If you’re someone who shudders at the mere thought of 3+ months of cold weather, you’re not alone. Many people dread the winter months, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend them cooped up at home with the brisk air, rain, or snow!
There are plenty of warm and sunny destinations around the world where you can escape the chill and enjoy some much-desired vitamin D.
Here are a few of my favorite warm places to travel to in the winter season.
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Table of Contents
With average winter temperatures in the low 80s, Hawaii is the perfect place to escape the cold. The beautiful beaches and lush tropical landscapes will make you forget all about whatever chill, snow, and ice exists back home!
The Big Island is home to two active volcanoes and 11 distinct climate zones, where visitors can enjoy everything from beach activities to outdoor adventures.
Maui is great for couples with its romantic atmosphere, majestic waterfalls, whale-watching opportunities and road trips along the Hana Highway.
Oahu is known to appeal to almost anyone due to its dual personality — it can be tranquil as heck or as buzzing as any other city in the world. You’ll find an abundance of restaurants, bars, luaus, historical landmarks, beaches, condos, and must-see attractions like Lanikai Beach, Pearl Harbor, Koko Head, Diamond Head, and the North Shore (our personal favorite).
I’ve saved the best for last! Located on the northern end of the Hawaiian Island chain, Kauai is known for its lush vegetation and Jurassic Park-like landscapes. Hiking trails like Kalalau Trail will provide breathtaking vistas from atop soaring sea cliffs along the Napali Coast.
More on Hawaii:
- 123 Bucket List Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii
- 36 Exciting Things To Do In Kauai
- 35 Things To Do on The Big Island Hawaii For The Perfect Weekend
Mexico is another great destination for winter sun. And one of the best things about it for North Americans? The fact that it’s just a hop and a skip away. Flights to Mexico typically range from just 1-5 hours. Perfect for a long weekend getaway!
The Yucatan Peninsula, in particular, is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, adrenaline-pumping activities, amazing gastronomy, and biodiversity that you have to see with your own two eyes.
The average temperature of the Yucatan Peninsula during the winter months ranges from 75 to 84°F.
More on Mexico:
- 15 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Cancun for Families
- 17 Unforgettable Things To Do On Isla Mujeres, Mexico
- 27 Best Things To Do In Playa Del Carmen For An Unforgettable Vacation
- 7 Best All-Inclusive Resorts In Rivera Maya, Mexico
- The Perfect 3-Day Todos Santos Itinerary
Thailand is a great winter destination for those looking for a mix of culture and warmth. The average temperature high in Bangkok in the winter is around 89°F (32°C), rarely falling below 83°F.
Plus, while Thailand is miserably humid during other times of the year, humidity levels drop in the wintertime. Warm weather without as much humidity to make you break out in sweat just standing there? That’s a true winter escape for ya!
With beautiful beaches and delicious street food, it’s one of the most perfect places to escape the cold.
First off, no trip to Thailand would be complete without visiting at least one of its famous temples. The Temple of Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) in Bangkok is especially popular, so make sure to check it out if you get the chance! Shopping lovers cannot miss Sampeng Market (Bangkok’s oldest market) or the iconic Chatuchak Weekend Market.
For another cultural experience, head over to Chiang Mai to visit an elephant camp and to take part in a traditional Thai cooking class.
Fancy an overnight stay on a lake? Head to Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park.
Taiwan is a destination that should not be missed when winter rolls around. Located in East Asia, this small island of a country is a whole lot of fun. Think picturesque natural landscapes, exciting seasonal events and activities, and an endless number of night markets.
If you didn’t already know, night markets = food, shopping, and loads of buzzing local activity!
And what’s more, with Taiwan’s tropical climate, there are plenty of reasons why you should add it to your bucket list for the best places to visit in winter.
Temperature-wise, you can expect a range from 18°C to 25°C (65°F to 77°F). This makes it an ideal getaway if you’re looking for an escape from cold European or North American winters!
