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Best places to visit in january 2024.

January is an ideal time to travel for those needing to escape winter's chill. While travel deals may be limited during this time, you will skirt humidity and the rainy season in popular warm weather destinations. And if you're one for embracing the season's snowy offerings, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the powder in mountainous regions north of the equator. U.S. News weighed these factors and more across an array of different destinations – from the rugged to the refined – to come up with the best places to visit in January. Vote for your favorite destinations below to have a say in next year's list. 

Argentine Patagonia

Railay beach, st. kitts & nevis, british virgin islands, hawai'i volcanoes national park, serengeti national park.

best state to visit in jan

As January brings some of the warmest temperatures and the most daylight hours of the year to Argentine Patagonia, it's no surprise that this is one of the most popular months to visit. Conditions will be ideal for kayaking or rafting on the glacier-fed lakes of the Lake District, located in the northern part of Patagonia, or taking a boat cruise to Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. Plus, the weather will be warm enough (though still brisk) for a trip to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and an excellent base for hiking in Tierra del Fuego.

best state to visit in jan

If sun, sand and a little adventure are requirements for your post-holiday escape, Railay Beach is a great place to spend your next vacation. January is one of the driest months of the year on this Thai peninsula, so you're likely to encounter sun-soaked days of beaching and kayaking while taking in views of the iconic limestone cliffs. If you're up for more action, this area is known for its rock climbing, and you'll also find several caves and lagoons to explore. Just be sure to book early as accommodations can fill up quickly during the dry season.

best state to visit in jan

Venture to this Swiss ski town during the winter months for a scenic getaway. One of Zermatt's most impressive sights is its world-renowned Matterhorn. For breathtaking views, take a cable car to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Europe’s highest mountain station. Here, travelers can explore the attraction’s Glacier Palace, an enchanting attraction with ice tunnels and ever-changing ice sculptures. Adrenaline junkies can also gaze at this jaw-dropping natural wonder during a helicopter tour, or they can try hiking or skiing one of the area's 37 other mountains. Zermatt itself is car-free, but visitors can get around on foot or bike, or by using the town's electric vehicles.

best state to visit in jan

Come January, nothing sounds better than tropical weather and some of the best beaches in the Caribbean . But once you arrive, you'll find that these islands have even more to offer. This two-island nation boasts prime sailing conditions, blue waters perfect for snorkeling and lush forests and volcanoes for those who prefer to explore on land. Plus, if you're ringing in the new year here, you'll catch the closing events for the islands' biggest festival – the St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival. Deemed Sugar Mas by the locals, this cultural celebration makes this one of the sweetest times of year to visit.

best state to visit in jan

Those looking to get away from chilly winter weather should consider a relaxing getaway to the British Virgin Islands. Average temperatures hover between the high 70s and low 80s this time of year, making it easy to enjoy the many outdoor activities that the four main islands have to offer. With ferries regularly traveling to and from the various islands, visitors can sunbathe on the sandy shores of Cane Garden Bay on the capital island of Tortola one day and explore The Baths on Virgin Gorda the next.

best state to visit in jan

Home to two of the world's most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park appeals to adventurous travelers. Hike or drive along Crater Rim Drive to see stunning views of the Kilauea caldera, or attend an educational ranger program to learn more about the park's history. January is Volcano Awareness Month on the Big Island, and the park holds several events during this time to promote the understanding and respect of volcanoes. Keep in mind, certain areas of the park may be closed due to seismic activity, so check the park website prior to arrival.

best state to visit in jan

An African safari may not be the first destination you think of when planning a winter getaway, but a trip to Tanzania's Serengeti National Park should be on your radar. January is one of the best times to travel here, as it is when numerous wildebeest breed during their Great Migration throughout the park. To catch a glimpse of this can't-miss natural phenomenon, which is one of the largest herd movements in the world, base yourself in Southern Serengeti or the northern part of the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

best state to visit in jan

If your heart is set on a winter wonderland, Whistler is the spot for you. This Canadian ski destination averages around 80 inches of snowfall in January, so you're bound to have some fresh powder when you hit the slopes, snowmobile or snowshoe. You'll also have plenty of opportunity to embrace the elements while you ice skate at the Village at Whistler Olympic Plaza or ice fish on serene lakes. When you're ready to warm up, enjoy Whistler's après-ski scene with craft beer at a pub, or cozy up by the fire at one of the area's iconic chalets.

best state to visit in jan

Take a trip Down Under for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. In January, this Australian island offers its warmest weather of the year – average highs sit in the low 70s – thanks to its location in the Southern Hemisphere. Much of Tasmania is protected in national parks and wildlife reserves, offering nature lovers plenty of opportunities to hike, camp and spot wildlife. Travelers can also head to the capital city of Hobart to explore its food and wine offerings or visit the Mona, a unique underground art museum with its own brewery, winery and restaurant.

best state to visit in jan

Boasting the world's tallest building (Burj Khalifa), the world's largest shopping center (the Dubai Mall) and the world's longest urban zip line (the XLine Dubai), this United Arab Emirates city has plenty to offer travelers come January. Average temperatures this time of year hover around the mid-70s, which is ideal for lounging on popular La Mer beach, strolling through the whimsical Dubai Miracle Garden or floating down Dubai Creek on a water taxi (called an abra). If you need to get out of the sun, consider touring the ornate Jumeirah Mosque or observing marine life at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.

best state to visit in jan

Located in the Andalusian region of southern Spain, Seville boasts a number of can't-miss attractions (think: the Real Alcázar and Plaza de España). You'll also want to save time for a leisurely stroll down the winding streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville's former Jewish quarter. Although weather this time of year is chilly for Spain (temperatures typically hover in the 50s and 60s), this is still much warmer than many other European destinations. Plus, travelers who visit in early January will be able to experience Three Kings Day, a celebration commemorating the day that the three wise men visited baby Jesus.

best state to visit in jan

January is one of the driest times of the year in this tropical Central American country. That means it's much easier to enjoy Costa Rica's vast array of outdoor offerings and wildlife-viewing opportunities, such as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. What's more, a number of culturally significant festivals take place in January, including the Palmares Fiestas, which features everything from bullfights to outdoor concerts. Looking to catch some waves? This is also a great time of year to go surfing in Costa Rica, especially for beginners.

best state to visit in jan

If you're seeking a cheap tropical vacation that's closer to home, Cancún is just south enough to offer an easily accessible warm weather getaway. Though January is one of the coolest months in this Mexican city, average temperatures typically remain in the high 70s and low 80s, and there is minimal humidity, which makes this a perfect time to visit. Just be prepared for others to have the same idea and book your trip early. When you're not defrosting on the beach, you can fill your days with a number of day trips and tours to must-visit ruins, nature reserves and nearby islands.

best state to visit in jan

Tulum, Mexico, is an excellent destination for travelers who want to unwind after the busy holiday season. Visitors can relax post-Christmas by visiting one of the city's many yoga and wellness centers. More adventurous vacationers will enjoy exploring Tulum's ancient Mayan ruins, which are some of the best-preserved ruins in Mexico. Those who'd rather swim and soak up some sun can venture to one of the city's cenotes (sinkholes that are filled with water) or a beautiful white sand beach like Playa Paraíso.

best state to visit in jan

Affectionately nicknamed "The Pink City" thanks to its blush-colored sandstone buildings – which were painted pink in 1876 as a welcome to Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales – Jaipur is ideal for a January vacation. In contrast to this Indian city's sweltering summer temperatures, which frequently reach the triple digits, January enjoys comfortable weather in the mid-70s. Take advantage of the mild conditions by joining a guided walking or biking tour, where you'll get an in-depth look into the city's rich history and culture. Other can't-miss activities include exploring Jaipur's magnificent palaces, from the iconic Hawa Mahal to the sprawling Amber Palace.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

best state to visit in jan

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best state to visit in jan

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best state to visit in jan

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The 15 Best Places to Visit in the US in January (2024)

We often forget that there’s a sweet spot for traveling in the winter months, and that’s in January. After the madness of the holiday rush and New Year’s festivities , many of the most popular winter destinations in the US experience a tourism lull that means fewer crowds, lower airfare and accommodation costs, and a decidedly unhurried atmosphere. It’s our favorite time to travel!

Whether you want to be a snowbird in Arizona or hit the slopes in New England, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in the US in January. If you’re wondering where to travel in January , look no further! We’ve selected warm weather destinations and winter wonderlands, so you can plan your own perfect January vacation.

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Places to Visit in the US in January

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).

The 15 Best Places to Travel in the US in January

1. amelia island, florida.

What Places to Visit in USA in January: Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island is one of the most beautiful places in Florida and one of the best warm places to visit in January. While most people might head to Miami for its packed beaches and wild nightlife, Amelia Island offers a peaceful shore, a historic town, and plenty of things to do.

Visiting during the off-season in January means you get off-season rates and off-season calm, with temperatures lingering around 60°F during the day. While you might not find the water warm enough to swim in, you’ll still be able to take a boat out onto the water to enjoy dolphin and manatee tours or even a family fishing trip just off the coast.

Best Cities to Visit in USA in January: Amelia Island, Florida

If you’re more of a fan of dry land, the island’s golf and tennis courts will keep you occupied. Plus, you’ll find the island’s many bike trails to be a fun and energizing way to explore idyllic forests and coves.

Amelia Island’s historic downtown is full of interesting architecture, fantastic dining, and interesting shops, making this the perfect off-season island destination whether you’re traveling solo or with a group. If you’re looking for a place to stay, take advantage of The Ritz Carlton ’s discounted rates. You might just snag a room for half the price it would be during peak season! 

Book your stay at The Ritz Carlton

2. Tucson, Arizona

Where to Vacation in USA in January: Tucson, Arizona

Arizona has always been one of the best states to visit in January, attracting snowbirds from the northern states and even Canada. Tucson made it on our list of the best vacation spots in the US in January for its spectacular natural attractions, fresh air, and warm weather.

Tucson sits southeast of Phoenix in a cooler part of the Sonoran Desert. You’ll find some of the best hiking in the state in Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains, which are almost three times taller than the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.

The impressive elevation means the mountains get snowfall each winter, creating a snow globe effect complete with winter flora and fauna. You’ll even be able to ski on Mt. Lemmon! If it’s not ski season, you can opt for a scenic sky ride to soak in the gorgeous views! You can take a roundtrip ride or hop off at the top for a hike.

Must Visit Places in January: Tucson, Arizona

There are plenty of other trails to choose from in the area. The Sabino Canyon Trail is super popular, an easy 8-mile hike located close to the city. In Catalina State Park, just north of the city, you’ll find more trails, including the Romero Pools hike, perfect for photos and a quick dip in the deep swimming holes.

Tucson is quieter than its city sister, Phoenix, but it doesn’t lack in personality. You’ll find lighter traffic, plenty of cool boutique hotels , historic bars, and great hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

3. San Diego, California

Best Places to Visit in USA in January: San Diego, California

San Diego has perfect weather year-round, making it one of the best US cities to visit in January. After the holiday rush, there are still plenty of festivals happening, it’s a great time to whale watch, and all the other attractions that San Diego is known for will be less crowded.

Foodies should make sure to check out San Diego Restaurant Week, which only happens twice a year! The massive San Diego Brew Festival is a must-see when visiting San Diego in January, featuring dozens of local breweries and hundreds of craft beer creations.

What Places to Visit in USA in January: San Diego, California

San Diego is super sunny in January, making it a great time to get outside for a walk in gorgeous Balboa Park, a stroll along Pacific Beach, or a hike through areas like the San Dieguito River Park, a lush oak woodland with beautiful mountain views.

The San Diego Zoo is one of the best in the world and well worth a visit in the quieter winter months. You’ll also find plenty of nightlife to enjoy in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s jazz-age historical district.

4. Savannah, Georgia

Where to Vacation in USA in January: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is one of the best Southern cities to visit in January. After the holiday season, but before any major festivals, you’ll find it easier to enjoy the southern warmth and sun without the big crowds.

That doesn’t mean Savannah in January is lacking in events, of course. Between the Martin Luther King Day Parade, year-round farmers’ markets, the annual SkateFest, and art walks through the city’s many museums and galleries, you’ll have no shortage of things to do.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in January: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah has a picturesque historic district. Take advantage of the smaller crowds as you explore the city via trolley, a walking tour, or even by carriage. Plus, the city’s many historic homes are must-sees for architecture and history buffs.

The warm weather and better traffic in January make it a great time to visit the Georgia coastline, too. Tybee Island is less than 20 miles away, perfect for a quick beach trip! Hilton Head is also close by and it’s much more enjoyable with fewer tourists.

5. Oahu, Hawaii

Best Places to Visit in USA in January: Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is easily one of the best places to visit in the US in January. The weather is still hot and sunny enough for the perfect beach day, and you’ll save on airfare and hotel costs in the off-season. Oahu is our personal pick for the best surfing, beaches, and other outdoor activities!

By mid-January, the holiday crowds will have thinned significantly, and depending on the year, you might have the good fortune of celebrating Lunar New Year in late January.

What Places to Visit in USA in January: Oahu, Hawaii

Watch a surfing competition on the North Shore , do some spectacular snorkeling at Hanauma Bay or Eternity Beach, go off-roading, or jump off rocks at Waimea Bay. Just remember, the prime surf season also means massive ocean swells, making this an excellent time of year to watch the pros! But maybe not the best time to practice if you’re a novice.

You’ll also want to take advantage of the smaller crowds to check out popular sites like the Polynesian Cultural Center , the fun Paradise Cove Luau , and the Bishop Museum .

6. Austin, Texas

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in January: Austin, Texas

If you’re wondering where to go in January, Austin is always a good idea. After the madness of the holidays, Austin gets quiet, the weather cools to a mild breeze, and travel becomes more affordable, so you can enjoy the charms of the city with a layer of calm. Reservations to the city’s best restaurants will be easier to book, and attractions will be less crowded as everyone recovers from December.

The cultural highlight of visiting Austin in January is Free Week. This annual event highlights live music and local independent restaurants. You’ll get to hear amazing live music for free, or close to it, while enjoying Austin’s famous dining scene. Don’t forget the MLK Celebration , either, complete with a parade, festival, and concert.

Where to Vacation in USA in January: Austin, Texas

Museums will all be less crowded in January. We’d recommend checking out the Bullock Taxes State History Museum and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library . The Blanton Museum of Art has a deceptively large collection and is absolutely worth a look, especially while University of Texas students are occupied with the start of the term.

7. Zion National Park, Utah

Best Cities to Visit in USA in January: Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is a very popular summer destination, and for good reason. But with its gorgeous canyons and rivers, it’s also one of the best places to travel in the US in January. It’ll be a completely different experience than during peak season, with the added benefit of off-season accommodation rates!

Without thousands of fellow travelers on every trailhead, you’ll be able to experience the scale of Zion’s canyon walls, observe wildlife that would otherwise be in hiding, and listen to the quieter sounds of nature.

What What Places to Visit in USA in January: Zion National Park, UtahPlaces to Visit in USA in January: Zion National Park, Utah

With the winter weather, you’ll get a light dusting of snow and see icicles hanging from the falls, all of which add to the charm of a winter visit to Zion. We’d recommend bringing traction devices, especially if you’re planning a high-elevation hike, and plenty of warm clothes, regardless. The weather is usually mild in the daytime, but it gets chilly at night!

In January, you’ll also have the benefit of being able to drive through the canyon in your own car. You’ll have so much more flexibility in where you can go and when rather than needing to work around the shuttle’s schedule. Do keep in mind the added challenge of navigating over snowy or icy roads so be sure to check road conditions before you head into the park.

8. Breckenridge, Colorado

Must Visit Places in January: Breckenridge, Colorado

The amazing ski runs in Breckenridge Ski Resort make it one of the best US cities to visit in January. You’ll get plenty of snowfall and winter events, plus most of the trails will be open and ready for exploration!

Between 187 different trails and nearly 3,000 skiable acres of land across five peaks, this is prime skiing country. Breckenridge is also home to the tallest chairlift on the continent, which should help you know what to expect if you visit.

Our best tip to save during ski season is to get your tickets at least seven days before you plan to hit the slopes. You can also pre-book them before the resort opens up in the winter to save even more.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in January: Breckenridge, Colorado

There’s plenty to do outside of skiing and snowboarding. Classic winter activities are in ample supply. Go on a guided dog sledding or snowmobile tour, a fun sleigh ride, or even a snowshoe excursion through the countryside.

Downtown Breckenridge is super walkable and full of mountain town charm. You’ll want to check out all the cute shops and eat and drink at the cozy bars and restaurants. While it does get cold (about 30°F), there are free buses and shuttles that can take you anywhere you want to go.

9. New York City

Best Cities to Visit in USA in January: New York City, New York

We’ve all seen the ball drop in Times Square, but have you thought about going to NYC right after New Year’s ? It’s still chilly, of course, but the city goes through a post-holiday lull in tourism. Expect good deals and more local energy in “The City that Never Sleeps.”

January is also a great time to attend a festival, including the Jazz Festival in early January and the lovely Asian Festival. If you plan carefully, you might even catch Lunar New Year, which would be a blast to celebrate in Flushing.

Best Places to Visit in USA in January: New York City, New York

Famous tourist attractions like Ellis Island and the Statue of Library will be much less crowded, and you can even ice skate throughout the city. The quiet and the snow all make visiting New York in January a completely different experience than in other months.

Flights and hotels will be cheaper, too, which makes a big difference in New York. All the museums, galleries, and Broadway shows will also be less crowded this time of year, which, if you’ve visited before in the peak holiday or summer season, is a major perk!

10. New Orleans, Louisiana

Where to Vacation in USA in January: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is famous for its incredible Mardi Gras celebrations in February. But, if you’re interested in immersing yourself in New Orleans’ restaurants , culture, and distinctive attitude during a quieter time or on a budget, then going during January might be just the move.

For one thing, you’ll actually be able to make hotel reservations, which is often not the case during Mardi Gras. Accommodations will also be less expensive in January.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in January: New Orleans, Louisiana

The weather at this time is comfortably cool, which is great if you’d prefer to avoid the summer heat waves. Crowds will be minimal since most locals will be recovering from a busy holiday season and tourism will have slowed.

Meanwhile, Creole cuisine will remain just as delicious as any other time of year. MLK Day is just around the corner, with art fairs, free museum admission, and all-ages activities going on throughout the city. With all these perks, winter is a real sweet spot for a New Orleans trip!

11. Chicago, Illinois

Best Cities to Visit in USA in January: Chicago, Illinois

We won’t lie, the weather in Chicago in January can be intense, but the city makes up for that with a ton of local festivals and lower prices for hotels. If you’ve wanted to tick Chicago off your bucket list for a while, this is one of the best US cities to visit in January.

The annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival in January will give you a portrait of the city’s famed comedy scene, along with plenty of international comedians. They play 20 shows every evening, so there are plenty of laughs to be had.

Other events, including the Tomorrow Never Knows Music Festival and the Chicago Winter Whiskey Tasting Festival, provide ample reason to brave the Chicago cold. We consider it a badge of honor, and if you’re layered up, it’s really not so bad.

What Places to Visit in USA in January: Chicago, Illinois

The city’s famous bar crawls continue throughout the winter, including the Boozing’ In Your Onesie Bar Crawl, which is exactly what it sounds like.

You can also go ice skating in iconic Millennium Park or hang out with polar bears at Lincoln Park Zoo . Plus, you’ll find plenty of fire pits, heaters, and hot chocolate to keep you cozy, even on a rooftop bar.

12. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Where to Vacation in USA in January: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

If you’re wondering where to go in January for an epic ski trip, Gatlinburg is another great winter skiing destination. What sets it apart from many others is the Gatlinburg Winter Magic festival and its relative quiet after the holiday crowds depart, complete with discounted cabin rentals.

Winterfest in Gatlinburg involves millions of lights strung up all throughout the city in inventive displays. The event has a 30-year history of keeping the town bright and festive throughout winter. Grab some hot cocoa for a walking tour, or just drive around to soak it all in.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in January: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ober Ski Mountain is prime ski and snowboarding territory. It also features a freestyle terrain park, so you can learn (or show off) a few tricks and skills. Tubing and ice skating are also great activities to get into on the mountain.

You can get lovely snowy views of the Smoky Mountains from the Space Needle , and if you’re feeling adventurous, from Morton’s Overlook or from within the national park itself. There are plenty of low-elevation trails to check out and stunning winter landscapes to discover.

13. Mammoth Lakes, California

Best Places to Visit in USA in January: Mammoth Lakes, California

Mammoth Lakes is another one of the best places to visit in the US in January. It’s a hub for all sorts of winter sports. Cross-country skiing is big here, and January is a prime time to go. You can ice skate in the mountains or even try ice climbing, all accompanied by a pristine blanket of snow.

Hiking is an all-season activity in Mammoth Lakes. The most scenic trailheads are still open and easily accessible, and even the snow-covered trails can be snowshoed.

Best Cities to Visit in USA in January: Mammoth Lakes, California

This is an especially nice destination if you’re looking for a winter getaway for the family. Woolly’s Tube Park & Snow Play is dedicated to just that, with a lift, well-maintained runs, and a play area perfect for a snowball fight. Outside the park, you can check out the Shady Rest Park and scenic loop, too.

If you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, we would suggest avoiding long weekends since winter is a busy season for this particular area.

14. Aspen, Colorado

What Places to Visit in USA in January: Aspen, Colorado

January is a magical time to visit Aspen . The holiday crowds tend to thin out quickly, but the festive decorations blanketing the town remain. That, plus world-class skiing and snowboarding conditions and great rental prices, make January a secret sweet spot for your trip.

By January, the snow will be nicely compacted. Ski terrain will have opened up, and you’ll have some solitude on the slopes.

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in January: Aspen, Colorado

Events are plentiful. Aspen hosts regular film screenings, the ESPN X Games, and the Nordic Winterskol winter festival, to name just a few highlights. You might catch ice sculpture exhibitions, illuminated art displays, or even a fireworks show during your trip.

Gay Ski Week will bring plenty of activities, like concerts and parties, to the slopes. For something really memorable, go to a Full Moon Dinner at Cliffhouse. The hike up Buttermilk Mountain is gorgeous, and the food is a stellar accompaniment to the view.

15. North Conway, New Hampshire

Must Visit Places in January: North Conway, New Hampshire

North Conway is a veritable winter wonderland and one of the best vacation spots in the US in January since the holiday rush will be over, but you’ll still see the town in all its snow-covered majesty.

The Conway Scenic Railroad New Year’s Special on January 2 is an annual tradition that always sells out. The Conway Scenic Railroad, a great attraction at any time of year, runs a special excursion all the way out to Sawyer River – a 4-hour ride through some of the most beautiful vistas in New England. There are plenty of opportunities for a truly unique photo-op.

Of course, White Mountains is less than an hour away, and the area speaks for itself with hundreds of trails, amazing slopes, and fantastic snow conditions in January. You can also hike around frozen waterfalls or snowmobile through the backcountry.

North Conway has everything you need for a memorable January excursion. You can head to Nestlenook Farm for an idyllic sleigh ride, some ice skating, a snowshoeing expedition, or a moose tour!

There you have it! The 15 best places to travel in the US in January. What’s your favorite USA destination to visit in January?

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Best Places to Visit in the USA in January

About the Author:

Valerie Wheatley

Val grew up in Portland, Oregon but moved to Oahu on a whim back in 2013. She sold her house and all of her belongings and bought a one-way ticket. Since then she’s taken two around-the-world trips and has visited 60-ish countries while living out of a duffel bag. Val started documenting the Wandering Wheatleys travels back in 2013 as a way to update friends and family about her whereabouts and to relay humorous daily interactions. The only readers were her mom and her mother-in-law but that didn’t stop her! These days you’ll find Val dreaming up future trips, creating new travel content, managing a team of amazing travel enthusiasts, and chasing around her two adorable but naughty kids.

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Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled

Top 20 Awesome Places to Visit in January USA

January is often considered quite a nothing month, but if you’re anything like me you’ll want to liven it up a bit. One of my favorite ways to do this is by heading off and exploring. So you can either embrace the cold and make the most of the winter snow sports on offer; or head to states where you’re almost guaranteed fine sunny weather. Here are my favorite spots to explore…

1. Breckenridge, Colorado – for stunning scenery and skiing 

Breckenridge - best places to visit in January

I’m a huge fan of the charming mountain town of Breckenridge. It offers incredible ski runs that are deeply coated in perfect powder for much of the winter months coupled with vibrant après options and a surprisingly lively nightlife in the town itself for when you finally manage to drag yourself off those picturesque slopes.

Characterized by its charming Victorian architecture, Breckenridge has legendary skiing opportunities as well as an iconic main street. It’s a bustling but very charming hub packed with cafes, restaurants, and unique shops. 

I would highly recommend going on the highest chairlift in North America when you visit and this time of year provides you with easy access to the very best runs. This month sees the highest average snowfall of the year and the town transforms into a very beautiful winter wonderland. 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: The Breckenridge Welcome Centre, 203 S. Main Street Breckenridge, CO 80424, Phone: 877 864 0868
  • Average temperatures – minus 1 to minus 7 degrees

My must-do highlights

  • Take a wander down Main Street to enjoy the magical holiday lights and stop off for a warm cup of hot chocolate.
  • Experience an exciting, guided snowmobile tour to explore the backcountry memorably.
  • Visit the International Snow Sculpture Championships where teams from across the world hand-carve their creative ideas.

2. Palm Desert, California – perfect for a sunny leisure break

Nestled next to Palm Springs in the sun-baked Coachella Valley, roughly equidistant from lively and eclectic Los Angeles and surfers’ paradise San Diego, I’m a big fan of this cool and quirky destination.

It’s filled with natural hot springs, luxury hotels, country clubs, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels , golf courses, and sunny weather. With its promise of Californian sun and warmth, even when most of the Northern Hemisphere is hunkered down for winter, it’s no wonder that Palm Desert is a favorite pick among celebrities for a blissful winter retreat. 

It’s neither too hot nor too cold so perfect for all sorts of activities; from hiking to biking, desert treks, and golf. Although I would recommend just lounging by the pool before a visit to one of the town’s numerous spas.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 73510 Fred Waring Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260
  • Average temperature – 22 degrees
  • Hire a bike  and explore the city whilst admiring the beautiful scenery and views.
  • Take a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway where you can snap Insta-worthy shots of the breathtaking Chino Canyon.
  • Reserve a pass for the Palm Springs International Film Festival  and do some celebrity spotting.

3. Zion National Park, Utah – an otherworldly natural wonder

Zion National Park winter

In southwest Utah lies a unique natural reserve distinguished by the steep red cliffs of Zion Canyon, part of the awe-inspiring Zion National Park , an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

I would suggest heading out onto the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, a winding two-lane road that carves a path through the National Park, and offers magnificent vistas at every turn before winding up at the serene forest trails along the Virgin River.

I would also recommend exploring the luminous Emerald Pools, the Virgin River, the waterfalls and the Zion Narrow for a unique wintertime walk (although keep safe!) I think this month is a great time to explore Zion without the crowds, and, being based in southern Utah. 

The park experiences mild winters and limited snowfall – so walking trails are accessible even during the winter months. Also, areas closed to cars in summer allow vehicular access – so reaching its wealth of natural attractions is never easier!

  • Visitors Center Address: 1 Zion Park Blvd, Zion National Park, UT 84767
  • Phone: (435) 772-3256
  • Average temperature – 10 degrees
  • Take a hike  on one of the trails and catch the picturesque views overlooking the red sandstone cliffs.
  • Explore the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive by car and discover the beautiful lands at your own pace.
  • Go paddleboarding on the quiet Quail Creek State Park Lake and spend the day out on the serene waters.

4. Big Sky, Montana – for snowy scenery and skiing

Big Sky Montana in the winter

In my opinion, this is prime time in Big Sky because of the plethora of family-friendly events and activities it has to offer. While the nearby famous Yellowstone National Park is definitely an attraction, other outdoor activities include nature zip lines, hikes, and escape rooms. Winter activities include sledging, snowmobiling, snow-go bike rides, ice trekking, and cross-country skiing. For those less adventurous, I’d highly recommend the fun après ski scene! 

No matter how you choose to spend your days, winter evenings in Big Sky are made for curling up in front of a fire. The endless panoramic views of Montana’s magical winter scapes make Big Sky the perfect winter destination and I’m a big fan! 

  • Visitors Center Address: 88 Ousel Falls Rd Unit A1, Big Sky, MT .
  • Average temperatures – 0 to -13 degrees
  • Explore along the scenic Ousel Falls Trailhead and discover the frozen waterfall where you can also enjoy a picnic.
  • Have a shopping day at the upscale and unique boutiques located in the town center.
  • Go skiing at Big Sky Resort which is suited to all abilities and well known for being a favourite for those who love powder.

