Whatever your reason for searching for some sunshine this winter, these three cities in the US make great travel destinations. From cities with sun in their nicknames to spots you may not have ever considered, here are three not-so-obvious sunny places to visit this winter.
3 Not-So-Obvious Sunny Places to Visit This Winter
Whether you’re looking to keep summer going for a little longer or need a break from bleak winter days, these sunny travel destinations offer the perfect escape. All are within the United States, so they’re not difficult to find and don’t require all the stress of a passport. Keep reading to learn about some beautifully sunny places you should visit this winter.
And I’m playing my mama bear card here: it really does go without saying that too much sun is bad for you and your skin, so remember that when you do visit a sunny place, please take (and use) plenty of sunscreen, keep your skin covered, wear a large-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and just play it safe. No one wants a massive sunburn filled with grief on a relaxing vacation.
El Paso, Texas
There are many fun facts the locals will tell you about living in El Paso, but the fact that it’s known as “Sun City” will probably be top of the list. El Paso, along with much of the surrounding region of southwest Texas, experiences around 300 sunny days a year (which is the complete opposite of my neck of the woods, Pittsburgh, PA), so whether you’re visiting in the winter or planning your travel for another time of year, you’re almost guaranteed some time in the sun.
Plenty of fun outdoor activities will let you soak up the sunshine, such as visiting historic sites, basking in the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden, or enjoying rides at the local amusement park.
Despite El Paso claiming the title of Sun City, Apalachicola, Florida, gets plenty of beautiful days, too, especially since it’s located in the Sunshine State. Apalachicola is right on the Gulf Coast of western Florida and less than three hours from the famous Panama City Beach.
Despite the proximity to this busy area, Apalachicola feels more like a charming fishing town, full of delightful inns and waterfront dining. If you’d rather soak some rays away from the beach, the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area is further inland and offers guests plenty of space to hunt, fish, birdwatch, and paddle through the water.
Residents call the area around Phoenix the “Valley of the Sun” for a reason. Phoenix is popularly known as the sunniest and hottest city in the U.S. While you probably want to avoid making any summer vacation plans to this destination, it’s a great place to visit in the winter when you can enjoy the sun without the heat.
Step inside the Desert Botanical Garden, which features various exhibits and experiences throughout the year, and enjoy the sun amongst unique plant life. Explore history at Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, where you can also hike trails and plan a picnic. People looking for more heart-pounding adventure can travel a little outside the city and rock climb at Camelback Mountain.
El Paso, Apalachicola, and Phoenix are three of the best sunny places you should visit this winter. While the United States and the rest of the world are full of beautiful, sunny destinations, these three offer fun outdoor activities all winter long and are easy to get to. Start planning your vacation now so you can have everything set up before winter rolls in.