If you're anything like us, you tolerate winter with muffled grumbles, counting down the days until summer begins. Get out of dodge instead -- these tropical winter vacation destinations offer families plenty of beaches, hotels with swimming pools and outdoor activities to entertain the entire family, free from hibernation.


TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
39 Family Reviews
Did you know the Bahamas consists of 30 inhabited islands? In the duty-free hubs of Freeport and Nassau, as well as neighboring Paradise Island, the beach life includes the high life -- giant casinos, glitzy restaurants, and duty-free shops. Another side of the Bahamas includes the Out Islands, where you can relax in quiet settings, unscathed by the hand of modernity. The one commonality that binds all of these diverse islands together is the surrounding ocean. Azure waters, whose temperatures range from 75 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, are fringed by pearly white or pink beaches. Pick an island, any island, and you can't help but find an excellent beach and warm waters.

Then there are the Exumas, even less developed than Harbour Island. With crystal-clear water, uninhabited islands to picnic, and soft, rolling hills, this is the place to go if you and the kids want a tropical winter vacation. The Tropic of Cancer runs directly through George Town, the capital and principal settlement of the Exumas. Whether it's the action on Grand Bahama, New Providence and Paradise Islands or the quiet solitude of the Out Islands, any Bahamian island will do.

Recommended Hotel: Atlantis Resort


TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
8194 Family Reviews
In Cancun, the shores bloom with high-rise hotels, creating a bustle that teens and 20-somethings find especially exciting. Except for March and April, when Cancun fills with partying undergraduates on spring break, the area has much to offer families, from all-inclusive hotels to a variety of restaurants. Snorkeling, diving and shopping are also available, as well as easy access to the Yucatan's attractions. The city is found in Riviera Maya, which offers much that makes Mexico's Caribbean so special. You and your family can swim and snorkel in cenotes, sinkholes formed by underground rivers; splash at eco-adventure parks; explore magnificent Maya ruins and sun on white-sand beaches. The Riviera Maya, less densely developed than Cancun's Hotel Zone (30 minutes to the north) also offers a range of resorts, from moderately priced lodging to luxury properties, plus a range of all-inclusive family-friendly resorts.

Most of Cancun's guestrooms crowd together in the densely developed 15-mile hotel zone, whereas the Riviera Maya's accommodations are spread over 86 miles, allowing for more greenery. Officially, the Riviera Maya stretches along Mexico's Caribbean coast for 86 miles, from just south of Puerto Morelos to Punta Allen. However, some maps include Puerto Morelos as part of the Riviera Maya.

Recommended Hotel: Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort

Costa Rica

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
499 Family Reviews
Costa Rica continually amazes us. In the rain forests, parakeets twitter, howler monkeys scamper from branch to branch, sloths hide in the crooks of trees and scarlet macaws take flight. You can float along mangrove-lined canals, view active and dormant volcanoes, lounge on beaches and, in season, watch turtles nest. An ecologically aware country, Costa Rica protects much of its land as parks, refuges or reserves. Costa Rica is also eminently family-friendly. It's safe (the "ticos" like Americans) and affordable, with hotel rooms and restaurants costing less than those in many U.S. cities and Caribbean islands. The only "problem" for visitors is the temptation to try to do it all in one vacation. Our advice? Don't. Avoid spending too much time on the road. Instead, pick a few regions to visit during your warm weather winter vacation with the kids, and select one hotel in each area to use as a base for day trips.

Recommended Hotel: Si Como No

Dominican Republic

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
3291 Family Reviews
The Dominican Republic boasts both the tallest point in the Caribbean -- Pico Duarte, which rises more than 10,100 feet -- and the lowest point -- Lake Enriquillo, which falls 131 feet below sea level. Add rain forest, cacti-studded desert, 16 national parks and nearly 1,000 miles of coastline lacing the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and you have one of the best warm winter getaways for families. When you have a spare moment, layer on the lotion and go play. Punta Cana, on the eastern tip of the island, is one of the most popular destinations in the entire Caribbean. In the winter months, several hundred flights a week arrive at the Punta Cana International Airport to whisk the European and American crowd over to the growing legion of all-inclusive resorts.

