Escape the Cold With These Awesome US Warm Weather Winter Getaways
Rolling out of bed partially frozen to go scrape the ice off your car? Or maybe you’re not freezing, but thrive in summer weather! Whichever person you are, I am sure we can all agree that warm winter getaways are some of the best getaways and we have quite a few in the US!
Below we are covering some of the best warm weather destinations in the US to escape the brutal winter that will make all your friends jealous!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Escape the Cold With These Awesome US Warm Weather Winter Getaways
- Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida
- Savannah, Georgia
- New Orleans, Lousiana
- Maui, Hawaii
- Oahu, Hawaii
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Los Angeles, California
- San Diego California in the Winter
- Death Valley National Park California
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Puerto Rico, USA
- Key West, Florida
- Fort Myers Florida
- St. Augustine, Florida
- Charleston South Carolina
- Best Warm Winter Getaways in the US Wrap-up
Honeymoon Island State Park, Florida
Recommended by Paula from Paula Pins the Planet
If you are looking for a warm US destination to visit, Honeymoon Island State Park is a great option for winter getaways. With 4-miles of amazing beaches to explore, the island also includes a 3-mile hiking trail through one of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests.
Located on the west coast of Florida, Honeymoon Island is an exceptional place for outdoor lovers since it offers many options like soaking in the sun, swimming, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and biking.
Additionally, consider taking the ferry across the channel to Caladesi State Park. This island offers pristine beaches and turquoise water. Caladesi State Park may even be less crowded and rocky than the beaches of Honeymoon Island.
Honeymoon Island is a great destination to visit all year round, but if you visit in the wintertime, you have higher chances to see birds such as eagles, osprey, and great horned owls, along with ground animals including gopher tortoises, raccoons, and armadillos.
Also, during winter, it is easiest to spot manatees and dolphins close to shore, due to the temperate climate during this time of the year, with nice weather and temperatures between 59-70 F.
You can visit the Park 365 days per year, from 8 am until sunset. The park has an $8 entry fee per vehicle. Honeymoon Island State Park is located about 25 minutes north of Clearwater Beach on Florida’s west coast.
You can find 2 cafes on Honeymoon Island to buy food and beverages or you can bring your own for a nice picnic on the island.
There is no option for accommodations inside Honeymoon Island & Caladesi Island. However, it is just a short distance driving from Clearwater or Dunedin, where you can find several options for accommodations.
Recommended by Sam Opp from Find Love & Travel
Full of history, charming streets, and great weather, Savannah is another perfect place to escape winter in the USA! Some of the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia include exploring one of the original 22 Squares, walking along the live oak trees dripping in Spanish moss, exploring River Street, and more!
Temperatures in Savannah are generally in the 60s during winter months, making the weather quite enjoyable. This is also a great time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds!
You, of course, will need to check out some of the most photo-worthy Savannah places, including Wormsloe Historic Site and the famous Forsyth Park!
Savannah is also known as one of the most haunted cities in the USA, so if you are into ghosts and the paranormal, this is the place for you. Some haunted places you can visit in Savannah include the Mercer House, Bonaventure Cemetery, Colonial Park Cemetery, and the Pirate House.
New Orleans, Lousiana
Recommended by Agnes from The Van Escape
Jazz on the streets, live concerts in every bar and restaurant, extraordinary vibrant energy, choice of excellent cocktails, and of course, delicious food. All of this is surrounded by stylish-inspired French and Spanish architecture and rich history. New Orleans, Louisiana, is the perfect US city for those looking for warm winter getaways.
The best time to visit NOLA is January and February, when the famous Mardi Gras Carnival takes place. Officially Mardi Gras begins on January 6th and runs until Fat Tuesday.
Most events, colorful marches, and concerts are held in the two last weeks before Fat Tuesday. How to prepare for Mardi Gras, where are the best spots to observe marches, how to spend time, you can check in this Mardi Gras New Orleans Itinerary.
Louis Armstrong Park, Voodoo Museum, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, French Bazaar, and Jazz Museum are the best NOLA attractions for couples worth seeing during Winter Gateway.
