Take Advantage Of Off-Season Travel To These Top U.S. Destinations

Traveling during off-peak times to popular tourist spots across the country allows you to steer clear of the larger crowds, higher temperatures, traffic jams, and increased prices.  The fall and spring shoulder seasons are especially worth looking into if you have flexibility in your schedule. During these months, the weather remains pleasant with fewer tourists, better deals, and easier access to well-known restaurants and attractions.  If you can travel when most others can’t, you’ll be sure to uncover discounted rates, better booking opportunities, and immersive experiences with the locals.

We’ve rounded up five spots throughout the U.S. to consider for off-season travel and included top tips to help you take advantage of them.

Jackson, Wyoming

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Davis

The famed mountain destination of Jackson, Wyoming, is known for its ski-filled winters and summertime hiking, making the fall and spring seasons some of the best times to visit if you’re looking to beat the crowds. While some areas of town might be closed during your off-season visit, you can still experience some of the best parts of the popular tourist destination and even score enticing deals depending on which month you plan your stay.

During April and May, the weather is a bit unpredictable, so while you can expect a few warm spurts, don’t be shocked if you still see snow. If you plan to visit in the spring, you can enjoy Yellowstone National Park without the traffic but may see less wildlife than you would during peak season. As for the fall in Jackson, your best bet is to visit during September or October so you can still enjoy the outdoor scenery without being overtaken by the cold. The Grand Tetons will have their fall colors on display, and you can venture on a picnic hike without feeling bombarded by other visitors.

Napa Valley, California

Napa is known for its world-class wineries, stunning scenery, luxurious accommodations, and award-winning restaurants. It is perfect for those who want to relax and spend quality time with friends and loved ones. Most people flock to this area of California during the summer when school is on break and Americans are typically vacationing. Warm days and cool nights provide perfect weather for live music concerts and other outdoor events at many wineries.  Crowds begin to dwindle after August. Yet, early fall remains a busy time due to the harvest season. Opt for a winter trip in January, February, or March if you want to be among only a few travelers during your visit. These months allow for easier access to winemakers and notable restaurants.

Make the most of your trip by booking a popular hotel offering all the extras at a much lower rate than during peak season. When packing for this trip, don’t forget to pack layers.  Even in the winter months, the temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit.

Seaside, Florida

Photo Courtesy of live30a.com

Visitors have turned away from classic beach destinations like Panama City, Destin, or Myrtle Beach in the last few years. Instead, they have begun exploring Florida’s most coveted coastal strip, 30A. 30A links Panama City and Destin and includes many beach spots along the way that offer a more secluded and relaxed environment than the traditional touristy beach trip you might expect. Of all the places along the coastal strip, Seaside is among the most notable.

Famous for its walkable design, idyllic setting, and location for the 1998 movie The Truman Show, it has grown so popular in recent years that visiting during the height of summer is almost unbearable. To experience all of the joys that Seaside has to offer without having to endure long wait times everywhere you go, the best times to visit are September and October after schools have started or January and February for a pre-spring break vacation. In September and October, you can likely still enjoy the beach weather, but in January and February, you can expect cooler temps making for the perfect time to book a beach bonfire.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod is one of the world’s most popular summer vacation spots offering beautiful beaches and laid-back living, making it a fun trip for families. While the activities are endless in the summer, like many beach destinations, Cape Cod starts to settle once schools start back, making it an excellent place for off-season visiting.

You can take advantage of the area between Labor Day and Memorial Day.  There is much less traffic to fight, the beach is less crowded, and you can slowly explore the area by bike on Cape Cod’s Rail Trail and visit one of the 14 lighthouses without feeling rushed.

Page, Arizona

Located in Northern Arizona bordering Utah, Page, Arizona, is home to the beautiful Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell, frequently visited by those on out west road trips. These hot spots see the most foot traffic during spring and summer as people come to enjoy the area’s boating.

You can beat the heat and the crowds while still soaking in all the scenery from October through February. Lake Powell Resort is one of the best stays in the area, offering onsite restaurants and lake view rooms during your visit.

All in all, there is a way that you can enjoy the most sought-after destinations across the country without getting caught in tourist traps that make your trips unenjoyable. We hope you make the most of the off-seasons by exploring the areas that bring so much joy and creating lifelong memories with those you love.

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