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The Best Warm Winter Getaways in the U.S.

Photo credit: BenjColl

The Best Warm Winter Getaways in the U.S.

February 08, 2019

It’s winter in the U.S., and while many of us enjoy wearing four or five layers, shoveling snow, and counting down the days until spring, others love the feeling of the sun on their face and their toes in the sand. For those of you in the latter category who are longing for warmer temperatures, check out this list of the best sunny winter destinations in the U.S.

San Diego, California

San Diego is considered to have one of the best climates in the country, with summer highs averaging about 76 ˚F (24 ˚C) and winter highs hovering around 66 ˚F (18.9 °C). With such warm winter temperatures, most of San Diego’s beautiful sights and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. Coming to San Diego in the winter? Hang out at one of the city’s many beaches, go on a coastal hike, play a round of golf, or ride around on a bike or scooter. For families, San Diego offers some great destinations, including the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Legoland. There is also fun to be had for adults; the city is known for its craft beer and there are two well-known wine regions—Temecula, around 60 miles north of San Diego, and Valle de Guadalupe, located across the border in Baja California—that are less than two hours from downtown San Diego.

San Diego beaches
Photo credit: Roman Eugeniusz via Wikimedia Commons

Puerto Rico

U.S. territory Puerto Rico was hit hard by 2017’s Hurricane Maria, but it is recovering and eager to lure tourists back to its shores. And with beautiful sights such as Old San Juan, El Yunque rainforest, and stunning beaches, Puerto Rico is well worth a visit. While many tourists visit the island of Puerto Rico and the islet of Old San Juan, they sometimes neglect neighboring islands Vieques and Culebra. Don’t make this mistake; their beaches are spectacular!

Puerto Rico Beaches
Photo credit: cogito ergo imago vis Flickr


Hawaii is always a good idea, but it’s an even better idea in the winter (particularly late January through February) when prices are lower. There are only two seasons in Hawaii: summer, which is from May to October, and winter, spanning November to April. The average daytime temperature in the winter is 78 ˚F (25.6 °C), making it ideal for doing pretty much everything—frolicking on the beach, hiking, kicking back a Mai Tai—the sky is the limit. Just go. And take us with you.

Hawaii beaches
Photo credit: dronepicr via Flickr

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans’ winter highs average around 65 ˚F (18 °C), so you can leave your heavy winter coats at home. There are tons of ways to enjoy yourself in The Big Easy. Head to Bourbon Street or quieter Frenchmen Street for some live jazz, wander around the Garden District, stuff your face with beignets, and try a muffaletta. There are also a range of tours you can take, from strolling through cemeteries to learning about voodoo to cruising through swamps. Don’t worry—most people make it out of these tours alive.

New Orleans Beaches
Photo credit: Pedro Szekely via Flickr

Key West, Florida

Winter? What’s that? In Key West, winter highs hover around an almost unbearable 75 ˚F (23.9 °C). Key West is part of the Florida Keys, a chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida. While the Keys are still part of the U.S., the scenery is very Caribbean, so if you’re not a fan of clear, turquoise water and palm-tree-lined beaches, then this is probably not the place for you. There are plenty of ways to soak up the sun here. Aside from lazing on the beach, you can go snorkeling, jet skiing, kayaking, and parasailing. Key West also serves up awesome seafood and Caribbean cuisine; try Blue Heaven, Eaton Street Seafood Market, and Kim’s Kuban.

Key west beaches
Photo credit: Ulla Moilanen via Flickr

So, which destination is it going to be? If you can’t make it to any of these warm wonderlands in the next couple months, there is always next year! Bon voyage…

Written by Whitney Currier for Knockaround.

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