The Best Warm-Weather Destinations for a Winter Vacation in the United States

3. Laguna Beach, California

People who grew up watching TV in the 2000s will remember MTV’s reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. Fortunately, Laguna Beach has managed to separate itself from the TV show, and remains a quiet, classy resort town in balmy Orange County, California and is known for its excellent surfing. A five-block stretch of beach right outside of the main town area has hosted a regular surfing competition since 1955.

Laguna Beach also has a fantastic arts and culture scene – their Pageant of the Masters (where real people dress up as famous artworks for an appreciative live audience) was parodied in the Arrested Development episode “In God We Trust”.

Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

4. Hanalei, Hawaii

If you’re looking to get away from tourists in Hawaii, you’ll have to head to one of the smaller towns, like Hanalei. This underrated gem can be found on the island of Kauai, sheltered within Hanalei Bay. There’s great surfing, and a gorgeous public beach right outside of the main town center.

After you’re done on the water for the day, head to town to peruse the many popular food trucks, like Wishing Well Shave Ice – a bustling location that offers all-natural shave ice bowls, acai bowls and smoothies, and excellent local coffee. Even though it was hit by record-breaking floods in April 2017, the town is quickly recovering and welcomes tourists with open arms.

Nickolay Stanev / Shutterstock

5. Grand Isle, Louisiana

Although Grand Isle is mostly a summer destination for Louisiana tourists, it’s still warm enough to sunbathe in the winter, with the added bonus of being almost completely deserted. Grand Isle is the only one of Louisiana’s barrier islands that’s inhabited. It’s also home to incredible wildlife in natural habitats that are actively preserved by the state’s Nature Conservancy.

Bird watching and fishing are two of the island’s biggest pastimes – there’s even a Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival held every April. The island’s restaurants all specialize in fresh fish sandwiches and po’boys from Starfish Restaurant are a must.

sevenMaps7 / Shutterstock



Weirdest American Holiday Traditions

The holiday season is here and businesses across the United States are going all-out to make sure that their decorations are better than the year before. The majority of Americans get so excited about holidays that it’s easy to forget how many traditions are strangely unique to the American culture. Actually, there are a large number of uniquely American holiday traditions that seem strange to those who didn’t grow up here. Let’s explore some of the weirdest American holiday traditions that are out there today.

The World in Liquor

When you go out for a night, how many options for liquor does your home base bar have on offer? Sure, they’ve probably got some standard gins, vodkas, rums, whiskies, and tequilas—but probably not much of anything else. If you’re traveling, one of the best ways to start to get to know the local culture is to indulge in a popular local drink.

The World in Soda

Our taste buds can tell us a lot about ourselves. While giants like Pepsi and Coca-Cola still rule the worldwide soda market, smaller brands that represent local tastes have maintained their loyal followers for years in places like Switzerland and Barbados.