Welcome to the middle of winter. If you’re living in, well, most parts of America, that means you probably can’t leave your house without a substantial jacket at this point. In many areas, you might also need to pile on the layers and throw on a pair of snow boots. But out there (and mostly south), there are some beautiful, charming places where you can still walk around in t-shirts and enjoy a respite from the frigid frost of the north. Mamas, behold! These are the best winter travel destinations for your wanderlusting family seeking fun times in the sunshine.

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1. Houston, TX: Although hit hard by an unrelenting hurricane last summer, the city is back on its feet and welcoming visitors. Opt to stay in the Museum District for quick and easy access to some of the city’s best attractions, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Children’s Museum of Houston, and the Houston Zoo. The winter months in Houston also mean it’s a great time for outdoor fun like pontoon boat tours at the Armand Bayou Nature Center and taking kiddos on a miniature train ride through Hermann Park.

2. New Orleans, LA: There’s never a bad time to visit the magical town of New Orleans, but winter certainly brings out the best weather for riding around on street cars. Take your kiddos for a walk through the whimsical Storyland in City Park, then go for a ride on the park’s historic carousel. Hop aboard the Steamboat Natchez for a fun ride on the Mississippi. If it gets a little rainy out, there’s the Audobon Aquarium of the Americas and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. And don’t forget to introduce your kids to the music of NOLA by stopping by Preservation Hall (one of the most kid-friendly musical establishments in town).

3. Miami, FL: While it might be a little too chilly on some days to swim in the Atlantic, Miami is never more beautiful than in the winter. It’s the perfect time for kayaking on the Oleta River, doing a walking tour of Little Havana, or riding an airboat in the Everglades. Kids will love exploring the new Frost Museum of Science, the Miami Children’s Museum, and Parrot Jungle Island, all a short distance from one another. Even in the dead of winter, though, you won’t want to miss a stroll along the world-famous South Beach.

4. Savannah, GA: This charming Georgia town makes for a great vacation spot when you’re looking to leave the powder behind. Winter is just before peak season, so you won’t get many crowds even at the most popular, family-friendly attractions like the Savannah Children’s Museum, the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. It’s usually still sunny enough to explore outdoor spots like the Oatland Island Wildlife Center and Forsythe Park. And if you’re there in February, make sure to check out the Savannah Book Fair and the Black Heritage Festival.

5. San Diego, CA: Temperatures are always mild in Southern California, and if snowfalls aren’t your thing, it’s especially great there during the winter. This is the only time of year you and your family can go on a whale watching tour. And while the days are cool (with highs of mid-60s), you can still enjoy a nice walk along the beach (stop by La Jolla Cove for the chance to see sea lions). Other family-friendly points of interest are the Birch Aquarium, the New Children’s Museum, Chicano Park, and the San Diego Zoo.

Which winter destination will you be going to with your family this year?Share your pic and tweet us @Britandco!

(Featured photo via Getty)