Ahhh, doesn’t this picture just make you happy? We got another little dusting of snow here last night so this image is giving me hope that brighter days are ahead! I have my in-laws to thank for allowing me to write a solid recommendation for this post. They are well traveled people that spend a lot of their time chasing spots with 75 degree weather. Brett and I are happy to join them when we can! With a fresh new year and January/February being the coldest months of the year who doesn’t love dreaming about a warm vacation? I’ve been lucky to have spent some time in a few different warm places around this time of year (mostly February and March time frame). Here is my list of top 3 favorite warm weather getaways for you to consider in your future. Each offers something different than the other so check out my different reasons why I chose each destination below. It is always important to go into planning a vacation by deciding what you are looking for next – is it relaxation without a care in the world by the beach? Or perhaps you are looking to do a lot of outdoor activities and exploring?
Cancun, Mexico – For beach bums who live for a good margarita
Cancun was one of my favorite vacations we ever took. It is the best place to go if you’re looking to get away for a week after a long winter. We went last March which ended up being the perfect week to go. Cancun has a reputation for being a big party town but honestly there are a lot of families that go there too. The Cancun Airport is such a great direct flight from DC and most major airports in the US. Another big plus if you don’t want to hassle with a long travel day – more time in the sun!
There is so much to offer here if the beach is your thang! Also Tulum and Playa del Carmen are popular beach towns that you can easily get to when flying into the Cancun airport. While I haven’t been to either of those places, it seems Tulum is very bohemian and has been super popular with the famous instagrammers of the world and I know plenty of people that went on their honeymoon in Playa del Carmen. Anyway, you should definitely go to Cancun if you like the following:
- Pretty white sand beaches and turquoise water.
- Love Mexican food (mas margaritas por favor!)
- Like a wide selection of GREAT restaurants within walking distance (our favorites are Lorenzillos for seafood, Puerto Madero for a great Argentinian steak, and La Habichuela for a finer dining) Mexican food experience. All of these restaurants are situated with amazing views of the water.
- Seeking daily excursions: we opted not to do this but there is plenty of history to check out like the Tulum ruins, Chichen Itza, and Xcaret to name a few
- Are into a nightlife (but you obviously don’t need to partake if you don’t want to)
Key West, Florida – For the bohemians that love the sun and a good time
Key West makes for a nice long weekend trip. It is one of those trips I think is best with girlfriends or a couples trip. I have been there a few times – once in college (woo Spring Break!) and once a year ago for Christmas with Brett’s side of the fam. Out of all the places on the east coast you can pretty much be guaranteed warm weather here. I would describe Key West as a “free spirited” tropical towns. It is kind of a “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” kind of vibe. I’d go here if you’re with a group of people who are looking for sunny days and fun nightlife. Consider Key West if you enjoy the following:
- A vibrant nightlife. Duval Street is basically where its all going down. My favorite places to go in college were Sloppy Joes and Fat Tuesdays.
- Water Sports: While there might not be a lot of beaches there is so much water to enjoy all the activities that go along with it.
- Enjoy a walkable town where you can bike or walk most places.
- Great seafood restaurants – ohh the conch salad!
- The Beach: Key West isn’t well-known for beaches BUT there is Smather’s Beach, Higg’s Beach, and Doggie Beach which is a fun spot to check out to see the dogs having fun!
Palm Desert, CA – For the outdoorsy types that enjoy the desert life
Like Key West is to the East Coast, Palm Desert is to the West Coast. It the warmest place to be in the winter be far. I’ve only been to Palm Desert one time but it was such an amazing and different place to escape to in February. The best part is how amazing that hot sun feels during the day and the refreshing chilly air in the evenings. I consider Palm Desert to be great for people that like to hike and spend a lot of time outdoors exploring. Here are the highlights of Palm Desert and why it might be a great place for you:
- Many places to hike, camp (glamp?) bike, etc: basically lots of outdoor activity
- So many artsy fartsy things to do like art museums and flea markets
- The Living Desert Zoo is super cool
- Many amazing unique restaurants and shopping in El Paseo
- Laying by the pool in the hot sun or indulging in a spa day. While there is a lot of outdoor activities there is plenty of relaxing to be had. There are also a lot of golf courses for the men out there!