12 Exceptional Warm Winter Getaways from the US


Winter in the United States is usually experienced late December right up until the end of February the following year. Especially for the Northern States, this is a peak time to look for an escape to warmer climates until the winter season is over. Instead of ploughing yourself through a thick layer of ice-cold snow, you could be sitting in the sun on an exotic beach, sipping on a tropical cocktail and watching the waves roll in.

The Caribbean region is one such gateway that is coveted for its warm temperatures, sprawling beaches, natural wonders and heritage sites that add to its allure and mystery. If you have your heart set on a warm winter getaway but aren’t quite sure where to go, have no fear; we’ve compiled a list of the best winter getaways close to the US which should help shape up your warm weather plans.


1. Negril, Jamaica

Sandals Negril Beach Overview

Picture: Sandals Negril is nestled within lushly landscaped acres along the island's legendary Seven-Mile Beach.

Jamaica is known and loved by travellers for its relaxed atmosphere and exotic beaches like Seven Mile Beach in Negril. Other than the stunning beaches and spectacular sunsets, there are other exciting reasons to schedule a Jamaica getaway.

On this island, you can experience a unique and vibrant Caribbean culture saturated with music, dance, and great food. In the town of Negril, you’ll find lots of opportunities to try unique excursions like the Black River Boat Safari (see the crocodiles!) and the One Love Bus Bar Crawl.

Seeing the cliff divers at Rick’s Café in Negril is also a must-visit attraction… that is, if you even feel the need to step out of your resort at all! Options like the all-inclusive Sandals Negril offers everything you’ll need out of a Caribbean vacay including free day and night entertainment, unlimited land sports, motorized water sports, state-of-the-art fitness centers, plenty of options for gourmet dining, and enough bars to make any aspiring bar connoisseur happy (all drinks are included in your stay!). Whatever you decide to do in Negril, it’s sure to be sunny with a side of bliss!

Ricks Cafe Negril Jamaica

Photo credit: Roy Boyce/Shutterstock.com

Weather in Negril in December:

Max. temperature: 89˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 75˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 9
Rainfall: 2.5 inches

Flight duration to Jamaica from:

New York City: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Washington DC: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Chicago: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Boston: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Seattle: 6 hours, 58 minutes

Insider tip: Don’t want to worry about a thing? Book any of the all-inclusive Sandals resorts in Jamaica and get access to all of them. Unlimited gourmet food and (alcoholic) drinks included! One Sandals resort can have up to 16 world-class restaurants on-property.


2. Great Exuma, The Bahamas

Sandals Emerald Bay Resort Overview

Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay brings unprecedented luxury to the easy-going rhythms of the Bahamian Out Islands.

The tropical archipelago known as The Bahamas is made up of more than 700 islands and cays, and there is much to see and do on each one. You can swim and play with the dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island or step out of the water for a bit and head down to one of the beautiful white sand beaches for an authentic Caribbean experience.

Set your sights on Great Exuma, the largest cay in The Exumas, to set the wheels in motion for a laid-back Caribbean escape. Here, you’ll be able to experience what it truly means to live a free and easy lifestyle, while enjoying the most beautiful powdery white sand beaches in the world and turquoise waters like you’ve never seen before. Get into the flow of The Bahamas as you sink into total relaxation mode – and don’t forget that vacations like this truly only come around once in a lifetime!

Insider Tip: Looking for a couples-only vacation? Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma is located on a long stretch of private white sand beach and offers all-inclusive packages that are perfect for a romantic getaway. Snorkeling and scuba diving trips are included in your stay (including professional equipment), and so are the food and drinks! The resort even features a Greg Norman designed championship golf course and a luxurious spa.


Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course

Picture: Greg Norman's award-winning golf course design at Sandals Emerald Bay preserves the landscape's pristine beauty and natural barriers.

