February is the perfect month to get away and escape the winter blues. From sunny beach destinations to snowy mountain towns, there are plenty of great places to visit around the globe. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun vacation with friends and family, there are plenty of unique destinations. We turned to travel experts to find the five best places to visit in February by looking for spots most frequently recommended.
Taking a trip in February can also help you keep your New Year’s resolutions going. After all, for many of us, sticking to those goals often comes down to time. As it’s a new year and month, you’d be astounded to know that many Americans will give up on healthy New Year’s resolutions before February, a survey finds. So if you’re hoping to shed some extra pounds, work out more frequently, or read more books — taking a trip in February can be just what the doctor ordered to ensure you keep to your goals.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in this post, we’ve got many other options to give you some potentially great ideas for a winter getaway. For our skiers, be sure to check out our Best of the Best Ski Resorts in the U.S. list. If a beach trip is more up your alley, you can see our list of the Best of the Best Caribbean Islands. Is it a romantic getaway you need? Our Best of the Best Places For Couples in the U.S. may also do the trick. There are plenty others for you to browse in the StudyFinds Travel section.
All that said, in our search for the best places to visit in February, we examined 10 “expert” websites and sought the most suggested places. We also considered where these locations ranked on their list. Of course, you may entirely disagree with this — and that’s fine! Let us know which one is your favorite place or the one that is on your bucket list.
The List: Best Places To Visit In February, According To Experts
1. Death Valley, California
There’s a reason it’s called Death Valley. This city is well-known for its scorching hot temperatures and spectacular wildlife. That’s why one of the coldest months of the year is the best time to come see this unparalleled destination. “February is right in the middle of high-season for Death Valley, with mild and comfortable temperatures and the best chance to see beautiful desert wildflowers,” writes Vacation Idea.
“There are only eight Gold Tier International Dark Sky Parks in America, denoting a location so free of light pollution that the Milky Way is visible with the naked eye. One of them is Death Valley National Park, where the dry air and isolation make it seem like the universe is right on your doorstep. (It’s one of those rare national parks that is actually better in the winter, namely because you’ll be avoiding the scorching, 100-degree temperatures of the summer months.) Stargazing isn’t the only after-dark activity here, either: Take a moonlit horse ride, or dip in one of the pools filled by natural springs that keep the water at a balmy 84.5 degrees, even on a crisp winter night,” explains Conde Nast Traveler.
Global Grasshopper adds: “The national park in the valley is known for its unique wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep, lizards, and tiny pupfish, which live in pools saltier than seawater. The valley offers breathtaking views by day and stargazing across this mesmerizing landscape by night.”
2. Costa Rica
Known for its beautiful beaches, exquisite resorts, and lush coastlines, Costa Rica is surely a dream location for anyone who enjoys a warm weather getaway in the cold of winter.”February falls in the middle of Costa Rica’s dry season. Fill your days with hikes through the jungle, birdwatching in the cloud forest, visits to small sugar-cane and coffee plantations—and of course, plenty of time relaxing along the country’s storied coastlines,” explains Wendy Perrin.
The World Pursuit writes, “One of the most amazing natural destinations in the world Costa Rica is also a green powerhouse. It was the first country to go a full year on 100% renewable energy and still operate at around 99%. The country has made a clear prioritization to preserve its natural habitats with large swaths of the country protected wilderness zones or national parks.”
Conde Nast Traveler adds, “Costa Rica is always on our minds, but the country’s dry season (December to April) is probably the best time to visit. Sink into the pura vida lifestyle as you surround yourself with misty waterfalls, deserted beaches, and protected jungles.”
3. Paris, France
Don’t let the colder weather make you think that the City of Love isn’t one of the places to visit in February. “There may be a chill in the air, but that just means you’ll have to bundle up and stroll to a cozy café for a romantic Valentine’s Day visit. A cruise on the Seine, a visit to a museum, and a fabulous dinner are a few ways to enjoy the uncrowded winter season in the City of Lights,” Travel and Leisure says.