5. Miami, Florida – for a fun and warm beach destination 

Miami, Florida, USA

Miami is of course known for its sun-kissed sandy beaches, humming beach bars, and opulent At-Deco style hotels. While this vibrant city is a popular year-round destination, this month is a cost-effective time to visit the ever-exuberant Miami as it is off-peak – so not only will you miss the busy crowds of families and spring-breakers you can make the most of many attractions and fabulously extravagant hotels for a more budget-friendly price.

Also, Miami’s sub-tropical climate means that whilst other states find themselves in the depths of winter, the pastel-coloured streets of Florida’s most Instagrammable city are still abuzz with activity. 

I’d recommend strolling down the famous Ocean Drive, and visiting museums such as the Vizcaya Museum and Perez Art Museum, historic sites, clubs, and casinos, and then staying at one of the many amazing boutique hotels – the options are endless!

  • Visitors Center Address: 530 17 th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
  • Average temperature – 23 degrees
  • Go on a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus tour and explore the popular attractions of the city.
  • Discover the Night Garden  which is a spectacular botanical garden to visit during the winter season which is filled with trees, scavenger hunts, and dandelion flower fields.
  • Slow down and relax at the iconic Miami Beach where you can spend the day sunbathing or swimming.

6. Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina – for a unique winter holiday in America’s South

Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

Hunting Island is a 5,000-acre secluded, semi-tropical barrier island 15 miles east of Beaufort, South Carolina. Known for its pristine beaches, maritime forests, historic lighthouse, and exclusive nature center, Hunting Island State Park attracts more than a million visitors each year. It is also home to the only publicly accessible lighthouse in the state and I’d recommend visiting it.

The island is also home to a saltwater lagoon, an ocean inlet, and a fishing pier, and I’d also recommend camping to make the most of the beautiful oceanside location. The warm sea temperatures, even in this month, make it a great time to go visit the island and enjoy swimming in its alluring lagoon.

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 713 Craven St, Beaufort, SC 29902
  • Average temperature – 13 degrees
  • Climb 167 spiral steps to the top of the Hunting Island Lighthouse  and enjoy the picturesque view overlooking the coast and other nearby islands.
  • Stroll along the Hunting Island campground and admire one of the most beautiful starry skies .
  • Explore the lush greenery along the exotic island’s coastal barrier on several trails.

7. Heavenly, the border of California and Nevada – a huge ski resort with heaps of hidden gems

Heavenly Mountain ski resort

On the Southern shores of Lake Tahoe, you will find the aptly named Heavenly, one of the world’s biggest ski resorts that offers amazing views of the lake as you ascend or make your way down its pristine slopes.

This extraordinary ski resort is not only known for its unparalleled natural beauty but also its extensive range of terrain parks, mogul runs, and untracked slopes – not to mention its happening après-ski scene which I highly recommend sampling! 

Besides skiing and boarding, the mountains offer other adventure activities including zip lines, tube runs, and gondola rides. In my opinion, the after-dark, off-the-slope fun is as equally exciting and pulls in crowds from the local area and further afield.

As with most ski resorts, the best time to ski is in this month, after the holidays when the crowds have lessened, and the slopes themselves have had time to build up a thick layer of snow topped with the fluffy powder that continues to fall throughout the month.

  • Visitor Center Address: Explore Tahoe Visitor Center 4114 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe
  • Average temperature – 8 to -2 degrees
  • Experience a unique and thrilling ride through the snow-covered forests on the Mountain Coaster .
  • For those who like to party, head to Unbuckle for a lively atmosphere at 9,150 feet high.
  • Enjoy the Insta-worthy views at the observation tower before taking one of the epic runs back down to the resort.

8. Brunswick & Golden Isles, Georgia – perfect for nature lovers

Golden Isles, Georgia

Nestled along Georgia’s Atlantic coast, Golden Isles comprise the city of Brunswick and the barrier islands of St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island. The Golden Isles are known for their marshlands and beaches that are spotted with small islands called hammocks.

The magnificent landscape includes stretches of sandy beaches to barrier islands. Golden Isles offers breathtaking views, historic landmarks, museums, art galleries, golf courses, and accommodation options which range from everything from cozy inns to luxury resorts so I would suggest trying some out! Throw in some of that unparalleled southern hospitality and basically, I think it’s winter break perfection! 

  • Visitor Center Address: 2017 Lee St, Brunswick, GA 31520
  • Average temperature – 18 degrees
  • Catch a show and enjoy some entertainment at the historic Ritz Theatre located in the Old Town.
  • For those who love to golf , experience a round at one of the courses situated across this breathtaking bucket list destination.
  • Spend a night camping at Jekyll Island Campground which is near other local attractions.

9. Payette National Forest, Idaho – a great alternative ski break

Payette National Forest Idaho in January

Based in central-western Idaho, the Payette National Forest comprises over 2.3 million acres of peaceful natural beauty for you to explore and offers an amazing alternative to the bigger-name ski resorts like Aspen.

Receiving over 300 inches of snow per year, Payette is known for its extensive array of winter activities. On-slope activities consist of snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and many more recreational experiences.

The area boasts 500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that are well-maintained and continue to increase in number and popularity, as well as 19,000 acres of elevated terrain that is ideal for backcountry skiing and snowboarding, which I highly recommend. 

  • Visitors Center Address: 500 N Mission St, McCall 83638
  • Average temperature – minus 1 to minus 16 degrees 
  • For those who love skiing or snowboarding , take advantage of being surrounded by some of Idaho’s best snow-covered resorts.
  • Take a snowmobile ride to explore over 500 miles worth of trails and admire the stunning views.
  • Learn about the county’s history and its native tribes with a visit to Payette County Museum .

10. Kailua Kona, Hawaii Big Island – for a beautiful warm getaway

Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kailua-Kona is a seaside town on the west coast of Hawaii Island, where the western slopes of the Hualālai volcano meet the ocean. This gorgeous island boasts blue skies and sunny, dry weather all year round. While summers can get extremely hot, the warm temperatures (around 80F) this month presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy its sugary soft beaches.

The island is known for its white sandy beaches so I would highly recommend sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming while here! Laid-back vibes, all-inclusive resorts, five-star spas, and world-class golf courses also await. 

South Kona is known for its lush forests and renowned Kona coffee, so I would suggest taking a walk through some of its unspoiled green areas and visiting its expansive coffee farms as well as the historic Hawaiian landmarks, local farmers’ markets, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. This is one of the warmest places in The States during this month so it’s a great choice for winter sun! 

  • Visitors Center Address: Big Island Guide 73-4318 Keokeo St, Kailua Kona, HI 96740
  • Average temperature  – 27 degrees
  • Take a trip to see two of the world’s most active volcanoes at the National Park for an unforgettable experience.
  • Discover the unique and beautiful Punaluu Black Sand Beach  after grabbing some food to enjoy from the  Punalu’u Bake Shop.
  • Visit the famous ‘Akaka Falls  which stands at 442 feet high and can be found by following an easy and beautiful hiking trail. 

11. Alta & Snowbird, Utah – for skiing and stunning snowy scenery

Alta, Utah - best places to visit in the USA

A picturesque ski area part of the imposing Wasatch Mountains of Utah located in Salt Lake County, Alta is known for its wide array of slopes that make it ideal for every level of skier. Alta averages 550 inches of snow each year, so the season is both long and filled with variety.

Snowbird is a world-famous ‘must- ski ’ destination situated just one mile away from Alta. Snowbird is known for its all-year-round ski season as it remains open for over 200 days.

This month sees heavy snowfall on top of an already thick covering on the ground in Alta and Snowbird, and it also sees its fair share of bluebird days, so I would suggest appreciating those stunning views as you head up on the lift and down on your skis!

  • Visitors Center Address: 9260 E Lodge Dr, Snowbird, UT 84092
  • Phone: (801) 933-2222
  • Average temperature – 3 degrees
  • Indulge in some R&R at The Cliff Spa and treat yourself to luxurious wellness treatments.
  • Experience helicopter skiing on a fresh powder day for a unique and unforgettable memory.
  • Take a guided ski tour and discover the tranquil backcountry trails.

12. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico – a truly unique beauty spot 

White Sands National Monument

As its name might suggest this place is characterized by its stunning, seemingly endless stretches of bright white sand – white enough to rival even the freshest of snowfall! The region’s dune field is very dynamic, with the most active dunes moving at a rate of up to 30 feet per year.

I would highly recommend seeing the largest gypsum dune field, the tall glistening range of white dunes in Tularosa Basin (“internally drained valley”), and over 800 unique species of fauna and flora that survive in these extreme and largely inhospitable conditions.

Not only the natural geology of the region but also the incredible animals that live here are what make this destination so uniquely intriguing. Summers are too hot to visit, making winter the best time to visit White Sands National Monument.

  • Visitor Center Address: 19955 US-70 W, Alamogordo, NM 88310
  • Phone: (575) 479-6124
  • Average temperature – 14 degrees
  • Visit the white gypsum dunes that cover 275 square miles of land, making them the largest in the world.
  • Have a go at sledging down the dunes ideal for the whole family to enjoy.
  • For those who love the outdoors, spend a night or two camping underneath the starry skies at one of the ten campsites. 

13. Death Valley, California – a safer time to visit this extraordinary place

Death Valley - amazing places to explore in January

Bordering the Great Basin Desert, Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California and is one of the hottest places on Earth, often compared with deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara.

Being one of the hottest, driest, and lowest national parks and places in the world, Death Valley has unbearably blistering summer temperatures. Therefore I’d recommend visiting in the wintertime instead! Two exclusive hotels offer distinct experiences – relaxing or adventurous and both offer swimming pools and a variety of other activities. 

While exploring the national park, I’d suggest trying to spot its unique wildlife such as desert bighorn sheep, lizards, and the tiny pupfish, which live in pools saltier than seawater. At night, I would highly recommend stargazing free from light pollution in this mesmerizing landscape! 

  • Visitor Center Address: 328 Greenland Blvd, Death Valley, CA 92328
  • Phone: (760) 786-3200
  • Average temperature – 19 degrees
  • Take a journey along Artists Drive to discover Artists Palette whilst admiring the pink granite and magnificent rock formations.
  • Enjoy a hike through the Golden Canyon and experience some Insta-worthy views, well-known for being one of the best trails.
  • Catch a sunrise at one of the most iconic places in Death Valley, Zabriskie Point, offering visitors a panoramic view.

14. San Diego, California – makes a gorgeous winter city break

San Diego in the winter

I honestly think San Diego is an excellent destination to visit this month because, whilst it is on the cooler side compared with other months, it still offers a great escape from cold dreary weather, boasting an almost picture-perfect, year-round Mediterranean-like climate with sunshine and soft ocean winds.

I would recommend exploring its beautiful beaches, family-friendly parks, world-class restaurants, trendy bars, and excellent artistic and cultural offerings which you can enjoy with thinned-out crowds in winter. I’d also recommend choosing from various activities such as sunbathing, surfing, kayaking, and bodyboarding.

Other attractions include the Immense Balboa Park, Japanese Botanical Gardens, Old Town San Diego, art galleries, museums, and gardens.

  • Visitor Center Address: 996 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Take a stroll around San Diego Botanic Garden  which provides 4 miles of trails and an array of stunning flora and fauna. 
  • Visit the Old Town located in the heart of the city and taste your way through the Mexican-inspired restaurants.
  • Explore around on the hop-on-hop-off bus to discover as many of San Diego’s popular attractions as you like.

15. Mt Baker, Washington – a snowy winter wonderland 

Mt Baker, Washington

Mt. Baker Ski Area is an epic ski resort in Washington that is well-known for its unbeatable snow levels of up to 17 meters per season, extreme inbounds terrain, and vastly accessible backcountry. The fresh powder snow in high volumes makes Mt Baker a great attraction for skiers and snowboarders.

However, since Mt Baker is not as known as some of its comparable ski resorts, it’s generally less crowded so an ideal pick for anyone looking for some discreet ski time away from the rush.

Along with its groomed ski trails, I’d also highly recommend participating in winter sports on offer like snowmobiling, snow hikes, sledging, and exploring the spellbinding old-growth forest! 

  • Visitor Center Address: 7509 Mount Baker Hwy, Maple Falls, WA 98266
  • Average temperature – minus 9 to minus 14 degrees

16. South Padre Island & Port Isabel, Texas – warm temperatures and beautiful scenery

South Padre Island Texas

Off the coast of Texas lies South Padre Island: a resort town on a barrier island known for its soft beaches and calm waters. While summers can get too hot, and spring attracts large crowds, winters with pleasant temperatures ranging between 55°F – 75°F are the best time to visit South Padre Island.

I’d recommend visiting the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Centre, which comprises of a 5-story watchtower with marvelous views of migrating birds. 

A short trip away is Port Isabel which is separated from the shores of South Padre Island by the 2.6-mile-long Queen Isabella Causeway. I would suggest taking to the waters on a magical dolphin cruise, stroll along Laguna Madre Nature Trail, or enjoy a picnic in Isla Blanca Park.

With its pleasant subtropical climate and rich culture and history, I honestly think it’s no surprise that South Padre Island is a favorite winter destination for millions of visitors each year.

  • Visitor Center Address: 600 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597
  • Average temperature – 21 degrees
  • Visit one of the most Instagrammable spots, Holiday Sandcastle Village , and see some life-size sculptures.
  • Take a trip to the entertainment district where you can have some fun on the Ferris wheel, mini golf, go-karts, and more.
  • Enjoy a relaxed stroll along the beach whilst listening to the serene sounds of the ocean.

17. Moosehead Lake, Maine – winter fun on a beautiful frozen lake

Moosehead Lake Maine in the winter

The largest mountain lake in the eastern United States and the second-largest lake in New England, Moosehead Lake is a deep, cold-water lake situated in the Longfellow Mountains. I’d highly recommend cozying up in a rustic cabin located by a serene frozen lake, surrounded by picturesque scenery! Pure Bliss! 

The array of adventure activities on offer includes winter hikes, snowmobiling and snowshoe trails by day campfires, and stargazing into the clear northern skies by night.

And, if you’re still after more, there is even the possibility of glimpsing the elusive Northern Lights on your trip I didn’t see them on my trip but it’s definitely possible! In this month, the nearby Squaw Mountain is also open to snowboarders and skiers should you want to venture out to another mountain.

  • Visitor Center Address: 480 Moosehead Lake Rd, Greenville, ME 04441
  • Average temperatures – minus 6 to minus 18 degrees
  • Start your day right with a breakfast around the lake and fuel yourself ready for a full day of activities.
  • Take a snowmobile ride along the Moosehead Trail  which offers an expansive and scenic range of 160 miles.
  • Experience the picturesque views by going on a hike to explore your surroundings. 

18. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida – for interesting scenery and warm temperatures

Dry Tortugas National Park

Situated in the Gulf of Mexico, west of Key West,  Dry Tortugas National Park comprises 7 islands with protected coral reefs. This beach destination allows tourists to escape the cold winters and relish the warm Floridian sunshine all year round. The Dry Tortugas, as the name suggests, have a dry winter season (November-March) with little or no rainfall, which is not as hot and humid as its summer months.

I think January is a great time to visit because the warm temperatures allow for snorkeling, sunbathing, and enjoying other water sports like kayaking, and boating without being too hot and sticky which is sometimes a risk in the summer months.

Also, with fewer visitors, you have a much better chance of spotting some of the rare birds that call this area home; including the Brown Noddy, Sooty Tern, Brown Pelicans, Magnificent Frigatebirds, or Black-bellied Plovers.

Bush Key is a nesting site for seabirds, Loggerhead Key has an iconic lighthouse and is home to sea turtles. Garden Key is known for its lovely beaches and the historic 19th-century Fort Jefferson so I would suggest visiting! 

  • Visitor Center Address: Florida Keys, FL 33040
  • Phone: (305) 294-7009
  • Average temperatures – 24 degrees
  • Explore the historic Fort Jefferson for some of the best views overlooking the crystal-clear waters and surrounding islands.
  • Experience some of the best snorkeling in Florida at the Moat Wall or South Coaling Dock Ruins.
  • Take a walk around the lush Bush Key,  a perfect activity for those who don’t want to go in the water.

19. Tucson, Arizona – fewer crowds and pleasant winter temperatures

Tucson Arizona

Tucson has been dubbed the ‘City of Gastronomy’ by UNESCO, and rightly so. This amazing city offers some of the most remarkable restaurants, cafes, bars, and breweries in the Southwest – and so unsurprisingly Tucson’s downtown is a thriving hub of activity and fun. Even hotels in Tucson strive to meet the city’s reputation for its excellent fare.

Apart from its rich food scene, Tucson is known for the spectacular natural beauty of its national parks and pine forests like Saguaro National Park and Mount Lemmon, its colossal cave, open-air museums and gardens, and its iconic old town and I would highly recommend exploring all of them! 

But with summers being desert hot, it can sometimes be difficult to make the most of these rich cultural offerings, so I believe wintertime can allow you to really make the most of what Tucson, Arizona has to offer.

  • Visitor Center Address: Southern Tucson Visitor Center, 115 N. Church Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701
  • Average temperatures – 19 degrees

My must-do highlights 

  • Take an underground tour at one of the most unique attractions in Tuscon, Kartchner Caverns State Park,  and discover the mesmerizing cave formations.
  • Visit Pima Air and Space Museum, the world’s largest aerospace museum which is home to over 300 aircraft.
  • Play a round of golf in the Tuscan sunshine at one of the 40 courses located across the city, 

20. Fairbanks, Alaska – for winter activities and the Northern Lights

Fairbanks, Alaska in January

One of the largest cities of Alaska, Fairbanks is situated at a latitude that makes it perfect to witness the famed A urora Borealis. Your chances of seeing the Northern lights are higher this month, but the crowds are lesser due to the cold weather. You’ll also find much better deals on flights, hotels, and tours during January as it’s officially off-season.

The scenic natural landscape includes serene mountains and pristine rivers and lakes that are teeming with wildlife so I recommend trying to spot wildlife here. Experience sunrises and sunsets that last forever (typically two hours), and where the sky’s made up of a kaleidoscope of oranges and blues.

Fairbanks also offers an array of winter activities. I’d suggest going sledging, snowmobiling, snow hikes, and visiting the nearby Chena hot springs! 

  • Visitor Center Address: 101 Dunkel St, Fairbanks, AK 99701
  • Average temperatures – minus 8 to minus 26 degrees
  • Experience the sky come alive by taking a Northern Lights tour and watch how it dances over your head.
  • Discover the creative and incredible sculptures at the Ice Museum .
  • Take some time out to relax at  the beautiful Chena Hot Springs Resort which is run off geothermal energy.

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Becky Moore

Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer

My first true adventure began as a six-month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh-faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi-nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in the warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds, and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex-Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.

Hotel Reviewing Experience – published hotel review in the 52 Sleeps Book organised by Laterooms.com and Lonely Planet. Asked by over 12 tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Germany Tourist Board , Canada Tourist Board , Eviivo , France.fr , Visitoostende.be , Live Riga and Queensland Tourist Board . Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos .

I’ve also been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic , The Times , LA Weekly , Yahoo Travel , Huffington Post , Business Insider , Thrillist , British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur , Daily Express , Wanderlust , Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and Metro . Winner of Travel Blog of the Year . Find me on Linkedin or Facebook .

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14 thoughts on “Top 20 Unspoilt Places to Visit in Crete for Travel Snobs”

Zion National Park is so high up on my bucket list, it looks so beautiful! Hopefully one day I will get there 🙂 Great post, thanks for sharing Becky!

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10 Best Places to Travel in January 2024

Here are 10 of the best places to visit in January in the United States and around the world.

best state to visit in jan

Best Places to Travel in January in the United States

  • Best Places to Travel in January Around the World

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Whether you’re looking forward to ski season or aiming to escape to someplace warm to kick off 2024, we have ideas for you. Those seeking sunshine might travel to Panama, the Maldives, or the Caribbean, while snow sports fans can find their fun in Vail or Switzerland. Travelers who appreciate off-season deals might consider Monaco or Savannah, Georgia, and for more stateside history and beauty, consider a trip to Alabama. 

Wherever your January takes you, we hope it will be the beginning of a year of travel to new destinations and favorite places. Here are 10 of the best places to travel in January in the United States and around the world. 

Stephen Poff/Alabama Tourism

The birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Alabama is an inspiring destination during the month of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. In Montgomery, visitors can experience landmarks like Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Dr. King preached his message, as well as the Legacy Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and the Civil Rights Memorial designed by Maya Lin. Stay in Montgomery, and if time allows, head south to Alabama’s beaches , where it’s pleasant to be outside even in the winter months. The Gulf Shores area is located along the Mississippi Flyway migration route, and birdwatchers flock to the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail to spot species they rarely see.

Where to Stay: Stay at the conveniently located luxury boutique Trilogy Autograph Collection Hotel in Montgomery. 

Vail, Colorado

miralex/Getty Images

Ski season is prime time to visit Colorado, and Vail is a great spot to hit the slopes. The quaint town is modeled after a Bavarian village, with pedestrian streets, world-class restaurants, shops, cafés, and luxury hotels. Vail is perfect for skiers who visit for its nearly 200 trails and for non-skiers who enjoy apré-ski activities without ever going out in the snow. Vail’s public art collection includes paintings, sculptures, and murals, ideal for a pleasant stroll through town. After a long day on the slopes, we recommend checking into one of the luxe spas at the many high-end hotels. You can fly into Denver and drive about two hours to Vail, or take a flight into the nearby Eagle County Regional Airport .

Where to Stay: Top places to stay in Vail include Grand Hyatt Vail , The Arrabelle , The Lodge at Vail , Antlers at Vail , The Sebastian-Vail .

Temecula, California

skodonnell/Getty Images

About 90 miles south of Los Angeles and 60 miles from San Diego, Temecula Valley is a popular Southern California wine destination with nearly 50 award-winning wineries. Hot air ballooning, hiking, horseback riding, and golf are great local activities. You can also go wine tasting or visit area breweries and distilleries. Old Town Temecula has a historic feel and a community theater that hosts comedy shows, tribute bands, jazz concerts, and more. 

Where to Stay: Hotels, vacation rentals , and Pechanga Resort & Casino are among places to stay. For a particularly unique experience, stay at Europa Village , where you can enjoy the atmosphere of Spain, France, or Italy without dusting off your passport. Accommodation options here include casitas and suites with easy access to wine tasting. 

Related: 12 of the Best Wineries in Temecula Valley 

Savannah, Georgia

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Take advantage of off-season prices by booking a getaway to Savannah in January. Crowds at city attractions will likely be thin — this is usually Savannah’s coldest month, though temperatures rarely fall below 40 degrees and often reach the 60s. And there are plenty of things to do in Savannah , from museum visits to meals at popular dining spots. Explore the riverfront, browse unique shops, and find a place that serves fresh seafood. 

Where to Stay: If you’d like to stay along the river, consider the sophisticated Thompson Savannah , set in the Eastern Wharf district. Or choose Perry Lane Hotel in the heart of historic downtown Savannah. For a unique Savannah experience, visit Cohen’s Retreat , set in a restored century-old building that now features a restaurant, bar, live music nights, and a boutique that showcases the work of local artists. You can even stay nearby at one of their cottages. 

T+L Backpack Quiz

Best places to travel in january around the world .

Maria Avvakumova/Getty Images

Summer crowds are gone, and while temperatures in the 50s likely mean no swimming or sunbathing, there’s still much to enjoy in Monaco during this time of year. In addition to exploring Old Town, where you will see the 13th-century Prince’s Palace of Monaco and the Baroque 17th-century Museum of the Chapel of the Visitation, you can shop and stroll in Monte Carlo, on the same streets where Formula One cars speed during the famed Monaco Grand Prix. From Jan. 19-28, the 46th Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo comes to Monaco with thousands of international circus acts. A range of hotels offer attractive prices in the off-season, too. 

Where to Stay: Consider a luxe stay at Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo , Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo , or Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo , all part of The Leading Hotels of the World .

The Maldives

January weather is dry and warm in this nation of more than a thousand islands, about 200 of which are inhabited. Clear seas, coral formations, and marine life make it a favorite destination for divers and snorkelers, and the destination’s overwater bungalows and remote location make it a honeymoon haven. No matter your reason for visiting, you’ll want to experience the beaches and beautiful scenery. Many resorts cater to families, groups, and solo travelers. 

Where to Stay: Places to stay include all-inclusive resorts , budget-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and liveaboards. For a wellness-focused visit, consider Joali Being or Velaa Private Island with its Wellbeing Village. Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru , Dhawa Ihuru , and The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands offer kids’ activities, making them great for families. 

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Didier Marti/Getty Images

This volcanic archipelago is known for its fascinating wildlife, including many species unique to the islands. January is an ideal time to see land birds nesting and sea turtles laying their eggs on the beaches. The seas are relatively calm in January, and comfortable water temperatures allow for swimming, though there may be some rain as the wet season begins. Most visitors tour the islands via cruise ; operators include Hurtigruten Expeditions , Ecoventura , and Integrity Luxury Yacht , among other cruise lines. 

Where to Stay: Another option is to stay on land at Pikaia Lodge, Relais & Châteaux , located on Santa Cruz Island. The luxury property features both land tours and yacht day cruises, so guests enjoy the comfort of the lodge with opportunities for hiking, diving, fishing, and wildlife spotting.  

Pawel Toczynski/Getty Images

Warm and dry in January, with average temperatures in the high 80s (except in the highlands, where the weather is cooler), Panama is a great destination this time of year. Thanks to the country’s varied landscapes, you can take your pick from cities, deserts, rainforests, islands, and beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Wildlife enthusiasts might visit Panama’s national parks, while others may want to learn about the Panama Canal — a feat of engineering — with a trip to Miraflores Visitors Center, just outside of Panama City. Music fans may want to time their trip for the annual mid-January Panama Jazz Festival . You’ll also have the chance to enjoy some of the world’s best coffee when you visit Panama.

Where to Stay: If you’re staying in Panama City, consider The Santa Maria , where the 2024 Latin American Amateur Golf Championships will be held in January, or Hotel La Compañia , formerly a 17th-century convent and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s also Buenaventura Resort in beachside Riviera Pacifica and Isla Palenque , a resort set on a private island.

Turks and Caicos

Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images

Turks and Caicos is made up of two island groups with eight major islands; most people stay on Providenciales, the most inhabited island. Providenciales offers stunning beaches, resorts, and vacation villas, plus Providenciales International Airport, ideal for those arriving by air. (Cruise passengers typically arrive at Grand Turk Cruise Center ). You can spend your days lounging on the beaches, fishing, boating, and windsurfing, or go beyond the shores to hike through nature reserves and spot local wildlife. End sun-soaked days with a visit to local bars to enjoy the destination’s music scene and nightlife. 

Where to Stay: Beachfront escapes abound in Turks and Caicos. On beautiful Grace Bay Beach, stay at The Palms , The Somerset , or Grace Bay Club , or choose from boutique properties like Rock House , Wymara Resort & Villas , or The Shore Club .

Switzerland

Christopher Larson/Travel + Leisure

Ski season is underway in Switzerland come January, so winter sports fans will find plenty to do. Epic Pass holders can ski Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis , where they’ll find a traditional mountain village, deep powder, and steep slopes. Or, experience the Alps without skis by booking an excursion on Jungfrau Railways that ends at the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe at 11,332 feet. A thrilling ride on the 10-passenger aerial gondola from the mountain resort town of Grindelwald offers another way to take in the snowy scenery. And in Bern, Switzerland’s historic capital, you can explore the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in the 12th century. 

Where to Stay: Stay near Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis at The Chedi Andermatt for a luxury experience with a relaxing spa, indoor pool, and heated outdoor pool. Ski at Zermatt and enjoy Matterhorn views with a stay at Mont Cervin Palace or Hotel Schweizerhof . In Bern, stay at Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa for its luxe spa and classic atmosphere.

The 14 best places to visit in January

Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Editor's Note

If you're starting to feel the itch to plan a getaway in the New Year, January can be the perfect month to embark on a new adventure. Whether you're looking to escape the chilly winter weather, experience unique cultural festivals or simply explore a new destination, there are many options to satisfy your travel cravings.

For those who prefer to embrace the cold and snowy conditions, there are destinations renowned for their winter sports and stunning icy landscapes. Imagine bundling up in cozy layers, gliding down powdery slopes or sipping hot cocoa by a roaring fire. It's a winter wonderland waiting to be explored.

