Escaping the winter cold -- even for just a few days -- is always a good idea. Beach destinations are a-plenty, but it’s a matter of how far you are willing to go, and what amenities are a priority to you and yours.
We consulted travel experts and writers about their top beach getaways for wintertime and also found a few destinations of our own that we will be dreaming about this winter.
Read on for our top Airbnb and Vrbo beach houses worth a visit year-round, but especially in the colder months!
“This fantastic Airbnb located in the heart of Barbados' south coast is surrounded by beautiful and secluded beaches that you will absolutely love. The villas are well-equipped as well as very stylish and comfortable,” Weiss said.
“This is a great destination for a family getaway, especially during winter, since Barbados' temperature ranges from 73- to 84-degrees, which will make your visit extremely cozy and pleasant,” Weiss continued. The villas are within walking distance to various eateries, shops, and other local treasures.
The Villas on the Beach aren’t the fanciest or most amenity-rich, but the views are excellent and plenty of fun is nearby. Heading to Barbados? These are the best restaurants to try.
Curacao promises lots of things to see and do -- including snorkeling, exploring gorgeous caves, and plenty of fresh food and libations to delight the taste buds.
Curacao has some pretty incredible lodging for any traveler, but we are dreaming of two villas in particular.
There’s nothing like Cas Cielo, a cozy, 700-square-foot cottage. The cottage has a fresh-water cocktail pool, garden, and close access to the sea and even kayak rentals.
Though not included in the base rate, you can upgrade your stay with a personal chef, car, private massages, and a private guide for all your Curacao adventures.
Our second option is Villa Tiwa, a two-bedroom, two-bath, 3,500-square-foot homestay. This luxurious stay has an infinity pool with incredible views of the ocean and nearby islands. The spacious villa is a quiet getaway perfect for escaping the winter blues.
The interior of the home has an open, modern layout that’s paired with an incredible deck with a pool overlooking the sea out and below. The villa is within walking distance to the popular beach Toiny.
If you want to stay at the villa and enjoy the views -- grassy, tall cliffs and deep blue ocean beyond -- you can do that as well.
It’s no secret that Italy has some lovely beaches worth a visit. One lesser-known option is Ortigia in Southern Italy. Ortigia is a small island removed from the touristy pockets of Italy, and there’s an affordable homestay with your name on it.
“This is not a beach house per se but [it] is directly across the street from the vibrant waters of the Ionian sea. At night you can hear the crashing waves and get a nice flow-through breeze,” said Norm Bour, the writer behind Travel Younger.
Bour visited in November and December and mentioned that the “winter is ideal since crowds are few and you can feel like a local.”
This Airbnb might not be the most extravagant option on our list, but when you consider the larger-than-life views, the interior amenities don’t matter as much. And, since it’s a one-bedroom unit, it makes for a lovely couple’s getaway or a solo trip.
The Sea in Tenerife is about as gorgeous as it gets without spending a fortune every night. This over 4,000-square-foot villa with four-bedrooms and three-bathrooms sleeps eight. The modern layout and open floorplan are impressive to look at, but the real magic is in the views.
The villa is on a cliff with impressive, uninterrupted views of the pulsing sea below. It has an expansive balcony for gazing at the sea and eating meals alfresco.
“This is not party central and is just an 18-minute ferry ride from Cancun. We live just south of Cancun and discovered the island, and it is magical,” Bour said.
Bour also speaks highly of the water activities in the area. He told us there is “shallow water for swimming and diving, and a barrier reef just a few hundred yards away.”
Located further south of Isla Mujeres, on the southern tip of the Yucatan, is Xcalak, another warm and breezy winter getaway.
“Xcalak is far from any tourist mayhem you may associate with the Yucatan. The warm breeze from the Caribbean Sea keeps the area very pleasant during the winter months,” said Timmy Hirtle, co-founder of Xcalak Mexico.
Hirtle’s top recommendation is Casa de Coral (Coral Garden Inn). This 1,500-square-foot condo overlooks the Caribbean and can sleep six travelers comfortably. The condo is located in Xcalak National Reef Park.
“Coral Garden Inn is an enchanting, two-condo complex that's right on an isolated stretch of beach. The rental retains a luxurious feel even though it's fully off-grid. Travelers who stay here get a taste of real beach living,” said Hirtle.
Arch Cape, Oregon
Jennifer Willy, an editor for the European Travel Information and Authorization System, ETIAS, has a few beach houses that fit the bill. Her first suggestion is a little unconventional because it’s in Arch Cape, Oregon. Portland is just an hour and a half inland, making it a fun day-trip.
