The Best Warm Places (in the U.S.) To Escape Winter This Year
Wintertime chill got you daydreaming about sunnier skies and toes in the sand? You're not alone. As snowflakes fall and layers multiply, the allure of warm winter getaways becomes irresistible.
And while escaping to the Caribbean or Mexico sounds dreamy, you don't need to cross borders for a dose of vitamin D during the winter months. The USA boasts a lineup of sun-soaked destinations with year-round appeal.
Imagine lounging poolside, FUNBOY float in hand amidst palm trees, with not a snowflake in sight. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Read on for our list of the best warm winter vacations in America.
Southern California is where the dream of endless summers thrives. At Laguna Beach and San Diego, surfers ride waves year-round, basking in the mild winter temperatures. But it's not just about the sandy beaches — these coastal towns also offer a relaxed vibe perfect for biking or casual strolls along the boardwalk.
Heading inland, Palm Springs delivers. The desert warmth welcomes travelers, inviting days of poolside relaxation. And don't forget to sneak away for a day trip to the mesmerizing Joshua Tree National Park.
But wait — there's more! Los Angeles has its sunny gems, too. Think about Santa Monica with its iconic pier, beautiful beaches, and an abundance of outdoor activities. From here, you can even take a road trip to Death Valley National Park.
Swapping the Pacific for the Atlantic, let's dive into Florida. Palm Beach is where sophistication meets the shore. Imagine upscale cafes, pristine golf courses, and dreamy botanical gardens — all under the warm Floridian sun.
Further south, Miami radiates energy. Between the art deco marvels and sandy stretches, it’s a hub of vibrant nightlife and cultural diversity. But for those seeking a slower pace, Key West delivers. Engage in snorkeling adventures, get lost in the old town’s charm, and soak in the warmest winter weather the state offers.
Finally, no trip to Florida is complete without mentioning Orlando. Beyond the whimsy of Disney, the city promises adventures in the sprawling Everglades, where nature and thrill find a unique blend.
Hawaii lures travelers with its intoxicating blend of natural beauty and warm weather, no matter the time of year. For instance, Oahu, the Gathering Place, is a vibrant fusion of city life and surf culture. Beyond the bustling streets of Honolulu lies a coastline dotted with white sand beaches and pristine waters — perfect for kayaking or paddle boarding.
On the other hand, Maui, the Valley Isle, beckons with its lush waterfalls and dramatic landscapes, like the ones you can find in Haleakalā National Park. Plus, don't forget about whale watching.
Now, if you're seeking a quieter escape, Kauai whispers its call. Known as the Garden Isle, this Hawaiian isle is a tapestry of emerald mountains and cascading waterfalls, complemented by state parks that are nothing short of paradise.
The Lone Star State has so much more to offer than cowboy boots and barbecue. For example, Galveston captures hearts with its blend of Southern charm and Gulf Coast beauty. You can stroll the historic district, embrace the views of the Gulf of Mexico, and relish in the tourism of this warm winter getaway.
Inland, you can find Austin. It's a city pulsing with live music that spills from every corner, tempting foodie delights, and scenic biking trails that beckon for leisurely exploration.
Phoenix and Tucson are oases of winter warmth. Both cities are playgrounds for outdoor enthusiasts with vast hiking trails, manicured golf courses, and serene botanical gardens that showcase the state's unique flora. But if there's one place that truly captures the soul of Arizona, it's Sedona.
Nestled among majestic red rock formations, this gem offers spiritual retreats and rejuvenating hot springs. It's a place where the desert's warmth is not just felt on the skin but deep within the heart.
The At-Home Caribbean
Dive into the Caribbean spirit without crossing international borders. Destinations like Puerto Rico beckon with their sun-kissed shores and rhythms of salsa. Besides lounging on these gorgeous beaches, you can plunge into the deep blue for some world-class snorkeling. The warm winter temperatures will make it feel like summer all year long.
Then, there are the US Virgin Islands, where turquoise waters caress powdery white sand beaches. St. Thomas and St. John, in particular, are jewels of natural beauty and history. You can wander around centuries-old fortresses and immerse yourself in stories that transcend time.
