lima peru coastline

Plan an escape to Lima, Peru. (Photo; Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

Summer Forever! Best Places to Travel When Winter’s Coming on Fast

Summer Fridays have come to their end. Ahead? Chillier days. Sweaters. Puffy coats. Snow shoveling. So much snow shoveling! Not that there’s anything wrong with all that (OK, maybe a little less shoveling would be good), but there’s a lot to be said for having a burst of sun and heat ahead to break up all those winter nights.

So here you go: six places where, midwinter, you can recharge your batteries, renew your spirit and drink a piña colada (or perhaps a mojito?) with glee.

Lima, Peru

Come December, Lima offers up an average temperature of 75 degrees and, even better, no rain. Added bonus? Lima’s beaches offer miles of strolling and perfect people-watching.

Perhaps take a surf lesson or go horseback riding. But make sure to shake the sand out of your shoes and spend some time exploring Lima’s life-lived-outdoors neighborhoods filled with bold architecture; lovely, lazy-day-perfect bars that serve up pisco sours and ice-cold bottles of Cusqueña; and plenty of public art.

Head to Miraflores for parks that run alongside the Pacific Ocean and some of Peru’s boldest restaurants. On another day? Go to Barranco, a vibrant artsy neighborhood.

Paradise Island, Bahamas

In the Bahamas, life is lived on (and in) the water. Pop on a snorkel and explore coral reefs. Or get certified in scuba diving (you know you want to)! Fishing adventures and catamaran cruises abound, as well.

Of course, nobody will bat an eye if you decide you want to take quiet strolls on the wide sand beaches and relax with a cocktail or two. At night, restaurants serve up big flavor. Don’t miss the chance to dine at Fish by José Andrés. And no matter what you do, make sure to eat some conch every day. So delicious.

Cape Town, South Africa

Come North America’s winter, the southern hemisphere’s summer comes on strong — and Cape Town is the perfect place to play and explore outdoors. One of the best photo ops around? The African penguins of Boulders Beach. Yes, penguins that, clearly, enjoy warm weather and beaches as much as you do.

Of course, there’s so much more to explore. Hike Table Mountain. Take a day trip to Robben Island Museum. Find a favorite swimming hole at Limietberg Nature Reserve. Or just sip the day away at wineries including Groot Constantia and Waterkloof.

Palm Springs, California

On winter days, this desert locale serves up a good dose of dry heat and stays pretty comfy the whole time, too. (Really, winter is the perfect time of year to hit the desert.)

Dive into some of the coolest pools around, and, speaking of cool, eyeball all the midcentury modern architecture you could ever hope to see. (Yes, you might even start expecting to see Don Draper sitting at the next table at Lulu California Bistro.)

warm winter destinations
Make a run for Joshua Tree National Park. (Photo: Getty Images)

Go deep into the desert by Jeep tour or horseback, or take a day trip to nearby Joshua Tree National Park.

Miami, Florida

Can’t fit in a full week away? A long weekend in Miami will be just the thing to soothe your winter weary soul. The food, music and dancing in Little Havana will get you revved up right quick.

Then you can head off to South Beach for shopping that will put a smile on the face of the most hard-to-please fashionistas around. Fan of art deco? Welcome to your heaven on earth. And you haven’t even gone to the beach yet … See? One weekend in Miami. So hot.

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

The smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is a stunner. Stroll the white sand beaches of Trunk Bay. Or explore the two-thirds of St. John that’s a National Park. Yes, seriously, a full 11,500 acres of the island is protected land. Or … just hang out at The Westin St. John Resort Villas, get a massage at the spa and recapture the lazy days of summer you left behind oh, so many months ago.