Where to Travel in February

By Andrew Wong,

 

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.

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.

Cappuccino: $4.18

Uber from SFO: $35+

BART train to City Center: $8.95

 

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

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.

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.

Cappuccino: $3.94

Taxi from O’Hare: $40+

CTA from O’Hare: $5

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

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 bell 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.

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 towerA 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 Cafe

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.

Cappuccino: $3.61

Taxi from the Airport: $28.50

Airport Line ticket: $8

 

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

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 or subscribe to our “Where to Travel” mailer to be the first to learn of our destination picks.