International Photo Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor Johnson, Oahu Visitors Bureau, Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaii Tourism Authority/Kirk Lee Aeder

Editors’ Picks: Fave Warm Winter Getaways

November temps have us longing for a warm getaway—here are four of our favourites. 

Riviera Nayarit mexico

1. Everything-is-awesome Riviera Nayarit

I’m a recent convert to the Riviera Nayarit (so recent I’m still shaking sand out of my carry-on)—because what’s not to love. A dozen or so muy charming little towns line up along the coast just north of Puerto Vallarta (which comes with its own direct-flight bonus), each with their own swath of white-sand beach and bathtub-warm ocean. Pop by the farmers’ market in La Cruz for agua frescas, catch a wave in Sayulita, grab a polo match in San Pancho, a shrimp taco or three in Bucerias (nicknamed BC-rias in the winter for its wealth of Canadian tourists)—it’s a pace of life that you can easily get used to. And, you know, pina coladas. —Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief

48 Hours in Austin Western Living 1

2.Worth-the-gamble Texas

So it’s a bit of a gamble this time of year to choose Texas as a sunny-weather destination (while some days are 20 degrees and picture-perfect, others call for torrential rain), but I think it’s worth the risk: even in a downpour, the Austin food and beer scene looks like a dream. Prime example: our associate art director just got back from a trip there, and reported sighting of a taco cannon. I can get behind that, rain or shine. (Vancouver, take note.) For further Texas reading, here’s our full guide to Austin and its wonders. —Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor

sonoma

3. Have-it-to-yourself Sonoma

Most people shy away from Northern California in the winter on the idea that it will be cold and rainy, but on my past few December visits to Sonoma I’ve had nothing but top-down driving in short sleeves shirts. Obviously it’s not beach weather, but then again even in July, the beaches of Northern California are more suitable for walking than sunning yourself. Head inland to the wineries and restaurants, and you’ll find zero crowds, which means you’re often chatting with the winemaker (who’s enjoying some rare downtime too) or the chef in a half-full restaurant (save for the French Laundry—it’s always full). 25 C is easy to find, but piece and quiet and rural idyll—now that’s an escape. —Neal McLennan, Food and Travel Editor

Couple paddling towards Bali Hai.
Couple paddling towards Bali Hai (lucky bastards!).

4. More-than-beaches Hawaii

Now that I’m in my 30s, a warm winter vacation means something completely different. Where I might have once (cringe) slicked myself up with Hawaiian Tropic SPF 8 and happily roasted all day reading on the beach, now I go for the type of holiday that actually involves doing something (and with full coverage from giant floppy hat to modest onesie to beach wrap). A jungle tour by ATV, learning how to surf (finally), enjoying views from a zip-line/kayak and the like—that’s a vacation worth the exchange rate. If you’re also interested in swapping a killer tan for unforgettable memories in a warmer climate, check out our getaway guides to Kauai and Oahu—Julia Dilworth, Staff Writer

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