If you’re curled up in blankets and wearing fuzzy socks, you’re most likely stuck somewhere cold. You might think this is how winter is for everyone around the world, but believe it or not, there are some places that are currently a sunny paradise. What’re you waiting for? Grab your bathing suit and flip-flops and take a trip to some of the best beach getaways this winter.
1. Long Beach, California
What to do: Located in Southern California and just a half hour from Los Angeles, Long Beach is the perfect oasis away from the cold weather. If you’re looking for more than a gorgeous beach, you can find plenty to do in the area including a bustling area surrounding the beach with shops, restaurants and marinas. While you’re there, take some time to tour the Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner with an amazing restaurant, or explore the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Where to eat: If you get hungry while relaxing on the beach, check out the classic waterfront restaurant, Parkers’ Lighthouse, for some fresh seafood. Or if you’re in the mood for some art and views, check out the Sky Room, a rooftop bar in downtown Long Beach. If you go at sunset, you’ll be in the perfect spot to snap some pics and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Temp check: 70° is the average high from December – February.
2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
What to do: Even though summer’s over, there is still plenty to do in Myrtle Beach. Hit the back roads and hop on an ATV with Carolina Backwoods ATV Adventure Tours! Open year round, this adventurous excursion is the perfect activity to do with friends. Grab your beach towels and head to the boardwalk to ride the ferris wheel and relax on the beach.
Where to eat: Stop by the Gulf Stream Cafe for some crab cakes and a beautiful view of the sunset. If you feel like trying the best onion rings in town and other homemade dishes, head to Horry’s Restaurant located a bit inland from the shore but definitely worth the short drive.
Temp check: 60° is the average high from December – February.
3. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, Key West, Florida
What to do: Head to this beach for a chance to experience one of the favorite local spots. The shore is made up of ground coral and stretches along the coast of Florida. You can go snorkeling, check out Fort Zachary and go on a tour. Tours start each day at noon and run throughout the day. You can also go on a short hike around the area on two different trails.
Where to eat: If you’re interested in grabbing a bite to eat after a day at the beach, head over to one of Key West’s amazing restaurants. Some of our favorites are Santiago’s Bodega which offers tapas and a laid back environment and Moondog Cafe & Bakery for some sweet treats in the afternoon.
Temp check: 76° is the average high from December – February.
4. Laguna Beach, California
What to do: A hidden gem in Southern California, this beach getaway stretches across seven miles with plenty to do and see. Laguna Beach is covered with tide pools, sea caves and sandy beaches. Visitors can enjoy hiking in the area and wandering along the shore. Definitely a fun spot to hang out with friends and family.
Where to eat: Grab a bite to eat at Nick’s Laguna Beach. If you feel like Japanese food, try some coconut rice and pork dumplings at Starfish, a restaurant just a couple blocks inland from the shore. There’s plenty of small shake shacks and fast casual restaurants as well!
Temp check: 68° is the average high from December – February.
5. Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas
What to do: Check out this one-of-a-kind beach and dive right into the crystal blue waters. The Pink Sands Beach is close to Dunmore Town, making it a perfect day trip.. There’s plenty to do throughout the winter that will keep you busy since it stays so warm throughout the year. Go snorkeling, relax on the pink sandy beach, or wander around the straw market.
Where to eat: If you’re looking to get away from the tourists and see where the locals love to eat, check out Angela’s Starfish Restaurant located just a little ways inland from the beach. While you’re there you’re going to want to try conch which is famous in the Bahamas and is offered in a variety of dishes.
Temp check: 78° is the average high from December – February.
6. Mauna Kea Beach, Hawaii
What to do: Head to the beach and soak up some rays! Mauna Kea Beach is a picturesque sandy beach with beautiful turquoise water. Pro tip: get there early if you want to grab a spot in the shade because this beach is a popular place! Spend the day snorkeling and take a walk along trails alongside the beach.
Where to eat: If you’re feeling hungry after a day relaxing on this white sand beach, head to Hau Tree which is a few feet away from the beach for some surf and turf. Check out the Copper Bar for delicious seafood and views of the ocean.
Temp check: 79° is the average high from December – February.
7. Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana
What to do: A beautiful postcard-perfect beach getaway, this is the perfect place to set up your umbrella and spend the day enjoying the cool breeze. This beach in Punta Cana is one of the most popular and often gets a lot of visitors year round. If you’re planning to go definitely grab some friends and get there early. There’s plenty of water sports to play on the beach as well!
Where to eat: Looking to try some Caribbean food? Both Herman 311 and Onno’s Bavaro top our list of best places to eat near Bavaro Beach. Both are great choices if you get hungry from a day out in the sun.
Temp check: 84° is the average high from December – February.
8. Eagle Beach, Aruba
What to do: Looking for somewhere that will really heat things up this winter? Head to Eagle Beach, where the summer heat doesn’t ever seem to die off. This beach is a hot spot for swimming and jet skis. If you’re looking for some relaxation, set up your towel under a coconut palm and spend the day looking out at the bright blue ocean. If you’re lucky you might even see a turtle!
Where to eat: If you’re grabbing a bite to eat after a long day at the beach, head to the Islander Grill and grab classic American dishes. If you decide to try some Caribbean food (which you should because it’s delicious), head on over to Las Ramblas Tapas and Charcoal Grill.
Temp check: 87° is the average high from December – February.
If you need a cure for the winter blues, taking a trip to one of these stunning beaches will have you feeling like it’s summer all over again. Book your flight and get ready to relax!