What is the best time of year to visit the USA?

From awe-inspiring landscapes and dynamic cities to a myriad of cultural encounters, the United States of America has it all! Pinpointing the ideal time to explore this eclectic and sprawling country relies on several factors, such as your favoured weather, budget, and the events or festivals that entice you.

In this blog post, Crown Currency Exchange will guide you through different seasons, highlighting the most budget-friendly months for travel and showcasing some captivating events and festivities throughout the year. Let’s get started!

What is the best time to visit the USA for Weather?

A simple answer won’t suffice when determining the ideal time to explore this magnificent country. With its kaleidoscope of climates, the perfect time to visit truly depends on your heart’s desires. Do you dream of basking in the warmth, relishing mild temperatures, or frolicking in a snowy winter wonderland? Then allow Crown Currency Exchange to guide you through the seasons and uncover the treasures each has to offer:

Visiting the USA in Spring (March to May)

Spring ushers in a rejuvenating atmosphere as you discover the beauty of the USA during this delightful season. With agreeable weather and a leisurely pace, spring enables you to appreciate the country’s allure without haste fully. Often considered shoulder seasons for tourists, spring generally extends from March to May, although the precise timing may vary by region.

By April, even the Northeast eagerly anticipates the arrival of spring, and some areas enjoy revitalising rainfall. The South, adorned with lush greenery and vibrant blossoms, is particularly picturesque during these months. Depending on the location, temperatures can fluctuate between a pleasant 15 and a warm 25 degrees Celsius.

Key Events in Spring

  • Mardi Gras: Revel in the rich culture and heritage of New Orleans, Louisiana, during this dazzling celebration, usually held in March.
  • Coachella: Groove to the beat at this iconic music festival in California, taking place each April and attracting visitors from all over the globe.
  • Boston Marathon: Witness history in motion as participants compete in this prestigious race every April, a tradition dating back to 1897.
  • Easter Sunday: Experience the joy of families coming together for Easter egg hunts and other festivities, as the nation celebrates this special occasion.

Visiting the USA in Summer (June to August)

Summer season in the USA showcases the radiant energy of this peak tourist season, as national parks like Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park welcome visitors from across the globe. While areas such as Texas can experience intense heat, summer remains an unparalleled opportunity to explore and savour the majority of the nation.

Featuring average high temperatures that range from 21 to 40 degrees Celsius based on the region, it’s an ideal period for beach visits and sunbathing.

Key Events in Summer

  • Independence Day: Join the nation in celebrating the 4th of July, a momentous occasion marked by grand fireworks displays and patriotic fervour.
  • US Open Tennis Championships: Tennis enthusiasts will delight in this prestigious event held in New York between August and September, showcasing exceptional talent and thrilling matches.

Visiting the USA in Autumn (September to November)

Autumn in the USA unveils the captivating charm of streets adorned with a vibrant palette of red and orange leaves. This enchanting season, known for its harvest celebrations, ushers in cooler, wet, and windy weather as the country prepares for winter.

Enjoy the comfortable climate when you visit United States, with average high temperatures varying between 17 and 29 degrees Celsius, depending on the location. Typically exhibiting drier conditions, the season is ideal for venturing out and discovering the nation’s countless attractions. However, remember that autumn coincides with hurricane season, especially in the southern states. As November comes to an end, temperatures decrease across the country, and some northern regions even experience their first snowfalls.

Key Events in Autumn

  • Halloween: Celebrated on October 31st, this spine-tingling affair enchants both the young and young-at-heart as they dress up costumes, sculpt pumpkins, and embark on a treat-seeking escapade.
  • Thanksgiving: On the fourth Thursday of November, families gather to express gratitude and share a festive meal, marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season.
  • Baseball World Series: Enjoy the camaraderie of this highly anticipated event, held between October and November in Major League Baseball stadiums across America.

Visiting the USA in Winter (December to February)

Winter season in the USA reveals the magic of a season that transforms the nation into a wonderland filled with frosty scenery, snug retreats, and ski season excitement. Despite being considered the off-season for tourism due to freezing conditions in the North and Northeast, which results in fewer visitors, states such as Florida continue to bask in agreeable warmth.

