When is the best time to visit USA?
The US is an outstanding showcase of some of nature’s most awe-inspiring wonders as well as human-made marvels. The summer months of July and August are the busiest times to travel in the USA. It’s warm throughout the country though the Southern parts, especially on the East Coast, can get quite humid. Weather conditions in the Northern parts of the country are temperate and perfect for sightseeing. Plan ahead as flight tickets and accommodations can get booked months in advance.
Spring and fall present wonderful opportunities to explore our country with comparatively lesser crowds. Weather conditions in May and June are warm enough in most parts, making it an excellent time to travel. Similarly, the latter part of September and the month of October see the most brilliant fall colors appear in the Northeastern states, making this one of the best times to visit the USA.
It’s one of the coldest months of the year. The northern states experience snow, and the ski season is in full swing. Temperatures in Washington DC and Seattle are in the mid-40s, while readings in Los Angeles are around 65°F.
- For the most breathtaking winter scenery, head to Bryce Canyon National Park
- Frozen waterfalls and lakes are just some of the sights you will enjoy at the Yosemite National Park
The cold wave continues across most Northern states. It’s raining in Seattle while cities like Denver, San Francisco, and Washington DC, though cold, see clear, blue skies. Temperatures in LA are in the mid-60s and in Miami, a toasty 77°F.
- A riot of springtime blooms, gorgeous sunrises, and sublime views await you at the Death Valley National Park
- Head to Colorado, the state with some of the best winter resorts in the country, for some outdoor sports and relaxation
The southern states start warming up, but it’s still cold up North. While Boston sees day time temperatures reaching only the mid-40s, it begins to look like summer in Miami with readings touching 80°F.
- Watch the play of light and shadow as you witness magical sunrises over Monument Valley
- Come upon the most breathtaking views with every twist and turn of the 17 Mile Drive in California
It’s the start of spring and one of the best months to visit Washington DC, or many national parks at lower altitudes. The snow finally starts to melt in the northern states.
- Picnic at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C, the site of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
- Hop on the Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic train ride around the South Rim
Spring is well underway in most parts of the country. With pleasant temperatures and the summertime crowds yet to arrive, May is one of the best months to visit the USA. The national parks are less busy, and weather conditions are perfect for outdoor activities.
- Colorful hot springs and geysers that erupt on schedule are all part of the experience at Yellowstone National Park
- For the best views of Bryce Canyon National Park, head to Rainbow Point
- Take a tour of the centuries-old cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people at Mesa Verde National Park
With Boston, Seattle, and Portland showing temperatures in the high 70s, it’s a great time to visit the northeast and northwest regions. With warm weather throughout the country, this is one of the best times to visit the USA.
- Witness the magnificent Half Dome and the roaring waterfalls of Yosemite National Park
- Take the Maid of the Mist boat ride to experience the mighty Niagara Falls from up close
- Trek to some of the most pristine lakes at Rocky Mountain National Park
It’s the driest time of the year in the Northwest, and with temperatures ranging from 75°F to 80°F, it’s also the best month to visit the region. The beaches and national parks are where people head to during this month.
- Hike amid carpets of wildflowers at Mount Rainier National Park
- Sign up for a boat or trolley tour that shows you the best of Crater Lake National Park
It is the warmest and busiest month of the year. Temperatures across most parts of the country are in the 80s and 90s though readings cross the 100°F mark in Las Vegas. There is a chance of hurricanes in Florida and the state sees sudden downpours during the month
- Walk under a canopy of towering trees at Sequoia National Park
- Drive up to Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park for breathtaking panoramas
- Trek The Narrows trail at Zion National Park
Labor Day marks the start of the school year, which means lesser crowds at the beaches and popular attractions. Fall foliage starts to appear middle to end of the month, making September one of the best times to visit the USA, particularly the Northeast.
- Spend an afternoon at the picturesque La Jolla Cove discovering tidepools
- Stroll through the streets of the charming Carmel-by-the-Sea village in California
The northeastern states put on a spectacular fall show during the month. Golden browns, reds, and yellows delight visitors at national parks in the region. With clear skies and mild temperatures, it’s a beautiful month to visit the USA.
- Watch a magical display of fall colors at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
- View a million stars at Capitol Reef National Park, recognized as an International Dark Sky Park
Temperatures start to drop, with many northern cities experiencing their first snow during the month. Thanksgiving marks the start of a festive period for Americans and is one of the busiest times for domestic travel.
- Find a little slice of paradise at the beaches of Key West, Florida
- Marvel at the red rock formations that dot the desert landscape of the Arches National Park in Moab, Utah
It’s the most festive time of the year. Head up north for a chance to experience a ‘White Christmas’. Celebrations abound across the country with caroling, incredible light displays, and tree lighting ceremonies.
- Delight at the sight of the domes and cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park topped with snow
- Sled through snow covered trails at Rocky Mountain National Park
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Seasons in the USA
The USA experiences four seasons: a spring season that runs from March to May, warm summers that extend from June to August, a crisp fall season during September, October, and November, and a winter season that extends from December through February.
Due to its enormous size, different parts of the country experience these seasons differently. The northeastern and midwestern parts of the country, including Massachusetts, New York and Illinois see distinct seasons with heavy snowfall during winters and autumn colors filling the landscape in the fall. However, the southern parts of the country, like Florida, experience warm temperatures throughout the year with hot summers and mild winters. Expect showers across the country during the spring months.
Regions in the USA
The East Coast – For some of the best fall foliage, head to the northeastern states and national parks during September and October. While DC is ideal during cherry blossom season, NYC is best experienced from April – June and September – early November. The period from July – August is a busy time but weather conditions can get hot and humid during these months.
The West Coast – The period from July – October sees the best weather conditions in San Diego while spring and autumn months are best for L.A. San Francisco is at its warmest, surprisingly, during September and October. The northwestern states experience frequent rain showers and cold temperatures during winter and spring, making summer the best time to visit the cities and national parks of Oregon and Washington.
The South – Florida experiences a subtropical weather system. Summers are hot and humid while the months just before and after experience pleasant temperatures. The winter months are a popular and excellent time to visit Key West and Everglades National Park.
What to Pack
With such varied geography and seasons, what you pack for your trip around the USA depends on where you are traveling and when.
Summers in the cities call for light clothing and sun protection. However, if you are visiting national parks, the difference in day time and night time temperatures can be significant. So, plan on taking warm clothes for chilly nights.
Spring and fall months call for warm layers that you add or remove depending on weather conditions.
If you are visiting the northern parts of the country during the winter months, pack your warmest jackets and winter wear – thermals, gloves and winter hats.
If you are planning on visiting the national parks, we recommend good quality trekking shoes, quick-dry shirts and trousers, thin yet warm layers, and a backpack that can carry snacks, water, a sun protection hat and insect repellant.
Our national parks are a treasure trove of the most extraordinary sights and landscapes. Talk to our travel experts and find out the best time to visit the USA and head off on an adventure to discover the Great Outdoors.
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One of the very best travel experiences I have ever had. We even got updates once at 3 am! He also made one change in one day’s itinerary to accommodate our wishes which was very wonderful. For business, I have traveled to Europe, Russia, all over Asia and South Africa but was blown away by all the beautiful sites in Argentina and Chile.
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