16 Travel Destinations In The US And Abroad That You Should Seriously Consider Visiting In The Offseason

There's no denying that Hawaii in February or the Amalfi Coast in August is incredible. But there's something wonderful about visiting popular destinations during the offseason. Not only can you take advantage of more affordable prices, but you can also escape the crowds. Here are some truly amazing offseason destinations to consider dreaming up for your next getaway.


Snow surrounding a waterfall

Contrary to its wintery name, most travelers actually flock to Iceland in the summer months when 20-hour days stretch into nights. And while there's something to be said for the warmer weather, there's also something totally magical about winter in Iceland.

Snowy weather makes Iceland's many natural hot springs all the more enjoyable, and it's the perfect time for exploring ice caves and glaciers, snow mobile riding, driving the scenic Ring Road, warming up with a bowl of Iceland's iconic fish soup, or chasing the Northern Lights.

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2.New Orleans, Louisiana

Colorful buildings shaded by trees

Before the raucous days of Mardi Gras and the sweltering days of summer, winter is an amazing time to visit New Orleans. Leave behind Dry January when you visit the Big Easy: this party town is always bustling with live jazz on Frenchmen Street, block parties around the French Quarter, lively oyster bars, and festivals.

Warm up with a cocktail at Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel, chow down on world-famous beignets at Cafe du Monde, and admire the leafy mansions that make up the Garden District. Even in the dead of winter, you can easily find 60-degree weather here. You might even get the chance to experience a Reveillon Dinner — a holiday tradition inspired by the Creoles — which has since transformed into a lavish meal you can find at various restaurants around the city.

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3.San Sebastian, Spain

Tapas and wine on a busy street

If there's one reason to visit this city in Spanish Basque Country, it's for the world-famous cuisine. The food in San Sebastian is incredible, and you could easily spend an entire trip here doing nothing but eating and drinking. Spend an afternoon bar hopping and trying different Basque tapas (called Pintxos), or pass a few hours by splurging on a Michelin-starred meal at one of San Sebastian's many acclaimed restaurants like Akelarre or Arzak.

The weather hardly ever gets too cold in San Sebastian, so you can work off some pintxos while you stroll crescent-shaped La Concha beach, the picturesque plazas, or the scenic peak of Mount Igueldo. And if you're looking for some culture, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is an easy half-day trip.

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4.Tuscany, Italy

Green hills at sunrise.

In the summertime, Tuscany is quite literally a dreamland. In fact, there may be no more spectacular place in the world than the green, rolling hills of Val d'Orcia in June. But, of course, Tuscan summer comes with peak hotel rates and tons of tourists. So savvy travelers know that this renowned Italian wine region is breathtaking no matter the season.

In fact, chilly temperatures are ideal for enjoying the region's rich and robust Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti, and Brunello wines and sampling the local cuisine like hearty ribollita and pici tossed in wild boar ragu. And the lack of crowds makes it even more enjoyable to explore the walled Medieval towns of Montepulciano, San Gimignano, and Pienza.

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5.Northern Greece

Snow-capped mountains, forests, and a lake.

When you think of Greece, your mind probably goes right to the Greek islands — Santorini and Mykonos and Paros and all the other sun-soaked jewels floating in the Aegean Sea. But you probably don't think much of mainland Greece...until now.

This southernmost part of the Balkan peninsula is excellent for exploring during the offseason. There's Athens, of course, but there's also the picturesque lake village of Ioannina, the stunning coastline of Halkidiki, the incredible archaeological site of Delphi, Mount Olympus, the monasteries of Meteora, and so much more. The whole area that makes up Northern Greece is pretty much heaven for history buffs, lovers of Greek mythology, and outdoor enthusiasts.

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Colorful homes looking over the sea.

Though not quite as warm year-round as its Caribbean neighbors to the south, Bermuda boasts mild weather even in the coldest winter months. This British territory is the perfect destination for relaxing and refreshing. Explore the Crystal Caves, an incredible cavernous space of stalactites and stalagmites, cliff-jump into the crystal swimming pool at Blue Hole Park, play a round of golf, admire the pastel-colored buildings in Hamilton, and walk in the pink sand at Horseshoe Beach Bay.

It may not be sunbathing weather, but it will certainly be pleasant enough to enjoy the ocean views. Whatever you do, make sure to pop by the Swizzle Inn to sample Bermuda's most iconic rum cocktails.

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7.Charleston, South Carolina

A historic city street with old, colorful houses.

After the holiday season ends and before beach season kicks into full swing is a great time to experience the Southern charm, delicious culinary scene, and historic beauty of Charleston. The weather is mild and the crowds are minimal, which means you won't have to fight for your perfect photo of Rainbow Row or wait hours for a table at ever-popular 167 Raw or Fig.

Walk along the Battery, explore the cobblestone streets and colorful houses of the historic district, take a ghost tour, go bar hopping on King Street, or take a quick trip to Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island for some beach scenery.

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8.Mexico City

Hands making street tacos

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Mexico City is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Dense, cosmopolitan, and bursting with energy, there is no bad time to visit this giant urban center. The "cold" season lasts for just two months, but even then you'll find the comfortable weather hovers around the '60s during the day.

