Some people lean into the cold weather, loving a ski vacation or getting toasty in a cabin in the mountains. Others dream of warmer vacation spots, getting a break from colder temperatures. If you’re one of the latter, have we got some spots for you to check out! As a bonus, warm weather destinations are great for avoiding the crowds. Here are some of our top warm weather and beach picks to consider for your next winter getaway.
Laguna Beach, California
Laguna has a small town feel, with a ton of cute shops to complement the beach vibes. Along with beautiful, craggy cliffs and picturesque sunbathing spots, you’ll find the beaches of south Orange County inhabited less by tourists and by more locals. Laguna’s the perfect place for a chill hang with your partner or family.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Known for its beautiful “sugar” beaches and world class golf resorts, Hilton Head is a great spot for families and couples, and the weather stays warm all winter. There are seven beaches on Hilton Head island, but by far the most popular is Coligny Beach, which has a ton of shopping and dining options. Aside from the beaches you can rent bicycles or visit one of the island’s wildlife preserves for a little more seclusion as the mood strikes you.
Kauai and Maui, Hawaii
Hawaii is one of those evergreen destinations without much of a low season, and Christmas can actually be one of the busiest times to go. To avoid the crowds of Maui or Honolulu, go a little off-the-beaten path and try Kauai. The snorkeling and swimming off the Na Pali Coast has some of the best natural landscapes in the world. Just pick a beach along the more than 50 miles of coastline to lounge away the hours.
Belize is one of the great unspoiled locales in Central America and as a bonus is the only official English-speaking country. This makes it a great spot to test out the Central American waters. Close to 1,000 Mayan ruins cover the country, and you can still get away from American culture (there’s no McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC, or Burger King in the entire country!)
Key West, Florida
Miami Beach is an extremely popular destination for New Yorkers over the holidays, which drives up flight and accommodation prices. Also, Miami is quite a scene. We recommend visiting a more laid-back spot for the holidays. Our pick is Key West – that retro cool spot to the south. Fly into Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami to save some dough, and then splash out a bit on accommodation.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Ok, so technically you’re not likely to have a tranquil, escapist vacation in Sin City. But the weather in Las Vegas is sunny and the Strip has some of the most fabulous resorts and pools in the country. If you want to avoid the tables completely, you can have a beachy vacation right in the middle of the desert!
It probably goes without saying that the Southwest is a target-rich environment for warm-weather winter fun. Scottsdale is a fantastic home base for exploring the Sonoran desert, and offers world-renowned resorts for golf and spa enthusiasts.