Let’s face it, no one likes being cold. When the temperature drops, most people—except for all you ski bums out there—dream about sunny getaways, beaches, and warm breezes. But the best destinations tend to get more and more crowded with each season, making it difficult to secure your place under the sun. We’ve found five great hot spots that will help melt your worries away, without getting you all hot and bothered about the encroaching masses.
San Diego, California
No need for a passport! With year-round temperate weather, beautiful Pacific views, and a border shared with Tijuana, Mexico, San Diego offers a sunny, laid-back atmosphere that is also sophisticated and cultured. When Idler spent a Christmas in San Diego, it only took one look before she declared that “it’s easy to see why San Diego’s natural harbor is considered one of the finest in the world.” During a January trip, jenandfrank could only reiterate the sentiment in her journal about Sun-Sational San Diego. “Overall,” she said, “San Diego is a great city with warm people and beautiful surroundings, regardless of the time of year.” And while spending some time Downtown in San Diego in February, what did Asia Traveler think was the best part about the city? “The weather! In my opinion, one of the best reasons to go to San Diego is that it is sunny and mild almost every day of the year.”
This island province of the Philippines boasts tropical climes and unspoiled beauty, with its pristine beaches, rivers, and native population of tarsiers: tiny, bug-eyed primates. Philippines native writeonthespot expounds upon Nature’s Treasures in Bohol. She writes, “don't miss the majestic Chocolate Hills, small hills bunched together like small kisses.” Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something a bit calmer, gerlibeans claims the best part of the island is to “listen to the call of the water in your own hammock.” Glorious weather, friendly people, and natural beauty make this destination a prime place to come in from the cold.
Melbourne is more and more becoming the jewel in Australia’s crown. A cultural hotbed that offers everything from arts to sports and even a beach, the city is half Bohemian Victoria and half contemporary boomtown. As actonsteve dubbed it, The City that Ticks All the Right Boxes “can be a hard city to define. It can be genteel and European but at the same time has a skyline that resembles Dallas or Los Angeles.” Its rich history, coupled with its drive toward the future, makes everyone want A Tiny Taste of Melbourne, including stomps, who enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the Yarra River on a sunny day in February. Spend your winter following suit, sipping espresso at a small café, or watching one of Melbourne’s many football teams compete in the massive MCG stadium.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
It’s hard to fault Puerto Plata: the climate is, well, Caribbean, the water is beautiful, and the lush green mountains are visible from the beach. What’s more, Dominican Hospitality cannot be beat. So says SandyLand, who, when she wasn’t enjoying the potent rum drinks, was sitting on the playa, gazing at the surf and soaking up the sun. For those “in need of ultimate relaxation,” globewriter found no better way to chill out than to start Living the Vida Dominicana. And it’s true: Puerto Plata is an idyllic place to pass the winter, whether you’re horseback riding, golfing, or simply sipping a drink in the shade.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City gets a bad rap, plain and simple. While it used to be dangerous and polluted, it is now emerging as a lively city, chock full of museums, sports teams, and historical architecture. Member ext212 summed it up quite well after she spent a Christmas in Mexico City: “I fell in love twice in one year—with my boyfriend and with Mexico.” Kubrick—who also happens to be A Mexico City Insider—advises that “you can drink the water” and points to certain sights as must-sees, including the ruins at Teotihuacan and the famous market at Zocalo. If you can time it right, come in November for the Day of the Dead celebrations, when flowers and costumed celebrants fill the streets.