10 Discount Beach Trips to Take This Winter

discount beach vacationsThis post originally appeared on MainStreet.

When the holidays are over and we ring in 2013, there isn’t much to do except sit around and wait for the spring thaw. If your idea of waiting for that thaw is sitting on a beach with a lime beer or a drink with an umbrella, you’re in luck.

Some hotels and resorts have posted some great deals that will warm you up to a winter beach vacation (airfare or travel not included):

1. Belize

We debunked the Mayan calendar by waking up Dec. 22, but if you want a beach vacation that also takes in the culture that garnered so much attention last year, a trip to the heart of the Mayan world is a great beach escape. Belize vacations, including luxury hotels and temple tours, range from $3,600 to $5,600 per couple for a 12-night stay. Adventure Life offers an eight-night stay for $850.

2. Laguna Beach, CA

If you’ve dreamed about driving the Pacific Coast Highway and staying along California’s coast, The Inn at Laguna Beach is offering a 30% discount on rooms this winter, starting at $139 per night. The hotel offers paddle boarding, surfing lessons and in-room spa treatments. The hotel is within walking distance of shopping and hotels, so park your car and stay awhile. It’s even a dog-friendly hotel.

3. St. Lucia

Many resorts and hotels are offering great deals this winter, but the St. James Club, Morgan Bay has discounts of up to 55% off its regular rates. The resort offers a wide variety of things to do in addition to sitting on the beach, including water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, aqua cycling, kayaking and snorkeling. The $147-per-night rate includes all meals, drinks and nonmotorized water sports and is good through Dec. 30, 2013.

4. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Region, Mexico

If a place that has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year is appealing to you right about now, you might want to check out Capella Ixtapa, which is offering a romantic getaway package starting at just $380 per night for a three-night stay. Enjoy strawberries and champagne upon arrival, along with rose petals in the bed. The package also includes an in-room romantic dinner with wine, a couple’s massage and a spa dinner and spa cocktail.

5. Miami Beach

The warm sun, bright art deco colors and hot nightlife are calling you to Miami Beach, and the Miami Beach Resort offers some hot deals for when you get there, starting at just $99 per night. The hotel is right on the beach and within 2.5 miles of South Beach shopping and three miles of downtown Miami. A three-night stay nets you $75 in hotel credits, which can be used for other hotel amenities; a four-night stay gets you $100 in hotel credits.

6. Santa Maria, the Azores

If you would like a European-style vacation without going all the way to Europe, you might look into Santa Maria Island in the Azores, about a third of the way from New England to Europe. As the southernmost island in the group. Santa Maria’s temperature rarely dips to below 60 degrees, which might make it just a little chilly for lounging on the beach, but the charming villages reminiscent of those in Italy and Greece might make up for it. The deal is too good to pass up: $1,294, which includes airfare from Boston and a six-night stay at the Hotel Colombo.

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