Where to Go in February
February marks the peak of winter doldrums for most people – cold temperatures, dreary weather, and the onset of cabin fever after months of short days.
But on the bright side, the shortest month of the year is also sprinkled with plenty of reasons to escape on a trip, including Valentine's Day and President's Day Weekend. Packages and pricing tailored for those dates are widely available. Many winter sport destinations experience their best conditions in February, and there are plenty of warm weather options for those looking to get some sunshine. Here are our recommendations for where to go in the month of February.
Palm Springs, California
In February this desert resort experiences average high temperatures in the mid to upper-70s. It's a golfer's paradise, and plenty of other activities like hiking, shopping, tours of celebrity homes, and the weekly Palm Springs Village Fest make February as lively a time as ever to visit. Make sure to pack a few sweaters, however – nighttime temperatures drop down to the 40s. February is part of peak season in Palm Springs, so you won't find the lowest prices possible on hotels. That said, there are deals to be found and a wide range of hotel choices.
Stay: Snag a room, some spa time, or a "booze sno cone" at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club (an AOL Travel favorite), where rates are about $175 a night.
Palm Springs Travel Deals
It might seem like a world away for many people, but South Africa in February is in full summer swing while most of us are freezing stateside. South African residents also frequently go on holiday in February, but most of the international crowds die down after Christmas and New Year's. Beach vacations, safaris, and other excursions are all easily available, since tourism is booming in SA after the 2010 World Cup (which infused plenty of resources and improvements to the country's infrastructure). In fact, South Africa is currently running promotions with some very affordable offers: like $1,799 for a week in Cape Town, including airfare from New York, tours and hotels.
Stay: Vacationers in Johannesburg will find hot-weather deals at boutique hotels like the Peech for $250 USD a night. If your travels bring you to Cape Town, book a room (or a private Airstream) at the ultra-hip Grand Daddy hotel on Long Street for about $200.
Cape Town Travel Deals | Johannesburg Travel Deals
When you think of winter skiing, the Grand Canyon State might not be the first thing to come to mind. But the diversity of the landscapes in Arizona mean that you could spend time skiing for a few days in the Flagstaff area, and then retreat to milder temperatures in Tucson or Sedona. They're all within a few hours' drive of Phoenix, which also offers its fair share of reasons to visit in February – like the Phoenix Open PGA tournament.
Stay: Our favorite ski accomodation is the Ski Lift Lodge, at Snowbowl outside of Flagstaff, where rooms run as cheap as $129 a night. Other AZ options are the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa ($160 a night), or the Clarendon in Central Phoenix, a boutique hotel with rates starting at ($170).
Phoenix Travel Deals | Flagstaff Travel Deals | Tucson Travel Deals | Sedona Travel Deals
Ed Yourdon, Flickr
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
For those seeking a tropical beach escape, Punta Cana is a fabulous choice for February. The daily temperature for each of the 28 days of the month is usually in the 70s and 80s – and sunny. Affordable flights are available from most cities in the United States, and the wide range of hotels and all-inclusives available in this DR resort town mean it's easy to find something that fits any budget. Valentines packages at resorts like the Puntacana Resort & Club make Punta Cana a lovely place to whisk away for a romantic long weekend.
Stay: At the aforementioned Puntacana Resort & Club (rooms starting at $120 per night), or find a room that meets your needs at one of several all-inclusive Iberostar resorts in Punta Cana ($230 and up).
Punta Cana Travel Deals
Pack a heavy coat and gloves, since a trip to Vienna in February is a chilly adventure – temperatures are similar to New York or Boston around the same time of year. Regardless, you'll be so busy exploring the city and its surroundings that you might not even notice. Some of the best activities in Vienna can be done in any weather. We recommend stopping for sweets at Demel or visiting Belevedere Palace, for example. Valentine's Day in Vienna is quite romantic, especially since February is the height of Ball Season. Austria's ski slopes also await within a few hours' drive.
Stay: The Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design Wein is one of our favorites – a 4-star "design hotel" that focuses on wine themes in all its decor, mini-bars and even the toiletries. Rooms there run for about $250 a night during the low season and February.
Vienna Travel Deals
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