32 best warm winter vacations in the USA

Pier on the port of Key West, Florida with boat docked by hotel

With the harsh New England winter in full swing and no end in sight, we think it’s high time you took a break from the cold. The United States covers a vast territory of climates, making it relatively easy for you and your favorite travel companions to escape the chill without going south of the border. 

So trade your snow boots for swim trunks! The team at Greenvans has identified 32 of the best warm winter vacation destinations in the USA. All you have to do is choose a location, book your New England van rental, pack your summer clothes, and hit the road for an unforgettable winter road trip.

1. Key West, Florida

One of the best states to go to in winter is undoubtedly Florida. Better known as the Sunshine State, Florida’s expansive coastline and proximity to the equator are just two reasons Northerners flock here when the temperatures start to dip. The chain of islands known as the Keys are especially attractive and if we had to pick our favorite, we’d enthusiastically suggest Key West. 

The first reason to love Key West in winter is the drive there. Crossing the Florida Keys Overseas Highway toward the island boasts spectacular views of the Caribbean-colored water. The second reason is its ideal blend of beach activities, snorkeling, and vibrant nightlife!

Average winter temperature: 65°F — 78°F

Source: Trusted Tours

2. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is a mesmerizing destination adorned by stunning red rock formations. It’s also sunny, making it one of the country’s best regions for warm winter getaways. Active travelers can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, like hiking Cathedral Rock and mountain biking in the canyons of Bell Rock.

Action isn’t the only captivating element of a trip to Sedona. It also makes for a truly incredible road trip. On a drive along Red Rock Scenic Byway, for example, you’re surrounded by towering red cliffs, vibrant desert landscapes, and scenic overlooks where you can stop for selfies with your companions. We highly recommend exploring the beauty of the Sedona landscape on a red rock road trip.   

Average winter temperature: 33°F — 68°F

Source: All Sedona

3. Savannah, Georgia

A Savannah, Georgia winter escape is guaranteed to captivate all styles of travelers. Explore the city’s storied past on a Bonaventure Cemetery Tour. Stroll under the weeping willows of Forsyth Park or ride bikes through Savannah’s 22 charming squares. When you’re not checking out its art scene, indulge in delicious Southern cuisine.

Savannah is best reached by van along the breathtaking Georgia coastline. Outside of the views, road trippers can also stop for fresh seafood at its roadside stands and in charming towns ripe for an afternoon’s exploration, like Darien and St. Simons Island.

Average winter temperature: 39°F — 72°F

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is a good idea any time of year, notably in the coldest months of winter. Go for a walk on its famous boardwalk, lined with vibrant shops and restaurants that offer unobstructed ocean views. View the region’s diverse wildlife and hiking trails at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. 

Virginia’s mild winter temperatures mean great driving conditions, and Virginia Beach is the perfect starting point for a road trip around the Chesapeake Bay region. Check out attractions like the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and First Landing State Park, and explore other bay area towns like Norfolk, VA, and Annapolis, MD. 

Ready to hit the road? Pick up your Richmond van rental and head off to Virginia Beach.

Average winter temperature: 45°F — 59°F

Source: Viator.com

5. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The beaches in the barrier island chain known as the Outer Banks stretch as far as the eye can see, dotted with iconic lighthouses like those on Cape Hatteras. It’s home to the North Carolina Aquarium, mesmerizing for kids and the young at heart. On chillier days, explore the indoor world at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. 

A road trip to the Outer Banks is exquisite. Hop in the van and roll along the area’s pristine beaches and undulating sand dunes while catching a few picturesque sunsets. Take NC Highway 12 for a scenic journey to your serene island getaway, making stops in the various islands along the way.

Average winter temperature: 40°F — 60°F

6. Charleston, South Carolina

If you’re looking for history, cuisine, and hospitality on your warm winter getaway, Charleston is for you. Book an unforgettable tour through the city’s cobblestone streets and colonial houses by horse-drawn carriage. Dining out here is a treat — from southern to seafood, Charleston has a dish to satisfy every palette.

