15 Easy, Warm Getaways To Take When You're Craving Sunshine

15 Easy, Warm Getaways to Take When You’re Craving Sunshine

Winter's first snow has already fallen and by now most people feel like they're ready for summer. You can't change nature's biological clock but you can cheat it. Heat things up this gloomy season and plan a vacation where the heaviest garment on your body will be hiking shorts. Next thing you know, you are walking out the door to embrace the warmth somewhere in the Caribbean, South America or even south of Illinois with summer-like temperatures in February. Perhaps in an off the beaten path locale?

Self-guided walks in Bermuda

Discover Bermuda's unspoiled paradise on foot. You'll be in awe of the secret turquoise bays, sea grottoes and pastel villages, colorful flowers, birds and fish, and even humpback whales. This self-guided walking holiday is new and it explores the quintessential island paradise of Bermuda, a sub-tropical gem. The oldest British colony, this tiny treasure trove is packed with history and natural beauty.

Highlights of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise bursting with wildlife. Christopher Columbus named Costa Rica the 'Rich Coast' when he discovered it in 1502. Home to 6 percent of the world's plant and animal species, many endemic, the country's rich biodiversity is extremely colorful. Go on a beautiful hike, filled with interesting plant life and scenery, to the Arenal Volcano, a dormant volcano that has continually decreased over the years.

Whale adventures in Sea of Cortez

The Sea of Cortez is a World Heritage Site that is rich in natural history, untouched in beauty, and unrivalled in marine life. Several tours can take you there. As one of the most bio-diverse seas on earth and home to thousands of species of marine mammals, you are in for a thrilling venture. Visit the Grey Whale Birthing Lagoon of Magdalena Bay and grab the opportunity to swim with Whale sharks.

Negril, Jamaica

Jamaica offers a wide range of unique escapes to choose from. Adventurers will love Negril. Sunbathing is a given, but you can also go cliff jumping, waterfall climbing, and sunset sailing. Live entertainment at night is thriving with reggae concerts and beach parties with bonfires and more music. Health conscious vacationers headed for Negril might most enjoy a stay at The Caves, a 10-acre all-inclusive resort home to cliff-side accommodations with breathtaking beachfront views and complimentary yoga classes. 

Dominican Republic

People looking for peace and tranquility during their beach vacation, while not being far away from home, go there. Bayahibe is a secret Caribbean gem that is becoming more popular. Make sure you swim in the Dudu Blue Lagoon. It is recognized as the only place where you can go cave diving from one natural lake to another natural lake. Go on a boat tour to nearby locations, scuba dive, and soak in breathtaking sights from the beach.

San Diego, California

If you want to escape the snow and experience world-class surfing without having to break the bank, San Diego is your destination. It is on our great American bucket list. The city is one of the coolest surfing towns in the world. It has awesome wave pools in addition to a plethora of good surf spots. San Diego will brighten your mood with its warm weather and overabundance of fun activities, from beach-front ice skating rinks, concerts, holiday shopping, and paddling

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

When the harsh winter weather rolls in, look for more than a lounge chair with an ocean view and head to the Yucatán Peninsula. Once home to the ancient Mayan civilization, there are plenty of remarkable archeological sites to explore, national parks and preserves to visit, and cenotes (natural swimming holes) to dive. There are also incredible snorkeling and SCUBA diving sites.

Puerto Rico

Few warm paradises are easier to get to than Puerto Rico; you don't even need a passport. The island is a popular destination for romantic getaways, adventure, and nightlife. Old San Juan is a must-see because of its colonial past and amazing photo opportunities. Another "pro" for Puerto Rico is that it has one of the most accessible rainforests – El Yunque. Surfers are going to love the island, too.  Zip-lining and caving in Rio Camuy are other popular activities.  

Virgin Islands

British or U.S. – it doesn't matter. A popular island is the Virgin Gorda, a land mass that resembles the likes of a large reclining woman and where the laid-back pace will wash all your worries away. It's not all about beaches there. Explore the Virgin Islands National Park if you are looking for a true tropical beach vibe. It covers roughly 60 percent of the island of Saint John and almost all of Hassel Island. The park is known for its protected land, beaches, and waters—the SCUBA diving and hiking is hard to beat.


The rich and famous come to this Caribbean island. It has 22 stunning beaches, roughly 25 hotels (most with fewer than 20 rooms) and plenty of world-class bars and restaurants. Stay in Gustavia, a town with the charm of Scandinavian accents and duty-free port with tax-free shopping. The neighborhood of Saint Jean is the most developed and touristic outside of Gustavia.

South Carolina

People go to budget-friendly Charleston for the food, golf courses, and historic sites. The city where the Civil War began undoubtedly tops the list of must-see places for American history buffs. You won't miss the beach because you are only a short drive away from five beach towns. But you should also consider the lesser-known but equally charming Beaufort. Explore the nearby Hunting Island State Park, its maritime forest, the only publicly accessible lighthouse in the state, and the white-tipped waves of the Atlantic.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is the Carnival capital of the world and the February festival is more than just a major party; it's one of the most artistic and culturally rich events on Earth. Expect music, dance and some of the most over-the-top costumes you'll ever see. Visit the world famous Ipanema Beach, make your way to the Christ the Redeemer statue, and set aside time for a night of drinks and Samba music.

Key West, Florida

If Hawaii or a Caribbean destination is too far or expensive for you, consider the Keys. Many people go there for comfortable temperatures during the winter. Go swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, kayaking, and parasailing. The more adventurous of you may want to try primitive camping. Take a free walking tour, visit the botanical gardens and the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. This is a pet-friendly vacation destination, too.

Turks & Caicos

This is one of the best island vacation destinations in the whole entire world. Hitch a ride to Conch Bar Caves National Park on Middle Caicos where brave souls conquer 15 miles of stalactites and stalagmites. Spelunkers navigate through colonies of five different species of bats, white owls, and a limestone jungle. Tours from Dive Turks and Caicos will pair your caving adventure with a snorkeling session on the barrier reef.


This is one of the most dangerous islands in the world, with one of the scariest airports and runways on the planet as well. Still, a vacation there is a thrilling experience. Saba is the smallest of the Dutch Caribbean Islands and widely considered a top diving destination. Its unique offerings go far beyond what's beneath the water. Referred to as "The Unspoiled Queen," Saba is serene, charming, and home to an old-world village with plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures such as trekking up Mount Scenery, a dormant volcano offering superb rainforest views.