Joshua Tree pool side in the Palm Desert

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Best Travel Destinations for Warm Weather Besides Florida

Many people start planning their escape from the cold weather as winter approaches. While Florida is a popular destination for snowbirds and northerners, some might seek something different. Whether it’s the crowds in Florida or simply a desire for a unique winter getaway, there are plenty of options to consider. Here are some ideas for the Best Travel Destinations Besides Florida for the winter.

Here are the factors that were considered while making this list of destinations for the best travel destinations besides Florida this winter:

  • Weather: The destinations have warm and sunny weather, but it may not be warm enough for shorts and t-shirts.
  • Accessibility: The destinations can be reached with reasonable travel time. Some are drivable, but most require one or two flights from most Northeastern United States points.
  • Amenities: The destinations have quality lodging and activities to entertain you.
  • Cost: The destinations have been ranked based on their overall costs. They are ranked as $ (inexpensive), $$ (moderately priced), and $$$ (expensive). Please note that this ranking is based on overall costs and not specific options.

Best West Coast Travel Destinations Besides Florida

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is one of the best places for those who are looking for a warm winter escape. The area offers a comfortable winter climate with an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy various activities, such as hiking, golfing, and tennis, during the winter months. Palm Springs hosts several events and festivals, ranging from the International Film Festival to the Palm Springs International ShortFest during the winter season. Stunning mountain ranges surround the city and offer breathtaking views, making it a perfect place to visit during the winter months.

Apart from these reasons to winter in Palm Springs, it also has several popular attractions and activities that will enhance your visit:

  1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Take a ride on the world’s largest rotating tramcar and enjoy breathtaking views of the Coachella Valley.
  2. Palm Springs Art Museum: Explore a wide range of art, from contemporary to Native American, at this museum located in downtown Palm Springs.
  3. Indian Canyons: Hike through stunning desert landscapes and discover the history and culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
  4. Joshua Tree National Park: Just a short drive from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park offers otherworldly landscapes, hiking trails, and rock climbing.
  5. Golfing: Palm Springs is known for its world-class golf courses. There are over 100 golf courses in the area.
  6. Spa and wellness: Relax and rejuvenate at one of the many spas and wellness centers in Palm Springs.
  7. Shopping and Dining: Palm Springs offers a variety of shopping and dining options, from vintage boutiques and art galleries to fine dining and craft cocktails.
  8. Modernism Architecture: Palm Springs is known for its mid-century modern architecture, and there are many tours and events that showcase the city’s unique style.

Costs can vary widely in the Palm Dessert area, but you can find some bargains if you look. $$

​Santa Barbara, California

If you’re looking for a winter getaway, Santa Barbara is an excellent destination. Santa Barbara has a Mediterranean climate, which means the weather is mild throughout the year. Even in the winter season, the average high temperatures range from mid-50s to mid-60s. Since winter is considered the off-season in Santa Barbara, that means fewer tourists and smaller crowds. There are plenty of festivals and events to enjoy in Santa Barbara during the winter season, including the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Restaurant Week.

Couple walking on the beach in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Beach (photo by Simon Hermans by Unsplash)

Santa Barbara has many things to see and do. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Stearns Wharf: Visit this historic wharf for stunning ocean views, fresh seafood, and unique shops.
  2. Santa Barbara Mission: Explore this 18th-century Spanish mission and its beautiful gardens.
  3. State Street: Shop, dine, and people-watch on this pedestrian-friendly street in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.
  4. Wine tasting: Santa Barbara County is known for its wine, and there are many wineries and tasting rooms to choose from in the area.
  5. Butterfly Beach: Relax on this beautiful beach with stunning views of the Channel Islands.
  6. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: Explore the beautiful gardens and native plant collections of this 78-acre garden.
  7. Whale watching: Winter is the best time to go whale watching in Santa Barbara. The area is home to a variety of whale species, including humpback whales, gray whales, and blue whales.

Santa Barbara is one of the more expensive areas of an already expensive state. $$$

Temecula, California

Temecula is an excellent destination for a winter escape. The city’s Mediterranean climate ensures mild temperatures throughout the year, including winter, which sees average temperatures in the mid-50s to low 60s. Temecula offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, golfing, and horseback riding, which can be enjoyed during the winter season. Additionally, Temecula hosts several winter festivals and events, including the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival and the Temecula Valley International Film Festival.