Castle Rock Cottage is right on the beach, and fortunately, the cottage has plenty of windows so you can always have a front-and-center view of the ocean. The cottage has an adorable, grassy front yard you can lounge on before hitting the beach.
“It is a recently remodeled gorgeous oceanfront home that has a breathtakingly fresh beach cottage feel with an incredible view. The tastefully decorated living spaces and numerous large windows create an open, inviting feel,” Willy said.
Keep in mind, unlike the destinations on this list, Oregon experiences winter. If you visit this beach house, be prepared for chilly weather. The beach will offer gorgeous walks along the shore, granted you’re dressed for windy moments.
Folly Beach, South Carolina
Just a block from everything you could want or need in a beach location, High Tide in Folly Beach is a winner.
“This top-story unit has killer views of the pier and is a block away from everything,” said Willy.
This offering is a duplex so you will be sharing the building with other guests, but it doesn’t feel that way -- there’s still plenty of privacy. A yard is equipped with a picnic table for dining and a Kamado-style grill for yummy barbecue.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
If you are wanting to travel with a group, staying in Barefoot, a massive beachfront home, will be an amazing experience. This home has eight bedrooms and seven baths and can sleep up to 28 people. Plus, it has a private heated pool facing the beach in case you don't want to get sandy.
The short walk to the water will be through luxurious, soft, white sand. The home has a private beach boardwalk, outdoor shower, charcoal grill, and roomy deck, so you and yours have plenty of space to get cozy and enjoy the warm breeze in Gulf Shores.
Rockport is an underrated destination. Retirees Rochelle Storin and her husband love visiting the area during wintertime.
“Rockport is a winter retreat with mild temperatures and a relaxed pace. An added plus is that it’s a wildlife refuge area and November to March is whooping crane season,” Storin said.
Her go-to is a newly renovated waterfront stay in Key Allegro.
“The location is perfect -- close to town and restaurants but also to the water recreational activities, such as fishing and boating,” she said. In addition to plenty of activities, there’s lots to see right from the porch.
“When we’re there, we start our day each morning watching boats go by on the canal while eating breakfast. Each evening, we watch boats go by while sipping a glass of wine. To end the day, we take a quiet, lovely neighborhood stroll. For us, it doesn’t get any better,” she said.
Naturally, Florida had to be on our list. With warm weather year-round, gorgeous, sandy dunes, and an abundance of shore excursions, Florida is an easy, and reliable, pick.
Ian Centrone, a freelance travel writer, suggests a cozy stay in Stuart, one of many quaint beach towns in the state. He has two suggestions in the area depending on your mood and the sort of vacay you have in mind.
His first recommendation is La Dolce Vita, a seven-bed, five-bath seaside paradise. The villa is so massive it sleeps 16 people, so it’s great for a family reunion or just a spacious, quiet getaway. The villa is on Hutchinson Island, sandwiched between the Indian River to the west and the Atlantic to the east.
“Surrounded by lush vegetation, this luxurious villa boasts sweeping views of the lapping waves and golden shores of the private beach below, offering a truly serene winter hideaway. Guests can even take advantage of complimentary kayaks, paddleboards, bicycles, fishing equipment, snorkel gear, and more,” said Centrone.
Centrone’s second recommendation is more cozy -- the Owl House River Retreat at Old Colorado Inn. This accommodation sleeps eight with three bedrooms and two and a half baths. Centrone said history-lovers will feel quite at home here.
“The spacious two-story escape effortlessly blends Old Florida charm with modern updates. Owl House sits in the heart of Historic Downtown Stuart and is just steps away from locally owned boutiques, whimsical art galleries, and award-winning restaurants. It's also perched above the tranquil St. Lucie River and guests have direct access to the riverwalk,” he said.
Tybee Island, Georgia
Tybee Island might not be the first place you think of in Georgia, especially if you have nearby Savannah in mind, but it’s a quiet and private beach escape with loads of perks.
We’re a fan of SeaPines, a six-bed, four-bath villa with a handful of amenities. You will find a luxurious private pool in the backyard and a walking path leading to a private, white-sand beach. Also, the villa comes with free bikes to ride around and enjoy the community! You will have access to a top-notch fitness center with a hot tub, heated pool, and plenty of workout equipment. Pets are welcome with a fee.
In fact, Tybee Island is one of our top suggestions for warm places to spend Christmas. Still not sold on a rental? Consider the ultimate list of oceanfront homes that you’ll want to escape to ASAP.