Reserve your 15-passenger van from Richmond and take an easy drive down to Charleston. Consider extending your stay and exploring South Carolina’s coast. Head south on Highway 17 to Folly Beach for a laid-back vibe or venture to Sullivan’s Island for beach strolls and a visit to the iconic lighthouse. 

Average winter temperature: 50°F — 65°F

Source: Pam Harrington Exclusives

7. San Diego, California

Are you a beach lover? Then San Diego is your paradise. The guaranteed hot winter vacation spot offers a vibrant cultural scene, with attractions like Balboa Park and epic surfing at Pacific Beach. Bring your kids to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo! Great for families, friends, and couples, this is one warm winter getaway you won’t regret. 

The California coast is easily one of the most breathtaking drives in the United States. It’s a great time to rent a van and road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway. Roll along the rocky coast as you soak in the views of the shimmering Pacific, and make sure to check out the stretch from La Jolla to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve which is especially spectacular. 

Average winter temperature: 60°F — 70°F

8. Miami, Florida

Miami is hot, sunny, vibrant, and colorful, and tops our list of the best warm places to visit in the USA in winter. Relax on its Caribbean-style beaches, admire its unique Art Deco architecture, and dive into its eclectic mix of Latin-fusion cuisine.

Miami’s location is an excellent starting point for a road trip. Consider a day trip to the Everglades, the largest wetlands in the world, stopping at a tropical fruit stand for a fresh snack along the way. It’s also the perfect city to combine with a road trip to the Keys, where you can extend your stay for a few days on the island of Key West.

Average winter temperature: 62°F — 82°F

Source: Inside Hook

9. Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona is an ideal warm winter vacation in the USA due to its landscapes, sunny skies, and many activities. For active travelers, Phoenix offers numerous hiking trails, such as Camelback Mountain, with overlooks of the magical desert. Its rich cultural heritage is showcased in the Heard Museum’s collection of Native American art and history. 

While you’re here, why not embark on an unforgettable road trip together to the Grand Canyon? For the best of Arizona’s landscape and a peek into old Southwest culture, rent a van and drive to Flagstaff, perhaps spending a day or two to explore the thriving art and music scene. Then just 90 miles north is Grand Canyon National Park, where you and your travel companions will be awed by the magnificence of the colorful canyon.

Average winter temperature: 44°F — 71°F

10. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

A trip to Myrtle Beach is a no-brainer for families or friends looking to be entertained. Spend an afternoon exploring the vibrant beachfront boardwalk, checking out music venues, or riding on roller coasters! Like to golf? Myrtle Beach offers beautiful courses and great weather, so throw your clubs in the back of one of our spacious vans and head to Myrtle Beach National Golf Club for the day. 

Myrtle Beach is a straight shot down from Washington, D.C. — making it an easy addition to your road trip list. From here, wind things down with a short drive to Pawley’s Island, where serene beaches, historic homes, and fishing, kayaking, and nature reserves await. 

Average winter temperature: 37°F — 59°F

11. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is one of the best warm winter vacations in the USA. Hit the historic French Quarter for its charming architecture, lively bars, and iconic Bourbon Street. From sazeracs to steamboat cruises, a trip to New Orleans is indulgent, delicious, and always memorable.

Thinking about renting a van and taking a group trip? Driving along the Mississippi River showcases views of the water and sprawling plantations, while also giving you the unique chance to explore picture-perfect river towns like Baton Rouge and Natchez. 

Average winter temperature: 47°F — 67°F

Source: CN Traveler

12. Austin, Texas

Austin is a fantastic warm place to visit in the USA in winter for its mild weather, live music scene, and unique culinary culture. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors, too, like kayaking on Lady Bird Lake or hiking the beautiful Barton Creek Greenbelt. 

Something spectacular about Austin is its proximity to authentic Texas Hill Country. Renting a van for your visit gives you access to wineries in Fredericksburg, natural beauty in Hamilton Pool Preserve, and a whimsical ride along the Willow City Loop.

