(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)


Winter is almost here and it is time to start making your winter getaway plans. There are so many different places you can go to escape the winter cold, however, not everyone wants to leave the country and lie on a tropical island. Though that does sound nice, there are still many locations across the United States where you can warm up, and depending upon the water, still be able to sit by the pool or dip your toes in the sand.
Let’s check out the top five destinations in the country to escape the winter cold this year:
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Key West, Florida

Nothing beats the winter blues like a tropical getaway. That is why so many people make their winter vacation getaway plans to the sunny state of Florida. Key West offers everything from fabulous ocean views to mild temperatures to recreational activities and a laid back vibe. Festivals in winter include Pirates in Paradise, Key West Race Week and the Key West Food & Wine Festival. All of these are must-experience events if you are in the area.

With temperatures in the mid-70s during the winter, this is one of the best places to get away from the cold. Not only are the temperatures amazing this time of year, so are the many sites and activities that are available for visitors. While in Key West, make sure to stop and enjoy all of the historic sites including the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Harry S. Truman Little White House and the Key West Cemetery. Other popular things to do in the winter include riding the Conch Train Tour, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

Just about every place you choose to stay at will offer an amazing view of and easy access to the water. Popular places to stay while visiting Key West include the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, La Concha Hotel and Spa, Lighthouse Court Hotel, Key West Bed and Breakfast and the Marquesa Hotel and Café.
Related: 5 Best Family-Friendly Winter Activities And Destinations

(credit: Anton Filton/Shuttertock)

(credit: Anton Filton/Shuttertock)


Tucson, Arizona

When looking to escape cold temperatures the best time to visit Tucson, Arizona is from November to March. Temperatures this time of year can range between the mid-60s to the mid-70s. These temperatures are prefect for getting in a round of golf or going on any number of outdoor adventures. If you are in the Tucson area in February, make plans to see the Gem and Mineral Show.

Because the sun shines year round in Tucson, it is possible to do just about anything and everything you want to do in the great outdoors. Popular things to do in Tucson include seeing the Grand Canyon, learning about American Indian Culture, golfing, visiting museums and shopping. Must-see sites include Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Reid Park Zoo, Pima Air & Space Museum and the Arizona State Museum.

You will find a variety of accommodations, including high-end luxury hotels, bed and breakfasts, condo rentals and much more. Because so many others make their plans to escape winter in Tucson, make sure to make these reservations early to ensure you get the accommodations you want. Popular places to stay in the area include Junipine ResortPremiere Vacation Club at The Roundhouse Resort3 Palms Resort OasisCamelback Inn Resort and Spa and Amara Creekside Resort.

(credit: Master1305/Shutterstock)

(credit: Master1305/Shutterstock)


Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is home to so much more than just partying and gambling. There are so many fun and exciting things to do that make this one of the top places to escape the winter cold. Keep in mind that the days may still be warm around the mid to high-50s, but at night is when temperatures can drop down to the low 30s. Though temperatures may not be as warm as a tropical island, and you may still need a hat and gloves, it is perfect for hiking through the nearby national parks, including Red Rock Canyon.

Top things to do in Las Vegas during the winter include visiting the Opportunity Village Magical Forest and seeing the lights at the Ethel B. Chocolate Factory. Plus, you can catch a glimpse of Santa on the runway at the Fashion Show Mall on the strip. Another must-do activity while in Vegas during the winter is to hop aboard the High Roller, where you can see all of the holiday lights from high above Sin City’s skyline. Fremont Street is another must-see while in the area.

Top places to stay in Las Vegas include anywhere on the Strip. This includes the MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay and the Bellagio. For even more options check out Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Green Valley Ranch, Silverton Casino or any of the other Station Casinos.

(credit: t photography/shutterstock)

(credit: t photography/shutterstock)


McAllen, Texas

Nestled in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, McAllen is a popular place to visit in the winter because of its subtropical climate and long list of available recreational activities. Though temperatures do not get as warm in McAllen as they do in Florida or Southern California, it is still better than the below freezing temperatures many of the northern states have during the winter. Average temperatures in the winter hover around the mid- to high-40s at night and the high-60s in the day. McAllen is popular among golfers, birders, hikers, nature photographers and other outdoor enthusiasts during the winter months. In addition to the many different things to do, McAllen is home to a variety of live performances, including plays and concerts that are held at Archer Park and the McAllen Convention Center.

The Chamber of Commerce hosts The International Travel Show in the first week of January. This is a fun event to attend, especially if you love to travel. Other can’t-miss activities in McAllen include exploring the McAllen Entertainment District, birding at the different state and national parks and shopping at Las Tiendas. You also must make time to visit the Canyon Of The Eagles Nature Park.

When making your plans to visit McAllen you will find everything from lodges to bed and breakfasts to cabins to ranches. Popular places to stay in McAllen include Chisos Mountain LodgeDeer Lake CabinsDixie Dude Ranch and the Harbor House Hotel and Marina.

Related: Ask a Boston Expert: Your Best Hot Winter Drink

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Palm Springs, California

Winter is the perfect time to visit Palm Springs. The average highs in January can range anywhere from the mid-40s up to the lower 70s. This means the weather is perfect to go golfing, sit by the pool, go hiking or spend the day exploring the many sites in the area. Because winter is such a popular time to visit Palm Springs, there are many different festivals planned during this time of year. During your visit, you can experience the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January or the Tour de Palm Springs and The Desert Classic, both in February.

With beautiful weather and so many things to do, it is no wonder that Palm Springs is such a tourist hot spot in the winter. Popular things to see and do during the winter include the Palm Springs Aerial TramwayJoshua Tree National Park, Indian CanyonsPalm Springs Air MuseumPalm Springs Art Museum and The Living Desert Zoo and Garden. All of these sites offer the opportunity to spend time enjoying the weather while learning more about the local culture.

Palm Springs is home to many different types of places to stay. Accommodation options include everything from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly ones and quaint bed and breakfasts to cozy vacation rentals. Popular places to stay in the Palm Springs area include The Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, La Quinta Resort & ClubIngleside InnColony Palms Hotel, Parker Palm Springs and The Westin Desert Willow Villas.

Make plans this winter to get away from the freezing cold temperatures and vacation in one of the top winter destinations in the country. These locations offer plenty of things to do and warmer temperatures than neighboring northern states, which makes them the perfect destinations to sneak away to this winter.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.
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