Unexpected Adventure

Parks to Chase Away the Winter Blues

As winter creeps up on us, days grow shorter, and sunlight quickly becomes a precious commodity. The idea of a warm-weather getaway becomes more and more appealing.

Many of our northern national parks stay open throughout the winter months, but if skiing, ice fishing, and snow hiking are not for you, these sun-drenched southern destinations may shed light on those vacation plans you’ve been dying to make.

Everglades National Park

Florida
Gator Haven

Everglades National Park encompasses more than 1.5 million acres of wilderness and preserves one of America's most vibrant ecosystems, right in Miami’s backyard. Winter here tends to be a drier season with moderate temperatures, low humidity, and much less rainfall compared to the rest of the year. Because of this, indigenous animals such as turtles, herons, crocodiles, and alligators gather together around watering holes, often joined by migratory bird species as well. These natural congregations of the animal kingdom make for some of the greatest wildlife-viewing experiences in the world. In addition to the wildlife, Everglades National Park offers hiking, camping, and even weeklong canoe trips for those seeking an extended adventure. With mosquitos much less active during the winter months, now is the perfect time to relax and gently glide along the Everglades’ 99-mile Wilderness Waterway.

Things to Do

  • Birdwatching
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Children's Programs
  • Fishing

National Park of American Samoa

American Samoa
Escape in Remoteness

National Park of the American Samoa is one of the most remote national parks in the country. It’s a tropical paradise, but it's not the sort of place where you'll find resort-style hotels and crowded beaches. This distant destination in the South Pacific is one of the least developed national parks, and one of the most seldom visited. Fewer than 14,000 people make the trip to this park in an average year (compare that to the nearly 4 million who visit Yellowstone). National Park of the American Samoa is home to coral sand beaches, remote jungle villages, and an array of rare plants and animals. So, if you have an explorer's spirit and a desire for your own personal island paradise, this is the place.

Things to Do

  • Arts & Culture
  • Birdwatching
  • Historical
  • Swimming
  • Water Activities
  • Wildlife Viewing

Saguaro National Park

Arizona
Getaway in the Desert

Saguaro National Park is situated in the city of Tuscon, Arizona, which creates a remote experience that's never too far from civilization. Here, the desert offers a different kind of getaway: You can escape the winter cold and avoid the desert heat. During this time of year, daytime temperatures range from the low 50s to the high 70s.

There's a lot to see and do here, including rugged wilderness hiking and backcountry camping. The desert environment can be unforgiving, though, even in winter, so Saguaro National Park offers ranger-guided hikes and programs if you don’t think you’re ready to venture out on your own just yet.

Things to Do

  • Camping
  • Biking
  • Children's Programs
  • Hiking
  • Off-Roading
  • Scenic Drive

Haleakalā National Park

Hawai'i
Paradise in in the Islands

Nothing says tropical paradise like Hawai’i, and this 29,000-acre park offers just about anything you would hope for in a warm winter vacation. From the rocky coast and verdant jungle to the 10,000-foot mountain peaks, Haleakalā National Park provides endless opportunities for swimming, hiking, climbing, and camping. Much of the park is remote and undeveloped, so if it’s solitude you desire, you'll surely find it here. Surprisingly, Haleakalā National Park is less frequented by visitors during the winter months, which makes this the perfect time to make the journey.

Things to Do

  • Camping
  • Children's Programs
  • Hiking
  • Shopping
  • Swimming
  • Tours

When you find yourself locked in winter's icy grip, these warm winter getaways might be just what you need. 

Woman holding a camera walking in a field
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