Average winter temperature: 41°F — 67°F

13. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, one of the top hot winter vacation spots in the US, has two major perks: the city itself and the attractions within driving distance of the city. Enjoy an abundance of thrilling rides and exhibits at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Take a day trip to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to see rockets, space shuttles, and even meet a NASA astronaut.

After all that excitement, what’s better than a day trip to Cocoa Beach? Just 60 miles from Orlando is a relaxing beach experience, with opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Stroll along the Cocoa Beach Pier or the warm, sandy shoreline at sunset to round out your Florida vacation.

Average winter temperature: 51°F — 74°F

Source: Trip Savvy

14. Palm Springs, California

Looking for luxury? Look no further than Palm Springs, renowned for its indulgent resorts and upscale amenities. When not pampering yourself at the spa, shopping in El Paseo, or golfing at PGA West, you can lay by the pool, enjoying one of the 269 days of sunshine Palm Springs is known for.

Just a short distance from Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park, a surreal desert wonderland with unique Joshua trees, rock formations, and opportunities for hiking, stargazing, and photography. This is a real bucket list road trip stop that should not be missed, so be sure to factor this into your drive.

Average winter temperature: 44°F — 73°F

15. Yuma, Arizona

Rest assured that your Yuma, Arizona vacation will be a hot one. There are over 300 days of sunshine each year and a treasure trove of parks. Hike the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge’s expansive wetlands or explore the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, a once-functioning prison now open for tours of well-preserved cell blocks and guard towers. 

Arizona is breathtaking to explore by van. If possible, take a drive to see the sweeping Sonoran Desert landscapes at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Wildlife enthusiasts can’t miss Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, a major stopover for over 250 species of migratory birds making their way along the Pacific Flyway. You could also consider combining Yuma with Phoenix, Sedona, and even the Grand Canyon, for an epic desert road trip.

Average winter temperature: 47°F — 75°F

Source: Arizona Highways

16. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is a two-in-one destination — for those looking for entertainment, you’re covered. On the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll find world-class performances, theatrical shows, casinos, and nightclubs. The dining is exceptional, ranging from casual to upscale, Japanese to Italian.

There’s a natural side of Las Vegas often overlooked — the Red Rock Canyon, known for its scenic hiking trails and exquisite rock formations, and the iconic Hoover Dam. Both are just a short drive through the desert, making Las Vegas an excellent destination for a road trip. 

Average winter temperature: 37°F — 65°F

17. Naples, Florida

Naples is a sophisticated, scenic, and warm-weather getaway where you’ll find great shopping and elegant dining. It’s the perfect destination to relax on a beautiful, white sand beach on a sunny day. Because of its location on the West Coast, the sunsets are spectacular and Naples Pier is a great place to enjoy them

For nature enthusiasts seeking a serene and picturesque experience, a short drive to the Ten Thousand Islands is a must. Here you’ll find a collection of wild mangrove islands ideal for boating, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. Renting a van will also give you the chance to drive south along the coast to Marco Island or north to Sarasota.

Average winter temperature: 63°F — 78°F

18. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi is an exciting city with extensive beaches, fresh seafood, and a lot of history. Dive into nature at Padre Island National Seashore, known for its untouched coastline and diverse wildlife. War buffs should check out the retired aircraft carrier at the USS Lexington Museum. In the evening, enjoy a vibrant mix of party venues, live music, and special events to fit every palette. 

A van rental gives you and your travel companions the opportunity to drive along the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is the coastal ride accompanied by beautiful scenery, but a ride allows for beach hopping and stops in charming coastal towns like Port Aransas and Rockport.

Average winter temperature: 50°F — 72°F

19. Los Angeles, California

Any list of warm winter vacations in the USA must include Los Angeles. From Hollywood to hiking, art museums to amusement parks, it’s simply a grab bag of activities. Hike to the Hollywood Sign or visit the Getty Center. Universal Studios and Disneyland are close by and great for the kids. Take advantage of the weather with a day on Santa Monica beach!

Speaking of, don’t miss a mini road trip to the Santa Monica Mountains. The ride is a labyrinth of winding roads and dramatic Pacific Ocean views, and well worth your time.