Conde Nast Traveler writes: “The City of Love should be an obvious pick in February, but potential suitors are all-too-often put off by the weather. Très grosse erreur. Anyone who knows the French knows they scarper tout de suite in summer, shuttering restaurants, frustrating foreigners and not giving a tiny French fig. Come instead in winter, when everything’s open, visitors are fewer, reservations easier and rates lower. All the best stuff is indoors anyway: cute, candle-lit bistros; echoey art museums; bo-bo (bourgeois-boho) bars. South Pigalle – or SoPo – still sizzles as one of Paris’s hottest spots, where the best table is at Bouillon Pigalle. The queue around the block is worth it – three-course meals with drinks here can cost less than €25, practically unheard of within the list of the best restaurants in Paris.”
And as The World Pursuit notes, if you’re looking to make your first visit to Paris without all the hustle and bustle of tourist season, this is the time for you. “For one, there’s no worry about businesses and attractions shutting their doors and skipping town for summer vacation. Everything is open and it’s business as usual! This is also the time of year when there are fewer crowds and hotel rates are cheaper.”
To help you decide where to stay in Paris, be sure to check out our Best of the Best Hotels in Paris list.
Americans looking to escape to warmer climates, but not do the traditional trip to South Florida or Southern California may want to consider the biggest state in the U.S. There are so many great cities to visit that a statewide journey would be one you’d certainly never forget.
“Because of its historical importance to the state and its family-friendly theme parks, San Antonio attracts tons of families with kids during the summer break. However, Texan summer is almost unbearable with high humidity and temperatures exceeding 90F. The lesser crowds and pleasant weather make February a far better time to visit this incredible destination,” explains Global Grasshopper.
Vacation Idea writes, “Dallas is a modern metropolitan city in north Texas. It is the main cultural and economical hub of the region and draws many visitors each year to its museums, historical sites, world-class events, and other attractions. One of the city’s most famous sites is the location of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which has been memorialized in the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial. Those interested in art will find thousands of years of art covered in the Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Dallas World Aquarium, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and the Texas Discovery Gardens are all popular among families and nature lovers.”
If North Texas and the Dallas/Fort Worth area is where you’re headed, Good Housekeeping suggests a trip to the suburban city of Grapevine. “From taking a glassblowing class at Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Fine Art Gallery where visitors can create their own one-of-kind pieces to taking popular wine tasting tours for a memorable time, Grapevine has something for everyone.”
Like Paris, if you thought Italy was one of the worst places to visit during its colder days, experts say the complete opposite. “While many tourists steer clear of Italy in February, that is exactly the reason many travel agents advocate that it’s the best time to visit. Prices are rock bottom in this off-season month, meaning that you can get affordable hotels, airfare, and travel packages,” Planetware explains.
Afar says Venice is also a great place for couples to spend some quality time together. “If you’re looking for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, consider this, too: In winter, the glamorously decrepit palazzi and canals are more swoon-worthy than in the sultry, often smelly summer—think a scene from a classic Henry James novel through the eyes of Merchant Ivory. You’ll also likely have the chance to splosh through flooded alleyways during acqu’alta, or high water, when the lagoons surge at high tide and the city’s slow sinking becomes more evident.”
“February in Italy’s busy Dolomites is among the region’s busiest periods. This is when the ski slopes are at their fullest, so it’s the perfect excuse to discover a different way of exploring the region’s UNESCO-listed mountains,” concludes Wanderlust.
You can check out our list of Best of the Best Places to Visit in Italy if you do in fact plan to visit.
If you have your own suggestions of best places to visit in February, please be sure to leave them in the comments section below!
- Travel and Leisure
- Planet Ware
- Good Housekeeping
- Global Grasshopper
- Conde Nast Traveler
- Vacation Idea
- The World Pursuit
- Wendy Perrin
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