February seems to be about that time of year when people are ready for winter to be over. But depending on where you live, you might only be halfway there!
That just means that February is the perfect time to take a warm-weather break to escape the cold and thaw out. A weekend away can do a world of good for the mind and the soul -- and a shorter trip is easier on the wallet, too.
If you’re looking for a getaway to bring a little feeling back into your fingers and toes, here are some fantastic warm weekend trips to take in February.
1. Scottsdale, Arizona
High: 69 Degrees
Low: 46 Degrees
What could possibly be more appealing in February than visiting the Valley of the Sun? That’s the greater Phoenix area, which boasts more than 330 days of sunshine per year -- February included. You won’t exactly be sunbathing with highs of 69 degrees, but you will be trading in your winter wools for sun-kissed shoulders and lighter clothing.
There’s so much to do in Scottsdale, Arizona, year-round, and since Phoenix is a major airline hub, it's easy to get to for a weekend getaway. Start your visit by touring downtown Scottsdale, where you'll find shopping, restaurants, bars, and art galleries (art walks are held every Thursday evening). Speaking of art, don't miss the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you like the outdoors, you can't do better than Scottsdale, with its miles of gorgeous hiking trails through the desert and mountains. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy sprawls over more than 30,000 acres and features more than 100 miles of trails.
If you're looking to splurge on a great meal, make it at FnB, home of the four-time James Beard award nominee Charleen Badman. We hear her softshell crab on sweet corn is worth the flight on its own.
2. Key West, Florida
High: 78 Degrees
Low: 69 Degrees
Take a Caribbean-style getaway, but leave the passport at home with a trip down to Key West, Florida, America's own little Caribbean paradise. Just 7 square miles, this quirky, bold, and brilliantly colored slice of Heaven has a February calendar packed with festivals plus Caribbean-style villas, excellent food, and exclusive art galleries.
If you find the homes in Key West supremely dreamy, you might want to take a house tour. The go-at-your-own-pace Key West Home Tours are some of the longest running in America, and they take place from December through March. Each of the four tours features five homes. Tickets cost $35 online and $40 the day of the tour, so you'll want to buy yours in advance.
3. Negril, Jamaica
High: 82 Degrees
Low: 68 Degrees
What sounds more tempting in February than a 7-mile stretch of sugary beach? Not much, we say. If that's what the doctor ordered to cure your February blues, then Negril, Jamaica, may be for you.
You'll be singing the blues -- singing their praises, that is, as you gaze out toward the turquoise-colored water. This piece of paradise definitely sets the tone for a happy February. Get ready for impromptu reggae concerts (especially around Bob Marley's birthday, February 6), beautiful sunset views from imposing cliffs, laid-back living, and pristine nature. If you want a weekend getaway that is pure relaxation, this is it.
Please note, however, that others living in colder climes are also looking to escape the winter in Jamaica, so be sure to book your hotel two to three months in advance.
4. Riviera Maya, Mexico
High: 82 Degrees
Low: 70 Degrees
Balmy temperatures, little to no rainfall, sweeping beaches, and exclusive resorts: If this sounds like your dream winter weekend getaway, Mexico’s Riviera Maya might be just what you need.
Located around the bustling city of Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya is one of Mexico's premier resort destinations, with miles upon miles of white, sugary beaches lined with hotels that run the budget spectrum.
If you'd rather fill your days and nights with activity, Playa del Carmen itself is packed with restaurants, nightlife, art galleries, adventure tours, and more.
Plus, the island of Cozumel is just a half-hour ferry ride away, with even more remote beaches and jungle pockets to discover. You could also take a day trip to nearby Mayan ruins like Tulum or Coba.
5. Cayman Islands
High: 81 Degrees
Low: 73 Degrees
The Cayman Islands have all the trimmings of a perfect warm-weather weekend getaway: direct flights from the East Coast, powder-soft sand, turquoise water, and plenty of activity.
The bottom line? It's a weekend that will make everyone smile, because there's something to please them all: bronzing on pristine Seven Mile Beach, snorkeling with sea turtles and stingrays, jet skiing across jewel-colored waters, exploring the nearby sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, or tucking into seriously good cuisine in George Town. The Cayman Islands will leave you wondering why you didn't plan for a little more time.
6. San Diego, California
High: 66 Degrees
Low: 51 Degrees
San Diego is the happy medium for travelers who want to thaw out, but not necessarily bake. Temperatures in SoCal are balmy in February, with ample opportunity for shoreline strolls without the threat of oppressive heat.
Plus, February is one of the best times to visit San Diego; while the winter chill has worn off, the spring breakers have yet to show up. It's not exactly surf season, but you'll be snagging excellent hotel deals.
Great restaurants are scattered across the downtown area, there are plenty of beautiful hikes and parks to visit, and each of the city’s 60 beaches has a different personality. Plus, if you're into the craft brewery scene, San Diego is leading the charge, with more than 150 breweries throughout the county.
7. Turks And Caicos Islands
High: 82 Degrees
Low: 73 Degrees
Talk about idyllic island living. When you close your eyes and picture the perfect Caribbean island, you're probably picturing Turks and Caicos, where the sky kisses the sea and where glittering beaches are dotted with gorgeous villas and hotels.
As one of the last chains of islands in the Bahama Archipelago, Turks and Caicos is often glossed over, but this works in your favor if you're looking to beat the crowds. You'll be rewarded with kaleidoscopic coral reefs, a laid-back pace, casual seaside bars, festivals, and truly A-list resorts.
Natural attractions and opportunities for snorkeling and diving abound. Plus, each year thousands of humpback whales make their annual migration past the islands, so you're in for a real treat if they cross your path. They make their trip each year between January and April, so you might just be there at the perfect time.
High: 84 Degrees
Low: 73 Degrees
As far as Caribbean islands go, Barbados packs a punch -- so much so that a weekend may not feel nearly long enough. That said, the island has all the makings of a wonderful warm-weather weekend getaway, from world-class beaches and beautiful bays to electric nightlife and centuries-old history.
Active travelers will relish the paddleboarding, diving, and wildlife reserve. History buffs will love the capital, Bridgetown, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. And beach bums will treasure the pink, powdery shores backed by glittering blue bays.
Choose a beach like Rockley Beach, the most famous in the area with a boardwalk that stretches for almost 2 miles, or opt for something like Mount Standfast Beach, which has good swimming and is teeming with stunning marine life, including hawksbill sea turtles, which are a real treat to see in their natural habitat.
9. Mexico City, Mexico
High: 75 Degrees
Low: 42 Degrees
The capital and cultural heart of Mexico, Mexico City is a world-class destination that holds its own alongside the world's best, from London and Paris to Bangkok and Buenos Aires. It’s got gorgeous architecture, thousands of years of history, eclectic neighborhoods, vibrant nightlife, bold murals, sizzling street food, international fine dining, and stunning hotels.
From the Aztec and Spanish relics in the Centro Historico to the swanky designer shopping in Polanco to the experimental cocktail bars in Roma, there is a side of the city to suit every personality.
And since there are direct flights there from most major cities in the U.S., it makes for a perfect weekend getaway. But we can guarantee that once you taste Mexico City for a weekend, you will certainly be back for more.