Ah February! The holidays are a distant memory but in many places, freezing temps and icicles still refuse to budge. It’s one of the very best months to go in search of sand, surf or breezy desert getaways. From Hawaii’s tropical breezes and Florida’s white sand beaches to Sedona’s red rocks and Las Vegas nightlife, here are the very best warm places to visit in February in the USA.
Warm Places to Visit in the USA in February
1. Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu is one of the best Hawaiian islands to vacation on in February because it is the time to see pro surfers compete on the north shore here. There’s a vibrant food truck scene on the North Shore, too!
In fact, we saw finalists compete in the Billabong Pro Pipeline at the Banzi Pipeline and it was an forgettable experience watching those monster waves roll in!
With a week on Oahu, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the best of the island. See Pearl Harbor, snorkel famous Hanauma Bay, and take a surf lesson in Waikiki near Honolulu.
Oahu offers a little bit of everything for travelers. You’ll find bars and shopping in Honolulu but plenty of empty, pristine beaches, too.
Hiking in Oahu is paradise. There are easy out and back trails to places like the top of Diamond Head, remote beach walks, and uphill treks that are a major workout for hard core adventurers.
Two musts for foodies on Oahu: Get a hot malasada from Leonard’s Bakery Truck, a cream-filled donut like confection—that actually hails from Portugal—and then head to one of the shrimp trucks on the north shore.
With daily highs around 79 degrees Farenheit, Oahu makes the ideal February escape from the cold.
2. Biscayne National Park in Florida
February is the perfect time to visit Florida’s Biscayne National Park. The park, which is 95 percent water, features the northernmost section of the Florida reef.
A highlight is a snorkel or dive trip to see the coral, fish, and perhaps even a shipwreck.
February is the perfect time to do this, when the weather is relatively cool, dry, and it is not hurricane season.
It’s also possible to take a kayaking tour through mangrove swamps around the islands and even hike on Elliott Key, the largest island.
Not only is it cooler in February, but there are a lot fewer bugs to bother paddlers and hikers.
February is also when the park rangers offer twice daily one-hour lectures and other events plus 90-minute paddle clinics where park visitors can learn how to kayak around the islands.
For something more relaxing, boat trips are offered across the bay and around the islands, with expert guides explaining about the area’s history and ecology.
A highlight is the picturesque Boca Chita Lighthouse.
Be sure to visit the park’s visitor center, the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, where there is an interesting museum and frequent movies about the park.
You’ll find it next to the main access harbor in Homestead, about an hour south of Miami.
James Ian from Parks Collecting
3. Saguaro National Park in Arizona
If you’re looking to escape February’s frigid chill, look no further than Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona.
Located right outside of Tucson, where the average high in February is about 70 degrees, Saguaro is the perfect national park to visit in the heart of winter.
With summer temperatures well over 100 degrees, winter allows for exciting hiking opportunities without the fear of heat stroke.
It’s possible to embark on a long hike through the mountains in February with just a few liters of water.
One great hike in February is Wasson Peak on the west side of the park.
(There are two separate districts of the park with the city of Tucson in between.)
The low sun also makes for spectacular sunsets across the cactus-clad valleys.
Saguaro National Park is famous for its enormous groves of saguaro cacti that cover the mountainous landscape.
This particular type of cactus only grows in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
While it may be what most people think of when they think “cactus”, you won’t find it anywhere else on earth…although there are similar species in Mexico and Bolivia.
And while it might grow all over southern Arizona, the national park holds the most spectacular collection.
On top of saguaros, the park also contains numerous other cactus species as well as other fascinating desert vegetation.
A visit to Saguaro in February will be one of the highlights of your year!
Chris | Around the World with Me
How to Rent a Car for Your February Trip
My top two recs are:
1. Discover Cars has no hidden fees, 24/7 customer service, and free cancellation. They search all the major rental car companies so you don’t have to.
Check price and availability on rental cars here.
2. Turo is like Airbnb for cars. It saved us $$$ during the pandemic on our Hawaii rentals when rental car prices were sky high.
4. Big Island, Hawaii
Have you ever seen a volcano erupt? Seeing this spectacular sight is one of the very best things to do in Hawaii!
And if you’re lucky, you can see it at Big Island’s Volcanoes National Park.
Kilauea volcano began erupting in September 2021 and is expected to continue for some time. You can check the latest update here.
The best reason to head to Big Island in February over other popular Hawaiian islands—I’m looking at you, Maui—is that they can frequently be jammed with tourists and traffic in the winter months.
But Big Island sees fewer visitors…leaving all those beautiful black lava beaches near Kona with far more breathing room.
Whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to do a night siwm with manta rays!