The first stop should be the city of Taipei — home to some incredible temples, bustling night markets and amazing street food! Be sure to check out Longshan Temple and Taipei 101 — one of the tallest buildings in the world — and Elephant Mountain for incredible views over downtown Taipei.
Next on your itinerary should be Jiufen, a sleepy village known for its coastal views, picturesque old streets, and handmade taro balls. Another can’t-miss destination is Taroko National Park on Taiwan’s east coast.
More on Taipei:
- 3 Days In Taipei Itinerary: What To See, Eat, and Do
- An Epic Day Trip To Jiufen And Shifen
- 18 Best Souvenirs To Bring Home From Taiwan
With average temperatures in the mid-80s, Costa Rica is the perfect place to escape the cold. The country is famous for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and adventurous activities like zip-lining and white-water rafting.
First on the list is visiting the Arenal Volcano National Park. Located in north-central Costa Rica, visitors can take in breathtaking views of Arenal Volcano while exploring the park’s many hiking trails or relaxing at one of its natural hot springs.
Other must-see sights include Manuel Antonio National Park for wildlife spotting opportunities on both land and sea; Tortuguero National Park for boat tours through tropical canals; and Corcovado National Park for some of the best bird watching found anywhere in Latin America.
Looking for breathtaking coastal views, delicious seafood, and plenty of sunshine? Consider Portugal.
While Portugal might not be warm and balmy like Aruba, Bora Bora, or Phuket is in the winter months, it doesn’t freeze over as the rest of Europe does! This country has so much to offer travelers in the colder months, from beautiful mountain ranges to sunny days on the beach.
The Mediterranean climate ensures that there are plenty of balmy days in Portugal even during the winter months! Enjoy a stroll through one of many picturesque villages like Lisbon, Cintra, or Porto, or explore one of the many national parks for some outdoor adventure.
In fact, the Azores are a hiker’s paradise! With its long stretches of coast and rugged terrain, Portugal is an ideal destination for those seeking outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking.
More on Portugal:
- Lisbon, Portugal: The Perfect 3-Day Itinerary
- Your Guide To The Best Things To Do In Lisbon, Portugal
- Magical Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Portugal
- 15 Unforgettable Things To Do In Óbidos, Portugal
- Evora, Portugal: The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary
South Africa is another great winter escape, especially if you’re open to enduring a longer flight away from home. The Western Cape, in particular, is known for its beautiful beaches and mild temperatures.
The climate in South Africa is perfect for winter vacations. With mild temperatures and little rainfall throughout most of the year, it’s ideal for those who want to escape from cold Northern climates.
You’ll be treated to breathtaking landscapes, lots of wildlife you probably don’t get to see back home, unique culture, and even more unique cities that differ from one to the next.
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s treasures and a must-see destination for any visitor. Located at the southern tip of the continent, Cape Town boasts unbelievable natural beauty with Table Mountain as its centerpiece and miles of pristine beaches nearby.
Adventure seekers can hike up Table Mountain or try their hand at kite surfing off Muizenberg Beach. Meanwhile, history buffs will love exploring Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned during Apartheid.
Dubai is another destination that combines warmth with luxury.
Situated in the United Arab Emirates, this cosmopolitan city offers a range of exciting activities that make it the perfect place to escape the cold weather. From shopping in one of the world’s largest malls to exploring its diverse cultural offerings, these are just some of the reasons why Dubai is an amazing winter destination.
With average temperatures ranging between 73 – 78°F (23 – 26°C) throughout the winter months, you can take advantage of all that this vibrant city has to offer without having to worry about being too cold or wet!
Read more: Your Ultimate Guide To Dubai On A Budget
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a really unique winter destination for those seeking a road trip adventure this winter!
Located in the Mojave Desert of California and Nevada, Death Valley in the winter months offers adventurers a chance to crawl out of their holes and enjoy all the activities that they couldn’t enjoy in the summer due to the crazy heat levels.
