Now that the holidays have passed, travelers' schedules may be limited. But that doesn't stop us from scratching our incurable travel itch.
We might just have to sacrifice a weeklong trip and narrow it down to a fun weekend getaway. There's nothing wrong with that this time of year, especially since the U.S. has so many cool spots to spend a few days.
We all know the iconic cities of the U.S., but there are some sunny, underrated gems that are easily accessible and just the right size to squeeze in a weekend getaway during the dead of winter.
If there is one thing we can all agree on, we are all seeking a sunny escape this time of year. While places like Miami and Orlando steal Florida's thunder, there are underrated cities like Tampa perfectly suited for a weekend away.
There's no Disney World here, but an easy explorable city awaits near some of Florida's top beaches.
Commonly in the 70s in January, Tampa is perfect for packing shorts for a nice bike ride or beach day.
Nearby Anna Maria island is an amazing tropical escape along with top-rated Clearwater and Siesta Keys.
And best of all, prices tend to drop in winter to splurge more on top-notch experiences and dining, such as the very underrated Cuban food scene.
Phoenix may be a much larger city, but those seeking a desert escape may want to opt for the trendy neighboring city of Scottsdale.
Home to the scenic Camelback Mountains and oodles of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife options, Scottsdale is worth a weekend splurge.
Arizona has sweltering summers. So much so that you may find yourself on the free shuttle in Scottsdale just for the A/C.
Winter makes for a great time to enjoy a much milder climate to wander the streets of Old Town or sit poolside at the many luxurious hotels to choose from.
Outdoor lovers can take in the surrounding scenery with plentiful hiking trails or play a round of 18 holes.
Orange County, California
While technically not a city itself, Orange County is a cluster of smaller cities suited for weekend getaways.
Rather than fly into San Diego or Los Angeles, Orange County does have its own airport with plenty of flights nationwide.
Upon landing, travelers can take their pick between the high-end shopping of Newport Beach, the luxurious lifestyle of Laguna Beach, or activate their inner child for a day at Disneyland in Anaheim.
Ritzy hotels are spread throughout Orange County, which is the hometown of some of Southern California's prettiest beaches.
San Antonio, Texas
Just an hour south of Austin is a city with a completely different personality but well-suited for a memorable weekend.
A city made for restaurant patios, San Antonio is one of the top foodie destinations in America, where travelers can indulge in a variety of Mexican cuisine and margarita sippin'.
Home to an easily walkable downtown district with historical sights, luxury hotels, and the famous Riverwalk, travelers will have no problem staying busy and resting comfortably.
And, of course, you can't skip out on the local Mexican markets.
Palm Springs, California
As an LGBTQ hotspot, come one, come all – Palm Springs is happy to have you. This quirky city has a historic past of being a popular escape for celebrities but is more known for nearby music festivals nearby Joshua Tree National Park nowadays.
You can easily jam-pack your weekend with all sorts of fun here with lavish hotels, trendy restaurants, and good vibes galore.
Palm Springs is typically a sunny escape in winter, so don't be fooled when you fly in over snowcapped mountains.
South Padre Island, Texas
Commonly a Spring Break destination, a winter break in South Padre is nice too. While Texas is generally underrated for beaches, South Padre may be the best of all.
Some may argue Port Aransas, but South Padre has better winter weather and cheap beachfront resorts to enjoy picturesque beaches before the college crowds soon take over.
Vacationers can fly into nearby Brownsville and hit the beach for a weekend of sunny days lounging around, going on dolphin tours, or barhopping with more elbow room in the winter season.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.