Once the Christmas lights begin to dim and we’re back in the thick of winter, summer sunshine can begin to feel like a distant memory. Yet winter sun is far from a contradiction in the USA, and we know the very best combination of destinations...
Discover six multi-centre holidays below that will get you back to sunshine and good times this winter or beyond.
San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas
Southern California’s ever-blue skies meet Las Vegas' neon nights for a holiday you’ll never forget. And with the cities being close together, you'll have limited travelling to do and more time for making memories.
California’s southernmost city, San Diego
, receives 263 days of golden sunshine a year, with a winter average of 19°C. That’s hardly coat weather, and you may as well pack the sun lotion for days when it reaches highs of 24°C. In fact, in winter weather you’ll find it far more pleasant to explore San Diego’s stunning coastline and renowned attractions. From hiking oceanside at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to basking in blissful La Jolla’s trendy beaches, attractions are abundant. Our favourite experiences are to take in the colourful Gaslamp Quarter, explore Balboa Park's gardens with Spanish revival architecture, and relax on Coronado Island.
Only 120 miles north is Los Angeles
, the City of Angels. And with winter highs of 21°C in a city where the sun glows 292 days a year, some might say that's heavenly bliss. What's more, you'll get to tick off your travel wish list, whether star-hopping along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, living the high life in Beverly Hills or snapping a customary selfie with the Hollywood sign. Also, be sure to visit Venice Beach for laid-back vibes or stroll along to the Santa Monica Pier for old-school seaside charm like carnival rides.
From the seaside to Sin City, Las Vegas
is where you can truly make a splash on this trip. But what more can we tell you about Vegas that you don't already know? Well, beyond the bright city lights of The Strip, there are 292 sunny days a year with a winter average of 16°C and highs of 19°C. So the chances are that from the Bellagio’s grand fountains to the LINQ Ferris wheel, the sun will be shining for your outdoor activities.
New Orleans and Austin
How about heading South and combining the Mardi Gras Capital with the Lone Star State? Here, you'll find a healthy dose of Vitamin D, warm hospitality, and oh-so-cool culture.
First, New Orleans
offers an old-world charm that reflects its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Our favourite experiences include the chance to hop from jazz clubs on soulful Bourbon Street to dabbling in age-old voodoo. Better yet, time your visit to coincide with the late-winter party of the year - Mardi Gras! This carnival is famed for its extravagant parades and street parties in the French Quarter, all in warm sunshine with highs of 25°C.
After your southern soiree, visit America’s cowboy country and realise that bigger really is better in Texas. And there’s no better place to discover such Texan pride than at the state capital, Austin
. Known as the Home of American live music, Austin boasts more music venues per capita than anywhere else in the USA. We'd suggest heading to an outdoor venue though since Austin enjoys a generous 300 days of sunshine a year. We also recommend admiring Austin from the water at Lady Bird Lake, where you can kayak, paddleboard, and boat on the Colorado River. Finally, consider visiting the city centre to marvel at the stately architecture of the Texas Capitol.
Miami and the Caribbean
It should come as no surprise that Miami
is a winter sun mecca. The Magic City has had one day of recorded snow in history and offers as many sun-drenched beaches as your heart desires. But more than that, the city is a mixture of Latin flavours, Art Deco architecture and natural wonders. Our favourite experiences include a Cuban Sandwich and exploring the Everglades national park; the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. Nightlife is also huge in Miami (Will Smith fans know what we're talking about) and you can keep the party going on Miami Beach at world-class bars and nightclubs. Plus, since Miami is the Cruise Capital of the World, you can pair Miami’s 24°C winter heat with a Caribbean
island. (Click here to view our top Cruise and Stay deals
From The Bahamas to Barbados and the Cayman Islands, you are spoilt for choice for an island getaway. And being close to the Equator, the Caribbean enjoys year-round highs of 28°C, with winter’s driest months actually being the prime travel season. Our world-class collection of cruises also lets you experience oceanside entertainment however you’d like - ranging from onboard water parks to Broadway-style theatre shows and glass-floor exhibits of the Atlantic.
Orlando and Hawaii
There are good reasons why Orlando
is one of the top 5 most visited cities in the USA. The fact it's the Theme Park Capital of the World is the main one, but its year-round sunshine and warm weather also draw large numbers of tourists. After all, it's a comforting thought that no matter the season, you can soar on sky-high coasters in a t-shirt. At the very least, it makes packing a dream. And if you happen to have a day of bad weather, there’s still plenty to see and do, too (Click here
to learn more about how to dance in the theme park rain).
When it comes to choosing your accommodation, where else could offer you more magic memories than a Walt Disney World hotel? Only here can you let your imagination run free day and night in themed hotels with large swimming pools, Character Dining experiences and free transport to the parks - not to mention resort-specific amenities like the free-roaming wildlife at Animal Kingdom.
Then, why not double the fun and stay at a different Disney hotel with a twist? Fly to The Big Island, Hawaii
, for more winter sun and fairytales. You can stay at the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa - located in Kapolei on Hawaii’s Oahu Island - for a one a kind of luxury beach holiday offering an average of 27°C heat in winter. Also on offer is Character Dining, a grotto-style swimming pool with waterfalls and waterslides, plus a private beach. That's why both adults and children alike love this family-friendly resort.
Gold Coast and the Florida Keys
Florida’s Gold Coast
lives up to its name. From West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, discover Florida’s upmarket beach towns as you cruise through the mansion-lined waterways. The ever-present Floridian sun shines a spotlight on the Gold Coast’s glorious white sand bays, amid waves perfect for water sports. And with winter averages of 26°C, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that it's peak summer already.
To turn up the sundial, venture south to the tropical Florida Keys
, for an average of 259 days of blue skies a year. Here, you can make the most of the sunny archipelago by snorkelling in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and by visiting the southernmost point of the Continental USA. And while you’re whiling away your days, consider tucking into the fresh seafood platters provided by local restaurants.
Clearwater, Sarasota, and Fort Myers
This Gulf Coast medley of sea, sand and secluded islands is a year-round hotspot for sun worshippers and beach lovers alike. Especially when it includes America’s greatest award-winning beaches. Clearwater Beach
is the crown jewel for many with a winter feel of 22°C. And with beachside dining, dolphin-spotting and Pier 60’s evening ambience on offer, it’s no wonder it topped Tripadvisor’s best USA beach list in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
Up next, sunny Sarasota
. This Gulf Coast city will feel like a million miles away from the theme park action of central Florida. Siesta Key Beach is regarded as the finest beach in the area yet we advise spending time in the city centre as well. Sarasota is blessed with stunning architecture and historic neighbourhoods including the Towels Court art district; epitomised by its colourfully painted wooden houses, art galleries, and quirky restaurants. If it’s shopping that you are seeking then stroll into Downtown Sarasota and browse the unique shops on Main Street. It’s also worth mentioning that the cuisine in this area is some of the best in all of the Gulf. Similar to Clearwater, the winters are so mild you’d be hard-pressed to remember what season it is throughout 250 radiant days a year.
Then, head even further south to Fort Myers
. This area remains largely undeveloped and as such retains a touch of authentic Florida. An array of wildlife still claims spacious beaches and beyond them, you can find a rich history. For example, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were both from here. The coldest month is January at 22°C, while December and February are 25°C and 24°C, respectively. And from Fort Myers Beach to Sanibel Island’s pristine shores or Captiva Island’s deserted dunes, you have endless options to surf, swim, and soak up the Gulf Coast sun.
Ready to brighten up your year? Browse our Multi Centre Holidays 2023 & 2024 to find your best winter sun escape.