Warm winter vacations in the US: Places you must visit at least once in your life
Are you looking for the best warm winter vacations in the US? If so, you’re in luck because escaping the frigid cold weather during the winter is something we love to do.
Sure we absolutely love spending time in the mountains and getting some good ski days in, but we also enjoy digging our toes into some sand and soaking up the warm weather.
It’s certainly not fun to be stuck at home when it’s freezing outside. While you can’t beat the cold, what you can do is take a warm vacation! In the colder months, when you are yearning for some sweet sunshine, taking a trip to a nice and cozy place can prove to be very rewarding.
In fact, warmer destinations attract millions of tourists during winters. It’s now quite popular for people to take time off, not only for Christmas but also to travel and enjoy.
So, think about your idea of a perfect warm vacation. Is it clear blue skies and sunny beaches? Perhaps you’re more into visiting a National Park like Joshua Tree or maybe even an all-inclusive resort where you can relax, eat, and drink to your heart’s content?
Warm Winter Vacations in the US
Got the winter blues? No matter what type of destination is calling to you, our list of America’s best places to visit during winter has it all! If you need help figuring out how to pack for these warm winter vacations don’t miss out on how to pack for your next getaway; click here to read more
Warm Winter Vacations (Western United States)
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Southern California during the winter. The winter months are when temperatures are mildest, making it perfect for hiking and daytime excursions.
In general, the park is a popular winter getaway since it is still warmer than most of the rest of the United States during the middle of winter, at least during the day.
Joshua Tree National Park is a treasure trove of great activities, and you’ll discover why it’s one of the most popular National parks in California when you visit. Visitors to Joshua Tree enjoy beautiful hikes, unbeatable stargazing, and warm winter weather.
If you’re into hiking, you’ll be in love. The park has a variety of trails that lead you through waterfalls, rock formations, and snow-topped mountains.
The views are stunning, and hiking without the fierce summer sun is much more pleasant. The Split Rock Trail, The Discovery Trail, and the Black Rock Canyon Panorama Loop are some of the best hikes.
Visit Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix is known for its mild winters and sunny skies, making it perfect for exploring outdoor activities or just lounging by the pool.
You can spend your days hiking in South Mountain Park, horseback riding in Cave Creek Regional Park, or mountain biking at McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
If you want to relax, spend a day at Taliesin West and take in the stunning architecture or visit the Desert Botanical Garden and experience some of Arizona’s unique desert flora.
Of course, if shopping is your thing, Old Town Scottsdale is the perfect spot for some retail therapy. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll never run out of things to do on your warm winter vacation in Phoenix!
Las Vegas, Nevada
Want to explore all the world’s landmarks on your trip? Then Las Vegas has to be right at the top of your bucket list! The miniature replicas of the landmarks of the world, along with its culture of gambling, eating, drinking, and shopping, will surely make your trip unforgettable.
The temperatures in the summer range from around 64°F to 66°F. However, the nights are colder, so make sure you pack a light jacket for those night strolls to enjoy the nightlife.
You can also plan a hiking trip to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area; it’s a great way to enjoy the sun and the natural scenery.
San Diego- Warm Weather Vacation With a Beach Vibe
San Diego’s weather is ideal for year-round vacationing. Even during its coldest months, the average temperature in San Diego reaches the mid-sixties.
In addition, it seldom rains, and more often than not, the sky is clear. You can escape the harsh winter chill by visiting any time of year, and the best part is you’ll avoid the summer crowds.
Whether you’re going for a weekend in San Diego or an extended stay, there’s always something to do.
While I think the ocean is a bit too chilly for a surf or swim, there are PLENTY of people who disagree and surf year-round.
However, walking the beach, breathing in the salty air, and watching the waves are things that can be done any time of the year.
One of our favorite places in San Diego is the La Jolla area . Take a stroll around La Jolla Cove, admire the sea lions and take in the beautiful views of the ocean.
Winter is the prime season since this is the time when gray whales migrate from the frigid Alaskan waters to the balmy lagoons of the Baja Peninsula (Mexico). They swim south Nov-Dec and north Mar-Apr. You can spot them all season long along California’s coast.
I recommend looking for deals on websites such as Groupon or Travelzoo before forking over money for a guided excursion. If you’d like to save money, but you’re still interested in seeing the whales, don’t worry because you can see them from land too. Here is a list of high places that are ideal for spotting whales.
- Cabrillo National Monument
- Sea Cliff County Park in Encinitas (above Swamis)
- Torrey Pines State Reserve
- Fletcher Cove Beach Park in Solana Beach (there are several viewing decks)
- D Street Viewpoint Park in Encinitas
- Carlsbad’s Bluffs (the area called Cerezo Bluffs is ideal for this)
- Leucadia State Beach (known as Beacons)
Death Valley National Park
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in winter, why not head to Death Valley National Park? The park is known for its unique desert landscape and captivating beauty.
