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Warm Winter Getaways in the United States to Escape the Cold

Winter at home might seem to last forever, so why not try something different this year and plan a winter getaway to banish those winter blues? Find a spot where you can bask in the sun and warm temperatures and take some time and lie on the beach. When it’s cold and dreary at home is the best time to do it! So, here is a list of some of the best places for warm winter getaways in the United States to help you plan your next vacation.

Warm Winter US Getaways to Escape the Cold - Kids Are A Trip

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Best Winter Getaways in the US to Book Right Now

1. San Diego, California

I might be a bit partial to San Diego because we lived there for seven years, but honestly, it has the best beaches in California! Throw in fabulous sightseeing, shopping, and restaurants and it’s a definite winner. 

Southern California might not be balmy, but it will certainly be warmer than the northern states in the winter months. Spend time exploring the local beaches and find some of the best San Diego hikes in Torrey Pines State Park. After you work up a sweat, visit the seals and sea lions in La Jolla.

Mission beach boardwalk San Diego

For a full day of activities, you can also visit Balboa Park, where you can explore over 1,200 acres, the San Diego Zoo, and 16 museums.

Like many coastal cities, San Diego is known for its seafood. Stop by food trucks for fish tacos or seek out a spot for sushi. Restaurants serving African, Asian, and Italian cuisines are also abundant.

For a unique stop, head to Ocean Beach and explore their antique shops. You’re bound to find something you didn’t know you needed. Our favorite hotels for families in San Diego are Hotel Del Coronado and the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

2. Florida (multiple destinations)

Headed to Florida? There are more beaches than I could ever cover, but here are some of our favorites.

St. Augustine

Are you looking for a destination that combines warm beach days and historic sightseeing? If so, St. Augustine is a great place for an amazing winter getaway. The beaches are beautiful and aren’t as crowded as other Florida beaches.

Try a trolley tour through the city, head out on a fishing boat, or even try a ghost tour at night. For places to stay in St. Augustine, we recommend Casa Monica in the historic district. 

Orlando

Of course, if you’re considering Florida, Walt Disney World in Orlando is always an option. The large resort offers four theme parks, tons of options for accommodations, entertainment, and plenty of dining destinations, too.

St Augustine Florida

Florida Keys

Meanwhile, the Florida Keys are also a great pick for warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a seemingly endless amount of outdoor activities from boating and fishing to snorkeling and scuba diving — or just strolling along its charming streets.

Miami

For a more upscale getaway, consider Miami’s South Beach, the perfect destination for relaxing on the beach by day and enjoying lively nightlife in the evening. 

Naples

For a luxe trip to Florida, consider a trip to Naples where you can explore art galleries and The Baker Museum as well as the Naples Botanical Garden.

Book a stay at the Inn on Fifth, located in the heart of the city and close to all of the shopping and dining attractions.  

St. Petersburg

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an almost guaranteed completely sunny vacation, book a trip to St. Petersburg, the Guinness World Record holder for the most consecutive days of sunshine. St. Petersburg is also home to several museums and boasts a whopping seven miles of waterfront parks. 

Food enthusiasts will enjoy the diverse cuisines in Florida, too. Cultural influences on food in Florida range from Bahamian, Jamaican, and Puerto Rican to Caribbean and Jamaican. And, of course, seafood like oysters, stone crab claws, shrimp, and grouper are all popular, too.

3. Hawaii (Multiple Locations)

Who wants to visit Disney Aulani in Oahu? Just about every family I know! The resort is a great way for families to explore Hawaii with plenty of ways to keep little ones entertained.

Naturally, there are pools and beaches to enjoy but there are also character experiences, shows, scavenger hunts, and live entertainment. For adults, there’s also shopping, golfing, a spa, and fitness classes. Plus, there are multiple dining options from classic Hawaiian cuisine and international fare to sandwiches and snacks. 

But there’s more to Hawaii than Disney, right? There are tons of things for you to do in Maui from enjoying its gorgeous beaches and checking out its waterfalls to visiting the national and state parks. And, of course, you won’t want to miss out on the best luaus in Maui.

Kauai, known as the “Garden Isle” is another Hawaiian island destination, most well-known for its Waimea Canyon and Nounou Trails which attract avid hikers.

The Big Island is a popular destination, too, where visitors can relax on pristine shores, swim, snorkel, or visit Volcanoes National Park where there are two active volcanoes. 

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If you’re looking for authentic Hawaiian cuisine, there are plenty of places to grab classics and contemporary foods like kalua pork, poke, Spam musubi, and loco moco. There’s also no shortage of international options, either.

