Scorching nonstop locations for Minnesotans this winter

Amid grey skies, barren bushes and plummeting mercury, it is that point of yr when vacationing Minnesotans swap out the Northwoods cabin for the trade-winds cabana.

Mercifully, Minneapolis-St. Paul Worldwide Airport provides us dozens of locations the place winter principally by no means occurs — from the Caribbean to Mexico and Central America, and naturally, Hawaii.

So we checked climate data and mapped out a shocking 18 locations from MSP the place the common excessive temperature in January is not less than a balmy 80. And these are all nonstop routes — which means you would get up in Minnesota at daybreak, catch a five-hour flight and probably be on a tropical seaside in time for night cocktails.

You possibly can merely stick a finger on the map and check out a brand new paradise yearly. However beneath are profiles of a few of our tried and examined favorites. Instance airfares had been collected in early November and are, after all, topic to alter — so ebook your personal winter escape quickly.

Los Cabos: Tacos, tequila and diving on the tip of Baja

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is greater than nice climate. What was once a tiny fishing village is now a booming resort and trip hotbed. On outings akin to a three-hour downtown culinary strolling tour from Viator, you’ll be able to style meals from throughout Mexico, from mole to tacos al pastor — and naturally, all kinds of tequilas. Or take a yacht tour to the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula to see the enduring El Arco — an archway that rises out of the ocean — then cease at one of many hidden seashores (solely accessible by water) on the best way again. The world can be recognized for its spectacular diving scene, and you may get licensed there, too.

Common excessive in January: 80.

Pattern airfare (topic to alter): $425 on Solar Nation, Jan. 14-21.

Alex Chhith

San Juan: Wealthy Caribbean tradition with no passport

Even with five-hour direct flights from MSP, San Juan, Puerto Rico, lies simply exterior most Minnesotans’ tourism radar. Regardless of the territory’s vulnerability to hurricanes and financial struggles, it has preserved a tradition completely distinct from that of the mainland U.S. The dominance of Spanish, colourful colonial structure, and free-roaming canine, horses and chickens lend the island a world really feel. But it is handy to go to — there is no passport required, and most locals converse English. Seashores provide variations on a blissful theme: aquamarine waves, modest crowds. Plus, there are rainforests to hike, bioluminescent bays to paddle, and smaller islands only a ferry trip away.

Common excessive in January: 81.

Pattern airfare: $449 on Delta, Feb. 20-27.

Rachel Hutton

Hawaii: Stealthy offers with a layover

We’re emphasizing nonstop flights, however this yr, the fiftieth state is the exception to all guidelines. Solely months after asserting new Minneapolis-to-Maui service, Delta suspended it as a result of cataclysmic fires in West Maui. Pricy nonstops to Honolulu stay (from $1,351), however this winter there’s severe worth in connecting flights to all the main Hawaiian islands for a 3rd of the fee (from $416-$510). On Maui, locals are cut up on whether or not vacationers ought to keep away or stimulate the financial system, however South Maui is absolutely open for enterprise with its world-class seashores and snorkeling. In case you do go, take the chance to journey gently and respectfully, and maybe modify your expectations — no “White Lotus” diva meltdowns, please. For the warmest temps and extra reasonably priced lodging, stick to the glamour and historical past of Oahu (by way of Honolulu) or the pure volcanic wonders of the Huge Island (by way of Kona Worldwide Airport).

Common January excessive: 81 in Honolulu.

Pattern airfare: $416 to Kahului, Maui, on American, Feb. 5-12 (one cease).

Simon Peter Groebner

Cancun: The seaside and past

We won’t ignore Cancun, which is well Minnesotans’ high international warm-weather vacation spot with a whopping 357,000 air passengers in 2022. And there is nothing just like the spectacle of the 14-mile barrier island referred to as the Lodge Zone, with its high-rise resorts, spring-break seashores, upscale procuring and wild nightlife. However do not overlook a guided day journey or longer journey to different charms of the Yucatan. The city of Tulum, as an example, is a comparatively extra laid-back, enjoyable, hip different — plus it has cenotes, sinkholes that may make for secluded swimming holes. The Mayan archeological capital of Chichen Itza options historic architectural masterpieces within the coronary heart of the peninsula, with some sacred cenotes of its personal.

Common excessive in January: 82.

Pattern airfare: $205 on Solar Nation, Jan. 30-Feb. 6.

Simon Peter Groebner

St. Martin: French and Dutch influences converge

A winter getaway to Saint-Martin or Sint Maarten permits you to go to two nations in a single: France and the Netherlands on only one 13-square-mile isle. Get pleasure from rainforests and seashores inside just some miles of one another, ziplining and scuba diving on the identical day. The European affect contains topless sunbathing and some solely nude seashores, so plan accordingly. The Dutch facet is extra Caribbean however can be extra crowded with the airport and cruise port. On the French facet, take pleasure in spectacular delicacies within the capital of Marigot and a few excellent artwork galleries. Whereas the U.S. greenback is accepted throughout, the Euro is extra widespread on the French facet.

Common excessive in January: 83.

Pattern airfare: $867 on Solar Nation, Feb. 3-10.

Diana Lambdin Meyer

Belize: A little bit of every part

Unsure in order for you your trip to be islands and seashores or jungles, ecolodges and pyramids? Scrappy, uncrowded, compact Belize provides a sampler platter: a Caribbean facade with a rugged backcountry. We won’t consider white-sand Ambergris Caye and San Pedro with out singing Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” impressed by the place. And even Prince William and Kate Middleton (controversially) stopped by the off-the-grid Mayan metropolis of Caracol. Tourism infrastructure is tough across the edges however enhancing, so Belize could also be a greater match for unbiased vacationers — or simply depart all of the tour planning to your resort. Bonus: English is the official language, and a Belizean greenback is conveniently 50 U.S. cents.

Common excessive in January: 83.

Pattern airfare: $630 on Delta, Jan. 16-23.

Simon Peter Groebner

Grand Cayman: Excellent sand and well-known turtles

Greatest recognized for Seven Mile Seaside, an impressive stretch of good white sand, Grand Cayman is the biggest of the three Cayman Islands. The British territory is famend as a diving vacation spot, however there’s loads to do above water. Spend a day below the palm bushes whereas dipping your toes within the western Caribbean at Rum Level. Visitors will be brutal round Georgetown on the times cruise ships arrive, so head to West Bay to the Cayman Turtle Centre to be taught in regards to the inexperienced sea turtle, a logo of the islands. Immerse your self in Cayman tradition at Miss Lassie’s Home, the place a self-taught artist painted each inch of the historic dwelling in spiritual symbols.

Common excessive in January: 84.

Pattern airfare: $532 on Solar Nation or $576 on Delta; Feb. 24-March 2.

Diana Lambdin Meyer

Liberia: Two sides of Costa Rica

For vacationers, the vigorous small metropolis of Liberia is principally a gateway to 2 very completely different kinds of Costa Rican trip: Pacific seashores vs. the jungle. The trail of least resistance is an hour west of the airport, the place busy beach-resort cities akin to Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo provide all-inclusive consolation. The farther you go down Nicoya Peninsula, the extra you may unplug; you’ll be able to tune out fully within the rugged “expat” seaside haven of Nosara, stuffed with yoga retreats and superlative browsing strands. The opposite facet of the colón is inland: the biodiverse Monteverde Cloud Forest; volcano-filled nationwide parks like Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja; and the ecolodges and sizzling springs surrounding Lake Arenal.

Common excessive in January: 91!

Pattern airfare: $548 on Delta, Feb. 5-11.

Simon Peter Groebner

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