I gotta go where it's warm
November 5, 2022 7:14 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to take a relaxing solo vacation to somewhere warm and ideally coastal in January or February. Just want to eat good food, lounge around a pretty place, maybe swim. The biggest limiting factor is that I don't drive, so need somewhere I can get to/from/around via any combination of public transit, taxis, walking, or biking. Probably not an all-inclusive resort though--I feel trapped at those and the food is rarely good. Do you have recommendations for specific places that meet these requirements?
posted by rhiannonstone to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to add that I'm departing from the SF Bay Area but I'm open to possibilities both near and far. And let's pretend for now that cost is not a concern.
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:15 PM on November 5, 2022

Honolulu Hawaii? Fly in, take hotel shuttle to hotel on the beach. Food and shopping and beach and nice weather even in those months galore. Been there twice for conferences around that time of year. Ended up sleeping outside on the balcony because it was just so nice. (and I'm weird) Touristy for sure, but rather nice.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:52 PM on November 5, 2022

Honolulu. There is world-class food there, as well as great casual food. Lots of direct flights from the Bay Area. The bus system is great. Many hotels have either pools or beach access, for lounging and swimming. January and February are a great time to go to Honolulu and Hawaii in general. You'll probably want to try to avoid holiday weekends (President's Day, MLK Junior Day), since they tend to be a lot more expensive.

Other Hawaiian islands meet most of your criteria except for not driving. Possibly Kahului on Maui or Kailua-Kona on the big island are doable without a car, but I've always rented a car anywhere in Hawaii except for Honolulu. The local food on the other islands is good, but they don't have the same world-class fancy food that Honolulu has.

In Mexico, Cozumel, Cancun, and Isla Mujeres are all accessible without a driving. Food in all of these places is pretty good. There's a lot of good local food, and a lot of international food as well, if you want some variety. I haven't been to Mexico since covid, though, so I don't know about the covid situation, or whether there's been a big increase in crime in Mexico in the past few years.
posted by cruelfood at 7:53 PM on November 5, 2022

Seconding zengargoyle's post suggesting Honolulu that came in while I was typing, though in terms of cost per unit of relaxation it might not be the best. Convenient from the West Coast, though!
posted by LadyOscar at 7:54 PM on November 5, 2022

Response by poster: I'm not yet comfortable going to Hawaii given the current tourism controversy (my own preference, not judging anyone else's vacation), so let's exclude that from the options.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:12 PM on November 5, 2022 [6 favorites]

Isla Mujeres
posted by supermedusa at 8:13 PM on November 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Miami Beach ain't bad if you're fine with pleasant rather than requiring it to be super warm. When it gets "cold" (usually not really cold except by south Florida standards) it rarely lasts more than a day or two before it's back to the usual low 80s/low 70s winter weather daily spread.

The region as a whole is very car dependent, but Miami Beach and the areas you'd probably want to visit as a tourist are pretty walkable and well served by transit. Buses don't really keep to the schedule, but they come frequently enough on Miami Beach, around downtown, and up towards the Design District that it's not really a problem for the most part.

Plus, there's an express bus that runs between the airport and Miami Beach. Last I checked it was around $2.50 and runs every half hour most of the day.
posted by wierdo at 9:12 PM on November 5, 2022

Nevis (St Kitts).

These check all the boxes.
posted by artdrectr at 9:53 PM on November 5, 2022

I don't know if Bermuda is warm enough to work for you - high around 70 low around 60 in February, so it's pleasant outdoor climate but not hot beach swimming weather. In any case, I was there for a car free holiday in February 2020. It's a relatively small island, so taxis aren't that expensive, there's a pretty good public transit system that covers the whole island and runs pretty frequently (15 to 20 minute headway) . The town, Hamilton, is walkable but the roads are narrow with no shoulder so cycling is not advised. It's the low season so it's more affordable. It's also got something of a small town old person country club feel, which may or may not be what you want. Memail me for the place we stayed or whatever if you want.
posted by Superilla at 10:01 PM on November 5, 2022

If a really long flight is on the table, Sydney might work. Urban setting with public transport and sidewalks, tons of beaches, it’ll be summer there. We stayed in Coogee, which had a nice urban neighborhood feel. Food wise, because it’s a big city you should have your pick of restaurants, though I admit I don’t recall anything particularly special (I think we mostly cooked while we were there). It’s super hilly, though, so the walking is somewhat athletic!
posted by eirias at 1:22 AM on November 6, 2022

European suggestion? Puerto de La Cruz in Tenerife.
posted by rongorongo at 4:30 AM on November 6, 2022

St. John or Vieques?
posted by saltykitten at 10:27 AM on November 6, 2022

I was just in Miami Beach and it is a wonderful place to visit. We took Ubers everywhere and they were very easy to come by.
posted by cakelite at 12:07 PM on November 6, 2022

Puerto Vallarta is perfect for this. In addition to being very walkable for the most part, there are buses, Uber, and golf cart taxis, and all are inexpensive. Most of the action is on the boardwalk (“Malecon”) or the Romantic Zone.

This webcam does a 360° turn, so you can see what it’s like there from all angles. There are also multiple POV YouTube videos of people “Walking the Malecon” that you might find interesting.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:02 AM on November 8, 2022

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