Winter is a great time to explore the USA and experience its diverse climates and cultures. Although Miami, Key West, and Orlando may be popular winter destinations, Florida is also one of the top places to retire. That means it can get mighty crowded.
Fortunately, many other incredible places in the USA are perfect for a holiday season or winter getaway. To help you plan, here are five must-visit warm winter destinations in the USA that aren’t Florida.
As you’ll soon discover, you can find something to explore no matter what type of vacation you’re looking for.
Why Should You Go South for the Winter?
Going south for the winter can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only will you enjoy a warmer climate and beautiful scenery, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore a new culture.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, a fun road trip, or an adventurous exploration, heading south is sure to provide something memorable.
From outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and hiking, to cultural events like live music festivals, art galleries, and local cuisine, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained. Plus, heading south means saying goodbye to harsh winter weather like snow and icy roads.
Many people simply don’t like to drive in the winter, and going south provides a safer and more enjoyable experience. In addition, the reduced cost of food and accommodations can be a huge plus when traveling in winter.
Think about what you typically spend on winter activities and the price of heating your home during those cold winter months. Heading south for the new year can be a great way to save money and make the most out of your vacation. Think about how much more Santa will be able to bring during Christmas!
Another significant reason people choose to go south for the winter is to escape from aches, pains, and illnesses. With sunny days and warm temperatures, you can enjoy outdoor activities that are simply impossible when it’s cold outside.
Plus, the therapeutic benefits of vitamin D (produced in your skin when exposed to sunshine) make winter getaways even more enjoyable.
No matter your reason for heading south this winter, you can be sure it will provide a unique and rewarding experience.
What Are the Best Winter Destinations in the USA?
1. Savannah, Georgia
Its historic downtown district is lined with picturesque parks, cobblestone streets, and magnificent architecture that captivate visitors of all ages.
In addition to the city’s natural beauty, Savannah is home to some of the best restaurants in the South. Try local favorites like shrimp and grits, sweet potato pancakes, or crab cakes.
After a delicious meal, head out for an unforgettable experience. Visit one of the many attractions like the Bonaventure Cemetery, Forsyth Park, or the SCAD Museum of Art.
You can also take a riverboat cruise on the Savannah River or enjoy an evening horse-drawn carriage ride—the perfect way to see this incredible city in style! Take some time to explore and discover why Savannah is one of the best places to go South during the winter. Not to mention, the average temperatures in Savannah in Winter are in the mid-60s.
From its stunning attractions to its delicious food, Savannah, Georgia, has something for everyone. Foodies will love that southern barbecue. Don’t let the winter blues keep you home this year — escape to Savannah and make some incredible memories.
2. Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu, Hawaii, is the perfect place to escape the cold of winter and relax in exchange for warm places and plenty of sunshine. With an endless selection of white sand beaches, hikes, and hotels, you’ll never run out of activities to do.
Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay at one of Oahu’s world-class resorts or enjoy more laid-back vibes with a smaller hotel or rental property, you’ll find something that fits your budget and style.
You can spend a day exploring the diverse natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands or take a tour to learn more about the rich cultural history of Oahu or the rest of Hawaii, like Waimea, Honolulu, Maui, or Kauai. With an average high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, you will be sure to warm up this winter.
You’ll find breathtaking waterfalls, beautiful beaches, high temperatures, palm trees, and more — everything a snowbird could want to escape the winter temperatures.
And don’t forget to take advantage of the incredible local restaurants, which serve delicious dishes with the freshest ingredients. Oahu has something to offer no matter what you’re looking for in a winter getaway.
There is a wealth of the best beaches, lush rainforests, vibrant markets, and spectacular sunsets. Try snorkeling; you may even see sea turtles and other incredible sea creatures.
So you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in Oahu. Make your winters warmer with a trip to Oahu — it’s the perfect place to go south during the winter.
3. San Juan, Puerto Rico
If you want to avoid the dangers of winter driving and the cold temperatures in the northern states, then San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an ideal destination for your winter beach vacation.
With year-round warm weather, there’s no need to worry about icy roads, and you can enjoy the pristine beaches, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife in Old San Juan without worrying about staying warm.
Spend your days relaxing on the beach, exploring the city’s historical sites, or enjoying some of the island’s delicious cuisine. Whatever you decide to do, San Juan has something for everyone to enjoy and create lifelong memories.
If you have a family, the island is home to many activities that both adults and children can enjoy, such as snorkeling in clear water, boat tours, whale watching, and more.
At night, you can dance the night away at one of old town’s many clubs or take in some local culture with traditional Puerto Rican music. With so much to do, you’ll never have a dull moment in San Juan during this warm winter getaway.
So if you’re looking for somewhere to escape the cold weather and enjoy a tropical paradise, San Juan is one of the best warm winter vacation destinations. It’s time to check Puerto Rico off your bucket list.
4. San Diego, California
San Diego makes for an ideal destination for a winter getaway. With its mild climate, San Diego boasts plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures that make it an ideal place to escape from the cold. With plenty of cacti and sunshine, you may not even feel like it's winter at all.
This southern California city has something for everyone — from miles of pristine sandy beaches to world-class attractions like SeaWorld and LEGOLAND. So if you have kids, they’ll never get bored. And if you’re looking to relax, there are plenty of spas and resorts where you can enjoy a massage or indulge in a day trip for a spa treatment.
The area also has a wealth of cultural attractions, like the San Diego Museum of Art and the Balboa Park Zoo. And, of course, there are plenty of delicious dining options, from fancy restaurants to casual bistros.
So whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend with your partner or an adventurous family getaway, San Diego has something for everyone. With its unbeatable weather and plethora of activities, it’s no wonder why San Diego is one of the best places to go south during this time of year.
5. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona, is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the winter chill and enjoy some much-needed sunshine. Located in northern Arizona’s Red Rock Country, Sedona’s stunning scenery of majestic red rocks and surrounding mountain ranges will take your breath away.
In addition to its natural beauty, Sedona has plenty of activities you can enjoy throughout the winter. Visit one of the nearby biking and hiking trails and take in the spectacular views, explore the area’s art galleries and museums, or even go on a Jeep tour through Sedona’s picturesque backcountry.
After a day in nature, you can relax with some spa treatments, visit an outdoor cafe for dinner, or simply soak up the stunning sunsets that Sedona has to offer.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or an adventurous outdoor retreat, Sedona is the perfect place to go during the winter. So come on down and explore all that this unique destination has to offer.
While we agree the above locations are top-notch, we would be remiss not to mention a few Southern standouts:
- Austin, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Joshua Tree National Park, California
- Phoenix, Arizona
How Should You Prepare To Go South?
When preparing to go south, you should keep a few things in mind. Make sure you have the right travel documents and check your destination's local laws and regulations. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with your destination's climate and weather conditions before departure.
You also want to pack accordingly. Bring items that can help you protect yourself from the sun and heat, such as a hat and sunscreen. Ensure you also have the right clothing for the climate, including light-colored clothes to stay cool.
Lastly, arrange to have your car shipped to your destination with Carvaygo. At Carvaygo, we understand the needs of travelers and offer a convenient and reliable service to get your car safely to your destination.
We guarantee secure transport for your vehicle so you can focus on the fun of your journey. So don’t worry about getting to your destination without a car — let Carvaygo take care of it for you.
The Bottom Line
Going south for the winter can be a great adventure, but it’s important to be prepared. Contact Carvaygo today and let us ship your car for a hassle-free journey. With our secure and reliable service, you can focus on the fun of your trip and leave the logistics to us!