There are many things to see and do in Temecula. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Wine Tasting: Temecula is known for its wineries and wine tasting, and there are many wineries and tasting rooms to choose from in the area.
  2. Old Town Temecula: Explore the historic district of Temecula, with its unique shops, restaurants, and architecture.
  3. Hot Air Balloon Rides: Take to the skies for a breathtaking view of the Temecula Valley on a hot air balloon ride.
  4. Golf: Temecula is a golfer’s paradise, with several courses to choose from in the area.
  5. Hiking: Explore the beautiful trails and natural areas of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve and the Cleveland National Forest.
  6. Shopping: Visit the Promenade Temecula for a variety of shopping and dining options.

Located between San Diego and Los Angeles and away from the coast, the prices in this area are surprisingly affordable. $

South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island is a perfect destination to consider. The place boasts a subtropical climate, meaning the temperature remains mild throughout the year, including the winter season. The winter season is no exception, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the low 70s. South Padre Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Texas, and winter is a great time to enjoy them. The beaches are less crowded, and the cooler temperatures make outdoor activities more comfortable. Additionally, South Padre Island hosts various festivals and events during the winter season, such as the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Centre’s Wings Over Winter Festival.

Things to do in South Padre Island, Texas

  1. Visit South Padre Island Beach: Enjoy the sun, sandy beaches, and water at one of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. With clear water and soft sand, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind. The winter season is not warm enough for most people to swim and sunbathe, but walking on the beach is more likely.
  2. Go Fishing: South Padre Island is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, both inshore and offshore. You can try your hand at catching a variety of fish.
  3. Visit Sea Turtle, Inc.: Learn about the conservation efforts to protect sea turtles and get an up-close look at these incredible creatures. You can even adopt a sea turtle and help support their rehabilitation.
  4. Explore the Laguna Madre Nature Trail: Take a hike or bike ride through this beautiful nature trail, which winds through the wetlands and offers stunning views of the bay. Keep an eye out for wildlife like birds, crabs, and fish along the way.

South Padre is affordable in the winter since it is considered off-season. $

Balloon festival in Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico (photo by Raychel Sanner for Unsplash)
Albuquerque, New Mexico

A good winter destination with its mild weather and high desert climate Albuquerque has pleasant temperatures throughout the year. Even in winter, temperatures hover around the mid-40s to low 50s, making it a perfect time for outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. Food lovers can enjoy Albuquerque’s famous New Mexican cuisine, including hot chocolate and green chile stew – a perfect treat for the chilly weather.

There are many things to see and do in Albuquerque. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Explore Old Town Albuquerque: This historic district is home to some of the city’s oldest buildings, museums, galleries, and shops. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets and enjoy the unique architecture and cultural offerings.
  2. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument: This park features thousands of ancient rock carvings, or petroglyphs, that Native Americans and Spanish settlers created. Take a hike or bike ride through the park to see these incredible works of art.
  3. Take a Tram Ride: The Sandia Peak Tramway takes you on a breathtaking ride up the Sandia Mountains, offering stunning views of the city and surrounding landscape. At the top, you can go hiking, skiing, or enjoy a meal at the mountaintop restaurant.
  4. Tour the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: Learn about the history, art, and culture of the 19 Native American pueblos in New Mexico. The center features exhibits, performances, and demonstrations showcasing traditional dances, music, and crafts.

Depending on where you stay in the area, you can find some great prices. If you travel north towards Santa Fe, prices will be higher. $$

St. George, Utah

If you’re searching for a different winter getaway, St. George, Utah, is an excellent choice. The city enjoys a desert climate, and the winter season is no exception, with mild temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-60s and plenty of sunshine. You can engage in a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, golfing, and rock climbing. You can also visit the nearby Zion National Park, a popular destination for winter hiking and scenic drives. St. George is also only a short drive to Las Vegas, where you have an endless number of activities to explore.

Hike a trail in Zion National Park
Zion National Park, Near St. George, Utah

There are many things to see and do in St. George, Utah. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit Zion National Park: Just a short drive from St. George, this stunning national park offers breathtaking views of red rock formations, canyons, and waterfalls. You can hike, bike, or take a scenic drive through the park to experience its natural beauty.
  2. Explore Snow Canyon State Park: This park is known for its unique red sandstone formations, lava tubes, and petrified sand dunes. You can go hiking, rock climbing, or even horseback riding through the park.
  3. Play Golf: St. George is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club and the Coral Canyon Golf Course. Enjoy a round of golf against a backdrop of stunning natural scenery.
  4. Go Shopping and Dining: St. George has a charming downtown area filled with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Enjoy a meal at one of the many local eateries or shop for souvenirs to take home.