Aside from seeing the volcano spew lava here, this experience can’t be beat. If you’re SCUBA certfied, you can enjoy this as a dive. Snorkelers float on a giant styrofoam noodle.
You’ll find all the best beaches for snorkeling and sunbathing up and down the Kailua-Kona coast.
Leave ample time in your Big Island itinerary for beach time before heading to Volcanos National Park in the middle of the island.
Then wrap up your winter visit with majestic waterfalls on the rainier side of the island near Hilo.
5. Sedona, Arizona
For a desert getaway in February, consider a visit to Sedona, Arizona, known for its stunning red rock formations, ponderosa pine tree forests, and spiritual vibes.
Sedona enjoys reasonably warm temperatures throughout the year, with daytime highs in the mid-60s in February.
Winter makes for the perfect weather to explore the city’s spectacular outdoor scene.
Additionally, while this teeny town frequently swells with tourists, especially in the early spring, February is just early enough so you’re likely to enjoy this incredible place mostly by yourself.
For one of the best ways to get outside and take in the epic scenery here, explore one of the many gorgeous hikes in Sedona.
For example, along the Devil’s Bridge trail, you’ll hike through a high desert landscape and scramble your way up a red rock cliff.
Here, you’ll find a sandstone arch, over 50 feet in the air, providing dramatic views of the surrounding landscape.
The town is believed by some to have “energy vortexes”, that are supposed to be conducive to healing and meditation.
The New Age-y vibes can be felt throughout town, with plenty of crystal shops and quirky art galleries to be explored if you need a break from the great outdoors.
Jessica | Uprooted Traveler
6. Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara is one of the best warm places to visit in the USA in February. (It also makes a great California destination in fall,after the summer rush is over.)
This spectacular coastal town is surrounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains and makes for the perfect escape from snowy places.
February will typically be less crowded than the peak summer months, so visitors will be able to find less expensive lodging.
One of the most popular places to visit in Santa Barbara is Mission Santa Barbara.
This mission, founded in 1786, is one of the 21 missions that make up the series of California’s missions statewide.
Other fun sites to visit in Santa Barbara include the colorful Insta-worthy Chromatic Gate, Stearns Warf, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Those who love hiking will find February weather ideal for visiting Chumash Painted Cave State Park.
Another exciting activity to do in the Santa Barbara area is wine tasting.
The area is surrounded by a ton of wineries. Since February is just after grape harvest season, look for lots of new wines.
Santa Barbara also has an outsized dining scene for a town of its size. For Italian, try Bettina.
Other good choices include Shalhoob’s Funk Zone Patio and Los Arroyos.
Francesca | Homeroom Travel
7. Big Bed National Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park is one of the best places to visit in Texas in February.
The mild weather this month—with highs around 64 degrees Farenheit—make it an ideal month to see the park; it’s perfect hiking weather.
(During other times of the year, hiking can be pretty dangerous due to heat.)
Some of the most popular hikes here include The Lost Mine Trail, the Balanced Rock Via Grapevine Hills Trail, Emory Peak, Boquillas Canyon Trail, and Santa Elena Canyon Trail.
The Lost Mine Trail is fantastic for sunset. Emory Peak is challenging but worth it for the incredible views. Just make sure to bring plenty of water even in the winter. It can still get pretty toasty!
Another great reason to come in February is to soak in the hot spring.
If you go in the early morning when the temperatures are cool and the crowds are low, you’ll love a soak in the warm springs.
It’s located right next to the Rio Grande River, so the views are incredible! And if you get too hot, jump into the chilly river.
There is so much more to enjoy in the winter at Big Bend National Park than in summer.
February is the perfect time for adventuring outside in comfortable temperatures.
Michelle | The Wandering Queen
8. San Diego, California
Southern California is one of those destinations that is nice to visit during any time of the year but there are a number of unique things to enjoy in winter.
It’s low season for tourists which means great deals on flights and San Diego accommodations.
The weather will be pleasant, ranging in the mid 60s to low 70’s.
While not quite warm enough to swim, you can still tan, enjoy water sports, and hike in San Diego without dripping sweat.
Visiting in February will also give you the opportunity to spot gray whales on a boat tour. The season runs from mid-December through early April. Check price and availability here.
Plus, the negative tides at this time of year mean are a great opportunity for checking out the La Jolla tide pools.
Encinitas in nearby north county makes a great day trip for fish tacos, window shopping, and locals-only beaches.
There are also a few different annual evens in February in San Diego.
February is Museum Month, which discounts tickets on 40+ local museums by 50 percent.
Nine out of 10 times, Mardi Gras will fall on one of the last weekends in February and you can join the party on 5th street in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Chinese New Year also happens in February at the beginning of the month and is celebrated over two days in Old Town San Deigo, location of the first European settlement in California!
