From National Parks to Black Sand Beaches, Here Are 30 Winter Getaways

2023-01-07 00:03:48 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

We tend to fantasize about two very different kinds of winter getaways—snowy wonderlands and tropical beaches—when the temperature drops. It's not uncommon for us to daydream about a ski trip or a trip to a snow-covered European village one day, and then the next day start making plans for a beach vacation while mocking the minus twenty degree weather. That pattern is pretty much our lives from December to March every year if you multiply it by 50.

You're in luck if you feel these contradictory urges to travel; we've compiled a list of 30 of the best winter vacations, with half of them located in colder climates and the other half in warmer ones. Because there's no rule that says you can only have one.

As time has passed since this article's initial release, it has been revised and improved.

  • Fernando de Noronha Brazil

    Brazil's beaches are world-famous, but with that fame comes an influx of tourists. The stunning archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, located 220 miles off Brazil's northeastern coast, was recently voted one of the world's best islands in our Readers' Choice Awards. The waters are perfect for snorkeling, the trails are lush, and you can watch the moon rise over the water.

  • Primitive U S It's no secret that the nation's first national park, established in 1872, is still one of the most beautiful spots in the whole world. There are many must-see attractions in the park, such as the Old Faithful geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring, but the truth is that every square inch of the park is incredible. Avoid the crowds and see the landscapes filled with steam from the thermal features by traveling there in the winter.

  • South Africa's safari circuit is less popular between the months of December and March when the weather is at its best and the city is at its peak as Africa's cultural capital. Cape Town's restaurant, hotel, and nightlife scenes, which rival major European and American metropolises, are at their best during the southern hemisphere summer. Further, from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek to Swartland, South Africa's winelands are only a day trip away, and they're all in full bloom right now.

  • Some of the world's most breathtaking scenery can be found in Greenland, which is cold, mysterious, and icy. In addition to its spectacular glaciers, the largest island in the world has magnificent fjords, colorful villages, and fields of sheep. When the Northern Lights make an appearance, you have yourself an unbeatable winter getaway.

  • Chiang Mai is a city in northern Thailand that is surrounded by misty mountains, golden temples, and green rice terraces, and has a climate that rarely drops below 60 degrees. Each year in February, the Suan Buak Hat public garden hosts a festival called the Flower Festival, during which time the entire old city is decorated with flowers and plants for three days.

  • Imagine the Dolomites as the warm and welcoming relative of the Alpine ski resorts. The Great Dolomites Road, one of the world's most beautiful alpine drives, will take you to the region's powdery slopes; it's the ideal day trip from Venice.

  • Navagio Bay on the small island of Zakynthos has waters that will make your heart skip a beat, even though it seems that all the Greek islands are framed by that killer shade of emerald blue. Perhaps its isolation and protection (it's sheltered on either side by soaring cliffs) is what keeps its aquamarine waters so perfect and pure — the polar opposite of winter grays.

  • Hokkaido, a Japanese island, is a paragon of unspoiled natural wonders like volcanoes, national parks, and lakes, many of which are at their most breathtaking in the winter. The ethereal Blue Pond is a prime example; its protruding trees and azure waters pull off layers of ice quite exquisitely.

  • Hawaii's islands are among the most dreamed-of vacation destinations. The state is a veritable treasure trove of breathtaking natural beauty, housing no fewer than eight national parks and boasting more than four hundred beaches and countless scenic hikes. You can't go wrong with a trip to Hawaii; however, some islands are better suited to certain activities than others.

  • Lapland, in northern Finland, is home to some of the most picture-perfect winter landscapes you'll ever see. Lapland is one of the few places where a person can see Santa Claus, ride in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and sleep in a bubble sled while watching the Northern Lights.

  • Art Basel Miami Beach is a glitzy event (scheduled for December 1–3 in 2022) that attracts both fashionistas and the arterati to the city of Miami in early December, but there are many more reasons to visit Miami. Namely An expanding hospitality and design industry, as well as branches of acclaimed international eateries like Uruguay's Quinto La Huella.