St. George offers a more economical winter travel option, since January and February are considered off-season. $

Looking for some Utah Travel ideas? Check out these posts Best Things To Do Besides Hiking On Visit To Zion National Park and How to Visit Zion National Park Without Riding the Shuttle.

Southeast United States

Savannah/Tybee Island, Georgia

Savannah and Tybee Island are wonderful winter destinations to consider. They enjoy a mild climate, which means that winter temperatures average the mid-50s to low 60s. Savannah is renowned for its rich history and architecture, and winter is an ideal time to explore the city’s historic sites and landmarks. The cooler temperatures make for comfortable outdoor walking tours. In the winter season, Savannah hosts various festivals and events, such as the Savannah Music Festival and the Savannah Irish Festival.

Horse drawn carriage on the streets of Savannah
Savannah, GA

There are many things to see and do in Savannah and Tybee Island. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Take a Ghost Tour: Savannah is known for its haunted history and ghost stories. Take a guided tour through the city’s haunted sites to learn about its past and experience a ghostly encounter.
  2. Visit the Savannah Historic District: This charming area is filled with historic homes, parks, and museums. Take a walk through the district to admire the beautiful architecture and learn about Savannah’s rich history.
  3. Explore Forsyth Park: This 30-acre park is home to stunning fountains, gardens, and a historic bandshell. Take a stroll through the park or have a picnic while enjoying the beautiful winter weather.
  4. Visit Tybee Island Lighthouse: This iconic lighthouse offers stunning views of the coastline and is a great place to learn about the history of the area.
  5. Go Dolphin Watching: Take a boat tour to see dolphins playing in the waters off the coast of Tybee Island.
  6. Enjoy the Beach: Although it may be too cold to swim, the beaches of Tybee Island are still beautiful in the winter. Take a walk on the beach, collect seashells, or simply enjoy the peaceful sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

In winter, Savannah is a more affordable destination unless you visit during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend when prices spike. $$

Charleston, South Carolina

If you’re planning a winter getaway, Charleston should be on your list. Charleston boasts mild temperatures all year round. Even in winter, temperatures rarely drop below the mid-50s to low 60s. Charleston is renowned for its rich history and breathtaking architecture, and winter is a perfect time to explore the city’s historic sites and landmarks. During the winter season, Charleston hosts many festivals and events, such as the Charleston Christmas Parade and the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Charleston has numerous unique shops and boutiques.

There are many things to see and do in Charleston. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit the Historic Charleston City Market: This indoor market features local vendors selling handmade crafts, souvenirs, and food. It’s a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs.
  2. Take a Historic House Tour: Charleston is home to many historic homes and landmarks, many of which offer tours during the winter months. Take a guided tour of these beautiful homes to learn about their history and architecture.
  3. Explore the Charleston Waterfront Park: This beautiful park offers stunning views of the harbor and is a great place to take a walk or have a picnic. During the winter months, the park is less crowded, making it the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet.
  4. Visit the Charleston Museum: This museum is the oldest in the country and features exhibits on the history of Charleston and the Lowcountry. Learn about the city’s rich history and culture while staying warm indoors.
  5. Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour: Explore the streets of Charleston in style with a horse-drawn carriage tour. See the city’s beautiful architecture and landmarks while staying warm under a cozy blanket.
  6. Enjoy the Arts: Charleston has a vibrant arts scene with many galleries and theaters. Attend a play, concert, or art exhibit to experience the city’s creative side.

In winter, Charleston can still be a more expensive destination, but depending on your accommodation requirements, you can find some bargains. $$

Hawaiian Islands

Big Island, Hawaii

If you’re planning a winter getaway, consider visiting the Big Island of Hawaii. This destination offers a tropical climate that remains mild throughout the year, even during winter. Typical temperatures during this season range from the mid-70s to low 80s, making it a great place to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, snorkeling, surfing, and whale watching. With various state and national parks, the island is home to stunning natural beauty and unique experiences. Additionally, the Big Island has a rich cultural heritage that can be experienced during winter through events like the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

