For so many people, this winter has been especially hard. Dreaming of a getaway from the ice, snow and cold might become a reality over the next few months. Before winter thaws and you can see Spring weather coming, it’s a great time to get out of town. We’ve put together 8 winter vacation ideas on the West Coast to pique your interest. From Monterey to Mexico, we’ve got you covered.
Right now, it seems like the best places to vacation are the ones that are warm and uncrowded. We like to go to places that give our family a different atmosphere than what we see on a daily basis. We love experiencing new adventures and luckily there are some wonderful warm destinations to enjoy that.
Check out some of our top vacation destinations our family has really appreciated.
8 Winter Vacation Ideas For Families
Let this list of West Coast winter vacation ideas whisks you away from the cold, so you can head out to thaw out.
1. Cannery Row, Monterey, California
If you like the seafront, then Cannery Row is your kind of spot. The wharves and piers along the waterfront in Cannery Row bring guests close to the abundant sea life of Monterey Bay. In fact, many of Cannery Row’s hotel rooms and restaurants are positioned over the water. This is a very rare thing in California, and definitely worth the experience. It is one of the only places you can enjoy seeing sea lions, otters, pelicans and other creatures playing in the ocean directly below your hotel room. This one of the many reasons why there are so many things to do at Cannery Row in Monterey.
400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
For more information about the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, read our story here.
2. Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If you are into action and adventure experiences on vacation, Hotel Xcaret Mexico has got you covered. Perhaps you love to dine on elegant meals, sipping margaritas while lounging poolside. There are many options to do just that, and this is the best food at an all-inclusive resort we have ever tasted. If you have young kids and want to feel there are safe places for them to swim and play, Xcaret has planned for you. Maybe you want the tastes and experiences of authentic Mexican culture. Got that too. But the adventure experiences here take the cake. We literally could have filled every day and night of our stay with different activities and adventures offered by Hotel Xcaret Mexico. Even better, all these adventures and activities are included!
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Click here to read about our stay at Hotel Xcaret Mexico.
3. Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona
Hotel Valley Ho is everything except a typical and boring hotel chain. We loved our stay here because of the style and location. Scottsdale is a magnificent place for couples and groups, family vacations or for anyone really! All folks will definitely feel welcome and pampered here, which is why it is one of our top winter vacation ideas. From the suites to the pool area, the hotel is tinted with bold colors and classic midcentury modern designs. Speaking of that pool, the lounge chairs are just the ticket for sunbathing in that gorgeous Scottsdale weather. More than a fabulous exterior and interior, the Hotel Valley Ho provides exceptional service. The delicious food at the hotel restaurants and genuine smiles from staff make this one of the best winter vacation destinations. Winter rates here start at around $350/night.
For more tips about staying at Hotel Valley Ho, see our story here.
4. Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, CA
Following a recent $15 million renovation, the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa has made a major commitment to upgrading the ways guests can have fun and relax while on property. This has always been a gorgeous resort, with one of the most iconic entrances in the entire Coachella Valley. The golf course here has hosted many tournaments on the pro circuit, and the spa is legendary. Now they’ve added new water slides to their enormous main Las Brisas pool area, as well as more cabanas. Plus the bar area at the main pool has been expanded for even more reasons to bask in the warm sun. And if that isn’t enough, there are two other pools for a more quiet getaway if desired. Restaurant options have been expanded and upgraded, and the options for outdoor activities are many.
71333 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage, California, 92270
For more information and a review of our visit to Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, please read our story here.
5. Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
This resort is a favorite of ours and a perfect escape to the seaside destination of Rancho Palos Verdes near LA. It’s a sprawling resort set along the rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Terranea Resort offers postcard-perfect views that are quintessentially Southern California. We love staying in one of Terranea’s oceanview casitas which gives families lots of room to spread out. Plus there is so much to do at this resort for families with kids of all ages – nature hikes, archery lessons, yoga classes, spa treatments and more. This was one of our favorite winter vacation ideas – and a rainy day vacation did not even dent our happiness at being here. Rooms here start at $489.
100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes , California 90275
Read the review of our stay at Terranea Resort here.
6. Waldorf-Astoria Monarch Beach, Dana Point, CA
There are plenty of outdoor activities at Waldorf-Astoria Monarch Beach Resort so guests can enjoy the California sun and fresh air. We loved the attentive staff at the Waldorf (formerly the Monarch Beach Resort). They made sure our experience was enjoyable and that we felt safe. We did not feel like we were staying in an antiseptic hospital or something, but we could tell that the staff was going over and above to keep the environment clean. This is a family trip destination where everyone can feel comfortable, breezy, beachy and fun. Golf, spa, great restaurants and more – and the pool and beach club made it so fun for us all.
1 Monarch Beach Resort Dana Point, California 92629
For more information, read our story about the Waldorf-Astoria Monarch Beach.
7. The Catamaran Resort, San Diego, CA
The Polynesian-inspired Catamaran Resort Hotel is so much fun for the entire family. There is a casual elegance to this resort, complete with tropical vegetation, tiki torches, koi ponds and waterfalls. Located in Pacific Beach right on Mission Bay, this hotel has beautiful bay views and sandy beaches. There are boat rentals, bicycles, cabanas, and paddle boarding all available onsite. Great for families looking to get away during any time of the year, the Catamaran Resort Hotel is just a few minutes drive to downtown La Jolla. The resort offers rooms starting at only about $200 per night.
3999 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
8. The Hideaway, Santa Barbara, CA
The Hideaway Santa Barbara is a sweet little 9-room boutique hotel in downtown Santa Barbara. It’s very new, and is a spotless renovation and reimagining of a Craftsman era building originally in this location. It’s just a couple of blocks from the beach and within easy walking distance of the shops and restaurants. Our room was perched in the eaves of the front building, with plenty of space for our family to spread out.
420 W. Montecito Street, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
(805) 965 – 2333
What Sparks Your Winter Vacation Ideas This Year?
These 8 places are some of our favorite vacation destinations. They are great for family travel for folks like us, but really for any travelers with open minds and hearts.
If you decide to get the family away for a vacation that combines fun and relaxation this winter, everyone wins!