US Beste Reistijd P1099342 Bryce NP
Usa hawaii view of leahi from kapiolani park
US Beste Reistijd DSC5903 Yellowstone
Usa hawaii maui surboards credit hawaii tourism authority blake bronstadjpg
Experience the diversity in every season

When is the best time to travel to the United States?

The United States is a wonderful destination at any time of the year. With approximately 9.8 million square kilometres of land, there is always a diverse range of climates to explore. The best time to travel to the United States is during the shoulder seasons, in spring and autumn. At those times the temperatures are mild and the attractions are not too full.

Our tailor-made holidays, designed especially for you, will map out the best route for you to follow, whether you set off in the busy peak season or the quiet off-season. Are you planning to spend Christmas in New York or to catch some winter sun on your journey through the southern states?

Perhaps you want to visit Yellowstone in the springtime or catch the dazzling fall colours of North Carolina. Whatever shape your holiday to the USA takes, our travel specialist can arrange it for you. The general climate in the United States is temperate, however, the country could be split into three different climates: a coastal Mediterranean climate, a desert climate, and a mountainous Alpine climate. You can also experience a tropical climate in Hawaii and South Florida.

Discover the seasons of the United States

Go surfing at Waikiki Beach in Hawaii
© hawaii tourism authority
Hike the trails of Arizona

Spring

At this time of year, the United States is slowly waking up from the winter months and temperatures are already warming up in the Southwest. Travelling in the low season is a good time to take a road trip through the states of Arizona, Utah, California and New Mexico. Hiking in some of the national parks is already possible, but take care as the grizzly bears are becoming active after their long hibernation. May is a great month to spot humpback whales off California's Monterey Bay, too.

When visiting in the spring, we recommend starting your journey in the south and heading north. From the end of May, the roads in the Rocky Mountains are mostly snow-free and passable. Did you know that in spring in Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and the Grand Teton National Park, there are not too many tourists yet?

Explore vibrant cities and enjoy the cool spring temperatures
Go horse riding together with a Native American guide

Summer

During this period, summer vacation begins for many Americans. The national parks are usually crowded and it can get very hot in the southern parts of the country. For example, in Saguaro National Park in Arizona temperatures can be above 40 degrees Centigrade in the summer.

Temperatures are more pleasant inland and along the coast of Washington and Oregon. The nature here is beautiful and it's not so crowded. Acadia National Park in Maine is a stunning area to spend time in during the summer months. The beach in California is also a wonderful place to stay over the summer. The State with the longest summer is Hawaii and here you can enjoy warm temperatures on the beach and in the sea from May to October.

Take long walks along the beaches of California
Be astounded by the grand and diverse landscapes of the United States

"September is a great time to visit the United States. You can still enjoy great weather but it's a bit cooler and less busy, so it's easier to travel and see the key sites."

Michael, Travel Specialist

Autumn

After the hot summer months, the climate becomes milder again in autumn. This is one of the best and most beautiful periods to travel to the United States. In Yellowstone National Park, you can spot wildlife such as bears, moose, bison, foxes, badgers, birds of prey and many other species. In the Southwestern states of the United States, you can enjoy excellent hiking. This is also a good time to visit the impressive Grand Canyon.

Perhaps you are planning a visit to New England to see the stunning autumn colours of the autumn foliage or over the Thanksgiving holiday? Or a Christmas shopping trip to New York? Or driving through the southern United States via Las Vegas and then continuing to the West Coast USA to explore San Diego and San Francisco?

Our travel specialists will help you plan the holiday of a lifetime, whatever the season. Whatever destinations you have been dreaming of, we can accommodate them into your tailor-made trip that can be adapted month-by-month to your personal wishes.

weg door Yosemite met bomen en herfstbladeren
Discover all the colours of fall
© TravelEssence
Watch the sunset over the stunning landscapes of the United States

Winter

This is an ideal time in the United States to visit the national parks in the desert regions of the states of Arizona, California and Utah, because of the mild temperatures. But the islands of Hawaii are also popular in the winter months. The temperature is an average of 26 degrees, with the occasional tropical rain shower.

For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, this is the time to travel to the northwestern states, because the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains have a thick layer of snow. Off the coast of California, you can spot orcas and grey whales on their migrations throughout these cooler months.

Stay in cosy cabins in the heart of nature
Hike through the American woods after the snow has fallen

When is the best time to travel to different regions of the United States?

There is no quick, easy answer to this question as lots of things have to be considered. The USA is the third-largest country on earth and the climate varies enormously from region to region. However, this also means that you can take a trip to the USA and even plan to visit certain National Parks all year round.

Firstly, to find out the best time for you personally to travel, it is important to prioritise what you would like to see and do and what range of temperatures you prefer. In the following overview, we give you tips on the best times to take a trip to individual regions of the United States.

The best time to visit Florida & the Southeast

In America's southeast, the state of Florida and the city of Miami are particularly popular with visitors due to the holiday flair there. The northern climate of the state is subtropical. It is summery here all year round, even in December and January. The south of Florida, on the other hand, has a tropical climate with dry and rainy seasons and much more humidity.

The rainy season is from May to December. We, therefore, recommend January to April for a trip to Florida. Then temperatures range between 21 and 29 degrees Celsius with less precipitation and humidity. This is the perfect time to snorkel with manatees in the Crystal River or to try catching the waves with the surfing Santas on Cocoa Beach on Christmas Eve.

