Looking for warm winter getaways? If what you’re after is to escape the cold and skip winter altogether, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of warm places to visit in the United States, even during the colder months.
While most people think of international getaways like the Caribbean islands, if you don’t necessarily want to use your passport or hop on a long plane journey, the USA has tons of destinations perfect for embracing that winter sun.
Without further ado, here are some of the best warm winter vacations in the USA to consider for your next vacay!
1. Palm Springs, California
- Average winter temperatures: High: 76°F / Low: 48°F
Even though it’s not exactly the hottest place on Earth during the winter months, visiting Palm Springs during the winter is a wonderful idea.
Not only will you not have to deal with the heat that the summer months bring into the California Desert, but sunny days are pretty much a guarantee here.
Temperate weather, chic boutique shops, local art galleries, retro-chic vibes, and desert magic are all of what make Palm Springs the wonderful destination that it is. What’s more, it’s also a great gateway to explore some of the best California has to offer, including spots like Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego State Park, and the Kelso Dunes.
During the evenings, temperatures can definitely drop a bit, but you can opt to cozy up at the many boutique hotels in town or, better yet, a bubble tent or teepee with views of the Milky Way at Joshua Tree National Park!
- Check out our favorite driving route from San Diego to Joshua Tree!
2. Miami, Florida
- Average winter temperatures: High: 75°F / Low: 66°F
If you want a place that mixes plenty of beach vibes, excellent dining and party scene, and an arts culture like no other, Miami in Florida is another of the best destinations for a warm winter getaway.
During your visit, some of the best things to do include strolling the Art Deco district for architectural eye candy, hitting up some of the bars or nightclubs at South Beach, getting immersed in Cuban culture at Little Havana, and enjoying the colorful street art at Wynwood District.
As if that weren’t enough, Miami is also a place that allows for incredible road trips, access to tons of spots to embrace nature at its best, and fabulous activities that will take you underwater. Biscayne National Park, the Everglades, Dry Tortugas, and a plethora of state parks and hot springs are located just a short drive away from Miami downtown!
Due to its popularity as a warm place to visit within the Lower 48, Miami can get pretty busy during December, making it one of the best warm places to visit in January or February if you aren’t a huge fan of crowds.
- Extend your trip to Florida with a road trip from Miami to Key West to see the Florida Keys
3. San Diego, California
- Average winter temperatures: High: 66°F / Low: 50°F
Located just north of the border with Mexico, San Diego is a mega laid-back city known for its lovely year-round weather, beautiful beaches, and cultural heritage.
San Diego is also a place that has a pretty big surfing scene, a smorgasbord of stylish boutique cafés, an excellent dining scene, and streets lined by gorgeous buildings reminiscent of Spain, making it a great destination for those who want to be in a city but still want that relaxing vibe of visiting smaller towns.
Kids aren’t going to be disappointed in San Diego either with so many outdoor family attractions from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park to a day trip to LEGOLAND California. There are more than a dozen incredible and hands-on museums to visit and Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve.
4. Deerfield Beach, Florida
- Average winter temperatures: High: 77°F / Low: 64°F
If you want that Miami winter weather sans the huge city vibes, Deerfield Beach is an incredible alternative.
This town in South Florida is home to an award-winning beach, oceanfront hotels and restaurants for every budget, and the longest cable ski courses in the United States.
For those who love spending time in nature, there are plenty of adventures to be had outdoors here, with many prime spots available located just a stone’s throw away, such as the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
5. South Padre Island, Texas
- Average winter temperatures: High: 72°F / Low: 57°F
Texas may not be the first place that pops to mind when you think of a warm winter getaway, but the Lone Star State actually boasts the largest undeveloped barrier island in the world, which also happens to be the only tropical island you’ll find in the Southwest United States.
South Padre Island is connected to the mainland via an overseas highway, making it easy to access cities like Corpus Christi by car.
The island is made up of more than 130,000 acres and divides the Laguna from the Gulf of Mexico. Despite its National Seashore status, South Padre Island is very welcoming to human visitors, and its humongous size means it encompasses a plethora of ecosystems. Sand dunes, calm beaches, grasslands, and more are just a few of the landscapes you’ll get to see here!
