Ah, Winter. The season notorious for its long, cold, and dark days is finally upon us. If you’d rather be sticking your toes in warm sand over wool socks, or sweating instead of shivering, you’re not alone. Twenty-three percent of Americans prefer to go on vacation during the winter with the biggest lure being getting away from the freezing and dreary weather that the season brings. If you’re planning a winter time getaway or just day dreaming about somewhere tropical, here are three destinations within the United States that are sure to entice you.
The first destination is an island getaway, literally. Santa Catalina Island, off the southern coast of California, is a popular vacation spot for many (1 million people every year to be exact). Just a one hour ferry ride from Long Beach, this secluded island boasts silvery-grey sand as a result of the land being rich in quartz. The Mediterranean climate makes for an average high temperature of 60 degrees in January, ensuring it to be the perfect spot for outdoor activities like journeying through the botanical gardens or strolling the streets and shops of the island’s biggest city, Avalon. Visitors also love exploring the clear waters and rainbow colored fish either by snorkeling, scuba diving, or glass bottom boat tours! Full of history as well, Santa Catalina Island is perfect for a relaxing yet enriching vacation.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement out of your getaway, this next spot will be perfect to add to your list! Key West in the Florida Keys has culture, spectacular sunset views, and an incredible night life. Closer to Havana, Cuba than to Miami, Key West is the southernmost city within the United States. Immerse yourself in the Cuban culture with live Cuban music, Cuban cigars, and famous Cuban sandwiches. Another alluring aspect of this city is the sunset celebration on Mallory Square. Both locals and tourists gather here to watch street performers in a celebration of the spectacularly beautiful views of the sunset every night. Like I mentioned before, if nightlife is something you’re looking forward to on your getaway, Key West is the perfect spot for you, as residents and visitors alike are notorious for having a little *too* much fun in the sun. This subtropical paradise hosts an average of 75.8 degrees in January, making it the perfect cultural destination for your winter time getaway.
The largest vacation spot on our list is a city consisting of over one million residents. Oahu, Hawaii is a city with a never ending list of places to explore, history to get lost in, and natural attractions to enjoy. The surfing mecca of the world, Oahu is known for its amazing weather (an average high of 78 degrees in January!) and the most beautiful beaches in the country. If hiking is more of your thing than scuba diving or surfing, Diamond’s Head trail leads you right up and around the edge of the Diamond’s Head volcano! History buffs are also drawn to the island as they can explore Pearl Harbor and Lolani Palace. Oahu deserves a spot on your travel list as it is the perfect place to experience the balance of a bustling city and relaxing, sparkling beaches!
Whether you’re planning your next winter time getaway or just day dreaming about somewhere warm to beat those notorious winter blues, Santa Catalina Island, Key West, and Oahu are three incredibly beautiful, exciting, and serene slices of paradise within the U.S. that are waiting to be explored!