Also in February: The Vietnamese Tet Music Festival, the Bird Festival, and the Jewish Film Festival.
Chelsey | Chelsey Explores
9. Destin, FL
Although Destin, Florida is fun year-round, February is a nice time to come to this area of the Emerald Coast because of the small crowds, beautiful weather, and special events throughout the month.
Mardi Gras may be based out of New Orleans but Destin brings a taste of the festivities to Florida in February.
Destin, Miramar Beach, and Fort Walton Beach each have Mardi Gras parades and events including a 5k run, pub crawl, and parties with food and live music.
Destin also plays host to the Paradise Music Festival in February with local bands, and national acts, as well as food and other entertainment.
Although the water still may be a little cold to swim in February, the beaches are still fun to visit with the soft white sand and emerald green waters.
Henderson Beach State Park offers miles of beach, a hiking trail, a playground, picnic areas, grills, and camping all year.
If you’re looking for more state parks to explore while here in February, Topsail Hill State Park and Grayton Beach State Park are both great nearby options with beaches and lots to do.
The average high temperature in February is 63 degrees, while the low temperature averages around 50 degrees, making it a perfect destination for those looking to escape the cold.
Wayne | Always on the Shore
10. St. John, US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are an excellent place for a vacation in February because there’s something for everyone as a cold winter escape!
Families and couples can snorkel, kayak, and hike. Or relax on the beach and enjoy a cocktail.
Plus, the weather in the US Virgin Islands is ideal at this time of year. The temperature is warm and sunny, but not too hot, with highs around 79 degrees.
The islands are also surrounded by beautiful beaches and crystal clear water, making them the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun.
St. Thomas is sometimes called “Rock City” because of its hilly, craggy horizon.
Expect to see luxury on display here with upscale storefronts and mega yachts.
You can either enjoy the bustle of Charlotte Amelie or the quieter beaches on the outer edges of the island. Coki Beach is perfect for snorkeling.
St. John draws honeymooners and nature lovers, too, with its dedicated parklands and pristine beaches.
It’s a bit less hectic than St. Thomas so you may have the beach to yourself, even in February!
Nearby St. Croix is the perfect place to explore the island’s colonial heritage and history of slavery.
Whether you visit one, two or all three U.S. Virgin Islands—St. John, St. Croix, or St. Thomas—the warm and sunny weather means you’re sure to have a bucket list experience.
Brodi | Our Offbeat Life
11. Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Located in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park is about an hour away from Palm Springs.
Because the park consists of two deserts—the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert—Joshua Tree can get very hot and dry, making it uncomfortable to explore the park in summer and early fall.
However, in February, temperatures tend to be around the mid-60s…perfect weather to enjoy the park.
Joshua Tree National Park is known for its unique landscapes full of Joshua Trees and granite boulders which you will find throughout the park.
Some of the best trails to explore with one day in Joshua Tree include Hidden Valley Trail, Skull Rock, Arch Rock, Barkers Dam, and the Cholla Cactus Garden.
For those who love stargazing, you’ll love that Joshua Tree is an International Dark Sky Park, meaning there is very little light pollution for a stunning night sky.
With sunset around 5:30 pm, you’ll enjoy plenty of time to see winter constellations like Orion’s Belt, Gemini, and the Taurus constellation.
You’ll find plenty of places to stay near Joshua Tree, too…from artsy abodes to upscale luxury desert getaways.
Sam | Find Love & Travel
12. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is one of the best warm winter destinations in February, especially if you want to enjoy a city rather than a beach vacation.
It is a fantastic walking city, making it ideal for a warm weather visit before the extreme summer heat has arrived.
Double check dates, but Mardi Gras is sometimes held in February; it’s always 47 days before Easter.
The streets come alive with colorful parades and floats, wild costumes, and celebratory music.
While all of Louisianna celebrates Mardi Gras, the largest and craziest celebrations are found in New Orleans.
One of the best things to do in New Orleans is to visit the French Quarter. Walk the cobblestone streets in pedestrian zones.
Explore charming shops and taste test po-boys, jambalaya, and king cake.
One irresistible treat is a beignet, a cross between a donut and a pastry.
A walking tour in the French Quarter is an excellent way to learn about the rich history of New Orleans.
Make sure that you leave yourself some free time to enjoy the many buskers and street performers that you will come across all over the French Quarter.
Some of their talent is truly extraordinary and worthy of a larger stage.
If you would prefer an indoor activity, then set aside a half day to explore the National WWII Museum, a fantastic interactive museum and favorite New Orleans activity for families.
Nicole | Go Far Grow Close
13. Catalina Island, CA
The weather of Catalina Island in February is lovely, with highs in the mid-sixties.
