Everyone loves idea of a white Christmas, but after several years of being in the snow, most people are ready to go somewhere warm for the holiday. Though it may seem a little strange to celebrate the winter holidays on the beach, there is something to be said to enjoying the sun with your family instead of freezing in the snow. While most people in the snow would say anywhere warm is better than where they are there are some beautiful beaches waiting to be explored over the winter holiday.
Anna Maria Island, FL – A beautiful island get away on the Gulf coast of Florida, Anna Maria Island offers visitors winter holidays Florida style. The temperature is usually in the 70’s during the day and, while it can get cool at night, it’s usually not so cold that you’d need more than jeans and a light jacket. Anna Maria Island and the local community of Bradenton are wonderful, seaside communities that lack the touristy feel so common in other Florida locations. If you are looking for a quiet get-away for the holiday, Anna Maria Island might be the warm haven you are seeking.
Martinique – With an average temperature of 79 degrees, Martinique is the “island of endless summer”. The tropical climate brings lush, thick tropical forests and vegetation and perfect beaches on which you can spend your winter holidays. With French, Caribbean, and African influences, Martinique offers visitors the food and culture of a truly multicultural society. You will need a passport to visit Martinique but don’t need a visa for a stay that is less than three months. The official language of Martinique is French, but Creole and some English is spoken in the country. For a winter holiday in the sun with a French Creole flare, Martinique is just the place.
Antigua – Temperatures in the mid 70’s and low humidity make Antigua a prime location for a winter holiday. Antigua offers beach experiences that range from the full resort experience on the northwest coast to a more quiet, less developed beach experience on the southern coast. If you are travelling with children, be sure to ask at your hotel before heading to the nearest beach as Antigua does have nude and clothing-optional beaches. English is the official language on in this island nation and US citizens only need a passport to visit. Antigua offers the winter visitor a comfortable, relaxing haven in which to spend the holidays out of the cold.
Montserrat – With average temperatures between 76 and 88 degrees, this island offers visitors both beaches and mountains to make an exciting vacation for the adventurous traveler. This island offers visitors the opportunity to visit volcanos for exploring, lush mountain areas for hiking, along with some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. US citizens will need either a passport or a driver’s license to prove citizenship when visiting Montserrat. The official language of the island is English; however it is spoken with a distinct Montserratian accent. For the traveler that likes their beaches with a side of mountain adventure, Montserrat can provide a winter holiday adventure without equal.
Aruba – The beaches of Aruba are considered some of the best in the world and can be enjoyed year round due to an average temperature of 82 degrees. Aruba is located outside the hurricane belt and had more sunny days than any of the neighboring islands. Perfect beaches and warm water coupled with a variety of beach activities to make visitor want to spend every minute possible in the sun. The official languages of Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento, but most Arubans speak at least four languages including English and Spanish. US citizens need only a passport and they can be on their way to beautiful beaches and a warm holiday in Aruba.
For those who are over the snow and cold of a traditional winter holiday, there are several islands that offer the visitor a warmer place to spend the holiday enjoying the sun and beach. Many people find themselves enjoying the winter holidays a lot more when they are toasty and relaxing in the sun. So, brush off your flip-flops, pack up your holiday gifts, and head off to the beach for a new twist on your winter holidays.
Ken Ripoll is the founder of AllstarPassports.com, a Los Angeles Passport expediter specializing in passport renewals and visas to China.