On the flip side, if you're eager to trade snowflakes for sunshine, there are plenty of warm-weather havens that boast beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant local cultures. Picture yourself lounging on sandy shores, exploring tropical rainforests or immersing yourself in lively street festivals — the perfect antidote to the winter blues.

No matter what type of adventure you're seeking, January's diverse travel options offer something for everyone.

But where should you go? Here are the 14 best destinations to visit in January.

best state to visit in jan

If you're contemplating a trip to the Lone Star State, you might want to set your sights on Fort Worth. Often dubbed the "Modern West," Fort Worth has emerged dynamically from the shadow of its more famed neighbor, Dallas. It's a city that marries modernity with its classic Texas twang.

In fact, 2023 saw Fort Worth crowned as the fastest-growing city, outpacing even trendy Austin, with a population growth rate nearly four times faster. With such growth, there's an exciting surge in hotel openings on the horizon and an abundance of new eateries that further solidify its status as a burgeoning boomtown.

Why should you visit in January? Well, that's when the city plays host to the much-anticipated Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, kicking off on Jan. 13. This world-renowned event is set in the newly revamped $540 million Dickie's Arena and offers attendees a thrilling spectacle of bull riding, barrel racing and much more. With carnival rides, live music and an assortment of food and drinks, it's a Texas-sized extravaganza.

TPG Tip : The city's very first Kimpton Hotel, The Harper, is the perfect jumping-off point to experience all the city has to offer; it's centrally located in downtown Fort Worth. Book for 32,000 IHG points, or $200 per night.

Related: The top Kimpton Hotels across the world, according to IHG Diamond members

best state to visit in jan

If you're looking for a unique way to ring in "El Ano Nuevo," or the new year, experience unique Mexican traditions. When the clock strikes midnight, many Mexican families will run around with empty suitcases to bring in new travels, eat 12 grapes to beckon luck or sweep coins on the floor out of their homes to bring good fortune and prosperity in the new year.

Of course, no New Year's celebration would be complete without fireworks, which many Mexicans see as a way to frighten evil spirits and ring in the New Year.

TPG tip : Perched between the Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon, Breathless Cancun Soul Resort & Spa has nearly a dozen on-site bars and restaurants as well as five pools, including a rooftop infinity pool, providing endless ocean views. Book for 29,000 World of Hyatt points or around $470 per night.

Related: The best all-inclusives in Mexico

best state to visit in jan

January is a great time to visit Panama as the area is still in its dry season, and travelers can expect plenty of sunshine, making it the perfect beach destination. The weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities such as the Feria de las Flores y del Cafe (Flower and Coffee Festival), one of the world's grandest celebrations of flowers. From Jan. 11 to 21, travelers can enjoy lush flower displays, food stands, live music, amusement rides and handicrafts booths.

TPG tip : Opened under The Unbound Collection by Hyatt in April 2022, travelers can experience three different eras of Panama history that come to life at Hotel La Compania . Book for around 20,000 World of Hyatt points or $294 a night.

best state to visit in jan

Winter in Denver ? It's the perfect mix of city vibes and snowy adventures — absolutely magical. Imagine sipping hot cocoa at Union Station and strolling through the Dairy Block, all decked out in twinkling lights — it's like stepping into a winter wonderland. The best part is you can spend your day hitting the slopes and then come back to enjoy Denver's nightlife.

Getting here is a breeze, too, thanks to Denver International Airport (DEN) and its whopping 1,600 flights a day. That number is much higher than most ski spots offer.

Also, don't miss the National Western Stock Show from Jan. 6 to 21. It's the biggest horse show, packed with rodeos, livestock and a Western trade show. Plus, it's been a Denver staple since 1906, attracting more than 700,000 visitors yearly. Get ready for some top-notch bull riding, bronco busting and a parade through Downtown Denver that's just bursting with cowboy spirit.

TPG tip : The parade passes directly in front of the Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver, giving guests a prime, uncrowded view of the spectacle. Book for about 9,000 World of Hyatt points or $165 a night.

Related: The best Denver hotels to experience when staying in the Mile High City

best state to visit in jan

For travelers looking to immerse themselves in a true winter wonderland without the holiday crowds, Montreal is the ideal destination to visit for snow-filled fun in January.

This charming city offers a wide range of attractions in the late winter months, including festivals, shopping, outdoor activities and more. Montreal is also central to some of the best ski destinations in eastern Canada, including Mont Tremblant and L'Escapade, for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The city is also filled with more than 260 outdoor rinks for ice skating; options include Beaver Lake Skating Rink or the Old Port of Montreal's Bonsecours Basin, which is transformed into a lively winter village during the colder months.

Related: Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel

TPG tip : There's history around every corner in Montreal, and Hyatt Centric Ville-Marie Montreal — available for around 9,000 World of Hyatt points or $213 a night — is no exception.

best state to visit in jan

January in Aruba is not just about soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches: It's Carnival season, the island's most vibrant and exciting time of the year. This celebration isn't just a weekend affair — it spans a whole two months of parades, music, dancing and colorful costumes. Imagine the streets filled with lively day and night parades, the air buzzing with Caribbean tunes and people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate.

You'll get to witness incredible music contests, partake in the excitement of queen elections and dance along with the spontaneous jump-ups.

TPG tip : Book Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino for 102,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or around $1,003 a night.

Related: Best all-inclusives in Aruba for a perfect Caribbean vacation

Montgomery, Alabama

best state to visit in jan

Montgomery, Alabama, known for its profound role in the American Civil Rights Movement, continues to reinvent itself as an essential destination for purposeful travelers seeking ways to connect to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this January.

In addition to the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations, visitors can walk in his footsteps through many historic landmarks. Visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where King first preached his message of love and brotherhood, or experience the city's profound exhibits, memorials and museums. They include the nationally noted Anarcha, Lucy, Betsey Monument; the Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum; the National Memorial for Peace and Justice; and the stunning Civil Rights Memorial designed by Maya Lin.

TPG tip : The city's first luxury boutique hotel, Trilogy Autograph Collection Hotel, which opened in May of 2023, features thoughtful design that celebrates the region's multicultural heritage. Book for around 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or around $156 a night.

Paradise Coast, Florida

best state to visit in jan

For those seeking much-needed winter sun, Florida's Paradise Coast offers a tropical getaway all winter long. Florida's Paradise Coast (Naples, Marco Island, Everglades) is tucked into Southwest Florida and features miles of white sand beaches , diverse wildlife, luxurious resorts and various nature trails for guests to explore.

January is the ideal time for travelers to sneak away from the cold and get a taste of paradise. Enjoy a relaxing winter along the Gulf at stunning Naples Beach, or get up close and personal with some of the state's natural beauty and wildlife on a tour through the famed Everglades National Park.

TPG tip : This January, guests can enjoy the newly reopened The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, for around 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or around $1416 a night.

best state to visit in jan

Reggae lovers from all over the world visit year in and year out to the cultural stylings of the Rebel Salute reggae festival on Jan. 19 and 20. This family-oriented event is renowned for its respectable environment free of alcohol, weapons and offensive lyrics.

Every January, Organic H.E.A.R.T Group of Companies hosts the annual musical festival, which was birthed by international reggae superstar Tony Rebel. Described as a modern Indigenous work of art that goes from dusk until dawn for two days, the festival focuses on displaying Jamaican music in all forms — roots reggae, dancehall, ska, mento, rocksteady — before the largest and most discerning audience of any music festival in the Caribbean.

Complemented by a diverse lineup of performing acts from all over the world (including England, Germany and African states), Rebel Salute boasts a massive cultural food village, a Jamaican arts village and the famous Herb Curb.

TPG tip : Book the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa for 90,000 Hilton Honors points or around $435 a night.

Related: The best all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, from honeymoon hot spots to family-friendly resorts

Marquette, Michigan

best state to visit in jan

Tucked away in one of the snowiest parts of the east, Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a winter adventure haven with activities for everyone. Save the date for Jan. 26-27, 2024, for the 26th Annual Noquemanon Ski Marathon — an event loved by both elite and casual cross-country skiers from all over. It takes off from Ishpeming's Al Quaal Recreation Area and finishes at the NMU Superior Dome.

After the race, dive into Marquette's winter adventures, top-notch dining and amazing craft beer scene, or hit the trails for some snowshoeing and skiing.

TPG tip : Book the Fairfield Inn & Suites Marquette for 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Book the Hampton Inn Marquette/Waterfront for 69,000 points or $175 per night.

best state to visit in jan

This Southern California city is always a good choice for a winter getaway. Not only will you still get temperatures in the high 60s, but some special events in January make it worth a trip.

The 13th annual San Diego Brew Festival takes place in NTC Park in Liberty Station on Jan. 6 and will feature more than 70 breweries, 200 beers, 10 of San Diego's best food trucks, bands and more.

Other popular events in San Diego include the Monster Jam, the Borrego Springs Film Festival and the San Diego Lunar New Year Festival.

Additionally, more than 20,000 gray whales migrate from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California in January, when the females give birth to their calves. San Diego is an ideal destination for viewing this impressive spectacle, with 70 miles of coastline set along the migration path.

San Diego (along with Tijuana, Mexico) has also been designated the World Design Capital for 2024 . The World Design Organization accolade recognizes cities that enhance their residents' economic, social, cultural and environmental quality of life through design. It's the first time that two cities will simultaneously celebrate the designation through unique experiences, from events and festivals to exhibitions and summits.

TPG tip : Perched on a hilltop above the beachy hamlet of Carlsbad, the Park Hyatt Aviara feels like a classic California resort. There are plenty of on-site amenities including a Splash Pool Deck that's great for families, an expansive fitness center, tennis courts and rounds at the Aviara Golf Club; there are also nearby hiking trails along the Batiquitos Lagoon. Rates from $552 or 21,000-29,000 points per night.

Related: The best hotels in San Diego

best state to visit in jan

January is one of the most popular months to visit St. Barts, and it's easy to see why.

The weather is perfect, and the beaches are sparkling. Also, the island hosts the 40th annual St. Bart's Music Festival on Jan. 6-15. The festival is a music connoisseur's dream.

Related: The best Caribbean resorts in 2023

It brings some of the world's most prominent classical, opera, ballet and jazz stars from Montreal, Boston, New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Paris, as well as from the Juilliard and Curtis schools of music.

TPG tip : Stay at the luxurious Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf from $969 per night or 100,400 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night.

Khao Yai, Thailand

best state to visit in jan

If you're considering visiting Thailand , January is the time to do it.

Once you land in Bangkok, venture about three hours to Khao Yai National Park. Established as Thailand's first, and currently one of its largest, national parks, Khao Yai is a serene landscape of forest and grassland that offers an escape from the outside world.

As one of the richest conservation areas in Thailand, the UNESCO-protected preserve encompasses miles of hiking and biking trails, picturesque waterfalls and nature in its purest form. You may encounter varied wildlife — from wandering elephants and hornbills to gibbons and bears.

TPG tip : Transporting guests back to the golden age of rail travel, the InterContinental Khao Yai Resort takes historical inspiration from King Rama V's reign in the late 1800s. Rooms are available for around $199 or 33,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Park City, Utah

best state to visit in jan

For powderhounds, Park City is the ultimate winter escape. In January, the snow is at its prime, ideal for skiing and snowboarding.

If you don't want to shred some powder, this month also marks one of the biggest Hollywood events. The Sundance Film Festival is when lots of A-listers descend on the charming ski town to show off their new films, lead discussions with fans and throw some epic parties.

While there, discover Utah Olympic Park, explore the buzzing Main Street, book a spa treatment at Westgate Park City and have an apres experience with Alpine Distilling. It's hard to find a reason not to visit in January.

TPG tip : The AC Hotel Park City — available from $307 or 32,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night — is a sleek hotel less than 10 minutes from the ski slopes and 15 minutes from downtown. If you want to splurge on more polished quarters along with ski-in and ski-out access, the Waldorf Astoria Park City is in a prime location close to the slopes and amenities of Canyons Village. Rates start from around $1,500 per night during ski season, making Hilton Honors points redemptions a fantastic option. If you act fast, there's currently plenty of availability for 110,000 points per night in January and March.

Related reading:

  • Key travel tips you need to know — whether you're a beginner or expert traveler
  • The best travel credit cards
  • Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel
  • 6 real-life strategies you can use when your flight is canceled or delayed
  • 8 of the best credit cards for general travel purchases
  • 13 must-have items the TPG team can't travel without

26 Best Places To Visit In January USA (2024)

Written By: ThePlanetD Team

United States

Updated On: January 31, 2024

There is no better place to spend your bleary January than in the USA. The country is full top-to-tail of incredible winter destinations, whether you want warm temperatures or fun winter activities in the snow. January travel is also tactical, being outside peak season for most destinations, meaning fewer crowds and better access to incredible attractions. A great example is the national parks, where hiking trails become almost empty. January in the USA is fabulous – you just need to know which places to visit.

Table of Contents

Best Places To Visit In January In The USA

To help you get the most out of the year’s first month, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in January in the US. These destinations are spread across the entire country – some snowy and wintery with classic activities like cross-country skiing, some mild with better access to hiking trails and attractions, and others hot, with beautiful beaches . Are you ready to plan your January vacation? Here is where you’ll meet your match.

1. South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a brilliant place to visit in January if you want sunny weather and a glorious vacation on a barrier island. In January, temperatures drop marginally, but you can still enjoy plenty of outdoor activities and beach days. There are just so  many things to do  in South Padre Island: birding, horseback riding, snorkeling, and more. It has 34 miles of coastline, bright white sands, and famously emerald waters. It truly is a gem of Texas, as it is the only tropical barrier island and has an impressive total of over 300 days of sunshine a year.

South Padre Island is ideal if you want to experience coastal living in Texas. When you visit in January, you’ll have barely any crowds. In March, all the spring break crowds descend on the town, and the small town gets seriously busy.

2. Key West

Who doesn’t love Key West ? This stunning island city marks the end point of the beloved Florida Keys, a chain of barrier islands located on the southernmost point of Florida. Only 90 miles north of Cuba, Key West gets tropical temperatures all year round – so wave goodbye to cold weather and hello to sandy beaches. Key West has pastel-colored houses and is connected to mainland Florida by the famed Overseas Highway, which connects all the keys. It is known as a hub for diving and snorkeling, and if you are part of a niche group that likes to be underwater rather than on the beach, this is one of the best places to visit in January.

One of the most popular ways to visit this island is on a  Miami to Key West road trip . You can also combine it with a trip to the nearby Everglades.

3. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is one of January’s most iconic and best places to visit. There are so many  things to do in Death Valley , and we can guarantee that they are much more enjoyable in the 30s to 60s than in the sky-high mid-summer temperatures that Death Valley sees. The summer temperatures in Death Valley National Park get so high that there is a frequent danger-to-life warnings. So it is easily one of the best places to visit in January when warm weather is no barrier to enjoying all the park offers.

Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the USA. You can visit Badwater Basin, Dante’s View, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and Racetrack Playa. The last one is the most mysterious, with rocks that mysteriously move themselves.

4. Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is another best place to visit in January to beat the holiday crowds. This Oregon beauty is one of the  best US national parks , with its most famous money shot being the namesake crater lake that was dramatically formed by the ancient volcano Mount Mazama – which collapsed to leave Crater Lake behind. The park is centered around this lake, with a beautiful Rim Drive with viewpoints over volcanic formations. Many little islands are also on the lake, like Phantom Ship and Wizard Island. Crater Lake National Park is one of the best weekend destinations in January.

Crater Lake National Park is undoubtedly most famed for its bright blue waters and serene atmosphere. It is hard to believe that Crater Lake National Park was once home to a raging volcano. Of course, Crater Lake is also the deepest lake in the USA, another exciting reason to visit. It averages a staggering 31 meters deep and is one of the top 10 deepest lakes in the world.

5. San Diego

The vibrant city of San Diego does not get enough love for our liking. We’ve frequently covered the city, from the best  beaches in San Diego  to a tell-all guide on  where to stay in San Diego . Los Angeles can step aside for a bit – it’s time to give San Diego its well-deserved recognition, especially as one of the best places to visit in January. San Diego’s winning factor is its gorgeous year-round climate, which makes it one of the best places to visit in winter. And when you couple that with over 70 miles of beautiful beaches, it is easy to see why it is such a sought-after place to visit in January. San Diego is a city break meets beach destination.

San Diego has attractions like the Hotel de Coronado, Balboa Park, and the USS Midway Museum. There’s also the beautiful Torrey Pines State National Reserve and plenty of opportunities to spot sea lions.

6. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park has a beautiful 2.2 million-acre collection and is a designated national elk refuge. It holds the grand title of the world’s first-ever national park and was established in 1872. Yellowstone National Park quickly grew a reputation for its hydrothermal and geological attractions, including Old Faithful – a massive geyser. And its park boundaries actually contain around half of the world’s active geysers. Yellowstone has a wow factor for history and nature lovers alike. Yellowstone National Park is best explored by car, where you can stop to admire and embark on its  best Yellowstone hikes .

So, why visit in the off-season? What makes Yellowstone so great to see in January? In short, you skip the crowds. Yellowstone is one of the most visited national parks in the USA. This means that it gets hectic in peak season. In winter, you will have road closures to contend with, and you are best using a 4WD vehicle. However, the main road between the north and northeast entrances remains open, and you can still visit the park’s highlights. Just carefully research  where to stay in Yellowstone  and see which attractions are most accessible. Yellowstone National Park is definitely an adventure in winter.

7. Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is one of the best places to visit in early January. This national park is home to the most enormous cacti in the USA, and the saguaro plant has quickly become a symbol of America’s ancient Wild West era. Party because of this, Saguaro National Park has become a bucket list national park for people to visit in the USA. The cacti live up to 250 years old and grow to the size of trees – pretty cool, right?

Winter months are the best time to visit this park, as it means you can enjoy the hikes and cacti views without collapsing with heat exhaustion (which is a genuine risk). It is located just outside Tucson, and you don’t need a car if you are nifty on a pedal bike or a good hiker. Saguaro National Park is one of the most accessible parks in the USA.

8. Lake Tahoe

Nowhere quite beats Lake Tahoe in the winter months, and it is easily one of the top places to visit in January if you like ski resorts and outdoor winter activities. Lake Tahoe is renowned for world-class skiing and transforms annually into a winter wonderland. You can hit the slopes or enjoy cross-country skiing; winter sports are some of the  best things to do  in the area. Lake Tahoe is a stunning freshwater lake that straddles the California and Nevada borders. While in the summer, the lake’s beaches attract swimmers and sunbathers, by mid-January, the winter weather turns it into a haven for winter fun with snow sports and ski resorts galore.

Lake Tahoe is an ideal short getaway in January. It has also been used in hundreds of TV shows and movies, thanks to its pristine blue waters and classic backdrop of alpine scenery. As we said, beating Lake Tahoe is hard when you want a ski vacation in the USA. It’s one of the country’s best cold-weather destinations.

9. Zion National Park

Zion National Park might not have warm weather in January, with temperatures dropping below 40 F. However, since the park becomes almost unbearably busy and hot in the summer season, January is about as off-peak and quiet as possible. If you dress for the cold, you can still tackle some of the  best hikes in Zion , and you are almost guaranteed to have them to yourself. Zion National Park has some stunning attractions, including the Emerald Pools, Canyon Overlook Trail, and even the Narrows are accessible in January if you have suitable equipment.

Zion National Park sees around 4.5 million annual visitors, and by visiting in January, you can skirt most of these. It means quieter trails and better accommodation, with more spaces and cheaper rates. You can find out  where to stay in Zion  in advance and snag the best deals.

10. Hunting Island State Park

Hunting Island State Park is the most popular state park in South Carolina. It rose to sharp fame after being used for most of the Vietnam War scenes in Forrest Gump and is now loved for its 5 miles of stunning white sand beaches and characteristic lighthouse. It sees over a million visitors annually and is easily one of the best places to visit in January. You can hike through boardwalks on thousands of acres of marshlands and even climb Hunting Island Lighthouse.

In January, temperatures drop, but if you dress for the weather, you can still enjoy many outdoor activities – just without the crowds. Things like horseback riding on the beach, kayaking, and fossil hunting are all ten times more enjoyable in winter when you have the scenery practically to yourself.

11. White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit during the holiday season. For a winter break, White Sands National Park is perfect. It is bright white as the world’s largest gypsum dune field – acres upon acres of white crystals. And with its New Mexico location, it is one of the leading warm-weather destinations to pick. Think of it as a hot version of a snow day. It has year-round warm temperatures, and you can go sand sledding, horseback, riding, or on 4WD experiences.

White Sands National Park is also home to the world’s most giant fossilized footprints that date back to the Ice Age, providing more than 20,000 years of humanity in this region. You can stay near Las Cruces or Tularosa or head to El Paso.

12. Big Sky

Montana is beautiful all year round, but January really takes the biscuit. And Big Sky is the state’s highlight. It is renowned as one of the USA’s leading resorts for skiing, and you can spot elk, big horn sheep, and more when you aren’t zipping down slopes at full blast. It is a little luxurious, but we recommend a visit if you fancy a high-end January getaway.

Big Sky is the best place for a ski getaway, and you can also combine it with a visit to Yellowstone National Park. What a win.

13. Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is part of the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry. It has 12 miles of stunning beaches, a traditional coastline, a classic red and white Harbor Town Lighthouse, and a scenic golf course. Hilton Head Island is somewhere you can escape the hecticness of US cities and embrace a slower pace of life. And it has the bonus of being much less mainstream and quieter in the way of tourists – especially in its January low season.

Temperatures hover at around 60 F on Hilton Head Island, perfect for beach walks so long as you have a couple of layers. Hilton Head Island is the ideal quirky getaway in January if you don’t want intense sun and heat but love coastal scenery. You can even see dolphins.

14. Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is a Californian town in the sought-after Sierra Nevada mountains. It is a hotspot for multi-day hiking and stunning alpine views in spring and summer. While in winter, it transforms into a leading getaway for winter snow sports like skiing and snowboarding. From Mammoth Lakes, you can visit the Devil’s Postpile National Monument and see the limestone towers at Mono Lake. Mammoth Lakes isn’t far from Yosemite National Park either, making it an excellent base for a more extended period.

If you fancy a Californian ski break – a phrase you rarely hear – then Mammoth Lakes is your best bet. It is also ideal for exploring eastern California’s attractions that are a little ambitious for fulfilling day trips from LA or San Francisco . Mammoth Lakes is snow sports heaven and an excellent base for day trips.

15. Payette National Forest

Payette National Forest is a 2.3 million-acre forest in Idaho and a beautiful place to hike, camp, and come face-to-face (or as close as comfortable) with hundreds of classic American animals. You can spot deer, elk, mountain lions, bears, coyotes, and cute, small animals like river otters and snowshoe hares. It also creates ‘open play areas’, where suitable vehicles can tackle winter snow tracks. You can just check out the Payette Winter Travel Map for road guidance.

If you want a winter forest getaway in January, snowy Payette National Forest is a brilliant option. It has really accessible forest roads if you have a 4WD with suitable adjustments, and it is really geared up for winter guests with its Winter Travel Map. You can enjoy cross-country skiing and different snow activities as well.

16. Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is a collection of seven islands with a historic Fort Jefferson on the largest. It is also a hotspot for marine life and has some stunning coral reefs. Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most unique places to visit in the USA, not just in January but all year round. Why? Because it is incredibly challenging to reach, requiring you to charter a boat or seaplane. Most national parks in the USA have nearly millions of visitors, while 80,000 visitors make it to Dry Tortugas National Park annually. You can book  tours from Key West  by ferry or organize private transport, and there’s camping onsite at the Garden Key campground.

January is one of the best times to visit this hard-to-reach park, as the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean are quieter from November to April – e.g., outside of hurricane season.

Aspen is beautiful. The mountain town is a hub of winter activities, and the whole of the USA holds its breath until winter finally arrives at Aspen again. Most of the  best things to do  are snow-related, and you can enjoy superb skiing and snowboarding. That’s not to mention nearby spots like Glenwood Hot Springs, where you can day trip to and enjoy naturally heated pools. When better to do so than in the height of winter?

Aspen is a must if you are a passionate snow sports lover. January is quite busy, as winter is Aspen’s peak season. However, March and December are some of the most active months, so you won’t be absolutely crushed by crowds. Start the new year in style – heading full pelt down an Aspen mountain.

18. Las Vegas

Vegas is an easy one to persuade people to visit. Sin City is one of the most famed cities in the world, and you can gamble, party, and sightsee to your heart’s content. It has a reputation for indulgence, which is easy to see just from looking at the  hotels and places to stay in Las Vegas.  You have everything from casinos to world-class golf courses. Talk about variety.

New Year’s Eve is an intense but insanely fun time to visit Las Vegas , so we’d suggest visiting from late December to early January. However, even late and mid-January have their draws, with plenty of events and action on the Strip. And that’s without factoring in all the fantastic things to do off the Strip, like  day trips  to kayak Emerald Cave and even to the Grand Canyon.

19. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a great winter getaway. The historic city is the capital of Utah and is full of fascinating culture, including Mormon history and religious attractions. Salt Lake City is packed with  things to do , including museums like the Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake Utah Temple, This Is The Place Heritage Park, and the beautiful Red Butte Garden. Salt Lake City is packed with social and cultural history, and attractions are much quieter in its January off-season. You should also consider its fun winter activities, like nearby skiing and snowboarding resorts in its surrounding mountains.

Salt Lake City might not be the first January vacation you have in mind, but it is an excellent option for anyone who likes an adrenaline rush or is interested in Mormonism.

20. Big Island

Big Island is known for its  things to do . The vast island is the largest on the Hawaiian archipelago, and it has everything from a volcano to black sand beaches and beaches renowned for surfing. You can fly to the Big Island directly from most US airports. And when you arrive, you have island town atmospheres and beautiful attractions like the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park to keep you entertained.

January is the best time to visit Hawaii if you’d like to dodge the crowds, especially the flocks of tourists that come for the sun at Christmas. A warning: January is the wettest month on the Big Island. However, if you book an extended stay to maximize sightseeing opportunities in dry spells and don’t mind the excitement of tropical storms, it is an excellent destination for winter. The Big Island is wet, not cold. The rain actually adds to the dramatic scenery, especially in rainforest areas like Honua’Ula Forest Reserve and Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary.

21. New Orleans

For southern charm, look no further than swanky and ultra-cool New Orleans. Not familiar with the city? Well, rest assured there are plenty of  things to do . New Orleans is called ‘the Big Easy’ because of its cool vibe, non-stop and colorful nightlife, brilliant cuisine , and great atmosphere. The action compiles heavily on Bourbon Street, a neon street of bars and parties that spill out onto the street. However, you’ve also got swamp tours to spot alligators, snakes, turtles and riverboat cruises to enjoy New Orleans from a waterfront view. And that’s not to mention the jazz and Creole food tours.

You can feel flat in January. That post-festive lull hits most people, and New Orleans is the perfect cure. Upbeat and in your face, the city is precisely the high-energy boost you need to get you out of a January slump.

Hello Miami. After a cold Christmas or busy festive period with relatives, the perfect antidote is a January blast in this coastal city. Miami’s beaches are unrivaled, and even in the height of winter, temperatures can still reach the low 70s. This means you can manage a beach day or two and enjoy a dip in rooftop pools (check out our guide on  where to stay in Miami ). Walk amidst art deco architecture on South Beach and walk through oceanfront parks. Miami’s party scene is never-resting, too, and even in late and mid-January, you’ll be able to enjoy great nights out.

Of course, none of this even factors in the day trip potential from this significant Florida city. You can head to the Everglades, Florida Keys , or north to Fort Lauderdale . Miami is far from just a cut-and-paste city break. It is a base to enjoy Florida and its highlights while making the most of January’s fewer crowds.

23. Charleston

Charleston is best known for the Charleston dance, but the South Carolina city also has the first college, museum, playhouse, and golf course in the USA. Charleston is a hub of history and one of the most fascinating city breaks you can take in the country. It is the oldest city in South Carolina and was established in its present location in 1680 before being renamed Charleston from Charles Town in 1783. And in January, you can enjoy light snow flurries and barely any crowds. It is the perfect time to visit a city that offers many museums and indoor attractions – like the Gibbes Museum of Art, High Wire Distillery, and the Charleston Museum.

There’s plenty to do and see in this underrated city. The city is easily accessible by Amtrak, flight, and car.

24. New York City

You don’t need us to tell you that you are never short of  things to do in New York . This city is one of the best places you can visit in winter in the world – not just in the USA. The mega city is full of festive cheer and sparkling lights, especially if you stay in early January to catch the end of Christmas markets and decorations. Mid and late January are also great, with post-Christmas shopping sales and more attractions reopening. Plus, you can see all the classic attractions, like Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, and the 9/11 Memorial.

