave pool, or float around the lazy river all in the temperature-controlled comfort of an indoor waterpark.

Explore the Ice Formations at Fern Dell Gorge

Fern Dell Gorge is located in Mirror Lake State Park (E10320 Fern Dell Rd, Baraboo) and is a great place to see the natural beauty of winter in Wisconsin Dells.

The geography of the gorge creates the perfect environment for giant ice formations to fill the area in the winter.

These formations can even form ice caves that you can walk in and explore.

Downhill Ski and Snowboard at Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain (W10441 Cascade Mountain Rd, Portage) is just 10 miles outside of the Wisconsin Dells and offers the best downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the state.

The place features a fully equipped ski lift and multiple hills for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels.

They also rent out skis and snowboards, so everyone can get in on the fun. 

Winter Activities in Madison

Madison is Wisconsin’s capital and the second largest city in the state.

Check out all the fun winter activities to do in the city listed below.

You may also like list of free things to do in Madison.

Visit a Brewery and Eat in a Heated Outdoor Dome

Karben 4 Brewing (3698 Kinsman Blvd, Madison) is a local brewery that offers plenty to do in Madison in winter.

After a tour of the brewery, you can eat lunch and try local beers in one of their outdoor heated domes.

Enjoy local brews paired with the perfect meal in the privacy and warmth of your own heated bubble.

Visit the Winter Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Madison in winter, but The Dane County Farmers Market continues to host events throughout the year.

The Farmer’s Market moves indoors for the winter, but still features the fresh produce and seasonal items as it does all year long.

See the Holiday Fantasy Lights at Olin Park

Olin Park (1156 Olin-Turville Ct, Madison) has hosted a huge holiday lights display for over thirty years.

Their displays feature thousands of holiday lights and music.

In the last few years, Olin Park has hosted an immersive drive-through experience where you can travel through the park and see all of the dazzling light displays.

Go Cross Country Skiing at University Ridge

University Ridge (9002 County Road PD, Madison) is a golf course that converts to ski trails in the winter.

You can find over 10 km of trails at the site that you can explore on a pair of skis.

There is a small fee for a day pass and they do offer ski rentals for those who do not have their own.

Visit the Capitol Building to See the Holiday Tree

The Wisconsin Capitol Building (2 E. Main St. Madison) has erected a holiday tree in the center of the rotunda for decades.

Visitors can enter the Capitol to see the tree and are even able to go on multiple levels of the rotunda to walk around the massive tree on every level.

Wisconsin State Capitol Building in winter

What to Do in Milwaukee in Winter

If you’re thinking about where to go in Wisconsin in winter, why not head to the city of Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is located in the southeast part of Wisconsin, along the shores of Lake Michigan- and is the largest city in the state.

And in the winter, the city offers tons of activities perfectly enjoyed during the season- from snowshoeing to seeing some holiday light displays.

Escape the Cold with a Visit to the Domes

The Mitchell Park Domes (524 S Layton Blvd, Milwaukee) are a set of three giant glass domes that house a horticulture conservatory.

The Domes offer three different biomes to walk through all featuring a unique collection of flora.

See tropical flowers and cacti in the middle of an ice-cold Wisconsin winter.

Go Snowshoeing at the Urban Ecology Center

The Urban Ecology Center (1859 N. 40th Street, Milwaukee) offers snowshoe rentals so you can explore the nature around Milwaukee.

Snowshoeing is a unique way to experience the Wisconsin winter and The Urban Ecology Center has plenty of preserved natural habitats and river-front areas to explore.

Visit the Fiserv Forum for a Bucks Game

Basketball season is big in Milwaukee.

With the Bucks recently winning a championship, the Fiserv Forum (1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave, Milwaukee) is a must-visit location during the winter season.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ games are fun for the whole family and there is plenty to do even if you are not interested in basketball.

Go Sledding at Pulaski Park

Looking for more spots to enjoy some of Wisconsin’s winter activities?

Pulaski Park (1644-1712 W Cleveland Ave, Milwaukee) is one of Milwaukee’s best public parks for sledding.

Race down the hills and enjoy the thrills of sledding on a cold winter day.

Pulaski Park has multiple hills to use for sledding that are all completely free, but you will have to bring your own sled.

Go for a Polar Plunge in Lake Michigan

Make the most of your winter trip in Wisconsin by going for a dip in the ice-cold Lake Michigan.

The Polar Plunge (Bradford Beach 2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee) is a yearly tradition for many Wisconsinites and a quick swim in freezing waters is almost a right of passage.

This is a unique event with food and entertainment for the whole family even if you decide to stay dry.

Winter evening at a lakefront in Milwaukee, WI

Things to Do in Lake Geneva in Winter

Lake Geneva is a resort city and a popular tourist destination located southeast of Wisconsin.

You can find lots of shops, restaurants, and hotels in the area making it an ideal spot for your Wisconsin winter vacation.

Listed below are some of the things you can do around Lake Geneva when you visit in the winter season.

Stay at the Grand Geneva Resort

The Grand Geneva Resort (7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva) is a historic resort in Lake Geneva that has all the amenities for the perfect Wisconsin winter getaway.

Lounge by the fire both in your room and outdoors, pamper yourself in the spa, eat at the award-winning restaurant, ski or snowboard down the Grand Geneva Mountaintop, or ice skate on their outdoor rink.

The resort is family-friendly and offers hotel rooms, condos, and cabins.

See Giant Works of Snow Art at Winterfest

Winterfest is an annual festival in Lake Geneva that centers around a snow sculpting competition.

See giant snow sculptures, have bonfires on the beach, and enjoy the great winter atmosphere of Lake Geneva at this fun winter event.

Wisconsin Winter Travel Tips

If you are planning to drive around Wisconsin in the winter, you should prepare for traveling on snowy roads.

The Wisconsin snow is unpredictable and can be expected anytime from October to March.

If you are driving on the Wisconsin winter roads, it is best to have a vehicle with four-wheel drive.

You may need to drive under the speed limit to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Give yourself plenty of room to stop between vehicles and take turns cautiously.

Final Thoughts

We hope you find our list of activities and destinations helpful in giving you ideas about what to do in Wisconsin in winter- and use it to plan for your next trip.

And don’t forget to share your experience in the comments below.