Gozo, Malta
The island of Gozo, Malta

Winter is one of our favorite times of the year.  We love the holidays, hot apple cider, crisp hikes and playing in the snow.  But after all that cheerful wintering we start craving the warm sun on our skin and we book a flight to one of our favorite warm-weather destinations. This is our list of favorite sunny destinations to cure the winter blues.  Enjoy!  

Gozo, Malta

The Blue Lagoon, Comino Island, Malta
The Blue Lagoon, Comino Island, Malta

Malta is a stunning country with loads of history, delicious food, and beautiful beaches.  It’s popular among Europeans but not as well known in the States.  During summer it can get quite crowded, but we were there in the fall and it was a perfect combination of nice weather and quiet beaches.  We loved staying on the island of Gozo, which is the smaller of the populated islands that make up Malta.  Don’t miss: take a boat to the Blue Lagoon on Camino Island!

Cozumel, Mexico

View from the beach in Cozumel

Average Temperature in December: 75°F / 24°C 

Cozumel is so much more than a cruise port!  It’s a beautiful, walkable city with amazing food and some fantastic beach clubs.  The weather in winter is pretty close to perfect and there are a lot of fun activities for families.  Our boys love snorkeling in the beautiful warm water followed by churros on the beach.  Rich and I look forward to the amazing sunsets.  

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Sometimes you need a little push, Shark Ray Alley, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Sometimes you need a little push, Shark Ray Alley, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Average Temperature in December 75°F / 24°C. 
Sunshine in December: 11 hours!

If you are into snorkeling and diving, then you will love Ambergris Caye, Belize.  It has a relaxed island vibe and amazing marine life.  Our favorite adventure to date was taking a cruise on El Gato, a local catamaran, to swim with massive Rays and gentle Nurse Sharks.  It was scary exhilarating fun!

Nosara, Costa Rica

Surfing lessons in Nosara, Costa Rica
Surfing lessons in Nosara, Costa Rica

Average Temperature in December 81°F / 27°C

Costa Rica is an amazing place for an active family vacation.  Our family had a blast there: white water rafting, climbing suspension bridges, relaxing in the hot springs and admiring the amazing wildlife.  But our favorite activity was taking surf lessons in Nosara.

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, California

Average Temperature in December 66°F / 19°C

We love Santa Barbara, California any time of the year but winter is our favorite time.  The sun is usually shining and the city isn’t too crowded.  Our boys love playing on the beach and exploring the museums.  We can’t get enough of the marvelous food and scenic wine tasting!  Click here to see some of our favorite things to do in Santa Barbara.  

Florida Keys, Florida

Paddling in a lagoon in the Florida Keys

Average Temperature in December 76°F / 24°C 

If you haven’t been to Key West, you are missing out on a really stunning part of the United States.  The Keys are a great place for a family vacation.  Our boys love kayaking, swimming and Stand Up Paddle Boarding when we visit the Keys but their favorite thing is eating chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick because, in the Keys, that’s a thing!

St, John, USVI

St. John, U.S.Virgin Islands

Average Temperature at December 84°F / 28°C

St. John, USVI is one of our favorite places.  Floating in the crystal clear warm water is heaven on earth.  Two-thirds of St. John is national parkland so it’s easy to find a secluded beach to relax on.  The island was hit hard by hurricanes this year but many hotels are open and ready to receive guests!  Check out our photo essay to see some of our favorite spots on St. John.  


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8 Sunny Destinations to Cure the Winter Blues

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    1. These photos are giving me the winter blues 🙂 I’m in need of a nice sunny, sandy, warm beach.

      I want to get back to Key West. My husband and I went many years ago, but we haven’t taken the kids. My kids would be all over that chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick (okay, and me too!)

      • Jennifer Reply

        We didn’t want to give you the winter blues! The chocolate dipped key lime pie was amazing!

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