When that first cold winter wind hits, many people get ready to hole up for the season. However, we have a better solution: leave the cold weather behind!
Many destinations around the world are not only warm during the winter season, but they’re also cheaper to visit! Here are our top 5 recommendations for getting away from the cold and having some fun in the sun instead!
1. Key West, Florida
You can trade your parka for a swimsuit all winter long on the warm, sunny beaches of Key West, Florida! With temperatures averaging in the mid-70s in even the coldest months, you’ll forget you’re not on summer vacation.
Although the island is small, there’s plenty to keep you entertained with boating tours, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and more—and that’s just offshore! On the island, be sure to catch a sunset in Mallory Square, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and tour the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens. Of course, no trip to Key West would be complete with taking a selfie at the southernmost point in the U.S. and trying a classic slice of Key Lime pie from a local bakery.
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Spice up that drab winter routine with a trip to the “City of Gold,” Dubai! Although Dubai is rapidly gaining popularity for its distinct skyline, luxury hotels, and incredible modern developments, you may not think to visit in the dead of winter. However, Dubai also stays warm year-round, with December to February lingering in the high 70’s!
With sunny skies overhead, you’ll enjoy a thoroughly comfortable vacation in one of the world’s most fascinating cities! Visit the Burj Khalifa to get an unparalleled view from the world’s tallest skyscraper. Then, swing over to Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island shaped like a tree, to enjoy plenty of water activities, decadent food, luxury shopping, and vibrant nightlife. And for a look into Dubai’s religious culture, be sure to stop by the Jumeirah Mosque—the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslim visitors.
Other top winter activities include snapping a photo in the Dubai Frame, taking a boat tour down the Dubai Creek, and spending a day at Aquaventure Waterpark.
3. Saint Lucia
It’s easy to chase away winter woes in the vibrant scenery of the Caribbean! In fact, mid-December to April are the best months to enjoy this island’s beautiful climate.
You can easily spend your days sipping drinks on different volcanic beaches, surrounded by bright blue waters. But when it’s time for some adventure, the twin volcanoes of the famed Pitons offer an unforgettable hiking experience. And don’t miss the chance to visit Sulphur Springs, the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. Other great ways to explore the island’s endless beauty include the Rainforest Aerial Tram, scuba and snorkeling excursions, or a helicopter tour!
4. Cartagena, Columbia
The U.S. winter season is summertime in Cartagena. And it’s your best chance to explore this vibrant South American city without rain, although you may have to share the city with other warm-weather seekers. Still, it’s worth the hustle to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you enjoy museums, Cartagena has plenty of fascinating options, from Museo del Cacao (The Chocolate Museum) to Museo del Oro Zenu, which has an extensive collection of gold artifacts. The city is also full of vibrant culture that you can explore on foot and free of charge. You can look for street art, visit the renewed Getsemani district, check out the Clock Tower and Carriage Plaza, and discover the city’s 16 public squares. Finally, don’t miss a visit to San Felipe de Barajas Castle, a fortress that overlooks Cartagena’s lovely city.
5. Puerta Vallarta, Mexico
A winter vacation in Puerta Vallarta will never be dull, thanks to sunny skies, cultural events, and plenty of adventure opportunities. While prices may spike a bit due to the influx of tourists, the city remains an affordable destination with lots to offer besides the tropical weather.
The warm waters create prime opportunities for snorkeling, beach days, and whale watching all winter long. At the same time, the beautiful mountains and forests hold waterfalls, hiking trails, and stunning scenery that are easily enjoyed in the sunny weather! The Botanical Gardens of Vallarta are also a must-see for a taste of the city’s beauty, as is the Church of our Lady Guadalupe.
Of course, guests can also experience some of the city’s most wonderful traditions and cuisine around the holidays, including Christmas, New Year’s, and the Feast of Guadalupe.
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