7 Destinations to Gather With Family and Friends This Winter

Check out these classic winter vacation spots.

By: Sara Sheehy + Save to a List

When was the last time that you got away from it all with friends and family? If it’s been a while, now’s the time to plan a trip to reconnect, relax, and spend some quality time with your favorite humans.

When you’re deciding where to book your vacation lodgings, keep KOA in mind. KOA welcomes groups of all sizes with accommodations that include group camping areas, tent sites, RV sites, cabins, and even unique rentals like glamping tents, yurts, and vintage trailers. There’s something for everyone!

Escape the ordinary this winter by gathering with your friends and family in one of these seven classic winter destinations.

San Diego, California

Photo by Grant

It’s hard to imagine that a destination with perfect year-round weather, like San Diego, has an off-season, but it does, and it happens in the winter.

We’re not talking about empty streets or desolate campgrounds, but winter in San Diego is every-so-slightly quieter than the summer, which makes it the perfect time to reconnect with family and friends in this sunny, gorgeous city. Whether you spend your time visiting the beach, checking out local museums, or strolling through a park, there’s always something to do in San Diego.

If you’re looking to get outdoors, be sure to check out the hiking at South Fortuna Peak, surfing at Scripps Pier, or swimming in La Jolla Cove.

KOA campgrounds in California

Boise, Idaho

Photo by Sara Sheehy

With Idaho’s famous ski resorts and northern latitude, it’s easy to think the whole state socks in with snow during winter. But in the vibrant and artsy capital city of Boise, that’s not the case. Boise’s mild winters ensure that while you might see a flake of snow during your stay, it rarely sticks around for more than a day or two.

Enjoy Boise by strolling through downtown’s Freak Alley, taking a trip to Zoo Boise to feed the giraffes, or heading up to the mountains to ski at Bogus Basin. The hike to Table Rock is a year-round local favorite, too!

KOA campgrounds in Idaho

Tucson, Arizona

Photo by Josiah Roe

Warm winter temperatures and sunny days await in Tucson, Arizona. Though it has a reputation as a destination where retirees flock for the cooler months, don’t dismiss this city as an early-bird-dinner-only kind of place. Tucson’s relaxed and adventurous vibe makes it the perfect place to re-connect with nature this winter.

Tucson’s many attractions include the world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, and the Pima Air & Space Museum. There are also dozens of hikes and bike rides in and around the city.

KOA campgrounds in Arizona

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Photo by Travis Smith

Ok, we’ll be the first to admit that winter in Grand Rapids can get a bit chilly. But don’t let the cool temperatures keep you away, especially when KOA offers deluxe, heated cabins to keep you and your family toasty warm during your winter stay.

Use your time in Grand Rapids to enjoy the city’s dynamic food and beverage scene, then go ice skating at Rosa Park Circle, catch a show at Broadway Grand Rapids, or carve some turns at Cannonsburg Ski Area.

KOA campgrounds in Michigan

Mystic, Connecticut

Photo by Bryan Young

Camping in New England in the winter? Yes, of course! Cozy in at a year-round KOA and experience the magic of historic Mystic, Connecticut. This charming and historic locale is best known as a summer destination, but the town comes alive with New England charm in the winter.

While you’re there, you can tour the Mystic Seaport Museum, hang out at the Mystic Aquarium, and even grab a bite to eat at the authentic Mystic Pizza—80s movie memorabilia included.

KOA campgrounds in Connecticut

Nashville, Tennessee

Photo by Bailey Robbins

Grab your cowboy boots and make your way to Nashville, Tennessee this winter. The cooler temperatures in Music City, USA, make cozying up by the campfire with your loved ones all the sweeter.

Travel around the holidays to experience seasonal delights like the gorgeous light show at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and Opryland’s A Country Christmas multi-sensory spectacular. Active adventures include hikes around Radnor Lake and through Long Hunter State Park.

KOA campgrounds in Tennessee

Orlando, Florida

Photo by Gidder Zelaya

No list of places to experience with your friends and family would be complete without a nod to the Sunshine State. In winter, Florida’s climate shines with warm, sunny days and cool, clear nights.

You can enjoy the attractions that Orlando is famous for—like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World —or you can get head off the beaten path and explore the wilder side of Florida. If adventure is what you’re after, check out the hiking in the Econ River Wilderness Area, swim with the manatees at Blue Spring State Park, or take a day trip to Canaveral National Seashore.

KOA campgrounds in Florida

Cover photo by Josiah Roe

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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