Discover the best places to visit in February 2024, from snowy ski slopes to tropical rainforest getaways. Where will you go this February? 🤔✈️
What do we know about February? It’s short! But February is also offers some of the best getaways before the busy spring and summer travel seasons. From snowy ski resorts to tropical beaches, there are myriad beautiful destinations that are less crowded and more affordable than other times of year. Here are the top places to visit for an unforgettable vacation this February.
With lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and adrenaline-pumping adventures, Costa Rica tops the list of best places to visit in February 2024. The dry season is in full swing, bringing ample sunshine and opportunities to spot unique wildlife. Explore coastal towns like Tamarindo, with its world-class surfing, or inland gems like La Fortuna under the watchful eye of the Arenal Volcano. End your days relaxing in natural hot springs and eating fresh tropical fare.
This canal-laced city truly comes alive in February for its world-famous Carnevale celebration leading up to Lent. For two weeks, Venetians don elaborate masks and costumes as they attend lavish masked balls, street performances, concerts and operas across Venice. Stroll St. Mark’s Square and admire the vibrant processions of performers in this open-air spectacle unique to Venice. The chilly weather only adds to the old-world atmosphere as you duck into alleyway wine bars or cozy neighborhood trattorias.
Looking to lounge on pearly white beaches under swaying palms? This Indian Ocean paradise boasts over 1200 islands with turquoise lagoons perfect for snorkeling alongside manta rays and even whale sharks. With an average high of 86°F in February, the Maldives has reliably toasty weather before the most popular and expensive high season hits. Check into a water villa and be lulled to sleep by the gentle ocean waves. Really relax by booking a couple’s massage at the spa.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As one of the biggest carnival celebrations on Earth, visiting Rio de Janeiro in February 2024 is a must for any travel bucket list. Join two million revelers as they celebrate this world-famous festival with vibrant parades, infectious music in the streets, and dazzling costumes. Watch samba school dancers compete at the iconic Sambadrome or join a neighborhood street party, known as a bloco. Just be ready to dance along with locals as the exciting rhythms of Rio take over.
Best Ski Resorts
For winter sports enthusiasts, February is prime time to hit the slopes. Resorts in destinations like Switzerland, Canada, Italy and the USA offer acres of fresh powder, winter sunshine, and après ski fun. Ride gondolas high in the Swiss Alps, ski through evergreen forests in British Columbia, race down legendary Olympic courses in Cortina d’Ampezzo and more. Many ski resorts also offer dog sledding, snowshoe tours, and cozy mountain lodges with roaring fireplaces and steaming hot tubs.
Key West, Florida
While many Northern destinations are still in the icy grip of winter, Key West enjoys idyllic weather year-round. With an average high around 76°F, you can thaw out on the beautiful beaches along the Florida Keys. Wander the pastel-hued streets of Old Town Key West, visit Ernest Hemingway’s former home, catch a Keys sunset celebration, enjoy fresh seafood right off the boat, and more. Don’t miss the annual Key West Art Festival held each February. Throughout the month, iconic attractions like the Key West Butterfly Conservatory and Mel Fisher Maritime Museum offer 2-for-1 admission meaning you can take in more of Key West’s unique history and sights without busting your vacation budget. Spend sun-filled days discovering what makes the Conch Republic unlike anywhere else in the Florida Keys then toast an unforgettable island getaway as another legendary Key West sunset sinks into the sea.
One of the Best Places in February – Death Valley, California
Death Valley shakes its summertime reputation as one of the hottest places on Earth and becomes an entirely pleasant place to explore in February. With an average high around 70°F, you can comfortably hike to places like Golden Canyon, Mosaic Canyon, and Natural Bridge without worrying about scorching triple-digit heat. Go stargazing at Badwater Basin or take the narrow Artists Drive winding through vibrant mineral formations and canyons painted red, pink and purple.
New Orleans – Mardi Gras And French Quarter Festival Capital
This lively Louisiana city knows how to throw a party, especially the 2-week extravaganza building up to Mardi Gras in February. Join locals dressed up in flashy costumes and take in the festive sights, sounds, and flavors around town. Catch parades led by colorful floats designed by various Mardi Gras krewes, nosh on classic beignets and Po’boys, sway to spirited jazz bands, and more. With cooler weather than New Orleans’s sweltering summers, February brings pleasant conditions to fully enjoy this one-of-a-kind US celebration before Lent starts.
Before the full-on spectacle of Mardi Gras takes over in March, New Orleans celebrates its French colonial roots at the annual French Quarter Festival each April. Over 20 stages fill the historic district with jazz, Cajun zydeco jams and more, alongside drool-worthy local cuisine. Wander bourbon and Frenchman Streets packed with music spilling from every bar and balcony or watch costumed dancers in Jackson Square. The pleasant spring weather entices taking festivities outside as fans laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll) NOLA-style!
Visit Torres del Paine in Patagonia, Chile
The stunning mountain wilderness of Chilean Patagonia captivates adventure travelers, especially in February when colorful wildflowers blanket the slopes and guanacos roam everywhere. Within Torres del Paine National Park, take scenic tours to admire views of the Horns, ice hike on Grey Glacier, relax in natural hot springs, and spot unique wildlife like rheas and condors. Return from the rugged backcountry to cozy mountain lodges to sip local Carmenere wine alongside hearty regional cuisine.
Iceland – See the Spectacular Northern Lights
Bundled under the twilight glow of the midnight sun or dancing under the magical northern lights – Iceland entices visitors year-round but especially in late winter. February offers long nights ideal for aurora borealis viewing, paired with the occasional sunny day reaching into the 30s or 40s (°F). Between nighttime northern lights excursions via snowmobile or super jeep, spend days bathing at geothermal springs, touring thundering waterfalls that contrast with snowy landscapes, and more. Treat yourself to stays at unique properties like glass-domed igloos or mountainside cabins.
