Tired of the cold winter days? Here are some winter vacation ideas and destinations you can consider for your post-retirement trips.
In this article:
- Winter Vacation Destinations for Beach Lovers
- Warm Winter Vacation Ideas for Retirees Who Love the Outdoors
- Winter Getaways for Good Entertainment
- Best Winter Vacation Ideas with a Bit of Everything
Winter Vacation Ideas for Seniors: What to See and Do
Winter Vacation Destinations for Beach Lovers
1. Galveston, Texas
Unlike other cities by the coastline, Galveston’s housing prices are more reasonable, making it the perfect place for an affordable winter vacation. Like other island destinations, it’s home to a ton of beaches.
If you prefer stepping on stone over sand, you can explore the downtown area and immerse yourself in its rich history. Its booming tourism industry also means you can find entertainment in any corner of the area.
2. Kauai, Hawaii
For people who prefer a tranquil place, Kauai is the place to be. Unlike the busier parts of Hawaii, like Waikiki or Honolulu, Kauai’s ambiance is more laid back.
Kauai also has the lowest crime rate among all the islands in the state, so you can walk around in relative safety.
Reminder: Watch out for those wild chickens along the way.
3. Solana Beach, California
This beach town 25 miles away from San Diego is warm all year round. Ride the waves with your surfboard or maybe hop on a boat.
If you don’t want to be in the water, you can spend some time in one of their many golf courses. Taking the scenic route down the California coast works too.
4. Clearwater, Florida
This town is home to “Dolphin Trail,” an area named for the over 120 dolphin sculptures scattered all over the place. Don’t forget to stop over the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and pay Winter the Dolphin of Dolphin Tale a visit.
5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale combines the best of the tropics and the big city in one convenient location. Enjoy a wide variety of dining spots, shopping areas, and a rich art scene.
6. Vero Beach, Florida
Situated on the Atlantic coast, Vero Beach provides a laid-back, small-town vibe that still provides a healthy dose of entertainment. With temperatures hovering around the mid-70s during wintertime, this place could be your next beach getaway.
Warm Winter Vacation Ideas for Retirees Who Love the Outdoors
7. St. George, Utah
This town in Southwest Utah is one of the most popular destinations for retirees. Its milder winters make it a popular destination for people coming from the northern parts of the country.
It’s home to Zion National Park, as well as other parks like the Pine Valley Mountains and the Snow Canyon State Park. The Grand Canyon is a three-hour road trip from this town.
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
Those who prefer a more active holiday will love Scottsdale. It’s home to a lot of hiking trails, golf courses, and everything who wants to step outside for some fresh air.
Arizona gets hotter during the summer but milder temperatures during the winter.
9. Sedona, Arizona
Hikers are going to love Sedona! Oak Creek Canyon is teeming of hiking trails and other places where you can be one with nature.
If you want to hit the slopes, ski resorts like the Arizona Snowbowl should have you covered. If your idea of a fun trip is to sip a steaming cup of hot cocoa in a ski lodge overlooking the slopes, Sedona might be the place for you.
10. Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon is skier’s paradise. While it’s much cooler than a lot of desert areas (highest temps hover at the low-to-mid 40s range), there’s still enough snow for a fun skiing experience.
You can start your adventure at the Mount Bachelor Ski Resort or if you prefer cross-country skiing, one of the more than 40 miles of cross-country ski trails.
At the end of the day, you can then relax and have a glass of beer at one of the 15 craft beer breweries in the area.
11. Borrego Springs, California
When was the last time you saw the stars in the sky? If you head to Borrego Springs, California, you can do just that.
Borrego Springs, found right in the middle of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (the largest state park in California), is one of 22 designated dark sky communities thanks to its light pollution ordinance.
What is a dark sky community? This is a city, town, or community that has dedicated itself to preserving the night sky. They usually do this through stringent outdoor light policies and educating the community on how important it is to preserve the night sky.
Because of that, nights in the area are dark enough for you to see the stars in the sky. It’s a sight to behold both during the day and the night.
12. Tucson, Arizona
Being a university town, Tucson may not be the first choice for retirees. However, it’s one of the best winter destinations out there.
Some winter vacation ideas include booking an exploring tour in the San Xavier del Bac Mission and hiking by the Saguaro National Monument.
13. Punta Gorda, Florida
This is the place to be if you love animals, volunteering, and bird watching. It’s the home of the Peace River Wildlife Center, a wildlife conservation center that is always on the lookout for volunteers who take part in animal care.
Winter Getaways for Good Entertainment
14. Santa Fe, New Mexico
If you love the Southwest, you shouldn’t miss Santa Fe. It’s home to the famous Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which houses more than 3000 of her works.
The holidays are the perfect time to take a trip. At night, the locals light up “luminarias” welcoming Christ into the world.
What are luminarias? Also known as “farolitos,” these are lanterns traditionally made of brown paper bags, some sand, and a votive candle.
15. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Arts and culture lovers will enjoy Las Cruces. It’s home to an annual Day of the Dead festival and the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra.
There’s a farmer’s market running every week and different attractions in the nearby Sierra Madre and Rockies mountains.
16. Marfa, Texas
Marfa isn’t much of a tourist hotbed, so it’s easy to see why people miss it. What it offers is a place where art lovers can enjoy and convene together.
Have a stopover at the Chinati Foundation, where you can find 15 of Donald Judd’s works painted in concrete. If you want to head outside, head over to Big Bend National Park.
Here, you’ll also find the Marfa Lights, where you can find mysterious floating lights light at night.
17. Williamsburg, Virginia
Being one of the first cities in the U.S., Williamsburg is a blast from the past. A top attraction is Colonial Williamsburg, where actors re-enact city life during the late 1600s.
For thrill-seekers, there’s also a variety of vampire and ghost tours. There are also a lot of dining and shopping opportunities to explore.
Best Winter Vacation Ideas with a Bit of Everything
18. Sarasota, Florida
Looking for winter family vacation ideas? If you’re bringing grandkids, Sarasota is home to several family-friendly beaches where you can relax while the kids have a beach day.
Beyond beaches, Sarasota offers a variety of activities and tours that range from a farm tour through citrus groves to a cruise to see manatees and dolphins. This is also a good destination for golfers as the county is home to great golf courses like TPC Prestancia and Founders Golf Club.
19. Henderson, Nevada
This town gives you easy access to Las Vegas in all its neon glory as well as nearby deserts like the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead. If you’d rather stay in town, Henderson offers great choices for golf courses, spas, and restaurants.
20. Biloxi, Mississippi
Despite being one of the hardest-hit towns after Hurricane Katrina, Biloxi has become a thriving community that offers a small-town charm filled with modern attractions like art galleries and casinos. Winter temperatures are cooler at around the low-to-mid 60s, but there are plenty of places to keep you entertained.
21. Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a popular choice for retirees for good reason.
It has more than 130 golf resorts, with some of them rated among the best in the country. Try Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, the Escena Golf Club, or the Indian Canyons Golf Resort, for starters.
If golf’s not right up your alley, you can take a dip in one of its many hot springs, or hike in one of the trails. There are also guided tours that allow you to explore many of the area’s famous architectural highlights.
For year-round warmth and lots of choices, Palm Springs is the way to go.
Here are just some winter vacation ideas to get you out of blustery days, even for a short time. I hope this guide has helped you plan your post-retirement winter getaway.
Where are you planning to go for the winter holidays? Let us know in the comments section below.