You can explore sand dunes, take a dip in natural hot springs, or simply admire the stunning night skies full of stars. And while the days may be warm, the nights can get quite chilly so make sure you pack plenty of layers!
Warm Weather Vacations In The US (South Eastern)
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans in summer is just hot, hot, hot. You can’t expect to enjoy what the city has to offer in the scorching heat of summer.
However, it transforms into a heavenly place you won’t want to miss in winter. With moderate temperatures, you can explore the outdoors, appreciate the city’s architecture, visit its historic places, and dine out on balconies. Not just this, the winter season is thriving in New Orleans.
In January, the city welcomes a parade to mark the Joan of Arc’s birthday. The start of Mardi Gras is also marked with Epiphany, a wonderful sight to see and be a part of. Furthermore, February is Black History Month, where there are lots of celebrations and restaurants offering great experiences.
Miami, Florida- A Popular Warm Weather Getaway
Miami is one of the best and warmest places to visit to ditch the cold climate. The city is blessed with sunshine and warm weather pretty much all year round. Even during the winter months, from December to February, the temperatures range from 60°F to 73°F.
With the pleasant weather and the gorgeous beachside, Miami is a full package offering you many fun and exciting activities around the beach and in the city.
From the street art of Wynwood to the rustic Renaissance-style villas of the Coconut Grove in Miami, there are many attractions for you to see. So, make sure you plan to stay in the city for a couple of days to explore it to its full potential.
Want to make your friends jealous with stunning Instagram pictures? Then there’s no better place to visit than Savannah!
The picturesque city with its mansions, massive oaks, and rustic cobblestone streets is something worth seeing. The Forsyth Park Fountain, Jones Street, and the Bonaventure Cemetery are some of the most photogenic spots in the city; it feels like you’ve stepped into a Hallmark movie!
One of the best restaurants in Savannah is the Olde Pink House restaurant, whose menu is loaded with items that are bound to leave you craving for more. But here’s the catch; they take bookings six weeks in advance, so don’t miss out!
Key West- One Of The Best Warm Places To Visit In Winter
Key West is one of the most popular winter holiday destinations in the United States and shouldn’t be missed. The temperature in Key West in winter is near perfect, with the high in the upper 70s and low in the upper 60s between January and March.
It’s the southernmost point in the continental United States, and it’s actually closer to Cuba in the Caribbean than it is to Miami! Due to its location, you can expect to experience some pretty great weather year-round.
Whether you’re going on a cruise to Key West, a Miami to Key West road trip, or just visiting this island, Key West is a great place to cure any winter blues!
The city of Key West is known for being a fun (party) island… and to be honest, it is! There are lots of outdoor bars, restaurants and it has a vibe when the sun goes down.
If you’re looking for a great place to watch the sunset, don’t miss Mallory Square. This is an excellent area for people watching, enjoying the street performers, and getting a bite to eat and drink.
Orange Beach, Alabama (Fun Beach Town With A Great Vibe)
Winter at the beach in Alabama, yes, please! The Alabama coastline has some of the best beaches in America. The winters are wonderful, and there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied! In fact, a winter beach trip to Alabama is one of the best ways to beat those winter blues.
Instead of wearing layers of clothing and trudging through the winter snow, why not dip your toes in the sand and relax in the sunshine.
From December through March, the weather is pleasant, with temperatures in the mid-50s and a bright blue sky overhead. You’re truly missing out if you’ve never seen the beach beneath a brilliant winter sky!
For a fun day of shopping, eating, ziplining, ice skating, and more, head to The Wharf at Orange Beach. This top entertainment area has a relaxed, family-friendly vibe with lots of activities.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you’re missing the warm beach during the wintertime, Fort Lauderdale offers the best ones you can find!
The luscious white sands and the serene views with a lesser crowd than Miami are great if you want to enjoy your time peacefully. The city has a lively nightlife scene as well as plenty of other fun activities if you’re traveling with kids. For instance, you can take the family boating in the canals, which Fort Lauderdale is well-known for.
Fort Lauderdale is also home to a large outdoor and indoor flea market, an exciting place to visit and take home unexpected finds! Moreover, the city is just north of Miami, so while you’re in Fort Lauderdale, you can spend some time in Miami too.
Warm Weather Destinations (South Central US)
If you’re not in the mood to visit a tropical place, Austin is your best bet. Austin offers something for everyone with its street art, botanical gardens, and picnic spots.
The city also has a great nightlife with karaoke bars, live music, and dancing. If you’re visiting in February, you can catch the Carnaval Brasileiro; a Brazilian cultural carnival.
Not only this but Austin is also known as the world’s live music capital. You can align your trip with various concerts to make the most out of your time in the city.
