Nickolay Stanev /Shutterstock If you want ultimate relaxation, head to Kauai, where you can enjoy balmy weather that’ll have you dipping in the ocean and dozing off while reading a book on the beach. Winter is also the season for whale watching, since humpbacks migrate here to mate in the warm waters. It’s also a great time to catch some serious waves—the winter season boasts some of the year’s largest swells. Even if you’re not looking to paddle out, let the experienced and pro surfers give you a free show. During December, expect to see palm trees lit, fireworks over Poipu Beach, hear carols with ukulele, and enjoy events like the Annual Festival of Lights and the Waimea Christmas Parade. Find out everything you need to know before you book your next Hawaii vacation.
Key West, Florida
Fotoluminate LLC /Shutterstock There is much to love about this funky southernmost city of the continental U.S. Though Hurricane Irma tore into it, the city continues to recover and is eager to welcome tourists to its typical high season destination, where pastel-hued, conch-style houses create a Caribbean-like feel. Go deep sea fishing aboard a large salon boat, or enjoy light tackle offshore fishing in a center console, to catch some marlin, sailfish, dolphin, tuna, kingfish, wahoo, and more. The temperatures are perfect for frolicking in the small waves, snorkeling, and leaving your down jacket at home. Key West’s infamous Duval Street is a must for lively restaurants, bars, and shopping. Be sure to go to the annual Lighted Boat Parade, the Holly Jolly Holiday Tour for a spectacular view of the island’s lights by trolley, and the Ultimate Christmas adventure, a day of water sports and a traditional holiday meal served on a gorgeous catamaran. Check out all the must-see stops for a quirky tour of the U.S.