You’ll enjoy ideal temps for water activities this month on the island, including scuba diving, snorkeling, boogie boarding, parasailing, and jet skiing. Catalina makes an idyllic getaway for couples in particular.
In February, the annual Avalon Harbor Underwater cleanup is under way.
It’s the only day when scuba diving is allowed in picturesque Avalon Bay.
Make the most of it when you pitch in to help clean up the marine habitat with other volunteers.
After a swim, take in Catalina’s breathtaking ocean views by zip line.
You’ll board a shuttle that will climb 600 feet and then zigzag your way back down for a super scenic adrenaline rush.
To get to Catalina Island, you can catch the passenger ferry (or rent a helicopter) from either the port at Long Beach or Los Angeles.
Remember, there are no cars on Catalina Island. Consider staying in Avalon Bay for easy access to shopping and restaurants. Everything’s just a walk away.
Otherwise, golf carts are the main mode of transportation here. Join in the fun!
Ossama | Awesome Traveler
14. Las Vegas, NV
Head to Las Vegas in February!
Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, this bustling city is characterized by mild and short winters that beckon visitors to enjoy the sunshine.
Temperatures in February typically stay between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities without becoming overheated by the scorching desert sun.
Many of the hotels on the Strip offer outdoor Vegas shows that are completely free to attend.
Travelers can opt to watch a volcano erupt in front of the Mirage Hotel or see a musical fountain show at the Bellagio.
If you head indoors, there’s also a free circus, Venetian carnival, and even an indoor rainstorm.
Animal lovers will adore the free wildlife habitat hosted by the Flamingo Hotel.
At this lesser-known attraction, flamingos, pelicans, swans, and ducks roam the grounds beside cozy waterfalls and tranquil ponds.
If you’re willing to head off-Strip, the Valley of Fire lies just a short drive outside of Vegas and has become an increasingly popular place to hike while the weather is not too hot in February.
With so much to do for visitors of all types, Las Vegas is definitely a city for everyone.
There’s art galleries, museums, themed dining, tours, parks, indoor gardens, quirky shows, and even amusement parks. This city has it all!
Since February is off-season, it’s also easy to find airfare deals during this month, making it one of the best times to visit to save money on your vacation!
If you’re looking for a warm winter getaway with perfect weather and endless entertainment, definitely consider Las Vegas for your next trip.
Jillian | Adventure Dragon
Orlando is one of the best warm-weather destinations in the United States to visit in February.
Located in central Florida, the weather is nice and warm, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.
Even in February, it’s easy to day trip to the beach from Orlando to enjoy the sun and the sand.
Plus, holiday tourists are gone, leaving you to enjoy a crowd-free experience at Orlando’s popular theme parks.
Orlando is home to Disney World, Universal Studios, and even Harry Potter World.
February is also a great time to visit one of the amazon natural springs near Orlando.
With cooler weather, it’s a great time for water activities here like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, too.
Shannon | Adventuring with Shannon
16. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is ideal in February!
It’s a great place to go hiking and it’s the perfect time to enjoy all the fun outdoor things to do in Phoenix.
There are so many lovely outdoor parks and shopping areas.
Or head to Goldfield Ghost Town, an old ghost town with a train ride, mine tours, ghost tours, and restaurants.
Tempe Beach Park offers a beautiful path in Phoenix that’s perfect for walking, biking, or scootering.
No bike? Rent one from Bicycle Cellar. You can also rent paddle boards or paddle boats to explore in the Salt River.
A really great neighborhood to enjoy is the Roosevelt Row Arts District.
This is such a fun and lively neighborhood with beautiful murals throughout. It is also a great place to grab a bite to eat and visit art galleries.
Candice | CS Ginger
17. Miami Beach, FL
Logging an average February temperature of around 71 degrees, Miami Beach is a warming destination for body and soul in this winter month.
Much like visiting in fall, you’ll miss the summer crowds.
Staying in one of the myriads of hotels along Miami Beach, you are only minutes away from surf, sand and waves, bars, and nightlife!
And it’s not only winter sun that draws travelers to Miami Beach.
Famous places like the Art Deco district, Muscle Beach, and glamorous South Beach are well known for hosting the rich and famous here.
They’re just a short a walk or a tram ride away.
Check out the vibrant Groundup Music Festival at the North Beach Bandshell this month.
Or the Miami International Boat and Yacht Show. It’s the largest boat and yacht fair in the world!
Also in February: the iconic Calle Ocho over at Little Havana is home to the Gay8 Festival.
This Hispanic street fair dedicated to the LGBTQ community attracts 80,000 people to a fiesta of art, music, dance, food, and culture.
For artsy souls, the Coconut Grove Art Festival offers visual, performing, and culinary arts experiences that happen just over on the shores of Biscayne Bay.
Hege | The World by Hege