On the Jazz Boat Cruise, dinner on the Mississippi River is a perfect idea for a unique romantic evening in New Orleans. Another great activity to do during a winter getaway is taking a plantations tour or the Louisiana swamps tour from NOLA.
Additionally, New Orleans is famous for its cuisine and excellent cocktails. So, it’s worth trying Louisiana Creole cuisine with its specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya, seafood. Muriel’s Jackson Square offers delicious Cajun cuisine with oysters, shrimps, crab cake, or gumbo.
Moreover, enjoy exceptional Hurricane cocktails that you will get in every bar on the famous Bourbon Street.
The best selection of hotels and apartments for any budget is at the famous “French Quarter.” This is by far the best area to stay in New Orleans to feel the city’s energy and be close to all the attractions.
Recommend by Sam from Find Love & Travel
Maui is likely one of the most popular Hawaiian Islands because it gives you a mix of Kauai and Oahu. You can find busy towns and shopping areas (Lahania) like in Oahu, while still being able to get that remote tropical vibe that Kauai gives you.
One of Maui’s best attractions is driving the road to Hana! The twisting, winding road of Hana is full of endless waterfalls, lava landscapes, a black sand beach, bamboo forests, and just overall stunning views! I highly recommend driving it!
Additionally, you can experience the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala, which was by far the most stunning sunrise I have ever witnessed!
Moreover, let’s not forget relaxing on gorgeous beaches, the chance of swimming with sea turtles, whale watching, snorkeling at Molokini island, surfing, and luaus!
Maui offers all the above and more, making it the perfect warm winter vacation.
The best way to explore Maui is by renting a car. If renting a car is not an option, there are a ton of tours to help you explore Maui!
We loved our stay at the Sheraton Resort at Black Rock Cliff. With both mountain and ocean views from the same window, it feels like total paradise! I especially loved staying here because we saw Green Sea Turtles every day at the beach. The Sheraton is also located super close to town, where there are tons of amazing restaurants.
Find an epic Maui itinerary here!
Recommended by Holly from Globeblogging
If you’re looking for sun, sand, and glorious warm weather getaways this winter, you simply can’t go wrong with a visit to the paradise that is Hawaii.
Probably the best known of the collection of islands off the US mainland, Oahu is perfect to plan a jam-packed itinerary to cater to just about any traveler!
With an average temperature that ranges from 62 up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and low average rainfall, February is the perfect time to visit.
Naturally, being an island paradise, there are plenty of water activities to choose from. Dive with sharks, snorkel in a nature reserve, head out parasailing, or take a walk along the ocean floor. Whether you choose to hang out on the beach or head on over to the North Shore to surf and enjoy a spectacular sunset, you can’t go wrong!
Movie buffs will love a visit to Hollywood’s Hawaii set, Kualoa Ranch, to check out filming locations from blockbusters including Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Jumanji, and Godzilla, while Pearl Harbor is a somber but unmissable experience.
Additionally, a hike to the top of the Diamond Head crater will get the heart rate up and offer exceptional views of Waikiki from the top as a reward.
There are plenty of options for accommodations in the tourist hub of Waikiki, and no shortage of delicious food. Check out Dukes for a delicious buffet breakfast and Bills Waikiki for the best Australian-grade coffee in town.
Bargain hunters shouldn’t miss checking out the Waikele outlets for a day of shopping, something else that Oahu is famous for.
Find fun Oahu tours here!
Recommend by Sam from Find Love & Travel
Kauai, known as the Garden Island, is another perfect US warm weather winter getaways to add to your bucket list! I mean, who doesn’t want to spend the holidays on a tropical island with temperatures in the 70’s, am I right?
Full of lush green jungles, beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and adventure, Kauai, HI has something for everyone! Some of the best things to see in Kauai include the famous Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon (known as Hawaii’s Grand Canyon), seeing Wailua Falls, and adventuring out to Secret Falls, to name a few!
The best way to explore Kauai, Hawaii is by renting a car. By doing this, you will have full flexibility to see a ton of the Island! I would also suggest spending at least 3 days in Kauai if you are planning on island hopping!