You can easily find places to stay in New York, and for extra inspiration, see our guide on  where to stay in New York . It is a popular January vacation for great reason.

25. Amelia Island

Amelia Island is one of the  best weekend getaways in Florida , yet this beautiful barrier island is almost criminally overlooked internationally. The island has 13 miles of coastline, quiet in summer and deserted in winter. If you want a beach getaway with zero crowds, Amelia Island is a beautiful idea and one of your best choices. You don’t need a car to get around once you arrive at Amelia Island, and you can spend your vacation leisurely walking or biking around with stunning scenery.

Other activities on Amelia Island include swimming, kayaking, and bird watching. You can spot tons of wildlife, too. There are alligators, bobcats, turtles, and river otters. There are even bald eagles – the last thing you’d expect on a sandy barrier island. Amelia Island has one of Florida’s most unique coastal ecosystems and is a haven for nature lovers.

Who doesn’t love Sedona? This Arizona desert town is much loved for all its  amazing things to do , which include hiking through red rock buttes and visiting Montezuma Castle National Monument. Sedona is also ideally located for a day trip to see the Grand Canyon, and you can enjoy the ski activities in Flagstaff in winter – just without those unbearable crowds. Sedona is basically the quieter Flagstaff alternative. And if you are confident driving in icy and snowy conditions and happy to rent a 4WD, you’ll love Sedona in January. The  hikes in Sedona  and the number of potential day trips are unreal.

For more inspiration, check out the leading  hotels in Sedona . There are many places to stay, although book in advance because it is still a popular place to visit in January, despite Flagstaff getting the most attention. Remember to check out the Sedona Heritage Museum, Seven Sacred Pools, and all the art galleries.

FAQs: Places to Spend January in the USA

As you can see, January is best spent in the USA. Any of these 26 best places to visit in January will treat you to a fantastic time – whether you head to Aspen for winter sports, New Orleans for city culture, or Amelia Island for beaches. Before you go, though, check out these FAQs. You never know which bit of information could make all the difference.

What is the best state to go to in January?

If you want sun, you should head to Florida or California. If you’d prefer a snowy January vacation, head to Colorado, Montana, South Carolina, or New York.

Where in the US is it warm in January?

California and Florida are both still warm in January. Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii are also good choices for chasing warm weather.

Where is a good time to travel in January?

You can usually snag deals in early January – especially if you are willing to fly on the dreaded New Year’s Day. However, as a whole, the month is exceptionally modest in terms of budgeting for flights. And mid January should be when most attractions that close during holidays reopen.

Where is it warm to travel in January outside the US?

Anywhere in the southern hemisphere is a great option when looking for warm places outside the US to visit in January. Australia is in its peak summer at this time. South America and Central America are also hot at this time, and even some countries in Europe, like Cyprus, experience mild weather at this time.

Do you want a winter wonderland? Or a beautiful beach that you can bask on? There are so many incredible USA destinations to visit in January. We’ve worked hard to limit this guide to just the best 26. The diversity of the USA comes to light in January, and you can see the full scale of what the country offers tourists.

The USA has everything from winter outdoor activities at snowy resort towns to tropical paradises like the Big Island and stunning red rock scenery like Zion National Park. And that’s before we even mention city breaks – hello, New York and Las Vegas. The winter months really highlight these dramatically different experiences in the USA.

Hopefully, you are now excited to head off on your January holiday. Before you do, remember to check out our list of the  50 best places you can visit in the USA . We’ve also got resources on the  best national parks ,  beaches ,  hikes , and  road trips in the USA . We are super passionate about US travel, and our goal is to keep you as informed as possible, with all the best information just a click away. Have a fantastic time wherever you visit in January.

Plan Your Trip to the USA in January With These Resources

  • 27 Best National Parks in the USA To Visit
  • 28 Best Beaches in the USA
  • 16 Best Cities in California
  • Discovering the 19 Best Beaches in Florida: Sun, Sand, and Serenity

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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2 thoughts on “26 Best Places To Visit In January USA (2024)”

Thanks for the valuable info, Great Share !!

This blog provides an extensive list of 26 diverse and exciting places to visit in the USA during the month of January. It categorizes the destinations into various themes, such as warm beaches, snowy resorts, and cultural cities, offering readers a range of options based on their preferences. Each location is accompanied by a brief description, highlighting unique attractions and activities.

The list covers a wide spectrum of destinations, from well-known cities like New York and Miami to less-explored gems like Amelia Island and Sedona. The blog emphasizes the advantages of traveling in January, including fewer crowds and the opportunity to experience attractions at their best.

The inclusion of frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end provides additional helpful information for readers planning their January trips, such as the best states for specific weather preferences and tips for finding budget-friendly options.

Overall, the blog is well-organized, informative, and offers a comprehensive guide for readers looking to plan a memorable January getaway in the USA.

The best places to visit in January 2024

Nov 17, 2023 • 5 min read

best state to visit in jan

The Canary Islands are one of the many places worth visiting in January ©Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images

Do you know when you want to travel but just can’t decide where? We’re here to break down the best places to go in each month of the year so you can find the perfect travel experience for you. 

As we look forward to 2024, 366 days of epic adventures, cultural experiences, foodie forays and wondrous wildlife encounters stretch out before us. But it can be hard to know exactly where to kickstart the year of travel. 

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or information, Lonely Planet has done the legwork for you, answering the travelers' perennial question: where to go when ? If you want to start the year right, these are some of the top passport-fillers for January to inspire your travels or add to your bucket list. 

Where are the best places to visit in January for wildlife and nature?

A collage picturing penguins in Antarctica, gorillas in Uganda and monkeys in Japan.

Why now? Bask in near permanent daylight in this enormous white wilderness at the end of the world.

At the end of the world in Antarctica temperatures "soar" to freezing point (or a little above) and near-permanent daylight means endless, warm days (well, it’s all relative) for catching sight of the sprawling penguin colonies with their newly-hatched chicks, seal pups and whales as well as sailing between gargantuan icebergs. 

Why now? Track the world’s biggest primates in the dry(ish) season.

Perhaps a thousand or so endangered mountain gorillas survive worldwide, of which nearly half roam the dense forests of Uganda ’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park . It’s an experience you’ll need to earn, tackling steep, muddy trails at altitudes up to 3000m (9483ft). But if you snag one of the limited permits available for each of the park’s 19 habituated families, the rewards are luminous. 

Chūbu, Japan

Why now? Discover a winter wonderland of steaming hot springs, traditional villages and snow sports.

Winter’s a magical time to explore the historic settlements of Japan 's central Honshu region, when snow dusts temples, castles and traditional wooden houses. Outside of the ski resorts, crowds thin after the late-December holidays and before cherry-blossom season. In the Japanese Alps, “snow monkeys” (Japanese macaques) soak in hot springs near Yudanaka. 

Where are the best places to visit in January for food and culture?

A collage shows Ligurian pesto, tacos in Austin, and fireworks in Sydney.

Sydney, Australia

Why now: For endless cultural experiences in the heat of the summer. 

For an alternative to the seasonal celebrations, head to Australia’s largest city for the Sydney Festival, an eclectic three-week showcase of burlesque acts, circus and dance performances, art installations and family activities. 

Liguria, Italy

Why now? Tramp snowy paths and munch fabulous food in the quietest season.

In winter in the Ligurian Alps, wonderfully crisp air and snowy forest trails lure snowshoers to Aveto and Antola natural regional parks and yet-more-rugged Beigua Geopark, where snowshoe hire is available and marked circular trails offer sea views. All are within touching distance of regional capital Genoa , deliciously quiet in January yet as tasty as ever with regional delicacies. 

Austin, Texas, USA

Why now? Forage and feast from food trucks in the mild Texas January.

Long famed for its barbecue and Tex-Mex, today there’s a world of cuisines to discover in Austin , from American regional classics – Philly cheesesteaks, Cajun jambalaya, fried chicken – to dishes from all corners of the globe: pick up West African jollof rice, Syrian shawarma, Venezuelan arepas, and Thai Tom Kha soup. Mild January, when temperatures hover at around 15°C (59°F), brings fine weather for alfresco eating. 

Where are the best places to visit in January for adventure?

A collage shows a tent in winter, a man surfing and a woman in a car.

Canary Islands

Why now? Escape the winter with a European island break. 

Escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter climes with a surf break under the sunny skies of the Canary Islands . Kitesurfers and windsurfers are also spoilt for wave-riding hotspots; and land-lovers can simply kick back on the golden shores or hike or cycle one of the region's otherworldly volcanic landscapes.

Arizona and Utah, USA

Why now? Snap snow-dusted canyons, buttes and mesas free from crowds.

The red-rock ravines and outcrops of the region straddling the Utah and Arizona borders look even more delectable with a topping of snow – and in January you’ll share these wonders with far fewer people. Make no mistake, you’ll need to wrap up warm: temperatures dip well below freezing. But don the right clothes and boots (better still, snowshoes), and you’ll discover dramatic landscapes made even more magical in the absence of crowds.

South Island, New Zealand

Why now? To take an epic summer road trip in January. 

Over in New Zealand , lap up some breathtaking scenery on a road trip through some of the South Island ’s most iconic coastal landscapes. The long summer days will give you plenty of time to explore. 

Where are the best places to visit in January for relaxation?

A collage shows a boat in Thailand, a woman on a boat in Kerala, a beach in Anguilla and a thermal bath in Hungary.

Budapest, Hungary 

Why now? To dip into warm waters to escape the European chill. 

When the climate turns cold in the Northern Hemisphere, Budapest ’s hot springs and thermal baths are a great way to escape the chill and give yourself some much needed TLC in one fell swoop.

Why now? Chill in a quieter corner of the Caribbean.

Few travelers heading to the Caribbean find their way to long, skinny little Anguilla , which remains determinedly low-key and relatively undeveloped. But it boasts all the ingredients of the Caribbean dream: friendly folk, an uplifting reggae soundtrack and some of the region’s most beautiful palm-fringed beaches, notably lively Shoal Bay on the north coast and sleepier Rendezvous Bay in the south. 

Kerala, India

Why now? Find your inner glow on a winter sun and yoga break in “God’s own country.”

Over the past couple of decades, the beaches of Varkala and Kovalam have morphed from the peaceful preserves of fishermen and Hindu devotees into backpacker hangouts and on into full blown resorts studded with exclusive hotels. But with serene stretches of sand still to be found here and there in Kerala , you can take your pick of the trance parties, hot hotels and restful homestays and yoga retreats. 

Southern Thailand

Why now? Find peaceful beaches and superb snorkeling and diving in the dry season.

Phuket, Krabi and Ko Phi-Phi have long been popular sun-sea-sand destinations, particularly during the European winter. Head further south, though, to find lesser-known corners. The Trang Islands – Ko Kradan and craggy Ko Muk – have escaped large-scale development, despite their gleaming beaches, pellucid waters and the latter’s beautiful Tham Morakot (Emerald Cave). Keep going to Tarutao National Marine Park, an archipelago of 51 islands just north of the Malay border. 

This article was first published November 2019 and updated November 2023

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12 Best National Parks to Visit in January 2024 (USA)

Julie Last updated: January 22, 2024 National Park , United States Leave a Comment

US National Parks in January

Planning a trip to the US national parks in January but don’t know which ones to visit? In January, much of the country is cold and covered in snow, but there are plenty of parks you can visit to escape the wintry conditions. In this article, we cover the best national parks to visit in January, plus one very cool road trip that includes several of these national parks.

About this National Park Series

This article is part of a series about the best national parks to visit each month. In this series, every national park is listed at least once and many are listed multiple times. It is a series of 12 articles, one for each month of the year. More popular parks, like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, may show up in as many as four of these articles, but lesser known parks like Gates of the Arctic may only show up once.

These articles take into account weather, crowd levels, the best time to go hiking, special events, road closures, and our personal experiences in the parks. Based on these factors, we picked out what we think are the optimal times to visit each park.

For an overview of the best time to visit each national park, check out our Best National Parks by Season guide. This guide has graphs that list each park and the optimal time to plan your visit.

Table of Contents

Visiting the National Parks in January

Despite cold temperatures and snow along much of the northern half of the United States, January is still a wonderful month to visit the national parks.

January has one of the lowest numbers for park visitation for the entire year. Many people just took time off for the winter holidays, so travel is light in January. Not only are crowds lower at many of the national parks, if you will be hopping on an airplane, crowds tend to be lower in the airports, too.

Just keep in mind that snowstorms and bad weather can delay or cancel some flights, even if you aren’t flying out of an airport that could potentially get snow.

On this list, most of these parks are geared towards escaping the cold weather and visiting some warmer, less snow covered destinations in the USA.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information we provide for each national park does not include temporary road closures, since these dates are constantly changing. Roads can close in the national parks at any time, so I recommend getting updates on the National Park Service website while planning your trip. 

Best National Parks to Visit in January

1. death valley national park.

Death Valley National Park is one of the most unusual national parks in the United States. It’s also one of our favorites.

Stand in Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States. Visit Furnace Creek, which holds the record for the hottest recorded temperature in the world (but not something you have to worry about in January). Take in the view from Dante’s Peak, slide down the sand dunes, explore narrow canyons, and journey out to Racetrack Playa, where boulders mysteriously slide across the desert landscape.

And if you are looking for a travel destination with kids, this is a good one.

Why Visit Death Valley in January: In January, the weather is mild and rainfall is low. I wouldn’t exactly say the weather is warm, but for many people in North America and Europe, 67°F as a high in January feels downright balmy. In terms of park visitation, January is one of the least crowded months of the year to visit Death Valley, with visitation numbers being lower than both December and February.   Weather: In January, the average high is 67°F (20°C) and the average low is 43°F (6°C). Rain chances are very low.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7 am and sunset is at 5 pm. The days are short, so get an early start here to maximize your time.

Death Valley Sunset

Sunset in Death Valley | Best National Parks in January

Death Valley Dantes View

The view from Dante’s Peak | Best National Parks in January

Mosaic Canyon Death Valley

Hiking Mosaic Canyon | Best National Parks in January

Location: California

Top Experiences: Visit Zabriskie Point, drive Artist’s Drive, visit Badwater Basin, enjoy the view from Dante’s View, visit Ubehebe Crater, hike to Telescope Peak, slide down the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and view the night sky.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, drive out to Racetrack Playa to see the sailing stones.

Death Valley Itinerary: Ideally, plan on spending at least two days in Death Valley. With this time, you can visit the highlights and drive out to Racetrack Playa. But if you have less time, Death Valley makes a great day trip from Las Vegas.

Plan Your Visit

The Complete Guide to Death Valley National Park 5 Reasons Why Death Valley Should Be the Next National Park You Visit 20 Epic Things to Do in Death Valley How to Visit Racetrack Playa

2. Virgin Islands National Park

With pristine beaches, snorkeling spots, and secluded coves, Virgin Islands National Park is one of the most beautiful parks we have visited.

Virgin Islands is one of the few parks that when you are here, it really does feel like you are on vacation. Sip on tropical drinks in the shade of a palm tree, go stand up paddle boarding, visit the historic landmarks, or go for a hike. Or, simply spend all of your time lounging under a palm tree on a white, sandy beach.

We visited this national park in January and had an awesome experience, so the Virgin Islands is one of our top picks for this month.

Why Visit the Virgin Islands in January: The weather is perfect and for those who are looking for a beach destination, this is our top pick for January. However, January is one of the busiest months to visit the park, but the fantastic weather makes up for the higher than normal crowd levels.   Weather: In January, the average high is 84°F (29°C) and the average low is 74°F (23°C). As it gets closer to summer, the temperatures rise a few degrees, but the humidity and rain chances get much higher, making the winter months the best time to visit the Virgin Islands in terms of weather.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7 am and sunset is at 6 pm.

Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay | Best National Parks in January

Little Lameshur Bay

Little Lameshur Bay | Best National Parks in January

Denis Bay

Location: US Virgin Islands

Top Experiences: Visit Trunk Bay and snorkel the underwater trail, visit Maho Beach, walk the Leinster Bay Trail and snorkel in Waterlemon Bay, visit the overlooks on North Shore Road, and visit beaches along the north shore of St. John.

How Much Time Do You Need? Ideally, plan on spending three days in Virgin Islands National Park. This gives you enough time to visit the highlights, spend some time at several different beaches, and hike a trail or two.

Best Things to Do in Virgin Islands National Park 7 Awesome Things to Do in Saint John 7 Day US Virgin Islands Itinerary: St. Thomas and St. John

3. Saguaro National Park

This national park is named for the Saguaro Cactus, which only grows in the Sonoran Desert.

Saguaro National Park is located in southern Arizona. Temperatures in January are relatively warm, making this a great time to visit this park.

The national park is divided into two sections. The Tuscon Mountain District, which is located to the west of Tucson, has the denser population of cacti and it is the more popular area of the park to visit.

To the east is the Rincon Mountain District. You won’t see quite as many cacti here, but the mountains form a nice backdrop for photography and this area of the park is less visited.

Why Visit Saguaro in January: This is one of the warmest parks to visit in January. And if you are planning a January road trip, a visit here can be combined with the Grand Canyon, another park that makes our best national parks in January list. However, January is one of the busiest months of the year to visit Saguaro National Park, so expect some crowds on the hiking trails and scenic drives.   Weather: In January, the average high is 66°F (19°C) and the average low is 40ºF (4°C). Rainfall chances are very low.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:20 am and sunset is at 5:40 pm.

Saguaro NP

Saguaro National Park | Best National Parks in January

Saguaro Road

Road to the Mica View Picnic Area in Saguaro East | Best National Parks in January

Location: Arizona

Top Experiences: Drive Bajada Loop Drive, walk the Valley View Overlook Trail and the Desert Discovery Nature Trail, see the Signal Hill Petroglyphs, and drive the Cactus Forest Drive. Just outside of the park is the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum which is well worth the time.

How Much Time Do You Need? A half to a full day is all you need to see the highlights of Saguaro National Park. With more time, you can go backpacking or hike the longer, more challenging hiking trails.

8 Amazing Things to Do in Saguaro National Park

4. Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is an underrated park that is located in the Florida Keys. Located 70 miles west of Key West, this park makes up the last few islands of the Florida Keys.

Most people visit Dry Tortugas National Park on a day trip from Key West, getting here by seaplane or ferry. Once here, tour Fort Jefferson and walk the old fort walls, go snorkeling or swimming, and take a stroll on an empty beach.

Why Visit Dry Tortugas in January: In January, Bush Key is open. This small key sits next to Garden Key and it is closed from February through September for bird nesting season. This is a beautiful place to go on a stroll and one of our favorite experiences at Dry Tortugas, so it’s worth planning your visit for a time when this key is open. Plus, January is a good time to visit the Florida national parks if you are looking for a destination with warm weather and beaches.   Weather: In January, the average high is 74°F (23°C) and the average low is 65°F (18°C). During the winter months, brief periods of windy conditions can create large swells of water, which can cancel the ferry and make snorkeling difficult.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:15 am and sunset is at 6 pm.

Dry Tortugas from Seaplane

Dry Tortugas from the seaplane | Best National Parks in January

Walking on Bush Key

Walking on Bush Key | Best National Parks in January

On Top of Fort Jefferson

On Top of Fort Jefferson | Best National Parks in January

Location: Florida

Top Experiences: Explore Fort Jefferson, go snorkeling or swimming, and take a stroll on Bush Key.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, visit Loggerhead Key. To get here, you will kayak 3 miles one-way from Garden Key. In order to do this, you will need to spend two days at the park, camping overnight on Garden Key.

How Much Time Do You Need? A half to a full day is all you need to visit Dry Tortugas National Park. It’s possible to take an early flight from Key West, spend the morning at Dry Tortugas National Park, and be back in Key West for a late lunch.

The Complete Guide to Dry Tortugas National Park Best Things to Do in Dry Tortugas National Park How to Get to Dry Tortugas National Park Florida Keys Road Trip Itinerary: Miami, Key West & the National Parks

US National Parks List

5. Everglades National Park

Everglades is the most popular national park to visit in Florida, since it is easy to get to and easy to visit. In just one day, you can hike a few short trails, spot manatees and crocodiles, and go on an airboat ride.

This is a great national park to add to a Florida road trip, especially one that takes you to the Florida Keys, since this park is located very close to Miami. It’s also one of our top picks for kids.

Why Visit the Everglades in January: January is a great time to visit Everglades National Park because the weather is just about perfect and mosquitoes aren’t too bad (we were told by several different people that February is the best month to visit if you want the best chance of having a mosquito-free visit).   However, it’s important to know that this perfect weather and low mosquito situation makes January a prime month to visit Everglades National Park, so you will be dealing with some crowds. December through April tend to be the busiest months to visit this park.   Weather: The average high temperature is 78°F (26°C) and the average low is 55°F (13°C). January tends to be the driest month of the year.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7 am and sunset is at 6 pm.

Everglades

Everglades National Park | Best National Parks in January

Everglades Park Sign

Top Experiences: Walk the Anhinga Trail, visit the Flamingo Visitor Center and see if you can spot crocodiles or manatees, walk the boardwalk trail at Mahogany Hammock, take a kayaking tour, and bike through Shark Valley.

How Much Time Do You Need? One day is all you need to visit the highlights of Everglades National Park.

How to Spend One Day in Everglades National Park

US National Parks Guide

6. Zion National Park

In 2022, Zion National Park was the third most visited park in the USA, getting 4.7 million visitors. Crowds are huge from early spring through fall, so, for the best experience, we recommend visiting during the off season.

January is the month with the fewest numbers of visitors to Zion. So, if you want to hike the trails with low crowds, January is the best time to go.

Why Visit Zion in January: To avoid the crowds. This is the quietest month to visit the park in terms of visitation. You can even drive your car on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, since the park shuttle does not operate at this time.   Weather: The average high is 54°F (12°C) and the average low is 30°F (1°C), so Zion is chilly in January. There is a small chance of snow…but wouldn’t it be beautiful to see Zion with a light dusting of snow?   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:45 am and sunset is at 5:40 pm, which gives you 10 hours of daylight. That’s plenty of time to hike a trail or two. Plus, you can stick around for sunset and then have a nice dinner in Springdale.

Zion National Park Itinerary

The view from Angels Landing | Best National Parks in January

USA Road Trip with Zion

View from Observation Point | Best National Parks in January

Location: Utah

Top Experiences: Hike Angels Landing, Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, Riverside Trail, Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, and Canyon Overlook. One of the best experiences in the park is hiking the Zion Narrows.

Ultimate Adventure: In January, you can hike the Zion Narrows from the bottom-up, just be aware that water temperatures are going to be very cold at this time.

How Much Time Do You Need? If you like hiking, plan to spend at least 2 to 3 days in Zion National Park. You can do three big hikes (one each morning) or use two of the days for a multi-day backpacking adventure. This also gives you time to explore Kolob Canyons at the northern section of the park.

The Complete Guide to Zion National Park 10 Great Hikes in Zion: Which One Will Be Your Favorite? How to Hike Angels Landing: The Complete Guide 5 Things to Know Before Visiting Zion National Park

7. Arches National Park

Just like Zion, January is the quietest month of the year to visit Arches National Park. This is a good thing, because Arches is another extremely popular park to visit in the USA.

Arches is a beautiful wonderland of arches, rock formations, and short hiking trails. Not only will you find over 2,000 arches here, but you will also see hoodoos, fins of sandstone rocks, massive mesas, and balanced rocks.

You can see the highlights of the park right from your car or by taking short hikes, but for those who want to venture deeper into the park, there are several very cool hikes to choose from.

Why Visit Arches in January: To take advantage of lower crowd levels. In January 2022, about 40,000 people visited Arches in January. Two months later, in March, that number rose to 140,000. June saw the most visitors, hitting 170,000 people in just that month.   We have visited Arches and Canyonlands at the very end of December. It did snow a little bit and we needed hats and gloves, at least early in the day. For some people (us included), braving chilly temperatures could be worth it to visit the park with just a fraction of the people who visit later in the year.   Weather: The weather is a little bit cooler in Arches than Zion in January. The average high is 42°F (5°C) and the average low is 22°F (-5°C). There is a chance a few inches of snow can fall in January.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:30 am and sunset is at 5:20 pm.

Arches National Park

Delicate Arch | Best National Parks in January

Park Avenue

Park Avenue | Best National Parks in January

Devils Garden Arches

Devils Garden Trail | Best National Parks in January

Top Experiences: Hike to Delicate Arch, see Balanced Rock and the Fiery Furnace, visit Double Arch, Turret Arch, and Windows Arch, hike Park Avenue.

Ultimate Adventure: Hike the Devils Garden Trail. To reach Landscape Arch, one of the most iconic arches in the park, it is only 1.6 miles round trip. But for the ultimate adventure, continue past Landscape Arch to Double O Arch and Dark Angel and return on the Primitive Trail.

How Much Time Do You Need? One day in Arches is all you need to see the highlights, but it will be a very busy day and you will need to get started at sunrise, since the length of the day is so short in January. With two days, you can visit the park at a more leisurely pace or go off the beaten path.

The Complete Guide to Arches National Park One Perfect Day in Arches National Park Best Things to Do in Arches National Park

8. Mammoth Cave National Park

With over 400 miles of explored caves and passageways, Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest cave system. On a visit to Mammoth Cave, explore this subterranean world of immense rooms, long canyons, and tight passageways.

In order to explore Mammoth Cave, you will have to join a ranger-guided tour, of which there are many. Your options range from 2 to 3-hour, large group tours to small group tours where you can explore the caves with a hand-held lantern.

Why Visit Mammoth Cave in January: Mammoth Cave is 54°F all year. Even though cold weather and a chance of snow are a very real possibility in January, the cave stays a constant temperature, so the time of year matters very little for cave tours, at least in terms of temperature. Like other parks on this January list, visitation is low at Mammoth Cave for January. So, take advantage of lower crowds in January and there is a good chance you can tour the cave in a smaller group than the summer months.   Weather: In January, the average high is only 48°F (9°C) and the average low is 29°F (-1.5°C). There is a chance of snow but usually it is a cold rain this time of year. There are above ground trails to hike, but if it is cold during your visit, you can stick with the cave tours, which is the main reason for visiting Mammoth Cave National Park.   Sunrise and sunset: Sunrise is at 8 am and sunset is at 5:45 pm.

Mammoth Cave best national parks in January

Mammoth Cave | Best National Parks in January

Mammoth Cave best national parks in January

Inside Mammoth Cave | Best National Parks in January

Location: Kentucky

Top Experiences: Take a ranger guided tour of the cave. Tours range from 30 minutes to 6 hours, depending on the tour and how much of the cave you want to explore.

Ultimate Adventure: Take the Wild Cave Tour. On this small group, 6-hour tour, you get to learn what it is like to be cave explorer. While wearing kneepads, a miner’s headlamp, and a hard hat, you will belly crawl through tight spaces less than one foot high, scramble over rocks and climb up cave walls, and squeeze yourself through narrow spaces.

How Much Time Do You Need? A half day to a full day is all you need to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. We visited this park on a Tennessee – Kentucky road trip, traveling next to Nashville.

How to Pick the Best Tour at Mammoth Cave National Park

9. Grand Canyon National Park

Words and photos cannot accurately describe what it is like to look out across the Grand Canyon for the first time. This is a place that needs to be seen in person to truly appreciate the immense beauty of this place.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most visited parks in the USA. People from all over the world travel here to see this place. The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the Grand Canyon, there are several rims to visit. The South Rim, with its overlooks and hiking trails, is the most popular to visit and the views from here are some of the best. Most visitors spend their time on the South Rim when they visit the Grand Canyon.

Why Visit the Grand Canyon in January: The Grand Canyon is busy all year, but January and February are the quietest months to visit this national park (July typically gets the most visitors). January is also the coldest month of the year to visit the Grand Canyon, so keep that in mind. Even though it is located in Arizona, the South Rim is at a high elevation and this keeps temperatures lower than places like Saguaro National Park and Phoenix. But if you want to visit the Grand Canyon with low crowds, January is one of the best months to go.   Weather: The average high is only 44°F (7°C) and the average low is 20°F (-7°C). Snow is also a possibility this time of year.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:30 am and sunset is at 5:30 pm.

American Southwest Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon | Best National Parks in January

Best Grand Canyon Hike best national parks in January

South Kaibab Trail at sunrise | Best National Parks in January

Top Experiences: Visit the South Rim viewpoints, watch the sunrise and/or sunset, hike below the rim on the Bright Angel or South Kaibab Trail, take a flightseeing tour by airplane or helicopter.

Ultimate Adventure: In the winter, hike the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails as one big loop. This is a big day hike and only those who are very fit with lots of hiking experience should attempt it.