Owing to the expansive nature of the USA, winter experiences differ across regions, with average high temperatures spanning from -1 to 24 degrees Celsius, contingent on the location. For those eager to discover the southern part of the country, winter can be a superb time to visit.

Key Events in Winter

  • Christmas: Experience the joy and cosiness of the yuletide season as households nationwide adorn their abodes with dazzling ornaments and shimmering lights.
  • New Year’s Eve: Join the nation in welcoming the new year, with iconic celebrations like the ball drop at Times Square in New York City.
  • Valentine’s Day: Feel the love in the air as the country celebrates this special day, adorned with hearts and expressions of affection.

What is the cheapest month to visit the USA?

As you plan your exciting journey to the USA, timing is key when it comes to finding the best deals on flights. At present, September reigns as the most budget-friendly month to fly, while July is typically the peak season with higher prices. Prices can fluctuate based on various factors, such as how far in advance you book, your choice of airline, and the departure airports and times. 

Quick tip: Get the best value by buying USD before you leave, as this is your best chance of securing the best rates. Find out more about how you can buy USD with us here.

What is the best time to visit the USA for events & festivals?

The USA is a treasure trove of exciting events and festivals throughout the year, ensuring an action-packed experience every time you set foot on its soil. We’ve curated a list of notable events for each month to help you orchestrate your trip around the nation’s most sought-after occasions.

Key Events in January

1. New Year’s Day

From the famous Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, to the massive fireworks display in New York City’s Times Square, every city has its unique way of commemorating the new year. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, head to Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade, where spectators can witness colourful costumes, lively music, and brightly decorated floats marching down the streets.

2. Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

Nestled within the enchanting town of Park City, Utah, this prestigious event showcases a diverse array of independent films, documentaries, and shorts, complemented by engaging panel discussions and Q&A sessions with renowned directors and actors. The festival’s enchanting snow-dusted mountain backdrop only heightens the allure of this cinematic celebration.

3. Palm Springs International Film Festival

Film enthusiasts, set your sights on Palm Springs, California, for an enthralling ten-day escapade brimming with movie screenings, celebrity sightings, and elegant galas. The distinguished Palm Springs International Film Festival beckons indie and mainstream filmmakers from all corners of the globe, presenting a splendid occasion for networking and connecting with like-minded cinephiles.

Key Events in February

1. Super Bowl

Unfolding on the first Sunday of February each year, this event captivates millions of viewers across the globe. Whether you’re cheering from your couch or soaking in the electric atmosphere at the stadium, the Super Bowl caters to all tastes. And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance – the halftime show, where a new celebrated artist dazzles the audience each year. Mark your calendars for February 10, 2024, as Las Vegas sets the stage for the Super Bowl for the very first time in its glittering history.

2. Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana

This crazy and chromatic extravaganza unfolds in the pulsating city of New Orleans, Louisiana. For two rollicking weeks, the annual festival comes alive with jubilant street parties, dazzling parades, and a generous helping of beads. Seize this unparalleled opportunity to dive headfirst into Louisiana’s rich cultural tapestry and bask in the warmth of its legendary hospitality.

3. Chinese New Year Parade

Should you find yourself in San Francisco, California, come February, don’t miss the opportunity to partake in the city’s vivacious Chinese New Year festivities. The annual parade boasts resplendent floats, melodious tunes, and traditional lion dancers, creating a kaleidoscope of culture that ranks among the most dynamic events in the USA. Additionally, it presents a splendid chance to savour bona fide Chinese delicacies and delve deeper into the customs and heritage.

Key Events in March

1. South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas

Set in the vivacious city of Austin, Texas, this annual March festival is a veritable playground for creative minds. Prepare to be enchanted by a smorgasbord of live concerts featuring thousands of bands and musicians, independent films, and a forum teeming with ingenious ideas and cutting-edge technologies. Immerse yourself in captivating panels led by inspiring speakers and extraordinary events that will leave an indelible mark on your memory.

