Trade your scarves and mittens this winter for sunscreen and a floppy hat and work on your tan at one of America’s most picturesque coastlines instead. Banish your winter blues by travelling to these sunny getaways, where warmer weather, soft sand and outdoor adventures are guaranteed.

With over 400 million annual visitors to RatesToTravelinfo, we’ve discovered the best winter sun destinations in the United States. Sure, we’ve covered big hitters like Hawaii, California and Florida, but we’ve also highlighted underrated gems, including a picturesque coastline in Alabama and a tropical island paradise where no passport is needed. When winter’s chill sets in, escape to these sun-drenched spots.

Why You Should Visit Oahu, Hawaii

Photo| Shutterstock | AINES

Oahu is an idyllic getaway beloved by sun-seekers across the globe for its endless golden beaches, balmy weather and year-round natural beauty. It offers various activities, particularly in Honolulu, from surfing and snorkelling to World War II attractions and the family-friendly Waikiki Beach.

Best Winter Experiences on Oahu, Hawaii

  • Catching a wave at Waikiki Beach, then browse the shops at adjacent Kalakaua Avenue.
  • Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial to learn about its significance in U.S history.
  • Follow the trails to Diamond Head State Monument for stunning views over Waikiki Beach.

Best Hotels on Oahu, Hawaii

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

Photo| Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort | Provided by LEONARDO

Located on Waikiki Beach, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort offers inviting oceanfront accommodations. The standard room features one king-size bed or two double beds and a furnished balcony, while Pacific Tower Ocean View rooms face the Pacific Ocean. Upgrade to the Voyager 47 Club room for lounge access and daily breakfast.

Indulge in authentic Hawaiian flavours at The Reef Bar & Market Grill, which offers beachfront dining, live music and a wine-paired dinner menu. Kani Ka Pila Grille also boasts traditional Hawaiian music and tasty pupu appetizers. Visit the spa for Hot Lava rock and other native island therapies.

Nearby Attractions

●  Fort DeRussy Beach Park (210 metres)
●  Waikīkī Aquarium (2.3 kilometres)
●  Hawaii Convention Center (1.5 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 281 – USD 1,293
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 2169 Kalia Road, Waikiki, Honolulu, United States

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Photo| Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa | Provided by LEONARDO

Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is located next to Diamond Head Crater, boasting 2.1 hectares of oceanfront property. Standard rooms have private balconies, flat-screen TVs and mini fridges. Certain rooms also have ocean views, while Suites add separate living spaces.

Play in the nearby surf or relax poolside with a tropical drink. The on-site spa invites you to unwind with massages, body wraps and facials. Kuhio Beach Grill serves a signature prime rib dinner buffet, while Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar is a seaside favourite with fresh seafood specialties.

Nearby Attractions

●  Kuhio Beach Park (400 metres)
●  Honolulu Zoo (300 metres)
●  Diamond Head State Monument (2.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 234 – USD 565
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 2552 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki, Honolulu, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit The Florida Keys

Photo| Shutterstock | STOCKDONKEY

The Florida Keys are the ultimate destination for winter fun in the sun, packed with iconic road trips and gorgeous scenery. In addition to an abundance of water-based activities, vacation-goers can visit Ernest Hemingway’s favourite haunts, go sightseeing along Key West’s attraction-filled Duval Street and snap selfies at the famous Southernmost Point buoy.

Best Winter Experiences in The Florida Keys

  • Take an epic road trip from Miami to Key West along the scenic U.S. Route 1.
  • Snorkel the crystalline waters surrounding the beach-ringed islands in Dry Tortugas National Park.
  • Join the nightly sunset celebration and festive atmosphere in Key West’s Mallory Square.

