In the Northern Hemisphere, days are getting shorter and colder, and it’s time to daydream about warmth. Thinking of the days ahead, I’ve prepared a list of wonderful places to visit during winter! Below you’ll find some of my favourite warm locations: beachy paradises, vibrant cities, and adventurous locales. Trade the freezing weather for some fun in the sun in the best vacation spots during winter!
Through Booking.com you can always find the accommodation of your dreams!
Find out if you need a visa to reach any of the destinations below through the iVisa widget!
Places to Visit During Winter on the Beachy Side of Life
Chances are that when you think of places to visit during winter, the first thing that comes to mind is… warm beaches. Have a unique experience at the best vacation spots during winter for beachy times with the guides below!
1. Places to Visit During Winter in Colourful Mexico
Beautiful offers not just incredible places to visit during winter but also an ancient and fascinating culture that permeates to this day. For me, the best vacation spots during winter in Mexico are from coast to coast: boho Caribbean Tulum and Pacific surfer’s paradise Sayulita.
Read about the most gorgeous Instagram spots in Mexico here.
Tulum’s a must-visit dreamland. It has boho vibes, turquoise waters, white sands, beautiful people, a hip & conscious lifestyle, and many things to do. Unwind and immerse yourself in the traditional laidback life of one of the coolest places to visit during winter.
Here are my recommendations for a perfect Tulum holiday:
Stay at Coco Tulum! This lovely beachfront place isn’t just a conscious and authentic hotel, but also a fantastic beach club. Connect with the land by practicing mindfulness and yoga. My fave shala is Azulik Dome but there are many great ones. Small tip: ask in hotels’ front desks if they have yoga sessions and spiritual retreats.
Go back in time to the ancient Maya civilization. There Mayan ruins a 20-minute bike ride away from Tulum, and it’s such a special place. Here, cultural heritage meets the breathtaking Caribbean coastline. If you’re into history and archeology, Chichen Itzá is only about 2 hours away.
Get Lost in Nature
Nature lovers will love the Tulum cenotes: natural sinkholes unique to this area, with a rich history in Mayan ritual. You can choose between open-air, semi-open, and underground formations, or visit them all. They’re perfect for diving and snorkeling! You can find out more about what to do in Tulum and its surroundings in my travel guide.
Don’t miss this Tulum, Coba, & Cenote: Full-Day Tour!
Enjoy the local flavour. Hartwood is the most famous restaurant in town and a foodie heaven. It’s solar-powered, specialising in local, organic, and trendy, and the menu changes constantly, depending on the day’s produce. You’ll find more of my favourite Tulum restaurants here!
There are plenty of small boho boutiques between the Tulum jungle and beach, with one-of-a-kind artisanship, from clothes to home décor. Every little place oozes the local free spirit and Bohemian atmosphere.
While Tulum is Bohemian, Sayulita is a little yuppie. What makes this chill surf town of the best vacation spots during winter is its open and friendly ambiance. My tips for making your Sayulita visit a paradise:
Stay at Petit Hafa Hotel, a tropical Bohemian lodging just two blocks away from the beach. This cute, cozy, and charming little hotel will please every boutique and design hotel lover. If you loved Petit Hafa Hotel, you can book your stay here. Here’s my review of this cute boutique hotel!
Sayulita is a surfer’s paradise, and its consistent break is fairly easy for beginners. If you’re more experienced, there’s still plenty of room for longboarders and more challenging waves. Find more activities in my travel guide.
Check out this From Puerto Vallarta: San Pancho and Sayulita tour!
Mexico has one of the richest gastronomies on Earth, and El Itacate street food is one of the best Sayulita examples. Tacos and burritos served under the starry night – just perfection. Don’t forget to try my favourite Sayulita restaurants!
2. Best Vacation Spots During Winter in Eclectic Florida
There’s a good reason Florida’s dubbed the Sunshine State! While its Atlantic beaches are some of the best vacation spots during winter, there’s so much more. Take your pick and let the fun begin!
Florida has it all – you can learn more about our adventures in the Sunshine State here!
Fun and cosmopolitan, Miami is one of my favourite places to visit during winter. Big city vibes, luxurious hotels and restaurants, and a lovely beach atmosphere. Here are my favourite Miami hotels!
The Beautiful Florida Keys
Cosy and hip, the Keys allow for a super relaxed setting full of gorgeous photo spots. The best part? Celebrating the beautiful coastline sunsets.
So Much More
South Florida has one of the US’ biggest national parks, the Everglades, where nature lovers will feel right at home. The flora and fauna are truly unique!