Due to its location, Death Valley has some of the hottest temperatures in the world during the summer months–you do NOT want to visit in the summer. However, during the winter, temperatures are actually mild and enjoyable.
While not exactly “warm”, the mild winter months from November to March are PERFECT for getting outside and exploring! The average temperatures hover around 70°F (21°C) during this time.
Visitors can explore sand dunes, salt flats, colorful hills/mountains, and a variety of otherworldly landscapes created by wind erosion. There are also opportunities for camping, stargazing, photography, and hiking trails that traverse through multiple climates ranging from dry desert to mountain peaks with snowfall.
If you’re looking for a winter destination that combines warmth with adventure, book that plane ticket to Australia.
During the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months, it’s actually summer for Australia! In January, daily high temperatures are around 80°F, rarely falling below 71°F. With such warm ‘winter’ temperatures, it’s the perfect place to escape the cold and enjoy some of the most famous outdoor activities in the world.
Two of the most popular destinations for tourists in Australia are Melbourne and Sydney.
Melbourne is known as one of Australia’s cultural capitals, boasting some of the best museums, theatres, galleries and street art in the world. This city offers plenty of shopping opportunities along its main streets such as Chapel Street and Brunswick Street, as well as hidden gems like ACDC Lane or Block Arcade that should not be missed out on!
Sydney, of course, is an iconic Australian city that should be at the top of every traveler’s list. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Sydney Opera House, a world-famous building designed by Jørn Utzon. The Harbour Bridge is another must-see sight, known for spectacular views of the harbor and city skyline.
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is one of those trendy winter escapes that just hits the sweet spot for us locals. Like some others on this list, you’re not going to get tropical weather per se, but it’s going to be light cardigan weather at best!
We’re talking clear skies, crisp air, and temperatures that make you want to ditch the snow boots for flip-flops. Plus, it’s not just about the weather – Palm Springs in winter is a whole vibe.
Palm Canyon Drive is your one-stop-shop for everything Palm Springs. Stroll down the main drag to find shops, eateries, and that vintage charm the city is known for. Don’t miss the chance to snap a pic next to the famous “Palm Springs” sign while you’re there!
Just a stone’s throw away, Joshua Tree National Park is a desert dream. The unique landscapes, the quirky Joshua Trees, and those starry nights – it’s like nature’s version of a psychedelic trip.
If your visit coincides with a Thursday, don’t miss VillageFest. It’s like a street fair on steroids – local artists, food stalls, live music, and that infectious community vibe. It’s where Palm Springs comes alive.
For epic views of the Coachella Valley, hop on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The ride itself is an experience, and once you reach the top, you’ll be treated to sweet views. If you’re a plant lover (or just love a good Instagram backdrop), Moorten Botanical Garden is your spot. It’s a cactus wonderland, and you’ll probably leave with a few prickly pals of your own.
More on Palm Springs:
- 38 Awesome Things To Do On Your Palm Springs Road Trip
- 25 Awesome Things To Do In Palm Springs, California
- Joshua Tree National Park: The Perfect 1-Day Itinerary
Belize could easily be your next winter escape MVP. In the forecast? Clear skies, warm breezes, and no unpredictable downpour drama!
San Ignacio is where you feel the pulse of Belizean life – think massive local markets bursting with colors and flavors. And tasting Belizean street food? That’s an experience in itself!
Ambergris Caye is where you go to live out your tropical island dreams. Dive into vibrant marine life, hit the local beach bars – and did I mention the Belize Barrier Reef? It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason.
Caye Caulker is where time takes a chill pill. No cars, no hustle – just sandy streets, bike rides, and that classic Caribbean view at The Split. Feeling adventurous instead? Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave is your Indiana Jones moment. This is essential an ancient Mayan burial site inside a cave – adventure boots are required.
Hopkins, despite such a mundane name, is quite the eco-tourist destination! Here, you can get a taste of Garifuna culture with drumming, dancing, and soul-soothing music. Plus, it’s a coastal village, perfect for winding down with beachside vibes.