How Much Time Do You Need? We recommend spending two to three days on the South Rim, to visit the highlights. Three days gives you enough time to visit the best overlooks on the South Rim, go on a helicopter ride, and spend some time hiking below the rim.

The Complete Guide to Grand Canyon National Park How to Spend One Perfect Day in the Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Road Trip: 5 Itineraries Starting in Las Vegas Best Viewpoints on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

10. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala is a massive volcano that makes up more than 75% of the island of Maui.

Watching the sun rise above the clouds and hiking into the crater are two of the best things to do in Haleakala National Park, but there is more to this park than visiting the summit of a volcano. You can also visit the lush forests and waterfalls in the Kīpahulu District, which is located along the Road to Hana.

Why Visit Haleakala in January: For those who live in an area with cold winters, Hawaii is a great place to escape snow and chilly temperatures. January also tends to be the month with the lowest visitation of the year.   Weather: The temperature can vary dramatically between the Haleakala summit and the towns and beaches on Maui. At the summit, the average high temperature is 61°F (16°C) and the average low is 44°F (7°C). In Kahului, the average high is 90°F (32°C) and the average low is 64°F (18°C). That’s a big difference! January is one of the wettest months to visit Maui, so you could have some rain in your forecast.   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7 am and sunset is at 6 pm.

Haleakala Sunrise best national parks in January

Sunrise at Haleakala National Park | Best National Parks in January

Haleakala Hike

Hiking in the Haleakala Crater | Best National Parks in January

Pipiwai Trail

Pipiwai Trail | Best National Parks in January

Location: Hawaii

Top Experiences: Watch the sunrise above the clouds, visit the viewpoints on the Haleakala summit, hike the Pīpīwai Trail, visit the Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe’o, and go stargazing.

Ultimate Adventure: For the ultimate adventure, hike the Sliding Sands and Halemau’u Trail Loop. This trail takes you into the Haleakala Crater and at times it looks like you are hiking on the surface of Mars.

How Much Time Do You Need? If you want to visit both the Haleakala summit and the Kīpahulu District, you will need two full days in Haleakala National Park.

Best Things to Do in Haleakala National Park How to Hike the Sliding Sands and Halemau’u Trail Loop How to Hike the Pipiwai Trail and Visit the Bamboo Forest

11. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. You also have the chance to catch Kīlauea in action, as molten lava oozes up from below the Earth’s crust.

But there is more to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park than volcanic eruptions. You can hike through a lush rainforest and learn about the history and culture of this dynamic place.

This park has the unique ability to change dramatically in just a short period of time. In the past few decades, lava flows have covered roads and beaches, and earthquakes have disrupted the landscape. The conditions are constantly changing, so I recommend checking the National Park Service website for updates as you plan your trip.

Why Visit Hawai’i Volcanoes in January: Hawaii makes a great wintertime destination, for those who want to escape the cold temperatures at home. So why not add on one or two national parks to your visit? Crowd levels remain fairly consistent at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park throughout the year, as does the weather. This park is generally warm all year and it gets a high amount of rainfall on a monthly basis.   Weather: The average high is 68°F (20°C) and the average low is 50°F (10°C). Rainfall averages 9 inches per month. For reference, the summer months are the drier months (rainfall averages 6 inches per month) and November and December tend to be the wettest months.   Sunrise and sunset: Sunrise is at 7 am and sunset is at 6 pm.

Kilauea Iki Crater best national parks in January

Kilauea Iki Crater | Best National Parks in January

Holei Sea Arch

Holei Sea Arch | Best National Parks in January

Puuloa Petroglyphs best national parks in January

Pu’uloa Petroglyphs | Best National Parks in January

Top Experiences: See the lava flow, drive Crater Rim Drive and visit the viewpoints, hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail, drive Chain of Craters Road, hike out to the Pu’uloa Petroglyphs, and walk through the Thurston Lava Tube.

Ultimate Adventure: Take a helicopter ride over the Kīlauea Caldera to see the lava (if it is flowing).

How Much Time Do You Need? To visit the main sights around the Kīlauea Caldera, one day is all you need. There are two less visited areas of the park, the Kahuku Unit and Mauna Loa, and if you plan to visit these, add on another day or two to your visit.

Best Things to Do in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park How to Hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail

12. Joshua Tree National Park

With its desert scenery, hiking trails, rock climbing routes, hidden oases, scenic drives, and trees that look like they have been plucked from the pages of a Dr. Seuss book, Joshua Tree National Park is a joy to explore.

Hike the Arch Rock Trail, learn about the plants that thrive in the Mojave Desert on the Cap Rock Nature Trail, see Skull Rock, and go hiking in Hidden Valley. Our favorite experience is hiking the Hall of Horrors and searching for the hidden slot canyon.

Why Visit Joshua Tree National Park in January:  This national park is located in southern California, so even in January, temperatures are relatively warm. Park visitation tends to be high from November through April, but crowds thin out just a little bit in January, making this month a great time to visit if you want mild temperatures and slightly lower crowds. You can also combine a visit to Joshua Tree with Palm Desert, San Diego, or Las Vegas (more great spots to visit in the winter).   Weather: The average high is 60°F (15°C) and the average low is 35°F (2°C).   Sunrise and Sunset: Sunrise is at 7:30 am and sunset is at 5:20 pm.

Joshua Tree best national parks in January

Joshua Trees | Best National Parks in January

Julie in Joshua Tree

Cholla Cactus Garden | Best National Parks in January

Top Experiences: Hike the Hall of Horrors, see Skull Rock, explore Hidden Valley, hike to an oasis, hike to Arch Rock and Heart Rock, drive Geology Tour Road, visit the Cholla Cactus Garden, and go stargazing.

How Much Time Do You Need? Ideally, you need at least two full days in Joshua Tree National Park. This gives you enough time to visit the highlights, go rock climbing or take a lesson, hike a few trails, and go on the scenic drives.

Best Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park 14 Best Hikes in Joshua Tree National Park How to Hike the Hall of Horrors

Bonus! 4 More Great National Parks to Visit in January

Here are three more great national parks to visit in January. Cooler temperatures in these parks kept them off the main list above, but they still make excellent wintertime destinations.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is located in Utah, not far from Zion and Arches (mentioned above). This park tends to be colder, with the average high just getting up to 40°F and the average low at 20°F. Snow is likely this time of year. But if you are planning a Utah’s Mighty 5 road trip, Capitol Reef is worth the visit, even in January, just bring plenty of warm clothes.

Canyonlands National Park

Just like Capitol Reef, Canyonlands National Park was left off of the main list above because it is cold in January. It’s actually a few degrees colder in Canyonlands than Capitol Reef and snowfall is higher (Canyonlands on average receives 6 inches of snow in January). But if you have plans to visit Arches, Canyonlands is just a short drive away and worth it if you have the time.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: The Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands is colder than Arches and Capitol Reef because it sits at a higher elevation.

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park, which is located in Florida, is 95% water. The best way, and really the only way, to explore this park is by boat.

In January, the high temperature is about 74°F. That’s relatively warm, but for some people, 74° might be too cool to spend a day on a boat, snorkeling and swimming.

However, if you have plans to visit the Florida Keys or the Everglades, it is worth adding on Biscayne if you have another day in your schedule.

Yellowstone National Park

If you are looking for a wintry national park to visit in January, Yellowstone makes a great pick. Travel by snowmobile in the park during the day and warm up by the fire at night. This is a trip that is on our to-do list…I would love to see the bison standing in the snow, their faces and fur covered with snow flakes. 

January Road Trip Idea: Florida Keys

If you are looking for warm weather and some beach time, there’s no better road trip than a visit to the Florida Keys.

Spend a day or two in Miami before visiting Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. Drive through the Florida Keys, dine al fresco on the beach, and visit a state park or two along the drive. End your trip with a few days in Key West and make the day trip out to Dry Tortugas National Park. 

For more information, read our Florida Keys Road Trip Itinerary, which provides several different ways to plan this trip.

Key West Road Trip

If you have any questions about the best national parks to visit in January, or if you want to share your favorite national parks to visit this month, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information about the National Parks:

NATIONAL PARKS: In our Guide to the US National Parks, get the full list of national parks with important travel planning information, such as things to do in the parks and sample itineraries.

BEST US NATIONAL PARKS: Looking for your next big adventure? Read our post Best National Parks in the USA, where we narrow down the long list into 15 must-see parks.

GREAT HIKES IN THE NATIONAL PARKS: From hikes to the tallest peaks to beautiful coast trails, read our guide to the Best Day Hikes in the US National Parks. If you prefer to keep your hikes short and sweet, read our guide to the Best Short Hikes in the National Parks.

NATIONAL PARK ITINERARIES: For ideas on how to plan a national parks road trip, visit our National Parks Itinerary page. This has lots of road trip ideas and sample itineraries for many of the US national parks.

Best National Parks to Visit by Month:

FEBRUARY: Best National Parks to Visit in February MARCH: Best National Parks to Visit in March APRIL: Best National Parks to Visit in April MAY: Best National Parks to Visit in May JUNE: Best National Parks to Visit in June JULY: Best National Parks to Visit in July AUGUST:   Best National Parks to Visit in August SEPTEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in September OCTOBER: Best National Parks to Visit in October NOVEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in November DECEMBER: Best National Parks to Visit in December

US National Parks in January

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The 7 Best Places to Go This January

Whether you're in pursuit of sun or snow, here are a few ideas for a winter escape.

yosemite winter at the gates

Every item on this page was chosen by a Town & Country editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

January is often considered one of the bleakest months of the year. The excitement of the holidays has worn off, it's unbearably cold (for most of us), restrictive New Year resolution diets have begun, and there's nothing ahead but a long, interminable winter. All this makes it an ideal time to plan a getaway, especially more so since most travelers have already done their trips during the holidays so there are less crowds to contend with. Whether you're in pursuit of sun or snow, here are a few ideas for your first trip of 2022.

Yosemite National Park, California

yosemite winter at the gates

Winter may not be the most popular time to visit Yosemite National Park but it may be one of the most beautiful. There are certain road closures to navigate around but sections of the park (as well as hiking trails) remain open in January. Vistas of glistening landmarks and landscapes dusted with snow—which, with far fewer crowds, can be enjoyed in near solitude—are hard to resist. For winter sports enthusiasts, there is also the option of snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, and snowboarding. After an adventurous day in the cold, the warm, cozy, and romantic Château du Sureau at the gateway to the park beckons with old world charm, a fabulous spa, 9 acres of picturesque rolling hills, and all the topnotch food and service expected of a Relais & Châteaux property.

Turks & Caicos

panoramic view of beach against sky

Crystal clear turquoise waters and sand as smooth as silk make Turks & Caicos especially alluring come winter. Nestled in a secluded spot along the pristine shores of Grace Bay is Wymara , a luxe resort that underwent an extensive renovation just last year during which the property remodeled rooms and added new villas. With minimalist, bougainvillea-laced design and a 7,000-square-foot mosaic-lined infinity pool, is there a better way to recharge and relax ahead of a brand new year?

Read Reviews Wymara Resort & Villas

tree, palm tree, botany, sky, water, building, house, vacation, architecture, arecales,

The birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, the small Leeward island of Nevis epitomizes everything a Caribbean island should be: that off-the-grid feel, laid-back charm, and plenty of lush landscapes and tropical beaches. It's also home to the 11-room Golden Rock Inn . The hidden gem, owned by the artists Brice and Helen Marden, is a foodie paradise that offers visitors a uniquely bohemian experience. Prefer something more beachy? Book one of the guest rooms at the Four Seasons Nevis facing the sugar-soft sand of Pinney’s Beach.

Read Reviews Golden Rock Inn

Read Reviews Four Seasons Resort Nevis

usa, utah, alta, forest in snow covered mountains

Located just 28 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Alta is a veritable skiers' paradise. Snowboarding is banned here and it enjoys a fraction of visitors as its neighbor Park City (Alta gets about 500,000 visitors a year, while Park City gets more than 3 million). Stay at one of the newer hotels on the block, Snowpine Lodge , which underwent a $50-million renovation in 2019 to become a fully ski-in/ski-out hotel, the area's first. The après-ski amenities at the 68-room hotel include Alta's first full service spa, slope-side hot tubs and heated pool, an oxygen bar, fire pits, and heated ski lockers.

Read Reviews Snowpine Lodge

Big Island, Hawaii

where to go in january

With daily highs around 83 degrees and lows around 79, January is one of the best months for a trip to the Big Island—especially with such stunning attractions like Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and 'Akaka Falls, not to mention all the outdoor activities to be enjoyed such as rainforest hikes, stargazing, snorkeling, golf, surfing, and hot springs. For the ultimate New Year splurge, book one of the five private bungalows at the Mauna Lani, an Auberge Resort . At 4,000 square feet, they will more than comfortably sleep a group of 6 and provide seamless indoor-outdoor living (think private chefs, outdoor rain showers, a pool).

Read Reviews Mauna Lani, an Auberge Resort

Blue Mountains, Jamaica

strawberry hill hotel luxury jamaican resort, blue mountains, jamaica

Located 3,100 feet above sea level, Strawberry Hill offers a different kind of Jamaican vacation. You'll trade sea for mountains (the panoramic Blue Mountains, in this case) and sweltering sun for a misty, cool breeze. Owner Chris Blackwell (who is also the mastermind behind the iconic Goldeneye , just two hours away) often entertained his music friends—Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, and Willie Nelson—at the 12-cottage property back in the '70s. Along with all the hiking, flora, and authentic Jamaican cuisine, there is one other major reason to pay a visit to this region: the fabulous coffee.

Read Reviews Strawberry Hill

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

usa, wyoming, jackson hole, snow covered landscape, mountains in background

There really is no winter playground for outdoor enthusiasts quite like Jackson Hole. Its ski runs are legendary (and notoriously challenging) and the surrounding wilderness (home to elk, bison, bears, wolves, and bald eagles, to name a few) and national parks (Teton and Yellowstone) provide so much to see and do, including dog sledding, snowmobiling, fly fishing, and sleigh rides, plus heli-sking and cross-country skiing for the uber-adventurous. Stay at the ultra-luxe Amangani , whose blazing log fires and heated outdoor pool (with the most amazing views in town of the Tetons and Snake River Valley) will feel like heaven after a long day of extreme sport.

Read Reviews Amangani

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Leena Kim is an editor at Town & Country , where she covers travel, jewelry, education, weddings, and culture.

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22 of the BEST Places in the USA to Visit in January

12/10/2023 by Ashley Yap 1 Comment

After the December holidays, tourism slows down throughout the US, making January a fantastic time to explore a new place. Prices are generally lower, meaning you might be able to snag a great deal on accommodations and flights. 

When deciding where to travel this January, consider whether you want to embrace a wintry wonderland along with its freezing temps, or head somewhere a bit warmer for a break from the cold. This list has a bit of each, including beaches, uncrowded national parks, nippy cities, and more:

Table of Contents

Off the Mainland

1. big island, hawai’i.

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January big island hawaii

If you tend to get the winter scaries and are looking for the perfect tropical destination this January, there’s no better place than the Big Island of Hawai’i . Not only does the  Big Island have some incredible beaches and places to stay , but there are also some fantastic  snorkeling spots  and gorgeous hikes as well (here’s a full itinerary ).

The Big Island is home to a diverse ecosystem that offers visitors an incredible variety of scenery. From the beaches and the mountains to waterfalls to lookout points, it has it all. It’s also a hub for  spiritual and transformative experiences .

So, why the Big Island in January? First of all, escaping the frigid temperatures of winter is an enticing proposal. (You won’t be the only one with this idea though, as winter is one of the most popular  times to visit Hawai’i . Compared to November and December, however, January is a bit less crowded.) There’s also less rainfall that month, so it’s just right for all the  outdoor activities you can do . Plus, humpback whale season is also in full swing this month, giving you another reason to go.

2. Fairbanks, Alaska

alaska in the winter

It might sound completely bonkers to go to  Alaska in the winter , but hear me out (or check out our Alaska guide ). If you don’t mind bundling up and braving the cold, Fairbanks is an incredibly magical place in January. During this time, there’s a chance you can catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis, aka the northern lights. Plus, it’s a fantastic time to  check out the Chena hot springs  and go  dog sledding .

In Fairbanks, you can fully immerse yourself in an icy wonderland.  Check out the Aurora Ice Museum  to see some spectacular sculptures, or embark on an epic  snowmobiling adventure . There’s plenty  to do in Fairbanks  this January for anyone who wants to fully experience Alaskan winter in all its snowy glory.

3. Olympic National Park, Washington

washington national parks rialto beach in Olympic national park

There’s a lot to love about winter in the PNW. The moody coastline, sparkling trees heavy with newly fallen snow, and white mountain peaks are all features of  Olympic National Park  in Washington during the month of January. Although some parts of the park are closed in the winter months, most of it remains open to explore.

If you’re hoping to get out and about, there are plenty of  hikes in Olympic National Park  to choose from. One of them is Hurricane Ridge, where you can go snowshoeing, skiing, tubing, or snowboarding. The coastal hikes are also great in the wintertime, as you can easily walk along the shore, like Rialto Beach . Just make sure to go during low tide, as the winter waves can be treacherous and unpredictable during high tide. Check out other national parks in Washington here .

4. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Oregon

Crater Lake in Oregon is a magnificent site any time of year, although the snowy weather of January makes it extra special. From cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, sledding, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, there are plenty of  winter activities to enjoy here . Although this area gets more snow than most other places in the US, the park remains open throughout the winter months. 

There’s a chance that you may encounter some road closures if there’s heavy snowfall, which will make it difficult to impossible to reach the lake itself, so make sure to check  weather conditions  before you depart. If you are able to make it to the rim of the majestic lake, the wintertime view is nothing short of spectacular.

5. Mammoth Lakes, California

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January california

The Mammoth Lakes region in California is one of the state’s most popular destinations for skiing. However, there’s much more  to do in Mammoth Lakes in the winter . Most notably, checking out the hot springs here is a must in January. When there’s snow on the ground, they are extra steamy and even more beautiful than in the warmer months. Plus, they’re not as crowded during this time of year, so you’ll have a better chance of getting to soak solo.

Within Mammoth Lakes, some of the best spots in January are Convict Lake for a gorgeous view of the mountains reflected on the water, the Hot Creek Geological site for a magical steamy scene, and Mono Lake for a truly unique landscape and salty water that doesn’t freeze. Most places will be quite snowy this time of year, so pack snowshoes for easier access.

6. Death Valley National Park, California & Nevada

death valley

The  California deserts  are ideal in the winter months, especially in January, when the mild temperatures make exploring more accessible — in the warmer months, some spots like Death Valley are simply too scorching to hike through safely.

The desert landscapes in Death Valley National Park are almost otherworldly. From the subtle color spectrum of the Artist’s Palette to the salty Badwater Basin and the smooth Mesquite Flat sand dunes, there is  plenty for nature lovers to enjoy in Death Valley . The most popular trek in the park is the  Golden Canyon hike , which is great to do in the winter, because it’s the only time of year when the heat isn’t completely overwhelming.

If you’re thinking of heading to Death Valley this January, check out this  guide to finding the best places to stay and camp  in and around the park.

7. Lake Tahoe, California & Nevada

mt rose hike winter

If you thought  Lake Tahoe was perfect for summer , you’re in for a treat when you see how much there is to do here in the winter.  January in Lake Tahoe  is ideal for travelers who adore outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh riding, dog sledding, ice skating, photography , and more. 

The weather is cold, with highs barely reaching the mid 40s, so prepare yourself with plenty of warm layers, so you can fully embrace Lake Tahoe’s beauty and outdoor activities .

Lake Tahoe is shared by both California and Nevada, and has two distinct regions: North and South. North Tahoe is more laid-back and has less development overall, making it better for January travelers who want to escape and connect with nature. South Tahoe has more accommodations and restaurants to choose from, but you might find the ski crowds there. (Click here for the best boutique hotels in Lake Tahoe , and find all our Lake Tahoe articles here .)

8. Kirkham Hot Springs, Idaho

idaho hot springs

In case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of hot springs in the wintertime. There’s something so soothing about dipping into a hot pool when the outside air is frigid, with steam rising up from the water so beautifully. Some of the  best hot springs in the USA are in Idaho , and  Kirkham Hot Springs  is a strong contender for the very best of all.

Kirkham, Idaho , is relatively uncrowded in the winter months, which makes it such a great spot to visit in January, as there’s a chance you could have the springs to yourself. The pools sit right next to a flowing river, with snowcapped mountains in the background. The scenery alone is a beautiful sight, but being able to admire it from a steaming natural pool makes it even more idyllic. 

9. Moab, Utah

Moab Utah

If you’ve been dreaming of seeing Arches or Canyonlands National Park but are discouraged by the thick crowds of high season (March through October), consider going in January. Winters are cold in Moab, Utah , with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, but the potential of having beautiful rock formations to yourself and lower rates on accommodation might be worth it.

There’s plenty  to do and see in Moab , such as taking in the iconic Delicate Arch in  Arches National Park , catching a sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, or grabbing a bite at the Moab Food Truck Park. Moab is also an essential stop on any  Utah national parks road trip . 

10. White Sands National Park, New Mexico

white sands national park

If you want to get far off the beaten path this January, there’s no better destination than White Sands National Park in New Mexico . It’s the world’s largest gypsum sand dune field, spanninng 275 miles in the middle of the desert. The dunes here are unlike anywhere else in the US; you can even climb to the top and sled down if you’d like. Goingn in January means enjoying milder temperatures, but make sure to still bring plenty of sun protection, as there is absolutely no shade once you venture outside of the visitors’ center.

Unlike most national parks that are open 24/7, White Sands has  operating hours  that vary from season to season. The best time to go is right before sunset, as the scenery is phenomenal when the sun goes down. Shadows cast from the dunes create beautiful patterns in the sand, and the whole place glows with different hues. This national park rarely becomes crowded in general, but January yields even fewer guests. Chances are, you’ll get a whole sand dune to yourself! Find out everything you need to know about  visiting White Sands National Park here .

11. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Albuquerque

If you’re taking a  road trip through New Mexico , chances are you’ll start in Albuquerque or at least pass through. This quirky city deserves to be a destination all on its own, however, as there’s plenty  to do in Albuquerque.  From Breaking Bad  filming locations to  taking a hot-air balloon ride  over the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque is full of adventure.

Visiting Albuquerque in January is a great option for anyone who wants to escape frigid winter temperatures but doesn’t mind a little chill. This month offers mild temperatures, with highs barely reaching the 50s but rarely dipping below 30 degrees. Bring some layers and you’ll be good to go. 

12. Breckenridge, Colorado

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Colorado

This is one for those of you out there who truly want to embrace winter and all the outdoor activities that you can do in the snow. Breckenridge, Colorado , is one of the USA’s most prominent ski towns, so it’s no surprise that January is the ideal time to visit. Sure, it might be a bit crowded, but the sunny skies and abundance of events this month make it worth it.

One of the best winter events in Breckenridge is the  International Snow Sculpture Championships  at the end of January. This month also sees the most snowfall of the year, which makes it a great time for skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, dogsledding, snowmobiling, and more.

13. Chicago, Illinois

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Chicago

You might think I’m insane for adding this, but Chicago is my hometown, and I think there’s something  special about every season here . Not convinced? Although summertime in Chicago, Illinois , is exciting and the weather is fantastic for outdoor activities, visiting the Windy City in January is perfect for  grabbing a deal on hotels  and visiting world-class museums  (some are even free!) . 

Chicago winters are brutal, but if you’re prepared for the cold, it doesn’t have to be such a deterrent. Wear plenty of warm layers and take advantage of all the amazing  things to do in Chicago  that are indoors. Catch a production at the Chicago Theatre, see a comedy show at The Second City, visit the Art Institute, or get your adrenaline pumping by standing on a glass platform 95 floors in the air at 360° Chicago. The options are endless for things you can do here in the wintertime, so why not take advantage of the cheapest prices of the year by visiting in January?

14. South Dakota road trip

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January South Dakota

If you’re going to see South Dakota in the winter, you’re in for a snowy wonderland of alpine sports and activities. But if you want to see a bit of the country, the best way to do so is on a road trip. We’ve got you covered with this three-day road trip itinerary through all the best parts of this Midwest state. You’ll stop at Sioux Falls (if you go in early January, you’ll catch the Sioux Falls Winter Wonderland ), Badlands National Park , Rapid City , and Black Hills National Forest , where you’ll stop at the iconic Mount Rushmore .

The temperatures vary from 10 to 30 degrees F and can dip into the extremes. Though it’s unlikely that you will see the northern lights in South Dakota, they have been observed here before.

15. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January big bend national park

You might recognize Big Bend from other lists of  where to visit in the USA by month . The truth is, there’s really not a  bad  time to  visit Big Bend National Park , one of the most underrated in the US. There are rarely large crowds any time of year, but this is especially true in January. You’ll love having some solitude here, as the landscapes are delightful and the night sky is perfect for  stargazing . Does it get any more peaceful than that?

Although January is the coldest month in Big Bend, temperatures still hover in the high 60s and barely dip below the 40s. That means camping is totally doable this month. With four  campgrounds  to choose from, you’ll have plenty of options.

16. Nashville, Tennessee

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Nashville

Visiting Nashville is a fantastic option for travelers looking to save money on their January vacation. Not only are there a ton of  free things to do in the Music City , but Nashville also made our list of the  cheapest vacations in the US  because of the affordable accommodations and generous portions at restaurants.

January also marks the middle of Nashville’s low season, meaning prices are even better than usua l, and there’s a good chance you’ll get a deal on airfare as well. There may not be as many live shows during this time, and the nightlife scene won’t be as vibrant, but that could be a draw for travelers who are looking to have a more laid-back experience.

Nashville winters are chilly, with temperatures peaking in the high 40s during the day and plunging to as low as 28 degrees at night. If you’re coming from further north, however, this might be warmer than the January temps you’re used to. 

17. Louisville, Kentucky

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Kentucky

Louisville  is perhaps one of the most underrated small cities in the US. Not only is there tons to do here, but the city is famous for its warm Southern hospitality and cultural diversity. 

January is chilly in Louisville, but there are a few reasons why it’s a great time to visit. There’s an ice rink at 4th Street Live where you can go skating throughout the winter. Since holiday crowds have died down by then, it’s also a great time to take advantage of the city’s excellent museums, such as the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky Derby Museum. Here you can also find the Seelbach Hilton Hotel, which was a  favorite place of Al Capone’s . Louisville is full of interesting history like this, which you can get an earful of on a  walking tour .

18. Atlanta, Georgia

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Georgia

There is just as much  to do in Atlanta  in January as there is any other time of year. The weather here is mild, with average highs in the 50s and occasional 70-degree days. That means you can enjoy outdoor spots like Atlantic Green, the Atlanta Belt Line, and the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center this month. In case you encounter rain, there are also plenty of museums and other indoor attractions, like the Atlanta Contemporary Art Museum , the Fernbank Science Center, and the Atlanta History Center.

Although the weather is a plus, January in Atlanta is extra special because of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations throughout the city. From the parade downtown to the festivities at the King Center, you’ll see why ATL is the place to be in January. Other events include the Cathedral Antiques Show and Tour of Homes as well. 

19. Charleston, South Carolina

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January South Carolina

Tourism in Charleston continues to rise each year, and for good reason. This charming city is full of historical richness, amazing food, and excellent hospitality. Dare I say more? Although Charleston is booming right now, the winter months remain quiet here, making January a fantastic time to visit.

Charleston’s weather this month is ideal if you’re looking to escape the cold. Temperatures hover around 60 degrees, with chillier nights and mornings. 

This is also the best time for foodies, as the city celebrates  restaurant week  in January. Even if you don’t go during that week, the dip in tourism means you’ll have a better chance at getting a table at popular restaurants that are usually booked up in the spring and summer months.

20. Orlando, Florida

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Orlando Florida

I’m here to break the news: Orlando is so much more than Disney World, especially solo ! Central Florida is home to abundant natural springs with crystal-clear water, some of which look bright baby blue in the sunlight. One of the best is the  Rock Springs swimming hole , just a 35-minute drive outside of Orlando. That is just the beginning of all the beautiful places there are to see in and around the city. Wekiwa Springs State Park, Seminole State Forest , and Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive are all within an hour’s drive. 

Since January is cooler than most of the year yet still warm enough to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, it’s a great time to visit. It’s also low season for the theme parks, so you can enjoy fewer crowds if you decide to go. Low season also comes with lower rates on accommodation, and you can save even more by checking out  Orlando’s many free activities and attractions .

