By Andrew Wong

Where to Travel in February

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 373
In our “Where to Travel” series, we share our favorite destinations to visit in the upcoming month. We’ve called up our experts on the ground, rubbed elbows with local bloggers and consulted with Mother Nature to ensure you’re getting the most out of your vacation. We’ve also paired our city picks with must-stay hotels and events in-town that will take your visit to the next level. See our three choices of destinations you can’t miss this month!

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Oh boy, do we smell love in the air! These are the Best Cities to Travel to in February. Show your special guy or gal that you can be an adventurous romantic with a Valentine’s Weekend away for two. Where to Travel in February? Our three cities this month promise big savings on a short getaway that is every part cosmopolitan and classy.

Your San Francisco Getaway

Weather Forecast: High 63°F ~ Low 43°F  

Our Where to Travel series crunches our users’ top destinations across North America to show you the best value month to visit. When looking at San Francisco, the ballooning value of real estate in the city speaks for itself through trivago’s hotel data which shows February hotel prices jumping by 56.5% between February 2014 and February 2017.

As one of the foggier months for San Francisco, hotel savings steer clear through summer peaks (last September and October saw average hotel rates at $330). trivago hotel data shows average room prices closer to $273 per night in February. We’ve picked properties across budgets and neighborhoods that each promise their own take on SF.

Hotel Zephyr  ★★

Zephyr San Francisco Queen

Photo via trivago

See the Zephyr on trivago

With the E and F heritage streetcars running right in front, the Hotel Zephyr places visitors spitting distance from Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, and a short ride away from Downtown, Union Square, and even The Castro. A Maritime pattern spans the floors and walls of this waterfront stay with shipping containers built into the lobby and porthole reading nooks. Tastefully decorated rooms and suites come in a variety of configurations that suit both families and guests with accessibility needs.

Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer ★★

Mystic Hotel Charlie Palmer San Francisco

Photo via trivago

See the Mystic Hotel on trivago

From the same lineage as one of our beloved Napa stays, the Harvest Inn in St. Helena, comes Charlie Palmer’s urban post, the Mystic Hotel. Unassuming from the outside, guests will delight in boutique living at this 82-room Union Square property. Exposed bricks and roughed up wood paneling add a raw touch to Mystic Hotel’s homeyness (you know, the kind where you wake up to a free breakfast spread). Sweep your Valentine off to the nightly live jazz in Burritt Room, best accompanied by one of their craft cocktails (their Ode to the Greats honor recently deceased stars).

1906 Mission  

1906 Mission Reception San Francisco

Photo via trivago

See 1906 Mission on trivago

Elevated accommodation and housing prices are becoming the new norm in the City by the Bay. 1906 Mission thankfully offers a budget alternative to those simply looking for a centrally-located, clean, modern stay. Double and Queen rooms (all with shared bathroom — robes and slippers included) present some of the city’s best value for money which also includes a daily continental breakfast.

trivago data tip: Conferences, concerts and holidays are known to disrupt hotel prices. trivago hotel data for February 2017 shows that the most expensive nights of the month are February 12-16 and 27 -28 in San Francisco.

What to do in San Francisco in February?


February visitors are in luck this year. The weather forecast is looking mostly sunny with some daily highs reaching into the 60s. As any San Franciscan will warn you, pack that windbreaker and layer up when the dinner hour comes around. Should you get rained out, the Legion of Honor is hosting their own Rodin exhibition this year honoring the centenary of the artist’s death as well as an homage to Monet’s early years (opening on February 25th). San Francisco Travel pointed us in the direction of their must-do activities for visitors coming in for the shortest month of the year.

Exploring the Summer of Love

 Diller Scofidio + Renfro, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

San Francisco Travel Association photo by Elizabeth Daniels. Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, SF is looking retrospectively at the impact its free-thinkers had on the second half of the 20th century through the lenses of music, visual arts, politics, literature and more. This February, UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive opens up its multimedia exhibition, “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia”, while the Summer of Love is celebrated through photography at San Francisco City Hall’s “Jim Marshall’s 1967″ exhibit and through technicolor horticulture during Pier 39’s “Tulipmania”.

