The cold, dark winter months are here for most of the U.S. It’s January, which means our next nearest break from the cold nights and short days is still months away.
If going to Alaska isn’t your thing — More snow? No thanks — you’ve maxed out the art and museum offerings here in the states, and you’ve got zilch to do until Stranger Things comes back, it might be time to pack the swimsuit and get thee to a beach.
These destinations are off the beaten path, but still reachable from the east coast without blowing your whole budget on airfare.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Situated on the Pacific coast, this beachy town is perfect if you’re looking for a less-touristy spot to visit in Mexico but still want to experience the nightlife and boutique shopping. Flights are around $300, and hotels are equally reasonable.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
A mix of historic and modern life, you can spend your days in San Juan lounging on the beach or exploring 16th century sights, and the nights in its lively bars and clubs.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If checking out the ocean life and coral reefs before they’re gone forever is on your bucket list, Playa del Carmen. Hotels are inexpensive and you can choose your adventure: Chilled-out relaxation or turned-up nightlife.
Trinidad and Tobago
This dual-island is a Caribbean destination that won’t blow your savings. Be sure to visit the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, featuring a shelter for hummingbirds.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
If all-inclusive resorts and a luxurious vibe are your taste, but your budget disagrees, try Montego Bay.
This West Indies island has just about everything: Untouched beaches, bird sanctuaries, sailing and shopping.