2. St. Patrick’s Day Parades & Festivities

St. Patrick’s Day is a beloved holiday in the USA, with parades and festivities taking place across the country. From the historic streets of Boston and the green rivers of Chicago to the vibrant city of New York, March 17th is the time to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. Grab your green garb, enjoy live music, Irish food & beverage, and a whole lot of craic, and experience the Irish spirit on this day.

3. Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC

Mark your calendars for a splendid floral extravaganza from March 20 to April 14 – the time-honoured Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. This annual fête commemorates the generous gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the United States in 1912. Visitors and locals alike swarm to the National Mall to bask in the breathtaking beauty of pink and white cherry blossoms that adorn the trees yearly. The festival is brimming with delightful outdoor activities, including mesmerising cultural performances, quaint paddleboat rides on the Tidal Basin, and even a high-flying kite festival.

Key Events in April

1. Coachella

Get ready to be blown away at the famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, happening each year in lovely Indio, California. This amazing event treats guests to a delightful mix of top-notch music acts, incredible art installations, and mouth-watering food options from a variety of vendors. You won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity to celebrate all things creative!

2. Fiesta San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas

A 10-day event honouring the city’s vibrant cultural heritage. As one of San Antonio’s most beloved events, Fiesta boasts a spectacular lineup of over 100 distinct happenings, encompassing melodious music performances, lively parades, and scrumptious cuisine. Be sure to catch the kaleidoscopic parade along the San Antonio River, and don’t miss the delectable Oyster Bake – an undeniable local favourite.

3. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana

From April 26 to May 5, 2024, this bustling celebration showcases an impressive lineup of local and international artists, all harmonising with the rhythm of the city. As you tap your feet to the beat, don’t forget to savour the sumptuous fare and admire the local craftsmanship at the festival’s food and craft booths.

Key Events in May

1. Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky Derby is a quintessential sports event that has etched its name in global recognition and woven itself into the fabric of American culture. Year after year, throngs of spectators descend upon Louisville, Kentucky, to revel in the exhilarating horse racing competition and its vibrant festivities. Traditionally held on the first Saturday of May, the Kentucky Derby is an unmissable spectacle for those seeking an authentic taste of American culture at its most glorious.

2. National Memorial Day Parade

Etched in the tapestry of American heritage, Memorial Day solemnly honours the brave military heroes who laid down their lives in service to the nation. Washington, D.C., takes centre stage during Memorial Day Weekend, hosting the grandiose National Memorial Day Parade—the country’s most prominent event of its kind. With its distinctive patriotic panache and unforgettable performances, the parade offers a poignant tribute to the courageous fallen heroes of the United States.

3. Taste of Cincinnati Food Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio

Foodies will have a blast at the Taste of Cincinnati Food Festival, which is regarded as the country’s most extensive culinary festival. The event features over 250 food vendors from the region and attracts culinary enthusiasts from all over the world. The Taste of Cincinnati Food Festival usually takes place at the last weekend of May and offers a remarkable opportunity to explore the city’s culinary delights.

Key Events in June

1. Pride Month

June in the USA is synonymous with Pride Month – a spirited commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall riots that ignited the Gay Rights movement. This vibrant month-long fête honours the LGBTQ+ community through a dazzling array of parades, marches, and events that span across major cities nationwide.

2. Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee

Step into the eclectic universe of Bonnaroo – a premier music and arts festival that has captured the hearts of fans across the USA and beyond. Over the course of four electrifying days, this vibrant extravaganza showcases a staggering lineup of over 150 performances, spanning genres such as rock, indie, hip-hop, electronic, and folk, while also featuring side-splitting comedy acts, rejuvenating wellness activities, and captivating art installations. With camping opportunities for festival-goers to bond and revel in the festivities, Bonnaroo offers an unforgettable experience like no other.

3. CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee

Country music aficionados, your ultimate haven awaits at the CMA Music Festival. Over the course of four harmonious days, indulge in a medley of concerts, intimate meet-and-greets, autograph sessions, and captivating activities amidst the luminaries of the country music world. As the vibrant epicentre of this cherished genre, Nashville truly awakens during the festival, its very soul resonating with the enchanting strains of country music

Key Events in July

1. Independence Day (4th of July) Celebrations

Independence Day, celebrated on the 4th of July, stands as a monumental holiday in the USA – a testament to national patriotism. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular steals the limelight with its annual free concert featuring the melodic prowess of the Boston Pop Orchestra, culminating in a dazzling fireworks display. Meanwhile, New York illuminates the Hudson River with its own fireworks spectacle, and San Francisco captivates crowds at Pier 39 with a breathtaking display of its own.

