US Beste Reistijd DSC5903 Yellowstone
US Beste Reistijd P1099342 Bryce NP
USA see and do family active canoe
USA New England fall foliage
US Beste Reistijd DSC5903 Yellowstone
US Beste Reistijd P1099342 Bryce NP
USA see and do family active canoe
USA New England fall foliage
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.

Experience the iconic and vibrant fall foliage in Vermont
Hike the trails of Arizona for unbeatable views of Southwestern landscapes

But why do we recommend travelling to the USA in shoulder seasons?

  • By travelling in shoulder season, such as autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May), you can truly immerse yourself in the destination without the crowds or extreme weather conditions, allowing you to enjoy a more authentic interaction with local communities and attractions.
  • Flights, accommodation, and attractions are typically more affordable, and they offer better availability, allowing you to stretch your budget further and potentially indulge in unique experiences or longer stays.
  • By visiting in spring, you know you will be greeted with the most stunning display of blooms and baby wild animals, while autumn provides the most spectacular contrast of colours from the surrounding landscape.
  • Shoulder season is also the best time for you to spend quality time with your hosts and guides - to learn about the United States from the friendly locals who love sharing their knowledge and insider tips with you.

Be inspired by our holiday ideas for the USA

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Best travel time by season

The seasons in the United States largely follow those of the UK, but there are greater extremes for both the winter and summer climates, as well as huge diversity depending on the region. And generally speaking, the best time to visit depends on your preferences and the regions you want to explore.

By working together, we deliver a holiday itinerary that will be full of unique self-drive routes and awesome things to do, making sure it suits your ideal travel tempo with all the care and attention you need to have the best holiday in the United States.

Discover the seasons of the United States:

  • Spring (March to May): This is the time of year when nature is slowly emerging from the colder months. There are fewer crowds, but trails are opening, wildflowers are in bloom, and more activities are available than in winter.
  • Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak travel season in the United States. The warmer months are ideal for water activities, and enjoying the sunshine, although there are big crowds and the prices are highest during summer.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn in an ideal time to visit the United States for those wanting to avoid the summer holiday crowds. The national parks are all still open, and early autumn still offers great weather conditions (especially in the Southwest).
  • Winter (December to February): The winter months in the United States still offer a diverse selection of activities, with everything from skiing on the East Coast to hiking in Death Valley. The crowds are minimal, and prices are often best for stretching your budget.
The Grand Canyon South Rim cliffs with snow
Snow against the Grand Canyon's red rocks is a dramatic view
© Little America
There are ski destinations worth visiting all over the United States

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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
Enjoy the blooming flora while 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 warm and sunny beaches of California
Be astounded by the grand and desert landscapes of the United States

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.

"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
weg door Yosemite met bomen en herfstbladeren
Discover all the colours of the East Coast's iconic fall foliage
© 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.

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.

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Would you like to find out a little more?

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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.

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.

Discover more

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.