Weather, crowds, and pricing all vary from season to season. This makes selecting the right time for a trip an important factor in the planning process. With that in mind, I've created this guide on where to travel during each season and where to avoid.
Go: Sunny destinations such as Hawaii, Florida or Arizona, which can become too hot later in the year. While not as warm, other Sun Belt states such as Texas still offer a mild climate and fewer crowds during winter.
Avoid: The northern half of the country unless you enjoy cold weather. If you are looking to go on a ski trip then consider Colorado, Utah, or Reno/Tahoe.
Go: Cities in the Northeast and the Great Lakes Region, like New York City and Chicago, that are too cold in the winter and too humid in the summer. With generally good weather and lower costs, spring is a great time to travel almost anywhere.
Avoid: Popular spring break towns, at least during the early part of the season. Also keep in mind that Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other states which are prone to tornadoes, experience the highest frequency from April lasting until June.
Go: The Pacific Northwest has their best weather in the summer, making it a great time to experience Seattle or Portland. Some areas in the Mountain West or West Coast have warmer than ideal weather but are still bearable.
Avoid: The eastern half of the country which experiences humidity and the sunbelt which experiences extreme heat. Popular tourist destinations everywhere will be more crowded and travel costs will be more expensive because of summer break.
Go: Cities and National Parks in the Mountain West Region such as Denver, Salt Lake City, and Yellowstone National Park. Fall is also the best time of year to visit California. This includes my home city of San Francisco, which has warmer temperatures and less fog than in the summer. Like spring, fall offers ideal weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices in a number of places.
Avoid: Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the Southwestern Atlantic Coast, which are at the height of Hurricane Season in September and October.