People are itching for a vacation in February to either escape the cold weather climates of the Northern Hemisphere or to take advantage of low airfares and hotel rates in destinations that are more expensive during the summer months. Popular February festivals in the United States, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans and destinations in Florida, attract snowbirds fleeing for the winter.
In places like New Zealand, where it is summer in February, the trip is enjoyable because you get the best weather to enjoy the many outdoor activities on offer.
See our list of the best places to visit in February for more inspiration.
Table of Contents
- 1 Southernmost Tip of the U.S. in Key West, Florida
- 2 Carnaval de Nice in Nice, France
- 3 New Orleans for Mardi Gras
- 4 Madrid, Spain
- 5 Auckland, New Zealand
- 6 Zagreb, Croatia
- 7 Ski Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- 8 Tour Italy
- 9 Singapore
- 10 Israel
- 11 Portugal
- 12 St. Kitts & Nevis
- 13 Manila & the Philippines
- 14 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Southernmost Tip of the U.S. in Key West, Florida
Almost anywhere in Florida in February will guarantee sunshine for your getaway, but Key West should be at the top of your list. Because the island is located at the southernmost point of the United States, the mid-winter temperatures are tropical, and every day can be a beach day.
Because there are fewer tourists in Key West this time of year, hotels and resorts will have more availability, and rates will begin to fall by the end of the month. There will also be fewer people on the beach and at key local attractions such as Ernest Hemingway’s home, as well as on snorkeling and boat excursions.
If you want to go beyond the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the lavender fields in Provence, one fun way to experience France is to go to Nice in February for the famed Carnaval de Nice. This city on the French Riviera hosts one of Europe’s oldest Carnival celebrations. The festivities last from mid-February to early March and include parades, elaborate floats, fresh flowers, and performers.
Spend some time in Place Messena, the old city, where many of the parades begin, to get a sense of the history of the Carnival celebrations. Because of the popularity of Carnival, make your travel plans early to ensure the best availability.
New Orleans for Mardi Gras
Because of Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in February. Many visitors who set out to experience the city’s costumes, celebrations, and parades plan a year or more in advance to secure their hotel and airfare for this bucket-list experience.
Expect high travel rates and limited availability in February, but this is the price to pay for the one-of-a-kind experience that you can only get in New Orleans, and only in February. If you want a more family-friendly version of Mardi Gras events or fewer crowds, plan your trip for the weekends preceding Fat Tuesday.
Because it is the off-season, February is an excellent time to visit Madrid, Spain. This means fewer crowds than during the busy summer months, cooler temperatures (Spain can get quite hot), and better deals on hotels and airfare.
In February, Madrid can get a little chilly in the evenings, but there are plenty of tapas restaurants to warm up in. There are many popular attractions in Madrid to visit, such as the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace and Gardens, so fewer tourists means you can see more of them in less time.
Auckland, New Zealand
In New Zealand, February is summer, so it’s a great time to visit Auckland. Because so many activities take place outside, this is an excellent month to take advantage of the pleasant weather and natural elements. There’s a lot to see in New Zealand, so if you’re a first-time visitor, Auckland is a great place to start.
There is also an international airport, so getting to and from Auckland will be simple, and you can keep an eye out for airfare deals. There are many tours available to explore Auckland, but if you want to go it alone, start with the Auckland Bridge Climb or a stroll through the city’s many museums.
Fewer crowds and warmer temperatures are two excellent reasons to visit Zagreb, Croatia in February. Hotel rates will also be at an all-time low. If skiing versus beaches is on your mid-winter itinerary, some of the best slopes can be found on Mount Sljeme near the capital of Zagreb or at the Croatian Olympic Center, Croatia’s largest ski resort, which can be reached by train, car, or bus from the capital city.
Many hotels along the Croatian coast are closed this time of year, so stick to Zagreb and larger cities. Keep in mind that the Feast of St. Blaise festival in early February and Carnival celebrations in the third week of February may have an impact on lodging availability.
Ski Steamboat Springs, Colorado
A trip to Steamboat Springs in February is recommended for those who do not want to escape the winter weather but rather embrace it for the skiing opportunities. This is a popular time to visit Colorado’s ski town. It is also slightly less expensive than other top Colorado ski destinations such as Vail and Aspen, allowing you to spend an extra day or two on the slopes.
