Winter brings skiing, bonfires, and toasty drinks and snacks, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re like me, you might need something to quell the winter blues. Transporting somewhere warm (even if only virtually!) can do the trick.
We have compiled a collection of some of our favorite places to escape the cold and vacation in paradise. So grab your sunnies and a mock-daiquiri and let’s imagine we’re traveling someplace warm!
Though mostly known as a coveted cruise destination, St. Thomas is much more than a pit-stop. Winter visitors can dissolve their cold-weather blues by snorkeling and scuba diving in the crystal-clear water, followed by a sea moss -- a creamy drink with seaweed, milk, and spices.
There’s shopping, dining, and exploring a-plenty. Relax by Magens Bay Beach for some Vitamin C. If you’re after more of an adventure, you’ll have your choice of beautiful views by cable car, zip-lining, and much more.
Culture is everywhere you turn in Puerto Rico, so go if you want to make some memories, meet incredible people, and savor culture unique to the area. San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, has fortresses, cathedrals, traditional dance and art, and memorable architecture.
Temecula is a fabulous winter getaway because you’re immersed in Southern California’s wine country and you’re only 2 hours from Los Angeles and 1 hour from San Diego. We have recommendations for the best wineries in the area. Happy sipping!
The Florida Keys
Florida is synonymous with warm weather -- and nothing cures the cold quite like the bright-blue waters of Key West. You can enjoy this sandy escape via road trip or keep it simple with a magical day in port! No matter how you explore Key West, you are sure to love the beachy environment, slow and calm pace, and surreal ocean views.
Oro Valley, Arizona
Tuscon’s more introverted neighbor, Oro Valley, might not be the most well-known spot in Arizona, but it’s certainly on our list of must-visit places, especially during winter. There are state parks nearby, tasty food, and Saguaro National Park is just about a half-hour away. A Saguaro adventure promises more cactus than you can count, hiking, camping, and prime views of sunrise and sunset.
St. Simons Island, Georgia
For an island getaway, unassuming St. Simons might be the winner for you! Not only is the beach refreshing, but visitors have their pick of activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding, golfing, and exploring the area’s history through architecture and museums.
St. Simons is one of Georgia’s Golden Isles. Other barrier islands nearby include Sea Island and Jekyll Island. Why not add some island-hopping to the itinerary?
Delray Beach, Florida
Delray Beach, our other Florida recommendation, is on Florida’s southeast coast. Balmy beach days lie ahead, and if you want a taste of the local culture, make sure to set aside time to explore Pineapple Grove Arts District, the Green Market in Old School Square Park, and stroll Atlantic Avenue for the best shopping in Delray.
Hill Country, Texas
There are two reasons to visit Texas Hill Country: the wine and then everything else. The rolling hills, rugged terrain, and caverns are something to experience at least once. But, if you’re going for the wine, read up on our six recommendations for the best sips and views in Hill Country.
The U.S. offers a diverse range of terrain well-suited for escaping brisk temps, snow, ice, and anything else winter may bring. If a beach vacation is in the forecast, enjoy our comprehensive list of the beach houses to rent specifically in winter -- in the U.S. and internationally.