Weather in Great Exuma in December:

Max. temperature: 86˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 68˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 10
Rainfall: 1.8 inches

Flight duration to Great Exuma from:

New York City: 2 hours, 52 minutes
Washington DC: 2 hours, 34 minutes
Chicago: 3 hours, 29 minutes
Boston: 3 hours, 12 minutes
Seattle: 7 hours, 18 minutes


3. South Coast, Jamaica

Sandals South Coast Over Water Bungalows

Picture: From all-new Over-the-Water Bungalows, an overwater bar, and a romantic Over-the-Water Chapel, Sandals South Coast brings guests closer than ever to the water.

Have a rowdy time, or an experience that’s low key if you desire, but keep the south coast (Jamaica) on your list of possibilities for a warm weather getaway. A rich culture and vibrant people are part of the reason Jamaica’s south coast is loved by all who venture to this music-centric Caribbean island.

While in the south coast, take advantage of the opportunity to see the historic Accompong Town which is an authentic Maroon village in Cockpit Country. You can also take it easy and sink into the peace and relaxation places like YS Falls, Bluefield’s Beach or Treasure Bay Beach. Near Treasure Beach you can watch the sunset at Lover’s Leap, which has an interesting history. Whatever you do, stop at least once at Floyd’s Pelican Bar, a floating bar where you can get an authentic taste of Jamaica!

Insider tip: The best vacations are those where you can get easy access to the places you want to go, but at the same time can retreat and relax when staying in. Everything is taken care of at Sandals South Coast: the resort is surrounded by a 500-acre nature preserve and is located on a long stretch of white sand beach. Sip unlimited free signature cocktails at one of the swim-up bars, enjoy the water sports and relax at one of the largest swimming pools of Jamaica.


Floyds Pelican Bar Tour South Coast Jamaica

Picture: Stay at all-inclusive resort Sandals South Coast and book a luxury catamaran trip out to Floyd’s Pelican Bar, arriving in style.

Weather in South Coast in December:

Max. temperature: 86˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 72˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 9
Rainfall: 2.4 inches

Flight duration to Jamaica from:

New York City: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Washington DC: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Chicago: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Boston: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Seattle: 6 hours, 58 minutes

Know when to go: Read our Best Time To Visit Jamaica post for more insight on when to book your trip to Jamaica.


4. Montego Bay, Jamaica

Sandals Montego Bay Frontview

Picture: The very first Sandals has been masterfully reimagined to be the most modern, open-concept, 5-Star Luxury Included® beach resort.

Montego Bay is much more than a party paradise for socialites. This touristy part of Jamaica is packed with history, culture and charm. It is also well known for its intriguing tourist attractions. Visitors who choose to stay in this area have access to international cuisine, spas, great shopping, awesome beaches, lots of watersports, art, history, and a vibrant culture.

Montego Bay also appeals to tourists looking for luxury accommodation, including those set on an all-inclusive experience with resorts like Sandals Montego Bay being a top option. Even with that said, if a party atmosphere is what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed in Montego Bay with many bars and nightclubs bumping well into the night with Jamaican dancehall vibes.

Want to experience this area for yourself? Here are some more Reasons to Visit Montego Bay!

Sandals Montego Bay Beach Cabanas

Picture: Discover a chic and casual oasis, mere steps from the water, evoking a carefree spirit of romance and luxury.

Weather in Montego Bay in December:

Max. temperature: 86˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 70˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 9
Rainfall: 3.4 inches

Flight duration to Jamaica from:

New York City: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Washington DC: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Chicago: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Boston: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Seattle: 6 hours, 58 minutes


5. “The Gap”, Barbados

Sandals-Barbados-Main-Pool

Picture: Sandals Barbados features world-class cuisine with international appeal, including a festive Indian restaurant, and innovative bar and pool designs.

Barbados is famous for its gorgeous white sand beaches, so you’ll have plenty of time during your winter escape to unwind with a rum-infused cocktail in hand. All in all, St. Lawrence Gap (also known as “The Gap” on the southern coast is a great area to stay with lots of restaurants and beach bars, great entertainment, and first-class resorts. If you’re looking to escape the cold weather in the US, the sunny weather in Barbados should definitely be one of your getaway options.

