5 Warm, Family-Friendly Winter Getaways

warm vacationSo you may have heard, winter storm Nemo just blew through and buried much of the Northeast in snow. Some folks are still digging their way out, but the fun goes on! This morning we had that kind of rain that turns snow into gray, mucky slush, and it's been 50 shades of yuck all over town. Add to that the freezing temps we've had all winter and you know what? I've gotta get out of here!

I am so ready for a warm-weather escape. At the end of the week, we're heading south -- to Houston for my grandma's 95th birthday. We'll definitely enjoy the warmer weather there, and I'll enjoy seeing my family. But here are five other body-and-soul-warming vacation destinations I wish I could visit right now.


Florida Keys: Islamorada: This is still one of my all-time favorite vacation spots. You don't have to make the endless drive all the way down to Key West to get the best of the Keys. Islamorada is a much quieter, low-key key (heh). We rented a condo via AirBnB that came with a kayak and enjoyed just paddling around the mangroves, looking at tiny nurse sharks and rays. The Keys' only beach, Bahia Honda, is a short drive away. There's also the History of Diving Museum. And if you're not doing your own fishing, buy some fresh, local catch at Islamorada Fish Company -- or dine at the restaurant next door.

Los Angeles: Obviously Disneyland is a must-see, but there's lots of other things to do in LA. The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is an exciting indoor/outdoor excursion for dinosaur lovers. And it's right next door to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Note the long line of food trucks across the street, just in time for lunch! We got a kick out of the wacky Museum of Jurassic Technology -- which is so hard to explain. Just go there and see. There's the beach, of course, and the Venice Beach boardwalk. We loved seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and we caught a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and we enjoyed the spectacular views from Giffith Observatory and brunch at nearby gem, The Trails Cafe.

Disney Cruise: Speaking of Disney, I have to mention this because it was kind of mind-blowing. We tried out a Disney Cruise (the new Fantasy) and it was amazeballs. I thought it would be mostly fun for my son -- and it was. But it was fun for me, too! If you want, you can check your kids into one of their age-specific kids' clubs where they'll have so much fun they'll forget who you are. Meanwhile you can get a spa treatment, or hang out at the adult-only pools, or get a cocktail at one of the clubs. The food is great. And then you all get together and see a live performance that makes you laugh and cry and hug each other. It sounds expensive, but they do special packages to make it a lot more affordable than you'd think.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: This is a destination I've always meant to try. Hilton Head is a beach town loaded with history, arts, culture, wildlife, and adventure. It consistently ranks among the top vacation spots for families. It's pretty much everything you'd want -- even if all you want to do is just relax by the beach with your kids.

San Antonio, Texas: Remember the Alamo? San Antonio offers history, rodeos, and amazing Tex-Mex dining. In early March there's the Luminaria, a colorful arts festival that draws tens of thousands every year. The city is famous for its beautiful River Walk, and it's loaded with parks, museum, and other family-friendly attractions.

What's your family's favorite warm-weather vacation destination?


Read More >