While glistening snow, cozy fireplaces and hot cocoa all have their own unique charm (especially during the holidays), for most, chilly winter weather tends to lose its allure quite quickly.
As the long, cold season seems to drag on, you begin to fantasize about sunny summer days spent by the pool; flip flops on your feet and a cold drink in your hand.
The thing is, though, you can do more than just dream.
When bitter winds, piles of snow and freezing temperatures finally strike your last nerve, why not buy a plane ticket?
The following 12 beach destinations represent an array of vacation opportunities for all types of travelers in need of an escape from winter’s cold, harsh wrath.
From the shores of Colombia to Florida’s Gulf Coast, warm sand and bright sun awaits no matter which destination you choose.
Punta del Este, Uruguay
Known as the St. Tropez of Uruguay, according to Trip Advisor, with its pristine beaches and luxurious resorts, Punta del Este makes for the perfect wintertime escape. And whether you’re interested in lounging lazily by the beach or embarking on an active adventure, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Try kitesurfing in Jose Ignacio, surfing in La Barra or simply enjoy a long, leisurely jog along the shore.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
These unspoiled falls in South America don't fit the parameters of a traditional tropical getaway, but the area does lend a unique chance for travelers to experience two countries in one hike. “You need to visit from both sides,” says TravelTart.com blogger Anthony Bianco. “Argentina provides the best close up views, with the Brazilian side the best panoramic views, and facilities on both sides are very good.”