As the winter chill thaws in many parts of the world, February brings warmer temperatures, cheaper airfares, and fewer crowds at popular destinations. Whether you’re looking for cultural festivals, outdoor adventures, or beach getaways, February is an ideal time to travel on a budget. From Carnival celebrations in Brazil to whale watching in Mexico, here are some of the best places to go in February for an unforgettable trip:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is world famous for its colorful parades, vibrant music and lively atmosphere that transforms the city. Witnessing these spectacular festivities should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
The highlight is the Sambadrome parade where samba schools put on elaborate shows and costumes as they compete for the coveted title of champion. Visitors can buy tickets to the seating stands to watch the parades or join one of the open street parties around the city. With vibrant energy and parties that last through the night, Carnival in Rio creates memories that will last a lifetime.
New Orleans, USA
Mardi Gras is synonymous with New Orleans as parades, parties and celebrations lead up to the culmination of the festive Carnival season. masked riders on horseback throw beads and trinkets to the lively crowds packing the streets of the historic French Quarter and beyond.
Visitors can indulge in classic New Orleans cuisine like gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys and the famous beignets while taking in impromptu jazz performances on every street corner. The lively atmosphere and southern hospitality make Mardi Gras in New Orleans an iconic February travel experience.
Baja California, Mexico
The winter months are peak whale watching season in Baja California as gray whales migrate from Alaska to the warm lagoons of Baja to give birth and nurse their calves. From cliffside vantage points or local tour boats, you’re almost guaranteed an up-close look at these magnificent creatures in places like San Ignacio, Magdalena Bay and Puerto Lopez Mateos.
Beyond the whales, travelers can bask on pristine beaches, sample delicious local cuisine and venture into the unique desert landscape of Baja. With fewer crowds and lower rates in February, this region of Mexico offers an off the beaten path experience filled with natural beauty and wonder.
February falls within Thailand’s dry season, bringing warm sunny days perfect for exploring temples, hiking forest trails or lounging on palm-lined beaches. The tropical climate caters to both relaxing getaways on islands like Phuket and Krabi as well as active cultural excursions to places like Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
One of the most interesting events is the floral festival in the mountain town Chiang Mai where vibrant displays honor Buddhist temples with elaborate arrangements. Thailand offers an enticing blend of city exploration, outdoor adventures and beach bliss for those who visit in February.
Quebec City, Canada
The long-running Quebec Winter Carnival transforms this charming French Canadian city into a winter wonderland each February. Visitors bundle up for dog-sledding, ice skating, snow rafting and touring iconic landmarks like the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac covered in snow and ice.
At night, ice bars serve up specialty cocktails and maple inspired treats as live music fills the crisp, cold air. The family-friendly Snow Village also impresses with massive ice sculptures and even an ice hotel where you can spend the night on an icy bed. Embrace winter to the fullest at the famous Quebec Carnival.
Scotland shines in February when tourist season hasn’t quite ramped up yet and you can marvel at castles, abbeys, rugged cliffs and highland villages in peace. Explore the cultural hub of Edinburgh to experience Scottish arts, food and historical attractions before venturing into the scenic countryside.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking through places like Glencoe and Loch Lomond as the landscape reveals snow-dusted mountains, crystalline lakes and lush green valleys just emerging from the winter cold. With far fewer crowds and lower costs for airfare and hotels, February may just be the optimal time to discover the magic of Scotland.
As Paris empties of tourists after the holiday season, February brings cold but crisp days perfect for strolling the city’s atmospheric neighborhoods without the summer crowds. Stop at cozy cafes and patisseries to sample buttery croissants, tangy cheese and sweet crepes as you explore world-famous museums housed in ornate, historic buildings.
The City of Light feels more authentic and romantic in the off-season, especially around Valentine’s Day. And flights plus hotels can be up to 50 percent less expensive than the popular spring and summer travel months. Add Paris in February to your must-see list.
Countless colorful ribbons swirl through the air as percussion-rich music fills the streets of Salvador, Brazil for one of the world’s largest Carnival celebrations outside of Rio. Known for its strong African influences, creative costumes and electric energy, Salvador’s Carnival brings joyful chaos to this coastal city.