Best Hotels in The Florida Keys

Casa Marina Beach & Resort Club Waldorf Astoria

Photo| Casa Marina Beach & Resort Club Waldorf Astoria | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Casa Marina Beach & Resort Club Waldorf Astoria is set on the only private beach in Key West. Take in the island scenery from one of the outdoor pools, treat yourself to a Swedish massage at Spa al Mare or get your adrenaline pumping on a deep-sea fishing excursion. Refuel with seafood chowder or lobster at Sun-Sun Bar and Grill.

Enjoy sweeping resort and ocean views in a Grand Ocean View with Terrace room, which features air conditioning, an LCD TV and mini fridge. The Ocean View with Lanai adds a private walk-out lanai leading to the beach, while the Oceanfront Suite has a spacious living room.

Nearby Attractions

●  Mallory Square (2.9 kilometres)
●  Southernmost Point (1 kilometre)
●  The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum (1.6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 258 – USD 1,329
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 1500 Reynolds Street, Key West, Florida, United States

Hawks Cay Resort

Photo| Hawks Cay Resort | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Set on Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort is a secluded oceanfront resort with a private marina. Spacious rooms feature coastal-inspired decor, flat-screen TVs, furnished balconies and, in some, sea views. Upgrade to a luxe villa for extra bedrooms, a full kitchen and private pool.

There are five pools, including a saltwater lagoon, as well as an award-winning spa. Kids will love the Coral Cay Activities & Adventure club, while the whole family can try paddleboarding and kayaking. Sixty-One Prime boasts a romantic atmosphere and a menu of succulent steaks and Hawks Cay Marketplace is a family-friendly spot with grab-and-go options.

Nearby Attractions

●  Curry Hammock State Park (7.5 kilometres)
●  Long Key State Park (11.2 kilometres)
●  Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters (13.9 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 247 – USD 2,710
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, Florida, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit San Diego, California

While the entire California coast is alluring in winter, San Diego ranks as our top spot due to its picturesque beaches, scenic hikes and family-friendly attractions. Luring in adventurers and sun-seekers throughout the year, the city features top breweries and a burgeoning food scene.

Best Winter Experiences in San Diego, California

  • Take a scenic walk along the sandstone cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
  • Visit Balboa Park, the city’s cultural hub home to the renowned San Diego Zoo.
  • Stroll kilometres of pristine shoreline at Coronado Beach during sunset.

Best Hotels in San Diego, California

Photo| Shutterstock | DANCESTROKES

The Dana on Mission Bay

Photo| The Dana on Mission Bay | Provided by BOOKING.COM | GETTYIMAGES – RON AND PATTY THOMAS | VASILEIOS ECONOMOU

The Dana on Mission Bay features exciting water sports, lawn games and nightly resort activities. Marina Cove rooms have one king or two queen-size beds and include refrigerators, flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi, while Water’s Edge rooms boast private balconies overlooking Mission Bay. The latter includes a variety of two-room suites for families.

Tuck into shareable bites, hearty entrees and microbrew tasting flights at Firefly Eatery & Bar, then kick back in a private cabana poolside or enjoy a body treatment at the spa. Families will love the kid-friendly Tropical Pool with nightly Dive-In Movies, as well as the paddle boat, kayak and bicycle rentals on site.

Nearby Attractions

●  San Diego International Airport (7.7 kilometres)
●  Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (4.6 kilometres)
●  San Diego Zoo (10.6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 168 – USD 283
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: 1710 West Mission Bay Drive, Mission Bay, San Diego, United States

Omni San Diego Hotel

Photo| Omni San Diego Hotel | Provided by OMNI SAN DIEGO

Omni San Diego Hotel is nestled in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, putting you at arm’s reach of San Diego’s top attractions. Take in San Diego Bay, downtown skyline or Pacific Ocean views from one of the stylish rooms, which also feature pillow-top mattresses, HDTVs and coffeemakers.

Relax in style on the outdoor terrace, which has a heated swimming pool, hot tub and fireplace, or massage all your cares away at the spa. Dine on fresh seafood at McCormick & Smick’s, then join a harbour cruise or catch a baseball game at Petco Park, which is connected to the hotel via a pedestrian skywalk.

