Travel and Leisure — January 29, 2016 at 5:00 am

America’s 6 Best Winter Beach Retreats

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So it’s winter and you’re sick of the snow, rain and cold. Dig yourself out of the winter blues and leave your passport at home. With perfect temperatures and idyllic waters, these are America’s best winter beach retreats.

Miami, Floridawinterbeach1With an average high temperature in the low 70s and the lows around 60, Miami heats up with excitement during the winter. With swanky art shows, nightclubs and fitness gurus pumping pushups on the boardwalk, locals head outdoors to enjoy the weather. The temperature is pleasurable and not as humid or intense as the summer months. So besides swimming, you can still drive around town with your convertible’s top down.

San Diego, Californiawinterbeach2With an average high in the mid to upper 60s, San Diego is known for its temperate climate. Noteworthy beach towns include Mission, Pacific, Oceans and La Jolla. What’s special about San Diego is that each town flaunts it’s own identity. From surfers sipping organic smoothies in Oceans to businessmen buying blown glass art in La Jolla, you can find every style under the sun here. The water temperature averages around 59 degrees so bring a wetsuit.

Long Key, Floridawinterbeach3Located in the Florida Keys, this 2-mile long island averages 75 to 77 degrees during the winter months. Cute, quiet and isolated, this is a perfect retreat for those who want to escape the tourist-dominated Key Largo. The island offers plenty of recreational opportunities such as camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and swimming. And trust us, you’ll want to swim. The water temperature lingers around 73 degrees in January and February.

Puerto RicoWhite Sandy BeachThe winter in Puerto Rico look a lot different than the winter on the mainland. Rumor has it that Puerto Rico will never be below 65 degrees. Every January, visitors can experience the epic San Sebastian Street Festival for a nonstop three-day party. The event takes places in San Juan’s Old Town and has been in existence since 1970.

Hawaiiwinterbeach5There’s no better winter escape than the Hawaiian Islands. Average high temperatures linger around 70 to 80 degrees and the ocean is swimmable year-round. Most people claim Kauai and Maui are the top two islands to visit during the winter. Here, you can swim, hike, snorkel or watch whales. Hikers can enjoy trails without mass crowds and swimmers can find isolation at secluded beaches. The Big Island offers huge off-season hotel discounts with rates going for less than $100 per night.

Galveston Island, Texaswinterbeach6Galveston Island is a world-class getaway during any season. This seashore town offers more than just swimming. Walk the boardwalk along Pleasure Pier, get wet at an indoor water park or stroll amidst 19th century shops and homes. Galveston attractions feature the best of modern and historic activities. Visit Moody gardens or celebrate Mardi Gras, both of which are perfect winter attractions.

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