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Cheap Winter Vacations

Updated on January 5, 2012

winter vacation spots - warm winter vacations

Now that you’ve recovered from Christmas and New Year’s, you might be thinking about winter vacation ideas. Taking a great winter vacation is a good way to fight the all-too-prevalent problem of depression that sets in during January and February, when the weather in much of the U.S. is dark, cold, and dreary this time of year. Winter getaways might include activities like skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating, snow tubing, or snowboarding. Or, if you’re dreaming of warm winter vacations, maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of swimming, surfing, or sunbathing. We folks living in the Southeast are lucky. Many of us can take advantage of all the mentioned activities without having to travel too far! And even better, we can usually take advantage of some pretty cheap winter vacations.

One of our winter vacations on Amelia Island, Florida.
One of our winter vacations on Amelia Island, Florida.
Winter vacation on Amelia Island.
Winter vacation on Amelia Island.
Enjoy cheap winter vacations  on Amelia Island!
Enjoy cheap winter vacations on Amelia Island! | Source

Cheap winter vacations

Why can we find so many cheap winter vacations here in the Southeast? Let’s face it – the South isn’t known for typical winter activities like skiing, so the few ski resorts in the Southeast are relatively inexpensive when compared to ski resorts in the Northeast and in the West. To attract paying customers, these places often provide some attractive winter vacation deals. And if you’re looking for warm winter vacations, you can head to Florida. Believe it or not, you can find some cheap winter vacations in Florida, especially in the northern and central parts of the state. Of course, “warm” is a relative term. Compare to the weather in the northern and mid-Atlantic states, coastal winter getaway vacations in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana will feel downright balmy.

On Anna Maria Island, you can enjoy warm winter vacations that are also cheap winter vacations.
On Anna Maria Island, you can enjoy warm winter vacations that are also cheap winter vacations.

Cheap winter vacations – Florida

Some winter vacation spots in the Sunshine State where you might very well find cheap winter vacations include Amelia Island, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville. All these are located on the Atlantic Ocean and have nice beaches. Amelia Island and St. Augustine are also rich in history and provide fascinating historic sites to visit. Jacksonville offers tons of shopping venues, museums, restaurants, night clubs, and a great zoo.

On the Gulf side of Florida, cheap winter vacations can be found at Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, Destin, Alligator Point, Indian Pass, and Cape San Blas. Except for Destin and Panama City, all these places are small, quiet communities that will give you a wonderful taste of “old Florida.” Because spring and summer are their high seasons, many hotels, condos, and private beach homes offer cut-rate winter vacation deals.

For really warm winter vacations, where you can enjoy swimming in the Gulf, you’ll need to travel farther south. Be careful, though. If you’re target is cheap winter vacations, you’ll usually find the farther south you go in Florida, the higher the prices. That’s because so many “snowbirds” winter in the state. Even so, if you stick to central Florida, you can find some great winter vacation spots that won’t break the bank. One is Anna Maria Island, located just south of Tampa. It’s strange, though: some lodgings in Anna Maria Island are cheaper in the winter, and some aren’t, so you’ll really need to shop around when choosing your winter getaway vacations. You’ll love this little island! It’s warm enough in the winter months for water and beach activities, and it’s uncrowded and totally laid back.

One of our winter vacations in the North Georgia mountains.
One of our winter vacations in the North Georgia mountains. | Source
You can find lots of cheap winter vacations in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You can find lots of cheap winter vacations in the Blue Ridge Mountains. | Source

Cheap winter vacations – Georgia

You can find a range of cheap winter vacations in Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia are absolutely beautiful, and you’ll be surprised at how inexpensive many hotels and cabins are in January and February. We like to take the grandkids for a mountain vacation when it snows there, which is only a few days a year. We live in South Georgia, so snow is a real treat for us. Towns like Dillard, Clayton, and Hiawassee usually slash their lodging rates in winter. You might also enjoy visiting Helen, Georgia’s Bavarian village. You can find lodgings there for under $50 per night in the winter.

Winter getaways in coastal Georgia are nice, too. Consider a sleepy barrier island like Jekyll or Cumberland, both of which abound with history, charm, and wildlife. Both isles have lots of deer, raccoons, sea turtles, dolphins, and birds, and Cumberland Island even has wild horses. Neighboring islands that have more restaurants and shopping venues include St. Simons Island and Sea Island.

Savannah is another great spot for a winter vacation. This old southern town oozes charm and history at every turn! Stroll River Street, shop for antiques, go on a carriage ride, soak up history, and enjoy some amazing seafood. If you choose a hotel on or near River Street, you can walk to just about anywhere you want to go, including bars, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. You can also view some amazing historical architecture and relax in one of the many squares.

There are plenty of great winter vacation spots on the Gulf of Mexico.
There are plenty of great winter vacation spots on the Gulf of Mexico. | Source

Great winter vacation spots - Southeast U.S.

Below are some winter vacation spots in the Southeast. With a little research, you’ll find some great winter vacation deals:

Mexico Beach, FL

Panama City Beach, FL

Carrabelle Beach, FL

Apalachicola, FL

Cape San Blas, FL

Port St. Joe, FL

St. Joe Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach, FL

Amelia Island, FL

St. Augustine, FL

St. George Island, FL

Pensacola Beach, FL

Blue Mountain Beach, FL

Horseshoe Beach, FL

Jekyll Island, GA

St. Simons Island, GA

Brunswick, GA

Darien, GA

Savannah, GA

Helen, GA

Gulf Shores, AL

Orange Beach, AL

Perdido Beach, AL

Ono Island, AL

Dauphin Island, AL

Mobile, AL

Myrtle Beach, SC

Charleston, SC

Pawleys Island, SC

Folly Beach, SC

Fripp Island, SC

Hunting Island, SC

St. Helena Island, SC

Gulfport, MS

Long Beach, MS

Ocean Springs, MS

Bay St. Louis, MS

Moss Point, MS

Grand Isle, LA

Slidell, LA

Venice, LA

For warm winter vacations, check out Anna Maria Island.
For warm winter vacations, check out Anna Maria Island.
Enjoy warm winter vacations in South Florida.
Enjoy warm winter vacations in South Florida.

Warm winter vacations

As I already mentioned, if you want warm winter vacations, southern Florida is your best bet. You’ll find that other parts of Florida and other parts of the Southeast enjoy some warm winter days, but they can also experience temperatures in the twenties and thirties. I’ve done some research to find places that provide warm winter vacations that are also cheap winter vacations:

Siesta Key

Anna Maria Island

Boca Grande – Gasparilla Island

Hernando Beach

Port Richey

Vero Beach

Jensen Beach

Bonita Beach


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