Kicking off the Year of the Rooster in America’s oldest Chinatown

Chinese lanterns, Chinatown, Morten Skogly

Photo by Morten Skogly CC BY

While in town, why not partake in the Lunar New Year festivities of San Francisco’s Chinese community? If you’re passing along Grant and Stockton over February 11th, you won’t be able to miss the din of the Chinese New Year Parade whose high volume furor is meant to banish evil spirits for the year to come. Old school morning dim sum at Dol Ho and Hang Ah Tea Room is just the sodium kick you need before taking on “Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty” at the Asian Art Museum.

How Much to Budget


Once you’ve made it to the City by the Bay plan to set aside roughly $944  over 48 hours for two in SF.

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Cappuccino: $4.18

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Uber from SFO: $35+

BART train to City Center: $8.95

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Dinner for Two (before drinks): $75

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One night in a 3-star Hotel  – February: $262

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Special Exhibition + General Admission to the Asian Art Museum : $20

Find February deals in SF

Your Chicago Getaway

Weather Forecast: High 36°F ~ Low 15°F  

Chicago is the kind of place that only takes one visit to fall in love with and to convince you of another two or five trips back. A first visit may enchant you on a Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise or getting up close with the penguins at the Shedd. Hook yourself up to the “L” (the sometimes above, sometimes below ground train) to uncover the everyday corners of Chi.

December through February shows average hotel prices dipping below $175 per night, the cheapest point of the year. Whether you’re more of the “stay by the sights” traveler looking Downtown or the “feeling out the neighborhood” traveler looking on the North Side, filter for your ideal stay at the best price on trivago.

Home to two of the trivago Awards 2017 5-star winners, February may also be the month that you treat yourself (and your sweetheart) to a luxury stay at a discount. Searching for Chicago’s best hotels? We’ve let our collection of user reviews and ratings do the talking.

The Langham  ★★★★★

The Langham Chicago trivago

Photo courtesy of The Langham Chicago

See The Langham on trivago

The Langham had the high honor this year of receiving top marks in the trivago Awards 2017 in the 5-star category. With an overall score of 96/100 from 1688 reviews (at the time of publication), this glamorous hotel has let its understated confidence carry its way to the top of the list. For the sophisticated duo, take Afternoon Tea in the Pavilion (pictured above) which pairs both a house exclusive list of teas with sweet and savory nibbles — all served atop Wedgwood China.

Virgin Hotels Chicago  ★★★★

Virgin Hotel Chicago bed view

Photo via trivago

See the Virgin Hotels Chicago on trivago

This fun and funky hotel on North Wabash is more than its lipstick red flare. The complete guest experience is thoughtfully planned from the Sleeping Lounge-Dressing Room divide in each guestroom to Smart Closets by Poliform® and guest services (like valet retrieval, thermostat, and room service) available from the mobile app. The Commons Club on the second-floor functions as a coworking space by day, slipping into its best threads for cocktail hour by night.

The Alise Chicago – A StayPineapple Hotel  ★★★★

Alise Chicago Queen room

Photo via trivago

See The Alise on trivago

The former Hotel Burnham has reopened as The Alise in the old Reliance Building on State Street. Now under the management of the West Coast’s Pineapple Hospitality, Chicago has another dog-friendly accommodation to add to its count, along with perks such as complimentary bike rentals, free cupcakes and coffee, and premium bedding and linens. Thankfully, resident eatery Atwood delivers directly to your room, should the both of you prefer taking your Smoked Salmon Blintzes and your Midwest Cheese Board under the warmth of your covers.

What to do in Chicago in February?


Wandering through Chicago’s Art Institute hand in hand, a curvaceous pic of you and your boo in the reflection of the Cloud Gate, daring steps onto the Willis Tower’s Skydeck — Chicago has a litany of Valentine’s Day activities. As one of the quieter months in the Windy City (also one of the windier ones), area businesses are keen to bring people out around this time and, for February visitors with advance planning skills, a ‘dinner and a show’-kind of evening can be a real steal. You can save those ‘deep dish’ and ‘beef hot dog’ cravings for the next day.

