As the holidays wrap up and the new year gets underway, you might be feeling those itchy travel feet more than ever. If you are plotting to hit the road, don’t count out February for your next great adventure. While the shortest month of the year, February doesn’t translate into travel plans that fall short. And remember, it’s never too late to book last minute flights! Thanks to the fact that February is usually a slower month for travel, it can be advantageous for the traveler with low season rates and fewer crowds. Pack your bags for these appealing destinations come February.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is always a great destination for travelers looking for good food, great music and a rich history. However, February brings the city’s biggest event and arguably the best reason to visit this time of year. Mardi Gras features dozens of parades and parties in the two weeks leading up to the main event in the city. Celebrated for over 300 years, the two week carnival features daily parades and masquerade balls aplenty. Even if you don’t make it for Mardi Gras, New Orleans offers a wealth of activities and attractions from roaming the magic that is the French Quarter, catching some jazz by night, sampling fresh beignets or hopping aboard a streetcar to get around the city.
Due to the increase of nonstop flights from the U.S. and Norway, it’s now even easier to visit the country. If you just can’t seem to get enough of winter, February is an ideal time to visit Norway. It remains one of the best months to see the Northern Lights. Aside from seeing the sky light up in Northern Norway for the celestial phenomenon, you can also cross off all those wintry activities in Norway like riding a reindeer drawn sleigh, snowshoeing, ice fishing or perhaps most chilling of all, staying in an ice hotel.
For those with the winter blues, Costa Rica answers in the winter with dry conditions and loads of sunshine. February remains one of the best times to visit the Central American nation as the peak tourist season has just concluded. Deal seekers can find low rates on hotels, flights and attractions. Aside from lounging on the beach, you can get your sunshine fix all around Costa Rice by exploring its many national parks like Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero National Park and Corcovado National Park. From bird watching, to diving, and zip lining, Costa Rica is action packed and in February, there is little to no threat of moisture to rain on your parade.
Easily within reach of Phoenix, Scottsdale is a baseball lovers dream come February. The month ushers in the beginning of baseball’s Spring Training with many teams practicing out of the Phoenix area. Scottsdale rains a good home base for catching an early spring training game which officially kicks off at the end of the month. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, February is a good time to visit the Phoenix-Scottsdale area for temperatures are still balmy but not unbearable as they will be in a few months. You can take in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, hike up Camelback Mountain or merely just laze away by the pool or at the many spas in the area.
The region of Italy often described as the boot heel of the country might not be on your list for February travels but it should be. While the masses head for Carnival in Venice, you can experience fewer crowds and lower prices by heading to Puglia instead. The region boasts more Carnival celebrations than any other region in Italy, especially in the town of Putignano. Putignano is home to the oldest European carnival and arguably one of the world’s first ever carnival events. The festival features loads of masquerades and parades in Putignano. You can catch all the activity for three days in February alone. Aside from carnival celebrations, Puglia dazzles with its cultural, historic and natural offerings like its UNESCO approved and strangely octagonal Castel del Monte, the limestone caves, Grotte di Castellana and the extravagant churches of Bari and Lecce. Best of all, you won’t find the crowds of Tuscany or Campania all the way down here.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital of Argentina screams out for visitors come February as the summer-fall season has just concluded. You won’t find the crowds of the high season in February but you will still have the warm weather. Activities in this European inspired capital are endless from roaming Palermo’s parks, popping in an art museum along the world’s widest boulevard, Avenida 9 de Julio, sampling fine meals from the city’s steakhouses or experiencing the tango infused nightlight. Travelers who come to Buenos Aires in February are also treated to festivals like the Fiesta de las Murgas, the city’s version of Carnival. You can expect parades, parties, live music and lively neighborhoods decked out every weekend in February for the festival.
For love birds looking to fly north for the winter instead of south, Montreal presents a perfect city escape, especially around Valentine’s Day. The city offers a taste of Paris without the jet lag come February. While the second coldest month of the year, Montreal makes up for the cold with low season hotel rates and plenty of ice skating. Aside from roaming the historic streets of Vieux-Montréal, you can pop in the impressive Museum of Fine Arts, sample award winning French-Canadian cuisine or snowshoe, hike, ice skate and cross country ski in the city’s beloved park, Mount Royal. February also sees the beginning of the Montréal en Lumiére Festival, one of the largest winter festivals in the world.
Sometimes you just need to take the plunge and book last minute flights for a little getaway to get through the long winter. February marks one of the best months for travelers as you can often score a great low season deal and not have to deal with endless crowds.
Are you headed off somewhere for February? Share where you are going for the shortest month of the year in the comments below.