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Vacations aren’t just for summertime. It’s nice to get away during the winter too, especially to enjoy a break from dreary or downright frigid weather. These destinations offer plenty of sunshine and a whole lot more, providing an unforgettable escape.

Australia

During North America’s winter months, the Land Down Under is enjoying summer. Instead of scraping ice off their windshields, Australians are grilling on the beach. You could build a “sand” man instead of a snowman, go diving or snorkeling with colorful fish along the Great Barrier Reef or just relish those 80+ degree temperatures while exploring the country’s countless attractions.

Panama

While you probably haven’t thought about traveling to Panama, it’s an ideal place to enjoy winter sun at an affordable price without hordes of other tourists. Check out the Spanish colonial architecture in old town Panama City and perhaps head to the Bocas del Toro archipelago, nine tropical islands along the northwestern Caribbean coast that offers some of the nation’s top surf breaks and dive spots.

Key West, Florida

Key West is a great destination for those who want to experience the Caribbean without a passport. In fact, you may even be able to drive if you just purchased one of the Miami or Fort Lauderdale homes for sale as it’s just a little over three hours away by car. You’ll be able to enjoy plentiful sunshine and bright blue skies, beautiful beaches, azure waters and a laid-back island vibe. While it offers lots for partiers along legendary Duval Street, there are plenty of other things to do from sailing and a myriad of other water sports to fun shops, art galleries and museums.

Maui, Hawaii

You won’t need to passport to go to Maui, and even during the winter months the weather is idyllic here with average high temperatures at 80 degrees. This island offers some of the most scenic drives in the world, gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests and magnificent waterfalls. Wintertime is the best time to view humpback whales too, often right from shore. In fact, this season the island hosts the planet’s densest humpback population with more than 10,000 of the majestic creatures here. While snorkeling or diving you might even hear the song of a whale with their haunting melodies heard underwater from up to 12 miles away.

Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Temperatures average around 80 degrees during the winter at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico as well. Cabo is popular for its beaches, golf courses, outstanding restaurants with a focus on fresh seafood, nightlife and whale watching. Every year from December through April, visitors are treated to the sight of both migrating humpback and gray whales. You can join a cruise on a local catamaran, rent a panga or see them leaping just offshore. Cabo is also a popular getaway with surfers, divers and couples seeking romance, home to Lover’s Beach with its spectacular rock formations, caves and crystal-clear turquoise waters.