Today marks the darkest day of the year and I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of winter. I miss my sunglasses, my Saturdays spent by the pool, and my tan. Fortunately, here in Houston, Texas it’s still a balmy 68 but I know other residents of the Northern Hemisphere are less fortunate.
After the excitement of the Holidays pass, January and February seem to really drag on. If you’re like me and can’t make it until Spring Break (or also like me- don’t have a spring break anymore), here are my Top 5 Winter Weekend Getaways from North America:
5. Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Guanacaste is a beach bum’s paradise. The best time to visit is November-April when the weather is dry and temperatures in the 80’s. Pack your swimsuit and sneakers: once in Guanacaste, you can spend your time at the beach or choosing from a number of day trip options like hiking and snorkeling.
4. Houston, Texas
Yes, I live here and so yes, I may be a little biased but Travel + Leisure listed Houston on as one of their Top 50 Places to Travel in 2019. Our restaurant scene rivals that of Chicago or New York- Anthony Bourdain filmed here in 2016 and more recently Houston cuisine was featured in the David Chang’s documentary Ugly Delicious. The Houston Museum of Fine Art, with it’s recent $450 million expansion of the (free!) Menil Collection has a plethora of art and artifacts. Finish off your weekend with a NASA tour and a day in Galveston for the perfect weekend.
Check out my Houston Travel Guide before you go!
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
There’s more to New Orleans than Bourbon Street these days. After you’ve had your fill of beignets at Cafe du Monde, take a short walk from the French Quarter, Frenchman Street boasts the highest population of live bands in the city with everything from blues to indie to EDM. If you have a car, the Whitney Plantation, is a short drive north of the city.
2. Mexico City, Mexico
The best time to visit Mexico city is December-March when the weather is driest. Daytime highs will be around 70 with chilly nights- but a few sips of mezcal after dinner will warm you up just fine. With non-stops from most hubs, it’s relatively easy and cheap to get here. Once you’ve finished devouring all the tacos in sight, head over to Teotihuacan to climb ancient pyramids.
1. Cartagena, Colombia
This flight might be a liiiiitle long for a weekend getaway, but trust me: Cartagena is worth it. It checks all my boxes: colonial architecture, amazing food, beaches, and nightlife. I recommend staying in the Old Town and grabbing a cocktail on the city wall at sunset.