Looking for the perfect warm winter vacation in the USA? Look no further! The US is a country with many different landscapes – from the ruggedness of Arizona to the beaches of Florida, there are some pretty warm temperatures in the country. So here are our top picks for the best warm winter vacations in the US.
32 Warm winter vacations in the US
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Travel Tips for Warm Winter Vacations in the USA
Here are some quick tips to help plan your warm winter getaway in the US.
Winters are a busy time in most warmer destinations as people are trying to escape the cold temperatures, so we recommend planning your trip ahead of time, and making reservations
Many of the destinations listed in this guide are sun and sand getaways, and we suggest packing beach and resort essentials such as
- Swimsuit – My favorite one from Amazon
- Sunhat – Buy this one for Instagrammable shots!
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Comfortable walking shoes – Click to check out my favorite
- And don’t forget your camera!
If you are hiking or camping, add hiking gear – shoes, clothing, etc. We also recommend a lightweight cardigan and waterproof jacket for chilly evenings.
San Diego, California
- Average Temps.: 50°-66°F | 10°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: San Diego Intl. Airport
- Perfect for: Water activities, city vibes, great for couples, families with kids
With a Mediterranean climate, San Diego has a warm winter thanks to its close proximity to the ocean.
San Diego is known for its wonderful beaches so you can plan your visit here in wintertime when temperatures are mild and sunshine is plentiful, making it ideal for water activities like surfing or swimming in the ocean.
Speaking of activities, if you are a beach lover, do not miss La Jolla Cove for its tidal pools and the opportunity to see local wildlife such as sea lions. You can go on kayaking in the winters as well. Whale watching is equally popular here.
For some fresh air, head to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve where you can hike through the native California vegetation and enjoy stunning views of cliffs plunging into the ocean.
To make your trip to San Diego truly unforgettable, visit one of the city’s festivals like the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights to ring in the festive cheer.
Downtown San Diego is great for urban explorers, particularly Little Italy – a neighborhood located on the north end. It is a vibrant area filled with amazing galleries, cute boutique shops, patio cafés, and restaurants.
If you are looking for a hotel during your visit, take advantage of vacation packages on California’s coast that will give you fantastic opportunities to save on hotels and other travel expenses. Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayside is an eco-friendly property located in the heart of the city.
Accommodation: Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayside
Santa Monica, California
- Average Temps.: 50°-65°F | 10°-18°C
- Nearest Airport: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Perfect for: Water activities, sea-side views, great for couples, families with kids
Santa Monica is another warm winter destination in California. The city of Santa Monica is located on the Pacific coast, so there are plenty of opportunities for water activities.
Explore the pier, one of the most popular attractions in this part of LA County, and get at least some of your holiday photos taken by professional photographers working here.
In wintertime, Santa Monica also offers plenty of other activities to stay busy including ice skating without the cold at the ICE at Santa Monica in the downtown area. You can also enjoy festive celebrations and ‘New Year’s on Main Street.
Shopping at the Farmer’s Market is also a delightful experience in Santa Monica in the winter. It takes place every Wednesday, and here is where you will find the finest chefs showcasing their culinary skills.
Santa Monica does not leave its visitors without any entertainment during wintertime or at other times of the year.
Santa Monica Pier is one of the most popular places to visit in California and one of the top tourist attractions in LA county. You will find plenty of ways to enjoy your time here at the arcade, fish feeding, and more.
And, don’t miss out on an amazing sunset over the Pier, as it’s considered one of the most beautiful sunsets in the country.
When it comes to entertainment for kids, the Pier has everything including carnival games; and adults will love to ride on the Ferris wheel that looks amazing lit up at night.
Santa Monica Place is also a great spot to have a meal and you can choose from a number of dining options located at the Pier, mall, or just outside on 3rd street promenade. For a luxurious stay, book a suite at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.
Accommodation: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Traveling to California? Read the perfect San Francisco Itinerary
Santa Barbara, California
By Stacy from The Discovery Nut
- Average Temps.: 45°-66°F | 9°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: Santa Barbara (SBA) Airport
- Perfect for: Water activities, sea-side views, great for couples, families with kids
A true gem of Central California, Santa Barbara makes for a perfect winter getaway thanks to a mild climate and plenty of sunshine.
While it might be a bit too chilly to swim or surf in winter, Santa Barbara offers plenty of culture and history, so you will not get bored here.
To learn about how the city originated and became what it is today, visit El Presidio, a former military outpost constructed by the Spanish settlers, that is a museum under the open sky today.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful colonial city and you could spend a while learning about the city’s colonial past through its wonderful architecture.
One of the architectural gems that should be on your list is Mission Santa Barabara, a pastel-colored church that was among many missions constructed by Spaniards to convert the Native population to Catholicism.
Santa Barbara County Courthouse deserves special notice because it’s often called one of the most beautiful government buildings in the United States thanks to its wonderful colonial style and well-preserved interior.
If you are craving some exercise, rent a bike for a fun ride along the coast. And, if you are ready for some workout, hike to Inspiration Point for panoramic views of Santa Barbara and surrounding areas.
Not in the mood for hiking, but still want to enjoy some cool scenery? Head over to Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens where you can admire native California plants from paved trails. It’s one of the most popular places to visit among Santa Barbara visitors, so make sure to add it to your itinerary.
Accommodation Suggestion: Brisas Del Mar, Inn at the Beach
Joshua Tree National Park, California
By Alisha from Travel Today Work Tomorrow
- Average Temps.: 37°-66°F | 3°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
- Perfect for: Hikes, camp, stargazing, epic accommodation in the wilderness!
Nothing says a warm getaway than a trip to the desert!
Joshua Tree National Park is in southeastern California and straddles between two deserts. With summer temperatures reaching triple digits, winter is the ideal time to plan your visit.
Most days are in the ’70s to ’80s, which is perfect for getting outdoors and enjoying some fresh air.
