5 Fantastic Cities to Escape the Cold

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If you got chilly just reading about visiting the best cities to embrace winter, here are 5 perfect places to forget about winter while basking in the warmth of the sun!

Miami, FL

What city is at the top of the list of anyone dreaming of warm weather in the winter? Miami! With beautiful beaches and the best places to party, Miami is always hot!

When you think of Miami, you’re probably thinking of South Beach. Make this your home base, and, during the day, you can explore the beach, do some shopping, and appreciate the unique Art Deco architecture – then at night you can party at the hottest clubs in Florida while you forget all about the winter weather back home!

For a different way to spend a Florida day, visit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This Renaissance estate includes sprawling gardens to get lost in, and you can take a tour of the estate itself – which includes a subterranean pool. Get lost in this treasure trove of amazing architecture to see a different side of Miami.

While you’re in town, don’t miss out on a walk through the Wynwood District to gape at the impressive graffiti on the Wynwood Walls that would be at home in just about any modern art museum (and after doing so, snag a latte at hip Panther Coffee).

Follow up with lunch at La Carreta or Versailles, two of the most iconic Cuban eateries in Little Havana.

How to get to Miami: Book a ticket to Miami from AtlantaJacksonvilleNashville, and more!

New Orleans, LA

Winter is the perfect time to let the good times roll in New Orleans! It’s warm down in the bayou, and the biggest party of the year takes place in February – Mardi Gras!

The annual Mardi Gras parade takes place in February, but the party starts early in New Orleans. Head to the Big Easy now to check out the one of the many parades – and get some of the fun souvenirs. Mardi Gras will certainly break out you out of that winter slump!

No matter when you visit New Orleans, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the music scene that the city is known for. Stroll down Frenchmen Street and pop into one of the clubs to appreciate the incredible live jazz, find the street performers in Jackson Square or search out a performance by the Treme Brass Band.

If you’re in NOLA for a retreat from the winter weather, make your vacation feel tropical with a hurricane from Pat O’Briens. This New Orleans institution has been around since 1933, serving its signature drinks in the French Quarter. Spend some time on the lovely courtyard patio, or take your hurricane in a go-cup to wander down Bourbon Street!

Or if you’d rather warm up with a cup of coffee, you can’t miss out on beignets and an au lait Café du Monde chicory coffee

How to get to New Orleans: Book a ticket to New Orleans from Chicago, Louisville, Houston, and lots of other cities!

Austin, TX

As home to college students at the University of Texas, Austin is the city that made Texas cool, but it will still keep you warm in the winter!

To discover all that Austin has to offer, spend some time in SoCo, or the South Congress District. With boutiques like the “All Texas, All The Time” Parts & Labour and costume shop Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, as well as restaurants and food trucks, including KaBaBeQue, a barbecued blend of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. You can spend a day wandering South Congress, then spend the night enjoying live music at the iconic Continental Club in the same area.

Austin is the live music capital of the world, so if you’re in the mood for authentic Texas honky-tonk, get yourself to the Broken Spoke. Country music lovers will have a field day in the memorabilia room, as artists including Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton have graced the stage. Nowadays, the Broken Spoke continues to showcase local performers, so you can get a true Austin experience.

Austin is a foodie oasis in the heart of Texas, and you will not go home hungry. For a fun twist on traditional Southwest cuisine, try The Peached Tortilla. The flavors at this restaurant – and two food trucks – combine the Asian influences of founder Eric Silverstein’s early life with the Southern cooking of his later childhood in Atlanta. The result is food that is something special: like a banh mi taco, braised brisket with rice noodles (aka Southern Fun), and the popular Bacon Jam Fries.

How to get to Austin: Book a ticket to Austin from Dallas, Oklahoma City, Memphis, and many more locations!

San Diego, CA

The city of San Diego is known for having ideal weather, so winter is when you can really appreciate the fantastic climate!

One of the most beautiful places to see in San Diego is the site of the Cabrillo Monument. Here you can explore the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and visit the tide pools, while also basking in the view of San Diego and the bay.

When in San Diego, a visit to the zoo is a must-do! The San Diego Zoo is the world-renowned home to over 3,500 animals, including rare and endangered species. It also is a botanical haven, with over 700,000 exotic plants. You can even go on one of the special tours at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park!

One of our favorite breweries, Second Chance Beer Co., is in San Diego, so stop by and enjoy a pint. Beyond the expertly crafted brews, Second Chance is also a fun place to hang out, hosting events like trivia nights and yoga classes. And you can always play a game of cornhole or shoot on the basketball hoop in between sips of beer.

How to get to San Diego: Book a ticket to San Diego from Las Vegas, San Francisco, Tucson, and more!

Phoenix, AZ

If it’s heat you want, there’s no place like the desert! Make your way to Phoenix and soak in the sun surrounded by a spectacular landscape.

Camelback Mountain is the most famous landmark in the Phoenix area, and hikers love to climb up the 2,700 foot hump of the camel that the mountain resembles. If you’re not up for the trek, you can definitely still appreciate the view of Camelback from below.

To spend more time enjoying the outdoors, visit the Desert Botanical Garden. This oasis in Phoenix houses over 50,000 plants that highlight the beauty of nature in the dessert. The Botanical Garden also often hosts artistic exhibits which juxtapose beautifully with the plants.

For some great beer to cool down on a hot day in Phoenix, get to Mother Bunch Brewing and sample a saison brewed with prickly pear or a smoked cherry porter. The unique beers are complemented with excellent food – including snacks like bacon popcorn!

How to get to Phoenix: Book a ticket to Phoenix from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and other cities, too!

If you dream of getting a dose of vitamin D and going outside without your winter coat, visit one of these cities by booking a ticket on Wanderu or downloading the Wanderu app! Or if you prefer to bundle up, check out the best cities to visit to embrace the cold!

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About the author
Kate Sedrowski

Kate Sedrowski

Kate Sedrowski is on a mission to spread delight while inspiring and encouraging people to travel. Her favorite travel companion is her teddy bear, and her favorite souvenir is the scar from the broken nose she got in a snowball fight in Québec City.
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