Insider tip: Planning on travelling to Barbados but not quite sure where to stay? This tropical island features two of the newest Sandals all-inclusive resorts: Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados. Drink unlimited cocktails at the rooftop infinity pool, while looking out over a gorgeous white sand beach. Sandals Royal Barbados even features a bowling alley and craft beer hall - which are both free of use for guests! As Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados are located directly next to each other, guests of each resort can make use of the amenities and 18 restaurants of both resorts.


Sandals Royal Barbados Lovers Lane Bowling Alley

Picture: Lover's Lane Bowling Alley and Craft Beer Bar promises a fun-filled evening of couples bowling and ice-cold beer from around the world.

Weather in Barbados in December:

Max. temperature: 84˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 72˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 12
Rainfall: 3.5 inches

Flight duration to Barbados from:

New York City: 4 hours, 41 minutes.
Washington DC: 4 hours, 38 minutes.
Chicago: 5 hours, 42 minutes.
Boston: 4 hours, 45 minutes.
Seattle: 9 hours, 5 minutes.


6. St. George's, Grenada

Sandals Grenada Pool Overview

Picture: Sandals Grenada takes innovation beyond the realm of imagination to create an extraordinary adults-only resort unlike anything you have ever experienced.

This small Windward Island is one of the biggest producers of spices in the world and has thus been dubbed “Spice Isle.” Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, mace and turmeric are some of the spices produced here and the Nutmeg Spice Festival is a representation of the island’s heritage.

Aside from its spicy history, the island’s capital of St. George’s is located nearby waterfalls like St. Margaret’s Falls, which can be found in the Grand Etangs Rainforest. Fort Frederick in Richmond Hill and Laura’s Spice & Herb Garden in St. David’s are also great for exploring. Perhaps one of the most impressive sites in Grenada is the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, the world’s first underwater sculpture park.

Tip: One of the best-rated and newest Sandals resorts, Sandals Grenada, is located close to St. George’s. Scuba diving and snorkeling trips are included in your stay, including professional equipment!


Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park Grenada

Photo credit: R Gombarik/Shutterstock.com

Weather in Grenada in December:

Max. temperature: 86˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 73˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 18
Rainfall: 6.9 inches

Flight duration to Grenada from:

New York City: 4 hours, 43 minutes.
Washington DC: 4 hours, 39 minutes.
Chicago: 5 hours, 39 minutes.
Boston: 4 hours, 49 minutes.
Seattle: 11 hours, 21 minutes.


7. Castries, Saint Lucia

Sandals Regency La Toc Saint Lucia

Picture: Sandals Regency La Toc features a challenging executive-style golf course, stunning oceanfront suites and the private enclave of the Sunset Bluff Village.

There is much to love about Saint Lucia, and for that reason it is a great choice for a winter getaway. This island has a distinctive Creole heritage that comes from a history that is both English and French. As such, many of the island’s natives are bi-lingual, with Creole or ‘patois’ being a second language.

The Creole culture is evident in the lifestyle and culture of the people in and around Castries (the capital) and beyond. If you stay in the Castries area you’ll be able to find some of the best accommodation, including some of Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Saint Lucia. While in Saint Lucia, expand your explorations to the south where you can see interesting sites like the World Heritage Pitons and the only drive-in volcano in the world in Soufriere. Other fun activities in Saint Lucia include ziplining, waterfall tours, ATV excursions, snorkeling trips, sunset cruises, and more.

Soufriere Drive in Volcano Sulphur Springs Saint Lucia

Picture: Not many places in the world can boast having a drive-in volcano, but Saint Lucia certainly can.

Weather in Castries in December:

Max. temperature: 84˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 75˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 16
Rainfall: 6.3 inches

Flight duration to Saint Lucia from:

New York City: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Washington DC: 4 hours, 28 minutes
Chicago: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Boston: 4 hours, 36 minutes
Seattle: 8 hours, 52 minutes


8. Dickenson Bay, Antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort Overview

Picture: Sandals Grande Antigua is located on Antigua's best and most famous beach, Dickenson Bay.

