The Best Sunny, Warm Destinations for a Winter Vacation Revealed

The Best Sunny, Warm Destinations for a Winter Vacation Revealed

A family vacationing in a sunny beach destination. (photo via evgenyatamanenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Winter is on its way and while Americans will undoubtedly turn out in force this year for holiday-related travel, plenty are also still looking to fit in their post-pandemic vacations for 2022. Besides, there’s an unrivaled sort of satisfaction that comes with escaping winter’s cold-weather doldrums by fleeing to some far-off sunny and warm destination for a spell.

To find out which tourism destinations with year-round sunshine make for the best winter getaways, travel package provider ParkSleepFly analyzed a list of 60 global and U.S. cities with a northern-hemisphere winter, taking in a range of considerations when compiling its 2022 Winter Sun Index to help travelers looking to cure their cold-weather blues this winter.

Factors taken into account when determining the rankings included atmospheric conditions like precipitation levels, hours of sunshine and average winter temperatures, but also other trip elements, such as hotel costs and available activities in the destination. These were combined to come up with a total score that determined each city’s overall ranking.

ParkSleepFly compiled a ranking consisting of just U.S. cities in isolation, as well as a global ranking. When it comes to the top 10 domestic destinations for sunny winter vacations, several selections may seem obvious, but one or two are likely to surprise you.

Rank City Overall Score
1 Phoenix, Arizona 7.88
2 Miami, Florida 7.54
3 Orlando, Florida 6.95
4 Honolulu, Hawaii


5 Los Angeles, California 6.85
6 Tampa, Florida 6.8
7 San Diego, California 6.75
8 Palm Springs, California 5.81
9 Tucson, Arizona 5.76
10 Austin, Texas 5.57

If you appreciate desert destinations, you’ll be interested to hear that Phoenix, Arizona tops this year’s list of best sunny cities to spend your winter vacation in with a score of 7.88 out of 10. Visitors to Phoenix (appropriately nicknamed the ‘Valley of the Sun’) in the winter months can expect to bask in an average of 8.66 hours of sunshine and enjoy comfortable average temperatures of around 53.8°F each day.

Miami took second spot among ideal destinations for wintertime sun-seekers, scoring 7.54 out of 10 with its seven hours of average sunshine daily during the winter season and tropical climate with a temperature average of 70.34°F. Miami also, incidentally, ranks among the most posted-about U.S. winter destinations on Instagram, boasting 84 million hashtags.

Coming in third is another year-round Florida hotspot, Orlando, with a total score of 6.95 out of 10. Orlando offers mild weather throughout the winter months, with average temperatures of around 61.7°F and 6.68 hours of sunlight each day, on average. The theme park capital of the world also has the lowest average hotel rate among the top 10 cities at $87 per night.

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