Sunday, January 4, 2015

The 7 Best Destinations for a Quick Winter Weekend Vacation

January. If you are like me at all, this is the month where it seems like winter has been here forever and might never leave. Personally, this means that I need to start planning my next getaway, if one hasn't already been lined up. I find myself longing for the sun, beautiful ocean views, and some sand to dip my toes into. Because I'm vacation dreaming today, I will share some of the best quick and easy winter getaways for those of us in need of a break from this (seemingly!) never-ending winter. These getaways are easily accessible to most with regular flights, as well as having reasonable hotel accommodations. If you are looking for a 'quick' long weekend away (from the U.S. or Europe), any of these destinations would be perfect!

cheapest winter getaways
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
 The first destination I will talk about is San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has become a more and more popular destination for tourists from the U.S., so there are tons of daily flights- especially in the winter- heading to San Juan. San Juan has a great mix of old things, new things, tours, cruises, and gorgeous beaches. If you are looking for history, check out old San Juan (pictured above). El Condado and Isla Verde are some of the newer areas, with stunning beaches, hotels, and restaurants to check out. San Juan is also a great destination for cruises, with over 1.4 million cruise guests visiting San Juan each year.
cheapest winter vacations
Scottsdale, Arizona
 Scottsdale is home to stunning scenery, warm temperatures, and a great taste of local cuisine and culture. During the winter months, high temps in Scottsdale usually peak around 75 F, which means a comfortable temperature that stays warm into the nights. While in Scottsdale, you can enjoy hiking, lounging by the pool, and for golf fanatics there are over 200 golf courses to choose from. Being in the continental U.S., Scottsdale is a great choice for an affordable, warm, and enjoyable winter weekend getaway.
cheap winter vacations
St. Martin/ St. Maarten
 An island in the Caribbean, by visiting St. Martin/ St. Maarten you can experience not only the French way of life, but also the Dutch. The island was inhabited prior to 800 AD, and claimed by Christopher Columbus and the French in 1493. Check out St. Martin for nightlife, jewelry, and beaches; then swing by St. Maarten for nude beaches, clothes, and shopping. As the entire island is only 87 square kilometers, it is certainly easy to explore both sides of the island. For sunrise, check out St. Martin; for sunset, check out St. Maarten.
best winter vacations
Tulum, Mexico
 If you've ever watched the show The Bachelor, you've almost certainly seen Tulum, Mexico- and there is a reason. Tulum is home to gorgeous white sand beaches, authentic cuisine, and tons of history. For the beach lover, the white sand beaches and palm trees are a must. For the history buff, the Mayan ruins are one of the best-preserved coastal sites in the world. For the romantic, either stay up until dawn or wake up early to view the sunrise, as Tulum has previously been known as Zama, meaning city of dawn, for the fact it has tremendous sunrise views. No matter what your fancy, Tulum is sure to please.

best winter getaways
Laguna Beach, California
See that sunset above? Yes, there is a reason why they made an entire show named after Laguna Beach. One hour south of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach features gorgeous white sand beaches, stunning sunsets, and an overall atmosphere that simply can't be beat. If you are wondering "why visit Laguna Beach?" a better question would be "Why not visit Laguna Beach?". With a 7-mile stretch of white sand beaches, you are sure to find peace, parties, sunsets, action, delicious restaurants, romantic nights, and more. Whatever your fancy, Laguna Beach is sure to please.

best winter vacations
Orlando, Florida
If you have just enough time for a long weekend, either with or without your kids, definitely consider Orlando, Florida. Orlando can offer something for everyone, whether you are looking to check out the theme park capital of the world, one of the 170 golf courses in the area, or any of the many beaches in Orlando or a short hour away along the coast. Read all about Orlando here.

best affordable winter vacations
Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, home of gorgeous white sand beaches and the stunning blue of the Caribbean sea. With a hotel zone shaped like a 7, you have many options depending what you want for your vacation: the top section of the 7 is calmer and blocked by the wind, while the lower section has more wind and waves for the adventurers of the world. Beyond the beaches, Cancun features the Mayan ruins, all-inclusive hotels, frequent acceptance of the US dollar, shopping, spas, and plenty of tourist attractions.

Now, tell me, where are you headed this winter to escape the cold and snow?