The winter is high season in Kauai, so I would recommend booking your getaway in advance! We visited Kauai during our honeymoon and had an excellent stay at the Kauai Marriott Resort. The property is a beautiful beachfront property with giant pools, and several restaurants to choose from.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is another top resort to stay at.
Los Angeles, California
Recommended by Sam from Find Love & Travel
California dreamin? Los Angeles easily makes the list of perfect warm winter getaways with beautiful coastlines, great hiking, city vibes, and not to mention great non-humid temperatures.
There is also tons of fun to be had in Los Angeles, including hikes to the famous Hollywood Sign, watching the sunset at Griffith Observatory, walking down Santa Monica Pier, riding bikes down Venice, or looking for your favorite stars on the Hollywood walk of fame, just to name a few!
Los Angeles is perfectly located if you are interested in a day trip to Malibu, Palm Springs, or Santa Barbara.
Even if you plan to road trip around California, make sure to spend at least 3 days in Los Angeles to experience some of the best things this city has to offer! Even as an expensive city, there are also tons of free things to do in LA.
The 3 most popular areas to stay in Los Angeles is Hollywood (attractions), Beverly Hills (luxury), and Santa Monica (more beachy vibes).
Find fun LA tours here!
San Diego California in the Winter
Another Warm winter USA gem place to visit is San Diego! This California city has so much to see and do, and of course, the weather is fantastic! With average temperatures in the high 60s, feel free to leave those winter jackets at home!
One of the best things to do while visiting San Diego includes exploring Balboa Park. This massive public park offers over a dozen museums, lovely gardens, and cool architecture.
Another thing you won’t want to miss in San Diego is a visit to the La Jolla Cove to see the sea lions and seals! There are also great restaurants in La Jolla! Consider even doing some kayaking here.
Make sure to catch a sunset at the sunset cliffs, explore the Old Town San Diego, which is known as the birthplace of California, visit Coronado Island, and don’t forget to hit up the Gaslamp District!
Because San Diego has so much to do, it is also one of the best destinations for family vacations in December.
You can fly right into the San Diego International airport (SAN) and you will want to make sure to rent a car in San Diego. It is the best way to get around this beach town! For more about planning an epic trip, check my detailed San Diego itinerary and my Instagrammable spots in San Diego!
Death Valley National Park California
If Death Valley National Park is on your bucket list, then planning a trip during the winter is actually your best bet! This National Park is so hot during the summer, that it is actually considered dangerous to visit due to the heat. Therefore, Death Valley is most popular during the winter and makes for the perfect warm weather USA getaway!
Death Valley National Park is the largest National Park in the lower 48 and has so much unique landscape to offer. During the winter months, you can still expect temperatures in the 70s and even 80s, but at night this desert can get a little cold.
Some of the coolest places to visit in Death Valley National Park include Mesquite Sand Dunes, Badwater Basin Salt Flats, and Zabriskie Point.
Airport: Las Vegas McCarran Airport (LAS); Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Joshua Tree National Park
If you are starting to feel these warm weather destinations are becoming a glorified California list, I wouldn’t blame you, but the truth of that matter is that California has a ton of warm places to visit in the winter!
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the more unique USA national parks, and wintertime is one of the best times to visit. That is because this park is made up of 2 deserts; the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert.
This park is slightly cooler than Death Valley National Park since it is at a higher altitude. You can expect winter temperatures around somewhere between 50 F through the high 60s F.
What makes this National Park pretty unique is being able to see the Joshua Trees with giant granite boulders dotted across the park. The park offers a lot of fun hiking trails and rock climbing.
I must admit, however, that although the park is generally warm, once in a rare blue, the higher elevations may receive some snow. Joshua Tree is also just an hour away from Palm Springs California, which is another winter hot spot, therefore, you can visit Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, and even San Diego in one trip (we did)!
Airport: San Diego (SAN); Palm Springs (PSP)
Puerto Rico, USA
Recommended by Sam from Find Love & Travel
Dreaming of a warm US Caribbean getaway? Think no further than Puerto Rico! This Island seriously has so much to offer and is one of our favorite places to visit.
