17 Best USA Winter Holiday Destinations for sun lovers

Are you looking for the top destinations for a winter vacation in the USA? The US has a wide variety of winter travel destinations for both, those who love the snow and the sun. Read now to explore America’s best cities and destinations where it stays warm in the winter. Also Read 33 Best Places to Visit in the USA.

Recently I read that over 25 million people travel each year during the Thanksgiving holiday. And the same goes for Christmas as well as New Year’s. And this continues well into early spring!

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for traveling.

Stands to reason, some of our best vacations and road trips have been during the Holidays, whether it was our amazing 10 days in California vacation or Las Vegas to Grand Canyon road trip or spending Christmas in New York

The best part about a domestic vacation? It’s often cheaper than international holidays, you don’t need a passport, and you can fit in the vacation even if you have less time off.

However, the holiday season also means winter in the USA and many popular destinations are super cold.

Then how do you decide where to go for the holidays? Here’s a useful guide for picking the best warm-weather winter destinations in the USA depending on your interests.

Spend time on the beach in winter

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Best warm weather USA holiday destinations to visit in the winter

Readers often ask us where to vacation in winter that is warm. Many people wish to escape the snow and chilly winds that prevail in many parts of the country in winter.

While North East, the Midwest, and Pacific Northwest have cold winters with lots of snow, the American Southwest and Southeastern states have mild winters.

Consider a vacation to either Hawaii or Puerto Rico for a tropical beach getaway. Here are our favorite winter holiday destinations for sun-seekers.

New Orleans

Our favorite warm-weather winter getaway! We have been to NOLA for the last three winters with our kids and love it there.

Contrary to what you may hear, NOLA is very family-friendly. Nothing beats eating warm beignets and drinking hot Cafe Au Lait at Cafe du Monde, the famous New Orleans eatery, in the winter.

After that, it’s time for a romantic walk around the French Quarter and admiring its charming architecture.

The wrap-around balconies and hanging plants and ferns are very photogenic. If you visit during the holiday season, you can see Christmas decor on the balconies. 

We would recommend taking your time exploring the French Quarter. Step into boutique stores and check out the many bars in the area.

Don’t forget to see the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral and its interior and visit the Louisiana state museums and Mardi Gras museums adjacent to the cathedral.

People watch in Jackson Square and listen to Jazz on Frenchman Street. Try a hot gumbo – it’s the ultimate winter comfort food – and check out Magazine Street.

Ride the famous NOLA streetcars and explore the cemeteries and mansions of the Garden District. 

Travel Tips for New Orleans in winter

We love staying near the French Quarter or in Mid City which is close enough to the quarter but relatively quiet.

Packing for New Orleans in winter is easy. The city has mild winter weather – and while it can feel windy and chilly, it never gets freezing.

A light coat is usually enough to keep us warm in New Orleans though we recommend packing a warm hat for the wind blowing from the Mississippi.

To plan your trip to New Orleans, read our 3 days in NOLA itinerary now. 

New Orleans is fun for the family

Key West & the Florida Keys

While Florida has many great winter sun destinations, Key West and the Florida Keys are among the best ones.

Key West is the southernmost city in the mainland US and as such enjoys a mild tropical climate.

While you can fly directly to Key West, we would recommend going on a Miami Key West road trip.

This is one of the best road trips in the country and the views along the way are stunning.

The road trip also allows you to enjoy the many attractions in the upper keys including John Pennekamp State Park, the Rain barrel Artisan Village the Turtle Hospital, and more. 

Another must-stop is Bahia Honda State Park. The park has a beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear water – in fact, the beach ranks among the best in the country.

At the end of your trip, you will find Key West, a colorful and delightful city with a bohemian vibe. We would recommend exploring Key West Old Town and the Historic Seaport.

Also, do not miss the legendary sunset celebration in Mallory Square. This is one of the best spots in the country to spend New Year’s Eve and you can follow it up by bar hopping on Duval Street.

If you have more time, consider a day trip to the remote Dry Tortugas National Park and have fun snorkeling in the water. 

Travel tips for visiting the Keys in winter

Visitors seeking to escape show flock to Key West during the winter and so you need to book your accommodations pretty early on.

Another reason winter is such a great time to visit the Keys is that hurricane season is over and the water is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Winter temperatures in Key West usually hover around 70-75F. To plan your Florida Keys road trip, read our post on 25 Awesome stops on the Miami Key West road trip

Old Town Key West

San Antonio

San Antonio is the perfect holiday destination – warm, romantic, and reminiscent of Europe.