21. Florida Keys road trip

florida keys one-week itinerary dolphin watching eco tour things to do in marathon Florida

There’s nothing like a gorgeously warm road trip through the Florida Keys , and January is an amazing time to discover this Caribbean part of the USA. There are five main keys you want to explore: Key Largo , Islamorada , Marathon , Big Pine , and of course, Key West . Along the way, you’ll find beautiful snorkeling , relaxing beaches , exciting tours and excursions , and convenient places to stay (click here for accommodations in Key Largo , Marathon , and Key West ).

January is a popular time in the Florida Keys because most people head south for their winter vacations. It will be a little chilly, especially if a nor’easter blows through, so be sure to pack a sweater for when you’re on the water. You can expect rates to be a little higher, but with so many fun things to do , it just might be worth it.

22. Boston, Massachusetts

Best Places in the USA to Visit in January Boston

Although the winters in Boston can be harsh, this historic city maintains its enchanting quality the whole year. Since one of the main draws is the plethora of museums and historical sites, you don’t have to spend too much time outside in the cold, as most of them are indoors.

If you get lucky with sunny weather, though, you can also check out the Freedom Trail , which is 2.5 miles long and has 16 historical sites, with plenty of opportunities to duck into a building to warm up. Since this is one of Boston’s most popular tourist attractions, it can get crowded in the spring through the fall, so January is ideal.

Another reason to visit Boston in January is to get a  tour of Fenway Park , since it’s the off-season for the Red Sox. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, the stadium is full of historical relics and stories.

I have to admit that I tend to hibernate in January, as the cold keeps me indoors and snuggled up at home. However, there are so many places to visit in January in the USA that sound so exciting that I might just have to venture out and explore. 

Which of these destinations sounds the best to you?

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Ruby Stacey says

11/30/2022 at 9:29 am

Great article, thank you for sharing this.

winter in Bryce Canyon

  • Things To Do

Find Your Fancy with These January Getaway Ideas

Get out there and get excited again..

Updated on 12/16/2022 at 4:13 PM

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Gearing up for the first month of a new year we always get chills—and not just because, for many of us, it’s actually chilly outside. No, we’re excited about new adventures, new outlooks, and maybe even a new haircut. Though the last few years have felt like déjà vu, this time it feels different, so let’s dream big. (Man, we hope we’re not jinxing anything.)

And let’s get a little wacky. Maybe with some snowy sports in the winter capital of Minnesota (ice golf or beard-growing, anyone?), or hopping a wolf-adorned George R.R. Martin train to nowhere. Or perhaps we hang with actual wolves in a national park (from a safe distance), dodge icy daggers in Ohio state parks, or escape to the Pacific coast of Mexico—or Vegas. Let’s pay tribute to those who paved the way for our civil rights, sip wine in places we would have never thought to before, and watch a ton of movies. Or just re-watch The White Lotus before hopping on a plane to Sicily. Who’s gonna stop us? That’s right: The name of the game for 2023 is “anything goes.”

Warm yourself on Mexico’s Pacific coast

Chilled to the bone? The cerulean Pacific shoreline of Mazatlán  can easily cure that, with 20 miles of sand scads less touristy than its Cancun counterpart. It’s particularly appealing for those with appetites, as it’s located in the Mexican state of Sineola, which happens to provide a full one third of the country’s produce. That means local, inherently organic, farm-to-table everything, not to mention a bounty of seafood thanks to its beachfront situation.

And it’s also a feast for the eyes, with colonial architecture that pops with color, cobblestone plazas with Parisian-style cafes, and a seaside promenade rife with street performers. Jump off a cliff into the ocean—a local tradition—or lounge on one of several white sand beaches bustling with bars. For an overnight excursion, take a boat to Stone Island, not actually an island but a peninsula, with secluded stretches butting up against the hilly jungle.

Or find winter magic in Ohio

But maybe you’d like to lean into winter. Why not try Ohio? At the convergence of impressive waterfalls, caves, and gorges you’ll find Hocking Hills State Park . On the fringes of Appalachia, less than a four-hour drive from major cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Indianapolis, winter here is especially magical. Over 2,000 acres feature seven hiking areas taking you past many natural wonders, like caves adorned with icy daggers—beautiful to look at, but definitely treacherous to walk under.

Much safer are the frozen waterfalls, suspended in time, one framed by a stone bridge near underground tunnels and rock formations with names like the Sphinx Head and Devil's Bathtub. And when you’re done, go park-hopping: Apparently Ohio has more state parks than Utah has state and national parks combined (!). Hocking Hills borders Lake Logan State Park, good for eagle-spotting, sledding, ice skating, or ice fishing—whatever tickles your frozen fancy.

Opt for adventure on a train co-owned by George R.R. Martin

Though the city of Santa Fe shot down his proposal to build a medieval castle in his backyard—“It is so clear that this is not an adobe building,” said the review board— Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin still has plenty of love for New Mexico. A resident of the state capital since 1979, it was inside his renovated bowling alley that art juggernauts Meow Wolf opened their first immersive installation, House of Eternal Return (a wise investment–they’re now up to three locations and boast former Disney execs on their board).

In December, Martin opened up Sky Railway , a refurbished version of the historic 141-year-old Santa Fe Railway, which once connected the city to the outside world and carried notables like presidents and Manhattan Project scientists. Collaborating with a group of his own contemporary notables, including Bill Banowsky, founder of Magnolia Pictures and Violet Crown Cinemas, and bestselling mystery author Douglas Preston, plus, according to his blog , a few margaritas, the decision was made to save the railway from its current state of disrepair and set it on a new mission : as twin dragon- and wolf-painted diesel locomotive chariots taking passengers on a scenic ride from Santa Fe to Lamy. There are themed rides from history to jazz to participatory murder mysteries, plus plenty to eat and drink. No word yet, however, if margaritas will be served.

Escape to—and in—Las Vegas

Las Vegas, AKA Sin City, trades on escaping real life, which is why folks like magician David Blaine choose it for their over-the-top, reality-adjacent residencies. But it’s also home to other immersive experiences , like Spiegelworld’s new performance space-nightclub-restaurant Superfrico , and Area 15 , an entire complex dedicated to immersive experiences with alternate realities, VR experiences, and Meow Wolf’s dystopian Omega Mart .

But what if you wanted to, like, experience the world outside ? Say on a rail biking journey with Rail Explorers , or perhaps via a trip to the legendary Hoover Dam, about 45 minutes away in Boulder City. For that, try Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures , which picks you up from your Vegas hotel for a half-day of dam history and floating on the Colorado River. January is also an excellent time to visit Death Valley National Park , with temperatures that won’t try to kill you just for trying being outside. For that, try Pink Tours , which makes stops along the US-95 “ bizarro desert highway ” route including  Rhyolite Ghost Town and Goldwell Open Air Museum as well as the Area 51 Alien Travel Center , which also houses a working brothel. But you won’t have time for that.

Freeze your Minnetonkas off in Minnesota (but in a fun way)

Minnesota may have some of the coldest winters in the Lower 48, but they sure know how to make the most of it. The Sandstone Ice Fest (Jan 6–8) offers ice-climbing clinics in Sandstone, while Icebox Days (Jan 26–29) in International Falls gets wacky with frozen turkey bowling, canoe racing on ice, and a “Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run.”

The second annual World Snow Sculpting Championship (Jan 18–22) sees teams competing against the backdrop of the St. Croix River in Stillwater, while the St. Paul Winter Carnival (Jan 26–Feb 5) offers shenanigans from a beard-growing competition to ice-fishing tournaments, ice palaces, ice golf, dog coronations (why not?), and parades. It’s part of the Great Northern Festival , an 11-day extravaganza across Minneapolis and St. Paul, with additional events including outdoor orienteering challenges, climate-focused lectures, art exhibits carved out of ice, and live podcast recordings. Plus snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and skijoring, where competitors are pulled along on skis by dogs, who hopefully get plenty of treats for doing all the work.

Dance with wolves (from afar)

There’s no need to go to far-flung places for a safari: Winter in America’s national parks comes with its own kind of animal magnetism. In Yellowstone, animals like bison, elk, and moose move down to lower elevations to forage—and happen to be much easier to spot against a blanket of fresh white snow. (Watch out for shed antlers in December and January.)

And right behind those massive herbivores, stalking their prey? Gray wolves. You might actually hear them first, howling into the still silence (another plus for national parks in the winter ). To see them, take a snowshoe safari , trekking as the animals do in an unrivaled backcountry experience. Or just keep your eyes peeled—you may see some couplings as courtship season arrives in February (if you want to see the babies, they’ll pop out around April). Yellowstone is best for looking at lupines, but you can also get lucky at Grand Teton, Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, and Katmai and Denali in Alaska .

Soothe yourself at a natural hot spring

We challenge you to find something more transporting in the winter than soaking your bones in nature’s warm water. If you visit Hot Springs, Arkansas , you might feel compelled: As you walk downtown, the vapors waft right out of grates in the ground. The historic town, surrounded by a national park , was once home to a row of bathhouses that attracted the likes of Al Capone and FDR—these days, however, most have been repurposed into things like museums and the only brewery in a national park . A couple still serve their original purpose though, plus now there’s also a gangster museum .

Hot springs are also particularly plentiful in Colorado, each filled with geothermal groundwater bubbling up to the surface. Get a cabin at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs or descend upon Iron Mountain Hot Springs , which offers 16 steamy pools. For something a little more rustic, hike three miles round-trip to Piedra River Hot Springs for a secluded clothing-optional soak.

Elsewhere, Montana has natural hot springs for days , from hidden mountain pools to full-blown resorts. In the Pacific Northwest, many springs are surprisingly campable this time of year . In New Mexico , spring-hop though countless healing grottos, some clothing-optional, some shiny with obsidian. They don’t call it the Land of Enchantment for nothing.

Take a beat for MLK Jr. Day

January 16 marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a time to reflect on the history of Civil Rights in our country, spend the day in service of others, and, of course, get more familiar with the legacy MLK, Jr. For a visceral experience, walk (or rather, drive) the 54-mile Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, where, fresh off his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, the late revolutionary participated in a march in support of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices. Learn more with a visit to the Selma and Montgomery Interpretive Centers , part of the National Park Service.

Or you can always check out a national monument . The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument is the cornerstone of the Birmingham Civil Rights District—which includes Dr. King’s headquarters at the A.G. Gaston Motel—while the Freedom Riders National Monument commemorates the violence faced by peaceful protesters.

Beyond Alabama, you’ll find monuments commemorating Booker T. Washington in Virginia and pioneering military officer Charles Young in Ohio, plus nationwide sites dedicated to the history of enslaved peoples , workers’ rights , women’s suffrage , LGBTQ+ liberation , and other human rights pursuits.

Sample wines in unexpected places

For some, January traditionally means abstaining from alcohol. Yet for others, it means jumping into the new year exploring as many under-the-radar wine regions as possible. Like the Verde Valley Wine Trail in Arizona , with more than 25 tasting rooms and vineyards between Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale, and Cornville alone. Come for the wine, stay for the scenic train rides to top-notch restaurants, Pueblo ruins, and copper art museums.

Sip your way through Texas Hill Country , which now produces more wine than Sonoma County. Or swap tequila for wine in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, where Cortés took a brief respite from conquesting in the 16th century to order landowners to plant 1,000 Spanish vineyards. Go north to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada for their annual icewine festival , which pays homage each weekend from January 13 to 29 to the concentrated dessert wine made from naturally frozen grapes. And then there’s Monsoon Valley, Thailand . Once the site of an elephant corral, its lush vegetation and proximity to the sea allows grapes to thrive in the loamy sand and salty air. Take a wine safari tour with Monsoon Valley Vineyards, visit their restaurant or tasting room, or hang with new friends at the onsite elephant sanctuary.

Pack some popcorn (and sure, skis) for Utah

Winter outdoors in Utah is a feast for the eyes , especially gorgeous when the red rocks become blanketed with white snow. And it’s definitely a feast for the ears when the crowds of summer finally dissipate. But when fans of the silver screen think of January in the western state, their minds turn to one thing: the Sundance Film Festival , this year running from January 19 to 29. Founded in 1978 as a small celebration of indie films, it now spreads out over Park City , with screenings and parties and plenty of notable celebrities in fashionable but hilariously impractical clothing.

This year, the festival features 101 films, with an opening night party honoring director Ryan Coogler ( Black Panther ), among others. Tickets can be purchased per film, or in packages. And if you can’t make it in-person, some films will also be available to stream on-demand .

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Local Adventurer » Travel Adventures in Las Vegas + World Wide

15 Best Places to Visit in January in the USA 2023

  • In the City / Outdoors / USA

Looking for the best places to visit in January in the USA? These are the places you want to travel to this month whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland, special events, or you’re running from the cold.

The holidays are over, but winter adventures are just getting started. Have you written out a travel bucket list? After being cooped up at home, I’m excited to see some new places. 

January is a great time to travel if you have the flexibility. In most cases, you get to avoid the large crowds from winter break, and you’ll get better hotel deals.

15 best places to visit in january in the usa

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Last Updated: November 27, 2023

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More resources, 15 best places to visit in january in usa.

Here are the best places to visit in January in the USA! Let us know if we’re missing any spots.

USA IN: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

:: Winter Activities ::

1. aspen, colorado.

590 N Mill St, Aspen, CO 81611,  map

Weather Avg:  36° / 10° F

If you love snow, Aspen is one of the best places to visit in January in USA. You’ll find groomed runs or fresh powder. Since school break is over, it will be much less crowded, and hotel prices will be more reasonable. Plus, there are some notable events!

  • TO DO:  Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, Tubing, Snowcat Dinners
  • EAT:   White House Tavern ,  Meat & Cheese Restaurant ,  French Alpine Bistro
  • STAY:  Search for Aspen Hotels
  • EVENTS:   Wintersköl ,  Gay Ski Week ,  X-Games

Local Tip: During the big events, like X-Games, it will be crowded and prices will be higher.

maroon bells aspen colorado + 15 best places to visit in january in the usa

2. Vail, Colorado →

241 S Frontage Rd W #8150, Vail, CO 81657,  map

Weather Avg:  29° / 6° F

Vail is another magical spot in January. The crowds have thinned, while the snow is still excellent. You’ll find better travel deals, and you can hit the slopes, go dog sledding, have a spa day, and more.

  • TO DO:  Sleigh Rides, Snow Activities, Dog Sledding
  • EAT:   The Little Diner ,  Annapurna Nepali and Indian Cuisine ,  Mountain Standard
  • STAY: Search for Vail Hotel Deals
  • EVENTS:   Annual Vail Winterfest

See More: 15 Best Things to Do in Vail in Summer

Vail Colorado - When's the last time you tried something new? + Common things that hold you back // localadventurer.com

3. Big Sky, Montana

88 Ousel Falls Rd Unit A1, Big Sky, MT 59716,  map

Weather Avg:  32° / 9° F

Big Sky has earned the nickname  The Biggest Skiing in America  with 5800 acres of skiable terrain and 4350 feet of vertical drop. It’s also a great launching point to discover  Yellowstone National Park  during the winter.

  • TO DO:  Skiing,  Yellowstone National Park , Ousel Falls
  • EAT:   Riverhouse BBQ & Events ,  Buck’s T-4 Hopitality ,  Horn and Cantle
  • STAY:  Search for Big Sky Hotels

Local Tip: If you plan on visiting Yellowstone, be sure to check what closures there are or go on a guided visit.

See More: Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park + Essential Tips for Your Visit

skiing in big sky montana + 15 best places to visit in january in the usa

4. Breckenridge, Colorado

203 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424,  map

Weather Avg:  31° / 19° F

Breckenridge in January means it’s either snowy or sunny, both making for fun outdoor adventures. The average snowfall for January is 20+ inches, so you’ll find fresh powder often. Just bundle up since it’s the coldest month of the year.

  • TO DO:  Snowcat Tour, Sledding at Carter Park, Skiing and Snowboarding
  • EAT:   The Canteen Taphouse and Tavern ,  Hearthstone Restaurant ,  Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria
  • STAY: Breckenridge Hotel Deals
  • EVENTS:   International Snow Sculpture Championships

Local Tip: You don’t need a car. There are shuttles from Denver International Airport to breezily get to Breckenridge, and there is a free bus system throughout the town. Most hotels also offer free shuttles to and from town.

things to do in breckenridge winter + 15 best places to visit in january in the usa

5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming →

532 N Cache St, Jackson, WY 83001,  map

Weather Avg:  28° / 5° F

Jackson Hole is another beautiful destination for outdoor winter adventures, like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. You can also explore the town, take a dip in the hot springs, or sleigh rides at National Elk Refuge. Grand Teton National Park is right there too.

  • TO DO:   Things to Do in Jackson Hole in the Winter
  • EAT:   Persephone Bakery ,  Hand Fire Pizza ,  Gather
  • STAY:  Jackson Hole Hotel Deals

See More: 11+ Unforgettable Things to Do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in the Winter

jackson hole wyoming in winter

:: Warm Destinations ::

6. death valley national park, california →.

36.4617588,-116.8688057,  map

Weather Avg:  67° / 40° F

Death Valley is of our  favorite national parks  because of the variety of landscapes. You can walk the dunes, check out the lowest point in North America, or hike along colorful hills. It’s unbearably hot during the summer, but you can comfortably spend all day outside in the winter. Just be sure to bring layers since the temperatures drop significantly when the sun goes down.

  • TO DO:   Badwater Basin, Mesquite Dunes, Zabriskie Point
  • EAT:   Last Kind Words Saloon ,  Happy Burro Chili & Beer ,  Smokin J’s Barbecue
  • STAY:   Death Valley Hotels and Rentals

Local Tip: If you plan on visiting multiple National Parks, pick up an  annual pass  to save money.

See More: 15 Incredible Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

Mesquite Flats (9 Incredible Things to Do in Death Valley National Park California) // localadventurer.com

7. Orlando, Florida →

8102 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819,  map

Weather Avg:  72° / 51° F

January is one of the cooler months, perfect for spending all day at the parks (it’s historically the least busy time at Disney World), checking out the local festival and events, or exploring outdoor activities.

  • TO DO:  Disney Parks, Stetson Mansion Holiday Tours, New Smyrna Beach
  • EAT:   Chi-Kin ,  Hungry Pants ,  Delaney’s Tavern
  • STAY:  Find the Best Hotels and Rentals in Orlando
  • EVENTS:  Mecum Auction Collector Cars, Busch Gardens Mardi Gras, Epcot Festival of Arts

Local Tip: Weather can be unpredictable in January so it’s best to pack in layers and a rain jacket.

See More: The Ultimate Orlando Bucket List

Mead Botanical Garden + Free Things to Do in Orlando with Kids

8. Palm Springs / Palm Desert, California →

2901 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262,  map

Weather Avg:  71° / 45° F

The winter is prime time for desert travel. You get beautiful sunshine and reasonable temperatures making it perfect for exploring Palm Springs. There are also plenty of delicious restaurants, bars, and concerts happening throughout the month.

  • TO DO:   15 Best Things to Do in Palm Springs
  • EAT:   Farm ,  Trio ,  The Tropicale
  • STAY:   Search All Palm Springs Hotels
  • EVENTS:  Palm Springs International Film Festival, The American Express Golf Tournament

See More: 15 Unforgettable Things to Do in Palm Springs

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway + 15 Best Things to Do in Palm Springs

9. Miami, Florida

1701 Meridian Ave #403, Miami Beach, FL 33139,  map

Weather Avg:  74° / 63° F

While the water temps aren’t ideal for swimming, you can still soak in the sun on the beaches, check out clubs, or explore other city attractions without crowds. You also get better hotel prices throughout the city.

  • TO DO:  Boat Tour, Charter a Fishing Boat, Everglades National Park
  • EAT:   CVI.CHE 105 ,  The Salty Donut ,  KYU
  • STAY:  Miami Hotel Deals
  • EVENTS:  South Beach Jazz Festival, Miami Festival of Laughs, Art Deco Weekend

miami beach aerial view + 15 best places to visit in january in the usa

10. Dry Tortugas National Park, FLorida Keys, Florida →

281 Trumbo Rd, Key West, FL 33040,  map

Weather Avg:  74° / 65° F

January is a beautiful time to visit Dry Tortugas National Park and the Florida Keys area to beat the crowds. However, the downside is that weather can be unpredictable, making it harder to get to Dry Tortugas. If you can’t make it out to the National Park, there’s a lot to  see and do in Key West  and the rest of the Keys.

  • TO DO:  Fort Jefferson Tour, Snokel / Dive, Camping
  • EAT:   Blue Heaven ,  Santiago’s Bodega ,  DJ’s Clam Shack
  • STAY:  Search Key West Hotel Deals
  • EVENTS:  Key West Artisan Market Market, Key West Kingfish Mayhem, Florida Keys Seafood Festival

Local Tip: Have back up plans in case the weather causes delays or cancellations of outdoor activities.

See More: 7+ Remarkable Things to Do in Key West Florida

cruisin tikis key west + 7 things to do in key west florida

11. San Diego, California →

996 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101,  map

Weather Avg:  66° / 50° F

San Diego is still one of our favorite cities in the US we lived in. If you visit during January, you avoid the holiday crowds, and the weather is great year round.

  • TO DO:   San Diego Bucket List ,  Best Photo Spots
  • EAT:   Carnitas Snack Shack ,  Hammond’s Ice Cream ,  Steamy Piggy
  • STAY:   San Diego Hotel Deals
  • EVENTS:  Farmers Insurance Open (PGA)

Local Tip: It gets chillier at night and closer to the ocean, so pack layers.

See More: 25 Free Things to Do in San Diego

San Diego + 15 Best Places to Visit in November in USA

:: Special Events ::

12. lake havasu, arizona →.

422 English Village, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403,  map

Weather Avg:  66° / 43° F

January is extra special because of the Annual Havasu Balloon Festival where hot air balloons fill the skies.

During the summers, Lake Havasu is a giant party and the lake if filled with boats. In the winter, it becomes more relaxing and laid back. You still get sunny days but cooler weather.

  • TO DO:  Lighthouses, London Bridge, Sara’s Crack
  • EAT:   La Vita Dolce Italian Bistro ,  Mudshark Brewery and Public House ,  Cha-Bones
  • STAY:  Search Lake Havasu Hotels
  • EVENTS:  Annual Havasu Balloon Festival, Polar Bear Day, Annual Festival of Lights

See More: 15 Fun Things to Do in Lake Havasu City Arizona

vermilion lighthouse replica lake havasu

13. St Paul, Minnesota

175 W Kellogg Blvd #502, St Paul, MN 55102,  map

Weather Avg:  23° / 6° F

Winter Carnival happening Jan 28 to Feb 6, 2022, is the main attraction of St Paul this month. It celebrates all things cold with an Ice Sculpture Park, Ice Fishing Tournament, parades, and more. And the best part is that a lot of the activities are free.

  • TO DO:  Winter Carvinal, Sledding, Ice Skate
  • EAT:   Casper’s and Runyon’s Nook ,  Red Cow ,  The Buttered Tin
  • STAY:  More Hotels in St Paul
  • EVENTS:  Ice Fishing Tournament, NHL Winter Classic, Winter Carnival

Local Tip: Do yourself a favor and get a  rechargeable hand warmer .

saint paul winter carnival minnesota + 15 best places to visit in january in the usa

14. McCall, Idaho

44.9161982,-116.1128458,  map

Weather Avg:  30° / 12° F

Another Winter Carnival happens in McCall, Idaho, throughout most of January. You’ll find snow sculpture events, dog sled challenges, special dinners, concerts, and more.

  • TO DO:  Skit / Snowboard, Annual Ice Sculpture Contest, McCall Hot Springs
  • EAT:   My Father’s Place ,  Hometown Pizza ,  Steamers Steak & Seafood
  • STAY:  Hotel Deals in McCall
  • EVENTS:  Winter Carnival, Snow Sculpture Contest, Dog Sled Challenge

mccall winter carnival idaho + 15 best places to visit in january in usa

15. Park City, Utah

1794 Olympic Pkwy, Park City, UT 84098,  map

Weather Avg:  35° / 14° F

Park City has world-class skiing and snowboarding. We went snowboarding here a while back, but we’re due for a trip soon. If you aren’t into either, there are plenty of other winter activities like ice skating, sleigh rides, dog sledding, and more.

At the end of January, filmmakers, actors, and fans gather here for the largest independent film festival in the US.

  • TO DO:  Snowmobile, Ski / Snowboard, Sleigh Rides
  • EAT:   High West Saloon ,  Freshies Lobster ,  Five5eeds
  • STAY:  Park City Hotel Deals
  • EVENTS:  Sundance Film Festival, Last Friday Gallery Stroll

Local Tip: Prices are significantly higher during the festival, so book early.

See More: 15 Best Festival in the US to Add to Your Bucket List

Sundance Film Festival Utah

Map of the Best Places to Visit in January in the USA

The warmest states in the winter are Hawaii, Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana.

The warmest cities based on average highs are:

  • 82°F – Kailua Kona, Hawaii Big Island || Lahaina, Maui
  • 81°F – Kahului, Maui || Everglades National Park, Florida
  • 80°F – Honolulu, Oahu
  • 79°F – Hilo, Hawaii Big Island
  • 76°F – Miami, Florida
  • 74°F –  Key West, Florida
  • 71°F –  Orlando, Florida  || Anaheim, California ||  Palm Springs, California
  • 70°F – Yuma, Arizona
  • 69°F –  Anza Borrego, California  ||  Phoenix, Arizona  ||  Big Bend National Park, Texas
  • 68°F – Daytona Beach, Florida ||  Los Angeles, California  

More Travel Destinations in January

  • ALASKA:  Fairbanks
  • ARIZONA:  Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Sedona, Tucson, Flagstaff
  • CALIFORNIA:   LA  /  Santa Monica , Lake Tahoe,  SF ,  Yosemite
  • FLORIDA:  Fort Lauderdale
  • GEORGIA:   Atlanta , Brunswick + Golden Isles, Jekyll Island, Savannah
  • HAWAII:  Big Island, Kona, Kaui, Lanai, Maui
  • ILLINOIS:  Chicago
  • LOUISIANA:   New Orleans
  • MASSACHUSETTS:  Boston, Moosehead Lake
  • NEVADA:  Las Vegas
  • NEW MEXICO:  Taos,  White Sands
  • NEW YORK:  New York
  • PENNSYLVANIA:   Philadelphia
  • SOUTH CAROLINA:  Hunting Island State Park, Palmetto Bluff 
  • TENNESSEE:   Nashville
  • TEXAS:   Austin , Dallas, South Padre Island + Port Isabel
  • UTAH:  Alta, Snowbird, SLC,  Zion
  • WASHINGTON:  Mt Baker,  Seattle
  • WISCONSIN:  Milwaukee

milwaukee wi skyline

What to Pack (Our Travel Favorites)

  • Water Bottle  (our current favorites)
  • Portable Charger

For Cold Weather Destinations:

  • Rechargeable Hand Warmer
  • Insulated and Waterproof Shoes
  • 3-in-1 Parka  (our  favorite jackets for travel )
  • Heavyweight Socks

For Warm Weather Destinations:

  • Water Shoes

Want to know  what to wear to the airport ? These are  our ideal airport outfits  and  our carry on essentials for every flight .

  • Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
  • Download these helpful language apps .
  • Arrange a rental car for your trip.
  • Get airport lounge access .
  • Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
  • Get a new backpack for your trip.
  • Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
  • Don’t forget your in-flight essentials .
  • USA Travel Guide
  • Rand McNally Road Atlas
  • 50 Best Road Trips in the USA
  • Scenic Highways and Byways in the US
  • National Parks Travel Guide
  • Annual National Park Pass

Is there anything we missed on our list of best places to visit in January in USA?

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See more usa guides.

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15 LEAST VISITED NATIONAL PARKS

25 MOST SCENIC NATIONAL PARKS IN AMERICA

11 BEAUTIFUL CANYONS IN THE US

THESE 11 US HIKING PERMITS ARE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO GET

YOUR COMPLETE LIST OF 400+ NATIONAL PARK UNITS IN THE US

“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes ” – M. Proust

Esther and Jacob

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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The best places to visit in January in the US

Whether you prefer snow or sand, these six domestic escapes are winter perfection..

Kate Templin Stahl

With the craziness of the holidays finally wrapped up, January is the perfect time for an escape. Whether you have a full week or just a few days to get away, the following destinations showcase the best of winter in the U.S. From snowy mountain towns that embrace the cold to sandy retreats that will make you forget all about the frigid temps at home, the following U.S. vacation destinations are at their peak in January, offering natural beauty, endless opportunities for adventure, and perhaps most importantly of all, a chance to leave your stress behind.

Want to head overseas? Visit our guide to the best places to visit in January around the world .

