Usually the go-to winter vacation ideas involve beaches or skiing. Unfortunately, when everyone is thinking the same thing those destinations can be crowded and pricey. Once you’ve made it through the hectic holiday season — battling crowds at the mall and negotiating a barrage of relatives and parties — a little peace and quiet probably sounds like heaven. So we’ve found 10 awesome winter getaways that are a bit off the beaten path.
1. San Diego, California
San Diego is a fantastic winter destination. Temperatures usually stay in the 60s and because it’s the rainy season, you can nab some killer deals on hotels and air fare. The whole family will have a great time at the San Diego Zoo and, even more exciting, there is incredible whale watching as thousands of California grey whales make the journey from Alaska to Baja.
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2. Medellín, Colombia
Colombia’s official travel guide says spring is eternal in Medellín and, with year-round temperatures in the mid-seventies, that’s an accurate description. Although this beautiful city once had a reputation for being dangerous, it’s been completely rejuvenated. There’s gorgeous architecture, tons of art and amazing nature preserves.
3. Curaçao, Caribbean
Curaçao is one of the best Caribbean vacations for families on a budget. It’s an island paradise that stays in the mid-eighties all year. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the Dolphin Academy will!
4. Haida Gwaii, BC, Canada
Haida Gwaii is often called “Canada’s Galapagos” and it’s definitely one of the most off the beaten path winter getaways there is. Though it’s part of Canada, this archipelago has a comfortable climate all year and it’s a cornucopia of natural wonders like rainforests, beaches and Native American reservations. They even offer a totem pole tour.
5. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia doesn’t get very cold in the winter but it’s still their slow season so you can find great deals in this breathtaking Southern city.
6. Hyderabad, India
Hyderabad, one of India’s largest cities, is beyond spectacular. There’s so much to do and see that just taking a walk is an adventure. Don’t forget to pick up some treasures at the local market.
7. Providence, Rhode Island
If you’re looking for winter vacation ideas to escape the cold, Providence isn’t that place. However, if you want to visit a charming New England city with a thriving art scene and the nation’s largest indoor shopping mall, this is a great wallet-friendly getaway.
8. Los Angeles, California
It’s never cold in the City of Angels but winter is still one of the best times to visit this star-studded city if you want to avoid the crowds.
9. Rangiroa, Tahiti
Rangiroa is a dazzling, and secluded, island paradise with white sand beaches, crystal blue water and coral reefs galore. Spend a few days snorkeling, diving, visiting a pearl farm and just chilling on the beach.
10. Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is a desert hub filled with picturesque pine forested mountains. It’s near seven national parks and it’s only a little over an hour’s drive to the Grand Canyon.