Every trip to San Antonio begins at the San Antonio Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a beautifully landscaped urban waterway and the city’s premier tourist attraction.

Shops, restaurants, and pubs line the Riverwalk. We love strolling along the Riverwalk and walking over the charming bridges.

The San Antonio river cruises are another popular way to explore the Riverwalk.

During the holiday season, the Riverwalk is lit up by a million lights and looks magical. Dining on the Riverwalk restaurants is also a fun experience.

San Antonio’s other famous attraction is the Alamo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This Historic Spanish Mission and fortress was critical to the Texas Independence struggle and is the #1 tourist site in the state.

The city also has 4 other missions which are much bigger and less crowded compared to the Alamo.

San Antonio is also the perfect family destination with attractions such as the San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Sea World, and the Natural Bridge Wildlife Caverns located nearby.

Travel tips to plan your winter getaway to San Antonio

Planning a trip to San Antonio is quite simple. Just stay in a hotel by the Riverwalk and explore the city on foot. If you are visiting between the peak holiday season, then we recommend making advance reservations.

It can get chilly so bring along a light packable jacket and winter accessories and you should be good to go.

San Antonio Riverwalk


The winter is a great time to visit Miami – the city is known for year-round sunshine and has many great things to do in December.

Miami is perfect for everyone from solo travelers and couples – think rooftop bars and pool parties – to families. There is a lot of art and culture in Miami.

To plan your Miami trip, read our 3 Days in Miami itinerary now.

Art enthusiasts can enjoy the artwork and sculptures at the free Institute of Contemporary Art.

Check out the art deco architecture in South Beach and go for a ride along Ocean Drive.

Another must are the colorful murals at Wynwood Walls – this is undoubtedly the most Instagrammed spot in Miami. After you have had your fill of the art attractions, spend the day shopping in the Design District. 

And off course, you need to enjoy sun and sand on South Beach. Kids especially love splashing in the water and building sandcastles.

Strolling along the Lincoln Road Mall is another popular activity in the area. There are many eateries and cafes along the pedestrian mall.

For a great side trip, check out the stunning Coral Castle in Homestead or visit the Miami Zoo.

While you are in Miami, don’t forget to explore the neighborhood of Little Havana, home to Miami’s Cuban population. Here you will find Cuban eateries, cafes selling amazing Cuban coffee, and the popular Domino Park. 

Miami in December travel tips

The winter temperatures stay steady around 75 F.

The water is cold but that doesn’t stop visitors from swimming in the Miami Beach area. So we would recommend packing in a swimsuit for your winter trip to Miami.

As for accommodations, stay in the downtown area and use the free Metromover to get around. 

Enjoy winter in Miami Beach (Photo – Pixabay)


Houston has everything you need to escape the snow – nearby beaches, amazing museums, lots of green spaces, and the famous Texas barbeque cuisine.

Begin your trip by visiting the popular Houston Museum District and Hermann Park area.

Art lovers should visit the free Contemporary Arts Museum or the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. If you or your kids love dinosaurs or mummies then a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science is essential.

We also love visiting the Cockrell Butterfly Center and big exhibit situated in the same complex. The beautiful tropical plants and colorful butterflies inside the exhibit will light up any dreary winter day. 

Hermann Park is also a great place to spend the day outdoors. Visit the tranquil Japanese Garden and see Houston’s own reflecting pool.

Families will love riding on the Hermann Park train and visiting the big Houston Zoo.

Space enthusiasts need to visit Space Center Houston (NASA) and take a tour of the mission control room and astronaut training facility. There are also many space exhibits and games for kids making this a great place to spend a couple of hours.

While in Houston, consider a day trip to Galveston. You can spend a day at the Schlitterbahn waterpark or see the holiday lights at Moody Gardens.

Have fun at the retro rides and games at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier or walk along the Seafront Promenade. 

How to plan Houston winter vacation

Winters in Houston are mostly cool and dry. The day temperature mostly remains a comfortable 60-65F but can drop near freezing at night.

We recommend packing a jacket for the nights and layering up during the day.

Also, if you are visiting Houston then you need to rent a car – the city is very big and attractions are spread out all over the city.

We recommend staying either near the Museum District or the hip and trendy Galleria area.

Houston’s famous Water Wall

Big Sur

Big Sur is the gem of California’s Central Coast. The 90 miles long coastal region can be accessed on an amazing Pacific Coast Highway (SR1) road trip from either Los Angeles or San Francisco.

