Hoping the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow? You’re not alone. Musement shares six destinations to bask in some warm weather before spring.
Legend says that if the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from underground on February 2, it will be wintry for another six weeks—causing celebration among winter lovers and dread for summer enthusiasts. If you fall into the latter, here are six destinations for a warm-weather fix before spring.
1. San Diego
Southern California’s moderate temperatures make San Diego an ideal place for a late-winter vacation. Highs in the mid- to upper-60s may not be beach weather, but you’ll find plenty of other things to do in the San Diego sunshine. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, go whale watching at Cabrillo National Monument, or enjoy a round of golf at one of the city’s renowned municipal courses. End the day with alfresco dining followed by a movie at San Diego’s premier outdoor theater, Cinema Under the Stars.
While other areas of the country are under winter weather warnings, the forecast in Miami calls for balmy days and breezy nights. Take advantage of the tropical climate to soak up the sun on Miami’s legendary beaches, bag a bargain at one of the open-air malls or sip drinks under the stars at a rooftop lounge. If you’re catching a cruise out of PortMiami, take some time pre- or post-cruise to admire the architecture, go gallery hopping or use the city’s free trolley service to sightsee.
3. New Orleans
Parties, parades and package deals make February the perfect time to visit New Orleans. Weeks of Carnival celebrations leading up to Mardi Gras keep residents and tourists in a festive mood. After the last beads are thrown and the final parade passes by, you can shift your attention to everything else this colorful Southern city has to offer. No matter what time of year it is, you’ll always find musicians and street performers entertaining the crowds in Jackson Square and along Bourbon Street. The historic French Quarter is also home to Preservation Hall, where you can listen to live jazz performances in an intimate setting before heading to a nearby bar for a nightcap.
Hawaii’s balmy temperatures make it a great year-round destination. An average daytime temperature of 78℉ means you can still swim, surf and sunbathe on one of the incredible beaches in this tropical paradise. If you want to observe the humpback whales returning from Alaska, head to the Makapuu Lighthouse in Oahu, Poipu Beach on Kauai, or Hilo Bay on the Big Island. Forty-five minutes south of Hilo is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can drive along the rim of an active volcano or hike along one of the many trailheads.
5.Charleston, South Carolina
Months before Charleston’s sultry summer weather peaks in July, the city starts to warm up from its winter chill. February and March’s spring-like temperatures are perfect for daytime strolls along King Street. The street is lined with historic landmarks, unique boutiques, souvenir shops, and galleries featuring the work of local artists. If you fancy yourself a foodie, you can’t miss the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival in early March, where you can sip and snack your way through Marion Square while enjoying performances by local storytellers and musicians.
6. Austin, Texas
Austin’s live music scene doesn’t slow down in the winter. It’s always possible to catch a concert, festival, or jam session on your visit to this capital city. You can also enjoy al fresco dining and outdoor food festivals throughout the winter months thanks to mild daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. If the warm weather inspires you to go hiking or biking, head to
McKinney Falls State Park, which has close to nine miles of well-maintained dirt trails.