The 16 Best Winter Vacation Beach Travel Destinations
When it's time to take a break from the cold, drab winter weather, pack up your suitcase and travel to one of these amazing beach destinations!
You might be thinking to yourself, ""Beach? In December? No, thanks!"" But as long as your destination is closer to the equator than you are, it's probably going to be warmer than where you live. We've picked the top 16 beach destinations for your next winter vacation, grouped together by state and organized alphabetically.
La Jolla, California
Situated just north of the city of San Diego, La Jolla is known for its pristine waters, imposing cliffsides, and white sand beaches. Take a visit to La Jolla Cove and go kayaking through sea caves, see seals and sea lions up close, and go shopping at some of the classiest, high-end boutiques in the state.
Laguna Beach, California
This beach town has a high-class yet down-to-earth feel that seems contradictory at first, but the amazing cliffs, mansions, and artists that Laguna Beach is home to make it a must-see for travelers of all ages. Visit 1,000 Steps Beach for a great photo opportunity and visit the Laguna Canyon Winery.
Los Angeles, California
It would be a crime to visit California and NOT visit Los Angeles, especially when they have so many incredible beaches and tourist destinations. Go to Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, or Malibu for a day you won't forget!
San Diego, California
Not only is San Diego home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, but it also boasts one of the world's largest zoos! The number of things to do in San Diego is limitless, but start by taking a tour of the city by bus and taking pictures of the massive hotel on Coronado Beach!
Key Largo, Florida
If you love to scuba dive, you have to visit Key Largo. It has an underwater state park called the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, shipwrecks, and the Everglades National Park, where you could come face to face with endangered species like the manatee.
If you're looking to enjoy warm weather, pristine beaches, and fun nightlife, Miami is the city for you. This cosmopolitan destination is known for throwing great parties, serving great food, and having some of the clearest, bluest waters you've ever seen.
Palm Beach, Florida
There's no end to the number of mansions, high-end boutiques, and fancy restaurants for you to discover when you visit Palm Beach. This island, littered with palm trees, golf courses, and incredible views, is a great vacation destination for a girls' trip or romantic getaway.
Panama City, Florida
Ready for sunsets that will take your breath away? Travel to Panama City, where you can enjoy lots of family-friendly activities and attractions while eating some of the world's best seafood, fresh from the sea, right outside your window.
Sanibel Island, Florida
The white sand and turquoise waters of Sanibel Island will make you feel like you've stumbled upon your very own private island. Get ready to relax, eat great ice cream, and even go kayaking across the sea of your dreams.
St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida
Don't let rainy weather dampen your vacation; in St. Petersburg/Clearwater, the sun shines 361 days out of every year. Take a beach day (or five) and then enjoy lunch/dinner at one of the many breweries and restaurants along this 35-mile stretch.
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Want to enjoy the feeling of summer but sprinkle some Southern charm into your next vacation? St. Simons Island is covered in mossy oak trees that are centuries old, giving this island an undeniably ancient feel. If you love to golf, there are about 99 holes of golf on the island. See what's so great about Georgia's ""Golden Isles"" for yourself!
Grand Isle, Louisiana
Winter is a great time to visit Grand Isle since most of the tourists have gone and only the 1,600 permanent residents are around. You can sunbathe in peace, or if you're an angler, you can fish the over 280 different species of fish that inhabit the waters surrounding the island. If you feel up to making a day trip while you're on vacation, New Orleans is only 2.5 hours away!
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Located just an hour south of the beautiful city of Charleston, Edisto Island is secluded enough to feel like you're getting away without the crazy, touristy feeling that some of the city beaches give you. In fact, most of Edisto has been left untouched by man, making it a nature lover's paradise.
If you love looking for shells, Galveston Island State Park is the destination for you. Stop by the historic Strand district to visit shops and restaurants in buildings from the 1800s, or visit the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Indoor Waterpark, featuring water slides, a wave pool, and a giant hot tub with a swim-up bar for the adults.
South Padre Island, Texas
You might not think it's possible to feel like you're on a tropical island while you're in Texas, but you've also probably never been to South Padre Island before! Not only is the 34-mile stretch of beach full of white sand and blue waters, but you can also see dolphins from the shore or on a dolphin-sighting expedition. Whether you're looking for killer seafood or a day of relaxation, Texas is full of surprises!
That's right: no city, no specific beach. The entire state of Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous, and it isn't hard to find the ocean no matter where you are. If you've never been, Hawaii is as magical as everyone says it is, so scratch it off your bucket list by taking a flight there this holiday season.
We don't have to keep ourselves away from the beaches just because it's winter. We hope this list is helpful to you as you plan your next winter getaway!