The holiday season is one of the best times to visit Big Sur. Prices are low and crowds drop, giving you a chance to enjoy solitude on the beach and on hiking trails. Big Sur has enough attractions and hiking trails to last for a week.

Some of our favorite state parks and nature reserves in Big Sur include Point Lobos, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Garrapata State Park. 

Must things to see in Big Sur include the McWay Falls, Bixby Creek Bridge, and the Keyhole Arch Rock.

We also love spending time at the Sand Dollar beach and enjoying the wind at Hurricane Point.

The winter is also the best time to visit to see wildlife along Big Sur. Bring along a pair of binoculars and you might see gray whales migrating to Mexico.

Stop at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery to see elephant seals and pups. Keep an eye out on the water for sea otters and explore tide pools for mussels, anemones, crabs, and other tide pool creatures. 

Tips for planning Big Sur winter trip

Winter in Big Sur means lots of deals on lodging. However, the peak days from Christmas to New Year are some of the busiest, so if planning a trip during this time then book your accommodations in advance.

Temperatures drop quite a bit inland but not so much on the coast – you still need to carry jackets for wind and rain and be prepared for unexpected road closures.

Do not plan to drive after dark as the road twists and turns quite a bit. Read our post on Pacific Highway Road Trip through Big Sur, to plan your vacation.

Big Sur (Photo –CC 2.0 / sranson)

San Diego

San Diego is the ultimate Southern California winter escape.

Sunny temperatures, stunning beaches, and historic buildings. Start your day in Balboa Park. Take a stroll admiring the beautiful Spanish Colonial architecture or step inside one of the museums.

Next visit the Historic Gaslamp District and Old Town San Diego.

Also, you must visit Coronado Island for fantastic views of the San Diego Bay and sunning on the beautiful Coronado Beach.

For dreamy and romantic sunset views, visit La Jolla beach. San Diego is also a food lovers paradise. 

The city has excellent holiday celebrations including an ice skating rink, parades, and more if you happen to visit just before Christmas.

Whale watching tours are also quite popular in winter – you get to spend the day on the water plus watch migrating whales.

For something off the beaten path, consider day trips to Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the famous Galleta Meadows sculptures in the desert.

Kids will love visiting the San Diego Sea World. Hikers will love the trails in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

All in all, San Diego is the perfect winter escape for those who want to escape the snow and harsh temperatures. 

Winter vacation tips for San Diego

Expect lower than usual hotel prices and crowds except for peak holidays.

While packing, be prepared for rain and clouds.

The temperatures will be comfortable but that doesn’t ensure a sunny time.

Swimming in the Pacific in winter is not for everyone – if you are an avid swimmer, we would recommend wetsuits.

To plan your trip to San Diego and surrounding areas, read our post on Southern California itinerary.

Historic Gaslamp Quarter (CC 2.0 –  © BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons)

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the ultimate US winter getaway. It has everything from beaches, laid back Southern California lifestyle, Hollywood attractions, as well as art, culture, and cuisine.

Start your trip on Hollywood Blvd at the Walk of Fame and find your favorite movie stars. See the Kodak theatre, then drive up to the Griffith Observatory.

We recommend seeing the Griffith Observatory – it has many fascinating exhibits including Foucault’s pendulum.

Views of Los Angeles from the Observatory are superb. On your way, see the Hollywood sign.

Spend evenings at Venice Beach or Santa Monica Pier and do not forget to visit the beautiful LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). 

If you have time to spare, take a movie studio tour or visit Universal Studios for a day trip.

While you are in the Greater Los Angeles area, you should visit Disney. Anaheim is home to two Disney parks – Disneyland and California Disney Adventure.

Disneyland is perfect for meeting with the characters and basic rides while Adventure Park has the cool roller coasters and movie-themed areas.

Basically, if you have younger kids stick to Disneyland. Older kids will love both as will adults of all ages. We visited Disney on Christmas Day and loved the festive decor and atmosphere.

How to plan Los Angeles winter vacation

Los Angeles is very popular in winter and the key to having a great vacation is planning, planning, and planning.

Book your hotels and tours well in advance. The traffic is chaotic, so don’t plan on driving or taking a cab.

Even picking an eatery for lunch is hard since LA has many gorgeous ones.

We would suggest planning everything down to the details including deciding and reserving restaurants to have a smooth trip. Read our 2 Days in Los Angeles itinerary to plan your trip.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles


Honolulu makes the perfect tropical winter vacation for those who want an island getaway but still travel domestically.