Skiing is available on nearly 3,000 acres with 169 trails. You can find accommodations to package with lift tickets at hundreds of cabins, hotels, resorts, and lodges, but plan your trip several months ahead to get the best rates.
While many tourists avoid Italy in February, this is precisely why many travel agents recommend it as the best time to visit. Prices are at an all-time low in this off-season month, which means you can get cheap hotels, flights, and vacation packages. If budget constraints prevent you from visiting during the warmer months of the year, February is the best month to visit Italy. Another benefit in February? There are almost no crowds as you visit museums and travel to different cities.
February in Italy necessitates special considerations in order to make the most of your trip. Unless you plan to go skiing, stick to the southern regions of Italy, such as Sicily, Abruzzo, Calabria, and Puglia, where the weather is more pleasant than in the mountainous regions. The exception to the February discount prices in Venice, where the Carnevale celebrations take place.
Visiting Singapore in February is one of the most comfortable times to visit, and it is also the month with the most visual spectacles, which will enhance your experience. This Southeast Asian island is notorious for its oppressive heat, but temperatures are milder in February. It is also the month with the least amount of rain and humidity, with most days having sunny skies. Traveling to Singapore is relatively simple, so keep an eye out for airfare deals.
When the weather is nice, you can go to the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Zoo, Botanic Gardens, and Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. Because the Chinese New Year falls in February, you will also be treated to the celebrations at Marina Bay, which include dancers, brightly lit paper lanterns, and a festival atmosphere.
A February trip to Israel can be an exciting vacation. As winter draws to a close, temperatures are cooling, birds are migrating, and spring flowers are blooming. If you are planning tours in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv or traveling to any of the northern cities, bring a light jacket, but you will not have to contend with sweltering heat while exploring the outdoor sites.
With fewer tourists, you can visit all of the attractions and sites without having to wait in long lines. This is an excellent time of year to get a good deal on nice hotel rooms and top tour guides.
While cities in Portugal are popular summer vacation destinations, February offers nice weather, fewer crowds, and low prices, making for an excellent vacation. In February, Portugal has plenty of sunshine and temperatures warm enough for a T-shirt.
Lisbon is slightly cooler, but if you travel 126 kilometers north to Nazaré, you can spend some time on the beach. This is also where you can see one of the best ocean spectacles in the world, with surfers battling mountainous waves reaching over 30 meters in height.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you can also stay in Madeira, which is part of the island chain off the coast of Portugal. In February, it also has nice weather and low prices.
St. Kitts & Nevis
Tourists flock to the Caribbean during the winter months, so St. Kitts is busy, but it is also one of the best times to visit this tropical paradise. Expect to pay high rates for hotels and resorts, and book at least four months in advance to ensure availability.
St. Kitts in February is sunny and dry, with ideal beach conditions. Trek to the top of Brimstone Hill Fortress for a panoramic view of the island, or relax in a hammock on Cockleshell Beach on the island’s southern tip. You can stay or plan a day trip to neighboring Nevis, which has fewer accommodations but a quieter experience if you want to avoid the crowds.
Manila & the Philippines
One of the best times to visit Manila is during the dry season, which includes February. There are 7,000 islands in the archipelago, so there is no shortage of places to visit, but the busy capital of Manila has many museums, gardens, markets, and malls. The rainy season is unforgiving, and it is frequently accompanied by flooding, which can keep you trapped inside your hotel.
You can take advantage of the Philippines’ beaches and lagoons without having to worry about rains and typhoons ruining your vacation by taking domestic flights to several other islands during your stay. You can begin in Manila and travel to islands such as Boracay, Bohol, and Palawan for hiking and snorkeling. You can stay in the Luzon region and explore the stunning rice terraces, or you can visit some of the remaining northern tribal regions.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
In terms of weather, February is one of the best months to visit Abu Dhabi, with temperatures that are ideal for relaxing on the beach and exploring the city’s attractions. Other times of the year, particularly from June to August, the oppressive heat can be a deterrent to going outside.
This is also a popular time for tourists because it is the most comfortable time, so expect to pay a premium for hotels, particularly if you intend to stay at one of the city’s many luxury accommodations. Prepare for crowds as well.
February is a fantastic time to visit Abu Dhabi, from its massive malls to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; The Corniche area; and a visit to the Emirates Palace resort, which is worth exploring even if you can’t afford to stay here.