Holidays on the Beach: 6 Sandy Locations to Spend Your Holidays

For many of us, the holidays bring cold and cloudy weather. But they don’t have to this year. For a warmer way of celebrating the season, pack up your beach bag and head to one of our favorite sandy destinations. 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Full of beachfront hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and more, San Juan is the perfect place for a holiday season your friends or family will be sure to remember. The best part? Temperatures reach the low 80s in winter, so you can leave the heavy winter coats at home.

What to do: In December, Old San Juan comes to life with twinkling lights, holiday decor, local markets, and more. When you’re ready to trade in the cobblestone streets for stretches of sand, head down to the beach for a swim in the warm waters. To really feel the holiday spirit, visit a local charity and make a donation to communities that could use help rebuilding from hurricane damage. 

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

For a taste of paradise, hop on a flight to the Caribbean island of St. Thomas. While the island sees a bit more rain in the winter, the warm temperatures and minimal crowds make it the ideal winter escape, especially for water and adventure lovers. 

What to do: St. Thomas is well-known for its beautiful beaches and pirate history. Make sure to pack snorkeling gear so you can scope out the local swimming spots and explore the remains of shipwrecks. Looking for more traditional holiday fun? Don’t miss the Miracle on Main Street, a holiday celebration full of food, music, art, and shopping. 

Key West, Florida

For a tropical getaway without as much air travel, head down to Key West, where the sun and sand become part of the holiday celebrations. While you might run into some crowds, there are endless holiday activities to check off your list (not to mention the pristine white sand beaches).

What to do: Grab a beverage and hop on the Old Town Trolley for the ultimate tour of the island’s holiday lights. And if you happen to be in town on December 11, head to the shoreline for the Lighted Boat Parade. Or better yet, book a catamaran and enjoy the show right on the water.

Coronado Island, California

Though slightly chillier than tropical Florida, Coronado Island offers an equally enchanting holiday experience just a bridge-length away from San Diego. All the way through the New Year, you’ll find festivals, parades, performances, and more.

What to do: The iconic Hotel del Coronado is a must-see during the holidays. As the location of the world’s first electrically lit, outdoor living Christmas tree, “The Del” goes all-out each year with its holiday decorations. And when you need a beach break, the glistening sands are just a stone’s throw away.  

Miami, Florida

December marks peak travel season to Miami Beach, and for good reason. While the heat and humidity of summer can be too much for some, Miami begins cooling down to a much more comfortable climate in the winter. Plus, the city has everything from classic Christmas to uniquely Miami festivities. 

What to do: Santa’s Enchanted Forest, aka the world’s largest holiday theme park, offers children and adults alike more than 100 rides, attractions, and shows for just one admission price. Before the Enchanted Forest lights up the night, make sure to relax on the iconic Miami Beach shoreline. 

Maui, Hawaii

If a trip to Hawaii is in your holiday budget, jet off to Maui for an ultra-relaxing holiday season. While other parts of the country see snow and storms, Maui remains warm and welcoming. So grab your beach gear and celebrate the season in paradise!

What to do: Bring the holiday spirit to your island getaway by joining the Paddle for Keiki “anything that floats” fun race, which is free to the public and benefits Maui’s Toys for Tots. If you can’t make it to the race, join the community for the annual Holiday Faire featuring local craft vendors and delicious food. 

Before escaping to warmer weather this holiday season, make sure you're prepared with all your favorite Panama Jack beach gear and sun care essentials.