Beautiful Places – Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston exudes Southern charm all year but especially in February when azalea blooms start blanketing the city in pinks and purples. Stroll past Antebellum architecture, gourmet cafes and boutiques before the heavier springtime visitor crowds arrive. Pop into one of Charleston’s many galleries to admire Lowcountry art, take a harbor cruise to Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, and indulge in firefly-illuminated rooftop views over cocktails at The Vendue hotel’s iconic Artisan restaurant.
Winter Sun Getaway – Virgin Islands
Trade winter temperatures for tropical breezes in the U.S. Virgin Islands come February. Average highs sit at a delightful 82°F, with reliably dry weather ideal for relaxing on sugar-sand beaches dotted with iconic palm trees and turquoise water. When you’re not blissing out with a rum cocktail in hand, explore history at 18th-century sugar plantations like Estate Whim Museum, enjoy seaside horseback rides on idyllic St. John island and don’t miss Saturday-evening festivities like jump ups featuring steel pan music and mocko jumbies dancing on stilts.
Capital of Alpine Adventure – Innsbruck, Austria
As host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, Innsbruck offers prime access to sporty adventures with its charming pedestrian Old Town serving as the après hub once the lifts stop spinning. Hit the legendary Kitzbühel downhill course then cozy up fireside while tucking into schnitzel or spaetzle back in town. Take the futuristic funicular up the Nordkette mountain looming over Innsbruck, tour the Hofburg Imperial Palace’s gem-filled museums, stroll the city’s golden roof and soak up Alpine views from cafés serving rich hot chocolate with a fluffy cloud of schlag.
Outdoor Activities in Zion National Park, Utah
February brings cooler temperatures that make exploring Zion’s red rock cliffs and canyons pleasant, along with smaller crowds than the busy spring and summer seasons. Tackle exhilarating hikes like Angels Landing, with awe-inspiring views down thousands of feet to the Virgin River below. Experience the unique sensation of walking through the cold waters of The Narrows, as sheer glowing walls flank you on all sides within one of Zion’s most iconic slot canyons. Zion also offers opportunities for cycling, rock climbing, horseback riding and stargazing against dark night skies in this colorful park.
Family Options on San Diego Bay, California
San Diego sees sunny, 70-degree weather in February, beckoning families to enjoy outdoor options without summer crowds. Explore wild critters at the San Diego Zoo then admire sea lions and penguins nearby at SeaWorld. Hop aboard a scenic bay cruise to spot dolphins or watch maritime history come alive aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum. After action-packed days, families can cozy up for story time and s’mores around fire pits at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina along the downtown harborfront.
Sunshine Coast, Australia
While Europe and North America shiver in late winter, Australia’s Sunshine Coast lives up to its name in February, with low humidity and average high temperatures around 78°F. This makes it one of the best places to visit in February to thaw out on golden beaches, explore Noosa National Park’s coastal trails, stand-up paddle along the Mooloolaba canal, hit Brisbane for sightseeing or kick back at delightful villages and beach towns like Peregian Beach. Relax even more staying at rural vineyards offering tastings paired with views of the lush Glass House Mountains rising in the distance.
Celebrate Black History Month in Atlanta
As one of America’s capitals for Black culture past and present, Atlanta offers travelers reason to visit in February 2024 to honor Black History Month. Tour landmarks of the civil rights movement like Ebenezer Baptist Church where MLK Jr. preached or the moving Center for Civil and Human Rights museum downtown. Catch spirited musical performances at historic venues from the Tabernacle concert hall to Eddie’s Attic nightclub. Cap off days immersed in the rich history of Atlanta’s African American community by staying at the sleek Solís Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
Wildlife Spotting in Kenya’s Masai Mara
February falls in the peak migration season when masses of wildebeest and zebra move across Kenya’s legendary Masai Mara National Reserve, making it one of the best safari destinations to visit this time of year. Alongside the Great Migration, encounter all members of the Big 5 like lions, elephants and black rhinos roaming the sprawling savanna and acacia woodlands against backdrops of flat-topped Mount Kilimanjaro or the dramatic Great Rift Valley. Local safari tour operators craft custom 4×4 excursions and book guests into intimate tented camps like Entim for front-row wildlife sightings Kenya-style.
Carnaval in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Off the northwest coast of Africa, Spain’s Canary Islands start revving up for Carnaval celebrations in February 2024 where everyone gets decked out in flashy costumes parading to Brazilian samba beats under sunny 20°C (70°F) skies. Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosts the largest Carnaval event across this volcanic archipelago, complete with electrifying performances, beauty pageants, hilarious murgas (satirical musical groups) and joy-filled street parties lasting through Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. Visitors can easily join right in the fun or relax ringside at lively bars around town to take in the spectacle.
With pleasant weather, festive events, and thinner crowds, February gives travelers prime opportunities to experience famous destinations as well as offbeat places that shine at this time of year. Enjoy a winter wonderland getaway in the mountains or relax under the sun on golden beaches. Partake in the revelry of world-famous Carnival celebrations or set out on a bucket list wildlife encounter. Wherever your February travels lead, take advantage of seasonal conditions uniquely perfect for having an unforgettable trip.
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With ideal weather, fewer tourists, and special events, February is one of the best times to visit an array of amazing destinations near and far. Whether you prefer basking on a beach, partying at one of the world’s biggest carnivals or hitting the ski slopes, there are plenty of awesome places just waiting to be explored. Start planning your next great getaway during the shortest month of the year!