Want to Escape the Winter - Top 10 Destinations

Looking to escape the cold dark days of winter? In search of warmth? Here are our top 10 destinations to do just that.

1. The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), situated in the southeast corner of the Arabian peninsula, has skyrocketed to the top of many travel publications’ lists of must-visit global destinations.  And, with the world’s tallest building, the world’s only 7-star hotel, and the world’s only indoor ski resort it’s not difficult to see why.  The warm winters (average February temperature is 77 F/25 C) and pristine beaches make it the perfect place to escape the winter.

escape the winter in Dubai United Arab Emirates

Read: What to see and do in the UAE

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico

In search of beaches, history, and warm weather this winter, but forgot to renew your passport (U.S. citizens)? Then look no further than San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The city and its surrounding areas offer an amazing array of activities from exploring the city’s colonial history in the morning, to lounging at the beach in the afternoon or exploring the nearby El Yunque National Forest, the only rainforest in the U.S. national forest system. With affordable flights from the continental U.S. and an average February temperature of 78 degrees F (25 C) consider making San Juan your winter escape this year.

Read: What to see and do in San Juan

3. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is undoubtedly one of the most well-known destinations in the U.S. It has a rich culinary scene and can throw a party like no other. Taking a stroll through the tranquil Audobon Park or the raucous Bourbon Street, listening to live music on Frenchman or tasting craft beers at one of the local craft breweries are just some of the reasons you’ll want to escape to the Big Easy this winter. Not to mention the average temperature in February is a nice 64 degrees F (16 C).

St. Charles Ave, New Orleans

Read: Our destination guide for more on what to do and where to eat in New Orleans.

4. Belize

This small Central American country has a unique mixture of Caribbean beach travel and Central American adventure.  It’s the type of destination that offers something for everyone-pristine beaches with white sands, world-famous scuba diving, and Mayan ruins all with near perfect weather (75 F/24 C in February).  And, with flights from the U.S. as short as two hours, it is as the country’s tourism organization says, “closer than you think.” 


5. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. John, the smaller of the two U.S. Virgin Islands is almost entirely a U.S. National Park and makes for an idyllic winter destination.  Imagine laying on white sand beaches or floating in turquoise waters looking back at the verdant hills and palm trees in 77 degrees F (25 C) weather (the average for February). And, in the evenings enjoying the sunset from an outdoor table at one of Cruz Bay’s, the main entry point to the island, many fine bars or restaurants. This is exactly what the Tourism Bureau of the U.S. Virgin Islands meant when they said the “U.S. Virgin Islands was the place for those truly seeking to escape.” We couldn’t agree more, especially if you’re looking to escape the winter. 

Keep in mind it is peak season (December - March) and therefore flights and accommodation will be more expensive.

One of the many beaches on the island of St. John, USVI

6. Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, located just off the west coast of Africa are renowned for beautiful beaches, tropical forests, and some of the world’s best weather (an average of 75 degrees F/24 C).  Tenerife tends to be the most popular (over 10 million visitors a year) of the seven main islands, primarily because of the many things you can do on the island-from whale watching to hiking to lounging at the beach and of course the food but also because it has two airports, reasonable fares from most major European cities.

Read: The official site to start planning your trip to the Canary Islands

7. Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands is lesser known than its rowdier neighbor Jost Van Dyke but its tranquil vibe, crystal blue waters, and white sand beaches make it an ideal destination for those looking to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.  With frequent ferry services and boat excursions, Tortola is within easy reach of the U.S. Virgin Islands and makes the perfect day trip.  Though, as with the U.S. Virgin Islands December-March is the high season so costs may be more but with an average temperature of 77 degrees F (25 C) it might just be worth it.

Smugglers Cove, Tortola, BVI

Read: How to spend a day in Tortola

8. Colombia

Travelers to Colombia are greeted with diverse and dramatic landscapes. From the coastlines of the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans to the Andes Mountains to the edges of the Amazon rainforest, Colombia has something to offer everyone.  And, with an average temperature of 86 degrees F (30 C) and affordable airfare, Colombia is an ideal place to escape those winter blues.

escape the winter and fly to Cartagena, Colombia

Read: Our complete guide to Northern Colombia

9. Key West

At the southernmost point in the continental U.S. lies Key West, a beautiful tropical island famed for its eccentricity, coral reefs, and perfect year-round climate.  For decades people have flocked to this great American outpost to escape their daily lives and enjoy a taste of paradise. With an average February temperature of 69 degrees F (20.5 C) why not consider doing the same?

Read: What to see and do in Key West

10. Gulf Coast, MS

The white sandy beaches of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, mild winter weather (an average temperature of 68 F/20 C in February), and amazing food make it the perfect winter escape. Not to mention, Mississippi has a burgeoning craft beer scene with several craft breweries on the Gulf Coast.

escape the winter at the Gulf Coast, Mississippi

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