It's the perfect weather for exploring the vibrant markets, tasting incredible street food, and strolling around the succulent-lined streets of Condesa and Roma. When the nights get chilly, pop into a mezcal bar like La Clandestina to warm right up. You could easily spend an entire day at the Museo de Antropologia, but you wouldn't want to miss La Casa Azul, the home-turned-museum of Frida Kahlo.

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A city square in Lisbon

Portugal has recently become increasingly popular with international travelers. It seems like people are starting to realize that this beautiful and laid-back country in the Iberian Peninsula pretty much has it all: exciting cities like Lisbon, wineries in the Douro Valley and Alentejo, beautiful beaches, traditional whitewashed towns, and a culinary scene worth traveling for.

It's not a huge country — in fact, you can drive from Porto in the north to the Algarve in the south in about five hours — but there is so much to explore. With temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s throughout the winter months, it's an excellent time to explore the country and take advantage of all the offseason benefits.

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Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the snow

While summer, fall, and spring all draw in lots of crowds, winter is the low season in Paris. But in a city that is teeming with incredible restaurants, amazing museums, world-class shopping, and so much culture, who needs sunny weather?

While the temperatures hardly ever drop below freezing, winter is the cheapest and the most quiet time to visit Paris, which means you actually might be able to score a reservation at Septime or snag a table at l'As du Fallafel. And while snow is very rare in Paris, imagine the chance to see the twinkling Eiffel Tower surrounded by a sea of whiteness.

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A street with blue painted houses.

This popular North African destination is teeming with tourists from April through October, but visit in the offseason and you'll get a totally different taste of Morocco. If you're seeking sunshine and good weather, Marrakesh is a solid bet. Even in January, the coldest month of the year, temperatures are in the 70s, which is perfect for exploring the colorful souks of the medina, relaxing poolside at a riad, or dining al fresco on tagine and slow-roasted mechoui lamb.

Of course, there's more to Morocco than Marrakesh. The blue city of Chefchaouen is ripe for exploring, and the coastal town of Essaouira boasts history, culture, stunning landscapes, and amazing seafood. And winter happens to be the best time to trek in the Atlas Mountains or spend a night beneath the stars in the vast Sahara Desert.

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A quiet snowy street

There's no beating around the bush: Montreal gets freezing cold. But that's just part of the allure. There's nothing quite like walking around the snowy Old Port with its cobblestone streets, quaint bistros, and impressive stone churches. French is the official language here, and you could easily think you've been transported to Europe.

During the winter months, you'll find different festivals like Montreal en Lumière, get your maple syrup fix at a Sugar Shack, go cross-country skiing at Parc Jean-Drapeau or on one of Montreal's many trails, or even go ice fishing. And of course, there's no better way to embrace the cold than by enjoying a plate of warm and cheesy poutine at La Banquise.

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13.Cape Cod, Massachusetts

A lighthouse surrounded by snow.

Cape Cod is a quintessential New England summer town where, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the small year-round population swells with visitors seeking sun and sand. And while you won't find beach weather come November, Cape Cod offers a totally different but equally as charming escape during the offseason months. The offseason rates at Chatham Bars Inn are seriously alluring.

Cozy up by the fire with a good book, admire the lighthouses at Race Point or Falmouth, do some antique shopping, bundle up and walk along the Cape Cod National Seashore, or pick a trail in one of the various wildlife sanctuaries scattered around the island.

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14.Bali, Indonesia

A peninsula jutting out into the ocean

Bali's rainy season runs from November to March, which deters many visitors from making the admittedly long trek to this Indonesian island. But don't let the weather scare you. While this tropical island can experience quite a bit of rain during the winter months, most storms only last about an hour or two, passing as abruptly as they began.

That means you'll still have plenty of sunshine for exploring the gorgeous beaches of Nusa Dua and the lively village of Canggu. Plus, the green jungles and rice terraces of Ubud look even more lush during the rainy season. Best of all, you'll experience fewer crowds and more affordable hotel rates.

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15.Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A herd of bison walking in snow

Most people wait for warmer weather to explore the National Parks, but the truth is that Yellowstone and nearby Grand Teton National Park are just as extraordinary in the offseason. Yellowstone during winter instills a totally new sense of peace, awe, and serenity. Snow dusted trails snake past steaming hot springs, geysers, and bubbling mud pools, and bison trek through the frigid landscape wearing their full winter coats. And there's nothing quite like warming up by the fireplace at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins after a long, cold day of exploring.

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16.Portland, Maine

A New England street covered in snow.

This port city in Southern Maine is everything you might expect from a coastal New England town in the summertime: lobster shacks, lighthouses, and beaches galore. But Portland takes on a whole different kind of cozy charm during the offseason. Unlike many other beach towns, pretty much everything remains open in Portland all year long.

So you can still fuel up on lobster rolls and oysters at Eventide, gallery hop in the historic Old Port district, or go walking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing on one of Portland's many trails. If the weather is mild, walk on Pine Point Beach on Saco Bay, or make your way to Portland Headlight.

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Disclaimer: This article was written to provide travel recommendations or suggestions; however, it’s important to keep in mind your own health, community health, and COVID-19 exposure risk.

Have you visited somewhere that is even better in the off season? Tell us in the comments below!