Winter in Hawaii is colorful and vibrant – you will be able to see a lot of colorful tropical flowers including hibiscus and experience the famous Hawaiian hospitality.

Some of the best things to do in Hawaii include sunning on Waikiki Beach, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, and hiking in Diamond Head State Park.

You should also visit the Honolulu Chinatown and try local produce as well as street food. 

Families should definitely visit the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium, both located near Waikiki Beach.

In Downtown Honolulu, visit the famous Iolani Palace, Hawaii State Capitol, etc.

Also must visit is the Pearl Harbor Memorial, dedicated to the lives lost in the Japanese attack during WWII. You may not have a white Christmas but Honolulu does put on a great Christmas lights show and has a large decorated Christmas tree.

Many other holiday-themed events also take place in the city. Winter is a wonderful time to watch humpback whales. 

How to book your Hawaii winter vacation

Honolulu and Hawaii are located in the tropical zone and the weather doesn’t change as much in winter.

Winter lasts from November to April and May be wet but the temperature still remains a comfortable 75 F.

We recommend packing in a light rain jacket or umbrella to enjoy your time in Honolulu in the winter months.

Between Christmas and New Year, hotels are at their highest rates – the only solution is to book well in advance and stay in the Waikiki Beach area. 

The beach is perfect to escape winter

San Francisco

Yet another winter sun destination in California! San Francisco is one of our favorite cities to visit year-round and in winter it is quite spectacular.

The holiday atmosphere is infectious and the weather is perfect to explore this beautiful city. Of course, you have to start at the Golden Gate Bridge.

The landmark American icon has been inspirational to many and is an engineering marvel. You can drive or walk the bridge but if you ask us, there’s nothing like biking it.

We have biked it twice – once pre-kids and once with our 2 under 4 in tow and it was great fun both times.

On the way, you will see excellent views of the bridge from various angles, ride along the beach, go over the bridge itself, and finally bike into the charming town of Sausalito where a ferry will be waiting to take you back.

Or you can continue all the way up to Tiburon and see Redwoods along the way.

Other popular things to see in San Francisco include Lombard Street, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, shopping in Union Square and the views from Twin Peaks.

Don’t forget to eat the famous clam chowder soup and visit Alcatraz Island. We also love visiting San Francisco Chinatown and eating dumplings and dim sums.

You also need to ride the famous San Francisco cable cars and see the sea lions at Pier 39.

Art and architecture lovers should visit the Palace of Fine Arts.

For a great food hall, visit the Ferry Building Marketplace. San Francisco is also a great base for day trips to Point Reyes, Silicon Valley, and Muir Woods National Monument.

San Francisco also makes a perfect base for a Northern California road trip.

Tips for planning San Francisco winter escape

Be prepared for cold and wind, after all, San Francisco is in northern California.

Places like Coit Tower and Twin Peaks will be especially windy and you will likely encounter Karl, the famous San Francisco fog.

The Bay area has many microclimates so it can be sunny and warm one day and frigid cold the next.

We would recommend packing for all possibilities, dressing in layers, and keeping a light jacket on hand even on warmer winter days.

Also, book your hotels way in advance – we have found it almost impossible to get a cheap hotel in San Francisco. 

Golden Gate bridge

Puerto Rico

To get a taste of the Caribbean without leaving the country, try planning a trip to Puerto Rico this holiday season.

While Puerto Rico is a perfect cruise destination, we would recommend spending more time to explore beyond the popular attractions.

Base yourself in the city of San Juan and enjoy the unique Spanish African cultural blend of the city.

Old San Juan with its cobblestone streets and pretty pastel-colored Spanish Colonial architecture is perfect for exploring on foot.

You must also visit the massive San Cristobal fortress, which enjoys commanding views of the ocean.

Puerto Rico is also famous for its tropics influenced island cuisine.

Puerto Rico has many interesting excursions outside San Juan. Visit the bioluminescent bay of Laguna Grande which glows in the night.

Hike the El Yunque rainforest to see a variety of wildlife species.

You can also easily book a snorkeling or scuba diving tour to see the marine life.

Other unique things to do in Puerto Rico include taking dance lessons, cooking classes, and shopping in local markets.

Any trip to Puerto Rico is incomplete without spending time on the white sand Caribbean beaches and drinking Pina Colada, the famous drink which is said to have originated here. 

