16 Best Places to Travel in February
The month of February is about the time when people are itching for a vacation to either get out of the cold weather climates in the Northern Hemisphere or to take advantage of great airfares and hotel rates in destinations that are more expensive in the summer months. In the United States there are popular February festivals, like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and destinations in Florida, that attract snowbirds fleeing for the winter.
In places like New Zealand, where it is summertime in February, the trip is nice because you get the best weather to experience the many outdoor activities available.
For more ideas on where to go, see our list of the best places to travel in February.
1. Experience Carnaval de Nice in Nice, France
If you want a fun way to experience France beyond the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the lavender fields in Provence then heading to Nice in February to take in the famed Carnaval de Nice is one way to do it. This city on the French Riviera hosts one of the oldest celebrations of Carnival in Europe. The celebrations run mid-February through early March and consist of parades, elaborate floats, fresh flowers, and performers.
Spend some time in Place Messena, the old city, where many of the parades originate to experience the root of the historical Carnival celebrations. Due to the popularity of Carnival, plan your travel bookings early for the best availability.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nice: Best Areas & Hotels
- Read More:
- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nice
2. Visit the Southernmost Tip of the U.S. in Key West, Florida
Pretty much anywhere you go in Florida in February is going to guarantee sunshine for your getaway, but Key West should top your list. The island is at the southernmost tip of the United States, so the mid-winter temperatures are tropical, and every day can be a beach day.
There are fewer tourists to Key West this time of year, so the hotels and resorts will have more availability, and rates will start to decline by late in the month. You will also find fewer people on the beach and at key local attractions, like the home of Ernest Hemingway, and on snorkeling and boat excursions.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Key West
3. Head to New Orleans for Mardi Gras
New Orleans, Louisiana is hands-down one of the best places to travel in February because of Mardi Gras. For many travelers who set out to experience the costumes, celebrations, and parades in the city, they plan a year or more in advance to lock in their hotel and airfare for this bucket-list experience.
You can expect travel rates to be high in February and availability tight, but that is the trade-off for the one-of-a-kind experience that you can only get in New Orleans, and only in February. If you are looking for a more family-friendly version of Mardi Gras events or want fewer crowds, plan your travel for the several weekends before Fat Tuesday.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in New Orleans
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- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New Orleans
4. Sightsee in the Off-Season in Madrid, Spain
The month of February is a great time to visit Madrid, Spain because it is the off-season. This means you will have less crowds than during the busy summer months, as well as cooler temperatures (Spain can get quite hot), and you can find discounts on hotels and airfare.
Madrid can get chilly in the evenings in February, but there are plenty of tapas restaurants to step into for a bite to eat and to warm up. Madrid has many popular attractions like the Prado Museum and Royal Palace and Gardens to visit, so fewer tourists means that you can see more of them in less time.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Madrid: Best Areas & Hotels
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- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Madrid
5. Spend Summer in Auckland, New Zealand
February is summertime in New Zealand, which is why it is an ideal time to go to Auckland. Since so many activities are outside, this is a great month to take advantage of the comfortable conditions and natural elements. There's a lot of ground to cover in New Zealand, so if you are a first-timer, Auckland is a great base.
There is also an international airport, so travel to and from Auckland will be easy, and you can watch for airfare deals. There are many tours available to explore Auckland, but if you want to venture out on your own, you can start with the Auckland Bridge Climb or stroll through the city's many museums.
6. See the Attractions of Zagreb, Croatia
Two great reasons to travel to Zagreb, Croatia in February are fewer crowds and more comfortable temperatures. Hotel rates will also be at their lowest. If skiing versus beaches is on your mid-winter itinerary, then you will find some of the best slopes on Mount Sljeme near the capital of Zagreb or the Croatian Olympic Center, the largest ski resort in Croatia, which you can get to by train, car, and bus from the capital city.
Stick to Zagreb and larger cities, as many hotels along the coastal villages are closed this time of year. Be mindful of the Feast of St. Blaise festival in early February and Carnival celebrations the third week in February, which could impact lodging availability.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Zagreb: Best Areas & Hotels
7. Ski Steamboat Springs, Colorado
For those who do not want to escape the winter weather, but instead embrace it for the skiing opportunities, a trip to Steamboat Springs in February is in order. This is a popular time to visit the Colorado ski city. It is also slightly less expensive than other top Colorado ski destinations, like Vail and Aspen, so you can plan an extra day or two to hit the slopes.
There are nearly 3,000 acres available to ski and 169 trails. With hundreds of cabins, hotels, resorts, and lodges available, you can find accommodations to package with lift tickets but plan your trip several months ahead to get the best rates.
8. Tour Italy
While many tourists steer clear of Italy in February, that is exactly the reason many travel agents advocate that it's the best time to visit. Prices are rock bottom in this off-season month, meaning that you can get affordable hotels, airfare, and travel packages. February is the best month to visit Italy if budget concerns prevent you from visiting during the warmer months of the year. Another perk in February? Almost no crowds as you make your way through museums and travel to various cities.
February in Italy warrants special considerations to make the most of your trip. Stick with the southern regions of Italy, like Sicily, Abruzzo, Calabria, and Puglia, where the weather is more comfortable than the mountainous regions, unless you plan to take advantage of a skiing vacation. The exception to the discount prices in February is in Venice, where the Carnevale celebrations take place.
