22 Warm Places to Visit This Winter When You Need That Vitamin D Most
Well, it's officially in the 30s here in New York, which means winter is nigh, and I can't feel my ears right now. While those of us in the chillier regions can stand the bitter cold during the festive build-up before the holidays, we know we'll be begging for vitamin D by January. And not just the kind you find in the supermarket supplement section—we're talking real deal, sun-on-my skin-until-I'm-glowing-with-freckles kind.
In anticipation of the coolest months of the year, we created a travel list of all the lovely warm destinations to visit during the winter when we need to dethaw. And for those of us who may not be able to jet off to the tropics of a sunnier state, revisit this page when you need a midseason pep talk in the form of a mental vacation to the equator. Scroll through to see the 22 dreamiest warm places to visit during winter. If you book them now, you'll definitely thank yourself later, and if you don't at least you'll put yourself in a Tahiti state of mind. Bye blizzards, hello balmy bliss.
Let's start with a place that resembles paradise more than any other: Bali, Indonesia. Whether you're in the mood to lounge on a pristine white sand beach, take in the mesmerizing patterns created by the rice paddy fields, head out on a snorkeling or surfing expedition, or explore volcanoes and ancient ruins, you'll find your vacation match here. It's surrounded by rice paddy farmlands, green hills, and volcanoes, making the backdrop for your vacation truly breathtaking.
Average Winter Weather: High 70s and low 80s
Similar Destination: Sri Lanka
If you love the tropical vibe of the islands, then you'll love buzzy spot situated right above the Carribean Sea: Bermuda. It's known for its unique pink sand beaches and calm, turquoise waters, making Bermuda a truly picture-perfect vacation town. When you're not dozing off on the beach, make sure you explore the fantasy cave in Bermuda and swim with the pigs in Hog's Bay. If you're feeling adventurous, go on a diving expedition throughout the shipwrecks (of which there are many) in the Bermuda Triangle.
Average Winter Weather: Mid to low 70s
Similar Destination: Aruba
Palm Springs, California
Hello, desert sanctuary. Going to Palm Springs in the middle of winter feels like the warm embrace you've been looking for. This Southern California retreat also happens to be a mecca for midcentury-modern design aficionados with incredible antique shops and flea markets, as well as some of the most photo-worthy interior vignettes imaginable around every corner. The surrounding landscape is one of the most photogenic in the world.
Average Winter Weather: Low to mid 70s
Similar Destination: Los Angeles
Have you ever seen water more beautiful and rock formations more magical and otherworldly? We would do pretty much anything if it meant diving through the computer screen to land in these tranquil waters to post up on that Jurassic Park–like perch. Located between Madagascar and Kenya, this string of islands is truly a dream destination.
Average Winter Weather: Low 80s
Similar Destination: The Philippines
Located on the south shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii's largest city also happens to be paradise. The many palm trees, Waikiki Beach, and nearby Diamond Head crater set the beachy city of Honolulu apart from any other American metropolis. There are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures and historical excursions, and it's easy to explore the other parts of the island too if you rent a car (local secret: Lanikai Beach).
Average Winter Weather: Low to mid 80s
Similar Destination: French Polynesia
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Harbour Island is another one of those unbelievably charming locales that's almost too pretty to be real. It's a small island (3.5 miles long and just 1.5 miles wide) awash in pastel buildings and golf carts, whimsical pale pink sand beaches, and lovely shades of topaz in every direction. So if you have a thing for color, this is where you should vacation next. If you're up for something aside from lounging on the beach (that's where you'd find us, so no judgment), you organize some water sports, book a horseback ride on the shore, or book an afternoon of swimming with pigs in the ocean before riding your pastel-hued gold cart around this endlessly charming island.
Average Winter Weather: Mid to low 70s
Similar Destinations: Cayman Islands
Head to the Scottsdale/Pheonix area if you want to experience a cool, up-and-coming downtown scene as well as a classic Western town. There are plenty of photogenic cacti, endless resort activities, and world-class hiking (make sure to do Cambleback Mountain), and even better desert sunsets, all while having the resources and energy of a city at your fingertips.
Average Winter Weather: High 60s to low 70s
Similar Destination: San Diego
Reader, meet Nirvana. The beautiful island nation of Mauritius off of the East African Coast is worth exploring for so many reasons, but we imagine that it'd be pretty hard to leave this strip of sprawling pristine white sand that looks out onto the crystal-clear Indian Ocean.
Average Winter Weather: High 70s to low 80s
Similar Destination: Zanzibar
Head to the other side of the world for some much-needed fun in the sun. Sydney, Australia, is a surfer's paradise that also happens to be a design and style hub. Check out the Bondi Icebergs, a set of historical infinity pools overlooking (and sometimes spilling into) the ocean, and then get your shopping fix in the neighborhoods of Bondi and Cremorne.
Average Winter Weather: High 70s
Similar Destination: Buenos Aires
Nature lovers, design aficionados, and foodies won't be able to stop smiling in the Mexican oasis. Tulum is the ultimate Mexican beach experience, where you can surf and scuba dive and go swimming in the vivid blue cenotes. Not only is it an idyllic beachside destination, but it's also drawn in design aficionados from around the world. In fact, the hip restaurants and boutique hotels give boho chic a whole new meaning.
Average Winter Weather: Mid 70s
Similar Destinations: Cabo San Lucas
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami is easily one of the coolest and most beautiful cities in the country and world. There's a reason so many people flock to it in the winter months, too. It's basically the perfect balance between a laid-back, fun tropical locale and a bustling urban metropolis, especially if you stay in Miami's South Beach area. From world-class shopping to beachside lounging, colorful Art Deco architecture, authentic Cuban cuisine, and a bustling art scene, there's no shortage of excitement and beauty in this Sunshine State locale.
Average Winter Weather: Mid to high 70s
Similar Destinations: Key West