When visiting Joshua Tree, there are hotels available, however, Airbnb tends to be the more popular option. Airbnb offers numerous selections of unique and one-of-a-kind accommodations at a reasonable price. You could stay in a dome for the night, a clear bubble tent, a vintage airstream, or book an awesome house with a hot tub and fire pit.
However, if you want to stay in a more developed area, Palm Springs is a one-hour drive from Joshua Tree where there are plenty of luxurious hotels to choose from. Palm Springs is also where you can find the closest major airport.
Besides its whimsical and Dr. Seuss-like trees, Joshua Tree National Park is also known for its plethora of outdoor activities. The massive rock formations are great for rock climbing and bouldering.
There are many hiking trails for you to trek, horseback riding, camping, but one of the best things you can do is stargazing. Stand in awe as you look up at the beautiful night sky.
On a clear and moonless night, you can easily catch a glimpse of some shooting stars, the big dipper, and possibly the milky way.
After a long day of adventure, grab a bite at a local favorite, Pappy & Harriet’s for BBQ and live music. It’s a well-known old western bar, with rustic décor and a fun atmosphere.
Joshua Tree National Park is a destination you must experience. Escape the winter cold and plan a sunny and adventurous getaway to the desert. Learn how to spend a day in Joshua National Park.
Accommodation: Stay at White Tank Campground.
Catalina Island, California
By Allison from She Dreams of Alpine
- Average Temps.: 43°-60°F | 6°-16°C
- Nearest Airport: Long Beach Island
- Perfect for: Hikes, scuba diving, snorkeling, beach and harbour vacation, off beat, couples’s
What’s better for a warm getaway in the winter than an island vacation? Catalina Island, off the coast of southern California, is the perfect destination to escape the snow and cold in other parts of the country.
To get to Catalina Island, you can fly into any Los Angeles area airport. Long Beach Airport is the most convenient, since you have to take a ferry to Catalina Island, and the main ferry terminal is in Long Beach. You can take the ferry to either Avalon or Two Harbors on Catalina Island.
Avalon is the only actual city on the island and must-see attractions include the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens, a massive sanctuary full of native California plants, and the Catalina Casino, which is an architectural attraction, not a casino, featuring a gorgeous theatre and ballroom.
Two Harbors is more secluded and a great base for outdoor adventures like snorkeling, scuba diving, or stand-up paddleboarding.
If you want to explore the whole island, you can backpack the Trans-Catalina Trail, which circumnavigates the island.
It will take about 3-4 days to complete the trail, and you will be treated to awesome views, stunning ocean sunsets, and, if you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of the buffalo that roam the island.
You’ll find several campgrounds on Catalina Island where you can stay if you’re backpacking or just want to sleep under the stars.
Whether you choose to relax on the beach or hike around the island, you will love your winter vacation on Catalina Island!
Los Angeles, California
By Jenifer from The Evolista
- Average Temps.: 48°-69°F | 9°-21°C
- Nearest Airport: Los Angeles International Airport
- Perfect for: City and culture lovers, foodies, Hollywood fans, scenic West Coast road trips
One of the best places for a warm winter vacation in the US is Los Angeles. In fact, winter can be as good of a time to visit as summer. The weather is temperate, there are tons of sunny days and the summer crowds are long gone.
The first order of business when visiting Los Angeles is renting a car. It will make it so much easier to get around and you can pick it up right from Los Angeles Airport. With a car, you’ll be able to do one of the best things in LA, take a scenic drive.
Some favorite routes are Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood to the beach where you can stop at the Sunset Strip for great restaurants and shopping, or at night at famous music venues like the Roxy and Whisky a Go-Go. You’ll wind your way through Beverly Hills, pass UCLA and eventually end up at the coast.
From there, another drive going north on Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu will showcase those expansive pacific ocean views. Make a day of it by going to the beach at El Capitan, Zuma, or Paradise Cove. Then stop for lunch and shopping at the Malibu Country Mart.
As a very active city, hiking is a much-loved pastime of many Angelenos. The Santa Monica mountains provide an endless supply of trails. In Hollywood, Runyon Canyon is a favorite hike and you’ll see the Hollywood sign.
In Pacific Palisades, you can hike to a waterfall at Temescal Canyon. If you catch a rainy day, check out one of the many amazing museums in LA like The Getty Center, LACMA, or the Broad.
Death Valley National Park, California
By Neha of Travelmelodies
- Average Temps.: 39°-74°F | 4°-23°C
- Nearest Airport: McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, Nevada)
- Perfect for: Hikes, camp, salt flats, scenic views, natural wonder
Death Valley, a unique destination straddles between California and Nevada and makes for a perfect winter destination. The weather is pleasant with temperatures hovering around 50 -60 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime to 30 -40 degrees at night, making it great to explore the natural wonder.
Death Valley National Park, spread over 5270 square miles, is one of the largest national parks in the US. This dry desert is known for its intriguing beauty in the dry rocky formations, badlands, or the colors spurting through. It is the lowest, driest, and hottest place in the US apart from being the world’s hottest place.
Due to much milder temperatures in winters, it is easier to explore areas of the park at leisure and take advantage of lesser crowds.
You can begin by visiting the Visitor Center, grab the maps of the park, and know more about the park from the rangers. Zabriskie Point is near the visitor center and a great place to see the wavy rock formations especially during the sunrise and sunset.
Badwater Basin – the salt flats, is the lowest elevation point in North America. The vast expanse of white flatlands is a sight to behold. Take a drive around the 9-mile long scenic Artist’s Drive to view the rainbow of colors and the Artist’s Palette.
Winters also make it a good time to hike along many trails in the park.
For your trip, do carry sufficient water, physical maps as there are parts with no network signals.
Campgrounds inside the National park are a great place to stay, else The Inn at Death Valley is a 4 diamond resort in the midst of the rustic environment.
