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Winter Getaway Destinations

Posted by Julian Torres, "JT" on Jan 12, 2023 8:23:00 PM

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Winter getaway destinations tend to vary from family to family. While one family might love the idea of skiing down a mountain surrounded by snow, another would prefer sitting on a Florida beach.

With that in mind, consider this list of varied winter getaway destinations within the U.S.

Orlando, Florida

It’s in Florida, which generally stays in the 70s during the winter. That’s good. It’s in an area known for heavy traffic and tourism. That’s irritating. It’s got some of the world’s best theme parks, which can be good. It’s also got a lot of tourist traps, which can be fun to visit or just look at as you drive by. You won’t be lacking for food and shopping options, although the prices can be ridiculous depending on where you go. Still, it’s within driving distance of beaches on both sides of the state, and offers some lovely urban design to admire.

In summary: it’s tourist friendly, it’s culture all over the place, and it’s usually warm.

Breckenridge, Colorado

For anyone that ever saw a snow planet in a sci-fi movie or show and thought, “Yeah, that’d be fun to visit,” consider the wintery-white joys offered by the mountaintops of Breckenridge.

It’s a ski-friendly area, with lodges, ski lifts, and lost of downhill slopes to occupy the outdoor winter athlete. But the shopping and eating destinations in the ski town can be warm and welcoming on cold nights, especially since it gets dark so early in the day.

Bonus: if you stay at the hotels and lodges on the mountains, a shuttle service in town provides transportation to the town area and back to the resorts. Just be sure to invest in long underwear and warm clothes before you go.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Like the cold but prefer to avoid the snow? Virginia Beach may offer a compromise solution between the two winter extremes.

In addition to beach access (it’s cold in winter, but it’s still the beach), Virginia Beach offers access to theme parks like Busch Gardens and the historical living museum/education center/shopping district of Colonial Williamsburg. While the idea of visiting a museum in winter may not sound appealing, consider the shopping and culinary delights offered in Williamsburg. You haven’t really gotten a taste of the American Revolutionary War until you’ve seen historical reenactors march through a village guided only by torchlight.

Plus, there’s something wonderful about having dinner in a colonial tavern. Hot food always tastes better on cold nights when it’s served in a tavern. True story.

Key West, Florida

If the idea of dealing with weather under 70 degrees is a dealbreaker, head for the furthest point south in the U.S. and wait out the winter in style.

Full disclosure: while south Florida rarely gets nailed by the same kind of cold experienced everywhere else during winter, it’s still possible to get cold, although you probably won’t need anything heavier than a light jacket if you’re lucky.

The best winter getaway destination ultimately may be someplace you’ve never been or always wanted to see. Don’t let the threat of cold weather (or the possibility of not-so-cold weather) stop you from going, though. Go have an experience, and make it a good one.

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