Nearby Attractions

●  Petco Park (56 metres)
●  Centennial Park (2.5 kilometres)
●  San Diego Civic Theatre (1.4 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 171 – USD 631
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 675 L Street, East Village, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit South Padre Island, Texas

Photo| Shutterstock | DAVID ODELL

“Winter Texans” flock to South Padre Island to enjoy its year-round sunshine and avoid the Spring Break crowd. You might as well have the entire beach to yourself during this tranquil period and swim in some of the clearest waters on the Texas coast. Or you could visit the aptly-named Sea Turtle Inc. to learn about sea turtle rescue.

Best Winter Experiences in South Padre Island, Texas

  • Join a romantic sunset or dolphin-watching cruise along the coast.
  • Spot more than 300 species of birds on the Laguna Madre Nature Trail.
  • Browse artefacts from the Mexican-American War at the Port Isabel Historical Museum.

Best Hotels in South Padre Island, Texas

La Copa Inn Beach Hotel

Photo| La Copa Inn Beach Hotel | Provided by LEONARDO

La Copa Inn Beach Hotel is a top-rated beachfront hotel on South Padre Island with inviting perks, such as in-house Starbucks coffee and a tequila bar. The buffet breakfast has made-to-order omelettes and a taco station, while La Copa Cabana Bar & Grill offers casual dining.

You can rest easy on the Tempur-Pedic mattresses in the Standard 2 Queen, which also features a coffee maker and premium HD channels. Upgrade to a 2 Queens Oceanfront for stunning beach views or the 2 Room Family Suite to accommodate up to seven people.

Nearby Attractions

●  Schlitterbahn Waterpark (1.4 kilometres)
●  Sea Turtle Inc (5.9 kilometres)
●  Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historical Park (5.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 63 – USD 157
Guest Rating: 8
Address: 350 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, Texas, United States

Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island

Photo| Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island | Provided by LEONARDO | GETTYIMAGES – JEFF R CLOW

Near Andy Bowie Park, Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island offers a prime beachfront location. Swim in the oceanfront pool or visit Barry’s International restaurant for comfort food classics, such as pizza, pasta and burgers. If you’re on the go, the Pavilion Pantry offers enticing ready-to-cook meals.

Boasting an LCD TV, refrigerator and private balcony, the 1 King Bed is the hotel’s stylish entry-level accommodation, while the 2 Queens Premium offers an array of in-room drinks and snacks that will appeal to families. For stunning ocean views, upgrade to a 1 King Bed Junior Suite with a cosy living area and sofa bed.

Nearby Attractions

●  Sea Turtle Inc (350 metres)
●  Clayton’s Beach Bar (500 metres)
●  Laguna Madre Nature Trail (800 metres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 107 – USD 287
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 7010 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, Texas, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Orange Beach, Alabama

Photo| Shutterstock | URSULA PAGE

One of the South’s best-kept secrets, Orange Beach is nestled at the southernmost tip of Alabama. Its 51 kilometres of sugar-white beaches are a year-round attraction, while world-class charter fishing expeditions, paved biking trails and bird-watching sites appeal to outdoor lovers.

Best Winter Experiences in Orange Beach, Alabama

  • Cycle past six distinct ecosystems and local wildlife on the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail.
  • Browse local restaurants, bars and shops or ride the Ferris wheel at The Wharf.
  • Get your adrenaline pumping with go-karting, laser tag and bumper boats at Adventure Island. 

Best Hotels in Orange Beach, Alabama

Perdido Beach Resort

Photo| Perdido Beach Resort | Provided by BOOKING.COM | GETTYIMAGES – CARMEN CLARK | PARTICK BRANNON

Situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico, Perdido Beach Resort is a family-friendly favourite with outdoor pools, volleyball courts, beach activities and splash pool movie nights. On-site dining is highlighted by Gulf Coast cuisine at Voyagers and family-size pizzas and hand-dipped ice cream at Perdido Beach Pizza Co.

