Some say summer is the best time to travel, but winter has always been the stand-out season to me. (This is, partially, because of my borderline-psychopathic climate preference: an icy, blue sky day that hovers at 22 degrees.) In summer, everyone wants to go to the beach, or Europe, or a beach in Europe. But winter offers many appealing, and polar-opposite fates: Maybe you’ll bundle up in a puffer to shred the slopes of a Rocky Mountain. Maybe you’ll put on a string bikini on a white-sand Caribbean isle, and frolic with the abandon of a twenty-something linked to Leonardo DiCaprio. Maybe you’ll finally plan that trip to a far-flung locale in the Southern Hemisphere, in the height of its high season. (Or maybe—if you’re like me—you’ll be ambitious and try to hit all three.)
Below, five of the best places to travel during the winter of 2020.
Cape Town, South Africa
Although not an undiscovered location by any means, Cape Town makes the list for one big reason: it just became a lot easier to get to.
In December, United Airlines launched a non-stop flight there, making the city’s—and Western capes —wonders a mere 14 hours away from New York City. Swim at the beaches in Clifton, hike the Kleinrivier mountains, and drink your way through Franschhoek (South Africa’s wine country).
Need lodging tips? The One&Only is a five-star stalwart, as is Ellerman House, a charming Edwardian Mansion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. And if brand new and boutique is your thing, try Labotessa, a 17th-century congressional church turned hotel that opened this August.