San Antonio is a great destination for a warm winter vacation, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to 70s during December and January.
This city is full of fun activities, like taking in the beautiful views of The Alamo or exploring the San Antonio River Walk.
You can also enjoy the many restaurants, bars and shops that line the River Walk.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a ride down the San Antonio River on a paddleboat or explore one of the many trails at Government Canyon State Natural Area for stunning views of the Texas Hill Country.
Mustang Island Texas
Mustang Island, Texas is a perfect destination for those seeking some fun and relaxation in the sun. Enjoy activities like swimming, fishing, or kayaking in the crystal-clear waters.
Or take a drive to Port Aransas and explore the charming shops and restaurants that line the harborfront. You can even take a leisurely stroll along the beach and admire the amazing sunsets.
Here are all our favorite things to do in Austin Texas, with tons of FREE things
Warm Weather Getaways In The US (South Western)
If it’s beautiful red rock mountains, hiking, mountain biking, art, and culture you’re after, Sedona is a beautiful place to visit in the winter months. This is when the gorgeous red rocks are often snow-capped, the skies are sunny, and the air is crisp and cool, making for the perfect hiking and biking weather.
Winter in Sedona is filled with activities for the whole family, cozy evenings by the fire, and romantic candlelit dinners. Sedona is a town surrounded by the vast wilderness of Oak Creek Canyon, but it also has some spectacular natural formations of its own, like Bell Rock and Devils Bridge.
Biking in Sedona is our absolute favorite thing to do in the winter months. The trails are beautiful, and fewer people are on them, making for some excellent rides.
The winter season in Sedona lasts from December to February. The winter months in Sedona can get chilly; however, the days are beautiful. Temperatures range with average highs around 55 degrees and low temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees.
Here’s everything you need to know about hiking the Devil’s Bridge Hike in Sedona. Click here to read more
A visit to LA is a must-do on any warm winter vacation. With temperatures in the 50s and 60s, you can explore Hollywood’s most iconic sites such as the Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, or the Griffith Observatory.
Spend some time at Santa Monica Pier too for rides, shops and ocean views, or take a stroll through The Grove to shop and eat. You can also take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to enjoy some of California’s best coastal scenery.
Looking for warm places to go in the US? Head to Laguna Beach!
With average temperatures in the upper 60s during December and January, you can enjoy miles of sandy beaches or take part in some fun outdoor activities like exploring tide pools, boogie boarding, surfing, kayaking hiking scenic trails and admiring breathtaking views.
If that doesn’t interest you, take a stroll through the galleries and boutiques of Laguna Beach or just soak up some sun on one of the many beautiful beaches. No matter what kind of winter vacation you’re in search of, Laguna Beach will have something to offer!
Warm Weather Getaways In The US (Island Getaways)
There’s no question that Hawaii is one of the best warm destinations to visit in the US during winter. The island brings together culture, scenic views, and warm weather that will surely refresh you!
Kailua-Kona is the warmest and sunniest place in Hawaii, making it the ideal place to avoid chilly weather. The sandy beaches, the shade of palm trees, and the 81°F warm weather make Kailua-Kona a dream come true in the winter season.
While there, you can visit the Big Island Bees Farm or go kayaking at the Kealakekua Bay to have a bit of adventure.
The rich history and culture, mouthwatering cuisine, beautiful beaches, mountains, relaxation, and excitement are all found in one sun-kissed Caribbean haven.
Puerto Rico is the best place to vacation because it’s warm year-round; however, from November to April, you’ll miss out on all the rain. The temperatures on the coast average out at around 85°F, with a few degrees of cooling off as you get closer to the heart of the mountain—making it possible to visit year-round.
The majority of visitors to Puerto Rico choose to visit in the winter when the sun is out, and it’s a beautiful escape. I’ve heard some people say that the best time to visit Puerto Rico is during the spring season, when visitor numbers have dwindled, and hotel rates have dropped.
Don’t forget about Oahu, the third-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. With average temperatures in the upper 70s during December and January, it’s a great place to soak up some rays and enjoy a variety of activities like swimming, snorkeling and sailing. waIt’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and you can also explore the vibrant city of Honolulu, which is full of great restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
Have you spent time on any of the Islands in Hawaii? If not, now is the perfect time to check out the beautiful island of Kauai. With its tropical climate and stunning beaches, it’s the perfect place for a warm winter getaway.
Take in the stunning beauty of snorkel at Poipu Beach, or take your pick from a range of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking and sailing.
No matter what you choose to do, Kauai is the perfect destination for a warm winter vacation.
Don’t Let the Dead of Winter Stop You from Exploring!
If you’re missing the sunny skies, we hope our list will help you find the best destination for your warm winter vacation. Do you have a favorite warm winter vacation in the US that we’re missing and you think it should be included on this this? If so drop your idea in the comments below