Accommodation: The Inn at Death Valley
Laguna Beach, California
- Average Temps.: 43°-68°F | 6°-20°C
- Nearest Airport: John Wayne Airport Orange County
- Perfect for: Sea-side vibes, water activities, couples, families, art lovers
Laguna Beach makes for amazing warm winter vacations in the US. It’s a small seaside town on the coast of Southern California that attracts artists and nature lovers from all over.
Thanks to its great location right next to the Laguna Mountains, this quaint town gets almost 260 sunny days a year, making it one of the sunniest places in the country.
The city’s main attraction is its scenic coastline, so if you come in the wintertime, don’t miss a chance to wander along the ocean for some fresh ocean air and lovely views.
There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in Laguna Beach. You can rent a bike or a pair of rollerblades and ride along the coast enjoying the sun and the ocean breeze.
In for some adventure? Hit the trails in the Laguna Coast wilderness, join a sea cave tour or go kayaking the pristine waters.
For a more relaxing experience, visit the Laguna Art Museum with many exhibits from contemporary artists. If you are looking for some outdoor art installations, stroll along the same streets as the locals and enjoy colorful murals on buildings of all shapes and sizes (Laguna Art Walk).
If you want to make your warm winter vacations even better, don’t forget to hit the local stores – you can find some great art pieces for your home or souvenirs to take back with you.
Accommodation: The Inn at Laguna Beach
Disneyland Anaheim, California
By Sally from Our 3Kids v The World
- Average Temps.: 46°-69°F | 8°-21°C
- Nearest Airport: John Wayne Airport Orange County
- Perfect for: Kids and adults, Disney fans
Disneyland Anaheim in December is a great time weather-wise – the days are still warm however the nights get cool very quickly.
We had daytime tops of 28-30 degrees in early December on our visit. We did require a warmer jumper at night though. Mickey’s ears keep your head warm though, and they are a mandatory attire for visiting Disneyland any time of year.
There is no place more beautiful than Disneyland, the happiest place on earth during the festive season. Disneyland goes all out for their decorations and Santa arrives early in December to have his photo taken with all the little kiddies.
You can also visit California Adventure Park by purchasing a park hopper pass meaning you can jump between the 2 parks. Both parks have different themes and both are equally as great to visit.
You will have to be mindful of crowds during the festive season. Friday’s and weekends will be crowded the closer you get to Christmas Day. There is a Disney crowd calendar and we highly recommend you looking at this during your planning stages.
Purchasing a Disney Max Pass will maximize your time in both parks by allowing you to jump the queues, great if you are only visiting for a day or two.
There are plenty of hotels to choose from in the area, Disney-themed parks are located in the Disney Resort grounds and enable you to walk or get the monorail to the parks. These are great if you have small kids but can also be costly.
Just outside the parks in Anaheim, there are hotels to suit every budget. The further you are prepared to stay the more money you may save. Many of the hotels run a shuttle bus between the hotel and the parks for a small cost and they run regularly throughout the day.
Where to stay in Anaheim near Disneyland? Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
Orange Beach, Alabama
- Average Temps.: 42°-66°F | 8°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: Pensacola (PNS)
- Perfect for: Beach, sea-side vibes, water activities, couples, families, Gulf shores
Orange Beach is a warm winter destination in the States located on the Alabama Coast. This small city is known as the “Seaside Resort” and it’s a popular destination for water sports.
From December to April, you can enjoy surfing, fishing, boating or simply basking in the sun on white-sand beaches.
The city’s rich history dates back to 1819 when it was first settled by Europeans and later grew into one of the state’s busiest ports in the mid-20th century. Today, Orange Beach is a thriving tourist destination and its economy largely depends on tourism and fishing industries.
The area’s mild weather throughout the year also makes it perfect for visiting often if you just want to relax and unwind in the sun. And, while winter does mean that some of the water activities might be reserved for surfing or kayaking, Orange Beach offers shopping and entertainment opportunities at the Wharf, and other towns on the Gulf Shores.
Accommodation: The Lodge at Gulf State Park
By Ladona from Walking the Parks
- Average Temps.: 42°-70°F | 5°-21°C
- Nearest Airport: Tucson International Airport
- Perfect for: Scenic mountain views, couples getaway, hikes, musuems
Tucson is a beautiful city surrounded by desert mountains. It’s always sunny and warm, with temperatures in the 70s most of the winter.
Located near several outdoor recreation areas, people can go camping, fishing, hiking, or mountain biking… it’s no wonder Tucson, Arizona, has so much to offer visitors!
You’ll immediately recognize the giant and ancient Saguaro cactus as you approach Tucson.
Winter provides a unique time to hike among the cactus in nearby Saguaro National Park because the cooler weather means you can avoid hiking in the heat of the summer. These impressive plants live to be over 100 years old and grow to over 40 feet tall.
Of course, the Arizona desert means world-class golf. Tuscon offers a choice of 35 courses. You can play at top courses like Starr Pass Golf Club and The Westin La Paloma. Or enjoy pampering yourself with a stay at their luxurious resorts.
Reid Park Zoo, one of Tucson’s most popular and well-known sites, is the perfect option for families. The zoo, located in central Tucson, features natural habitats for the animals and a selection of desert wildlife.
The temperate weather also means winter is time to relax in the Tucson Botanical Gardens. You’ll find it has over 100 species of plants, from desert cactus to colorful flowers. There are ponds with fish, benches for resting, and beautiful landscaping everywhere you turn.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is worth visiting to learn more about the history of aviation.
From a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner, the museum displays about 400 historic aircraft. The museum, which has 80 acres of land, includes six indoor exhibit hangars.
It’s easy to fly into Tucson International Airport 8 miles south of downtown Tucson. Or it’s a quick 2-hour drive to Pheonix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Accommodation: Lodge On The Desert
By Candice from CS Ginger
- Average Temps.: 44°-72°F | 7°-22°C
- Nearest Airport: Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport
- Perfect for: City break with nature escapes – hikes, shops, festivals
If you are looking to escape the winter blues, Phoenix, Arizona is a great place to visit. Winter temperatures reach upwards of 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 26 degrees Celcius during the day. Along with the beautiful winter warm weather, there are lots of fun attractions in Phoenix.