Fairbanks, Alaska

Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska

Yes, you’ll need your parka—and a few other layers—to visit Fairbanks in January, but it’s the perfect time to chase the Northern Lights in this area. One of Alaska’s largest cities, the bustling metropolis is situated at a latitude that makes it the perfect place to see the aurora borealis. When you’re not taking in the majestic skies and serene mountain and river landscapes, partake in an array of winter activities—dog sledding and snowmobiling are particularly popular—or visit the nearby Chena Hot Springs to take a Northern Lights viewing tour and to visit the world’s largest ice museum .

It’s always a good time to visit Miami , known for its sunny beaches, opulent hotels, and vibrant art scene, but January is one of the best, when holiday travelers are gone and spring breakers have yet to arrive. Our top recs? Explore the glitz and glam of South Beach and Ocean Drive , famous for its Art Deco buildings and beautiful people. Head to Little Havana for Cuban food and Calle Ocho’s colorful mosaics and artwork. Then visit outdoor museum Wynwood Walls , a beautiful collection of graffiti and street art murals, before dining at one of the many chic restaurants near the Miami Beach Boardwalk.

If snowy mountains and charming, fireplace-filled resorts are your vibe, look no further than Stowe, VT . January is not only the prime time for skiing in Stowe, but it also marks the city’s annual Winter Carnival, which offers activities like snow volleyball tournaments, ice carving competitions, and stargazing events. Make your way around the area’s many ski trails, experience outdoor activities like dog sledding and snowmobiling , then return to one of many cozy resorts, including the Austrian-inspired Trapp Family Lodge , which has ties to the von Trapp family made famous in The Sound of Music .

Phoenix, Arizona skyline at dusk

On the edge of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is at its temperate best in January, when desert flora and red mountains are at their most beautiful and accessible. Hiking is a must during your visit and there are suitable trails for every level of hiker. If you want a challenge, tackle the Camelback Mountain Trail , whereas beginners might prefer Papago Park ’s Hole-in-the-Rock Trail , which offers equally stunning views at a mere 825-foot round trip (sunset hikes here are particularly stunning). If water is more your thing, paddle your way around the mountains by kayaking through Lower Salt River or Saguaro Lake . Art lovers will want to check out the self-guided art tour in Roosevelt Row , then stop by Old Town Scottsdale for Southwest souvenirs and gourmet dining.

A snowy street in Downtown Aspen, Colorado

There’s never a bad time to visit Aspen , a luxurious Rocky Mountain town featuring designer boutiques, upscale restaurants, and posh resorts, but January is particularly enticing thanks to some of the country’s best skiing and snowboarding at resorts including Buttermilk , Aspen Highlands , Aspen Mountain , and Aspen Snowmass , a local favorite. After you shred, shed your gear and head to the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster at Aspen Snowmass to experience what it’s like to ride on a luge at up to 28 miles per hour (try a night ride for ultimate thrills), or explore the famous Maroon Bells at Maroon Lake on cross country skis, snowshoes, or a snow bike. Then, head back to a swanky resort like The Little Nell for some après-ski fun.

best state to visit in jan

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The best places to visit in the US in January

Hostelworld Blog | Posted on November 30, 2018 |

Language Specific Image

With the festive season fast approaching, where better to start off 2019 than the US? The land of the free and home of the burgers, amazing cities and vibrant culture. January in the US sees smaller crowds of tourists, off-season travel rates and turns a huge portion of the country into an enchanting winter wonderland! With so much to see and do in a country the size of the US, it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to begin planning your trip, so we’ve helped you out! Here are the best places to visit in January in the United States:

1. New York City, New York

The Big Apple tends to draw in smaller crowds in January than other peak times of year. However, January in New York City still boasts an incredible festive spirit and turns into a winter wonderland, making it a truly enchanting time to visit. The average temperature is rather chilly, with highs around 4°C and a lows around -3°C. To make the most of your visit to New York City during January, be sure to explore the beauty of Central Park that will likely be covered in snow. In the city known as the concrete jungle, Central Park provides New Yorkers a much-needed green oasis, and is one of the most famous parks in the world. Since 1949, during the winter months, Central Park opens an ice skating rink called Wollman Rink that is popular with tourists and locals alike. Glide across the ice while enjoying the iconic Manhattan skyline!

Why not check out: The Freehand New York Hostel

Compare New York Hostels

best places to visit in January - new york - ice skating

2. Los Angeles, California

The City of Angels is a gorgeous destination no matter what time you visit. Los Angeles enjoys an average high of 19°C and an average low of 9°C for the month of January, making it one of the best winter sun destinations in all of the United States. If you want a taste of the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood lifestyle, January is a great time of year for celebrity spotting, with the Golden Globes Awards taking place. January in LA is considered low season, so it’s also a great chance to venture out to Disneyland to enjoy the smallest crowds of the year – which means no waiting in line, win!

Compare Los Angeles Hostels

best places to visit in January - los angeles california

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Also known as Lost Wages and the City of Sin, we all know that what happens in Vegas, well, stays in Vegas. Las Vegas in January can be a little on the cooler side, with an average high of 14°C and an average low of 3°C, meaning you’ll want less time poolside and more time spent at the poker table. During your time in Las Vegas, be sure to check out one of the many acts happening around the city. A few of the Vegas regulars such as Jerry Seinfeld and David Copperfield often have great shows during the month of January. The cooler January weather also makes it a perfect time of year to get some hiking done so be sure to check out Red Rock Canyon!

Compare hostels in Las Vegas

best places to visit in January - las Vegas- sunset

4. Austin, Texas

January is the perfect time to explore Austin with lots of great functions and events happening all around the city. The month brings an average high temperature of around 16°C and an average low of 5°C, making it comfortable without being too cold. Starting from the 1 st of January and running until the 31 st , the Wolf Ranch Farmers Market operates every Saturday, showcasing amazing local food and produce. No visit to the State of Texas would be complete without trying some of that famous Texan BBQ, and in Austin one place reigns supreme. Franklin’s Barbecue is open from 11am until sold out, and it sells out every single day! Be sure to get here early enough to experience why Texas BBQ is so famous.

Compare hostels in Austin

best places to visit in January - Austin - food truck

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and home of the unbelievably tasty soul food known as Gumbo. Gumbo is a West African dish that contains ingredients such as shrimp, chicken, duck, crab and sausage, and no trip to New Orleans would be complete without sampling this world famous Louisiana speciality. New Orleans is a city full of buzz and excitement during the month of January, for just as the festive season is coming to an end the preparations for the annual Mardi Gras celebrations are underway. The average high temperature reaches 17°C and the average low is 8°C, making for an extremely pleasant winter destination with plenty of hours of sunshine to enjoy. While travelling in New Orleans be sure to visit the Old French Quarter, the city’s historic heart famous for its jazz clubs, colourful buildings, St. Louis’ Cathedral and of course, Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street is world famous for its nightlife, neon lights, street parties, live music and for its constant flow of alcohol. The atmosphere and vibe of Bourbon Street should be your first stop while in New Orleans.

Compare hostels in New Orleans

best places to visit in January - New Orleans

6. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is at its coldest in January, with an average high temperature of around 14°C and an average low of 8°C. Although you might not spend too much time at the beach, there’s still plenty to see and do during the winter months in San Fran. While you’ll obviously be visiting the major tourist hotspots such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Prison, there are a few other hidden gems that most tourists don’t know about, so be sure to check these out. Firstly you’ll want to get down to Pier 39 for the amazing cafes and restaurants, street performers and gorgeous views of the marina. But the real reason to venture down here is to see the hundreds of sea lions that call this pier their home! Watching these sea lions wrestle each other for prime spots in the sun on the docks is an amazing (and adorable) thing to witness! Another great place to visit in San Francisco is Muir Woods National Monument, home to the towering old Californian redwood trees, some being over 2000 years old. There’s lots of great hikes in Muir Woods all varying in difficulty and distance, meaning there will be something to suit all fitness levels or time commitments. Getting to Muir Woods takes a little bit of organisation, as it is north of San Francisco (about a 40 minute drive). You can either hire a car for the day or opt for the Muir Wood Shuttle.

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best places to visit in January - San Francisco - bay

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

January is a fantastic month for travelling around Philly, but be prepared for some harsh weather with average lows of -2°C and the average high of a balmy 5°C, yikes. But with these wintry conditions comes Philly’s Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest that runs through the month of January, with ice-skating, arcades, free concerts and of course scrumptious snacks. Speaking of scrumptious snacks, it would be considered sacrilege to come to Philadelphia and not sample a Philly Cheesesteak. What is a cheesesteak you ask? It’s essentially a sandwich filled with beefsteak and melted cheese in a long hoagie roll, but trust me it is so much more than just a sandwich; in Philly it’s a way of life. While there is a lot of dispute around the city as to who makes the best cheesesteak, these are some of our favourite spots for a truly authentic Philly experience:

  • John’s Roast Pork
  • Pat’s King of Steaks
  • Geno’s Steaks

Compare hostels in Philadelphia

best places to visit in January - Philadelphia

8. Washington D.C.

January is undoubtedly the coldest month of the year to travel to the US Capital, with an average low of -4°C and frequent snowstorms, but thankfully there’s a lot of great (and cheap) ways to stay warm in Washington D.C. during the winter months. Washington has a vast and varied range of amazing galleries and museums to keep you out of the cold, so be sure to spend a few hours at the amazing Smithsonian, National Gallery of Art and of course visit the iconic National Monuments. Being the nation’s capital city, there are also a lot of memorials that are really worth visiting such as the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. January is also the perfect month to bundle up warm, lace up your skates, and head to one of the city’s many popular ice skating rinks that operate for almost all of the month! January also sees the annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with weekend events taking place from January 18-21 st in 2019, making it a unique and prestigious time to be in Washington.

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best places to visit in January - Washington DC

9. Boston, Massachusetts

By the end of January, Boston has usually experienced significant snowfall and stints of severe weather. The average high during January is around 3°C while the low is -5°C, so you’ll definitely need to keep yourself as snug as a bug in a rug. For a truly authentic US experience, you’ll want to attend some live sport, and Boston is a great city to do it in! The Boston Celtics (basketball) have a lot of home games at TD Garden during the month of January, where you’ll be able to experience the fast paced and atmospheric US sporting environment. Maybe sports aren’t your thing? Perhaps the Boston Wine Festival sounds more favourable! It’s the nation’s longest running wine festival celebrating 30 years of delicious wines from the world’s best winemakers, which runs through the month of January. Wine not?!

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best places to visit in January - Boston - street

10. Chicago, Illinois

When the average high for the month of January in Chicago is 0°C, wearing layers of clothing, gloves, a scarf and a hat are essential for winter survival. Thankfully, Chicago’s biggest indoor winter wonderland, Winter WonderFest, is open in January to enjoy all of the perks of winter. Chicago is world famous for its art and theatre culture, and what better way to escape the cold than by enjoying a show or concert! January brings a lot of great musicals, concerts and shows so keep an eye out for what’s happening in 2019! If you’re looking for a completely quirky event to attend in Chicago, all winter movie enthusiasts can gather at Northwestern University for a 24-hour binge session of low-budget films. Tickets are cheap and it will no doubt keep you entertained.

Why not check out: Freehand Chicago Hostel

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best places to visit in January - chicago

11. Miami, Florida

Finally some delicious weather for January! Miami enjoys an average high of 23°C and a low of 19°C, making the city a perfect January travel destination. Miami is known as the Magic City, famous for its culinary scene, amazing beaches, Art Deco architecture and friendly locals! Your first stop in Miami needs to be to the iconic Miami Beach, the best area for soaking up some delicious sun and relaxing to the max (you are on holiday after all!) followed by a visit to Bayside Marketplace. The Bayside Marketplace has everything you could possibly need and is located along the Miami waterfront, with daily live music and an atmospheric vibe. Eating is a favourite activity amongst the locals, and here in Miami you can head to Little Havana to indulge in some of the best Cuban food found anywhere in the world. With non-stop lively Latin music filling the air and some amazing Cuban restaurants and food stalls, you may forget you’re in the states at all!

Why not check out: Generator Hostel Miami

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best places to visit in January - Miami - beach

12. Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica is a coastal area west of Downtown Los Angeles and is home to the most famous beach in the US, Santa Monica Beach. The weather in January is still warm with an average high of 19°C. Santa Monica is a very walkable and bike-friendly location, and there is no better way to experience the beauty of this area than by foot. The beach enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year, but it’s the sunsets over the pier that truly make Santa Monica special. Be sure to visit the Santa Monica Pier with its range of amazing shops, restaurants and carnival attractions including the iconic Ferris wheel. An amazing place to enjoy by day, the pier transforms by night underneath the stars and lights, creating an amazing atmosphere bustling with energy!

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best places to visit in January - Santa Monica

13. Seattle, Washington

In January, Seattle has an average high temperature of 8°C and an average low of 3°C. When visiting during the winter months, dressing with layers and always having a rain jacket (ideally with a hood) is a smart idea. January brings far fewer tourists to the city than other peak times, making it a great time to avoid the large crowds that usually congregate. While in Seattle be sure to venture into the Space Needle, the 605-foot tall icon of the city. From the observation level you’ll be rewarded with scenic panoramic views over the city and of Mount Rainer. During those rainy January days, head for the Museum of Pop Culture and keep yourself entertained for hours. Fun fact: The original Starbucks store, which was established in 1971, is located in Downtown Seattle at the Pike Place Market. There are now more than 27,000 Starbucks stores worldwide, so if you’re only going to visit one, why not make it the original here in Seattle?!

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best places to visit in January - Seattle - skyline

About the author: My name is Louis Cuthbert; I have been travelling the globe for the last two and a half years documenting my adventures. Follow my journey on Instagram @one_globe_travels .

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11 Best Places to Visit in January

best state to visit in jan

With 2023 coming in hot, now is the perfect time to plan your first trips for the new year. Maybe you have some New Year resolutions you’re looking to get started on ASAP, or you just need to get to a sunny, warm place to destroy your winter blues. Perhaps you want to ski your worries away, enjoy a winter wonderland-style escape, or check out some new hotels and restaurants. Plus, there are some significant holidays and festivals in January that are worth traveling to certain destinations for. From Montana and Maui to the Netherlands and India, here are the top spots across the globe to visit in January.

Big Sky, Montana

January brings ideal skiing conditions to this resort town that has been investing heavily in its skiing infrastructure and hospitality offerings. The region’s Rocky Mountain snowfall is legendary, with 5,850 acres of skiable terrain, and it has the most technologically advanced lift network in the country, with features like heated seats, weatherproof bubbles, and the fastest chairlift in America.

New for this season, in addition to expanded snowmaking capabilities, are Powder Park, a one-of-a-kind recreation space featuring a 450-foot tubing hill, snow play, and snow bike area; a headlamp night skiing experience ; and aprés fine dining at Everett's 8800 at the top of Andesite Mountain, accessible by luxury heated lift.

Don’t ski? Not to worry: There are other activities like sleigh rides, dog sledding, Nordic skiing, ice skating, and more. Guests looking for a five-star experience can book a room at Montage Big Sky , which opened last year. For a more affordable stay, the Summit Hotel and the Lodge at Big Sky are at the base of Lone Peak, just steps from the lift.

Tucson, Arizona

If your New Year's resolution consists of anything health or mindfulness related, consider heading to Miraval Arizona in Tucson for a wellness retreat. You can set your own intention, with options ranging from mental well-being to self-connection to fitness focus, and from there a customized itinerary filled with activities, workshops, and treatments will follow. Plus, the Sonoran desert Tucson location is ideal in January: Temps are much more bearable than being there in the heat of high summer, but will still keep you nice and warm, with average highs in the upper 60s (perfect for hiking and biking!).

Tack on some extra time in downtown Tucson to discover the UNESCO City of Gastronomy’s impressive culinary scene, and check out the schedule for the annual Tucson Desert Song Festival, which starts January 13, and features performances by Susanna Phillips, Maria Brea, Ricky Ian Gordon, and others.

Turks & Caicos

One way to banish the post-holiday blues? Book a beach vacation for January, and Turks and Caicos couldn’t be a better choice. Boasting clear cerulean waters, powdery white sand , and perfect weather, the island chain has a plethora of places to stay, eat, and play. If you’re looking to get off the beaten beach, instead of popular Grace Bay, check out The Shore Club . Ideal for families and friend groups, it offers spacious suites and villas, six dining and drinking outlets, four pools, a full-service spa, a tennis court, complimentary watersports equipment, and a kids club to keep the little ones fully occupied. Bonus: Turks and Caicos are easily accessible, with direct flights from NYC, Miami, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, and more.

Hudson Valley and the Catskills, New York

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

While visiting the mountains north of New York City might not seem an obvious choice in January, it’s actually a wonderful place for cozying up or hitting the slopes. And with a flood of recent hotel openings, there are more options for where to stay than ever. If you’re looking to ski Windham or Hunter mountains, you can stay nearby at recently opened spots like Hotel Lilien , Wylder Windham , and Bluebird Hunter Lodge . Meanwhile, Windham area favorite Eastwind is opening a new location closer to Hunter, Eastwind Oliverea Valley , on January 6. Guests here will be able to book one of its beloved A-frame cabins and dine at its full-service restaurant, a first for the brand. Plus, Windham Mountain recently unveiled a new high-speed quad chairlift and significant snowmaking upgrades.

For those looking to spend more time in the warm indoors—perhaps cuddling up by a crackling fireplace or dining on farm-to-table cuisine—the recently opened Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection has well-appointed cabins with fireplaces and deep soaking tubs, an on-site farm and greenhouse that supplies its restaurant Clay, and a speakeasy bar called the Green Room that hosts local musicians. And, there are plenty of trails if you do want to venture out on a winter walk.

A few minutes away is the iconic Mohonk Mountain House , an all-inclusive, family-owned resort that’s been around for more than 150 years. January guests can enjoy its covered ice rink, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, snow tubing, indoor archery, and movie nights. Warm up in the heated indoor pool and renovated spa—the Contrast Hydrotherapy Massage involves a hot steam shower and a massage with CBD-infused lotion ideal for sore, ski-tired muscles.

Ahmedabad, India

India’s first World Heritage City and the former capital of Gujarat, Ahmedabad is known for its handmade cotton textiles, delicious and addictive chaats (snacks), diamond cutting, and being home to Mahatma Gandhi for several years. It also happens to host one of the world’s largest annual kite festivals, during which the sky becomes a riot of winding colors. From January 8—14, thousands of kite masters and lovers come from around the world to fly their colorful creations at the annual  Kite Festival . There are also viewing parties, a kite bazaar, and plenty of special snacks and sweets for sale. A couple of weeks later is India's national holiday, Republic Day on January 26, celebrating the day in 1950 when the Indian Republic was formed. Every year there is a parade and various parties and pageants. While you’re there, be sure to go on a guided Heritage Walk to learn about the history of the city.

Utrecht, the Netherlands

Every year, people descend on this Dutch city to attend the epic, one-day Sneeuwbal Winter Festival, where top house and techno acts take the stage and winter is fully embraced. This year’s festival is on January 28 in Park Transwijk, where festivalgoers can alternate between listening to live music in igloos and joining activities like ice skating and tobogganing. Refuel with plenty of bratwursts, Dutch soups, mulled wine, hot chocolate, and other wintry food and drinks. The dress code is funky winter wear—think bright, zany scarves, fabulous ski wear, and wacky and warm hats. Book your room now to ensure you’ve got a place to crash after—check out Moxy Utrecht or the BUNK Hotel Utrecht for good deals.

Beverly Hills, California

A visit to 90210 is always fun, and this winter, there are so many new things to check out in the glamorous 5.71-square-mile city. Recent restaurant openings include the laid-back, Italian all-day café Ella ; the star-backed (we’re talking Ryan Phillipe and Evan Ross) Mexican steakhouse The Hideaway ; and Tatel , the buzzy Spanish import backed by athletes Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Pau Gasol. Plus, January brings the relaunch of the iconic La Dolce Vita restaurant by Call Mom hospitality group, known for bringing Genghis Cohen , another L.A. landmark, back to life.

Of course, shopping (or at least window shopping) in Beverly Hills is a must, and new shops include eyewear brand Dita , a new Rodeo Drive Giorgio Armani store, and Louis Vuitton ’s first menswear-only store. And don’t forget classics like Edelweiss Chocolates , which has been around since 1949, and Nate ‘n Al's delicatessen, which opened in 1945. And while accommodations in the area aren’t cheap, a recent renovation at the iconic Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel means refreshed rooms and you get to live out your "Pretty Woman" fantasy. It’s a win-win.

Bangkok, Thailand

If you stay long enough, you can celebrate the new year twice in Bangkok: on New Year's Day on January 1 and on Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year), which falls on January 22 this year. New Year’s Eve celebrations include countdowns at shopping centers like CentralWorld , Iconsiam , and Asiatique: The Riverfront , as well as at hotels such as Banyan Tree Bangkok , where you can enjoy a spectacular rooftop fireworks display, live entertainment, cocktails, and a grand buffet dinner. Meanwhile, hotel brand Lebua is hosting parties at 10 different bars and restaurants in the city.

A few weeks later, ring in the Year of the Rabbit in Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown. Here you will find a large block party, complete with dragon parades, firecrackers, and plenty of tasty street food. And while a lot of other Asian countries’ businesses shut down for the holiday, Thailand’s shops and restaurants remain open, making it easy to be a tourist during the holiday there. Don’t forget to wear red!

Maui, Hawai’i

Matt Anderson Photography / Getty Images

Maui in winter is never a bad idea, and if you wait until January, you’ll miss all the winter break crowds. Visitors enjoy white and black sand beaches, towering volcanoes, jungle hikes leading to gushing waterfalls, is-this-for-real rainbows, and one of the most legendary and stunning roads in the world . Aside from reveling in the island’s natural beauty, check out Upcountry farm tours like Maui Chocolate Tour , Maui Pineapple Tour , and Ali’i Kula Lavender . We also recommend dining on Hawaiian food at places like Lineage , Pacific’o on the Beach , Tiffany’s , Star Noodle , Tin Roof , and wherever a local tells you is the best place for poke. January is prime whale-watching season, so book a whale-watching boat ride or spot them from the shore, along with plenty of sea turtles.

Maui also usually hosts several Chinese New Year parades and celebrations; this year it falls out on January 23. Several Maui hotels have recently been upgraded, including the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort and the Fairmont Kea Lani , which will be revealing its phase one on January 6. If you’re looking for a quieter side of the island, Montage Kapalua Bay provides an all-residence home base amid gorgeous scenery.

Washington, DC

Yes, our nation’s capital is chilly in January. But that just means there will be fewer tourists filling up the free Smithsonian museums, like the finally reopened National Air and Space Museum . Stroll the National Mall and reserve tickets to go up to the top of the Washington Monument for epic city views before ice skating at one of several rinks, including the National Gallery of Art Sculpture, the Wharf, or the Washington Harbor in Georgetown. Later, check out Yasmine , Union Market's new Lebanese restaurant, and Chang Chang in Dupont Circle, a Sichuan spot earning rave reviews.

If you’re there over Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16), the city has several commemorations , including a peace walk, parade, wellness fair, and prayer breakfast. Be sure to visit his memorial at the edge of the Tidal Basin, and the National Cathedral, where he preached his last Sunday sermon before his assassination in 1968. Book a room at one of these three hotels that opened in the last few months: The Pendry Washington DC at the Wharf, The Morrow Hotel in NoMa, and Salamander Washington DC , which took over the old Mandarin Oriental.

Queensland, Australia

Head to the Land Down Under in January and nab your first summer of the year. Loll on the whitest sand you’ll ever see on the Whitsunday Islands, and then snorkel or dive amid the Great Barrier Reef . Get a group together and take a boat to K’Gari, the largest sand island in the world, where you can rent a four-wheel-drive truck and motor along the stunning island’s ragged coastline, spotting shipwrecks and dingoes along the way. Head to Daintree National Park and the newly opened  Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre , which is operated by mostly Indigenous staff since the park was returned to Eastern Kuku Yalanji people.

If you need uninterrupted beach and surfing time, Noosa Heads or Coolum on the Sunshine Coast are great options. And don’t forget to spend a few days in the capital city of Brisbane , where new luxury hotels include  The Langham Gold Coast  and  Dorsett Gold Coast . During your visit, attractions like the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha and  Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary —one of the few places where you can touch and feed koalas—should be on your list.

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10 Best Places to Travel in January

Begin your year of adventure on the right foot—be it on the road, seas, or on skis..

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Yes, we love making New Year’s resolutions, too—only to fail to follow through before the month is out. Why not make yourself a promise that you’ll find easy to keep?

Let’s travel more in 2024, compensating with gusto for the skipped trips of the past few years. We’ve got some suggestions to ignite your wanderlust, whether it’s an alfresco rave in subzero temperatures or a canny way to head out on safari and sidestep the usual crowds.

Here are the 10 best places to travel in January.

See-through Biosphere illuminated at night in the winter

Parc Jean-Drapeau once hosted the World’s Fair in 1967—hence the futuristic, EPCOT-like Biosphere dome, which is its hallmark.

Photo by Pinkcandy/Shutterstock

1. Montreal, Canada

January is great for: subzero roller-discos

Are you ready to rave? Come with an open mind and a couple of puffer jackets to celebrate Igloofest . The 16th edition of the party runs from January 18 to February 10 in the Old Port of Montreal , celebrating electronic music of all kinds from around the world. This year the organizers are expanding their offshoot Igloofête from one Saturday afternoon to four, with a free concert from 1 to 6 p.m. and programming that stretches beyond dance music; it’s intended to be family friendly, too.

If you need a little downtime from the DJs, head to the free-to-access Fête des Neiges de Montréal in Parc Jean-Drapeau. It takes place on winter weekends and includes classic activities like ice skating and ice carving, as well as skiing and snowboarding lessons for beginners.

Where to stay

  • Book now: Hyatt Centric Ville-Marie Montreal

This 177-room property , part of Hyatt’s funky, affordable Centric brand, is right on the St. Lawrence river in the heart of Old Town; ask for a room on one of the higher floors for superb views out across the city.

How to get to Montreal

Air Canada connects YUL with several U.S. cities, including Denver, Chicago, and New Orleans, while Canadian low-cost carrier Lynx has service to Las Vegas. The legacy U.S. carriers all operate flights there from their major hubs.

Sign for the Sundance Film Festival on the Egyptian Movie Theater at night

Festival winners in 2023 included The Stroll , a documentary about trans sex workers in Manhattan, and A Thousand and One , which took the top prize and was the debut project from female writer-director A.V. Rockwell.

Photo by PureRadiancePhoto/Shutterstock

2. Park City, Utah

January is great for: bragging rights that you saw the first screening of a future Oscar winner

The Sundance Film Festival remains the ultimate endorsement for indie outfits, a place which can turn a movie into a phenomenon. This year’s fest kicks off on January 18 and is the 40th edition since its founding by heartthrob turned entrepreneur Robert Redford; it’s also the first under new director Eugene Hernandez, best known before as the cofounder of Indiewire and a prominent LGBTQ journalist in the entertainment field.

The lineup, which will include almost 100 feature films plus 60 or more shorts, will be shown at various venues around town; the event climaxes with the awards show, this year held on January 26.

  • Book now: Westgate Park City Resort & Spa

Hotel capacity downtown is notoriously tight during the fest, so instead opt for a ski resort nearby like the Westgate Park City , a 10-minute drive or so. It has four-bedroom loft rooms, which sleep 16 and so can keep costs manageable for group trips.

How to get to Park City

The best option is flying into Salt Lake City, 30 miles away. It’s one of Delta’s main hubs, the carrier offers direct flights to countless cities across the country.

Snow-covered mountains and pine trees in the daytime.

If you’d like to ski down the Dolomites as part of the International Dolomites Run, it’ll cost 100 euros to enter.

Photo by Pawel Szadkowski/Shutterstock

3. The Dolomites

January is great for: testing your ski mettle in a series of ferocious races

This month, come to the mountains to try your hand at the International Dolomites Run, which has taken place here for more than five decades just over the border from Italy in Lienz, Austria. It’s open to both pro and amateur skiers, and there are six different races on the three days from January 19.

Last year, it introduced a new EasyRace for beginner skiers and those with physical challenges as a gesture of inclusiveness, but the focus here is really on elite sportsmanship: The event’s anchor is the marathon on Sunday morning known as the Dolomitenlauf . It’s run over two distances, 20 km and 42 km—last year, the latter was won by Italian Mario Brigadoi (whose day job is as a chimney sweep) with a time of just over two hours.