40 comments:

  1. We are a Disney family and I keep telling my husband that he & I need to get there without the kids one of these days. It's definitely fun for couples and/or families.

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    1. My husband has never been to Disney! I can't wait to take him there one day!

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  2. Florida is one of the destinations I also want to make my visit soon!

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  3. I think tropical areas like the Caribbean are great winter destination because of their beach front. Florida also has their share of warm attractions.

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    1. Being from Minnesota, I think anywhere warm is a great place? All of these vacations are easily accessible which makes them perfect for a quick weekend away!

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  4. Oh my goodness, what beautiful photos and places to vacation during winter. I've only been to one of these places, Orlando, Florida, but I'd love to visit them all.

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    1. Anywhere warm this time of year sounds appealing, even if just for a weekend!

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  5. Those are all beautiful photos that have captured my heart each and every one. Disney's Castle I always wondered how high up can you go... can you look out the windows and see? Is it an actual castle or just something modern like a mall... that would really be disappointing. The blue water of the ocean that's on my bucket list. I would like to see the blue water just once and swim in it if I could. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Marie, I'm not sure about the Disney castle actually, that's a great question!

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  6. These are such great locations, I'd love to go to St. Martin. Unfortunately I won't be going anyway that exotic and hot this winter, I have to make do with Dublin next week instead :)

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    1. Fiona, I'm sure Dublin will also be a great trip! I can't wait to hear all about it.

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  7. Definitely great locations here. I ant wait to feel the warmth from the sun again.

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    1. Heather, I'm with you! I can't stop thinking about my next trip to the sun.

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  8. These are all awesome destinations and I would take a trip to any of them right now! Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks! I think most of us would live a warm vacation right about now!

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  9. These are all awesome places to be! I love to go in Florida in the near future - it is just a wonderful place. I keep hearing that from my mom quite a lot and the photos speaks for itself too!

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  10. All the beach locations look like my thing - so relaxing. I live in South Florida and cannot get enough!

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    1. Oh, I wish I could live in the warmth year round!

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  11. Those are all great destinations if you live in a super wintery climate during the winter. I'd love to visit Scottsdale Arizona one day.

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    1. Cassie, that's exactly why I published this! Hoping it gives someone great vacation ideas.

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  12. What beautiful locations. I would certainly love to spend more than a weekend at each of them. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Eileen, right now I would take any amount of time I could get at any of the locations!

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  13. You definitely have all quarters covered! You and me both, I LOVE BEACHES! Man.. anywhere warm with water I love it...I would love to visit one of these places in the Summer time.

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    1. Michelle, I can't stop dreaming about my next vacation. Beaches, sun, sand , warm weather equals heaven!

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  14. St martin and mexico are places i certainly could do with right now, the UK is so miserable but then again the weather here is always miserable so any warm climate is welcome

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    1. Miranda, I feel you! Sweden hasn't been much better than the UK lately. Warm thoughts are all that will get me through the winter!

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  15. These all look like great places to visit in the winter indeed. The beaches all look just relaxing and gorgeous. I could so use some beach time right now with -30 and -40 windchill.Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Rebecca, that's how the weather back home is for my family. Here in Sweden it's about 15, but I could still use a warm getaway!

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  16. I'd love to go to any of the beach destinations right now! San Juan is really high on my list of places to visit.

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    1. April, like you I would take any of these warm getaways!

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  17. I don't have any winter vacation plans, but I will say I'd love to go to St. Martin! I had no idea that it was inhabited in 800A.D. I LOVE visiting places with an ancient past like that, add in the fact that there is a beach and it is warm - perfect! Thanks for compiling this wonderful list of dreamy places - I'll be thinking of them as it hits 9 degrees here. :)

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    1. That's exactly what I was thinking when I wrote this post- time to escape the cold, at least mentally!

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  18. Florida is one of the places in my bucket list. Aside from Disneyworld, they also have wonderful beaches out there.

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    1. Peachy, that is definitely true. I have always loved the beaches in Florida!

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  19. I know and lovvve so many of these places, but near and dear to my heart is Old San Juan where I got married. It is such a wonderful destination, and I love that you've included it! <3

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    1. Well I'm happy I did as well! I've never visited (yet!!) but definitely hoping to soon. My husband and I were debating between San Juan and the Domincan Republic for a vacation this summer- we ended up picking the DR as he has a friend there!

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