Sunset celebration on the Big Island of Hawaii
Big Island of Hawaii

There are many things to see and do on the Big Island. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: This national park is home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. You can hike through the park to see lava tubes, steam vents, and other volcanic features. And if you can stay at the Volcano House, it is one of my top travel experiences!
  2. Snorkel or Dive: The Big Island has some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling and diving spots. You can spot colorful fish, sea turtles, and even manta rays in the clear waters.
  3. Experience Hawaiian Culture: Attend a traditional hula dance performance or visit an ancient Hawaiian temple to learn about the culture and history of the islands.
  4. Visit the Beaches: The Big Island has many beautiful beaches, including Hapuna Beach, Kua Bay, and Mahukona Beach. Relax on the white sand or go for a swim in the warm waters.
  5. Go Stargazing: The Big Island has some of the clearest skies in the world, making it an excellent place for stargazing. Visit the Mauna Kea Observatory or take a guided stargazing tour to see the stars and constellations up close.
  6. Explore the Waipio Valley: This beautiful valley is home to a black sand beach, waterfalls, and lush greenery. Take a hike or guided tour through the valley to see its natural beauty.
  7. Take a Coffee Tour: The Big Island is known for its coffee, and you can take a tour of a coffee farm to learn about the brewing process and taste some of the best coffee in the world.

All of Hawaii is expensive, but you will find some of the best prices on the Big Island when compared to Maui or Oahu. $$$

Lanai

The island of Lanai enjoys a tropical climate, which means the temperatures are generally mild throughout the year, including in winter. You can expect average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s during this season. And Lanai is a hard-to-reach island, so it has a more remote feel and a lower-key appeal.

Lanai offers a wide range of outdoor activities that cater to all interests. From hiking and snorkeling to golfing and horseback riding, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Additionally, Lanai is rich in cultural history and boasts several cultural sites, including ancient Hawaiian fishing villages and petroglyphs. Winter is an excellent time to explore these sites and learn more about the island’s fascinating cultural heritage.

There are many things to see and do on Lanai. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit Hulopoe Beach: This beautiful white sand beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. You can spot colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins in the clear waters.
  2. Explore the Munro Trail: This scenic trail takes you through the lush landscapes of Lanai, with stunning views of the island’s rugged mountains and coastline.
  3. Go Golfing: Lanai is home to two world-class golf courses, The Challenge at Manele and The Experience at Koele. Both courses offer stunning views and challenging holes.
  4. Take a Jeep Tour: Explore the rugged terrain of Lanai on a guided jeep tour. You can visit remote beaches, hidden waterfalls, and other natural wonders of the island.
  5. Visit the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center: This museum offers exhibits and educational programs that showcase the history and culture of Lanai. Learn about the island’s unique heritage and the people who call it home.

All of Hawaii is expensive, but Lanai has very limited accommodations, and the prices are very high. $$$

Kauai

Kauai is an excellent choice any time of the year; it is by far my favorite island. Here are some reasons you should consider visiting Kauai in the winter: Kauai has a tropical climate, which means the weather is mild throughout the year, including the winter season. The average temperature ranges from the mid-70s to low 80s, making it a perfect escape from the cold. Whether you enjoy hiking, snorkeling, surfing, or whale watching, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy on Kauai during the winter season. The island boasts breathtaking natural beauty and unique experiences.

Waterfalls on the island of Kauai
Kauai, Hawaii

Apart from these reasons for winter in Kauai, it also has many famous attractions and activities that will enhance your visit:

  1. Visit Waimea Canyon: Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” this stunning canyon offers breathtaking views of red rock formations, waterfalls, and lush greenery. You can hike or take a scenic drive through the canyon to experience its natural beauty.
  2. Go Snorkeling: Kauai has some of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii, including Tunnels Beach, Poipu Beach Park, and Kee Beach. Spot colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life in the clear waters.
  3. Take a Helicopter Tour: See Kauai from above on a thrilling helicopter tour. You can see the island’s stunning landscapes, including its waterfalls, mountains, and beaches.
  4. Visit the Na Pali Coast: This rugged coastline is home to towering cliffs, sea caves, and secluded beaches. Take a boat tour or hike along the Kalalau Trail to see its natural beauty up close.
  5. Explore Wailua Falls: This stunning waterfall is one of the most photographed spots on Kauai. You can hike to the falls or view them from a lookout point.
  6. Go Hiking: Kauai has many beautiful hiking trails, including the Kalalau Trail, the Napali Coast, and the Waimea Canyon Trail. Take a hike to see the island’s natural beauty and wildlife up close.