  • One of the best ski resorts in North America, Whistler, has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to its abundance of world-class ski and snowboarding terrain. Skiers and snowboarders have 8,171 acres to explore throughout the six-month regular season. All skill levels are welcome, from complete novices to extreme sports enthusiasts, as the runs here span a wide spectrum of challenges.

  • This island in the Indian Ocean is becoming increasingly popular on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest because of its "underwater waterfall," a visually stunning runoff of sand and silt that is best viewed from above. Mauritius, located about 550 miles east of Madagascar, may be the site of a lost continent that has since been submerged.

  • Lake Bled is a popular tourist destination in Slovenia due to its picturesque setting (a small island is surrounded by churches) and the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing row on the lake. In winter, when the lake is shrouded in fog and the surrounding Julian Alps are blanketed in snow, the scene is truly picture-perfect.

  • It's simple to adopt the laid-back attitude of pura vida when your immediate environment consists of pristine natural features like misty waterfalls, empty beaches, and dense jungles that are protected from development. More than a quarter of Costa Rica is actually under some sort of environmental safeguard. Visit in November to witness the annual mass nesting of 20,000 sea turtles on the beaches of Tamarindo and Playa del Coco in Costa Rica.

  • Zermatt is a popular ski destination because it is surrounded by some of the Alps' highest peaks and has access to 223 miles of runs across four massive ski areas, some of which are over 10,000 feet in elevation and thus maintain snow cover for an exceptionally long season. This picturesque Alpine village sits at the base of Switzerland's most recognizable peak, the Matterhorn, and boasts a number of 21st-century amenities, including a cutting-edge lift system and posh options for relaxing after a day on the slopes.

  • The Canary Islands may not be warm enough to swim off their shores in the winter, but the smaller crowds, stunning scenery, and lower prices of the off-season more than make up for it. According to some, the best climate in the world can be found on the island of Gran Canaria, which is located off the coast of northwest Africa.

  • Assuming you plan your winter getaway to Denmark, the country that gave the world the concept of hygge (or "coziness"), you can rest assured that you're in for a fantastic time. Copenhagen is full of places that evoke that sentiment, from bakeries to cozy hotels.

  • Roatán, the most populous of the Bay Islands, is renowned as a scuba diver's paradise. Nearly the entire 31-mile coastline is fringed by coral reefs, which are home to a wide variety of marine life, including tropical fish, dolphins, and West Indian manatees. It gets better Roatán, Honduras, is one of the many ports of call on a Caribbean cruise with Virgin Voyages.

  • The best time to visit Bryce Canyon National Park is not when the crowds are there. Visit in the winter to avoid the crowds and take part in winter astronomy programs and ranger-led snowshoe hikes. In addition, you will be able to observe the hoodoos in their natural habitat, as they will be peeking out from under a fresh coating of snow.

  • The British Virgin Islands, which consist of over 60 individual islands, offer a wide variety of shorelines to discover. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are ideal for those seeking a luxurious but laid-back vacation, as they retain an air of informality that distinguishes them from more formal Caribbean locales. As soon as you arrive, you can relax at one of the many five-star resorts, many of which are located on their own private islands. Undoubtedly the most well-known is Richard Branson's Necker Island, which has recently been rebuilt with an emphasis on sustainability.

  • Classic Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, is split in two by the Salzach River, with the Old City on the left bank and the (slightly) newer side on the right. The Hotel Goldener Hirsch is the place to stay if you want to enjoy gingerbread cookies, soft beds, and views of snowfall during your stay.

