Alternative Guide to the Super Bowl, Part Two

Even the biggest football fan knows that the worst part of the Super Bowl is the weather. This is probably why 90 percent of Super Bowls are played in stadiums in Southern and Western states, where the climate is more agreeable.

Whether you are a football fanatic, only watch the big games or don’t care a lick about the sport, a winter getaway over Super Bowl weekend might be the right play for you.

The following list of top states for a winter escape practically guarantee a touchdown! (Sorry, I had to do it.)

Florida

Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and that’s just the western coast. Florida not only has these cities and Disney World, but some of the world’s best beaches. My personal favorite is Miami, one of the state’s tropical cities. There you can get great Cuban food at Puerto Sagua for lunch and explore the bars of Ocean Drive before hitting the beach just in time for sunset.

Hawaii

This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Hawaii has some of the best weather in the country. From Hilo to Honolulu and beyond, Hawaii is a mainstay for winter vacations, especially for people on the West Coast in states like Washington and Oregon. In addition to the tropical climate and amazing beaches, the only U.S. state in Oceania, has several protected natural areas and two national parks, including Haleakalā National Park on Maui island.

Texas

As the second-largest state in the U.S., Texas is known for many things, but as a winter vacation destination, it has yet to really catch on. However, its great size means that there are many climatic options available. For a winter getaway by the water, the Gulf Coast is an area not to miss. It includes everything from Beaumont and Galveston to Corpus Christi and South Padre Island, all of which will help you to forget your winter woes during Super Bowl weekend.

Arizona

Anything is better than snow-clogged streets and sub-zero temperatures. That includes dry climates like those that dominate the mostly desert state of Arizona. Although the state doesn’t have any maritime boundaries, it does have a plethora of stunning natural sights, including the Saguaro National Park near Tuscon and the Tonto National Forest just outside the Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa area.

California

“The West is the best. Get here and we’ll do the rest,” sang the famous L.A. transplant, Jim Morrison of the Doors. Whether he was right or wrong remains to be seen, but in terms of fun in the sun, I believe he was probably right. The “Golden State” has some of the best weather in the country and a good variety of it too. From the perfect weather of San Diego to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles to the breezy warmth of San Francisco, there is something for everyone. If the East Coast’s winter escape is Florida, then the West Coast’s has got to be the California Republic.

Honorable Mentions

As with any top five list, I had to make hard choices and leave some states out. In the spirit of inclusion, I have added two other states to the list as honorable mentions.

Louisiana – Like most states in the so-called “bible belt,” winters are mild and great for northerners seeking to avoid the chills. Since Louisiana is home to New Orleans, the “Birthplace of Jazz,” I had to include it here. Additionally, the city has some of the most beautiful colonial sites, not to mention the fun-filled Bourbon Street and environs, which make Louisiana a no-brainer for winter vacation.

Nevada – Although its name means “snow-covered” in Spanish, this western state is somewhat short on snow. Mostly desert, Nevada’s winters are relatively mild. But that’s not why it made this list. The state’s internationally recognized grown-up playground city, Las Vegas, is. The city also happens to be the one of the warmest in the state, making it a perfect place to unwind this weekend.