One of the best things to do in Phoenix during the winter is to go hiking. There are a lot of great trails within 30 minutes of downtown Phoenix. The Wind Cave Trail at Usery Mountain is a challenging but doable trail that boasts beautiful views of the downtown area.
After a beautiful day of hiking, head to Roosevelt Row. It is a fun and artsy area downtown. You can rent an electric scooter to see the beautiful murals and find some dinner.
The Wilderness Brewing Company has a really nice outdoor dining area with games along with great food.
The Desert Botanical Garden is another fun stop that will give you some insight into what life in the desert is like. There are so many different varieties of desert plants, especially the cactus. There are multiple trails throughout the garden. A visit to the garden will take three or four hours.
If you are looking to do some shopping, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Old Town Scottsdale is a great place to spend the afternoon. Scottsdale Fashion Square is the largest retail space in the Southwest.
Old Town Scottsdale has a bunch of Native American shops, specialty shops, and great restaurants. Check out Evo for some delicious Italian food and famous New York Style pizza.
The nearest airport is the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
Accommodation: Stay at the modern 4 star Hyatt Regency Phoenix with an outdoor pool
- Average Temps.: 41°-64°F | 5°-18°C
- Nearest Airport: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
- Perfect for: City break, history, culture, foodie, couple’s or girl’s getaways
Savannah makes for a great warm winter getaway in the US. Visitors to the city can enjoy a bit of the old and new with its unique blend of historic architecture and modern structures.
Savannah in the winter is sometimes warm, and sometimes crisp. It is however great, as it is considered off-season. You can hit the squares where street performers, artists, vendors, and food carts create a lively carnival-like atmosphere while you enjoy strolling through charming cobblestone streets.
If you’re into museums, then winter is the perfect time to explore (minus the crowds). You must pay a visit to the Charleston Museum, which is one of the oldest museums in the US. It is home to various artifacts, natural history exhibits, decorative arts, and two historic Charleston houses.
A house tour is also a great idea, and so is a sunset dinner cruise tour!
In the winter months, Savannah also gears up for the festive season. Do make time to attend winter races and festivals such as the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival and the Savannah Book Festival.
If you are planning a trip around the New Year you can also check out fireworks at River Street.
Don’t forget to warm up your belly in Savannah! There are a lot of amazing pubs and restaurants with a variety of dishes from seafood to steak as well as some down-home Southern staples.
You can also book a guided food tour to relish some of the culinary delights in the city.
Accommodation: River Street Inn is a stylish hotel with a restaurant on-site
New Orleans, Louisiana
- Average Temps.: 45°-66°F | 8°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: New Orleans (MSY) Airport
- Perfect for: City break, history, culture, foodie, European vibes in the USA
New Orleans is one of the amazing warm winter spots in the USA. Most of the attractions are outdoorsy like Mardi Gras, JazzFest, and many special neighborhood festivals.
New Orleans is an old-world city with centuries-old history, but still young at heart. It’s famous for its celebrations that bring in people from around the world who dance in the streets to celebrate life and culture. You cannot escape the energy of New Orleans no matter how hard you try.
NOLA is a dream destination for foodies and partygoers who can spend days getting lost in little corners restaurants, shops, and bars.
Mix this with fun-filled activities such as a holiday parade at Jingle on the Boulevard Parade, or winter wonderland celebrations at the Roosevelt Hotel and not to mention great outdoor attractions like swamp tours.
If you want to get a taste of what makes New Orleans so special, start by simply wandering around the French Quarter with its beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings make it not only one of America’s oldest neighborhoods but also one of its most fascinating.
Built by the French and then taken over by the Spanish, today’s French Quarter is a mix of these two cultures that makes it one of the most unique destinations in America.
Spend some time outdoors? Then you should not miss out on Garden District and City Park, an oasis for visitors who want to get out of the crowded streets of New Orleans.
City Park is one of the largest urban parks in the USA, offering everything from playing fields to nature trails. You can also visit Aesop’s Fable-themed playground that features sculptures with fables illustrated on them and play spaces using natural materials like sand and water for kids to enjoy. Plus the park is all lit up for Christmas.
New Orleans is served by the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. You can also hop on a flight from New York City in less than three hours.
Accommodation: Astor Crowne Plaza
By Cristine from Live Love Run Travel
- Average Temps.: 51°-74°F | 11°-23°C
- Nearest Airport: Orlando or Sanford International Airport
- Perfect for: Disney, resort relaxation, tropical vacation
Orlando is one of the best warm winter destinations in the USA to visit for a number of reasons. The weather finally cools off and the humidity is much lower in the winter. As a bonus, you are highly unlikely to experience a hurricane in Florida in the winter.
Fly into either Orlando International Airport or Sanford International Airport and choose a hotel like Gaylord Palms at Disney or one of the many hotels near International Drive to be close to all of the popular spots to visit.
If you can visit Orlando at Christmas, it’s a magical place to spend Christmas without the snow. Disney and Universal Studios are the most popular places to visit any time of year, but they go all out at Christmas with Grinchmas at Universal Studios and Disney Very Merriest.
The Disney resorts are another great place to stop, especially the Grand Floridian. With a massive Christmas tree and Santa, what puts it over the top is a real gingerbread house that is 14 feet tall.
The other resorts also have beautiful decorations, so if you are staying on property or visiting Disney, check a few of them out.
The Gaylord Palms also has a massive Christmas event each year, usually including ICE! with massive ice sculptures and even an ice slide. This is a unique way to experience winter in Orlando where ice is not usually part of the experience.
If you visit Orlando in winter but do not come near Christmas, you can still enjoy the beautiful weather at the theme parks or take advantage of the natural springs near Orlando which stay in the low 70s all year long.