All of Hawaii is expensive, but Kaui has a lot of options when it comes to accommodations, including a good number of rental properties. $$$

Caribbean

Puerto Rico (Vieques)

Puerto Rico and Vieques are excellent destinations for a winter escape. There are several reasons why you should visit them during the winter season. Both places offer a tropical climate and mild temperatures throughout the year, and winter is no exception. The average temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s, making it a comfortable time to visit. Puerto Rico and Vieques are home to some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Vieques also hosts its annual Vieques Marathon and Half Marathon. So, if you’re looking for a winter vacation that’s warm, beautiful, and has plenty of activities, consider visiting Puerto Rico and Vieques.

There are many things to see and do in Puerto Rico and Vieques. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit the El Yunque National Forest: This tropical rainforest is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including the endangered Puerto Rican parrot. You can hike through the forest to see its waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders.
  2. Explore Old San Juan: This historic district has many historic buildings, museums, and restaurants. Walk through the cobblestone streets and enjoy the unique architecture and cultural offerings.
  3. Go Beach Hopping: Puerto Rico has many beautiful beaches, including Playa Flamenco, Luquillo Beach, and Isla Verde Beach. Relax on the white sand or go for a swim in the warm waters.
  4. Take a Bioluminescent Bay Tour: Vieques is home to one of the most famous bioluminescent bays in the world, Mosquito Bay. Take a boat tour to see the bay’s glowing waters and learn about the organisms that cause the phenomenon. Swimming in this glowing water at night was an incredible experience.

Puerto Rico and Vieques have a lot of options when it comes to accommodations, including a good number of rental properties. $$

U. S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix)

If you’re planning a winter vacation, consider visiting the US Virgin Islands (USVI), as it is a great destination. The USVI experiences a tropical climate throughout the year, with mild temperatures. During winter, the average temperature ranges from mid-70s to low 80s, making it a comfortable and pleasant time to visit. The USVI boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. You have your choice of bustling islands like St. Thomas or a more laid-back vibe in St. John.

Denis Beach on the island of St. John, USVI
St. John, USVI

There are many things to see and do on USVI. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit St. John’s National Park: This national park covers two-thirds of the island of St. John and offers stunning beaches, hiking trails, and coral reefs. You can snorkel, swim, or relax on the beaches while enjoying the natural beauty of the island.
  2. Explore Historic Charlotte Amalie: This historic district is home to many historic buildings, museums, and shops. Walk through the cobblestone streets and enjoy the unique architecture and cultural offerings.
  3. Take a Boat Tour: The USVI has many beautiful islands and cays to explore, including St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Take a boat tour to see the islands’ beautiful coastlines, coral reefs, and marine life up close.
  4. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving: The USVI has some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots in the Caribbean, including Trunk Bay, Buck Island, and Cane Bay. Spot colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life in the clear waters.
  5. Go Hiking: The USVI has many beautiful hiking trails, including the Reef Bay Trail on St. John and the Annaberg Sugar Plantation Trail on St. Croix. Take a hike to see the island’s natural beauty and wildlife up close.
  6. Visit the Buck Island Reef National Monument: This beautiful island is home to one of the most pristine coral reefs in the Caribbean. Take a boat tour or snorkeling to see the reef’s colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life.

The USVI has a wide range of accommodations and prices, from bargains to very high-end luxury options. Food and drink are expensive on all of the islands. $$$

If you want more information on St. John check out these posts, Top 9 Best Beaches On St John and St John 9 Best Restaurant Guide.

ABC’s (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao)

If you’re considering a winter escape, the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) are fantastic destinations to explore. The ABC islands boast a tropical climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year. Even during winter, temperatures remain in the mid-70s to low 80s, making it a perfect time to visit. Additionally, the ABC islands are home to some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. The Aruba Carnival and the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival are just a few examples of the exciting events that you can experience during this time.

Beach in Aruba
Aruba

There are many things to see and do in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit Eagle Beach in Aruba: This beautiful white sand beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. You can spot colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life in the clear waters.
  2. Explore Willemstad in Curacao: This historic district is home to many historic buildings, museums, and shops. Take a walk through the colorful streets and enjoy the unique architecture and cultural offerings.
  3. Go Snorkeling or Diving in Bonaire: Bonaire is known for its pristine coral reefs and clear waters, making it an excellent place for snorkeling and diving. Spot colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life in the clear waters.
  4. Visit Arikok National Park in Aruba: This national park covers 20% of the island of Aruba and offers stunning beaches, hiking trails, and natural pools. You can hike or take a scenic drive through the park to experience its natural beauty.
  5. Go Kitesurfing in Aruba or Curacao: Curacao is known for its windy conditions, making it a popular spot for kitesurfing. You can take lessons or rent equipment to catch some incredible waves and enjoy the island’s natural beauty.
  6. Visit Washington-Slagbaai National Park in Bonaire: This national park is home to beautiful beaches, coves, and hiking trails. You can hike, bike, or take a scenic drive through the park to experience its natural beauty.

