Winter weather is almost upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. And while making snow angels and picking out Christmas trees is always fun, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that winter is often only fun for the first few weeks. After that, we all start dreaming of sunshine and summer and warmer locales.
If you are one of those people who only enjoys winter in small doses, then it's time to start thinking about your winter getaway.
Here are five destinations not too far from home where you can escape winter weather and (hopefully) soak up some vitamin D.
The American South
You don't even have to leave the United States in order to escape the cold winter weather. All you need to do is head south. Winter in the southern half of the U.S. isn't exactly tropical, but you also usually won't need to pack your parka. For some southern getaways with warmer weather, great history and food, look to cities like Savannah, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Both cities are extremely hot and humid during the summer months, but cool off and become comfortable and mild during the winter.
If you want a taste of a different culture without needing to pack your passport, consider flying to Puerto Rico for your winter getaway. This U.S. territory has Caribbean weather year-round, along with some great beaches, historical cities, and a Spanish influence that can be seen in everything from the architecture to the food. The best part is that you won't have to go through customs or convert currency if you're American.
Looking for even warmer weather? Keep heading south. Central American destinations like Costa Rica are becoming more and more popular with travelers, but I suggest setting your sights on Belize. It's slightly more affordable than Costa Rica, and yet still offers everything you could want. Visit San Ignacio to see some of the country's best Mayan ruins, and then visit one of the islands (Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are two of the most popular) for some relaxation.
If hot and tropical weather isn't exactly what you're after, consider heading across the Atlantic to Portugal. The southern parts of the country remain mild in the winter, and sunshine is usually not difficult to come by. Ring in the New Year in Lisbon, go wine tasting in Porto, or enjoy the beaches in the off-season in Algarve or the Azores.
And lastly... well, can you ever really go wrong with Hawaii? This Pacific island chain has a balmy temperature year-round, and a variety of islands to choose from means that you can tailor your getaway to be whatever you want it to be. Take a surf lesson on Waikiki Beach on Oahu, visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, take a helicopter tour of Kauai, or drive the Road to Hana on Maui. Winter is also the best time to spot migrating humpback whales in Hawaii (in case you needed another reason to visit).
And if you want to head even further afield? Well, just remember that the hemispheres have opposite seasons, so it will be summer just about everywhere in the Southern Hemisphere when it’s winter in the United States. You could visit the Red Center of Australia, see wildlife in the Galapagos Islands, or go on a safari in South Africa. Winter for us North Americans is also the dry, cooler season in places like Thailand, which is another great destination for those seeking warm weather and interesting culture.
Wherever you go to escape the snow and winter weather, just remember to pack the sunscreen.
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Amanda Williams and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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