The closest one to Orlando is Wekiwa Springs where you can swim or kayak/canoe down the river. If you’re up for an hour’s drive, head to Blue Springs where the largest number of manatees gather in the winter.
Accommodation: Stay at Crowne Plaza Orlando, located on Universal Blvd
By James from Parks Collecting
- Average Temps.: 65°-76°F | 17°-24°C
- Nearest Airport: Miami International Airport
- Perfect for: City, beaches, shopping, nightlife
Miami is perfect in winter – it’s warm without being too hot, and there is plenty to do. Of course, the main thing to do is to hit the beach. South Beach is the main area to go.
In addition to the endless sandy beach, there is a park that runs along much of the beach, with a path that is perfect for walking, running, or rollerblading. Lining the other side of the park is the famous art deco district along Ocean Drive, where you’ll find dozens of hotels, restaurants, clubs, and bars.
If you like to shop, head to the pedestrianized Lincoln Road, where there are coffee shops, restaurants, and plenty of stores to keep you entertained for days.
For a dining experience with Instagram-worthy flair, head to Espanola Way, between 14th and 15th Streets. The narrow street is crammed with colorful restaurants.
If you want to get in touch with nature, head to Everglades National Park for an airboat ride past alligators or Biscayne National Park for snorkeling. Both are just an hour away.
There are plenty of other places to go snorkeling too, including a sunken ship, The Half Moon, and – this is Miami after all – even a sunken bar. The Jose Cuervo Margarita Bar was built for a promotion and then sunk to form an artificial reef that’s great for snorkeling just off Miami Beach.
A great hotel option is The Marlin Hotel. The boutique hotel is two short blocks from the beach, in the heart of Miami South Beach. Beach bags and beach towels are provided.
The nearest airport is Miami International Airport.
Accommodation: The Marlin Hotel
By Terri from FemaleSoloTrek.com
- Average Temps.: 56°-72°F | 13°-22°C
- Nearest Airport: St. Petersburg Airport (PIE) or Tampa International Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, relaxation
Pass-A-Grille, Florida is a tiny town tottering on the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s West Coast. Its unusual name may be derived from the French Passe aux Grilleurs. This was a favorite stopover for tourists from Tampa in the late 1800s. It is a hop and skip from St. Petersburg, yet miles away in isolation.
Picture a beach that is deserted. The sky is a Monet painting draped in fluffy clouds and streaked in pink, lavender, gray, and blue swipes of the painter’s brush.
Descend the wooden decks to lay on the beach, walk the surf or leisurely collect shells. This town feels circa the 1950s with its architecture and “go slow” mentality.
Pass-A-Grille is a place to escape winter comes the hardest months when ice and snow pile up on the sidewalks.
The only place to stay if money is no object is the historic Don Cesar, a pink mansion that once welcomed the most famous authors—including F. Scott Fitzgerald. But if vacationing on a budget, try an Airbnb rental and just book a lunch at the Don Cesar.
The favorite pastimes of visitors are bicycling, boating, and walking. There is Merry Pier to rent a fishing rod. Shell Key Shuttle offers excursions to Shell Key Preserve.
Pass-A-Grille is also “fido-friendly” so feel free to walk your dog at the beach.
Convenient flights are available to Tampa International Airport, or St. Petersburg Airport (PIE).
Accommodation: Inn on the Beach
Key West, Florida
By Megan from Megan Starr
- Average Temps.: 67°-77°F | 19°-25°C
- Nearest Airport: Key West International Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, water activities, history, city break
If you’re looking to explore one of winter’s top travel destinations in the United States, look no further than colorful Key West, Florida. No matter if you’re visiting Key West in December, January, or February, it will definitely bring you to life and is a nice change from the winter blues!
One perk to visiting Key West in winter is that the dry season has arrived after the dreadful tropics have been brought to life during fall. The dry seasons mean fewer mosquitoes and calmer skies and it will help ensure you have a memorable trip without worrying about the weather too much.
If you’re visiting Key West, be sure to enjoy some of the island’s top beaches like Smathers Beach, Higgs Memorial Beach Park, and Rest Beach. All are public and have several activity options when visiting for those not keen on just lounging around in the sand.
If you’re one that enjoys getting in the water, opt for a snorkeling tour in the Keys or a kayaking tour that will take you through the island’s mangroves. However, no trip to Key West is complete without taking a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park, famous for its turquoise waters and the historic Fort Jefferson.
You can get there by seaplane or via a ferry with Yankee Freedom. Do be aware that these ferries book up well in advance so plan ahead.
Key West offers a variety of lodging options from luxury to budget to camping. If you’re looking to save money and have a rental car, it is recommended to stay on another island (Marathon and Islamorada can be cheaper).
Anna Maria Island, Florida
By Paula from Paula Pins the Planet
- Average Temps.: 52°-74°F | 11°-23°C
- Nearest Airport: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, relaxation
When looking for a warm destination to visit in the USA during winter, Florida is always on the top of the list.
With some of the best beaches in the country, the sunshine state is a great vacation spot for sun, fun, and beach lovers. One of the best-kept secrets in Florida, and arguably, in the United States, is the paradise of Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island has amazing things to do, and certainly, the number one attraction is to explore the stunning pristine beaches with powdery sand and turquoise watercolor, among the best beaches, are the Manatee Public Beach and the hidden-gem Bean Point Beach.
A must-do while visiting the Island is to try the local fresh seafood, such as the Waterfront Restaurant that serves excellent group tacos and great drinks.
Another great thing to do in Anna Maria Island is to explore the iconic landmarks, such as the Historic Bridge Street with a fishing pier, great views of the bay, and loaded with Floridian-style restaurants and beach sides boutiques.
Located on the western side of Florida Central Gulf Coast, only one hour driving from Tampa Bay, and you can get to Anna Maria Island by arriving at the Tampa International Airport or another option is the Sarasota-Bradenton International airport that is located only 30-minutes driving to Anna Maria Island.
