Anyone know of a good cheap destination that I can fly to and start backpacking? I seem to have a preference for mountains. I considered going to Cuba. Has anyone taken any international trips? Anything that isn't too freezing in the U.S. during January or Feb? I'd like it to be at least close to 50F during the day. My main complaint for the cold, is that I can't use my fingers for dexterity work.
Southwest Airlines get away fares are pretty low. Right now you can fly cross country round trip for around $400 between lots of cities. Superstition Mts. in Az., Point Reyes National Seashore , north of San Fransico might be the best for fishing. Barred surf perch are the catch. St. Joseph's Peninsula in Fla. has beach backpacking and fishing in the Gulf.
bluefish's recommendations are good... I'll just add in the islands off of Los Angeles: Channel Islands National Park (Santa Cruz or Santa Rosa) or if you want a touch of civilization then Catalina Island (not part of the NP but geographically part of the Channel Islands). Winter is my favorite time to go. Great weather (though a chance of rain) and not very many people.
I haven't backpacked out side the US but Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Hawaii sound like a lot of fun!