Warm Weather Hot Spots for a Winter Retreat

Sometimes winter can seem to drag on and on, but if you want to stave off the winter blues, plan a getaway to one of these warm weather hot spots that definitely don't see snowy skies:

Miami

 Miami

Miami, the quintessential party city, has almost ideal weather year-round. Temperatures in December through March can reach the mid- to high-70s, which is perfect for a breezy beach day. Don't miss out on a visit to South Beach for some possible celebrity sightings. Make sure to visit the best local hangouts like Joe's Stone Crab and Nikki Beach Club. Aside from hitting the fabulous, famous beaches of Miami, there are plenty of other things to do and see. It's a must to visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens a 1910-estate built to look like a European villa. Check out the Italian Renaissance formal gardens, which sit on 10 well-cultivated acres of fountains, shrubs and other pretty things. The other 40 acres of land are natural, wild jungle areas left undeveloped. Vizcaya has been the setting for many films and even important presidential state visits. Other must-sees include Zoo Miami, the Florida Grand Opera, the Little Havana neighborhood, the beautiful and ancient Spanish Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux, and The Kampong gardens in Biscayne Bay.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Despite the fact that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, when you come to San Juan, you will definitely feel that you're in another country. Old San Juan is the heart of the city and features European-style architecture and brightly painted homes. The weather in San Juan is ideal year-round. You can expect low- to mid-80-degree weather, even in the winter, so grab your swimsuit and your snorkeling gear and check out some of the best beaches in the area, like Ocean Park, Luquillo, Isla Verde, and Viques. San Juan also has some impressive historic sites. Make sure to visit Castillo San Felipe del Morro a 16th century fort erected in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Between the late 1800s and early 1960s, the U.S. military occupied the fort and used it as a base during both world wars. Today, you can explore the fort inside and out - it's situated right on the ocean and the views are simply breathtaking. Other must-sees in San Juan are Fort San Cristobal, the bioluminescent bay at Vieques, and the nearby El Yunque National Forest - the only tropical rainforest on U.S. soil.


Phoenix

Phoenix

Phoenix's subtropical desert climate may be the antidote if you've had enough of snow. During your stay, check out the awesome Phoenix Zoo, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, Desert Botanical Garden, and the Pueblo Grande Museum and Culture Park. If you're an outdoor adventurer, make sure to climb or hike Camelback Mountain for scenic views of the area - the winter is an ideal time as temperatures top out in the low 70s. One of the best ways to experience Phoenix is from a comfortable bed and breakfast. Stay at Full Circle Ranch in nearby Cave Creek to experience a wilder side of Arizona on the desert's edge. This beautiful Spanish Mission-style ranch boasts a gorgeous infinity pool and the guest rooms have private patios with views of the desert and mountains, including Apache Peak, Saddle Mountain, and Elephant Mountain Butte. You'll be very close to the trails and are likely to hear coyotes' howling each morning and spot mule deer, jack rabbits, and road runners.