Accommodation: The best-rated hotel in Anna Maria Island is the Compass Hotel by Margaritaville Anna Maria Sound, located in Bradenton. The hotel has an excellent location with a swimming pool and restaurant.
Florida Springs & Gainesville, Florida
By Victoria from Florida Trippers
- Average Temps.: 43°-71°F | 6°-22°C
- Nearest Airport: Gainesville Regional Airport
- Perfect for: Water activities like kayaking, natural springs
One of the best places to visit in the USA during winter is Florida. But not just any place here, you will want to visit some of the best springs in Florida!
Florida has the highest concentration of natural springs in the world due to its unique topography and there are springs for everyone. The springs are located all over central and north Florida so you can easily add them to another itinerary or trip to Florida.
If you are visiting Orlando, you can go visit springs near Orlando! Now, the springs are a constant 72 degrees F (some are colder but not usually) throughout the year. This is when locals go to springs for them to be “warm” while the air is often chillier than 72 degrees. It is also when the ocean gets very cold and manatees flock to the warmer water of the springs.
You can kayak or take guided tours to see manatees in their natural habitat in the springs and this happens during the winter.
A wonderful place to visit springs is up near Gainesville in Florida. There is a high concentration of beautiful springs such as Ginnie Springs that you can enjoy!
There is truly something to visit for everyone depending on what you want to see and do when exploring Florida springs!
Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Gainesville is a good choice for a centrally located hotel.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
- Average Temps.: 50°-73°F | 10°-23°C
- Nearest Airport: St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, relaxation, check out dolphins
Clearwater is a premier US family vacation destination with top-rated beaches and great attractions for tourists to enjoy year round.
One of the most popular things to do in Clearwater is to take a walk on its famous sugar sand beaches that line clear blue waters. If you’re lucky, you might even see some dolphins swimming nearby.
Clearwater is also home to one of Florida’s most popular attractions – Clearwater Marine Aquarium where you can watch rescued sea creatures like manatees and dolphins in rehabilitation before they are set free into the ocean.
The aquarium is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to saving and rehabilitating injured, sick, or orphaned marine animals. You’ll see this in the display tanks that showcases species of turtles and other sea creatures under their care.
From Clearwater Beach, you can hang out at the Caladesi Island State Park. It is a nice area where you can go swimming, or see dolphins.
Accommodation: Stay at the eco-friendly Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
By Jordan from The Homebody Tourist
- Average Temps.: 55°-72°F | 13°-22°C
- Nearest Airport: Kahului Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, relaxation, waterfalls, water activities, couple’s
Palm trees, waterfalls, beaches, and all the sunshine…the perfect winter paradise!
Maui is the ultimate warm getaway in the USA to visit this winter! With average winter temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you may never want to leave.
After flying into the Kahului Airport, you can choose to stay in West Maui (quieter, lush, but more rain in the winter) or South Maui (busier, less rain, and a bit more budget-friendly). We recommend choosing a home base in Kehei and then using your rental car to explore both sides of the island.
Start your warm winter vacation with a relaxing beach day at one of the many beaches.
Big Beach is a great option if you are looking to relax on a beautiful undeveloped beach, but can be dangerous due to a large shore break. If you are looking to swim or body surf Ka’anapali Beach is a better option.
Day 2 in Maui will bring the adventure of a lifetime. Get an early start and head out East along the road to Hana. Here you will find roadside waterfalls, amazing hikes, food stands, and more. It is a treacherous drive with over 620 turns and 59 bridges so ensure to be prepared!
For the rest of your vacation, you can check out IAO Valley State Park for epic views, try out snorkeling in the clear Molokini Crater, or watch the sunrise (or set) on top of the Haleakala Volcano.
There are also beaches EVERYWHERE you look, so if you are just wanting to relax in the sun, you won’t have to look far.
Accommodation: (In Kehei) Kohea Kai Maui, Ascend Hotel Collection
By Megan from Next is Hawaii
- Average Temps.: 63°-79°F | 17°-26°C
- Nearest Airport: Honolulu International Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, history, water activities
You will find so many fantastic warm places to visit in winter during the US but one place that really shines during the winter (and the rest of the year) is Oahu, Hawaii.
Hawaii’s most populous island has so much to offer visitors and the desirable weather keeps travelers coming back again and again for more!
The best place to start on a trip to Oahu is in the Hawaii capital city of Honolulu.
You will find many things to do there, including using the city as a base for some of the most famous attractions like the beaches of Honolulu, the hike to Diamond Head Crater, a trip to Pearl Harbor and the museums, and a day in Waikiki.
The city is bustling but you will find everything you need for an exciting trip! If you’re planning to stay in Honolulu, you will be spoiled with choices for accommodation.
Honolulu is also a great base for tours, including shark cage diving, snorkeling, and helicopter tours over the island.
If you’re looking to explore Oahu outside of the big city, head north to the North Shore where you will find several beaches, including some of the world’s most famous surf spots!
On the North Shore, some of the best attractions are Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach for watching surfers (or even partaking in catching some waves yourself!), the Dole Plantation, and a relaxing trip to Haleiwa, one of the most chilled out places on Oahu.
Accommodation: Top places to stay in the city are the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, The Laylow Autograph Collection, and The Equus. If you end up visiting the North Shore, some of the best places to stay are Turtle Bay Resort and Ke Iki Beach Bungalows
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is an exciting destination that gets more exciting during wintertime.
- Average Temps.: 27°-66°F | -3°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: McCarran International Airport
- Perfect for: Nightlife, shows, food, girl’s or couple’s getaway, day trips
The city is known for glitz and glamour, where visitors can enjoy food, shows, nightclubs, and casinos 24/7.
There are also tons of activities to do in Las Vegas all year round, including taking a gondola ride at The Venetian Resort’s Grand Canal Shoppes. This is where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Italy with a walk through classical European architecture, sculptures, water fountains and cafes with live entertainment from singing gondoliers.