For those who love rides and movies, Orlando is a fantastic destination. This is where all major parks are located, including Disney World, Universal Studios and Harry Potter Wizarding World. Roller coasters and rides galore.
When in Orlando, marveling at the famous parks is a must. Check out this Orlando: The Wheel at ICON Park Observation Wheel + Options tour!
Surfers will feel right at home at Cocoa Beach, just south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Find dreamy Cocoa Beach hotels here!
If you’re near Cocoa Beach and you love science and space, the Kennedy Space Center is just right for you. Their new Atlantis Shuttle pavilion is just fantastic.
See the wonders of NASA with this Kennedy Space Center: Admission Skip the Ticket Line!
3. Places to Visit During Winter in Giant Australia
The country Down Under has some truly gorgeous beach spots. The Byron Bay coastline has a very special place in my heart, with its mix of consciousness and boho vibes. Just like myself! 🙂
One of the best vacation spots during winter, there’s so much to do in this coastal town!
Chill Byron Bay
Rent a bike to beach hop during the day, checking out the cute cafés and shops along the way. Enjoy the sunset and just soak up the relaxed vibes. Read more about how to enjoy Byron Bay in my travel & photography guide!
When it comes to accommodations, I have 2 faves for the best vacation spots during winter: Byron Springs and The Bower. Both have boutique feeling and chic design touch to it! Learn more about my stay on my Byron Bay hotels post. You can book the accommodation of your dreams through Booking.com!
Learn from the best with this Byron Bay: 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson!
Best Vacation Spots During Winter for Big City Vibes
One of my favourite things in life is exploring big and vibrant cities, particularly when it’s warm and sunny. However, I’m not the only one who chooses these places to visit during winter, and cities are suffering from over-tourism. I try to go beyond the beaten path in any metropolis, steering a little away from the very touristic experience. I love it as a step towards conscious travel, which is why I also prefer small hotels and eating local.
If you’re interested in why I choose conscious travel, you’ll find my take on how to make a difference here. See more of my favourite metropoles in the Cityista section of the blog!
Places to Visit During Winter in Australia’s Vibrant Cities
Australia’s a small continent, so you can imagine there’s a bit of everything. As a plus, it has some of the best vacation spots during winter because that’s when it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. Plus, its cities are delightfully different!
Although not the Aussie capital, Sydney’s the most iconic city in the country, with good reason. There are lots of well-known landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, plus many hidden gems without as many tourists. I have a full list of Insta-ready Sydney spots away from crowds here, plus another dedicated to Bondi Beach. Take your pick between gardens, cute cafés, design hotels, street art, gourmet restaurants and more. Or better yet: visit all of them!
My favourite Sydney accommodation is the Harbour Rocks Hotel by the Tasman Sea. Read more about this boutique gem on one of the oldest areas in Sydney on my review. Or better yet, book your stay here!
As all great cities, Sydney’s a foodie paradise, and Nomad is my fave place. Trendy and focused on organically sourced food, I loved their bread and cheeses made daily on-site. Above all, I adored the cellar aesthetic. Read about more hip eateries in Sydney on my restaurant guide!
Have a unique experience on this Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3 or 6-Course Menu!
Melbourne is Australia’s hipster capital, with lots of trendy areas like South Yarra,
For a hip stay, my fave areas are South Yarra, Richmond, or Windsor. If you want a metropolitan vibe, the Melbourne City Centre (CBD) is the place for you. My faves are the eclectic QT Hotel and the artsy and decadent Adelphi Hotel.
There are hundreds of incredible places to try new flavours in Melbourne. I could easily spend a whole year just switching up eateries. Just remember that restaurants are often full, so it’s best to book in advance.
See beyond this beautiful city on this Melbourne: Great Ocean Road Full-Day Sunset Tour!
4. Best Vacation Spots During Winter in Metropolitan Thailand
Bangkok might just be my favourite place in the world. This hectic city, one of the most densely populated and chaotic, somehow gives me peace. It’s one of my favourite places to visit during winter to recharge. I love how it mixes the big city life with its very authentic and unique Thai touch. Here are my Bangkok highlights!
For me, the best area to stay is Thonglor, with its vibrant restaurants and trendy design hotels. Stay at the Akyra or find more incredible Thonglor hotels here. Get inspired by my local hotel reviews: the Oriental Residence Bangkok & 4 lovely luxury hotels.
