20 Top Destinations for a Winter Vacation in the U.S.A.

What could be more all-American than spotting a bald eagle along the Mississippi River? January and February are the best months for seeing those two majestic U.S. icons at once. Migrating south by the thousands, the birds keep close to the water in order to feed on fish and roost in the surrounding bluffs. To mark the annual event, river towns along the route host special events such as Bald Eagle Days in Rock Island, Illinois, and Iowa’s Dubuque Bald Eagle Watch. In addition to birding tours on foot and bus, participants at these and other festivals can attend informational sessions, watch Native American demonstrations, and look at photo exhibits, all centered on celebrating the national symbol. Base yourself in the Quad Cities—a quartet of Iowa and Illinois municipalities straddling the Upper Mississippi—for a nice mix of outdoor activities (snow tubing, cross-country skiing) and cultural offerings such as Davenport, Iowa’s Figge Art Museum, known for its substantial collection of works from the Western Hemisphere.