17. Raleigh, NC
Why you should go: It’s rare that Raleigh gets more than an inch of snow; temperatures are more likely to hover in the low 50s. Nonetheless, games at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University are guaranteed to get you fired up on even the coldest days.
Why it’s a steal: Average airfare to Raleigh is around $245 between December and March, while the median hotel room rate is $139—a 10 percent savings over the fall.
Where to stay: The major hotels in Raleigh are all of the chain variety, so opt for something that feels a little different, like Aloft Raleigh on Hillsborough Street, where the North Carolina State University kids hang out. It’s still a Marriott property, but it’s affordable (rooms start as low as $137), and it’s definitely got a younger appeal.Back to top