2. Comic-Con International

A four-day wonderland for devotees of comics, gaming, and superheroes—sprinkled with a dash of star-studded encounters—awaits at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Attendees are regaled with exclusive trailer debuts, stimulating panel discussions, and privileged access to the latest creations from illustrious comic book artists. Given its magnetic charm that entices massive summer crowds, remember to snag your tickets well in advance.

3. Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon

For those who love beer, the Oregon Brewers Festival on West Coast is a must-attend event in July. Boasting a rich history spanning over 25 years, this spirited gathering unites brew enthusiasts and artisans from across the USA, with more than 80 breweries displaying their finest selections. With over 100 brews to tantalise your taste buds, it’s the quintessential sampling soiree. Complemented by scrumptious food, melodious tunes, and engaging presentations dispersed throughout the festival grounds, it’s the ideal recipe for a delightful weekend in Portland.

Key Events in August

1. Lollapalooza

For the ardent music aficionado, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Illinois, is your ultimate playground. Nestled within the picturesque Grant Park, this four-day musical extravaganza enthrals over 100,000 attendees annually. With an impressive lineup spanning eclectic genres from rock to hip-hop to pop, Lollapalooza caters to every refined taste. And it’s not just about the tunes – indulge your senses with an array of food vendors, mesmerising art installations, and a lively fun zone. Make sure you book your tickets early, as they get snapped up quickly.

2. Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada

Venture into the heart of the desert for an unparalleled festival experience like no other. This extraordinary gathering of over 70,000 individuals is a fascinating fusion of community and art, a veritable social experiment spanning one unforgettable week. Participants thrive in a self-sustaining, eco-conscious oasis, revelling in stunning art installations, captivating performances, and immersive experiences. Prepare to leave Burning Man feeling invigorated, inspired, and deeply connected to the beauty of nature.

3. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota

For motorbike enthusiasts, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a pilgrimage. A revered tradition since 1938, this annual gathering lures over 500,000 visitors to experience the thrill of two wheels. Revel in exhilarating motorcycle rides, pulse-pounding concerts, stunning bike shows, and adrenaline-fueled competitions. Forge connections with kindred spirits from across the globe and embrace the unbridled freedom of the open road.

Key Events in September

1. Labor Day Weekend

As September’s first Monday heralds the unofficial finale of summer, Labor Day weekend presents a splendid occasion for friends and family to unite in celebration. From outdoor barbecues to vibrant parades and dazzling fireworks, revelry abounds across the nation. Make your way to the illustrious New York City Labor Day parade or sway to the rhythm at the Chicago Jazz Festival. For those seeking sun-kissed shores, the Outer Banks of North Carolina beckon with their annual Labor Day Surf Festival.

2. Oktoberfest

Embrace the spirit of Oktoberfest as festivities sweep the nation throughout the month. Among the most renowned is Cincinnati’s illustrious Oktoberfest Zinzinnati – a grandiose affair hailed as the largest Oktoberfest in the United States. Revel in the city’s rich German heritage through an array of local food and beer vendors, lively music, and the unmissable spectacle that is the colossal Running of the Wieners event.

Key Events in October

1. Halloween Festivities

October’s crowning glory lies in the spine-tingling excitement of Halloween, a nationwide celebration that sends shivers down the spines of revellers. Embrace the eerie ambience with costume parties, haunted houses, and the time-honoured tradition of trick-or-treating. Venture to the notorious Salem, Massachusetts – famed for its witch trials – to delve into paranormal phenomena and spine-chilling haunted houses. Or, journey to Sleepy Hollow, New York, where the fabled Headless Horseman gallops into reality amid a labyrinthine corn maze and a breathtaking pumpkin exhibit.