For a guaranteed great experience, consider booking a reservation at Merriman’s Kamuela, a farm-to-table restaurant that was awarded the ranking of best restaurant on the Big Island for 15 consecutive years and has received recognition from Wine Spectator magazine.

The hotel you choose will depend on which island you want to stay on. Some of our top picks are the Four Seasons Maui at WaileaMauna Lani, and 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay.

4. Phoenix, Arizona

Nothing beats the winter weather in Arizona, which explains its popularity as a perfect place to get away for people from all over the country. One of the best things about Phoenix in the winter is its near-perfect mild temperatures, but there are plenty of golf courses, spots for shopping, and high-end resorts for having fun in the sun.

If you’re visiting Phoenix during the holidays, don’t miss the Desert Botanical Garden’s Noches de Las Luminarias or Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo. Most of the local suburbs have their holiday celebrations, we love these Scottsdale Christmas events for celebrating the season all month long.

In Phoenix, expect to find a plethora of Southwestern and Mexican spots for dining so you’ll have no problem finding burritos, tamales, and tacos. But there are also plenty of places to find great pizza, succulent seafood, and Thai, as well as other international cuisine.

Don’t miss spring training in Arizona from late February through March, when 15 Major League Baseball teams descend on Phoenix and the surrounding areas for their annual warm-up games.

Book your winter family vacation in Phoenix at Hyatt Gainey Ranch or Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for the ultimate getaway.

5. San Antonio

Starting in November, the city, local theme parks, and San Antonio River Walk come alive with colorful lights and holiday decor.

SeaWorld’s Christmas celebration features the largest light display in the state of Texas with over 9 million sparkling lights, Christmas shows and parades, as well as Merry Mariachis. San Antonio at Christmas does not disappoint!

Over one hundred different caroling groups perform in the river boats on the River Walk, so visitors can take a stroll along the river or eat dinner nearby, taking in the festive atmosphere. No visit to San Antonio would be complete without a visit to the Alamo, perfect for a Texas history lesson.

San Antonio is recognized as one of the two UNESCO-designated Creative Cities of Gastronomy, making it a perfect destination for food-focused travel. From BBQ, puffy tacos, and pozole to foods with global influences, you can find it all in San Antonio.

If outdoor adventures are your thing, head out on a scenic drive to Natural Bridge Caverns for underground exploration which promises to be a great time for everyone! (Don’t miss these other fun things to do in San Antonio with kids). For centrally located hotels near the San Antonio Riverwalk, try the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk or Canopy by Hilton Riverwalk.

6. Charleston, South Carolina

A warmer hub for the winter that is likely to have fewer crowds is Charleston, South Carolina. An average temperature of 68 degrees is appealingly spring-like and the city is amazing.

Tour the haunted city jail, take a carriage ride through Historic Charleston, explore the city’s rich history on a walking tour, or visit its aquariums, parks, gardens, and plantations.

Middleton Place Charleston SC

The dining scene is thriving in Charleston where you can indulge in southern-inspired cuisine as well as food with international flair all throughout the city. You can also book a farm-to-table experience with local chefs to taste all the best food of Charleston. Finish your day with an amazing sunset harbor cruise with drinks and appetizers.

If you have more time, head out to the local plantations (Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place are good choices) then spend the afternoon shopping on King Street or perusing the historic City Market.

For the best family hotels in Charleston, we recommend the Emeline in the Historic District and The Mills House Wyndham Grand.

7. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah has mild winter temperatures and tends not to be overly crowded in winter. From November to December check out the Holiday Trolley Tour to the Savannah Gingerbread House or catch one of these Savannah tours.

Visit historic homes such as the Davenport House and the Harper Fowlkes House or stroll along historic River Street, checking out the shops, eateries, and live music all along the waterfront. 

Savannah Georgia mother daughter vacation

Savannah has a wide array of options when it comes to food, with no shortage of award-winning restaurants. For a truly special experience, be sure to grab a meal at The Olde Pink House, an 18th-century mansion with delicious Southern food and an unforgettable dining experience. Savannah would be a great spot for a girls’ weekend getaway.

The hotels in Savannah we recommend would be Andaz Savannah, a boutique hotel in the heart of the city, and Hotel Indigo Savannah, another boutique hotel located near City Market.

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

If you’re looking for a destination that’s unlikely to be cold in the winter months, a desert is certainly a solid choice. Look no further than Las Vegas, where the daytime temps are typically in the upper fifties in the city’s coolest months (December and January). 