Some of the best ways to enjoy the nature of South Padre Island include camping, taking a four-wheeler cruise, exploring the Laguna Madre, birdwatching, or simply lounging at the many secluded beaches available.
There are plenty of accommodation options here, ranging from upscale resorts to guesthouses. South Padre Island also loves all things arts, so get prepared to spend your days exploring local art galleries, attending workshops, or enjoying live entertainment!
6. Key West, Florida
- Average winter temperatures: High: 77°F / Low: 71°F
As the last of the Florida Keys and the southernmost city in the continental United States, a winter vacation to Key West is as sunny as it gets.
Aside from being one of the best places to visit in December to escape the cold altogether, a visit to Key West is all about chasing summer all year long. This place offers tropical vibes without the need to fly abroad, not to mention it also has plenty of shopping options, a wonderful foodie scene, and tons of historical sites.
Water adventures are king here as well, with snorkeling, scuba diving, glass-bottom boat rides, kayaking, fishing, and so much more being just a few of the activities on the menu.
7. Kauai, Hawaii
- Average winter temperatures: High: 72°F / Low: 54°F
Kauai is one of the best warm places to visit in February, with the weather still being top notch this month but the holiday season crowds being long gone.
Even though this is still the rainy season in Kauai, the rain is not usually enough to deter visitors from enjoying the island. Favorite activities during this time of the year include trekking through the rainforest, driving the gorgeous Na Pali Coast for unbeatable views of lush cliffs, and going waterfall-hopping.
As a bonus, winters welcome migrating humpback whales into the shores of Kauai, giving visitors the unique experience of spotting these gentle marine giants up close!
- For more Hawaii inspiration, check out next these 7 incredible scenic drives in Oahu, or our favorite scenic drives in Maui
8. Pinnacles National Park, California
- Average winter temperatures: High: 61°F / Low: 30°F
Want to go somewhere completely unexpected? If a brand new place few people know of is what you’re after, Pinnacles National Park makes for a great winter getaway this year!
This national park only became one back in 2013, and up until now, it still remains quite a hidden gem, with just over 300,000 visitors recorded in its busiest year.
Because Pinnacle is located right on top of the San Andreas Fault, unique geology is the star of the show at this national park – think caverns, unusual rock formations, mysterious caves, and more! Climbing is huge here, with beginner lessons available for newbies to adventures and tours that last several days.
Days here are perfect for exploring the best of nature in California, but keep in mind that temperatures drop during the evenings, so pack a jacket!
9. Big Bend National Park, Texas
- Average winter temperatures: High: 64°F / Low: 43°F
Nights here do get chilly during the winter months, but days are usually sunny and mild at Big Bend National Park.
This park encompasses the Rio Grande River and four of the tallest peaks in Texas, making it a dream come true for outdoor adventures such as scenic driving, hiking, swimming, biking, and so much more!
Moreover, there are plenty of dinosaur fossils, archeological sites, and clues of when this national park was once under the water. Exploring Texas is not just about enjoying nature, but also about taking a trip back in time hundreds of millions of years ago.
- If you’re looking for an exciting winter road trip, try this drive from Houston to Big Bend National Park, taking in the highlights of Austin and San Antonio on the way – or stretch your time in the southwest even further during the coolest months, taking on this epic Houston to Grand Canyon drive, via Big Bend
10. St. Augustine, Florida
- Average winter temperatures: High: 68°F / Low: 50°F
As the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine in Florida is a place that mixes the best of all worlds: Stunning European architecture that dates back 500 years to when it was founded, a glorious coastal charm, and plenty of beautiful beaches.
A winter vacation here may very well make you feel as though you traveled to Europe, with tons of quaint coffee shops, museums, and charming squares every step you take.
To make the most out of your warm winter vacation in St. Augustine, make sure you spend a few days enjoying its white sandy beaches (St. Augustine Beach and Crescent Beach are both great choices) as well as checking out its historical sites (The Castillo de San Marcos is a must!).
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