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”.
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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.
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.