Sample Chicago’s Finest by Prix Fixe

Chicago Restaurant Week Octopus plating

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Chicago Restaurant Week, which in fact runs for a full 14 days, returns for its 10th edition this year between January 27 and February 9. Be sure to book a table early at acclaimed restaurants, like Lincoln Park’s Balena (Taglioni Nero with crab and sea urchin is one potential menu pick), Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Club (Gingerbread Dream Cake finished in Lemon Yuzu Cream) and Dusek in Pilsen (Boudin Blanc sandwich served with Beef Fat Fries). Best of all, prix fixe menus across the board are set at $33/$44 for dinner and $22 for lunch and brunch.

“Chicago’s cultural assets and landscape are reason enough to visit Chicago and February is a great time to see and experience so many of the wonderful productions, institutions and celebrations that make the city so special. Between Chicago Theatre Week and Chinese New Year, visitors can whet and satisfy their appetite for arts and culture with a number of performances,” David Whitaker, President & CEO of Choose Chicago said. “And speaking of appetites, Chicago Restaurant Week will be in full swing early February and a great time to celebrate the city’s diverse and star-studded culinary scene. It’s the perfect combination – exciting festivities, amazing dining options and great deals!”

Be captivated by a Chicago Theatre Week performance

Winner of our Discontent Second City Chicago

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Blustery conditions are not unknown to blanket Chicago. Covering everything from comedy (“Second City’s Winner… of our Discontent” shown above) to children’s theater (“The Adventures of Robin Hood), Chicago Theatre Week has added over 100 productions in 2017 to keep you entertained indoors. Similar to Restaurant Week, CTW is raising the profile of the over 250 theater companies that call Chicago home with tickets priced reasonably at $15 and $30. How’s that for entertaining?

How Much to Budget


Once you’re on the ground in the Windy City, plan to set aside roughly $655 over 48 hours as a couple in Chi Town.

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Cappuccino: $3.94

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Taxi from O’Hare: $40+

CTA from O’Hare: $5

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Chicago Restaurant Week Dinner for Two (before drinks): $66+

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One night in a 3-star Hotel  – February: $136

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Ticket to Game Changers by the Joffrey Ballet: $30

Find February deals in Chicago

trivago Budget Tip: Be the first to know when prices drop! Not ready to book? Let trivago email you when prices for your ideal hotel room are going down. Favorite your desired hotel using the ❤️ icon then choose the 🔔 icon to ‘Create price alert!’ Savings made easy!

Your Philadelphia Getaway

Weather Forecast: High 52°F ~ Low 22°F  

Those of us on the Eastern Seaboard may find a road trip weekend to Philly all the more doable this February. A city that was crucial to so many of America’s national narratives, Philadelphia’s historic sites and museums alone are enough to fill a week-long visit. Pile on a gamut of leading dining establishments (turning the heads of foodies and national media in 2016) and visitors have more than a few reasons to fall for the City of Brotherly Love.

A peek at trivago hotel data for Philadelphia shows an overall average of $191 per night this February, the last month in a four-month streak from November with an average hotel price below the $200 mark.

Club Quarters Philadelphia ★★★

Club Quarters Philadelphia exterior

Photo via trivago

See the Club Quarters on trivago

Location can be everything when it comes to a hotel. The Club Quarters’ Philly outpost is justly situated for a car-free visit to the city where Rittenhouse Square, Independence Hall and the city’s biggest museums are all within a one-mile radius. Opt for your level of perks (and the option of kitchenette facilities) by choosing between the hotel’s Standard, Club, or Superior rooms. The hotel loans out refillable bottles to top up from the purified water fountains — perfect after making use of the Club Quarters’ fitness center.

The Warwick Hotel ★★★

Radisson Blu Warwick Philadelphia Lobby

Photo via trivago

See The Warwick on trivago

Formerly sporting a Radisson Blu prefix, the Warwick Hotel is increasingly growing into its Rittenhouse Square identity. The hotel’s grand lobby and its overlooking mezzanine set a refined tone for your stay. In-room coffee machines, leather Barcelona chairs, iHome docking station and free WiFi are just some of the baseline amenities across all rooms and suites.

Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District ★★★

Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Queen room

Photo via trivago

See the Wyndham on trivago

A top choice for first-time visitors to Philly, the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District finds itself one block over from the Independence Mall and down the street from the Betsy Ross House. Location aside, trivago users love the Wyndham’s plush beds and the recently refinished bathrooms. Though a tad early in the year to dive into the rooftop pool, the on-site restaurant Coin’s entertains guests daily starting with the early breakfast at 6 a.m. through the last snack of the night at 2 a.m.

trivago data tip: Philly hotel prices are coming out of their winter thaw. Watch out for the last two days of the month when hotel room prices already start to jump by 11% compared to the week before (with an upward trend continuing into March).

What to do in Philadelphia in February?


Though one of the colder months of the year, thankfully many of Philly’s attractions are in fact indoors. The compactness of the Downtown makes dashing on foot between sights all the easier, while SEPTA (public transit) can fill you in for those longer stretches from the Art Museum to Independence Hall. We also consulted with Philadelphia-based blogger Kea Lani Kennedy to note down a few cafe options to warm up those hands around a tasty latte and the plushiest loungers to sink into.

Paying homage to Philly’s Black History

Philadelphia City Hall C Smyth

A memorial statue to Octavius Catto is planned for Philadelphia City Hall. Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

What better place to get an overview of Philly’s Black History than America’s first institution dedicated to the heritage, culture, and history of African-Americans? This February, the AAMP (African American Museum in Philadelphia) presents “Shawn Theodore: Church of Broken Pieces” as well as its permanent exhibition “Audacious Freedom” which looks at the first 100 years of African-American life in Philly following the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

If you’re visiting over Saturday, February 25th, don’t miss the 10 a.m. memorial service to Major Octavius Catto, the National Guardsman killed during a political riot held to stop Philadelphia’s African-Americans from voting back in 1871.

Cozy up in a Café

Grindhouse Core Carrot Cake Coffee mararie

Biting into Grindcore House’s vegan carrot cake. Photo by mararie CC BY

“Cafes in Philadelphia are more than just places to grab coffee: they’re an experience”, reveals Philadelphian local Kae Lani Kennedy “Select from some of the finest roasted beans in the world, sink into an antique arm chair, and take in the thoughtfully curated gallery of art hanging on an exposed brick wall. Because of their homey atmosphere, locals in Philadelphia use cafes as a place to work, relax, and hang out with friends.”

As for where’s best to settle in with a perky brew, Kae Lani springs for the fair trade coffees at La Colombe, Reanimator, Rival Brothers, or Ultimo. When it comes to edible fare, pastries at Hungry Pigeon or Israeli-inspired meals at La Va and “vegan delights with a side of South Philly’s edgy metal scene” over at Grindcore House.

How Much to Budget


For an off-peak visit to the City of Brotherly Love in February, plan to set aside roughly $679 over 48 hours as a couple in Philly.

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Cappuccino: $3.61

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Taxi from the Airport: $28.50

Airport Line ticket: $8

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Dinner for Two (before drinks): $58

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One night in a 3-star Hotel  – February: $171

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Adult admission to the African American Museum in Philadelphia: $14

Find February deals in Philly

Learn more in our Travel Advice Calendars


If you can’t make it to our “Where to Travel in February” destinations this month, try them out later this year with the help of our Travel Advice Calendar.

Click the price charts below to learn about the cheapest months to visit and our exclusive tips for seeing the most of each destination…

Best Time to Go to San FranciscoBest Time to Go to ChicagoBest Time to Go to Philadelphia

The best destinations for every month of the year? Subscribe to our “Where to Travel” mailer!

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*Feature photo by Denys Nevozhai from Unsplash

Andrew Wong
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Andrew finds his fuel while traveling munching on street food, aggressive bargaining and giving into spontaneous detours. His favorite souvenirs are print magazines and gourmet contraband. Adept in packing light for budget flights, he is actively transferring these skills to bike tours across Europe.