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Best Places to Visit in February

By: Arushi Mehra

Thomas Hobbes once described the human condition as "nasty, brutish and short," but he may as well have been talking about the month of February. Winter is still howling, but the holiday glow has faded, as has your New Year's resolution resolve. (Still getting up at 5:30 every morning for SoulCycle, hmmmm??) The solution? Book a trip! The shortest month has it perks for travelers, being the sweet spot between the peak of high season and spring break. Beach lovers can head to the sun-kissed tropics, while those of us who aren't ready to give up the mulled wine and fig-laden brie can book a ski trip in a winter playground. Of course, this month also brings Valentine's Day, which means you're allowed to travel for romance without feeling corny about it. Here are a few places with the ideal February combination of good conditions and great deals. 


The Scene: Steeping in your private hot tub overlooking the snow-clad Wasatch Mountains, cruising down the slopes with a rush of adrenaline, falling asleep to the whistling sounds of nature—a winter getaway in Deer Valley might be one of our favorite ways to enjoy the season.

Why February: Utah has had one of the driest winters so far this year, with a fraction of the snowfall of previous years. But by February, Deer Valley should have a sizable base, backed up by plenty of snow-making equipment. The result: Many skiers have booked elsewhere, so visitors who come to Deer Valley will be able to enjoy plenty of snow with fewer crowds and lower rates.

Where to Stay: A quick ride out of Salt Lake City’s airport will transport you to Montage Deer Valley, a luxurious mountain retreat with the largest spa in Utah, five restaurants and activities guaranteed to keep the entire family busy (from skiing and snowmobiling to a bowling alley and an outdoor skating rink). Ski concierges will assist with your gear, and the resort's Bernese mountain dogs Monty and Parker are happy to pose for pictures. In February, stay 4 nights and enjoy a $500 resort credit—use it to indulge in a Mountain Hot Stone massage (or multiple!).


The Scene: They call Kauai the Garden Island, but that moniker feels to manicured and restrained for this impossibly lush, fecund landscape. From the dramatic green folds of the Na Pali coast to the ever-streaming waterfalls in the crater of Mount Waialeale, the natural beauty is spectacular and easily accessible. Whether you spend your days sunbathing and swimming the azure waters of countless beaches, hiking the 11-mile Kalalau Trail or ziplining and trekking through the rainforests of the North Shore, Kauai is guaranteed to wipe away any lingering winter blues.

Why February: Fact: There's never a bad time to visit the Aloha State. However, February wins brownie points (poke points?) for landing after the exodus of holiday travelers but before the Spring Break crowd. Resort rates are a notch lower and there's a bit more space on the sand (not that Kauai's beaches are ever particularly crowded).

Where to Stay: Located on Hanalei Bay on the North Shore, The St. Regis Princeville Resort sets the benchmark for luxury on the island. The suites are airy and earth-toned, but you'll probably spend more time at the massive pool, which sits on the water's edge and offers sweeping views...with a side of tuna tartare and a signature mai tai. Book with Skylark and enjoy a complimentary fourth night and daily breakfast for two at the Makana Terrace. 


The Scene: You and your other half sip bubbly on a private white-sand beach framed by dreamy ocean views, while your butler prepares a sumptuous picnic lunch of truffled lobster and coconut-tamarind fish curry. Afterwards, you snorkel through a coral reef to witness turtles, tropical fish, even baby black-tip sharks. As the sun dips, you board a traditional wooden dhoni sailboat, its curved prow pointing toward the amber-hued horizon.

Why February:
 The Maldives has year-round tropical weather, but February is the driest and sunniest month of the year, with 12 hours of sunshine and water temperatures reaching the 80s. Your daily routine? Sunbathing, long dips in the Indian Ocean, and watersports such as kayaking and windsurfing.

Where to Stay: The only resort on the untouched Thaa Atoll, COMO Maalifushi is surrounded by white sand, turquoise waters and lush palms and hibiscus. The overwater suites and villas radiate elegance with their teak floors, high ceilings, private sundecks and infinity pools that blend seamlessly into the blue lagoon. This month, guests can stay seven nights for the price of five; breakfast and dinner are included, and seaplane transfers are half-price. That makes it perfect for a wellness-focused week of Taksu massages, oxygen facials, yoga and freshly caught seafood. 


The Scene: Enter a bustling bacaro under the Rialto Bridge and join the locals sipping wine and nibbling on a plate of cichetti, traditional bar snacks. Duck into a church to discover a masterpiece like Tintoretto's dramatically dark Last Supper. Take the elevator to the top of the iconic Campanile and absorb the 360-degree views of La Serenissima, a cityscape that has barely changed in centuries. Venice's timeless pleasures are easier to enjoy when the summer crowds are gone. 

Why February: February brings Carnevale, with the Piazza San Marco crowded with revelers showing off elaborate masks and costumes, and lavishly decorated gondolas bobbing in the canals. Pick up your own outfit at the venerable Ca' Macana shop and join the fun. If that's not quite your scene, rest assured that the festivities end on February 13, and the city returns to its typical winter pace—quiet, somewhat somber, and undeniably romantic. 

Where to Stay: Situated on the Riva degli Schiavoni, close to the Bridge of Sighs and within walking distance from San Marco, is the iconic Hotel Danieli. With spacious rooms furnished in lacquered antiques and Murano mirrors—and a rooftop restaurant offering panoramic Grand Canal views—a stay here is like a time warp to the days of the doges. The best part? Stay 3 nights and enjoy a complimentary 4th night—plus daily breakfast.