Winter destinations in Western New York are some of the most spectacular in the United States, and every traveler should include them in their bucket lists. From charming small towns to gorgeous snow-covered mountains to beautiful falls and lakes, this region of New York is full of winter surprises.
Whether looking for a family vacation spot, a romantic getaway, or a weekend escape, there are numerous places to choose from. Enjoy a perfect winter vacation in these western New York destinations.
10/10 Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park is one of the best destinations in Western New York to enjoy a perfect winter vacation. Not only will families enjoy fewer crowds and great deals, but also beautiful landscapes and views that will take their breaths away.
From ice-coated trees to special programs run throughout the season to plenty of top-notch restaurants and shopping opportunities, there is never a better time to explore Niagara than winter.
sledding, outdoor skating, Christmas lights tour, hiking
9/10 Manhattan, NYC
Manhattan’s undeniable beauty makes sit one of the most charming places to visit in the world during the festive season. It has numerous things for vacationers to do during winter, including ice skating at Rockefeller Center, exploring the New York Botanical Garden, and exploring some artworks in the Museum of Modern Art.
Home to some of the prettiest villages and holiday markets, Manhattan is an incredible spot to shop for beautiful gifts for loved ones.
8/10 Kissing Bridge
Looking for a perfect skiing destination in Western New York? Look no further than Kissing Bridge, boasting an incredibly stunning terrain with sites for both beginners and experienced skiers.
Reachable in a short scenic drive from Buffalo, the spot consists of 39 slopes covering an area of 700 acres. With nine lifts serving the area, skiers can spend more time skiing to get to the top of the slopes.
February is the best month to go skiing because, at this time, enough snow shall have fallen.
7/10 Lake Placid, Adirondacks
Lake Placid is full of fun activities for vacationers in winter, making it a magical destination to consider during the cold season.
From skiing at Whiteface Mountain to ice skating at the Olympic Rink to going on fun dog sledding adventures, this destination is a paradise for outdoorsy vacationers.
Vacationers will find a good number of snowshoeing trails in lake Placid, which don’t require many skills to attempt. Also, there are numerous Adirondack winter hiking trails to explore in the area.
Head to Cascade Mountain for a perfect snowshoeing experience. The area guarantees breathtaking views of the snow-covered trees and the surrounding mountains.
6/10 Golden Hill State Park, Barker
Golden Hill State Park is one of the most impressive spots to visit on Lake Ontario in winter. Known for its numerous outdoor opportunities, including snowshoeing, five miles of snowmobile trails, and breathtaking views of the lake.
This park boasts some of the most spectacular ice formations around the trees, between the rocks, and other things stand still.
Don’t leave without exploring Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse, which dates back to 1875. There is a long, fascinating history that vacationers can learn at this lighthouse.
5/10 Fort Ontario, Oswego
Built by the British in 1755, Fort Ontario is one of the best places to visit in Western New York in winter. Initially called the Fort of the Sic Nations, this fort was constructed to offer protection to Oswego against destruction during the French and Indian War.
There is a post cemetery in the area, with graves of unknown soldiers who fought during the war. Vacationers will find a stunning park surrounding Fort Ontario.
While it’s never opened in winter, its grounds are free for exploration, and visitors will have the most unforgettable fun moments. There are benches that people can use to rest.
Plus, Fort Ontario is a great spot for having beautiful views of the Oswego Lighthouse and even taking some pictures.
4/10 New Paltz, Hudson Valley
Surrounded by gorgeous forests, rugged mountain ridges, and a village charm, New Paltz is one of the most beautiful winter destinations to visit in Western New York. New Platz is a fantastic spot for vacationers looking for winter outdoor opportunities.
From downhill skiing to snowshoeing to cross-country skiing to snowmobiling, one of the most enchanting towns in the Hudson Valley has a lot to offer for a perfect winter getaway.
3/10 Syracuse, Finger Lakes
The City of Syracuse offers several outdoor and indoor winter activities worth braving the cold for and will keep vacationers’ travel days brightened up. In the heart of this adorable town is Clinton Square, where travelers can go skiing.
Clinton Square is always spectacular at any time of the year, but in winter, the place is replaced by an incredibly stunning ice rink that operated throughout the week, including weekends. Those with no skates can rent them at the square.
Cost of ice skating:
$5 for adults, $3 for kids, and seniors
2/10 Holiday Valley, Ellicottville
Holiday Valley Resort is located at 6557 Holiday Valley Road and is an excellent year-round destination. In winter, the place turns into a magical paradise with several fun activities for the season, including snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing.
The area boasts 58 slopes and 13 lifts – and less-experienced vacationers can always learn some skills. The resort offers lodging that comes with incredible amenities, such as indoor/outdoor heated pools and hot tubs.
1/10 Watertown, New York
Watertown offers fun winter excursions that guarantee an unforgettable family vacation. From historical tours to numerous outdoor activities to incredible wildlife at the New York State Zoo, several winter opportunities await at this amazing destination in Western New York.
The Mountain Monument, Public Square Historical District, and the Burrville Cider Mill are some of the places not to miss in Watertown.