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Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, California

When is the best time to visit the USA?

Northern USA attracts a largely similar climate from coast to coast, but has defined seasons. Winter can bring heavy snowfall and frozen lakes, while spring often starts as late as May, bringing colourful flora and fauna. Summer temperatures range from warm to very hot - cities in particular can feel stifling, but the coasts and national parks are usually cooler. Autumn, meanwhile, is renowned for the changing colours of the leaves.

Southern USA has less obvious seasons, but distinct regional differences, with the climate becoming more humid towards the east. Winter is dry and warm, becoming colder further north, while summer is ideal for beach relaxation or hiking in national parks, although it can be very hot and humid. Spring and autumn are the best times to travel, with pleasant temperatures throughout. Hurricanes can occur in the southeast during August and September.

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Alice, an Audley Travel specialist

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The late spring in May and June is my favourite time of year to visit the northern half of the US. You'll find pleasant temperatures and sunny days, coupled with greater accessibility into national parks but without the crowds of the summer season. Taking a hike on one of the spectacular trails in the Grand Tetons and having it all to myself is hard to beat. If travelling to the southern half of the US, the warm and sunny spring months of April and May are my favourite times to visit. The hiking trails of the national parks are accessible and the beaches aren't too crowded if you feel like relaxing. It's also nice enough to dine outdoors and there are numerous festivals and events on to enjoy.

Carl, USA Specialist

USA Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Boston 2°C 96mm 3°C 93mm 8°C 100mm 14°C 95mm 20°C 89mm 25°C 83mm 28°C 79mm 27°C 89mm 23°C 88mm 17°C 90mm 11°C 113mm 4°C 105mm
Chicago -1°C 44mm 1°C 38mm 7°C 68mm 14°C 95mm 21°C 84mm 27°C 97mm 29°C 99mm 28°C 99mm 24°C 89mm 18°C 65mm 9°C 72mm 2°C 63mm
Dallas 13°C 49mm 15°C 65mm 20°C 78mm 25°C 102mm 28°C 133mm 33°C 87mm 35°C 57mm 35°C 52mm 31°C 93mm 26°C 96mm 19°C 65mm 14°C 57mm
Denver 6°C 12mm 8°C 15mm 11°C 32mm 16°C 43mm 22°C 66mm 27°C 46mm 31°C 47mm 30°C 39mm 25°C 33mm 19°C 25mm 12°C 23mm 8°C 15mm
Las Vegas 14°C 12mm 17°C 12mm 20°C 11mm 25°C 6mm 31°C 5mm 37°C 3mm 40°C 10mm 38°C 13mm 34°C 8mm 27°C 6mm 19°C 11mm 14°C 9mm
Miami 24°C 57mm 24°C 56mm 25°C 53mm 27°C 65mm 29°C 147mm 30°C 196mm 31°C 113mm 31°C 138mm 31°C 179mm 29°C 143mm 26°C 74mm 24°C 46mm
New York 3°C 84mm 4°C 78mm 9°C 99mm 16°C 102mm 22°C 106mm 27°C 91mm 29°C 106mm 28°C 102mm 24°C 95mm 18°C 85mm 12°C 104mm 6°C 94mm
Portland 8°C 159mm 11°C 112mm 13°C 105mm 16°C 72mm 20°C 59mm 23°C 43mm 27°C 18mm 27°C 28mm 24°C 48mm 18°C 82mm 12°C 153mm 8°C 169mm
Seattle 7°C 149mm 10°C 103mm 11°C 93mm 15°C 62mm 18°C 40mm 21°C 37mm 24°C 20mm 24°C 28mm 21°C 43mm 16°C 87mm 10°C 145mm 8°C 143mm
Washington DC 6°C 73mm 7°C 70mm 13°C 87mm 19°C 78mm 24°C 96mm 29°C 90mm 31°C 100mm 30°C 105mm 26°C 89mm 20°C 78mm 14°C 82mm 8°C 82mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in the USA

St. Petersburg, Florida

Visiting the USA in January - March

The northern states of the US are cold in winter, with short days and heavy snowfall affecting access in many regions. As a result, prices are much lower than at other times of the year and there are fewer tourists. A visit to a city like Chicago or New York is still rewarding, however, with lots of indoor attractions including fine galleries and museums and of course great restaurants and shops.

Winter is a lovely time to visit the southern half of the country, with pleasant temperatures and a good deal of sunshine. It is also a cheaper and usually less busy time of year. The nights can be cold; particuarly in the deserts, but temperatures are ideal during the day for outdoor activities such as hiking and sailing.

Events & Festivals

  • St Patrick's Day (17th March): The St Patrick's Day parade in Chicago is a celebration of all things Irish. Join the party as the city and the river turns green and pints of Guinness can be enjoyed in every bar. Read more »

Why travel with Audley?

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring the USA