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Where to Go in February: The Best Places to Travel

Brook Wilkinson | January 12, 2018

The depths of winter make for the heights of sightseeing in many destinations that are usually overcrowded: Think U.S. national parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s also a prime time for extreme climates on either end of the spectrum, from the Middle East to Antarctica.

(Don’t miss the rest of our “Where to Go When” series on the best destinations for every month of the year. If you’re wondering when’s the best time to book your destination to get the best value for your dollar, see our “Where to Book Now” series.)

Yellowstone National Park

snowy scene of hot spring steaming in winter in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park in winter. Photo: tpsdave/Pixabay

In February, Yellowstone is a winter wonderland with limited visitors. Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to see wildlife—elk, bison, even wolves—and to cross-country ski, snowshoe, and ride in snowmobiles or heated snow coaches.

Ask Wendy to find the right Trusted Travel Expert to plan your best possible trip.

Nevis

Golf at the Four Seasons Nevis

Golf at the Four Seasons Nevis. Courtesy Four Seasons

Though February is high season in the Caribbean (since it’s sunny and dry there, and often the opposite back home), Nevis sees far fewer crowds than many of its neighbors—including sister island St. Kitts, which is built up with mega hotels and casinos. Nevis, by contrast, feels like the Caribbean of 20 years ago, with no more than a couple of stoplights, a laid-back way of life, and a handful of high-end accommodations.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Finding Your Perfect Caribbean Island Resort, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Nicaragua

Mombacho Volcano and Lake Nicaragua

Mombacho Volcano and Lake Nicaragua. Photo: Nica Adventures

In the first half of the month, the country is lush and green, there is no rain, and the breezes keep temperatures in the high 80s during the day.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Nicaragua, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Panama

aerial photo of beach and boat on Pearl Islands, Panama

Pearl Islands, Panama. Photo: Truly Panama

January and February have the best weather, with less humidity and a cool breeze in the mornings and afternoons. The sun goes down a bit earlier, but the sunset is amazing.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Panama, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Venice

Carnevale in Venice, Italy

Carnevale in Venice, Italy. Photo: armelle76/Pixabay

In 2018, Carnevale will peak in February: Fat Thursday falls on February 8, Shrove Tuesday on February 13. All that is sumptuous and extravagant about Venice is kicked up several notches during this period of elaborate celebrations marked by Baroque costumes, masked balls, sinful sweets, and general bacchanalian overindulgence.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Venice, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Iceland

Volcanic scenery, Iceland

Volcanic scenery in Iceland. Photo: Iceland Tourist Board

February is one of the darkest months of the year in Iceland, bettering your chances of seeing the spectacular display of the Northern Lights. Winters can be harsh and unpredictable, and some activities will be unavailable, but the dramatic snowy scenery—not to mention the extra time that locals have available for visitors—can make this a particularly satisfying time to visit.

Ask Wendy to find the right Trusted Travel Expert to plan your best possible trip.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat at sunrise

Angkor Wat at sunrise. Photo: Timothy Baker

In early February, the worst of the hot and steamy weather has not yet arrived—but the huge crowds that descend on Angkor Wat in January have already departed (just make sure to arrive before February 14 or after February 23 this year, to avoid Chinese New Year).

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Angkor Wat, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Myanmar

The Pagoda Festival on Inle Lake. Photo: Myths & Mountains

February is the coolest month of the year in this tropical country—and one of the drier ones as well—making it a delightful time to go exploring. There are also several festivals on tap in the country: the Baw-Gyo Festival in Hsipaw (in Shan State), the Pindaya Cave Festival in Pindaya (near Inle), and the Na Win Taung Pagoda Festival in Maymyo.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Myanmar, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Mumbai

Victoria Terminus, Mumbai, India

Night view of Victoria Terminus, Mumbai. Photo: India Beat

We love to visit during the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, held every February, when the city is packed with events, exhibitions, and huge art installations.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Mumbai, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Yunnan Province, China

Rapeseed field in Luoping Yunnan, China

Rapeseed field in Luoping Yunnan, China. Photo: WildChina

By February many parts of Yunnan are already in spring mode, with camellia and other flowers in bloom; to the east and south of Kunming, fields of yellow rapeseed flowers turn the area into a photographer’s heaven. You’d be wise to come before Chinese New Year (which starts on February 14), so that you can watch the locals prepare for the festival but don’t have to deal with so many people on the move and the closures of many shops and restaurants.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Yunnan Province, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Israel

Baha’i Gardens, Haifa, Israel. Photo: Touring Israel

Baha’i Gardens, Haifa, Israel. Photo: Touring Israel

In February Israel is virtually empty of tourists, so you have unfettered access to almost all of the sites without waiting in lines. If you are looking for the best rooms in the best hotels and the best tour guides—all at fabulous prices—this is the time to go. Temperatures are mild, in the 50s and 60s for the most part, and although you will have some rain, the scenery makes you feel that it is springtime in Vermont or Switzerland: green hills, multicolored wildflowers, snowcapped peaks, and flowing streams and rivers.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Israel, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Qasr al Sarab camel caravan

Qasr al Sarab camel caravan, Abu Dhabi. Photo: Timothy Baker

February is one of the cooler months of the year for Abu Dhabi, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s; plus, rates are at the lower end of the scale for the emirate.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Abu Dhabi, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Botswana

Elephants tussle in Botswana. Photo: Wilderness Safaris/Caroline Culbert

Elephants tussle in Botswana. Photo: Wilderness Safaris/Caroline Culbert

Prices are as much as 40 percent cheaper in February than during peak season, and the vegetation is lush and green from the rains. The periodic thunderstorms that roll through often provide beautiful rainbows, which form a great backdrop for your photos. Plus, many of the wildlife have babies—zebra, wildebeest, antelope—and the predators tend to be more prolific with the greater availability of prey. This is also a time when migratory birds in full breeding plumage are in residence; their coloring is just exquisite.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Botswana’s Small Safari Camps, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Antarctica Cruises

Zodiac cruise through the ice, Antarctica. Photo: Abby Suplizio

Zodiac cruise through the ice, Antarctica. Photo: Abby Suplizio

By February the sea ice has melted, allowing for longer voyages and prime whale-watching when the humpbacks surface and feed. These shorter autumn days also allow glimpses of the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights. What’s more, the icebergs have been beautifully sculpted by summer winds—reflecting the sun’s rays like giant crystal chandeliers—and special offers often come available for these late-season departures.

Learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Antarctica Cruises, and use Wendy’s trip request form to be marked as a VIP and get the best possible trip.

Other Good Options This Month

Click on any of the destinations below to find out why November is a good time to go.

Australia: Sydney

Africa Cruises

Asia Cruises

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro

Brazil: Trancoso

Cambodia

Canada: British Colombia

Colombia: Cartagena

Cuba

Dubai

Galapagos Islands: swimming and snorkeling

Greece: Athens

Hawaii: Oahu whale-watching

India

India: Agra & the Taj Mahal

India: Delhi

Italy Villa Vacations: Florence, Rome, and Venice

Mexico City

Nepal’s lower elevations

New Zealand

New Zealand: Bay of Islands

Norway: winter activities

Paris: winter sales

Philippines

Portugal: The Algarve’s almond tree blossom

The Rocky Mountains: skiing

Russia: St. Petersberg

Russia: Moscow

Seychelles

South Africa: Cape Town & Winelands

Sri Lanka

Thailand

Vietnam: central coast

Wyoming: Jackson Hole & the Grand Tetons for skiing

 

Be a smarter traveler: Read real travelers’ reviews of Wendy’s WOW List and use it to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

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