After the bustle of the holiday season (or perhaps even during it), we all deserve a break. Rest, recharge, or even explore in one of these remarkable coastal cities, perfect for winter travel. Whether you want to escape it all for clear water and sandy beaches, or lean into the seasonal weather, we’ve got you covered with our top winter vacation picks.
Its sandy beaches, rainforest trails, world-class resorts, and balmy winter temps make St. Lucia one of the most ideal backdrops for a winter respite. Explore the waters with a reef snorkeling trip or take a different direction (literally) and hike one of the island’s two volcanic mountains with a local guide. Feeling more laid back? Simply enjoy the service, spas, and cabanas of one of the island’s many luxury resorts.
Fancy a more wintery winter vacation? Try Reykjavík, one of the world’s most northerly cities. Explore the colorful architecture and ocean views of Iceland’s quaint capital, or adventure through the country’s stark landscape of volcanos, glaciers, and black sand beaches. Don’t miss the Blue Lagoon, the famed cerulean geothermal spa. You might even get a glimpse of the Northern Lights, appearing regularly in the winter months.
Nicknamed the “Garden Island,” Hawaii’s fourth biggest island provides breathtaking landscapes of jagged mountains and gushing waterfalls. But besides stunning beauty, expect also a wealth of outdoor activities like kayaking and ziplining coupled with laid-back beaches and rich culture.
Wait until winter to visit the Big Easy and you’ll be rewarded with Mardi Gras celebrations and mild temperatures in the 60s. Enjoy the vibrant jazz scene at a live show, sample local food like crawfish or beignets, or stroll the famous French Quarter of this lively, unique city.
Cabo San Lucas
Located at the tip of Baja California, Cabo is just a hop away from most of the U.S. Escape the cold this winter and discover Cabo’s beautiful beaches, restaurants, shopping, and watersports. Don’t miss a trip to El Arco, the impressive natural stone arch at Land’s End. And, if you’re lucky, spot one of the many rich and famous who have made Cabo their hideaway.
Last up on our roundup is one of the most overlooked winter destinations—and maybe it should stay that way. Beat the heat and crowds of a summer trip to Holland and dive into Dutch culture, cuisine (read: cheese), and nightlife. Stroll the romantic cobblestone streets and arched bridges over the canals, explore the famed Red Light District, and visit world-class institutions like the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum.