11 Reasons Miami Is the Perfect Winter Destination

South Beach
South Beach | © Dan Lundberg / Flickr
Karina Castrillo

Slip out of that wool coat and into a bikini because winter in Miami means 80°F (26.6°C) weather and shirtless beach bodies frolicking on Ocean Drive. Indeed, booking a trip to sunny paradise is just what you need right now. Here’s why.

Selfies on Miami Beach

If glittering beaches and white sands weren’t reason enough to migrate for winter, there’s also the social media aspect. There is nothing like posting pics of your hot dog legs burning in the sun while everyone else back home is shoveling snow.

Selfie on the water

New Year’s Eve Party

If you’re willing to spend a few hundred dollars, then splurge on a New Year’s Eve party in Miami. From yachts to hotel parties, there’s no shortage of festivities to ring in the New Year in utter mayhem. The Shelborne Hotel and Fountainbleu in Miami Beach are infamous for their bashes, but there are dozens of other places to celebrate the 2018 extravaganza.


Art Basel

The “who’s who” of the art world flock to the city for the annual Art Basel in December. The international art fair congregates with art installations and exhibits all over the city in the Design District, Wynwood, and, of course, South Beach. Don’t miss out on the celebrity parties too—they happen nightly.

Courtesy of Wynwood Walls

Surf’s Up

Hurricane season formally ends on November 30th, but the swells are still good throughout the rest of the year. Grab a board and surf at South Pointe where the tides break against the pier and provide good rides. Winter is the best time for surfing before flatness hits in spring.


It’s Heat Season

Basketball season is all about The Heat, so catch one of the games at the AmericanAirlines Arena. Beer, popcorn, and nachos in a stellar stadium? Miami’s a Heat Nation.

Miami Heat logo

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Tucked in the jungle of the suburbs—we’re talking Bird Road—a visit to Santa is a true Miamian tradition. The world’s largest holiday theme park is a perfect place to spend quality time with family while riding rollercoasters, eating candy apples, and taking a photo with Santa himself. The narrow strip covered with gigantic pine trees decked out in Christmas lights is a treat for the eyes.

Santa with kids

Art Deco architecture

Miami’s winter offers a balance of sunshine and cool breezes that make it perfect for strolling. Take a walk along Ocean Drive to drink in the Art Deco architecture and colorful vintage cars parked on the side of the street. Celebrity sightings of Rick Ross and Drake are the norm here.

Art Deco architecture in Miami

Opera season

This time of year the calendar is beaming with masterpieces to watch at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Classical lovers can catch the best ballets, operas, and concertos on the stunning stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House or across the street at the James L. Knight Center.

Aerial view of Adrienne Arsht Center

Knaus Berry Farm

Glossy-glazed cinnamon rolls at Knaus Berry Farm will make your eyes roll backward. These delicacies are baked fresh daily and taste like heaven, which makes the drive to Homestead worth it.


Florida Keys

Miami is neighbors with the just-as-famous Florida Keys, so if boredom in the Magic City ever strikes, you’re just an hour’s drive away from Key Largo. Take a mini road trip to go scuba diving in Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Park—home to the underwater statue of Christ of the Abyss. Try a slice of Key Lime Pie, and eat Mahi Mahi—the options are endless.

Christ of the Abyss at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Just a plane ride away

If you only have a weekend away to defrost on a tropical vacation, you don’t have time to spend it on getting there. Miami’s perfectly perched just on the tip of the USA, and a flight here is short and snappy. Just think, if your trip back to the frozen tundra is delayed due to a snowstorm, you’ll be stuck in sunny Miami!

Airplane in the sky

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article