- Read More:
- Best Places to Visit in Italy
9. Take a Trip to Singapore
Visiting Singapore in February is one of the most comfortable times to vacation here, and this is the month with endless visual spectacles that will enhance your experience. This Southeast Asian island usually serves up oppressive heat, but the temperatures are milder in February. It is also the month that experiences the least rain and humidity and has sunny skies most days. Travel to Singapore is relatively easy, so you can keep an eye out for airfare alerts.
With comfortable weather, you can visit the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Zoo, the Botanic Gardens, and Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. Since February is when the Chinese New Year occurs, you will also be treated to the celebrations at Marina Bay, with dancers, brightly-lit paper lanterns, and a festival atmosphere.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Singapore: Best Areas & Hotels
- Read More:
- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Singapore
10. Visit Israel
A trip to Israel in February can be an exciting vacation. Temperatures are cooler as winter comes to an end, birds are migrating, and spring flowers are starting to bloom. You will want to pack a light jacket if you are planning tours in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv or heading to any of the northern cities, but you will not have to combat sweltering heat while exploring the outdoor sites.
With fewer tourists, you can visit all of the attractions and sites without lines. This is a great time of year to score lower prices on nice hotel rooms and top tour guides.
11. Escape the Crowds in Portugal
While cities in Portugal are popular summer vacation spots, February offers nice weather, fewer crowds, and great prices, making for a great vacation. Portugal has plenty of sunshine in February and T-shirt worthy temperatures.
Lisbon is slightly cooler, but if you head 126 kilometers north to Nazaré, you can log some beach time. That is also where you can catch one of the best ocean spectacles in the world as surfers tackle mountainous waves that reach over 30 meters.
If you want to take advantage of the outdoors, you can also base yourself in Madeira, which is part of the island chain off Portugal. It also has nice weather and low prices in February.
- Read More:
- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Portugal
12. Dive, Snorkel & Enjoy the Beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania
A vacation in Zanzibar in February is one of the best times to visit this Tanzanian island. It is when you will find a dry and hot climate and unforgettable sunsets. It is the best time of the year for diving and snorkeling, when the water is its clearest, giving you a front row observation of sea turtles, dolphins, stunning coral formations, and other sea life.
Book a private oceanside bungalow for a luxury getaway, but be prepared to pay. This trip is well worth saving for just to have the opportunity. When you are not basking at the beach, you can tour the Spice Island farms or plan a tour through the rainforest to see local wildlife.
13. Escape to the Caribbean in St. Kitts & Nevis
Tourists flock to the Caribbean in the winter months, so it is high season in St. Kitts but it is one of the best times to visit this tropical paradise. Be prepared to pay high rates for hotels and resorts, and book at least four months in advance to get the best availability.
February in St. Kitts is sunny and dry with perfect beach conditions. Trek to the top of Brimstone Hill Fortress for a panoramic view of the island or log some time in a hammock on Cockleshell Beach on the southern tip of the island. For fewer crowds, you can stay or plan a day trip to neighboring Nevis, which has fewer accommodations but a quieter experience.
14. Explore Manila & the Philippines
Visiting Manila during the dry season, which includes February, is one of the best ways to experience this busy city in the Philippines. The archipelago is made up of 7,000 islands, so there is no shortage of places to explore, but the busy capital of Manila has many museums, gardens, markets, and malls. The rainy season is unforgiving and is often accompanied by flooding that can keep you stuck inside of your hotel.
To take advantage of the beaches and lagoons of the Philippines without the rains and typhoons to disrupt your vacation, you can hop on domestic flights to several other islands during your stay. You can start in Manila and make your way to islands like Boracay, Bohol, or Palawan for hiking and snorkeling. You can stay in the Luzon region and explore the stunning rice terraces or even visit some of the northern tribal regions that still exist.
15. Discover the Best of Abu Dhabi, UAE
From a weather standpoint, February is one of the best months to visit Abu Dhabi, when temperatures are comfortable for sitting on the beach and exploring the attractions. Other times of the year, especially June through August, the sweltering temperatures can be a deterrent to going outside.
This is also a popular time for tourists, because it is the most comfortable time, so plan on paying a premium for hotels, especially if you plan to stay at one of the many luxury accommodations in the city. Also plan for crowds.
February is a great time to experience the best of Abu Dhabi, from its massive malls to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; The Corniche area; and a visit to Emirates Palace resort, which is worth exploring even if you can't afford to stay here.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi: Best Areas & Hotels
16. Experience Beaches & Volcanoes in Maui, Hawaii
The month of February is a sweet-spot opportunity to visit the Hawaiian island of Maui. It has ideal weather conditions, and in February, you are in-between winter vacationers and the onslaught of spring break visitors. You will still find higher rates this time of the year for hotel rooms and airfare, but it is the ideal time to visit-especially for whale-watching.
This is also when you will find nearly ideal weather conditions for hitting Wailea or Kaanapali beach, snorkeling, or catching a sunrise at the top of Haleakala National Park volcano. There is so much to do in Maui that you can fill your itinerary, from the morning cup of coffee to the evening luau, or have no agenda at all.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts on Maui
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Best Ski Trips in February: If a February ski vacation is on your radar, you will want to consider some of the best ski resorts in Europe, Italy, Austria, or Switzerland. In the United States, look to the ski resorts in Colorado or Utah. If you are heading to the other side of the country, see our list of the best ski resorts on the East Coast. You can also consider a more general winter vacation in the United States, enjoying the outdoors by cross-country skiing in Wisconsin or dogsledding in Alaska.
Warm-Weather Winter Trips in February: If a warmer climate sounds better, then you will want to look into some of the beaches in the Caribbean or the best snorkeling destinations in the world. Find inspiration in our list of the best luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.