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Looking For a Tropical Vacation This Winter? Check Out Our Top Picks

A few weeks back, we shared five great locations to visit if you’re looking for a snowy winter vacation. However, if you’re like me, and you dread the thought of scraping snow off your car or don’t like to be cold, a tropical vacation might be more your style. Read on to learn about our top tropical destinations.

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

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Image by Caleb Holden

A historical gem, U.S. Virgin Island St. Croix is a beautiful location that embraces a variety of cultures, arts, and recreational activities. The island has something for everyone and offers new outdoor adventures as well as delicious culinary experiences. Make sure you leave time to relax on the beach and dip in the warm, tropical water. 

Things to do:

Did you know that you can get scuba-certified while you’re on vacation? No matter your skill level, you can enjoy time in the water. You can get your certification through the NAUI SCUBA Dive Shop on St. Croix. Scuba groups are small to ensure everyone will be safe and get adequate attention during the classes. If scuba diving isn’t your jam, have no fear–you can take a guided snorkeling tour where you’ll discover the beautiful sites of west St. Croix.

Must-Stop Photo-Op:

Pirates Treasure a Shipwreck Museum is a great place to go if you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids. Open Tuesday through Saturday, you can explore the exhibits and sail the open seas, but make sure you behave, or you could end up walking the plank. 

Key West, Florida, United States

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Image by Bruce Warrington

 Believe it or not, there are some truly stunning locations to visit in Florida, especially if you’re looking for a break from winter.  Whether you’re planning to lay on the beach, or head to Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West is a gorgeous location that you can visit during the coldest months of the year without worrying about getting chilled.

Things to do:

Have you ever wanted to see a dolphin? Perhaps it’s time to book a trip to Key West. With snorkeling, as well as sandbar opportunities to see dolphins, this is a great way to explore the ocean and see these majestic underwater mammals. T

Must-Stop Photo-Op:

If you’re looking for a fun photo opportunity to bring home from your vacation, head to the Southernmost Point of the Continental United States. A buoy anchored in concrete denotes the location, and at 18 feet above sea level, meaning it’s one of the lowest (relative to sea level) destinations in the continental United States.

Sydney, Australia

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Image by Dan Freeman

This absolutely stunning city is well worth the trip even if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Explore the lush rainforests and beautiful oceans, and visit the iconic Sydney Harbour and Opera House. No matter what time of year you go, there will always be something to do in Sydney, Australia. 

Things to do:

The indigenous, Aboriginal people of Australia play an important role in the culture of the entire country, including Sydney. As the oldest, continuously living culture in the world, getting to take part in a cultural experience with them is like stepping into history. Join a tour through the national parks for the opportunity to hear from elders about cultural sites, and their importance to the Aboriginal people. You can also explore their artwork at several museums.

Must-Stop Photo-Op:

If you’re going to Sydney, you don’t want to miss the Sydney Opera House. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is an architectural wonder and a world-class opera house. The external sail-like architecture of the building is truly iconic, and interior tours are offered in: English, Mandarin, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. As an added bonus, you can view the Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Opera Bar. 

Dominican Republic

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Image by Asael Pena

Located just North of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic offers 1,000 miles of coastline and some of the world’s highest-rated beaches. Take a dance class to learn the classic Meringue or take part in an eco-tourism adventure. Don’t forget to explore the deep and beautiful history of the island while you’re there.

Things to do:

Try something new and exciting and book a paragliding tour with a certified instructor. As the highest mountain ranges (and by default, the coolest temperatures) in the Caribbean, hiking is a great way to explore this area. However, paragliding offers a birds-eye view of the island, including beautiful waterfalls, rainforests, and high peaks.

Must-Stop Photo-Op:

There are tons of jaw-dropping waterfalls to explore in the Dominican Republic, including the Salto de Aguas Blancas. As one of the highest-altitude cascades in the Caribbean, this 272-foot waterfall is surrounded by tall pine trees, and the water collects in a jade pool. To add to the adventure, the Salto de Aguas Blancas waterfall is only accessible by an all-terrain vehicle ride through the deep, Costanza’s wood.

Hanoi, Vietnam

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Image by Thijs Degenkamp

As the Capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has a rich cultural history. With several museums and beautiful outdoor adventures to discover, Hanoi is a great place to visit to learn about different cultures and ways of life. Although the temperatures are cooler (January temperatures average a high of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 57 degrees Fahrenheit), winter is still a great time to visit this bustling city.

Things to do:

Delicious food is the name of the game in Hanoi. Explore the Old Quarter of Hanoi and take in the beautiful ancient temples while enjoying some delicious street food. Wander through the fruit vendors and blacksmith shops, and pick up some delicious Pho, or barbecued pork. .

Must-Stop Photo-Op:

Located on Hoan Kiem Lake is the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple. Located in the middle of the busy city of Hanoi, between the Old Quarter and the French Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful and quiet place to take a break from the bustling city.  Ngoc Son Temple, or Temple of the Jade Mountain is the most visited temple in Hanoi, so you’ll definitely want to make sure it’s on your itinerary.

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