Do check out Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas to take pictures with your favorite celebrities or marvel at one of the world’s largest collections of celebrity wax replicas.
Las Vegas has many luxury resorts and hotels from Bellagio to Caesars Palace, which is adorned with fountains, statues, and sculptures of mythological gods and goddesses.
There are also many shopping centers where visitors can enjoy a bit of retail therapy at The Forum Shops at Caesar’s or Grand Canal Shoppes. You can buy a new outfit for the night out or simply window shop and enjoy a drink or two at one of the many cafes.
And if you’re into quirky museums, then hit the Neon Museum, which is full of unique signs.
You can also visit the Grand Canyon National on a day trip from Las Vegas. This is considered as one of America’s seven natural wonders where you can hike, bike, or raft on its trails plus enjoy panoramic views from the South Rim.
Charleston, South Carolina
- Average Temps.: 43°-61°F | 6°-16°C
- Nearest Airport: Charleston International Airport
- Perfect for: City break, food, history, girl’s or couple’s getaway
Another warm winter US destination to add to your bucket list is Charleston in South Carolina. This city is filled with history and culture that goes back to the 18th century when it was established as one of America’s oldest cities.
Charleston offers a unique blend of Southern charm with its stately brick mansions, cobblestone streets, churches, parks, gardens, and squares. Take your pick from Charleston’s historic tours and ghost tours as you stroll through charming streets.
Or if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, then take a kayak tour or hit the links at Charleston National Golf Club.
Charleston may not be your usual sun and sand US destination in the winter, but it is perfect for city and cultural lovers. Museums are open here all year round, so are tours.
The culinary scene is delightful in Charleston, so don’t miss out on a nice dinner, or a night of bar-hopping.
If you are visiting in December and January you will love that the city hosts a ton of food fests such as Charleston Wine and Food Fest, Oyster Festival to name a few.
Accommodation: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, which is located close to the historic district
San Antonio, Texas
- Average Temps.: 40°-67°F | 4°-20°C
- Nearest Airport: San Antonio International Airport
- Perfect for: History, UNESCO Sites, relaxed city break
San Antonio makes for a great warm winter vacation in the US. This city is known for its cultural attractions like The Alamo. It’s the biggest draw in the city and considered to be one of the most important landmarks of Texas.
If you like history, then San Antonio offers a lot to learn and discover with missions that date back to 1718 and was built by Franciscan priests hoping to convert Native Americans to Christianity.
There are four missions that still stand today and are part of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 2015. They are Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada.
The park is a tribute to both Spain’s and Mexico’s colonial history in Texas, from its missions and ranching heritage to the fight for independence.
San Antonio is also home to many amusement parks like Six Flags Fiesta Texas which has more than 100 rides, shows, and attractions specially designed for families to enjoy.
There are also water parks like Wet ‘n’ Wild Splashtown San Antonio that are fun getaways for both adults and kids where you can go on thrilling water rides, get soaked with the best wave pool in Texas or simply hang out at the beach-inspired cabanas.
Lastly, don’t forget to hang out at the Riverwalk in the evening to soak in the festive vibes, and go on a sightseeing cruise.
Accommodation: Stay at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk with a rooftop bar, and spa
Big Bend National Park, Texas
By Michelle from The Wandering Queen
- Average Temps.: 36°-61°F | 2°-16°C
- Nearest Airport: El Paso International Airport
- Perfect for: Nature, hikes, camp
One of the best national parks to visit in the winter is Big Bend National Park. This park is located in Southwestern Texas, next to the Rio Grande. It is a great place to visit in the winter because it gets so excruciatingly hot in the summer. They close specific visitor centers because of the heat.
Winter brings in the cool fresh air in this sweltering climate. The only hotel in the national park is the Chisos Mountain Lodge, and it has a restaurant to eat at after those rugged trails. El Paso is the nearest big city, and it is a 4 hour and 15-minute drive from the park.
One of the most popular hikes in the park is the Hot Springs Trail that is rated as easy and is only 0.5 miles round trip. It is best to go for sunrise to avoid the crowds and the hot sun (yes, even in the winter).
Another activity to do is to hike the Santa Elena Canyon Trail. It is another easy trail with great views of the canyon and the Rio Grande. You can see people canoeing down the river.
If you are up for it, there are many rentals and guides for canoeing down the river. This can be a day trip or a multiday backpacking trip.
You can also add a hike to the Lost Mine Trail for sunset. It is one of the most popular hikes in the park, and for a good reason. You get 360-degree views of the beautiful mountains.
Big Bend is an outstanding park to visit in the winter. It is one of the most underrated parks in the States and is a great park to add to your USA bucket list.
Accommodation: Chisos Mountain Lodge
- Average Temps.: 41°-65°F | 5°-19°C
- Nearest Airport: Austin International Airport
- Perfect for: Nightlife, city break, music shows, food
Austin makes for amazing warm winter vacations in the US. A truly unique place, Austin offers a lot of what you might associate with Texas or even the American southwest in general – hot temperatures and live music. And it does have a lot of that!
But what makes this city special is its willingness to embrace its vibrant culture and counter-culture creating an interesting melting pot.
Austin also hosts a great number of festivals throughout the year. In the winter enjoy festive lights and seasonal fairs like Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, or check out visual art installations at the Auditorium Shores for the New Year!
Austin offers plenty of live music venues for those who enjoy that type of entertainment. Some of the most popular ones are Stubb’s (indie and alternative) and The White Horse (country and roots).
Other interesting spots to check out in Austin include Mount Bonnell – a famous lookout spot with an excellent view of the city, and South Congress – one of the oldest streets in town that’s now a center for hipster shops and restaurants.
Barton Springs Pool is an outdoor pool in Austin. It is fed by underground springs to keep water temperatures at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round; so you could really go swimming any time. Barton Springs pool is open all year except for ice conditions.
