With the sun’s light growing shorter by the day and the temperatures slipping down, it seems time to pick out a toasty vacation spot for this year’s winter holiday. Here are several locations you might want to consider, each one offering a completely distinct yet sunny experience.

1 – Dubai
Dubai in winter
Dubai in Winter
Flickr: travelourplanet.com

With its fascinating structures and architectural feats, Dubai has quickly become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Shoppers will want to spend lots of time, and money, in this city. Dubai boasts over 40 shopping centers, many of which include unbelievable attractions, such as indoor ski resorts, waterways, and one even houses a real-life Jurassic Park. Beyond this, prepare for an unforgettable culinary experience. Your mouth will water just from looking at the list of five-star dining options, topped by Gordon Ramsey’s own outpost. A vacation to Dubai may leave your pockets feeling a little bare, but you will certainly get your money’s worth out of this warm and exciting city.

2 – Luxor, Egypt
Luxor Temple
Temple at Luxor
Flickr: Amerune

Winter is the perfect time to experience the culture and history surrounding Luxor. Immerse yourself in the past by investigating the ancient Egyptian ruins situated right next to the city. Spend a few days exploring the Luxor and Karnak temples on the east side of the Nile, then cross the river and travel thousands of years back as you walk through the Valley of the Kings. Luxor offers a range of hotel prices so you can stick to a budget while you take in the thrills of this destination.

3 – Western Cape, Africa
Western Cape
Western Cape Overberg Flickr: Ruralmoviemakers

If wanderlust has got you worried about settling down in one spot this winter, consider taking a Western Cape road trip. The geography of the southern peninsula of Africa includes a wide range of features, from snow-white beaches to majestic mountains to ancient forests. Make your way across highways and take in the sites of peaceful little villages alongside grandiose retirement estates. A road trip through this relatively quiet part of the world will provide you with a variety of scenes and activities.

 

4 – Dominica

Nicknamed the “Nature Isle” of the Caribbean, Dominica is the perfect location for anyone seeking a tropical outdoor escape from colder weather. Lace up your hiking shoes and prepare for a sensory experience when you discover hidden waterfalls, exotic animals, native flora, and breath-taking sights in the island’s tropical rainforest. Then, bask in the delightful sun rays as you recline on one of the many spectacular beaches the island supplies—one of which starred in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Dominica Coast
Dominica coastline
Flickr: Kretyen
5 – Florida, USA

Whether you’re looking for a family destination or party central, Florida has something for everyone. Miami Beach offers swanky beach resorts, high-end restaurants, and all variety of clubs and bars that create the perfect weekend get-away for party goers. On the other hand, Orlando consists of many more family friendly activities, like the ever popular Disney World and Universal Park resorts, and an entire coastline of beaches less than an hour away. Themed hotels, many of which include relaxing spas and golfing opportunities, ensure that everyone can find something to please them.

Daytona beach
Daytona Beach, Florida Flickr: YLegrand
6 – Australia
Australian Archipelagos
Archipelagos
Flickr: lau.svensson

If you simply desire a relaxing getaway, check out one of Australia’s most pristine island archipelagos: the Whitsundays. Clear blue skies and glassy waters paint a surreal setting for this winter destination. You even have the option of snorkeling along some of these beautiful beaches.

Australia also caters to adventure-seekers. Lacking the overwhelming presence of tourists like many winter destinations, Margaret River’s peaceful atmosphere pairs with its many outdoor activities to supply you with a delightful trip. Mountain bike across the Australian landscape, hike along the coasts, and if you’re feeling brave, try to catch some of the water’s unparalleled winter swells.