Get a feel of Thai culture by visiting the Royal Palace, with the most sacred temple of the Emerald Buddha. You can also head to Wat Pho and see the largest reclining Buddha in the world. My favourite temple is Wat Arun! Follow along through a river cruise and visit the huge local Chinatown. Finish off a long day of walking around with a Thai massage, which is more of a stretch session. I highly recommend foot massages!
The Commons is my favourite place in Bangkok, and it must just be the coolest spot you ever visit. A sort of mall dedicated to design and art, it’s full of Instagrammable bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s one of my top Bangkok Instagram spots.
Places to Visit During Winter When Adventure’s Calling
If you love nature and the great outdoors, you might just find the best vacation spots during winter in Costa Rica and New Zealand. These two small (and very far between!) countries have so much to offer for nature lovers.
Find more fun and adventurous locations on the Explorista section of the blog!
5. Best Vacation Spots During Winter in Tropical Costa Rica
Lovely Costa Rica is a small country in Central America yet one of the most diverse nations on Earth. In the past decades, it’s turned into a huge hub of adventurers, full of places to visit during winter. This is a tropical country, so you’ll have warm weather here yearlong. Be sure to check for the rainy season!
Some essential Costa Rica adventures:
- Ziplining might just be the most popular activity. Fly high through the jungle and feel pure freedom!
- Hike Arenal Volcano or the Cloud Forest in Monteverde to truly immerse with nature, surrounded by wildlife and tropical birds.
- Horseback riding! When I was younger I spent a lot of time in the stables, and I couldn’t resist riding through the jungle. Our horseback ride took us straight to La Fortuna waterfall, where you can swim at the base or rope swing to jump in.
- River rafting in La Fortuna looks challenging but the soaking happiness it produces is almost childlike.
- Surfing is popular on both Costa Rican coasts, but we chose the Pacific one.
Read about our trek into Costa Rica on my itinerary. Check out this Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour!
6. Places to Visit During Winter in Diverse New Zealand
Since the release of The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has become a popular destination, as the world learned of its incredible landscapes. This small but mighty southwestern Pacific nation offers some of the best vacation spots during winter: volcanoes, glaciers, endless green fields, and wild beaches. Make the best of your trip to New Zealand with my 9 essential tips to visit!
- The North and South islands are full of gorgeous places to visit during winter. Take a camper and go by road between the most stunning natural places. My North Island favourites are the Coromandel Peninsula, the Rotura geothermal area, and the popular Hobbiton Movie Set. On South Island, head to Tekapo, and Milford Sound fiord.
- Trekking and hiking are great nearly everywhere in New Zealand. My faves in North Island are Tongariro Crossing Trek for skilled hikers and a sunrise hike on the mount Maunganui for beginners. South Island offers Mount Cook and Wanaka, both of which have easier and tougher treks.
- Wine lovers also get a spot in beautiful New Zealand! The country is one of the best suppliers in the world. Marlborough is a flagship region with its fantastic Sauvignon Blanc.
- New Zealand beaches are a little raw, and it’s very likely you’ll have the best vacation spots during winter for yourself. My fave beach is the one by Mount Maunganui, where you can relax on the white sand and watch the surfers. You can have plenty of snack breaks in beachside cafes!
If you’re a fan of movies, this Hobbiton Movie Set Guided Tour from The Lord of the Rings is unmissable!
More About Places to Visit During Winter on Travel with a Silver Lining
- Find out more about all these places to visit during winter by visiting the country pages on the site! Here you can read more about Mexico, the United States, Australia, Thailand, Costa Rica & New Zealand.
- This beautiful planet of ours is full of wonders beyond the best vacation spots during winter. Get some inspiration on the Paradisista, Cityista & Explorista sections of my blog!
- If you liked the best vacation spots during winter, you’ll love my list of Europe off the beaten track destinations!
- Check out my top 3 posts: The Most Insta-Friendly Spots in Madrid, Magical Amsterdam Cafés & My Lisbon Photography Guide.
Booking Support & Input for the Best Vacation Spots During Winter
- Visa. iVisa can help you do all your trip’s visa paperwork in a single place, without having to worry about complex bureaucracy.
- Flight. Get the best out of places to visit during winter by booking your flight through Momondo. Download their app to find the best deals!
- Hotel. Use Booking.com to find a lovely accommodation for the best vacation spots during winter!
- Guide. Hi, Hi gives you the chance to hire a real local to show you the secrets of each place. Check if they’re available in your chosen destination!
- Tours. Get Your Guide is my favourite place to find unforgettable experiences everywhere I travel!
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