Recommended Hotel: Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa


TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
945 Family Reviews
In Florida, head south and you'll find the vibrant cities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami on the east coast; on the west coast, it's Sanibel and Capitva Islands and Tampa. Further south and you're in the Florida Keys, worlds away from the rest of the state and Florida's own Caribbean islands. And, of course, smack dab in the center is the home of the mouse: Walt Disney World. You can't go wrong with a warm weather winter vacation in Florida!

Recommended Hotel: Southernmost on the Beach


TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
1063 Family Reviews
Brimming with posh resorts and hotels, incredible dining and exciting family activities, it almost seems impossible that Hawaii could hold any more beauty and pleasure. Ah, but we didn't mention the beaches. Like beauty queens who rack up titles, Hawaii's white-, red- and black-sand beaches are consistently ranked among the best. Maui is the second-largest of the eight Hawaiian islands and is basically a chain of small towns and hip beach havens. Sprawling luxury resorts thrive in Maui, thanks to the millions of visitors who flock to paradise each year, but Maui also has condos and value accommodations for those willing to do the research.

Recommended Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea


TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
2009 Family Reviews
Families underestimate the size of Jamaica. Driving from one end to the other can take close to six hours. Yet, within its confines are some of the finest stretches of coastline in the Caribbean, offering the lush Blue Mountains that rise from its core. In Montego Bay and Negril, ladies with baskets of tropical fruit perched on their heads stroll the beaches, slicing and dicing sugary pineapples or butter-soft papayas faster than a chef at a Japanese steakhouse. The all-inclusive resorts just outside of Ocho Rios continue to make the town a top family destination, especially when you want to escape the snow. Hang at the beach to swim and sail, or head outside the resort to climb Dunn's River Falls. Guides escort families up through the cascading water as they climb the 600-foot-high waterfall. Other nearby excursions include taking a tube down a clear stream in the mountains above the city, horseback riding along a quiet stretch of the coast and taking a drive to the birthplace of reggae legend Bob Marley.

Recommended Hotel: IBEROSTAR Rose Hall Suites

Puerto Rico

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
390 Family Reviews
More than one warm weather getaway is required to explore all that Puerto Rico offers with your family. With seven square blocks of cobbled streets, Old San Juan delights families with centuries-old forts, as well as art galleries, cafes and boutiques. The forts, the oldest European constructions in the National Park Service, along with the ancient city walls and the governor's mansion, have been designated a World Heritage Site. Beyond San Juan, there's much to see and do. On the "mainland," hike the rain forest, explore caves, and snorkel through schools of rainbow-colored fish. On Vieques and Culebra, Puerto Rico's offshore islands, enjoy a laid-back, uncrowded Caribbean idyll.

Recommended Hotel: El Conquistador Resort

Southern California

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
2755 Family Reviews
Southern California is a region brimming with adventure and wonder galore. The upside to the region is that there are attractions, incredible restaurants, museums and memorable hotels sprinkled liberally throughout the many neighborhoods and communities that make the San Diego region, well, San Diego. And all this is under the most sublime weather (with the exception of May Gray and June Gloom). The downside is that choosing how to spend your time in the area is no small feat. Coronado or LEGOLAND? La Jolla or the Gaslamp Quarter? A Padres game or SeaWorld? You see the dilemma...

Recommended Hotel: Hotel del Coronado

U.S. Virgin Islands

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
155 Family Reviews
Long with beautiful beaches, first-rate snorkeling, Caribbean culture and easy accessibility from the states, the U.S. Virgin Islands come with a reassuring sense of familiarity; after all, English is the primary language, the U.S. dollar is the currency and U.S. citizens do not need passports. St. Thomas, home to the busy port and USVI capital Charlotte Amalie, bustles with cruise passengers and other vacationers drawn as much to the island's beaches as they are to its abundant shops.

