8 Warm-Weather Destinations to Check Out for the Holidays
Instead of spending yet another holiday season stuck in the same routine at home, give yourself the gift of getting away. From Hawaii to Brazil, we found the best places to visit in December in the world. Trust us: these warm weather vacations are worth missing a family dinner for.
San Diego, CA
With temperatures hanging in the 66 to 70-degree range throughout November and December, San Diego is one of the best spots in the U.S. to escape the winter cold. Between hiking La Jolla’s rocky Ho Chi Minh Trail to evening walks on the beach at La Jolla Cove, you might never want to stop exploring—but if you do need a break, check into the sprawling Estancia La Jolla horse ranch-turned-resort, which pampers its guests with poolside cabanas and outdoor rain showers.
Why stress over roasting a turkey at home when you could enjoy a traditional kalua pig roast luau dinner instead? Expect perfect beach weather (with highs of 72-74 degrees in November and December) on the island of Kauai, where mornings can be spent sightseeing at Waimea Canyon or hiking along Hanakapiai Falls. If rest and relaxation is more up your alley (we get it—the holidays are stressful!), check in to the St. Regis Princeville Resort, where guests have access to the 11,000-square-foot Halele’a Spa's long list of restorative treatments as well as nearby Pu’u Poa Beach.
RELATED: The Best Beaches in Hawaii
If you really want a hot holiday getaway, set your sights on Granada, Nicaragua, whose fall season still experiences highs of 89 degrees. Take in the city during a leisurely walk by its notable historic buildings and cathedrals or, if the heat starts to get to you, spend time on the water kayaking around the Islets of Granada. We recommend bedding down at Hotel Xalteva, where rooms offer views of Mombacho Volcano and the property's luxurious pool, which beckons whenever you're in need of an end-of-day cool-off.
RELATED: The Best Hotels in Nicaragua
High temps that hang in the mid-70s will leave you comfortable and content during Bermuda's fall and winter months. Stay at the elegant Rosewood Bermuda boutique hotel in Hamilton, where you can enjoy a private pink-sand beach and bedroom views of the turquoise harbor. While in Hamilton, cliff-jump and snorkel at the Admiralty House Park cove, or take a breezy boat tour if you'd rather see the pretty waters underneath you. If you prefer to stay on land, animal-watch at the Bermuda Aquarium, stroll along the Sea Glass Beach, or enjoy the best of the local cuisine—top spots in the area include Barracuda Grill for great seafood and Mad Hatters for international fusion.
RELATED: The Best Hotels in Bermuda
San Ignacio, Belize
Have a taste for adventure? Pay a visit to the Ka’ana Resort in balmy San Ignacio, Belize, which helps coordinate private explorations like cave touring and tubing, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy—a perfect stress-reliever during any hectic holiday. For pampering of a different kind, book a specialty treatment at the spa (like a Maya Abdominal Massage) or hit the outdoor yoga deck for an end-of-day vinyasa session. The jungle oasis is also home to a two-acre organic garden, which is used to source fresh ingredients for the property's top-notch restaurants.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Warm-weather fans will thrive in Rio de Janeiro, where holiday season temps hold steady in the mid- to high- 80s. The beautiful Grand Mercure Rio De Janeiro Riocentro hotel is located right in the city's fast-growing hub, Barra da Tijuca, surrounded by lake and mountain views. The golden sands of Barra da Tijuca Beach is a beautiful alternative to the much more crowded Copacabana Beach, but you can't leave the city experiencing extraordinary Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car. For a calming day outside the busy city center, check out the exotic Botanical Garden, home to more than 8,000 plant species, before heading back to the hotel for an afternoon by its glamorous pool and sauna.
RELATED: Where to Go in Brazil in 2018
If you want to escape to an island without being bombarded by too much heat, Cyprus is the place for you. Its typical November and December forecasts see temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s, making holiday season a comfortable time to explore. Whether that's during a jeep safari along the rugged Akamas Peninsula or a wine-tasting at the Byzantine monastery of Chrysorrogiatissa, staff at Almyra, a waterfront resort in Paphos, will set it all up for you. When it’s time to wind down, retreat back to the hotel for a dip in the infinity pool or a treatment at the ultra-modern spa.
If there’s one place to get you out of a stressed-out, cold-weather mindset, Australia is most definitely it. November and December are some of the warmest months in Perth—remember, this is spring and summer in the southern hemisphere—with temps hitting 77-82 degrees. Soak up the sun on a leisurely wine-tasting cruise along the Swan River, take a day trip to see koalas at Caversham Wildlife Park, or sand-board at Lancelin Sand Dunes. After all that excitement, retreat back to the luxurious COMO The Treasury hotel, where you can expect farmer-and-forager-driven dining at the rooftop Wildflower restaurant, holistic spa treatments at the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape wellness facility, and contemporary rooms that project serenity and deliver lots of light.
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