Sure, we love the changing seasons, but the downside is that most of us live in places where summers can be too hot and winters too cold. (Still recovering from the Polar Vortex, anyone?) But there are a few select spots around the world where the weather is almost always just right. Here, four "Goldilocks" destinations to add to your bucket list:
BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
Temps in the 70s, with a variety of micro climates in the rain forests and mountains of this Pacific paradise
What to do: Relax on a sunny, mind-blowingly colorful beach (white, black, and green sand!). Walk on an active volcano in Volcanoes National Park. Attend a traditional luau with hula dancing, roasted pig, mai tais, and Hawaiian beer.
Where to stay: Volcano Rainforest Retreat (from $180).
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Summer high of 76, winter low of 50, with the cool Pacific and inland desert creating a perfect oasis
What to do: Spend a day in Balboa Park, home of the San Diego Museum of Art and the justly renowned San Diego Zoo. Take the ferry to Coronado and ogle the famous hotel that has hosted more than a dozen US presidents. Party Wild West style in the historic Gaslamp District. Mangia in Little Italy.
Where to stay: La Pensione Hotel in Little Italy (from $140).
59 in January, 83 in July thanks to the Atlantic breezes and Gulf Stream
What to do: Take a walking tour that includes food and wine tasting. Stroll the majestic square Praca do Comercio. Take a day trip to beautiful Sintra, where royalty used to get away from it all. Listen to traditional fado music, an unforgettable, melancholy style of Portuguese singing. Ride the Elevador da Gloria to the top of one of Lisbon's seven hills for a great view.
Where to stay: Internacional Design Hotel (from around $110)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
The Atlantic and Indian Oceans keep the climate mild, and our winter is Cape Town's summer
What to do: Explore Table Mountain National Park and hang out with the penguins (yes!) on Boulders Beach (keep your distance, they bite!). For bigger wildlife thrills, head to Kruger National Park to see lions and elephants in the wild. Cape Town is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean; the west side is best for soaking up the sun, the east side for swimming and surfing.
Where to stay: Andros Boutique Hotel (from around $165)