Florida has miles of beautiful beaches
Spring is a perfect time to visit Miami beach

The best time to visit the Islands of Hawaii

Hawaii is a true paradise to get away from it all and a trip there is always recommended. Here, pleasant temperatures of around 25 degrees prevail all year round, as well as wonderful water temperatures. The cool sea breeze prevents it from getting too hot on the Pacific islands. Marvel, for example, at how the elements of fire and water meet in the Volcanoes National Park.

The weather is the coolest in Hawaii in December and January - then you even need to wear an extra layer in the mountain regions. The valley regions, however, still have an average temperature of 22 degrees. From October to April, it can get a little wetter, but then there are fewer visitors and you can enjoy your holiday in peace.

You can fly here comfortably from Los Angeles or San Diego and combine this with a Coastal California trip. In no time at all, you could be snorkelling with turtles on crescent-shaped beaches, and visiting active volcanoes. Hawaii is also a popular tropical location for destination weddings.

Molten lava flows directly into the Pacific Ocean
The beaches of Hawaii are unforgettable
© unsplash | Luke Mckeown

The best time to visit the Northwest

The Northwest of the USA, including the cities of Seattle and Portland, has a temperate climate, with fairly mild temperatures all year round. However, it can quickly become humid and foggy here, as the precipitation rate is higher than in other parts of the USA. The best time to travel here is in summer when the average temperature is 20 degrees Celsius and there is less rain.

For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, however, winter is clearly the best time to travel to the northwestern states. Then the Rocky Mountains of the Pacific Northwest turn into a dreamlike landscape that is perfect for all sorts of outdoor sports.

Mount Rainier in the sunset beyond the Seattle skyline
Mount Hood is visible from many beautiful places in Oregon

The best time to visit the Southwest

The Southwest and the West Coast of the USA are among the most popular travel destinations in North America. These regions have a desert climate, with hot days and cool nights. However, the heat is very dry and therefore more tolerable than the sultry heat in the tropics. Nevertheless, it is best to explore the southwest in spring or autumn. Then the temperatures are most pleasant and the crowds are smaller.

Explore the nightlife of Las Vegas in Nevada or national parks like Bryce Canyon in Utah and Yosemite National Park in California. The latter is at a higher altitude, which means that there is even snow here in winter, which can lead to the closure of some trails. Once the snow melts in spring, the waterfalls in Yosemite are particularly impressive. The wildlife also reawakens in spring and is excellent to observe. For Death Valley National Park, on the other hand, winter is the best time, as the rest of the year is extremely hot here.

Make time for hiking in Yosemite National Park ...
© TravelEssence
... and visit Las Vegas for a total contrast
© Juliana Malta, unsplash

In the Golden State of California, the fresh sea breeze makes for a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with the north being slightly more humid than the south. In spring and autumn, temperatures range from 15 to 28 degrees Celsius, ensuring that a visit at this time is very pleasant.

Take that long-dreamed-of West Coast road trip along Highway 1! Explore coastal California making stops in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and finish your up driving across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. You can also spot humpback whales in Monterey Bay between May and October.

Go sailing near the Golden Gate Bridge
© TravelEssence
Enjoy warm evenings in Los Angeles
© Jake Blucker

The best time to visit Northeast

The northeast of the United States has four distinct seasons and is therefore comparable to the weather in Europe. The Atlantic Ocean gives the east coast a humid climate with hot summers and cool winters. The northeast offers the most pleasant weather in spring and autumn. The low season may be grey and dreary, but it is a special highlight to visit the mega-metropolis of New York at Christmas time. The festive lighting and the dazzling skyscrapers create a special atmosphere, as you know from many famous films.

Another highlight to include on your route is autumn in New England when the weather is often unseasonably warm. We recommend that you travel through Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, preferably in September or October. The deciduous trees then turn into a sea of warm reds and oranges and make for beautiful woodland walks and autumn drives.

A peaceful evening in Cape Newagen, Maine
The autumn colours of New Hampshire

The best time to visit the Midwest

The Midwestern states of the USA have a continental climate. Cold winters and hot summers prevail here. Here, too, autumn and spring offer the most pleasant temperatures on your trip to the USA. Especially for outdoor activities, such as hiking in Yellowstone National Park, the cooler seasons are better.

There can be very heavy snowfall in winter which may make driving difficult. However, if you plan to go skiing in the Rocky Mountain resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, you can enjoy excellent snow and wide uncrowded pistes.

Go hiking in the stunning landscape of Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Visiting Yellowstone National Park is a memorable experience
© Chris Leipelt, Unsplash

Depending on what you want to see and experience in the USA, there are different seasons and regions to consider. Would you like to know when is the best time to get to know a particular region of the USA or to experience something special? Contact us and all your questions will be answered by our knowledgeable travel experts.

Our travel specialists would be more than happy to discuss the United States climate and seasons in detail, as well as the best time to visit each region based on your specific interests. Or, feel free to attend one of our live and informative presentations for more inspiration on the best time to visit.

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One step closer to your dream trip

More is possible than you may think

You probably already have ideas for your holiday to the United States and Canada. Nature tours through the Rocky Mountains, spotting orcas near the San Juan Islands, or exploring the streets of San Francisco on the iconic cable car?

For the best local tips and advice, visit one of our online presentations. Meet our travel specialists and have all of your questions answered.