2. New York Comic Con

A mega gathering for fans of comics, movies, and popular culture, the New York Comic Con is a perfect annual event for a geeky visit. The event takes over the entire Javits Center in New York City, where attendees can expect to participate in events, sign sessions, and a lot more. The event goes on for four days every year, and the city is filled with cosplays, fan meetups, unique NYC comics, and memorabilia from stalls all over the world.

3. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Prepare to be enchanted by the world’s premier hot air balloon extravaganza – the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Marvel as hundreds of ethereal balloons dance across the New Mexico heavens, drawing nearly 100,000 admirers each year to one of the Southwest’s most beloved events. Spanning nine awe-inspiring days annually, this majestic fiesta offers a rare, once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Key Events in November

1. Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day stands as a cherished national holiday, honouring the bountiful harvest and the year’s many blessings. Tradition calls for loved ones to unite around a sumptuous feast, yet the day’s essence transcends mere culinary indulgence – it embodies gratitude and compassion. Should you find yourself in the USA during this festive season, partake in local celebrations and experience firsthand the warmth and inclusivity that Americans extend, even to newfound friends.

2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan, New York

Fancy experiencing the essence of Thanksgiving without the culinary commitment? This renowned extravaganza boasts dazzling floats, spirited marching bands, colossal balloons, and star-studded performances. Join millions of onlookers lining the streets or tuning in via television, and for the ultimate experience, secure a hotel room with a front-row view of the parade to bask in the heart of the festivities.

3. Veterans Day

Veterans Day stands as a revered federal holiday, paying homage to the valiant heroes who served in the US Armed Forces. This solemn occasion honours the selfless sacrifices and dedicated service of countless individuals who defended the nation’s liberty and democratic values. Communities across the country mark the day with parades, ceremonies, and musical tributes. Should you be stateside on Veterans Day, seize the moment to express gratitude to a veteran, acknowledging their invaluable contributions.

Key Events in December

1. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza, New York City

The Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony rings in the holiday season in New York. Thousands of people gather to watch the lighting ceremony of the massive Christmas tree, adorned with over 50,000 multi-coloured LED lights and a Swarovski crystal star topper. Besides the illuminating tree, visitors can join the ice-skating rink, see the Radio City Rockettes, and indulge in the holiday market vendors.

2. Disney’s Candlelight Processional in Orlando, Florida

Disneyworld is a winter wonderland with unforgettable seasonal attractions, including its beautiful Candlelight Processional. The holiday saga recounts the story of Christmas accompanied by a choir, a 50-piece orchestra, and celebrity narrators like Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris. Besides the show, there are special holiday-themed fireworks, parades, and celebrations throughout the parks.

3. National Christmas Tree

Steeped in history since 1923, the National Christmas Tree lighting in the U.S. capital remains a beloved yuletide tradition. Towering at 25.6 metres, this splendid tree is encircled by 56 smaller counterparts, each symbolising a U.S. state or territory. The illumination ceremony itself is a dazzling affair, complete with live musical performances. Be sure to meander along the enchanting Pathway of Peace, where fifty-six festively adorned trees pay tribute to the nation’s diverse states and territories.

How many days do you need to see the USA?

The USA is a massive country with diverse attractions and experiences. The number of days you’ll need to explore the USA depends on your interests and the destinations you choose to visit. For a more comprehensive trip, consider spending at least two weeks exploring different regions. However, even a shorter trip can still offer a memorable experience.

Final Thoughts

With its diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and myriad events and festivals, the USA offers unforgettable experiences year-round. From the sun-soaked beaches in summer to the enchanting beauty of autumn foliage, each season presents unique opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Whether you’re a sports enthusiast eager to catch the Super Bowl, a music lover dreaming of attending Coachella, or a family seeking holiday festivities, there’s always something happening across the nation. The key to finding the perfect time to visit the USA lies in aligning your interests and preferences with the country’s rich tapestry of offerings.

So, pack your bags, embrace the excitement, and embark on the trip of a lifetime as you uncover the countless wonders and unforgettable memories that await you in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And remember, if you need a hand with currency exchange for your trip, Crown Currency Exchange is your go-to partner. We’re here to make your adventure even easier!

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