10 Weekend Trips You can Take for the Best Winter Break Getaway

Vacations are expensive. Unfortunately, not all of us will be frolicking in the snow, or hitting the ski slopes this winter break. However, you don’t have to go far from Pensacola to have a fun and exciting winter break. We’ve listed 10 places where you can spend the weekend, or the day, without having to travel too far.

1. Atlanta (318 miles)

Traveling to Atlanta would definitely have to be a weekend trip, especially since there is so much to do there. My favorite activity to do in Atlanta is to walk the Beltline. The Beltline is a 22-mile trail that goes all throughout the city. There are murals painted along the Beltline that make awesome Instagram pics.

Photo via The City Dweller

2. New Orleans (200 miles)

When I first moved to Pensacola I didn’t realize how close it is to New Orleans! I have taken several day trips to New Orleans since. However, six hours of travel does wear you out. I suggest getting a cheap Airbnb for the night. You can spend a day walking around the French Quarter and exploring the city. Make sure to stop in to Café Du Monde and try their legendary beignets.

3. Montgomery (158 miles)

Before my first time visiting Montgomery, I was scouring Pinterest for things to do there. I came across a post that claimed that the world’s largest loaf of bread was located in Montgomery. As a lover of bread and world records, I was very excited. However, after intense research, I found this post to be false. But there are still awesome things to see and do in Montgomery, even if they aren’t as cool as the world’s largest loaf of bread. If you’re a history nerd, Montgomery is the city for you. The Rosa Parks Museum, the Civil Rights Memorial and The Hank Williams Museum are just a few of the historical spots to check out. Also, throughout the month of December, the Montgomery Zoo will be hosting a Christmas lights festival.

4. Panama (125 miles)

Panama is similar to Pensacola when it comes to the beach. They both have the famous white sandy beaches and emerald green waters. However, Pier Park is an outdoor mall with many popular stores. They also have a Dave and Busters, which is my personal favorite. Even in winter, this destination can be a great choice, especially if the weather decides to warm up!

5. Biloxi (117 miles)

This one is pretty obvious. If you’re over 21 and want to blow all of your money on something other than Christmas gifts, Biloxi is the place for you. If you’re not 21, or if gambling isn’t something that interests you, then there are still options for you.  You can take a ferry from Gulfport to Ship Island. You can hike, collect shells and explore the historic Fort Massachusetts.

6. Vortex Springs (90.5 miles)

Vortex springs is a freshwater spring located in Ponce De Leon, Fla. It’s a hot spot during the summer. The spring crystal clear water, multiple slides, diving boards and rope swings. It’s still a great place to visit in the winter, because you can camp or rent cabins. The cabins are $90 a night, and can sleep up to six of your friends. Even if the weather is too chilly to swim, which it may not be knowing Florida, there are still hiking trails throughout the property you can enjoy. This is also a great place to visit if you are SCUBA certified.

7. Destin (56.5 miles)

Like Panama, Destin shares our white, sandy beaches. The Destin Commons are a fun place to spend time and money. HaborWalk Village is a boardwalk full of nightlife activities. They even have a zip line!

8. Mobile (56.3 miles)

All year round Mobile is a great place to visit, especially because of its close proximity to Pensacola. During the winter, Mobile has something extra to offer. Bellingrath Gardens covers their 65-acre estate with more than three million Christmas lights. They even have hot meals and hot chocolate that you can purchase while enjoying the lights. 9. Foley (49.8 miles)

I have done various day trips to Foley for their Outlet Mall, which is amazing! Recently they added an amusement park to their town. OWA has 21 amusement rides along with restaurants and shops. The best part is that tickets are only $34.99!

10. Pensacola (0 miles!)

If all of these options are too far away or don’t seem appealing to you, then you can have a staycation right here in Pensacola. Get an Airbnb on the beach, or explore some museums downtown. You don’t have to go far to have a good winter break!

Photo via fineartamerica

Cover image via Travel + Leisure

Sara is a sophmore at the University of West Florida. She is majoring in Comprehensive Marketing and minoring in management and international business. She has a passion for the beauty industy and aspires to be a social media marketer for a cosmetics company. Her other hobbies include cooking, hiking, paddleboarding and SCUBA diving.

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