This February, the eyes of the world will be on a previously little-known town called Sochi. Even if your travel plans don't take you all the way to Russia this month, you're sure to catch glimpses of this stunning winter and summer resort town as you cheer our athletes all the way to the gold medal podium.
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Winter never looks better than in Cancun, where balmy breezes keep coconut palms swaying during wicked storms up north. Gulf waters are dazzling turquoise, beaches are pearly white, and the food is as tempting as the sun and gentle surf.
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cold February temperatures mean summer in the Southern Hemisphere is in full swing, and few places epitomize fun in the sun better than Rio de Janeiro. Before Carnival crowds arrive at the end of the month for samba dancing in the streets, take advantage of Rio's abundant sun-kissed beaches teeming with bikini-clad bodies.
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Vail is easy to reach and hard to forget. This tiny, tony village has people dreaming of returning before they've even left. Ski-in, ski-out options abound and you never know what celebrities you might run into. Spas, fine dining, and cozy accommodations add to the appeal. Denver is only two hours away.
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St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota just took top honors for Best Romantic North American Getaway in our 10Best Readers' Choice contest. If you love a winter wonderland, head to this charming American city that's rich in history. Craft beers abound, and both The Saint Paul Hotel and the Covington Inn are totally romantic.
Photo courtesy of Nattapol Pornsalnuwat
Big Island, Hawaii
Winter weary travelers in need of some vitamin D need not leave the United States to find a sunny escape. Hawaii's Big Island sees a slight drop in high season crowds, and the island comes alive with colorful flowers, fresh fruits and lush vegetation. February also marks the start of the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival – a celebration of springtime and Japanese heritage and culture.
After the holiday crowds disperse and before spring temperatures start to beckon hordes of tourists, February in London is a quiet, if a bit nippy, time. That means you'll be sharing the city with mostly locals and enjoy ample elbow room at many of the city's top attractions. The style-minded traveler can catch a sneak peek of the latest spring and summer lines during February's London Fashion Week.
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Park City, Utah
Olympic excitement is a year-round event in Park City, where many of the winter athletes are based. They train at the Utah Olympic Center, home to many of this year's Olympic trials. When you're not watching amazing ski jumps, or taming the slopes yourself, downtown holds a wealth of great bars, restaurants, hotels and cool shops.
Photo courtesy of Park City Mountain Resort
St. Petersburg, Florida
Downtown St. Petersburg has enjoyed a serious renaissance and now makes a rather incredible getaway destination. Check out the new Dali museum, the city's international art museum, and the pier. There's also tons of cool shopping, hotels and restaurants. Of course, the beach is minutes away, and sunshine is never a problem.
Photo courtesy of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater
February brings the nation's largest car show, the Chicago Auto Show, to the Windy City. Pair that with a host of excellent museums – the Field, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Chicago – and you'll have plenty of warm, indoor places to explore during the city's low season.