A trip to Antigua will fill the void of that ‘something different’ that you may feel the need to indulge in at the end of the year. Enjoy a cocktail or two on the white sand beach at Dickenson Bay, go on a Catamaran Cruise or charter a sailboat. Take your diving experience to new levels on this slice of paradise, and witness some of the most amazing reefs in the Caribbean. Cades Reef, for example, is well known for sightings of lobsters, eels and rays and the ruins of the Andes ship, all of which make for an exciting scuba diving experience.

Other interesting places to visit include Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, Shirley Heights Lookout (hiking), the Donkey Sanctuary and Stingray City, where you can snorkel with stingrays.

Tip: Stay at the most romantic resort in the world: Sandals Grande Antigua. This all-inclusive resort is located on Dickenson Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Besides gourmet food, unlimited (alcoholic) drinks and water sports, this luxury resort also offers PADI certified guests free scuba diving trips (max. two tanks per guest per day).


Sandals Grande Antigua Beach View

Picture: Come relax on silky-soft, pure white sands and let the warmth of the Caribbean fill your senses.

Weather in Antigua (St. John’s) in December:

Max. temperature: 84˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 73˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 12
Rainfall: 3.3 inches

Flight duration to Antigua from:

New York City: 3 hours, 57 minutes.
Washington DC: 3 hours, 54 minutes.
Chicago: 4 hours, 59 minutes.
Boston: 4 hours, 2 minutes.
Seattle: 8 hours, 23 minutes.


9. Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia

Sandals Grande St Lucian Saint Lucia

Picture: Sandals Grande St. Lucian is often described as the "closest vacation to a picture-perfect postcard".

It may just be the wide array of beaches and stunning waterfalls in this land, but one thing’s for sure, Saint Lucia keeps vacationers coming back for more! If you’re yet to experience the magic of these shores, consider staying in the Rodney Bay area for your introductory visit. Rodney Bay is located on the northwestern coast of Saint Lucia, and in this area, you’ll find some of the island’s best resorts as well as shopping plazas, restaurants, bars, a few small nightclubs, and one of the island’s most popular beaches, The Ramp (also known as Reduit beach). It’s easy to make your way from Rodney Bay to explore some of the other attractions in Saint Lucia, including the Pigeon Island National Park. Don’t forget to take a catamaran cruise around the majestic Pitons! One of the island’s premier all-inclusive resorts, Sandals Grande St. Lucian is located minutes away from Rodney Bay.

Tip: Stay at one resort, get access to three resorts and two golf courses (including transfers in between)! Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Saint Lucia offer a unique 3-in-1 beach vacation. Eat unlimited gourmet food at 27 luxurious restaurants, enjoy free water sports and drink unlimited cocktails at one of the swim-up bars - now that is a tropical winter getaway!


Sandals La Toc Golf Club Saint Lucia

Picture: Guests staying at any of our St. Lucia resorts can enjoy free green fees and complimentary transfers to two challenging golf courses perfect for all levels of play.

Weather in Saint Lucia in December:

Max. temperature: 82˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 68˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 18
Rainfall: 11.8 inches

Flight duration to Saint Lucia from:

New York City: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Washington DC: 4 hours, 28 minutes
Chicago: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Boston: 4 hours, 36 minutes
Seattle: 8 hours, 52 minutes


10. Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

Beaches Turks Caicos Beach Overview

Picture: Located on the best stretch of Grace Bay, Beaches Turks & Caicos is lapped by the calmest and clearest turquoise waters, perfect for every type of water sport.

Life is just better in the Caribbean, and the Turks & Caicos is on top of the list of places you want to be when temperatures drop at the end of the year. Much like many of the islands of the Caribbean, there are lots of beaches waiting to be explored, but in the Turks & Caicos there are also other islands to discover, which add to the appeal of this territory. You’ll definitely want to stick close to Grace Bay Beach in northern Providenciales – in 2018, it was voted the Best Beach in the World! No need to worry about where to stay, as Beaches Turks & Caicos has stellar ratings and is praised for its amazing suites that give an excellent view of the turquoise ocean. This all-inclusive resort even comes with one of the largest water parks in the Caribbean, so if you can see yourself sipping unlimited free Piña Colada while floating down the lazy river, this is the place to be for a warm winter getaway!

