10 Affordable Beach Getaways to Cure Your Winter Blues

10 Affordable Beach Getaways to Cure Your Winter Blues. Unfortunately, warm vacation destinations are also usually at their priciest during this season. But if you know how to avoid the typical tourist traps, you can get to a pleasant beach and enjoy the local lifestyle without taking out a loan. From the Caribbean to the Gulf Coast, here’s where you should book your winter getaway so you can soak in the waves and the heat while your friends shovel snow.

Key West, Florida

Already pricey Miami is in peak season around December and January, so do yourself a favor and flee the Ocean Drive hotspots of South Beach for the Florida Keys just south of the city. While the Keys suffered destruction from Hurricane Irma, the popular Key West is eager to lure tourists back and has been rebuilding quickly. Grab the signature seafood sandwich and hang with the locals at the Hogfish Bar & Grill. A travel tip: Fly into Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami for significantly cheaper flight, since you’ll likely want to rent a car anyway to get yourself down to the Keys. You can find round-trip tickets from New York City for as low as $151 around this time, around $200 from Boston and Chicago. Even nice hotels can be reserved for around $200 a night during high season.

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota is a long way up from the Keys in the panhandle state, but the city located on the Gulf Coast has some of the most crystal-blue waters and white-sand beaches you’ll see in the United States. While the town itself may seem sleepy, it’s dotted with secretly great restaurants and hangouts—and even better deals. Round-trip flights can be had for around $200 from New York and Boston, and for around $400 from Chicago. Hotel rooms go for under $200.

10 Affordable Beach Getaways to Cure Your Winter Blues

10 Affordable Beach Getaways to Cure Your Winter Blues

Galveston Island, Texas

You might consider Texas best for digging into barbecue and blues bands. But locals pointing you to a beach retreat will recommend Galveston Island, just an hour drive from Houston, on the Gulf Coast. Its 32 miles of shoreline offer both idyllic nature, including migratory birds, as well as live music and parties on the eastern edge— and in the winter, the temperature is moderate compared to the heat Texas experiences most of the year. Flights into Houston in winter go for under $200 from New York, for around $100 from Boston and Denver, and for even less from Chicago. Hotel rooms go for around $100 or even less per night.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Don’t overlook the Deep South for a sandy getaway when it’s getting too frigid to handle up north. Myrtle Beach has all the typical attractions of a beachside town (boardwalk, ferris wheel, golfing, ice cream with temperatures in the high 50s and 60s — a nice reprieve if you’ve been living below freezing for weeks. And you can nosh on some true Southern cooking while you’re at it. The best part? You can practically steal round-trip tickets for around $100 from New York, and get them for around $200 from Boston and Chicago.

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