Tips for planning Puerto Rico winter escape

Puerto Rico is not only about beaches. It also has beautiful rainforests and mountains where the temperature is about 20 degrees lower than the coast.

If your trip is limited to the coastal areas then pack for 70-75F but if you are going to visit the mountainous regions, then we would suggest layering up and carrying a lightweight jacket for the cold and wind. 

For booking a resort escape, try the Isla Verde area. Also, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico pretty hard so some areas are still recovering. 

An island escape

Las Vegas

We are always confused about whether to call Las Vegas a warm winter or cold-weather getaway.

For folks coming in from the Midwest and Northeast, Vegas is definitely warmer. But for people like us, who fly in from the south, Vegas can feel freezing. Heck, it even snowed in Las Vegas last year, though it’s a rare occurrence.

However, any way you look at it, Las Vegas is undoubtedly the king of holiday season travel for a number of reasons: cheap airfare, hotel deals, many free attractions, and a great base for exploring the American Southwest.

We have been to Las Vegas thrice in winter now and have had a great time exploring the city and surrounding areas. 

In the city, spend time on the Strip at night. Just walk around admiring the city lights and glitter and step inside whichever casinos you find fascinating.

Try your hand at gambling and check out the free attractions including the Bellagio Fountains. See the shows – Cirque du Soleil is the most popular one – and eat at a Vegas buffet. We love the Paris Paris buffet most of all.

Party through the night and paint the town red. It’s true, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Read our post on the Best Things to do in Las Vegas on your first visit for more ideas.

After you have had your fill of the awesomeness that is Vegas, visit the nearby areas. Some of the best US National Parks are located close to Las Vegas including Death Valley National Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park.

Tips for planning Las Vegas vacation

We would recommend keeping aside plenty of time.

Las Vegas has an awesome location and we always plan a 4 to 7-day road trip from Las Vegas.

You can explore Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks or do the Antelope Canyon Grand Canyon loop or drive to Los Angeles via Death Valley. 

Las Vegas strip


Orlando is the perfect family fun destination to visit in the winter.

The city is famous for its many theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

If you have small kids who want to meet Mickey Mouse and friends and the Princesses, then there’s nothing better than Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Harry Potter fans will love the Hogsmeade recreation in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Movie fans should visit either Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Universal Studios or both!

SeaWorld Orlando is a great option for those who are interested in aquatic rides and watching the marine life.

Legoland is the place to take your Lego crazy kids! Orlando’s theme parks are not just for kids.

Couples will love visiting Epcot and trying out various cuisines and drinks from around the world. 

For those days that you won’t spend in the theme parks, Orlando has plenty to offer for all age groups.

Spend a day at the Lake Eola Park and admire views of downtown Orlando.

The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is also a great place to spend time outdoors and spot Florida’s wetland animals and birds like tortoises, bald eagles, etc. Space enthusiasts will love to go to the Kennedy Space Center.

The Charles Homer Morse Museum of American Art has a stunning Tiffany glass collection.

The museum is located in the Downtown community of Winter Park which is a great area to take a stroll and explore. Disney

Springs is also a great place to go if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still get your Disney fix. 

How to plan an Orlando winter getaway

If you primarily want to visit the theme parks, then pick up your tickets in advance and arrive as early as possible to escape the holiday crowds.

It can get crazy busy at Disney around Christmas but is also so much fun with holiday-themed decor and attractions!

Stay near to your choice of theme parks instead of staying at a park resort to save money.

Orlando Magic Kingdom (Photo – Pixabay)

US Virgin Islands

Sparkling white-sand Caribbean beaches, swaying palm trees, crystal clear water, lots of marine life – what is not to like about the US Virgin Islands?

The islands are a great winter escape for folks who live in the northern USA.

The US Virgin Islands are actually a group of three islands – St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Each of the islands offers something unique and is easily accessible via ferry. 

If you like people watching at busy beaches, resorts, and lots of water sports then St. Thomas is your best bet.

For couples looking for secluded beaches and families looking to hike, snorkel, and explore the great outdoors, St John is perfect.

St. Croix is for those who like to meet locals, see local life, and enjoy local flavors. St. Croix also has a lot of colonial architecture and run distilleries which you can tour.

For a little of something, base yourself on one island and take a ferry to the others. Or island-hop all the time on your vacation. The choice is yours! 

Visiting the USVI in winter

The holiday season is a peak travel season for the US Virgin Islands. You need to book your accommodations as early as a year in advance to get the best rates.

Some last-minute deals are also available but they can get snagged up pretty quickly – so always be on the lookout.