Stylish rooms feature private balconies, air conditioning and mini fridges, while Gulf Front rooms add panoramic views of the beach. Upgrade to an Executive Level room for club lounge access or a luxury suite for Keurig coffee makers and separate living areas.

Nearby Attractions

●  Perdido Pass (600 metres)
●  The Gulf – Orange Beach (700 metres)
●  Adventure Island (4.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3.5*
Price: USD 153 – USD 293
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 27200 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, Alabama, United States

Hampton Inn & Suites – Orange Beach

Photo| Hampton Inn & Suites – Orange Beach | Provided by ICE PORTAL | GETTYIMAGES – GEORGE DODD – EYEEM

Boasting private beach access, Hampton Inn & Suites – Orange Beach offers affordable oceanfront rooms with flat-screen TVs, coffee makers and work desks. Couples will love the romantic suites, which add private balconies, separate living areas and mini fridges.

The hotel’s indoor and outdoor pool ensures you can enjoy a swim throughout the year, while the complimentary breakfast serves fresh-baked waffles and warm oatmeal. Active travellers will appreciate the modern fitness centre, while the poolside Tiki Bar encourages relaxation.

Nearby Attractions

●  Orange Beach (270 metres)
●  Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum (2.4 kilometres)
●  The Backcountry Trail (1.9 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 108 – USD 184
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 25518 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, Alabama, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit the U.S. Virgin Islands

Photo| Shutterstock | EMPERORCOSAR

The U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory known for its white-sand beaches, world-class snorkelling and diving and luxury beachfront accommodation. You can explore Trunk Bay, one of the best beaches in the world, or hike scenic trails past secret coves on St. John before sampling local conch chowder and spicy curry in local restaurants.

Best Winter Experiences in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Best Hotels in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove

Photo| Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove | LEONARDO

Located on St. Thomas, Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove offers family-friendly accommodation overlooking Pacquereau Bay. Spacious two and three-bedroom villas feature separate living and dining areas, fully-equipped kitchens and furnished balconies. Master suites are the epitome of luxury with king-size beds and oversized soaking tubs.

Surrounded by a secluded beach, the hotel has a sparkling infinity pool with a water slide, a fitness centre and a poolside restaurant serving coconut shrimp, spicy wings and frozen cocktails. The Marketplace Express has an assortment of snacks and sundry items perfect for a pick-up and go.

Nearby Attractions

●  SkyRide to Paradise Point (3.2 kilometres)
●  The Virgin Islands Children’s Museum (2.1 kilometres)
●  Blackbeard’s Castle (4.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 379 – USD 1,124
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands

The Buccaneer

Photo| The Buccaneer | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Dating back to the 17th century, The Buccaneer is the Caribbean’s longest-running resort and its biggest claim to fame was being featured on The Bachelor. You’ve got it all here, from a luxury spa and 18-hole golf course to three beaches, each with a water sports centre. Practise your swing on the tennis courts or dine at one of the numerous beachside restaurants.

Each room at the resort features a private patio or balcony, while other amenities include air conditioning, mini fridges and coffee makers. Got the family in tow? Stay in the Beach House, a six-bedroom enclave with a private pool, full kitchen and wrap-around terrace.

Nearby Attractions

●  Green Cay National Wildlife Refuge (4.4 kilometres)
●  Buck Island Reef National Monument (8.8 kilometres)
●  Christiansted National Historic Site (4 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 330 – USD 995
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 25200 Gallows Bay Christiansted, Saint Croix, US Virgin Islands

Hotel Location

For those wanting to escape the frigid temperatures this winter, these six destinations are our top picks for a winter getaway in the United States. Get your fix of sunny weather and beautiful beaches, then retreat to one of these inviting hotels with beachfront locales, on-site restaurants and pampering spa treatments.

Which warm-weather destination do you want to visit in the U.S. this winter? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.



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