Winter can be a challenging time of the year for people who thrive in a warm climate. Painful fingers and toes, air that hurts to breathe and an uncomfortable number of clothing layers are some people’s reality for almost half a year. If you are over the cold and ready to reclaim the winter months, check out warm winter getaways in Charleston and San Antonio.
Charleston, South Carolina has exciting amenities for a warm winter vacation, from restaurants to beaches and storied history. If you want a permanent getaway, check out the housing market in and around Charleston like the serene Folly Beach real estate. Charleston is ideal whether you are in the market for a winter home or just need to escape the cold for a few weeks.
San Antonio, Texas is full of intriguing history, fantastic food and warm winter weather. It is a great vacation spot because of the many outdoor activities and weather close to 60°F most of the winter. It’s also a quick drive to the Texas hill country where wineries are plentiful or to Austin for a different city vibe.
Warm Vacations in Charleston
Charleston and its surrounding neighborhoods are nestled against the Atlantic ocean, providing recreational opportunities and keeping the city temperate. The ocean acts as a natural insulator and keeps Charleston warm in winter and cool in summer.
Surfers and swimmers may need to wear a wetsuit for warmth, but the city usually stays around 60°F with very little precipitation throughout winter. The temperate weather lets vacationers and residents enjoy the food, history and outdoor amenities that make Charleston enticing.
Food in Charleston
Home to some of the South’s best comforting classics, there is no difficulty finding superb southern BBQ in Charleston. Charleston has it all, from fried chicken to whole hog barbecue and characteristic Carolina Gold sauce.
Beyond authentic Southern eats, the city is home to a great variety of restaurant options. The highest density of eateries is in the downtown area, but many great spots are scattered throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. Whether on Sullivan’s Island or West Ashley, you are close to exquisite food.
Explore Charleston’s history
Charleston, a city in the first 13 colonies, has a long and storied history that makes your warm winter getaway an interesting experience. Charleston was originally settled in 1670 and was the location of important battles in the American Revolution and the Civil War. The oldest theater in America, the Dock Street Theatre, is located in Charleston, and you can still catch a production there today.
Charleston is not without dark past events, as it was a prominent location for the slave trade. You can learn about all the epochs of Charleston’s history in the Charleston Museum.
Charleston offers excellent outdoor activities for golfers, hikers and nature lovers. Home to the birthplace of American golf, Harleston Green, the golf tradition has expanded to include 32 golf courses within a 20-mile range of the city.
For avid hikers and nature lovers, the Palmetto Trail runs through Charleston as a part of its 350-mile interstate expanse. The Caw Caw Interpretive Center also teaches visitors about Charleston’s unique ecosystem.
Winter Homes in Charleston
Maybe you have already visited Charleston and fallen in love with its warm weather and southern vibe. If you are considering a winter home in the Charleston area, a few options stand out.
Folly Beach is a quiet town only eight miles from downtown Charleston. Kiawah Island is a golfer’s paradise with seven courses and a nature lover’s dream with classic barrier island palmettos and pristine beaches.
Folly Beach real estate
Folly Beach is surrounded by water, with six miles of beach on one side and a beautiful river on the other. While during summer it becomes a bustling tourist destination, in the winter it is a calmer small town. At any time, it has fun nightlife activities and is close enough to Charleston to access all the food and amenities of the big city.
There are various Folly Beach real estate options ranging from apartment villas to large historic homes and modern houses to accommodate any family.
Kiawah Island real estate
Kiawah Island is a little more than an hour south of Charleston, keeping it within a day trip away while offering a slower pace of life. The town has abundant wildlife viewing at multiple parks, beaches galore and plenty of golf. The homes in this area are a bit older, usually built between the 1970s and 1990s, and their craftsmanship is on display. Kiawah Island real estate delivers for those interested in a connection to nature and quiet living in their winter getaway. You can check dunesproperties.com for more information.
Winter Vacation in San Antonio
Maybe beaches are not your thing, but you still want a warm winter getaway full of good food, fascinating history and unique outdoor adventures. San Antonio, Texas might be the destination for you. Famous for its many historical Missions and tex-mex restaurants, San Antonio is sure to be a welcome change of pace for those living through a cold winter.
San Antonio is home to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park that features the beautiful architecture of old Spanish Missions. The Alamo is the most famous of the Missions with its unique Texan history. There is also outdoor shopping in the historic Market Square, where great food options and local art vendors are abundant.
San Antonio has invested in its pedestrian attractions, making it a great winter vacation location. Check out the famous San Antonio Riverwalk that runs 15 miles and connects visitors with all the best historical sites, restaurants and shops the city has to offer.
Dining in San Antonio
San Antonio is home to multiple cuisines unique to Texas. Tex-mex is Mexican food with heavy influences of Texan cuisine that results in classic Mexican dishes with large portions of beef, peppers and flour tortillas. Traditional Tex-Mex dishes include carne asada fajitas and brisket enchiladas.
San Antonio also has many high-quality barbecue options and two spots in America’s top 50 BBQ joints. Smoky flavors characterize Texas BBQ in brisket, pork ribs and sausages. With Texas BBQ and Tex-Mex, San Antonio has comfort food to match the comfortable winter weather.
Day trips from San Antonio
The advantages of a vacation in San Antonio expand beyond its city lines as Austin and the Texas Hill Country are only an hour’s drive out of the city. Austin offers a bustling change of pace from San Antonio. It is an eclectic music hub and is home to contemporary restaurants among classic barbecue spots.
The Texas Hill Country is a quiet escape from the cities and has many wineries. San Antonio is the perfect home base to explore three unique locales in Texas.
Best Places to Stay in San Antonio
San Antonio has all the amenities people want in winter vacation, and the hotel options are no exception. Choose from luxurious hotels in the Pearl District or along the riverwalk and mid-range options close to all the city’s historical monuments.
Within the cultural center of San Antonio, the Pearl District, is Hotel Emma, a luxurious hotel housed in a former 19th-century brewery. The Pearl District has bountiful food and shopping options and a jazz bar. The hotel itself is home to a trendy restaurant with great views and a rooftop swimming pool.
Mokara Hotel & Spa
The Mokara Hotel & Spa is in the heart of the San Antonio River Walk, giving patrons easy access to all the best amenities the River Walk offers. Its spacious rooms have views of the river and the city with elegant interiors. The Mokara also has a rooftop swimming pool with a cafe and a restaurant.
La Hacienda Inn – Riverwalk/Alamodome
For a budget-conscious traveler, it is hard to beat the La Hacienda Inn. It is a 15-minute walk to downtown and is across the street from an entrance onto the Riverwalk. Its rustic Texan furnishings give it a unique style unmatched by bigger hotel chains.
Escape the Cold this Winter
With such great options in Charleston and San Antonio, it’s no surprise many people make a trip to these warm vacation locations. Both cities boast plenty of attractions to keep you entertained all season. Whether you want a winter home or a revitalizing vacation, a warm winter getaway to Charleston or San Antonio will leave you with incredible memories.