Top 15 Destinations for February Sun
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Many of us will be more than ready to get away from the cold and enjoy some warmth and sunshine at this point in the year, with winter often continuing into February. It's the best time to take a vacation, whether you're planning to jet off to a nearby tropical beach resort or to some far-flung location in the Southern Hemisphere, where summer hasn't quite ended. Whatever your motivation for hitting the road, this list has you covered.
With year-round warmth and more than 700 islands, all with gorgeous sandy beaches and stunning turquoise water, the Bahamas are ideal for a rejuvenating winter sun vacation in February. Visit the pink sands of Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island or Lighthouse Beach on Eleuthera, or swim with the wild pigs of Big Major Cay. When visiting The Bahamas, it can be difficult to decide which of the many beautiful islands to visit.
In February, average daytime highs in enticing Puerto Vallarta reach a pleasant 80 degrees. Relax on the beach and try out various water sports like snorkeling and paddleboarding. Banderas Bay is home to thousands of humpback whales, many of which can be seen from the shore or up close on a boat tour. Not only are there some of Mexico's most beautiful beaches here, but the town's central plaza and cobblestone streets are lined with art galleries, boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
The heat of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, can be felt year-round in Hawai'i, and especially in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Overlooks along Crater Rim Drive sometimes provide nighttime views of lava flows, even when the volcano is not actively erupting. The park is 330,000 acres large, and it features 150 miles of hiking trails and a walkable lava tube. Of course, you can do the standard tourist things like swimming, snorkeling, going to waterfalls, and checking out beaches with black sand where sea turtles like to sun themselves.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, in February is one of the world's best winter sun destinations. When the weather is nice, many people in the city head to the beach, so you won't find as many tourists there, but you can still enjoy sensual tango shows and delectable Argentine cuisine. Or, visit a Milonga, such as La Virtua, Tango Cool, or La Calesita, and either watch the dance or join in on the fun. The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best art museums in the world, housing works by South American artists as well as those of European, American, and Asian masters like Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, and Picasso.
In Australia, as in the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, summer peaks in the middle of the year, around February. The world-famous Bondi Beach is located just outside of Sydney, so there will be plenty of time for picnics and beach days. The Sydney Opera House, botanical gardens, museums, and galleries are just a few of the tourist hotspots in the nation's capital. Climbing the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge should be on everyone's list.
Cape Town's famous African penguins can be seen up close and personal in the warmer months of the year at Boulders Beach. Hiking up Table Mountain in the early morning is a must, or you can take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, a rotating cable car suspended above the mountain that offers spectacular views in every direction. The museum at Robben Island Prison, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years, is a must-see for history buffs. Some tours are led by ex-inmates, who can provide first-hand accounts of life in the prison during the anti-apartheid movement.
In February, you can find paradise in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, a region comprised of 144 islands known for its sandy beaches, peaceful secluded bays, and abundant marine life (including dolphins, penguins, and whales). Russell, a must-see small town, features some of the country's oldest buildings, great waterfront restaurants serving fresh seafood, and breathtaking sunsets.
Enjoy the beaches and take a cruise through the hundreds of islands and islets of world-famous Halong Bay on a sunny, dry cruise in February, one of the best months to visit Vietnam. You could take a scooter food tour along the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City, or you could explore the maze of thousand-year-old streets in Hanoi's well-preserved Old Quarter, or you could stroll the cobbled, lantern-lit paths of Hoi An. Vietnam is a country rich in history and culture.
Charming Loreto is a popular low-cost Mexican vacation destination on the eastern coast of the Baja Peninsula by the Sea of Cortez. It is one of Mexico's illustrious "Magic Towns," and visitors come from all over to experience its breathtaking scenery, exciting outdoor activities, and diverse marine life. Blue whales migrate to its waters from January to March to eat, mate, and have babies. The months of January and February are the best times to see whales, especially humpbacks, grays, and orcas. Temperatures average in the high 70s, and there will be plenty of sunny days. The charming town itself has a wealth of cultural attractions, such as historical sites, museums, family-run restaurants serving delectable cuisine, and upscale boutique hotels.
Classical February temperatures in Jamaica range from the low to mid-80s. Montego Bay's white sand beaches, mountains, shopping, and lively nightlife make it a great place to relax and enjoy the island rhythm and sun. Those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere will find it in Negril, where they can stay in a quaint bungalow instead of a towering resort. Seven Mile Beach, cliff jumping, and watching the sunset are all popular local activities. YS Falls, a series of seven waterfalls and natural swimming pools, is also nearby.
One of the best times to see one of Chile's most spectacular attractions is in February. Easter Island has comfortable late-summer temperatures. The Moai rock statues are the most well-known landmark, and their relocation by the Rapa Nui people remains a mystery. The lightest of the statues weighs in at 86 tons. The indigo sea is popular for snorkeling and diving, and the white sand beaches are perfect for viewing the Moai. Near the city of Hanga Roa, divers can take guided dives to see submerged Moai.
The winter months in Cuenca can be spent comfortably and affordably. It's still summer in February in this must-see city in Ecuador. The Andes tower over the city, and its magnificent colonial architecture has earned Santa Ana de Los Ros de Cuenca a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city's cathedral, one of the most prominent buildings in the country, dates back to the 18th century. Picnic spots abound along the banks of the River Tomebamba, a raging waterway that rushes down from the Andes and crosses the city's picturesque bridges in the historic district. If you want to see Turi from above, you must go to the Overlook.
Temperatures in the upper 60s in February make sightseeing in Cairo a much more pleasant experience than they would be in the summer, when they can soar well above 100 degrees. The Pyramids of Giza, a must-see before one dies, are at their finest right now. The most famous of these, the Great Pyramid of Giza, can be found on the outskirts of modern-day Giza. It has been around for more than 4,600 years and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Don't forget to visit the traditional Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, which has been around since the 14th century and features the work of skilled local artisans.
Marrakesh, a beautiful and exotic walled medieval city at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, is bursting at the seams with attractions and things to do. When the temperature rises to around 70 degrees during the day in February, it's a pleasure to take in all the vibrant sights and sounds of the city. The markets, some of which date back hundreds of years, feature barrels of spices ranging from ginger and saffron to turmeric, as well as bowls overflowing with olives, colorful tapestries, and hookahs. At Djemaa el Fna, a popular city square, vendors sell skewers of seasoned meats and other foods, and customers sit at wooden tables to eat everything from roast lamb and couscous to aubergine fritters. The opulent Bahia Palace, with its 150 rooms, is just one of many grand palaces you can tour.
Located between the southern Bahamas and Hispaniola, the 40 low-lying, largely undeveloped islands that make up Turks and Caicos provide the perfect year-round winter getaway thanks to their consistently warm temperatures. For some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, head to Providenciales, the largest and most developed of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Grace Bay, which is located on the island of St. John, is frequently ranked as one of the world's best beaches. There's a long coral reef off its coast that's teeming with marine life, and there are five-star hotels and fine dining restaurants right on the beach.
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