For an adult trip to Las Vegas, there are plenty of activities from gambling, of course, to dining at upscale restaurants or visiting any of the city’s top spas. But if you’re traveling to Las Vegas with teens or even younger children, there are tons of other fun activities, too.

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During the holiday season, try ice skating and roasting s’mores at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, take in a performance of the Nutcracker at The Smith Center, or check out light displays at decorations at The LINQ Promenade or on Fremont Street. 

LINQ promenade Las Vegas

For outdoor enthusiasts, you can also head to Red Rock Canyon for hiking and biking or make your way to Gold Strike Hot Springs for a challenging hike to the springs where you can soak with a spectacular view of Hoover Dam. If you choose to spend your time in Vegas primarily on The Strip, there’s no shortage of shops and entertainment.

For families, Mandalay Bay is a top spot to stay, with its spacious rooms and myriad dining options. The Bellagio’s central location makes it ideal for checking out all that Vegas has to offer but the hotel’s onsite entertainment, spa, and nightlife options are appealing, too. 

9. New Orleans, Louisiana

Temperatures in New Orleans tend to range from the 40s to the 60s in the winter months, making it possible to comfortably make your way around the charming city. If you’re looking to visit the Big Easy at a time when there are fewer other travelers, planning your winter getaway for January is probably your best bet.

However, if crowds are what you are looking for, February is a great time to visit to get in on Mardi Gras and other celebrations.

New Orleans is known for being the birthplace of jazz, so visitors will find no shortage of opportunities to enjoy musical performances.

New Orleans street cars

The city is renowned for its food as well. Eat your way through the city — scope out beignets to start the morning, then sample the city’s signature Creole, Cajun, and French cuisines throughout the day. Make sure to put gumbo, muffulettas, and po’boys on your bucket list to try. 

In addition to music and food, New Orleans has plenty to explore. Simply stroll through the streets to take in the impressive architecture or sign up for one of many available tours from exploring history and heritage, gardens, or plantations to food, cemetery, and ghost tours. 

For a luxe stay in the heart of the city, book your room at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, a riverfront hotel with a state-of-the-art spa and upscale dining options. Or, for a historic hotel, look to Hotel Monteleone which was built in 1886. 

10. Puerto Rico

The winter months are the dry season in Puerto Rico, and the daytime temperatures hover in the 70’s and 80’s, making it the perfect time to visit this Caribbean Island. With its lush landscape, waterfalls, and tropical rainforest, there’s hardly any better escape from the dreariness of winter than Puerto Rico. 

For an ocean-based experience on the West Coast, plan to lay out on Domes Beach, Sandy Beach, or Steps Beach, or take surfing, sailing, or snorkeling lessons.

Old San Juan guided tour Puerto Rico

For history buffs, a visit to San Juan in the northern part of the island is a must. Stroll through the Casa Blanca Museum, Old San Juan’s oldest residence that was built for Juan Ponce de León, check out the Gate of San Juan and La Rogativa, or peruse the art exhibits at Museo de las Américas. 

The south side of the island also boasts multiple museums and impressive architecture. Throughout the island, visitors can find food that ranges from upscale Caribbean eats to Puerto Rican street food like fritters from numerous kiosks.

And while there’s plenty to do all throughout Puerto Rico, don’t miss out on some of the most scenic road trips you can take on the island

For first-time visitors, a stay in San Juan may be the best bet. The San Juan Marriott Resort and Caribe Hilton are two good options for families.

11. US Virgin Islands

A trip to the US Virgin Islands is the ultimate winter getaway. With 80-degree temperatures, it’s easy to get out and about to relax on any of the many breathtaking beaches of any of the three islands — or you can swim, sail, kayak, windsurf, or snorkel, too. 

In addition to all of the beach-based activities, visitors can also explore the history of the US Virgin Islands by wandering through the cobblestone streets of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, with its impressive colonial architecture and vibrant markets.

St John Caneel Bay

Or, visit the historic Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted, St. Croix, a historic fortress museum.

In St. John, visitors can explore the ruins at Annaberg Sugar Plantation while also taking in tremendous views of the ocean. There are also numerous tours to take on the islands including food and cultural tours, sightseeing, and beach hopping. 

Whether you’re in St. Croix, St. John, or St. Thomas, there are plenty of options when it comes to dining. Stop by stands for street food like meat and saltfish-filled pates and rotis or enjoy a casual lunch at a chicken fry eatery or a Puerto Rican-style spot featuring mofongo or lechon asado. Local cuisine, like stew conch, fungi, salt fish, and Kallaloo soup are not to be missed, either.

For lodging, try the Buccaneer Resort in St. Croix, the Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel in St. John, and the Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas.