When to visit North America

by SmarterTravel Staff

From the artic chill of Northern Canada and Alaska to the tropical warmth of Mexico and Bermuda, North America is a massive region filled with extreme climates and different landscapes. Although the most popular time to visit is generally in the summer, the fall offers relief from hot temperatures and high prices.

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  • high season: June to September
  • low season: December to March
  • shoulder season: April to May, October to November

The chart above is only a general representation of North America's seasonality. Visitation varies by region. For example, Mexico experiences two high seasons, the one listed above, as well as December to April. Bermuda doesn't really have a shoulder season, but instead has a summer high and winter low season.

Weather Information

North America covers such a large area with so many diverse climates that it's difficult to make a general statement about the weather. However, there are similarities between specific regions. Canada and Alaska in the north can be very cold during the winter, with diminished daylight. Temperatures can drop below freezing with heavy snows and occasional blizzards.

The United States varies by region, but generally experiences four temperate seasons in the north and two subtropical seasons in the south. Most states have hot summers, cool winters, and mild spring and fall weather. The south can be humid with sporadic rains. Mexico also has a wet and a dry season with warm and humid weather year-round. Bermuda experiences similar seasons as Mexico, but with drier summers. Both countries have a hurricane season that lasts from June through November, but most storms bypass Bermuda.

Crowd Information

Holidays and annual events are major attractions for visitors in North America. In general, the northern United States and Canada receive the most visitors during the summer when the weather is warm and schools are on break. Mexico and Bermuda receive visitors year-round, but many people in the north flock to their warmer temperatures during the winter.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, venues, and restaurants stay open year-round. However, smaller coastal towns, campgrounds, and seasonal destinations close during the winter. Services may also close down for public holidays and Sundays, especially in Bermuda.

When to Save

Prices fluctuate by region. Spring and fall tend to be less expensive times to travel, especially in the United States and Canada. Winter can also be inexpensive, except in certain ski areas. The fall is also a more economical time to visit Mexico and Bermuda; however, avoid traveling to Mexico in the spring, since spring break is one of the most expensive times to visit.

When to Book

It's wise to book at least a month in advance for travel during the shoulder seasons. If visiting during the high season, book at least six months in advance. In Mexico, it is common to book the following summer in September or October for the best price and availability. Last-minute deals are offered during the low season for those with flexible travel dates.

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