Visitors can join one of the vibrant parade groups as they dance down the streets in glittering attire or take part as a spectator soaking up Brazil’s infectious party spirit. As an under-the-radar Carnival alternative to Rio, Salvador dazzles with nonstop revelry and cultural immersion await during February’s festivities.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town boasts a Mediterranean climate in February with average highs around 75 degrees Fahrenheit making for pleasant days to explore this iconic seaside city without excessive heat or crowds. Table Mountain National Park offers scenic hiking trails through indigenous fynbos vegetation dotted with captivating waterfalls.
Nearby vineyards beckon you to sample local varietals while taking in views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You’re also sure to spot penguins along the coast, lounging seals at Duiker Island and, if you’re lucky, whales off the Cape Peninsula. With a wealth of natural beauty and culture, Cape Town shines in February.
As a popular stop on many Asia tours, the island city-state of Singapore makes for an ideal February vacation where you can dodge the monsoon rains. Explore the beguiling mix of cultures in Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street neighborhoods among modern skyscrapers, lush botanical gardens and nostalgic temples.
The exotic cuisine scene runs the gamut from exceptional street food to Michelin star restaurants. You can also take a day trip to tropical beaches in Malaysia or Indonesia from this convenient base for Southeast Asian explorations. Flights and hotels dip in price this month while temperatures remain balmy.
The vibrant capital of the Yucatan offers a different take on Mexican culture with strong Mayan influences woven into the music, cuisine, architecture and artisanal crafts. Cobblestone streets lined with pastel buildings feel relaxed and welcoming while historic plazas bustle with food stalls, musicians and handicraft vendors.
Nearby archaeological sites like Chichen Itza and Uxmal give you a window into Mesoamerican history amid intricately carved pyramids, observatories and temples. Outdoor adventurers can also swim through cenotes, zip line through jungles or kayak to remote Mayan villages. With fewer visitors and drier weather, February showcases authentic Mexican traditions in Merida.
What places have the best weather in February?
Some destinations with reliably warm, dry weather in February include Thailand, Singapore, Cape Town and islands in Mexico and the Caribbean. These tropical and subtropical locales offer pleasant temperatures, less humidity and fewer storm systems during this month.
What are the cheapest destinations in February?
Shoulder season brings lower rates on hotels and airfare before the busy spring break and summer travel months. Great budget destinations include Paris, Scotland, New Orleans, Quebec and Merida where you’ll avoid peak season premiums in February.
What are the most romantic getaways for February?
Valentine’s Day amplifies the romantic ambiance in destinations like Paris, Thailand’s islands, Cape Town and New Orleans. Treat your special someone to memorable experiences like whisking them away to a beach villa, going on a champagne sunset sail, enjoying couples massages or dining at intimate restaurants.
Are there any important events or festivals in February?
Brazil’s legendary Carnival celebrations take place throughout February culminating on Fat Tuesday. New Orleans also hosts vibrant Mardi Gras festivities while the Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada showcases fun cold weather activities. Thailand, Scotland and other destinations also host cultural and food festivals this month.
What outdoor activities can you do in February?
Whale watching reaches its peak in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula as gray whales migrate with their newborn calves in winter breeding grounds through February. Hiking and trekking opportunities abound from Table Mountain National Park near Cape Town to forests and highlands in Scotland and northern Thailand. Ski resorts also offer prime snow conditions in European and North American destinations.
From Rio’s Carnival extravaganza to romantic Parisian escapes, February brings opportunities to experience the best places to go in february without peak season crowds and costs. Revel in cultural festivals across the globe, seek warm weather havens or cozy up in wintery wonderlands. By strategizing the when and where, you can craft an amazing trip to explore the vibrant world of marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas: A guide that opens doors to your next adventure, perfectly fitting your interests, budget, and style during February’s travel sweet spot.Tags: adventure destinations, best places, dream vacations, February travel, global destinations, international travel, romantic getaways, top travel spots, world exploration