Beaches Turks Caicos Italian Village

Picture: Dive into a one-of-a-kind, unbelievably exciting Beaches all-inclusive Turks & Caicos vacation for the whole family.

Weather in the Turks & Caicos Islands in December:

Max. temperature: 81˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 70˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 8
Rainfall: 3.9 inches

Flight duration to the Turk & Caicos Islands from:

New York City: 3 hours, 8 minutes.
Washington DC: 2 hours, 57 minutes.
Chicago: 3 hours, 50 minutes.
Boston: 3 hours, 20 minutes.
Seattle: 7 hours, 7 minutes.


11. Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Sandals Ochi Ocho Rios Jamaica

Picture: All the things that make Jamaica such a uniquely spectacular destination are at the heart of Sandals Ochi.

There’s something for everyone in Jamaica, especially those looking for somewhere warm to pass the winter months. Your adventure can start by turning the heat all the way up in a place like Ocho Rios which is popular with visitors to Jamaica. There are some amazing beaches in this area, such as Turtle Beach which is a favorite for swimmers and sun loungers. Ocho Rios is also home to the Dunn’s River falls which is an experience that includes hiking, dipping into natural pools, and seeing the spectacular waterfalls firsthand.

If you’re planning on visiting this attraction, our Dunn's River Falls: The Complete Guide will fill you in on what to expect. Overall, Ocho Rios is perfect for a vacation that’ll be unforgettable; filled with fun, beauty, history, and adventure.

Insider tip: You won’t have to look hard for the perfect all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios as this area aims to please, with many options available.


Dunns River Falls Ocho Rios Jamaica

Photo credit: Jan Schneckenhaus/Shutterstock.com

Weather in Ocho Rios in December:

Max. temperature: 81˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 65˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 8
Rainfall: 8.1 inches

Flight duration to Jamaica from:

New York City: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Washington DC: 3 hours, 21 minutes
Chicago: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Boston: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Seattle: 6 hours, 58 minutes


12. Nassau, The Bahamas

Sandals Royal Bahamian Beach View

Picture: Experience a new level of luxury at the Bahamas' most elegant all-inclusive resort.

Dreaming of a Caribbean vacay? Chase the sunshine to Nassau in the Bahamas during the cold, wintery months. Beaches like Cable Beach, Love Beach, and Cabbage Beach beckon travelers to this Bahamian capital where those looking for watersport action can get their fix and beach bums can bask in perfect temperatures.

Other than the stunning beaches, there’s a lot you can get up to in Nassau, including visiting the famous forts, going to the Pirates of Nassau Museum, walking up the Queen’s Staircase, or even spending some time living it up at a local casino. One of the best things about Nassau is the availability of all-inclusive resorts like Sandals Royal Bahamian which has 11 restaurants, 8 bars (including swim up bars) and access to a private offshore island!

Insider tip: Check out the 12 Best Beaches in Nassau to include them into your vacation itinerary for The Bahamas. You can also see a list of the Top 50 Fun Things To Do In The Bahamas.


Sandals Royal Bahamian Private Island

Picture: During your all inclusive Bahamas vacation, you can escape by launch in minutes to the resort’s exclusive Sandals Island.

Weather in Nassau in December:

Max. temperature: 80˚F (day)
Min. temperature: 65˚F (night)
Days with rainfall: 8
Rainfall: 2 inches

Flight duration to Nassau from:

New York City: 2 hours, 41 minutes
Washington DC: 2 hours, 31 minutes
Chicago: 3 hours, 7 minutes
Boston: 2 hours, 48 minutes
Seattle: 6 hours, 17 minutes


Have a warm winter wherever your heart desires!

Sandals Royal Bahamian Carnival Party

There you have it – some of the top choices for a winter escape that will thaw you out in no time. We hope it will now be a little easier for you to choose the best place for your winter vacation whether you’re traveling with your partner, friends, or family.

Happy Travels!

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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.

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