Average winter temperature: 50°F — 70°F

20. San Antonio, Texas

Ready to escape the cold for a warm city with lots of diverse attractions? San Antonio is full of life and a great winter destination. It’s got history, like the famous The Alamo. It’s got shopping and dining on the charming RiverWalk. It’s got entertainment, such as its famous winter festivals including the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. If events are your thing, take a look at other winter festivals happening around the country. 

It’s got wine, too, just a short, scenic drive away in Hill Country. Hop in your rental van for a journey through the rolling hills and vineyards of Texas. Check out wineries like Becker Vineyards and Grape Creek Vineyards, which both offer exceptional wine-tasting experiences.

Average winter temperature: 42°F — 68°F

21. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Golfing, biking, beaching? What more could you want in a warm winter getaway? On Hilton Head Island, golf at top-rated courses like Harbour Town Golf Links. Unwind on the sunny beaches of Coligny. Bike the trails at Hilton Head Island Bike Path. When you’re ready for dinner, head out for upscale Italian or casual, waterfront seafood.

South Carolina is another great road-tripping state, and a trip to the Lowcountry region is a must-do. Roll along its picturesque roads toward quaint towns like Beaufort and Bluffton, home to historic sites, Victorian mansions, art galleries, and delicious Southern cuisine.

Average winter temperature: 40°F — 65°F

Source: Hiltonheadrv.com

22. St. Petersburg, Florida

Just a stone’s throw from Tampa lies one of the best warm places to visit in the USA in winter. St. Petersburg has white sand beaches, art galleries, museums, and The Sunken Gardens, a lush oasis of tropical plants and cascading waterfalls. 

Renting a van makes it easy for you and your travel companions to explore the nearby Tampa Bay area. Just a 25-minute drive gives you access to the vibrant downtown section of Tampa as well as attractions such as Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium.

Average winter temperature: 55°F — 72°F

23. Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is known as the American Riviera for three reasons: its weather, its wine, and its widespread coastal views. Beautiful Spanish-style architecture can be found throughout the city. There are numerous vineyards and wineries, making it a wonderful getaway for friends and couples. When not sightseeing or wine tasting, hike the Santa Ynez Mountains, relax on the beach, and enjoy a thriving culinary scene. 

Santa Barbara is known for its beautiful coastline, and having a rental van allows you to visit multiple beaches and enjoy the scenic drives along the Pacific Coast Highway, together. Explore beautiful spots like Butterfly Beach and Leadbetter Beach, and stop in the Danish-inspired town of Solvang for some international treats.

Average winter temperature: 40°F — 65°F

24. Mobile, Alabama

Mobile is an ideal place to escape the cold Northern winter. Museums are abundant, seafood is fresh, and the Antebellum architecture is riveting. It’s a delightful warm winter getaway for families and groups of friends looking for a unique place with friendly people.

If you decide to drive, and we hope you do, the Gulf Coast is sure to impress. Aside from its picturesque views, there are many scenic spots to visit like Gulf State Park, Dauphin Island, and other alluring Southern towns along the way. Whatever you want to do — unwind on the beach, go fishing, have a nice meal by the water — a road trip along the Gulf will offer it.

Average winter temperature: 42°F — 65°F

25. St. Augustine, Florida

Florida is the hottest of all the hot winter vacation spots in the US. It’s also home to some notable history. As the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States, St. Augustine boasts impressive cultural landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcos. As a geographical crossroads, its culinary options incorporate Spanish and Caribbean flavors. 

Renting a van for a drive to St. Augustine is ideal for visiting the pristine beaches at Anastasia State Park. Heading south gives you the chance to visit the vibrant Daytona Beach, as well as the Kennedy Space Center for an awe-inspiring encounter with space exploration history.

Average winter temperature: 47°F — 68°F

26. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Getaway to Santa Fe for a unique blend of local cuisine and a rich artistic heritage. Admire the adobe-style architecture, visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and pop into art galleries in the Canyon Road Gallery District. Santa Fe dining boasts a flavorful mix of Native American, Spanish, and Mexican tastes; be sure to try the warm green chile stew! Want a fancy night out? Check out the Santa Fe Opera. 