Depending on which island you visit and where you stay, the price can vary widely. Villa rentals can be very economical (for the Caribean in the winter) in Curaço and Aruba. $$

Looking for information about Aruba check out these posts, Best Snorkeling Beaches in Aruba and Aruba’s Eduardo’s Beach Shack

Central America

Costa Rica

If you’re planning a winter getaway, Costa Rica is an excellent destination to consider. With a tropical climate that offers mild temperatures throughout the year, Costa Rica’s winter season is no exception. The average temperature ranges from the mid-70s to low 80s, making it a perfect place for a warm winter vacation.

Costa Rica offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy during winter, including hiking, zip lining, surfing, and snorkeling. The country’s numerous national parks are a great way to experience its stunning natural beauty and unique landscapes.

If you’re a beach lover, Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America, and winter is an ideal time to enjoy them.

Balloon festival in Albuquerque
Costa Rica (photo by Angela Erick for Unsplash)

There are many things to see and do in Costa Rica. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit Arenal Volcano National Park: This national park is home to the Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica. You can hike through the park to see its waterfalls, hot springs, and other natural wonders.
  2. Explore Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: This cloud forest is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including the splendid quetzal bird. You can hike through the forest to see its waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders.
  3. Go Zip Lining: Costa Rica is known for its zip-lining tours, which offer incredible views of the country’s natural beauty. You can zip line through the rainforest, over waterfalls, and even over volcanoes.
  4. Visit Manuel Antonio National Park: This national park is home to beautiful beaches, rainforests, and coral reefs. You can hike through the park to see its wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and exotic birds.

Again, Costa Rica has a wide variety of price points, but you can still find some economical options. $$

Panama

Here are some reasons why Panama is worth visiting in winter: The country has a tropical climate, with mild average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s throughout the year, including winter. Panama offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, zip-lining, surfing, and snorkeling, thanks to its beautiful national parks that showcase stunning natural beauty and unique experiences. Winter is a great time to spot some of Panama’s incredible wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and toucans, thanks to the cooler temperatures that make wildlife viewing more comfortable. Panama boasts some of the prettiest beaches in Central America.

There are many things to see and do in Panama. Here are some of the top attractions and activities:

  1. Visit the Panama Canal: This engineering marvel is one of the most famous landmarks in Panama. You can take a guided tour of the canal to learn about its history and see ships passing through its locks.
  2. Explore Casco Viejo: This historic district is home to many historic buildings, museums, and restaurants. Take a walk through the cobblestone streets and enjoy the unique architecture and cultural offerings.
  3. Go Island Hopping: Panama has many beautiful islands to explore, including the San Blas Islands, Isla Coiba, and Bocas del Toro. Take a boat tour to see the islands’ beautiful coastlines, coral reefs, and marine life up close.
  4. Go Hiking: Panama has many beautiful hiking trails, including the Pipeline Road in Soberania National Park and the Baru Volcano National Park. Take a hike to see the country’s natural beauty and wildlife up close.
  5. Go Surfing: Panama has some of the best surf spots in Central America, including Santa Catalina, Playa Venao, and Bocas del Toro. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you can catch some incredible waves in Panama.

The prices in Panama are part of the draw for many tourists. You can find some nice places to stay relatively cheap, even during the winter. $

Below are links and resources to help you plan The perfect trip

Travel Resources

  • HOTELS
    Booking.com and Expedia.com are great resources for accommodations around the world. Book almost any hotel directly from these links.
  • TOURS
    The best places to book tours and activities are Viator or Get Your Guide . From great food tours to guided hiking adventures to local walking tours, you will find great experiences to add to your travels here.
  • FOOD EXPERIENCES
    EatWith is a great resource for authentic culinary experiences with passionate locals worldwide. Connecting travelers with hosts in over 130 countries, providing unique, intimate, and immersive experiences in private homes and exclusive venues.
  • TRAINS
    Trainline is Europe’s leading train and coach app. They work with over 210 rail and coach companies to help their customers travel to thousands of destinations across 45 countries. 

The links above contain product affiliate links. We may receive a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links. But your support of Fork & Wander is greatly appreciated!

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