St. Croix, the largest of the USVI in land mass, remains less developed than St. Thomas. On St. Croix, you can drive through 15 acres of dense vegetation dubbed a "rain forest" by islanders and spot the stone ruins of more than 100 once-thriving sugar plantations in the countryside.

St. John is our favorite of the islands. Two-thirds of the 28-square-mile island -- 9,500 acres of land plus surrounding reefs -- are protected as the Virgin Islands National Park, part of the U.S. National Park Service. The park is not only St. John's main attraction, but it's also the jewel of the USVI for its snorkeling, beaches and natural scenery. Trails wind up and over hills, through tall, tropical trees and some end at the island's white sand beaches. At Trunk Bay, a popular snorkeling site, you can follow an underwater trail through the reef.

Recommended Hotel: Caneel Bay Resort

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Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas Reviews
Superman - Aug 21st, 2016

We booked 7 nights at this resort in what was supposed to be 2 adjoining rooms for our family of 5. When we arrived they told us that they were out of rooms and we would have to stay in two rooms on opposite ends of the hotel. After talking to ... read more
FrankM - Dec 31st, 2015

We have been to Atlantis on five occasions over the last several years and just returned from our most recent trip. To put the latest trip into perspective; there was five of us and we had two rooms in the Royal Towers, Atlantis meal plan and opted ... read more
Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas reviews
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort Reviews
Samantha - Apr 25th, 2016

We just had our second visit to Moon palace and this visit was just as amazing as our first. So many ammenities for kids of all ages. My kids are 11 and 13 now but our first visit was 3 years ago and I felt the same way! We feel safe here and ... read more
Judy K - Dec 31st, 2015

We vacationed here from Christmas day until the 30th. We had heard that it was an amazing 5 star resort. When we arrived, they tried to put us in a far away room in Sunrise. Fortunately, my friend is a travel agent and told us where to request to be ... read more
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort reviews
Si Como No Reviews
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Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa Reviews
isabelle - Oct 14th, 2011

Although we are not beachy people, coming from an island ourselves, we were intrigued by the deals we were getting at various ALL INCLUSIVE resorts during the shoulder season - KIDS STAY and EAT FREE is always an eye catcher, and that various ... read more
Griswalds - Aug 10th, 2010

After the referal and the research we headed to Dominican Republic. Other than Jetblue's scam at airport checkin to get $30 extra per person for seats we already paid for the flight was thankfully uneventful. The hotel's van was at the airport ... read more
Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa reviews
Southernmost on the Beach Reviews
rcbaird - Apr 27th, 2011

My daughter, age 12, and I recently returned from our first trip to Key West and a four-night stay at Southernmost on the Beach. This hotel is every bit as nice--and even better--than all the rave reviews indicate. From the moment of our arrival to ... read more
Southernmost on the Beach reviews
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Reviews
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IBEROSTAR Rose Hall Suites Reviews
shawannaturner - Apr 3rd, 2013

Me and my boyfriend first time on vacation/airplane/outside the country was for my 28th birthday. We flew into the airport in Jamaica were the bus was waiting to take us to the the Iberostar Resort. The bus driver was very nice and told us what to ... read more
burndoc - Oct 2nd, 2009

Destination Rose Hall Jamaica. This was our 3rd trip to the Iberostar Rose hall and our first stay at the new section Iberostar Suites. Every year my brother and I take our families to Jamaica for a week of sun and fun in July. We chose Jamaica ... read more
IBEROSTAR Rose Hall Suites reviews
Hotel El Convento Reviews
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Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Reviews
lorikeet8 - Aug 15th, 2014

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel is pretty expensive but you are paying for the service, quality, and location. It is literally steps from Disneyland's California Adventure. The hotel has it's own entrance and it makes it so easy especially with ... read more
jkreps - May 18th, 2014

We decided to splurge and go to Disneyland for a birthday, and the title is what my child had to say as we walked in. I also had a baby at the time so with little kids in mind, this location cannot be beat. I never stressed about leaving anything ... read more
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa reviews
Caneel Bay Resort Reviews
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