A road trip from Santa Fe to Taos offers the opportunity to explore the historic adobe buildings of Taos Pueblo and immerse in the vibrant arts community. If you’re traveling with beach lovers, stop by the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument for an afternoon on the sand.

Average winter temperature: 20°F — 50°F

Source: Trip Savvy

27. Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island, located off the coast of Florida, is a quaint barrier known for crystal clear water and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s a great family destination where you can enjoy all sorts of water activities — swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. By night, the island overflows with charming shops and delicious seafood restaurants.

Taking a road trip? Anna Maria Island is a beautiful drive from Sarasota and its exciting arts scene. Head south on the island and cross the bay, where you can take the family to the Ringling Museum of Art, and enjoy cultural attractions like the Sarasota Opera and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Average winter temperature: 55°F — 75°F

28. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is nestled in the grand mountains of North Carolina. While it’s a bit cooler than coastal destinations, it’s still worlds away from the rough Northern winters. Take in the crisp, clean air while popping in and out of galleries and art studios in the River Arts District. Warm yourselves up by hiking, biking, and perhaps attending a yoga class or two.

Asheville is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most scenic drives in the United States. Rent a van for an unforgettable ride through the mountain range and stop at iconic landmarks like Craggy Gardens and Mount Pisgah, where undulating trails and sparkling waterfalls await.

Average winter temperature: 30°F — 50°F

29. Jacksonville, Florida

There is a lot to do in Jacksonville during your warm winter getaway, from biking through urban parks like the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail to lounging in the sun on Jacksonville Beach. There’s plenty of culture, including art and science museums and the 73-year-old Jacksonville Symphony. 

It’s also an ideal starting point for a warm-weather road trip. Head south to historic St. Augustine, where you and your crew can explore landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcos or wander the beautiful St. Augustine University campus. The drive takes you along the scenic A1A coastal highway, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Average winter temperature: 46°F — 69°F

30. Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville blends a bit of wildlife, a bit of history, and a lot of cultural influence from Mexico, evident in its cuisine, traditional music, and colorful festivals. Enjoy Tex-Mex dishes such as tacos or fajitas before taking the kids on a spooky ghost tour at the Old City Cemetery.

The city is a gateway to the Rio Grande Valley, known for its diverse bird species, including the endangered Aplomado falcon and the Green jay. Rent a van and give your family the chance to experience the butterflies, birds, and enchanting landscapes of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

Average winter temperature: 52°F — 75°F

31. Orange Beach, Alabama

Toasty weather and beautiful beaches make Orange Beach an ideal warm winter vacation in the USA. Bask in the sun on its sandy coastline, go fishing or boating, or visit the historic Fort Morgan. There are lots of unforgettable, family-friendly attractions within a short drive, such as dolphin cruises and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. 

As you drive along the Gulf Coast, you can discover other charming towns like Perdido Key, FL, and Foley, AL. These towns offer their own unique attractions, dining options, and shopping experiences, and are lovely stops on a road trip through the deep south.

Average winter temperature: 43°F — 65°F

Source: Alabama Travel

32. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. Enjoy hiking, bird watching, and stargazing during the mild winter temperatures. One of the park’s highlights is the Santa Elena Canyon, a magnificent natural wonder where the Rio Grande carves a deep gorge through towering limestone cliffs. 

Take a captivating journey along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, which offers breathtaking views of desert landscapes, historic sites, and unique rock formations. Don’t miss a stop at Chisos Basin, a mountainous zone within the park with abundant hiking trails, camping opportunities, and stunning vistas.

Average winter temperature: 32°F — 58°F

Escape the cold with Greenvans!

There’s no better way to flee the harsh winters of the Northeast than by piling your loved ones into a spacious 15-passenger van and hitting the road toward warmer weather. Not only will you have the chance to witness the true beauty of the United States, you’ll create memories together that will last a lifetime. 

What are you waiting for? Send this list of the USA’s 32 best warm winter vacations to your favorite travel buddies, chart your course, and embark together on a balmy getaway that everyone will love!


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