16 Of The Absolute Best Beach Winter Escapes

Tourists flock to beaches year-round, but when the closest one to you is deserted or closed due to cold temperatures, and the ocean water feels like ice, you may want to consider booking a trip to somewhere with a warmer climate.

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

A quick and easy getaway from the East Coast, this is a top warm-weather winter destination. Horsehoe Bay, more specifically, will enthrall sunbathers, swimmers, photographers and dreamers. Have fun on the blush pink sand, enjoy the crystal clear blue waters, and try the many, many things to do – from bodysurfing and caving to hiking and biking.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui is known for water sports, thrilling adventures and stunning natural beauty. Remote locations are breathtaking, the sunrise is out of this world, and the beaches are absolutely gorgeous. Maui offers the best of both worlds; a laid back atmosphere but also extreme adventure. Go surfing, snorkeling and cliff jumping; relax on the beach and catch some rays or go rappelling down steep terrain.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Encircled by towering peaks, lush rain forest and beautiful beaches, Rio is a stunning and adventurous getaway. Go parasailing, paragliding, hang gliding, parachuting and zip lining. Try stand up paddling, kayaking, scuba diving and white water rafting tours. Ipanema Beach is the iconic sandy spot that lends beach-wear trends to the rest of the world. The shore is so famous it's even been named in a song from the 60s. Ipanema is well known for wild surf, fantastic sunsets, and posts that divide it up into cultural sections. See the surrounding area on a bike tour or take a cable car up Pao de Acucar.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia, one of the best island vacation destinations in the world where every beach is open to the public, was not impacted by either hurricane. The beaches on the western side are preferred by people who want to relax in tranquil turquoise waters; those on the eastern side make for adventurous surfing opportunities.  Explore  the gorgeous island and its shores by horseback or jeep for a different perspective. Anse Chastanet is a must-see Caribbean dive site.

Little Palm Island, Florida

This is where you go if you are looking for a place with no cell service to relax and unwind. It is often called the most exclusive and romantic resort in all of Florida Keys. It's discreetly located and so remote; it's only accessible by seaplane or boat. You won't find any phones or TVs – just a lot of opportunities for active adventures and a lot of fun – deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, skydiving and even dolphin encounters.

Roatan, Honduras

The water is pristine. There are no traffic lights in this 4 miles wide and 35 miles long region. The island is surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world and one of the most diverse in the area. Bay Islands, which are made up of the islands of Utila, Roatan, and Guanaja are a world class scuba diving and snorkeling site. The affordable pricing and easy access from the U.S. make the islands popular for winter fun and sun.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Also known as Zihua, tourists consider it as a Pacific paradise. It is also home to the beach that Tim Robbins dreamed of escaping to in the 1994 film Shawshank Redemption. It's an easy going area with beautiful beaches and friendly people. No high rises, unbelievable shores protected within an absolutely stunning small cove.


Aruba, long considered a prime tourist destination, is in the middle of a Caribbean boom.  All beaches are public here as well. Make sure you visit Eagle Beach, one of the most spectacular in the world. It's the widest and is most well-known for its clear and soft white sand. There are shaded picnic areas and huts to hide from the sun. The 7-mile strip of unbelievable coastline on the west side of the island is lined with resorts and the ocean there is perfect for swimming.

Maundays Bay, Anguilla

Anguilla is famous for its turquoise ocean, exquisite white sand beaches and wonderful varied local cuisine. Serene and secluded, the flat bay has almost no hills ensuring almost constant trade winds. This is a small treasure island in northern Caribbean. Vacationers who seek privacy go to Cap Juluca, one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.  

Bali, Indonesia

This is one of the most photogenic vacation spots on the planet. Often called "the Island of the Gods," Bali attracts adventurous travelers with its seashores, mountains, and volcanoes. Enjoy your days on the beach and climb aboard an elephant for a jaunt into the jungle where you break for lunch. Tackle six miles of 33 class II and III rapids past rainforests, gorges, and rice paddies. Try kayaking, jungle trekking, paragliding, horseback riding, and sea walking.

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is a snorkeling and scuba diving mecca. Explore colorful reefs and plenty of fish. The island is also a favorite among those who enjoy a laid back atmosphere. If you're itching for some sightseeing, you're in luck because there are ferries that run to Playa del Carmen; you can visit the Mayan Ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza.

Orlando, Florida

Enjoy the warmth and hospitability of Florida in Orlando. The City Beautiful is landlocked but there are plenty of wonderful beaches nearby and the more than dozen theme parks in the city are worth a trip there. Locals consider Cocoa Beach, which is just east of Orlando, their own. New Smyrna Beach is further north on the east coast but it's more residential, if that's what you are looking for. Make sure you visit Clearwater Beach and see the famous Winter the dolphin at the aquarium.

Paracas, Peru

This is a wonderful nature and biodiversity destination, a place of gentle beaches and sunny weather most of the year. It is also a spa – village, a peninsula, a bay, a pre-Inca culture spot. This is also where the desert and the sea come together in, just a few hours south from Lima, according to Go 2 Peru. Explore the cliffs that fringe the beaches, witness millions of birds that live there year-round, and gaze at sea lion colonies. Try sandboarding, which has become popular on the sand dunes.

Virgin Gorda, BVI

One of the most popular of the BVIs is the Virgin Gorda, a land mass whose shape resembles that of a large reclining woman, and a place where the laid-back pace will wash all your worries away. Paddling through the colorful coves and granite boulders of The Baths, located at the bottom of a hill on the southern end of Virgin Gorda, is a very popular activity among tourists. Climbing through the cracks and caves is a marvelous experience that isn't very taxing. Reach Devil's Bay for shallow clear waters that are ideal for snorkeling.


This is a fantastic location where the weather remains warm year-round. Dog Island is known all over the world for its clean water, which is why the island is one of the top snorkeling places in Guna Yala. Panama City Beach is so spectacular you'd definitely want to visit it even in the winter. Bocas del Toro is home to several resorts with overwater villas. People love going there for scuba diving, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, and bustling nightlife.


Barbados has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean. The towering cliffs on each end of Crane Beach and the coral reef in the ocean make for stunning views. The warm and lively waves make it an ideal spot for boogie boarding. The island attracts over half a million people every year, and it's not just for its gnarly waves. Central Barbados is full of rolling terrain and scenery from its fascinating colonial past.