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Where to travel to avoid snow this winter, according to weather reports

Oct. 27, 2021
5 min read
Where to travel to avoid snow this winter, according to weather reports
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With cold weather already spreading across much of the U.S., many people are preparing for the arrival of a long, snowy winter.

But many travelers will refuse to go into hibernation mode, and opt instead for sunny skies and warm destinations.

Much of the south will receive its first blast of winter a bit later than average, according to AccuWeather's winter forecast. The eastern half of Texas over to Florida could see the season’s first frost between mid-November and mid-December. So, just to be sure you won’t experience a snowstorm down south, plan your travels for earlier rather than later.

To help with winter plans, here are a few places to head this winter and what to expect when you get there.

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Austin, Texas. (Photo by Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock.)

Eastern Texas over to Florida may have higher-than-normal temperatures in December, resulting in a late first frost this year. Depending on how far south you’re planning to go, below-freezing temperatures could occur for the first time of the season anywhere between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, with the latter happening in southern Florida.

The region may see a repeat of last year, when snowy conditions and unusually cold temperatures make an appearance in the middle of winter. While it’s unlikely to be as severe as last season, the blast of cold weather could happen in late January, so keep that in mind when planning your winter vacation this year.

If you do end up heading south in late January or early February, avoid Arkansas, eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma, all of which, according to AccuWeather, could be dealt some of the worst winter weather.

Instead, head toward the southeast — specifically Florida up to North Carolina — where milder temperatures are expected.

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If a classic beach getaway is on the agenda, consider Hotel Effie Sandestin, which opened in February of 2021. The hotel caters to visitors of the Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort, which is located on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast between the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay.

Visiting Everglades National Park is a great way to get outside and truly soak up the sunshine and warm temperatures. Hike the park’s limitless trails or rent a canoe or kayak to explore the mangrove forests, marshes and the Florida Bay from the water.

Everglades National Park. (Photo by Corey Rich/Getty Images)

Charlotte, North Carolina, is another viable option, although the temperatures won’t be quite as warm as you'd find in southern Florida.

But with average winter temperatures in the 50s and 60s, it’s still a comfortable city to explore when the northern half of the country is covered in snow. Travelers with points to burn will have plenty of options, too. Last July, the Category 5 JW Marriott Charlotte (from 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy pints per night) began welcoming guests. And a month prior, the Hyatt Centric South Park Charlotte (a Category 3 property available from 12,000 points per night on standard dates) made its debut.

In the Southwest, significant precipitation events aren’t expected until later in the season. While this is great news for travelers looking to soak in the sunshine, it’s not so great for the wildfire season, which will likely last longer than normal.

This could have the largest effect on travelers looking to explore the Southwest’s parks and outdoor recreational opportunities, as wildfire and smoke closures could continue into the winter.

Rain events in Southern California are more likely to occur during the second half of winter, but even then, the amount of rainfall won’t be as significant as is typical. While there is a La Niña weather pattern that will be in effect (which typically means more rain in the Southwest), it will weaken later in the season, allowing other factors to influence the amount of rain the region gets.

Basically, this winter will be drier than normal.

This lack of rain also means much of the region will be warmer than average this year, with much of western California, eastern Nevada and eastern Arizona up to 2 degrees above average.

It is possible some storms could head south from the Northwest during late December or early January, but it’s unlikely they’ll put a damper on the dry conditions that are expected to continue through the winter.

Scottsdale, which is just east of Phoenix, Arizona, is a vibrant destination perfect for people seeking something other than a warm-weather vacation on a beach with unlimited piña coladas (not to say that doesn’t sound excellent right now).

There are a number of art- and culture-related events and points of interest to see during the winter, including Canal Convergence, which is an art installation complete with live music, fire shows on the Arizona Canal, workshops and presentations from Nov. 5 through Nov. 14.

Scottsdale. (Photo by Thomas Roche/Getty Images)

If a winter road trip is on the agenda, check out the Death Valley Rally — a 370-mile suggested itinerary from Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park.

This unique and geographically diverse route hits both the lowest point in North America and winds past the 11,916-foot Mount Charleston — the fifth-highest point in Nevada. Explore the ancient bristlecone pines in the park, stargaze under some of the darkest night skies in the country and sample the offerings at local wineries before spending an evening on the bustling strip of Las Vegas.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
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4 / 5
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Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023