Enjoy the charming streets of Old San Juan, explore waterfalls in the El Yunque Rainforest, experience the Pink Salt Lakes in Cabo Rojo, and beautiful beaches are among some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico.
If you have the time, I’d suggest taking a road trip around the Island of Puerto Rico! Some top towns to hit include Ponce, Cabo Rojo, and Rincon. Check out this 4 day Puerto Rico itinerary and these Puerto Rico travel tips!
Key West, Florida
Recommended by Pauline from the Beeloved City
If you are looking for a warm winter destination in the US, Key West will be perfect for you!
Located at the very end of the beautiful Florida Keys, Key West is known for its unique atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and ghost stories!
You can fly directly to Key West from pretty much anywhere in the United States. However, if you can, going on a road trip from Miami to Key West is well worth your time!
There is so much to do in the Florida Keys, and there is something magical about driving the 7-mile bridge.
Once you get to Key West itself, head to Duval Street. That’s where you will find all the bars and restaurants. It’s a very lively and unusual place where Texan saloons are right by Irish pubs and wild roosters wander the streets!
Make sure to go to the Southernmost point buoy for photos and the Ernest Hemingway home.
In the evening, make your way to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. It can get quite busy, so it’s best to get there early to score a good spot. You are allowed to walk around with drinks so if you were in one of the bars in Duval Street, don’t feel like you need to rush, just take your glass with you!
After that, you can head to the bars and experience the Key West nightlife. Alternatively, you can also choose to go on a spooky ghost tour! It’s pretty fun!
In terms of accommodation, opt for a condo near Duval Street for convenience. If you’d like to stay near the beach, you can also book one of the beautiful beachfront rentals in the Florida keys.
Find fun Key West Tours here!
Fort Myers Florida
Another incredible warm winter destination is Fort Myers! After a ton of rebuilding from Hurricane Ian, they are ready to accept tourists this winter season.
Because it gets so hot during the summer time, visiting in winter makes for a great time to get our doors, whether that be hiking, kayaking, or even looking for manatees. With 3 days in Fort Myers, you can see and do a lot.
In fact, winter is one of the best times to see manatees, and they even have a dedicated park to do so. Don’t forget to enjoy downtown Fort Myers, with tons of great eateries and rooftop bars.
Where to Stay in Fort Myers: The Westin Cape Coral
Airport: Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
St. Augustine, Florida
If you love historic places, St. Augustine will give you just that! Known as the oldest city in the USA, you will have the opportunity to explore the Old Town, which still resembles Spanish culture.
Visiting around Christmas or early January? Enjoy their famous Festival of Lights, where the city is decked out in thousands of Christmas lights. You, of course, can’t miss touring some of the top museums and attractions, such as the Lightner Museum and Anastasia Island and Lighthouse.
If it’s not too cold, hit the beach, or go on a dolphin cruise and enjoy the warm winter weather of Florida! With a weekend in St. Augustine, you will have enough time to experience some of the best things this city has to offer.
Where to Stay: Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection
Airport: Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
Charleston South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina is a perfect place for a warm weather US winter getaway! This charming and historic town has so much to offer. From charming cobblestone streets and historic mansions to lovely beaches, there is something for everyone!
Charleston’s temperatures are usually around the 60s during the winter months making it perfect to really walk and explore the city comfortably. This is a city that is mainly best explored by foot!
Some of the best things to do in Charleston include visiting Rainbow Row, wandering down hidden alleys, visiting mansions, walking along the Battery, and touring Plantations while learning about their history. If the weather is nice enough, consider heading over to Folly Beach.
Charleston is also known as a foodie destination with tons of Southern Comfort food.
Charleston also gets quite festive during the holiday season if you are planning a December vacation.
Best Warm Winter Getaways in the US Wrap-up
As you can see, there are quite a few awesome warm US getaways that are perfect for escaping the winter! From the East Coast to the West Coast and even Island life, I hope you have the best warm winter vacation!
Are there any additional destinations you would like to see on the list? Let me know in the comments below!