Friday Five (Escape the cold vacation ideas)

The days are getting shorter (for another couple weeks) and the cold of winter is starting to set in. This is about the time of year when I start getting a strong bout of wanderlust and can’t help but daydream of warmer climates. Here are my top five favorite warm vacation spots for when you just need a break from winter:

Warm vacation destinations

  1. Florida – Adam and I have escaped to Hallandale several years in a row and are making the trip again in January to the small beach town between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. We stay in the condo of a family friend and usually make a pit stop at Publix for granola bars, cereal and sandwich makings. To save some cash money we eat breakfast in the condo, make sandwiches to bring down to the beach and go out for dinner. We have had some awesome meals at Kitchenetta in Ft. Lauderdale and Michael’s Genuine in Miami along with delicious authentic Cuban food. We usually hit up the casino and shops at Gulfstream, take a walk along the Hollywood Broadwalk and of course spend time people watching in South Beach.
  1. Cruise to the Caribbean – Last winter I escaped to the Bahamas on a three day cruise with ten of my best girlfriends for my bachelorette! We spent our days by the pool and our nights with big hilarious group dinners (thanks for the bread, Dino!). While we were docked in Nassau we walked to a gorgeous beach and basked in the sun while we waded in the crystal clear water. It. Was. A. Blast.
  1. Las Vegas – Vegas can be oppressively hot in the summer which makes the weather pretty perfect in the winter. When I was growing up my Grandad lived outside Las Vegas so we visited a lot, including for a couple of Christmases. It’s almost like visiting New York at Christmas, with fabulous shopping, holiday decorations and shows, but without the cold and with more gambling. It’s a trade off 🙂 Most recently, I’ve stayed at the MGM and the Flamingo and because of the many hotel options, it’s easy to find a good deal.
  1. Austin – While not as warm as a beach vacation, you can find temperatures in the low 60’s from December-February which is still a nice break from the bitter cold of Baltimore. Visit the flagship Whole Foods, eat some amazing Barbecue and Tex Mex and get drinks on 6th Street. The bbq is even delicious at their gas stations – no lie, check out Rudy’s for some amazing brisket.
  1. New Orleans – I haven’t been to the Big Easy since college, but I am dying to make a return visit. I’m ready for beignets at Café Du Monde and walks through the French Quarter and I’ve heard Frenchman Street is the bomb. Adam’s heading there in March and I’m tempted to tag along…

The best part about all of these locations? (Besides the glorious warmth and sun) Southwest flies directly to all of them from BWI. So check out Jeanette’s travel tips and book a fun vacation now!

Linking up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia for Friday Five and Heather for Friday Favorites.

Are you traveling anywhere this winter? Do you prefer cold or warm climates? I am not a skier, I’m all about those tropical getaways!