8 Warm Weather Winter Destinations for a Sunny Getaway

published Jan 25, 2023
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Winter is the perfect season for a rejuvenating getaway, as the colder weather makes everyone want to stay in and hibernate. People love to use this quieter time of the year to take a warm-weather getaway, whether that’s a Caribbean island, bustling city, or off-the-beaten path destination.

That’s why I’m sharing eight distinct destinations around the world for every budget that will offer more than just a sunny escape. You’ll make a host of unforgettable memories with your partner, family, friends, or even just yourself that may just turn your trip into an annual getaway. Plus, you’ll have plenty of new pictures to adorn the walls that will make for a happier home year-round.

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California Wine Country

If you’re seeking sunshine but don’t want to head for the tropics, a long weekend in one of California’s wine regions could be just the ticket. Whether you prefer luxurious Napa, hip Sonoma, or the quieter Santa Ynez Valley, a wine country getaway will leave you enlightened and refreshed from a visit to one of these bucolic areas. 

Save: Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort in Calistoga is an affordable pick for wine lovers who are also seeking a bit of rejuvenation. Guests will enjoy their pick of room or house accommodations as well as ample wellness facilities that include mud baths, mineral pools, and outdoor treatment rooms. 

Splurge: MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Sonoma and offers a luxurious slice of organic California elegance, plus a fabulous culinary program. Book one of the Garden Spa Suites for a covetable outdoor bathroom setup. 

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The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is as far south as you can get without a passport, so it’s a popular choice for a warm winter escape. From buzzy Key West to more secluded stays you can only reach by boat, this is a choose-your-own-adventure trip that may just have you coming back again year after. 

Save: Southernmost Beach Resort is one of the best values on Key West, as it’s just a 5-minute walk to lively Duvall Street while offering a stellar range of amenities, such as on-site beach access, three heated pools, and recently renovated rooms and suites with all the bells and whistles. You’ll be amazed what you can get for the price.

Splurge: Little Palm Island Resort & Spa also received a recent refresh and is as luxurious and romantic as ever. This all-inclusive, adults-only resort is located on America’s only private island and offers dozens of activities and adventures from sailing and scuba diving to seaplane trips to the Dry Tortugas. 

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Mexico has become a top travel destination for foodies, wellness enthusiasts, and of course, those seeking sunshine and surf. There are so many different types of experiences to be had in this gorgeous country, ranging from lavish resort stays on the Baja Peninsula or Yucatan to bustling, artsy weekends in Mexico City or San Miguel de Allende. 

Save: The Beach Tulum will help make your dreams of an affordable yet luxurious vacation to this trendy destination a reality. The adults-only resort offers design-centric accommodations with ocean views and a host of all the beach, wellness, and nightlife amenities you may be looking for in a Tulum vacay. 

Splurge: The brand-new Rancho Pescadero is a wellness-centered resort in Baja California that boasts both mountain and Pacific Ocean views. Guests can immerse themselves in the beauty, tranquility, cuisine, and health practices of the region through the stunning property’s locally-inspired programming. 

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The Hawaiian Islands are an excellent choice for travelers looking for a unique, tropical vacation without having to leave the country. There is an endless array of things to do here, whether you’re an aspiring surfer, avid home cook, nature lover, history buff, or spa devotee. Plus, there are several islands to choose from to help you get the most out of your dream winter retreat. Tip: You’ll be better off visiting in early winter to miss out on rainy season. 

Save: The Wayfinder Waikiki opens in January 2023 and offers that design-centric boutique hotel experience at a more reasonable price point (think: under $200 a night). Located in Waikiki on the island of Oahu, you’re just minutes away from Downtown Honolulu, some of Hawaii’s most famous beaches, and breathtaking hiking trails.  

Splurge: Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui is located on the most exclusive slice of this gorgeous island: Wailea. This fabulous resort offers suite- and villa-style stays, spectacular ocean views, seven pools, ample adventure and wellness offerings, and plenty of immersive experiences to learn more about Hawaiian culture.

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Miami may be just the spot for you if you can’t decide between a big city trip and a tropical vacation. This vibrant city offers the best of both worlds with some of the nation’s best art, shopping, restaurant, and beach destinations all in one place.

Save: The Goodtime Hotel was designed by the one-and-only Ken Fulk and boasts glam mid-century modern vibes. This darling destination is Instagram-worthy at every turn and features a generous pool setup, beach club, fitness classes, spa facilities, and a prime location for everything you want to do in Miami. 

Splurge: The Miami Beach Edition is dripping in all the luxury and liveliness you would expect from a glamorous stay in the city. This striking hotel is home to just about any amenity you can think of, from a Jean-Georges restaurant to an ice skating rink (yes, really!), plus you get access to the property’s exclusive beach club. 

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What better way to escape winter weather than heading to another hemisphere? Sunny Sydney is a top pick if you can spare the extra time and money to enjoy its iconic beaches, historical sites, natural wonders, and wellness-centric culture. 

Save: The Urban Newtown is perfectly situated for those seeking to enjoy Sydney’s arts and nightlife. This industrial-chic property is located just off buzzy King Street and offers apartment-style living that will have you feeling like a local in no time. 

Splurge: QT Bondi is the perfect pick for those seeking to be right in the heart of Bondi and live the Australian surfer lifestyle. This ultra-cool boutique hotel is full of tourists and locals alike seeking a slice of this hip neighborhood. Plus, the spacious accommodations were designed by local Nic Graham. 

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St. Lucia

If you’re dreaming of Hawaii but don’t want to travel too far (or deal with the major time change), head south to St. Lucia. This beloved island in the Eastern Caribbean boasts similar terrain and beaches, stunning spa hotels, a host of all-inclusive resorts, and plenty of ways to soak up that much-desired sun. 

Save: Marigot Palms is an incredible value stay. This elegant B&B offers unbelievable views from the eponymous bay (considered one of the Carribean’s best) and starts at less than $200 per night. Plus, this family-run property offers an experience of the island you won’t find at a large resort.

Splurge: Body Holiday is the ideal place to get your wellness on this winter. This beloved resort is home to a mix of room, suite, and villa accommodations to help you curate the ultimate vacation while you savor its renowned cuisine and spectacular island views. 

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New Orleans 

NOLA is one of my favorite cities in the U.S. because it’s unlike any other. The southern metropolis has been heavily influenced by its French, Spanish, and Caribbean occupation over the centuries which also accounts for its incredible food and beverage scene. There’s so much history, design, music, and of course, Mardi Gras to enjoy in the wintertime that you may never want to leave.

Save: The Old No. 77 Hotel is a favorite budget-friendly stays in the city, largely in part to its hotel restaurant, Compére Lapin, helmed by lauded Chef Nina Compton. The industrial-style rooms are filled with colorful NOLA-style flair and the property is aptly seated just three blocks from the French Quarter. 

Splurge: The Four Seasons New Orleans is a newcomer to the city’s luxury hospitality scene. Besides offering all the five-star design and amenities you’d expect from a Four Seasons property, the hotel features experiences such as private concerts at the legendary Preservation Hall, streetcar tours of the city with a local historian, and restaurants from James Beard Award-winning chefs. Oh, and it boast the city’s largest hotel pool for when you need some R&R.