Looking For Sun : Top Kid-Friendly Winter Sun Destinations - My Family Travels

For families looking to avoid the coldest and darkest months, there are a range of top winter sun destinations worldwide offering a winning combination of culture, physical activity, and sunshine.

An infinity pool with views of the Caribbean from a hilltop on the island of St. Barts.
It’s easy to see why the Caribbean island of St Barts is one of the world’s best winter sun destinations. Photo c. LeCollectionist.com

From the Caribbean to Hawaii, enjoy all of these sunny spots known for their upscale accommodation, outdoor activities, and perfect sandy beaches. The winter sunshine, top-notch facilities, adventure activities and natural scenery are sure to entertain parents and children alike.

St Barts, The Most Chic Winter Sun Destination

A villa bedroom overlooking the sea on the island of St Barts, part of the LeCollectionist villa rental collection.
Savor the views from your luxury villa overlooking the Caribbean and island of St Barts. Photo c. LeCollectionist.com

French-speaking St Barts (also known as Saint Barthélemy or Saint Bart’s) will always have an exclusive feel because this Caribbean island is only accessible by boat or small plane. A luxury stay in St Barth with Le Collectionist offers not only luxury but privacy, too — all in a tropical setting. Relax in infinity pools with views of the Caribbean Sea, all from your own private villa. Don’t worry about being disturbed when you treat yourself to a luxury stay in St Barts with Le Collectionist.

Food in St Barts is always a pleasure. The sophisticated mix of French, Creole, Italian, Asian and West Indian cuisines all influence what locals and visitors eat. There’s something for everyone of all ages and dining experiences for all budgets. From gourmet experiences to informal beach bars, the island has over 70 official restaurants. All are within easy reach, thanks to the island’s compact size. (Saint Bart’s is just 25 sq. kms. or about 10% the size of Toledo, Ohio!)

Other Caribbean Destinations For Winter Sunshine

Three women in Carnival masks are ready for a party.
All ages will enjoy the revelry around Carnival, the pre-Lenten festival celebrated on many Caribbean islands during the winter sun season. Photo c. Mikhail Nilov for pexels.

St Barts is absolutely known as the top playground of the affluent from around the world. Families who want to make a longer trip, however, discover other islands are ideal destinations in their own right. Depending on everyone’s interests, nearby islands also have a lot to offer.

St Martin, for example, is only 30 kilometres away. St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique are also easily reached. These latter two islands are also French speaking. Guadeloupe and Martinqiue are bigger and can offer much in the way of their own unique cultural history and heritage, as well as great food and impressive wildlife.

Towards the end of the winter season, in February or March, each island celebrates with a pre-Lenten Caribbean carnival. Picture a tropical Mardi Gras parade. Think costumes, steel drum bands, dancing, and general revelry.

Costa Rica, Eco-Tourism Capital of the Caribbean

Aerial view of a beach cove in Costa Rica national park.
National parks like Manuel Antonio make Costa Rica a leader in Caribbean eco-tourism. Photo c.Jake Marsee for pexels.

This sunny Central American country is known for its biodiversity and environmental conservation. About one-quarter of its landmass is designated a protected jungle and there are several Costa Rica national parks. The country also has magnificent beaches, with coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. The capital, San Jose, offers cultural and heritage attractions such as the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

Most travelers fly into San Jose and start off in the capital and sightseeing around the nearby Arenal Volcano. Others fly into Liberia and stay at all-inclusive resorts. Don’t miss the island’s adventurous side. Zip-lining through the jungle canopy and taking wildlife tours usually end up as the highlight of most families’ agendas.

Hawaii, The Destination For Sun, Surf And Family Adventures

Tourists watch eruption of Kilauea in September 2023 from the crater rim at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Photo c. NPS
Thrill at the possibility of watching the eruption of Kilauea from the crater rim at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Photo c. NPS Sept. 2023

The US island state of Hawaii is the only part of the US in the tropics. Made up of 137 volcanic islands, this archipelago goes above and beyond in the way of volcanic landscapes, stunning beaches, and local culture.

There are two amazing parks within the state’s big island of Hawaii: Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which make Hawaii a bucket list destination. Additionally, explore the three National Historical Parks. Adventurous families with a love of exploring can’t go wrong. Hawaii is also rightly celebrated for its unique culture and Pacific Islander heritage. Most visitors will want to check out a luau, hula show, or other cultural event while in Hawaii.

Plan Ahead : Tips For All Winter Sun Destinations

Man on horseback rides through surf off Providencials in Turks and Caicos.
Enjoy horseback riding in the surf off Turks and Caicos. Photo by Leonardo Rossetti for pexels.

With high-end cuisine, top-notch accommodation, and an array of activities, any of these destinations would make an ideal winter sun break. Each one gives families a much-needed respite from the winter chill back home, so they are very popular. We advised you book your winter break as early in the year as you can. Avoid the major holidays and travel midweek to secure the best airfares and accommodation rates.

From relaxing moments on the beach to the adrenaline rush of the zipline, every member of the family is sure to make cherished memories.

Author Anaïs Bourgain is a frequent traveler who loves spending time in the sun. She contributed these ideas for the top winter sun destinations for sponsor LeCollectionist, whose teams organize entirely tailor-made holidays.

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