Accommodation: Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin Downtown South Congress
- Average Temps.: 45°-64°F | 7°-18°C
- Nearest Airport: George Bush International Airport
- Perfect for: Museum, city break
Houston is one of the best warm winter vacations in the US for urban explorers. There is an array of museums and galleries where you can explore the city’s history.
The most notable museum to visit in the winter is the Children’s Museum of Houston which is a family-friendly destination for children to learn about science and culture through interactive exhibits.
In the winter, the museums showcase festive celebrations from all over the world. There are miniature trains and model planes on-site as well.
Another museum worth visiting is the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which features some of the world’s largest dinosaur skeletons inside its Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs. You can also check out fossils, rocks, meteorites, and other space treasures. Don’t forget to grab the Houston City Pass to get discounts on museum entries.
Prefer to go ice skating? Hit Galleria Ice Skating, Memorial City Mall Ice Rink, and at The Woodlands Mall to lace up, and enjoy.
Houston also has some of the best nightlife in Texas from The Heights with its variety of clubs and bars to Downtown that features amazing dining from luxury restaurants to casual cafes.
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Houston Space Center
South Padre Island, Texas
By Karee from Our Woven Journey
- Average Temps.: 55°-72°F | 13°-22°C
- Nearest Airport: Brownsville South Padre International Airport
- Perfect for: Water activities, check out sea turtles
South Padre Island is located on the coastal tip of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico and is the only tropical island in all of Texas. That makes it a very popular getaway for people looking for warmer weather, especially for those who live in the southern part of the US.
While many people chose popular warm-weather destinations like Oahu, South Padre Island is an attractive option because it is accessible by land. For those who do choose to fly from out of the area, Brownsville South Padre International airport is the closest and is about 22 miles 0r 35 km away by car.
December is an especially busy time to visit for families who want to take a warm-weather break for Christmas. You’ll want to book your vacation well in advance since hotels fill up. Two great choices for hotels along the beach are the Hilton Garden Inn and the Holiday Inn Express.
While you’re there, Be sure to visit the sandcastle exhibit that showcases the results of the annual contest and is kept for viewing year-round.
Sea Turtle, Inc. is a favorite for people of all ages. You’ll see giant sea turtles up close and find out what this non-profit agency is doing to protect them. Bird watchers will enjoy the 5-story watchtower at the Birding and Nature Center where you’ll get a chance to see many of the birds that migrate to the island.
While the ocean may be too cold to swim in, you can still get out on the water. December is also a great time to book a tour out on the water to see the dolphins or take a sunset dinner cruise.
South Padre Island is a warm-weather vacation destination that has attractions for just about everyone!
Saint John, US Virgin Islands
By Christina from Live A Wilder Life
- Average Temps.: 66°-79°F | 19°-26°C
- Nearest Airport: Cyril E. King Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, tropical paradise, water activities (snorkeling)
When looking to escape the winter blues, Saint John in the US Virgin Islands is a top choice for anyone who loves the beach and tropical getaways.
Whether you’re visiting St. John with kids, a partner, or a girlfriend getaway, there’s something for everyone. With 60% of the island designated as a National Park, the island retains a wild, undeveloped quality that is a welcome respite from other over-packaged holiday destinations.
Most beaches are on the North Shore, with “must visit” beaches being Maho Bay, Trunk Bay, and Honeymoon Beach. Popular activities include spotting sea turtles munching on seagrass, snorkeling in the crystal clear water, and stand-up paddleboarding in one of the many calm bays.
After playing or lazing at the beach, you’ll want to find time to hike the Reef Bay Trail, an adventurous trek that takes you through a grove of old-growth trees, a 40-foot waterfall, sugar plantation ruins, and petroglyphs.
For anyone who wants a full day of adventure, charter a private boat for the day and have them take you around the island to snorkel in hidden coves and neighboring uninhabited islands.
While vacation rentals are a popular way to go on the island, if you’re looking for a more traditional resort experience, The Westin St. John Resorts & Villas have beautiful villas that go up to three bedrooms, with some including their own pool. They also have a lovely private beach and their own ferry to St. Thomas.
To get to St. John, you’ll need to take a flight to Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas and then hop on to a quick 20-minute ferry over to St. John.
Accommodation: The Westin St. John Resorts & Villas
By Yulia from Misstourist
- Average Temps.: 70°-83°F | 21°-28°C
- Nearest Airport: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
- Perfect for: Beaches, tropical paradise, historical and cultural sites, couple’s
With an average temperature of 70 to 90 °Fahrenheit or 21 to 32 degrees Celcius, and a summer climate all year round, Puerto Rico is one of the warm winter getaways you really deserve!
Being an unincorporated territory of the United States, as long as you fly directly from another US state, American citizens don’t even need a passport to experience some of the most beautiful blue waters and bright white beaches of your life!
So grab a cocktail, book your flight to escape the cold, and get ready to relax in this tropical paradise!
The main airport here is Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport which is located in San Juan. If that is as far as you want to go, don’t worry you will discover plenty of pristine beaches, colorful buildings, blue seas, and amazing resorts like the Sheraton Old San Juan, within minutes of arriving here.
Those who are ready for a Caribbean adventure, make sure to visit the historical sites of Old San Juan, take a trip to Ponce to check out some cultural museums, discover the beauties of the El Yunque National Forest and go island hopping to Vieques Island to see the bioluminescence!
With so many amazing things to do, the best way to see the whole of Puerto Rico is to spend a few days in different locations. San Juan Hotel – a 4 star hotel is one of the best places to stay in Puerto Rico.
Wherever you choose to stay in Puerto Rico you can expect warm days, beautiful beaches, great food, and a perfect relaxing holiday. So what are you waiting for? Book those tickets!
So where are you heading to this winter?
With winter bearing down on us, it’s time to start thinking about where you and your family will spend the holiday season. If you want a change of scenery from snow-covered trees and icy sidewalks, consider visiting one of these warm winter destinations in the USA!
If you have a personal favorite, share with us in the comments below!