If icy conditions have left you shivering and dreaming of warm sandy beaches, these island destinations are great places to thaw this winter.
Jamaica is such an obvious choice for anybody looking to beat the chill this season. From the spicy jerk chicken to the soul-warming sounds of reggae, this vivacious island is at its best during the winter. In Montego Bay, the temperature rarely dips below 75° Fahrenheit and the average December ocean temp is 82°. Bonus: the surf is often awesome in the winter, and because Jamaica isn’t the most established international surfing destination, there are plenty of gnarly waves for all takers.
There’s splendid isolation to spare on this naturally stunning Thai Island. And an abundance of luxurious accommodations, too. So whether you’re looking for poolside pampering or a rugged hike, you’ve got options. And when it’s 80° in the middle of January, you’ll have plenty to smile about. Check out Klong Dao Beach for great island surf.
This elite paradise in the French West Indies is super chic, so if you’re ready to get your celebrity on, this is the place for it. December is peak season, and the island sparkles under a blazing sun. Temperatures hover in the 70s, so pack your short sleeves. For a little exercise—and a little seclusion—head to beautiful Anse de Colombier, a cove accessible only by foot or by boat. You can either hike or moor your yacht.
Come for the amazing waves—be sure to see Waikiki, the birthplace of surfing—stay for the climate and culture. Oahu is the go-to Island for unique festivals, historic landmarks, and fine dining. Honolulu’s art museum is worth a look, as is the city’s range of fine dining options. Though with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, you’d be forgiven for just hanging out on the beach all day.
There’s a reason artists and seekers of beauty have spent a lot of time hanging around the South Pacific. And Bora Bora is a jewel among some of the most breathtaking islands on the planet. When you need to unwind in a stilted bungalow overlooking the turquoise sea, you visit Bora Bora. This quintessential getaway is full of toasty sunshine—you’re looking at averages in the 70s and 80s—all winter long.
A Caribbean paradise, Barbados is famed for its white sand beaches, its quality scuba diving conditions, its sizzling nightlife, and, of course, its inviting winter warmth. This spectacular coral island is fringed with reefs, great for observing the colorful undersea life. December ocean temperatures are bath-water mild, and when you’re ready to explore on land, you’ll find plenty of upcoming events to enjoy.
May your winter be warm and filled with tropical delights!