Looking to add more sun-soaked destinations to your wanderlust itinerary? Here are some FUNtastic honorable mentions that are ready to impress with their sunny disposition:
- Charleston, South Carolina: Coupling antebellum charm and balmy winter temperatures, an Insta-worthy shot awaits around every cobblestoned corner. Christmas in Charleston, anyone?
- Gulf Shores, Alabama: Offering warm temperatures and beautiful beaches, it's the perfect coastal getaway for those looking to escape the winter chill.
- Las Vegas, Nevada: Who needs snowflakes when you could have neon lights instead? Trade those thermal layers for a float in a resort pool by day and indulge in exciting nightlife after sunset. Enjoy your Sun Kissed Dual Chaise next to the Vegas lights!
- San Antonio, Texas: This Texan city wows with a holiday river parade that’s beyond festive. The Riverwalk, adorned with Christmas lights, is perfect for an evening stroll.
- Tybee Island, Georgia: This southern gem serves a laid-back beach vibe (cue our Clear Pink Glitter Flamingo). Enjoy spectacular sunsets, historic landmarks, and warm winter days in this Atlantic haven.
- Savannah, Georgia: This city is seeping with history and adorned with Spanish moss-covered trees. Its mild winters make leisurely exploration of this scenic city a temperate delight.
- Naples, Florida: A paradise of sun-drenched beaches, perfect for capturing that classic #beachlife photo with your favorite FUNBOY float.
- New Orleans, Louisiana: Known for its vibrant music scene and unique cuisine, the Crescent City also boasts mild winter temperatures, making it an attractive destination for winter warmth seekers.
Savvy Winter Escape Tips
Now that we've taken you on a whirlwind tour of sun-drenched escapes, let's make sure you maximize that sought-after sunshine. After all, it's not just about where you go — it's also about how you do it.
Here's a handy guide to ensure you bask in all things bright and beautiful:
- Pack Light But Right: Trade bulky winter sweaters for breathable cotton and linens. And make sure you don't ditch the sunblock — a sunburn can swiftly turn a winter escape into a hot mess.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking water isn't just for the summer. You're likely to underestimate the need to drink up in cooler climates, but trust us — your body will thank you.
- Time It Right: Planning is everything. Certain destinations have their peak seasons, and you can dodge exorbitant prices and crowds by visiting just before or just after the prime months.
- Local Events Are Gold: Sure, escaping the winter chill is the main agenda, but diving into a local festival or event can be the cherry on top. Research and mark your calendars!
- Off the Beaten Path: Some of the best gems aren't in tourist brochures. Don't be afraid to explore lesser-known spots; you might just find your personal slice of sunshine.
- Befriend the Locals: Who knows the area better than the people living there? Strike up conversations, ask for recommendations, and you may find secret spots untouched by mainstream tourism.
- Backup Plans are Nifty: Sometimes, Mother Nature has her own plans. It could be an unexpected rain shower or a cool day. Have a list of indoor activities or attractions as a backup for these unexpected occasions.
- Sunset Chasers, Unite: If you're a sucker for sunsets (and who isn't?), ensure you're at the best vantage point at the right time. Research the best sunset spots and make it a ritual.
- Document Your Warm Winter: You've escaped the cold and found your sunny paradise — now flaunt it! Whether it's for memories or for a cheeky boast on social media, make sure you capture those sun-kissed moments.
The Bottom Line
As winter's embrace tightens, remember that sunshine is just a flight or drive away, and the United States is teeming with places to chase the warmth. Whether you're drawn to the captivating coastlines of California, the tropical allure of Hawaii, or the desert majesty of Arizona, there's a sunny haven waiting for you. With FUNBOY at your side, each destination is not just a getaway but an experience.
So swap out those snow boots for sandals, grab your favorite FUNBOY float, and immerse in the vibrant hues of a sun-filled winter escape. After all, every season is the perfect season for a dose of vitamin D and a splash of fun!