For many Americans, the last few weeks have consisted of seemingly endless snowfall and frigid temperatures. When you’re stuck in the midst of a polar vortex, sunshine might feel like a distant memory – but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re ready to indulge in a healthy dose of Vitamin D, hop on a plane and make your way to these warm-weather destinations in the United States.
1. Newport Beach, California
It’s tough to beat Southern California when you’re craving a sunny vacation. While rain does strike this region from time to time, you can typically expect comfortable temperatures and at least a few days of sunshine during your stay. Newport Beach offers a little something for everyone: hiking and oceanfront exploration at Crystal Cove State Park, whale-watching cruises, easy ferry access to Balboa Island, photo ops on the pier, and all sorts of delicious eats. We recommend digging into Italian cuisine at Il Farro before catching a Pacific Ocean sunset.
2. Anna Maria Island, Florida
If you’re in the mood for a beach vacation but want to avoid the crowds of larger tourist cities in Florida, Anna Maria Island is a fantastic alternative. This gorgeous Gulf Coast destination overflows with beautiful shorelines, quaint shopping areas, plenty of history, and delectable eats. Spend the day lounging along the waterfront at Manatee Beach or Bean Point before strolling through the resort town of Anna Maria itself. Whether you’re renting a charming cottage or spending your evenings in a hotel, you’ll love this spot.
3. Oahu, Hawaii
Of course, no list of sunny destinations in America would be complete without mentioning Hawaii. If you can afford the tickets, there’s no better place to escape the brutal realities of wintertime - and Oahu is our favorite option for an amazing vacation. There’s something here to interest every member of the family, from Pearl Harbor memorials to sea turtle preserves at Hanauma Bay to plenty of resorts and spas. You’re in for the most relaxing and breathtaking escape imaginable on the island of Oahu.
4. San Antonio, Texas
Though it’s sometimes overlooked in favor of more popular nearby destination cities like Austin, San Antonio holds its own with all sorts of wonderful attractions. Bask in the warm Texas sun as you explore the Alamo, stroll along the peaceful River Walk, or take a hop-on-hop-off boat tour of the area. When the day winds down, stop in for dinner at the Original Blanco Cafe or Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse. With culture and adventure galore, San Antonio makes for an unforgettable vacation spot.
5. Yuma, Arizona
Sunshine is almost omnipresent in Yuma, a Southwest Arizona city that might not be at the top of your must-visit list. When you opt to spend your winter getaway here, though, you’ll find all sorts of unique attractions to appreciate. Dig into history at Yuma Territorial Prison State Park, which once housed a Wild West-style jail. Spend an afternoon at the Yuma Art Center, check out the ghost town and museum at Castle Dome Mines, or do some bargain hunting at Arizona Market Place. A trip to Yuma makes for a fantastically unconventional vacation, and you’ll surely have a blast.
6. Lake Charles, Louisiana
Many travelers flock to New Orleans when the weather gets cold in the North, but Lake Charles is another great option for Louisiana tourists. Enjoy a taste of the Big Easy at the Mardi Gras Museum, do a bit of gambling at one of the area’s casinos, or learn more about Louisiana’s history and natural splendor at Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point. Whether you’re eight years old or 80, there’s no telling what you’ll discover in Lake Charles - but you’re guaranteed to have a fun adventure.
We’ve listed six of our favorite warm and sunny vacation destinations throughout the United States, but we’d love to hear from you! Share your favorite wintertime escapes with us in the comments below.
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