  • Located just north of St. Thomas and as flat as a pancake, this British Overseas Territory In recent years, St. Maarten has gained a reputation as a destination ideal for those seeking solitude. The island's most popular beach, Shoal Bay, has fine sand, calm waters, non-touristy bars and restaurants, and exclusive resorts (such as the stunning Altamer Resort, ideal for large families or groups, or Zemi Beach House, the ideal work-from-home hideaway) that allow you to relax on island time without dealing with crowds.

  • Few places rival New York City at Christmastime. You've seen the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the Rockettes perform, gone ice skating in Central Park, or seen The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, among other beloved annual events? Make some on your own using our instructions.

  • The size comparison to St. Kits, but Nevis can hold its own The island on which Alexander Hamilton was born is nearly perfectly spherical; its gentle slopes rise to the peak of a dormant volcano; and it is famous for its historic inns and top-notch resorts. Pinney's Beach is a popular destination for both families and solo travelers in search of some peace and quiet.

  • As far as winter wonderlands go, Iceland is in a league of its own. This chilly country offers some of the world's best winter vacations, thanks to its snow-covered mountains, frozen beaches, and dazzling northern lights displays. Also, when it's time to warm up, is there anything better than a relaxing dip in the Blue Lagoon?

  • Isla Mujeres is a popular day trip from Cancn, but it deserves to be visited on its own. Playa Norte, the bay's primary beach, is composed of crushed coral, features warm shallow waters, and is typically more peaceful than its bay-adjacent counterparts. Divers take note: this island has the world's greatest concentration of whale sharks.

  • With mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s throughout the winter, Dubai is a wonderful travel destination. The weather is perfect for sightseeing tours, camel rides through the desert, and beach lounging. In addition, we'll jump at the chance to stay at ME Dubai, a Zaha Hadid–designed architectural marvel that opens its doors in 2020.

  • The Raja Ampat archipelago, just off the coast of West Papua, is a scuba diver's paradise thanks to its clear blue channels and rich marine life. Approximately 1,300 different types of vibrant coral-dwelling fish can be seen here, in addition to everything from sperm whales to giant hawksbill turtles. A lush, jungle-like environment, reminiscent of a Jurassic Park film still, can be seen above the water.

  • A winter paradise, this valley is encircled by the majestic Tetons. This is especially true if you plan on spending the majority of your time on the slopes; Jackson Hole has 3,000 acres of easily accessible backcountry terrain and challenging vertical slopes, making it a premier ski destination. If you don't feel like hitting the slopes, Teton Village and Jackson offer plenty of alternatives for an enjoyable evening. Furthermore, let's be honest: staying inside Caldera House is acceptable for any reason.

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    Introduction: In light of the ongoing pandemic and the need to ensure safe travel, the CDC and the state of Hawaii have recently announced significant changes to travel requirements for both international and domestic travelers. As of June 2022, travelers no longer need to present a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before arriving in the US. Additionally, the Hawaii Travel Health Form is no longer required for entry to Hawaii. In this article, we will discuss these changes in detail and their impact on travelers. Changes to Travel Requirements: Effective June 2022, the CDC no longer requires travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 pre-arrival to the US. This policy applies to both international and domestic travelers. Furthermore, the Hawaii Travel Health Form is no longer required for entry to the state of Hawaii. Previously, these measures were put in place to ensure the safety of travelers and residents during the pandemic. Impact on Travelers: The elimination of these requirements has a significant impact on travel to the US and Hawaii. Travelers no longer need to spend time or resources on obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before arriving in the US. Additionally, the Hawaii Travel Health Form is no longer required, making the entry process to Hawaii more streamlined and efficient. These changes should make it easier and more convenient for travelers to visit the US and Hawaii at a time when travel and tourism have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Conclusion: As the pandemic situation continues to evolve, travel requirements are subject to change, and travelers should stay updated on all the latest news and guidelines. However, the recent changes to travel requirements for the US and Hawaii are undoubtedly a positive development for travelers and the travel industry as a whole. We hope this article has helped travelers gain a better understanding of these changes and their impact on future travel plans.

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