Chile is like a winter wonderland that’s been flying under the radar for far too long. Forget the traditional snowy scenes; Chile offers a winter that’s as diverse as its landscapes.
While everyone else you know is bundled up in layers, you could be savoring a sweet Chilean summer. Yup, December to March is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and Chile is basking in sunshine!
Santiago, the bustling capital, becomes a perfect blend of city life and summer vibes. Temperatures dance around 30°C to 35°C (86°F to 95°F), making it ideal for exploring the city’s colorful neighborhoods, indulging in some alfresco dining, and yes, enjoying a glass of chilled Chilean wine.
City life is nice and all, but the real magic happens when you venture beyond the cityscape. The Chilean Patagonia, usually known for its icy landscapes, transforms into a lush green paradise. Torres del Paine National Park becomes a hiker’s dream with trails offering dramatic peaks and blooming meadows for days.
For those seeking coastal charm, Valparaíso is a must-visit. This UNESCO World Heritage Site becomes an artsy haven in the Chilean summer. Colorful street art, bohemian vibes, and a creative energy that’ll have you feeling like you stumbled upon an open-air gallery.
For good wine during Chile’s harvest season (which takes place in winter), head to wine regions like Maipo Valley or Colchagua Valley.
San Diego, California
San Diego is another oddly specific Californian city on this list. But that’s because not every city in California has sunshine, beach vibes, and a perfect blend of chill and thrill. But SD does!
Imagine strolling along the Pacific shoreline with temperatures that make you question if winter is even a thing here. Spoiler alert: It’s not. Not really. You might need to throw on a light hoodie but trust me, you won’t be needing those heavy winter layers!
You could spend your day at Balboa Park, with its oodles of museums, gardens, and architecture that’ll have you reaching for your camera every two minutes.
Then there’s the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. This downtown gem is where local life meets nightlife. And we can’t talk about San Diego without mentioning the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Even in winter, this place is a hot ticket!
For some chill time, head to La Jolla Cove. Winter is prime time for seal and sea lion spotting. Trust me — those adorable creatures know how to steal the show. Plus, the coastal views are nothing short of breathtaking!
More on San Diego:
- 10 Best San Diego Neighborhoods To Visit On Your Trip
- 60 Fun-Filled Things To Do In Sunny San Diego, California
- 30 Exciting Things To Do In Downtown San Diego, CA
Let’s dive into why Argentina is like a winter paradise that’s been hiding in plain sight. While the Northern Hemisphere bundles up, Argentina is warming up for a winter fiesta.
First off, let’s chat about Buenos Aires, the heartbeat of Argentina. In the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, temperatures in the city dance around a delightful 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F).
It’s like the perfect weather for exploring the postcard-perfect historic neighborhoods, sipping yerba mate in the parks, and immersing yourself in the tango culture that permeates the streets.
Now, if you’re a wine enthusiast, Mendoza is calling your name. And let’s not forget about Salta. This northern gem, with its colonial architecture and vibrant markets, comes alive in winter. Can you imagine strolling through colorful plazas on a warm afternoon, sampling empanadas from local vendors, and feeling the warmth of Salteño hospitality?
Whether you’re looking for a foodie adventure, a tropical paradise, a luxury getaway, or an adventure-filled vacation, there’s likely a warm winter destination that fits your travel preferences to a tee.
I hope this post has inspired you to pick a new destination, book your flights, and head to one of these sunny destinations!
Looking for more travel tips? Read more:
- What to Pack for New York in Winter: 20 Essentials To Bring
- Visiting London In The Winter: 20 Essential Travel Tips You Need To Know
- 123 Bucket List Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii
- The Best Time To Visit Playa Del Carmen: A Month By Month Guide
- 14 Powerful Money-Saving Tips For Finding Cheap Flights
- 50 Brilliant Ways To Travel Europe On A Budget
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