Temperatures will stay comfortable in the 70s throughout your stay. Pack a light jacket for any sudden dips or storms. 

St. Thomas (Photo – Pixabay)


For a magical holiday experience without the crowds that bigger cities attract, try visiting Savannah.

This city off the southern coast is the perfect winter getaway for history buffs as well as couples looking for romance.

Very few places in the country are quite as southern as Savannah – large antebellum mansions, Spanish oak draped live oaks, delightful public squares, fried green tomatoes, okra, and alligator bites on restaurant menus – the city has it all.

We would recommend starting your Savannah trip in the Historic District and strolling along Bull Street.

Check out the historic buildings including the City Hall, US Customs House, the famous Johnson Square, and Chippewa Square.

Bull Street and the historic district are also perfect to explore from a romantic horse-drawn carriage tour. 

For the iconic image of Savannah with the central fountain surrounded by large trees, visit the famous Forsyth Park.

The park is also great for a stroll among the large trees. Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery is charming and worth a visit.

You must also visit the City Market for lunch or dinner and the Civil Rights Museum to understand the history of slavery in Georgia.

Those who love war history should visit the Air Force Museum or if you need the exact name, The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.

It has several exhibits on WWII history and is generally considered one of the top military museums in the USA. 

Tips for visiting Savannah in winter

Winter weather in Savannah is complex: it is cold and humid but still sunny.

You definitely need long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a light jacket for layering.

As for accommodation, stay downtown in the Historic District to be close to all the major attractions.

Forsyth Park, Savannah (Photo – Pixabay)

Tampa Bay area

If you are seeking a winter vacation in Florida’s Gulf Coast then the Tampa Bay area is a great option.

Start your visit with a stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk and visit the Parkesdale Farm Market for fresh citrus produce.

Visit the Tampa Museum of Art or enjoy ice skating at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. If you are a fan of street shopping and flea markets, then you must visit the Big Top Flea Market.

Spend a day riding the many roller coasters at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Other unique activities in the area include water biking to see the town from the water and canoeing/kayaking at Hillsborough River State Park. Couples will enjoy attending an orchestra or opera performance at the Straz Center. 

Tampa Bay area also has many great day trips along Florida’s Gulf Coast. To enjoy Greek culture and cuisine, consider a trip north to the charming town of Tarpon Springs and it’s Historic Sponge Docks.

Clearwater Beach with its stunning white sand beach and big aquarium is a perfect destination for families. Visit the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg or Dinosaur World in Plant City.

Sanibel Island is another great day trip where you can enjoy beaches and marine life together. Visit the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see wildlife or enjoy beachcombing at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park. 

Tips for planning Tampa Bay area winter holiday vacation

Tampa and the surrounding areas generally enjoy warm temperatures and sunshine even in December and January the worst winter months.

The weather is perfect to enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities without getting sweaty. Read our post on Best places to visit on Florida’s Gulf Coast for holiday travel inspiration.

Tarpon Springs is a great day trip from Tampa

Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park

Consider a visit to Southern California and it’s desert to escape the cold chilly winter nights.

The Greater Palm Springs area has the perfect winter weather. For hotter weather base yourself in Palm Desert or consider staying in downtown Palm Springs for mild temperatures.

Enjoy your gateway in Palm Springs by indulging in shopping, trying out world-class restaurants, and enjoying the cultural scene.

Palm Springs also has many kid-friendly attractions including the Children’s Museum and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. 

While you visit Palm Springs, you need to make a day trip out to Joshua Tree National Park.

This unique national park comprises of two different desert ecosystems and you will be able to see a variety of cacti, palm trees, yucca trees, and desert plants like the ocotillos.

Joshua Tree has many excellent day hikes and is good for rock scrambling. Other nearby attractions in the Greater Palm Springs area include camping near Cahuilla Lake and visiting the Salton Sea.

Palm Springs family holiday vacation planning tips

Palm Springs is very popular in winter with folks residing in the Los Angeles urban area and hence accommodations and flights can get booked out several days in advance.

We recommend planning your trip as early as possible to get the best rates. While flying into Plan Springs is expensive, Los Angeles or San Antonio both make excellent alternative airports to reach Palm Springs.

See our post on Southern California road trip itinerary covering Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Salton Sea, Cabazon, and more to plan your holiday vacation to Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is a great winter getaway

Did you like our post on Best Usa winter holiday destinations? Did we miss any gorgeous beach or an awesome city that stays warm year-round? Let us know in the comments.