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Sometimes the best winter vacation involves the beach

Winter Warmers

Article by Aimee White Beazley 02.21.2018

The prospect of lounging on a white-sand beach during the winter is beyond irresistible. Here is a roundup of warm-weather destinations chock-full of family-friendly activities on land and by sea.

SANYA, CHINA

Sanya enjoys near 80-degree temperatures all winter long. After taking a break from beach activities, gather the family to explore cultural sites such as Bing Lang Gu (Betelnut Tree Valley) and Miao Cultural Heritage Park. Here, families can explore the jungle habitat and stop at a village where resident Li and Miao people perform traditional bamboo dances.

Overlooking Sanya Bay

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA

It’s one of the most famous beaches in the world, but Laguna Beach is also a beautiful bird sanctuary and marine-life refuge. In fact, all of Laguna’s marine refuge system is a protected reserve, meaning that nothing can be fished or removed from the area. Learn more about the area’s ecosystem and its animals at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which rehabilitates marine mammals and is free and open to the public.

AMELIA ISLAND, FLORIDA

Located along 13 miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, while the water might be a little cold this time of year, Amelia Island is also home to historic Fort Clinch, a well-preserved 19th-century seaside fort that was once a key location in the Civil War. Kids can learn more about the battles fought and victories won, as well as gain insight into the day-to-day life of the island’s 19th-century residents with tours by actors in period costume. 

TENERIFE, SPAIN

One of Tenerife’s greatest assets is its natural beauty. The Los Gigantes rock formation is a solid family destination; at the base is a quiet black-sand beach, Playa los Gigantes. The dramatic 500-meter cliffs are best viewed by boat, as is the life aquatic: Tenerife is one of only four spots in the world with year-round dolphin- and whale-watching.

Families who want to ramp up the thrill factor can visit the two water parks on the island — Siam Park, with its wave pool and intense water slides, and Aqualand, with its popular dolphin show. 

Looking out over the harbor of Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

HERZLIYA, ISRAEL

This coastal retreat is a tranquil playground for kids and a perfect cultural home base
for adults, within driving distance of the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall. Families vacationing in Herzliya for the fabulous sunshine and warm weather can swim and surf in the same waters where swordfish and sea turtles roam. Herzliya is also home to a world-class marina and offers myriad sailing opportunities.

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PLAN YOUR STAY IN THESE DESTINATIONS


  • Sanya

    Location Sanya, Hainan, China

    Experience Pristine beaches, rainforests and the clear South China Sea.

    • An ideal beachfront family resort in Sanya
    • Bespoke service throughout your stay
    • A one-of-a-kind retreat in “Oriental Hawaii”
  • Laguna Niguel

    Location Dana Point, California

    Experience Style and sophistication in Dana Point.

    • A true Southern California Surf experience
    • Delicious dining for discerning palates
    • A Top 100 spa resort by Condé Nast Traveler
  • Amelia Island

    Location Amelia Island, Florida

    Experience A barrier island retreat with true Southern charm.

    • Set on 13 miles of dune-lined beaches
    • Island adventures and family activities
    • AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Salt
  • Abama

    Location Tenerife, Spain

    Experience A beachside retreat where sea, land and resort blend seamlessly.

    • Overlooks the brilliantly blue Atlantic
    • 13 restaurants and bars to experience
    • A 72-par, Dave Thomas golf course
  • Herzliya

    Location Herzliya, Israel

    Experience A luxury hotel experience at the foot of the Mediterranean sea.

    • Guestrooms reveal seaside views
    • Most elegant Kosher restaurant in Herzliya
    • An authentic Turkish Hammam spa