  • Book now: Forestis

The aptly named Forestis is a four-year-old, 62-room resort in the heart of the Italian Dolomites. The ski-in, ski-out property has panoramic views of the mountains, plus a rooftop bar that, at 5,900 feet above sea level, is one of the highest in the world.

How to get to the Dolomites

The smartest service to Milan is on Emirates from JFK, which is usually far cheaper than any rivals because it’s a Fifth Freedom flight . From there, one of Italy’s surprisingly efficient trains will quickly whisk you to the Dolomites from the Italian side.

Tide coming in on an empty beach, with verdant hill in background

Costa Rica has become a shorthand for sustainable tourism in Central America, but it’s not the only destination that outdoorsy enthusiasts should consider in the region.

Photo by Stacy Funderburke/Shutterstock

4. Emerald Coast, Nicaragua

January is great for: an eco-adventure without the crowds

Nicaragua is quietly emerging as a less trafficked alternative with equally impressive natural wonders but far fewer crowds. And in January, which averages just one day of rain and consistently sees temperature in the 80s, it’s even more appealing to visit.

The country’s standout is the Emerald Coast, a 30-mile stretch of Pacific shoreline and dry tropical forest. There are more than 300 days of offshore winds here year-round, and sites like Popoyo Beach have become a haven for extreme wave-chasers. They were the only tourists until a decade or so ago, when new upscale accommodations started luring barefoot luxe types to the region.

Come now for horseback riding on the beach, and hike through the forest; look for the darting brilliance of the guardabarranco, Nicaragua’s national bird.

  • Book now: Mukul Resort

After a six-year closure, the Mukul Resort reopens this month under the guidance of Don Carlos Pellas, the founder of Flor de Caña rum (hence the tasting experiences you can book, too). The 12 villas here each have their own private pools and are decorated with carved teak tables and seashell chandeliers made by local craftspeople.

How to get to the Emerald Coast

Managua is connected to Miami, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale with nonstop flights on United and American. From there, it’s a short flight down to ECI, the airport servicing the Emerald Coast, or about a two-hour drive.

Aerial view of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Cuvette-Ouest Region, with river in center

Elephant spotting is one of Odzala-Kokoua National Park’s top activities.

Photo by Roger de la Harpe/Shutterstock

5. Republic of the Congo

January is great for: trekking in a near virgin forest

In 1935, Odzala-Kokoua National Park was created; it was one of Africa’s first and now stretches over more than 5,200 miles of rainforest in the central African country of the Congo. It’s an overlooked gem, which usually attracts a few hundred visitors each year at most—in part, likely because the country is often confused with its more conflict-riddled neighbor, the DRC. Congo is only ranked at level 2 , or exercise increased caution, on the four-stage travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department, which makes it a viable, largely safe destination for adventurous travelers, particularly those keen to see mountain gorillas.

The only private operator in the park is Kamba, run by a wealthy German philanthropist, Sabine Plattner, and it’s smartest to visit under its auspices. Activities here include trekking for western lowland primates, which are smaller and lighter in color than the better known mountain gorilla. (There are almost 60 groups of them nearby). The vegetation here is at its lushest now amid the downpours of the rainy season.

  • Book now: Kamba African Rainforest Experiences

Kamba’s lodges , which first opened in 2012, sit in spectacular rainforest locations inside the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. The pick of the bunch is the six-bungalow Nagaga Lodge, set deep in a nearly inaccessible green space, which allows visits to gorillas in near-undisturbed habitats.

How to get to the Republic of the Congo

Maya-Maya Airport, or BZV, in the capital, Brazzaville, has no direct nonstop service from the USA. The best connecting options are Air France, via Paris, which flies from cities including Detroit and Denver, or Ethiopian via Addis Ababa, which serves Atlanta, Chicago, and New York–JFK among others. It’s a 90-minute puddle jumper flight from BZV to the park.

Cerulean water beside a town, green mountains in the background

St. Croix’s celebrations are a chance to highlight the cultural heritage of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, which were sold to the United States for $25 million in 1917.

Photo by Nancy Pauwels/Shutterstock

6. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

January is great for: squeezing a few extra days out of Christmas

Epiphany marks the climax of the month-long Crucian Christmas Festival, when a parade of masqueraders will snake through the streets of Christiansted and Frederiksted on St. Croix, the largest island in the USVI cluster . Before that, there’s also the J’Ouvert food fair and Village Nights, when local and international music acts will perform; this year’s headliner is Afrobeats artist Davido from Nigeria, though expect the programming to be heavy on soca and local acts.

Come to St. Croix now and it retains a less frenzied feel than other hustle-driven U.S. Virgin Islands, which can feel thronged with cruise ship passengers. And if your passport has been mired in bureaucracy as you’ve tried to renew it, don’t fret—remember you can use a state-issued ID for a visit.

  • Book now: The Buccaneer

This huge resort , spread over 340 acres and overlooking Christiansted harbor, is owned and operated by an island family; it has a vast roster of never-need-to-leave amenities, including eight tennis courts, two pools, and its own 18-hole golf course.

How to get to U.S. Virgin Islands

American Airlines is usually the easiest way to reach the Caribbean, and St. Croix is no exception—there’s nonstop service from both MIA and CLT. But you can also get direct service from FLL on Spirit and a Delta plane from ATL.

Row of white trees in front of evergreens in the snow

In January, Fargo’s average high is around 16 degrees Fahrenheit.

Photo by Sunil GC/Unsplash

7. Fargo, North Dakota

January is great for: realizing it isn’t cold—it’s cool

For six weeks starting on January 13, locals make the most of their maximum winter via the Frostival , a wittily named bash that its organizers hope will make everyone think “cold is cool.”

The programming stretches to more than 40 events, but over the first two weeks it includes everything from cardboard sled races down Mickelson Sledding Hill (bring your own box) to family-friendly s’mores evenings at local ice rinks and a weekend of 10-minute plays. Beyond the Wonderland is a particular highlight: Teams come to build snow forts and then test their strength via a subsequent snowball fight, with a celebratory DJ-driven after-party. There’s a snow sculpture contest at Viking Ship Park and even a candlelit trail walk at night—bundle up especially warm—to go star spotting and gorge on hot dogs and chocolate.

  • Book now: Brewhalla

This 40-room boutique hotel , which opened in the summer, is a kitschy joy, with each of its rooms themed around a different beer from the Drekker Brewing Company, which has an event space below. Expect warehouse chic–style rooms, each with graffiti splattered walls and neon signage.

How to get to Fargo

Delta offers service from Minneapolis, while Allegiant connects with the sunbelt, including Orlando and Tampa, as well as Las Vegas.

8. New Orleans, Louisiana

January is great for: previewing the Mardi Gras mayhem at a leisurely pace

Sneak into the Big Easy this month for a chance to sample the frenzied glamour of Mardi Gras without the crowds. Epiphany, or January 6, is when locals switch their excuse to party from Christmas to Easter, and Mardi Gras begins. The king cakes will appear drizzled in Day-Glo frosting and with one charm inside; if you snare the figurine, said to represent Jesus, you’re sure of good luck for the year.

There’s a parade to celebrate Epiphany here, of course, kicking off Carnival season at 7 p.m. in the French Quarter. It’s a relatively new tradition, barely 15 years old, but well attended nonetheless. The city rolls out a series of smaller bashes throughout the month, too, so you can enjoy the Mardi Gras vibe without the madness that will descend later (this year, it’s February 13). Take your pick per your interests: January 20 is the date for the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus nerd parade, while the female-skewing Krewe Boheme lets the bon temps rouler on January 26.

  • Book now: ONE11 Hotel

The 83-room building opened three years ago in what was once a sugar refining warehouse in the French Quarter (hence it doesn’t offer suites, but “sweets”). Come for a drink on the rooftop to avoid the crowds in the streets nearby.

How to get to New Orleans

MSY underwent a $1.3 billion overhaul four years ago that made it a joy to use—and it’s connected with direct flights to most major metro hubs, including Philadelphia and Las Vegas.

Half a dozen small boats on Fatu Hiva Bay, Marquesas island, surrounded by green mountains

Small boats can moor at places that larger commercial vessels can’t reach.

Courtesy of Monica & Michael Swee / age fotostock

9. French Polynesia

January is great for: cruising ’round hard-to-reach atolls

French Polynesia ’s islands are scattered confetti-style across more than 1,200 miles of sea in the South Pacific; the distances between them make sailing the best (and most enjoyable) way to see most of them. Variety Cruise itineraries unlock many of the hardest-to-reach spots thanks to the small boats it operates.

The new itineraries take in islands like Raiatea—where you can pick up superb locally grown vanilla—as well as diving hot spot Rangiroa. The highlight, though, is Makatea . The coral atoll was once aggressively mined for phosphates, leaving its surface pock-marked with hand-dug holes. Now, its straight white cliffs draw climbers where barely 100 people live full-time.

  • Book now: Panorama II

Variety ‘s two-masted, 49-person motor sailer Panorama II is only 164 feet long but incorporates an outdoor sundeck, a lounge, and a library.

How to get to French Polynesia

For Californians, the eight-or-so-hour flight is surprisingly handy. There’s service from LAX to the main island on Delta, Air France, and Air Tahiti Nui; United and Gallic low-cost carrier French Bee operate nonstop from SFO. Air Tahiti Nui also runs to Seattle.

Winding coastal road, with no cars, curving into hilly land

January is a glorious time to explore, when the roads will be quieter and the weather more dramatic—expect a chance to really embrace the wilderness in Ireland.

Photo by shawnwil23/Shutterstock

10. Western Ireland

January is great for: roaming around the entire coast

The Wild Atlantic Way brings together more than 1,600 miles of scenic roads and trails around Ireland ’s ruggedly gorgeous west coast. It runs from the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal until it terminates in County Cork in the charming town of Kinsale.

More than 150 locations along the way are signposted as noteworthy or worthwhile, but only 15 are marked as Signature Discovery Points. These are the unmissables en route; they include the UNESCO-endorsed Cliffs of Moher and the 700-plus-foot tranches of rock that tumble into the Atlantic in County Clare.

Traveling the entire route at a leisurely pace would likely take around four weeks, but you can easily carve out a section to enjoy for a few days.

  • Book now: Adare Manor

Indulge your inner aristocrat with a night or two at one of Ireland’s top luxury hotels that’s now owned by racehorse magnate J.P. McManus. He sunk a chunk of his fortune into upgrading the 1832 building into a 103-room hideaway that’s anchored by its own Michelin-starred restaurant, the Oak Room .

How to get to Western Ireland

Shannon Airport is the international hub for the west coast, with direct nonstop flights from there on Aer Lingus to both Boston and NYC–JFK.

Family Beach Fire.jpg

National Geographic unveils best travel destinations for 2024: See full list

Kenya, kyoto, and paris, west virginia, alaska, and niagara falls all landed on national geographic's list of the best places to travel to in 2024. but this year there's a fun new twist: experiences.

best state to visit in jan

Looking for exciting locations to explore this year? From diving with sharks on Australia's Coral Coast to rafting the white rapids of West Virginia, National Geographic has some unique ideas for you with its annual Best of the World 2024 list .

The list, released first to USA TODAY on Tuesday, includes top destinations in the world and lesser-known ones. They range from Paris and Niagara Falls to the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia and archeological sites on the Spanish island of Menorca.

Unlike previous years, National Geographic is emphasizing must-do experiences at each destination, instead of just listing out locations. And in another step away from previous editions , the publication has added rankings to help readers prioritize their bucket list.

"I'm so excited about this," said National Geographic Editor in Chief Nathan Lump at an exclusive preview in New York last week. "We've really extended it to be bigger than ever before. And we just think that is a really, really great way to serve our travelers who are looking for great ideas all the time."

Lump said the list was being released on Tuesday to coincide with National Vacation Day, the last Tuesday of every January.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Millions of vacation days go waste every year, and Lump said that he hopes that this year's list will inspire readers to to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world.

The list of the top 20 travel experiences is curated by National Geographic explorers, photographers, and editors. It's “a celebration” of “travel’s power to transform us and our connections with one another," the magazine said.

What are the best places to visit/experiences in 2024?

National Geographic’s top travel experiences for the year are:

  • Horseback safari in Kenya
  • Olympic Marathon in Paris, France
  • Ski tour through UNESCO sites in Georgia
  • Bear-watching at Katmai National Park, Alaska
  • Live music in Kyoto, Japan
  • Magdalena River Cruise in Colombia
  • Road trip Route 66 in New Mexico
  • Explore ancient rock art in Algeria
  • Dive with sharks on Australia's Coral Coast
  • Volcano hiking in Panama
  • Observe the total solar eclipse in Niagara Falls
  • Trek a glacier in Chile
  • Step back in time at Menorca's archaeological sites
  • Ride classic rails through the Scottish Highlands
  • Indulge your taste buds in Isan, Thailand
  • Wander the tea trail in Sri Lanka
  • Gallery hop in Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Raft the rapids in West Virginia
  • Go antiquing in the Hudson Valley, New York
  • Sleep at a floating lodge on Tofino Island, British Columbia

How did National Geographic decide these places?

Putting together and consolidating a list of places is no easy feat but Amy Alipio, senior editor at National Geographic, told USA TODAY that it's her favorite project every year.

To put together the list, Alipio explained that her team taps into their global network of experts around the world. While work on the list is an ongoing process, National Geographic sends an official call out to its global network in April, said Alipio, who has been heading the list since its inception 12 years ago.

“We asked them, ‘What places do you love? What have you seen or done lately that you were absolutely blown away by or where do you want to go next?’” she said.

This year they also asked their experts to share what exactly they would do in those locations and that made the list even more personal, Alipio said.

“We're not just mentioning places," said Alipio. "We're mentioning where to go, but (also) what to do once you're there. I think we're really pinpointing ways people can connect and immerse themselves in a destination.”

Ranking the list

This is the first time that National Geographic has ranked it's "Best of the World" list to give readers an insight into what is trending and timely.

"For example, like the horseback safari (in Kenya), – just because people are really into slow travel," she said. "But also our number two experience is really timely. It's about the Paris Olympics, which are this summer."

"I think it really was kind of like a mixture of superlative and timeliness," she adds.

The rankings have also been added as a response to audience feedback that they needed help prioritizing their travel plans.

"People do ask us like, 'What's the number one thing on this list?'" Alipio said. "And now this year, we finally can tell people, 'Yeah, well, actually, we do have a number one that we really like.'"

What U.S. sites made National Geographic's 'Best of the World 2024' list?

The following U.S. destination's made National Geographic's list this year: Katmai National Park in Alaska, Route 66 in New Mexico , Niagara Falls and the Hudson Valley in New York and West Virginia’s New River.

National Geographic recommends bear-watching at the Alaska national park along the Pacific Coast, which has the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. However, the publication suggests ditching the popular Brooks Camp visitor center and taking a trip through areas like Hallo Bay and Geographic Harbor. This activity is among the top five activities suggested by National Geographic.

National Geographic also recommends road-tripping on Route 66 through New Mexico, catching the total solar eclipse on April 8 at Terrapin Point in Niagara Falls State Park , antiquing in New York's Hudson Valley and rafting through the rapids in West Virginia's New River .

Where to see it: 2024's total solar eclipse will pass through over a dozen states

Just go to this Alaskan national park: You don't need to fly to Norway to view fjords.

Best places to visit in South and Central America

Colombia, Chile and Brazil in South America are among the best places to visit in 2024, while Panama is the best place to visit in Central America, according to National Geographic.

National Geographic recommends taking a cruise on Columbia's Magdalena River, soaking in the natural beauty and culture through the colonial towns and floating villages that surround the river.

Brazil's largest city, São Paulo, is an art-lover’s paradise, and travelers can gallery-hop through the city's numerous galleries and art exhibitions, browse renowned street art, and check out the Museu de Arte de São Paulo , which holds more than 11,000 artworks from around the world.

In Chile, National Geographic suggests trekking through Patagonia’s Northern and Southern Ice Fields glaciers before they completely succumb to rising temperatures and climate change.

If you're into sustainable tourism, National Geographic recommends exploring Panama, which is currently promoting a government-supported community tourism network that allows travelers to select trips that "provide immersive experiences in less-visited areas of the country."

Among the highlights is the Ruta de la Caldera, a system of five hiking trails around the extinct El Valle de Antón volcano.

Best places to visit in Africa

The number one destination on National Geographic's list is in Africa. Going on a horseback safari in the Borana Conservancy , a 32,000-acre preserve in northern Kenya, is the top thing to do this year, says the publication.

“To journey on horseback is to break down the walls – meant to protect, but also to separate – between oneself and the natural world,” Nichole Sobecki, a photographer and lifelong equestrian, said in a statement provided by National Geographic. “Your horse is your guide, and translator, responding to the low growl of the lion, the soft scent of a herd of elephants, the cool morning breeze descending from Mount Kenya’s glacial peaks."

The North African state of Algeria is also on National Geographic's list, ranking at number eight. Algeria is home to Africa’s largest national park and holds one of the world’s greatest concentrations of ancient rock art, according to National Geographic. Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, also a UNESCO World Heritage site , is a "geologic wonderland of sandstone pinnacles and arches surrounded by orange dunes," says the publication.

Best places to visit in Europe / U.K.

Among National Geographic's best places to visit in Europe and the United Kingdom in 2024 is Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Menorca in the Mediterranean Sea for a taste of history and the Scottish Highlands for a luxury train trip .

While Paris is a bucket list location, National Geographic recommends traveling there for the Summer Olympics and participating in the Olympic marathon course. Twenty thousand regular runners will be allowed to run the 26.2-mile loop that links Paris and Versailles, beginning at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and passing through nine districts before finishing at Les Invalides on the banks of the Seine.

"Amateur athletes will be able to run the same route as the Olympic marathon, by night, enabling as many people as possible to follow in the footsteps of outstanding athletes," according to the race website. "This will be an extraordinary experience, on a unique and original route, celebrating the heritage and history of the Paris region and the whole of France."

Best places to visit in Asia

Among National Geographic's top recommendations for Asia in 2024 are: Kyoto in Japan , Isan in Thailand, the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia – which is located in both west Asia and eastern Europe – and the newly opened Pekoe tea Trail in Sri Lanka.

"Carving a path through cloud-swathed villages and centuries-old tea estates, the new long-distance Pekoe Trail gives hikers a chance to explore Sri Lanka’s quiet central highlands," National Geographic writes .

Best places to visit in Australia

The Coral Coast , stretching almost 700 miles along the Indian Ocean north of Perth, is one of National Geographic top recommended spots for 2024. Underwater activities include exploring the world’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo Reef, "a stunning counterpart to the over-touristed Great Barrier Reef," and swimming with dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays.

Between July and October, some 40,000 humpback whales migrate down the Australian coast, giving travelers the opportunity to observe them up-close.

Interestingly, both National Geographic editors, Lump and Alipio, are looking forward to a deep-water adventure at Australia's Coral Coast.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.

More From Forbes

U.s. travel advisories and where to find them.

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Vehicles are covered in snow as a winter storm hits southern Ontario with heavy snow and strong ... [+] winds in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on January 12, 2024.

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or the occasional flyer, one service that I recommend signing up for is travel advisories. Travel advisories can help you be best prepared for a delayed or canceled trip. Advisories can also help you decide whether the trip is worth taking.

How To Find A Travel Advisory

One of the first places to look for travel advisories is through the U.S. Department of State’s website, travel.state.gov . Here, you can look up destinations worldwide and see what threat there may be to Americans and when the information was updated. Additionally, there are four travel advisory levels to be aware of:

  • Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
  • Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
  • Level 3: Reconsider Travel
  • Level 4: Do Not Travel

Don’t be alarmed if your destination has a travel advisory. Every country worldwide will have a travel advisory, with many on Level 1 or 2.

FAA Tells Pilots To Go Analogue As GNSS Spoofing Incidents Increase

These ski slip-ups could land you $16,ooo fines in europe, dangerous laser strikes on planes are off the charts faa warns, resources to prepare for your trip.

Travelers may also want to visit travel.state.gov/destination for further information, including requirements for entry/exit, more information on local laws and customs, health information, transportation, and other requirements.

Another website to visit is the enrollment page from the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) . Here, you’ll be able to create an account and provide specific details of your trip, including arrival and departure dates, to get specific notifications that may be relevant to you. You’ll receive emails with alerts (if any are issued while you are traveling), so you’ll want to use an email that is easy to access.

I’ve used this service and been warned about protests and demonstrations taking place in busy public areas. Notices like these can help you if you need to pass through a busy destination. It can also help prepare you if you are traveling with children.

There are a few other sites you may want to visit that the Department of State recommends. Their page includes advice and links to their social media accounts that you may also want to follow.

Additionally, some travelers may receive alerts from their airline and travel booking sites. This is only relevant if something should arise when traveling or near your travel dates.

Other Travel Advisories

If you want to have additional information or want to keep up with a specific destination, you can also sign up for additional travel advisories. The Canadian Travel Advisory page and the page from the United Kingdom are two other resources that travelers may find helpful, especially if their native language is English. You can sign up for the advisory that best serves you.

Signing up for travel advisories can give you a jump on any information you may need about your destination abroad. You can learn more about what you’ll need to enter and exit the destination and any other relevant issues that may help. Enrolling in the STEP program can also give you peace of mind.

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U.S. travel advisory for Jamaica warns Americans to reconsider visits amid spate of murders

By Tucker Reals

Updated on: February 2, 2024 / 2:32 PM EST / CBS News

The U.S. government has raised its travel alert level for Jamaica amid a spate of murders in the Caribbean nation, urging Americans to reconsider visiting the island "due to crime and [unreliable] medical services." 

The State Department announced the change, to its Level 3 travel advisory, for Jamaica just a few days after it issued a warning about the Bahamas, which remained at a Level 2 advisory , urging Americans to "exercise increased caution," despite a series of murders there.

The warnings about travel to the popular tourist destinations come as many Americans are planning and booking their vacations for the year ahead.

The U.S. Embassy in Jamaica warned that "violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts."

People relax and swim at Doctor's Cave beach

It added that Jamaican police "often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents." The advisory said that hospitals and ambulances are not always reliable and some private institutions may require payment up front.

"The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere," the State Department noted.

According to statistics published by the Jamaica Constabulary Force , the nation — which has a population of about 2.8 million — had recorded 65 homicides between Jan. 1 and Jan. 27 of this year. While that represents a significant drop from the same period the previous year, when there were 81 homicides, the number of shootings and people injured in crimes increased this January compared to last. The data show a major drop in the number of recorded rapes in January 2024 compared to the previous year.

The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, the nation's oldest, reported on Monday that this monthly's murder tally of 65 included 19 murders during the previous week alone.

In the Bahamas, the U.S. Embassy in Nassau said in a message published on Jan. 24 that there had been 18 murders in the capital city since the start of the year, which had "occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets."

It said most of the recent killings were linked to gang violence and urged travelers to "exercise extreme caution in the eastern part of New Providence Island (Nassau)" in particular, and to be extra careful if walking or driving at night.

"Do not physically resist any robbery attempt," the embassy warned, adding a suggestion for visitors to review their "personal security plans."

Tourism is a huge sector for Jamaica's economy, and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett told the country's lawmakers in December that he expected a "spectacular growth pattern" seen during 2022 and 2023 to continue.

"The island should record a total of 4,122,100 visitors for the period January to December, 2023," he said, according to a statement on his ministry's website. "This would signal an increase of 23.7% over the total number of visitors recorded in 2022."

According to the ministry, tourism brought roughly $4.2 billion into Jamaica's economy in 2023.

Tucker Reals is cbsnews.com's foreign editor, based in the CBS News London bureau. He has worked for CBS News since 2006, prior to which he worked for The Associated Press in Washington D.C. and London.

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2024 tax filing season starts as IRS begins accepting tax returns today; taxpayer help expands this year with more in-person hours, better service, improved tools

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IR-2024-24, Jan. 29, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service successfully opened the 2024 tax season today by accepting and processing federal individual tax returns as the agency continues focusing on expanding options to help taxpayers.

The IRS expects more than 146 million individual tax returns for 2023 to be filed this filing season, which has a deadline of April 15, 2024.

With the start of the 2024 filing season, the IRS will be extending hours of service in nearly 250 Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) across the country, providing additional help to people. The IRS will also be working to continue improvements on its phone service as well as expanding online tools. The Where’s My Refund?  tool on IRS.gov will add more details for taxpayers checking on the status of their tax refund.

Building off the success of the 2023 tax season that saw significant improvements following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the 2024 filing season will continue reflecting the focus on improving services to taxpayers.

“For months, IRS employees have been working hard to be ready to help taxpayers and make tax season as easy and smooth as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “We’ve taken important steps to add more improvements to help taxpayers, ranging from expanded in-person hours, better online options and improved phone service.”

The IRS reminds taxpayers the deadline to file a 2023 tax return and pay any tax owed is Monday, April 15, 2024. Taxpayers living in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17, 2024, due to the Patriot’s Day and Emancipation Day holidays. If a taxpayer resides in a federally declared disaster area , they may have additional time to file.

Nearly 250 Taxpayer Assistance Centers expand hours; Where’s My Refund? updates

Taxpayer Assistance Center hours expanded. As part of expanded taxpayer service efforts, nearly 250 IRS TACs around the country will extend their weekly office hours to give taxpayers additional time to get the help they need during the filing season.

The extended office hours will run through Tuesday, April 16. To see if a nearby TAC is offering extended hours, taxpayers can visit Contact your local office to access the IRS.gov TAC Locator tool. The site lists services offered, including extended hours and directions to each office. Taxpayers can call 844-545-5640 to make an appointment or walk in to get help at designated TACs offering the additional time. Normally, TACs are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and operate by appointment.

Special Saturday hours available. In addition to extended hours during the work week, the IRS will again offer special Saturday hours at many TACs across the country February through May. On these special Saturdays, taxpayers can walk in to receive all services routinely provided at participating offices, except for cash payments.

These extra hours are in addition to the IRS opening or reopening 50 Taxpayer Assistance Centers that have occurred since Inflation Reduction Act funding became available in 2022.

“Where’s My Refund?” expanded. Taxpayers will also see important new updates to the “Where's My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. These ongoing updates will allow taxpayers to see more detailed refund status messages in plain language, and they will also ensure Where's My Refund? works seamlessly on mobile devices. Taxpayers often see a generic message stating that their returns are still being processed and to check back later. With the new and improved Where's My Refund?, taxpayers will see clearer and more detailed updates, including whether the IRS needs them to respond to a letter requesting additional information. The new updates will reduce the need for taxpayers to call the IRS for answers to these basic questions. The IRS plans to continue expanding the information available on Where’s My Refund? later this year.

Taxpayers will also see other improvements this tax season, including:

  • Phone service. Increased help available on the  toll-free line  and an expanded customer call back feature designed to significantly reduce wait times.
  • Paperless processing. Enhanced paperless processing that will enable taxpayers to submit all correspondence, non-tax forms, and responses to notices digitally and will be able to e-File nine additional tax forms with 11 more planned. Achieving this milestone will enable up to 125 million paper documents to be submitted digitally per year.
  • Online Account. An enhanced IRS  Individual Online Account  that includes chat, the option to schedule and cancel future payments, revise payment plans and validate and save bank accounts. Individuals with a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification number can log-in or sign-up for an IRS Individual Online Account to securely access information about their federal tax account, view balance and payment options, view and approve authorizations from their tax professional, view digital copies of select IRS notices and get information on their most recently filed return that includes their Adjusted Gross Income. 

Get free help preparing and filing taxes electronically

Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov 24 hours a day to get answers to tax questions. IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option to get help . The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) is a tool that provides answers to several tax law questions specific to individual circumstances. Based on input, it can determine a taxpayer’s filing status, if a person should file a tax return, if someone can be claimed as a dependent, if a type of income is taxable, if a filer is eligible to claim a credit or if an expense can be deducted.

The IRS encourages people to file their tax returns electronically and choose direct deposit for faster refunds. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.

The IRS offers free online and in-person tax preparation options for qualifying taxpayers through the IRS Free File program and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.

Taxpayers with income of $79,000 or less last year – and that's most taxpayers – can use IRS Free File Guided Tax Software now through Oct 15. IRS Free File Fillable forms, a part of this program, is available at no cost to any income level and provides electronic forms that people fill out and e-file themselves, also at no cost.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $64,000 or less, persons with disabilities and taxpayers whose preferred language is not English. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

MilTax , a Department of Defense program, generally offers free return preparation and electronic filing software for federal income tax returns and up to three state income tax returns for all military members, and some veterans, with no income limit.

Another option is the Direct File pilot program. This program gives eligible taxpayers a new choice to file their 2023 federal tax returns online, for free, directly with the IRS. It will be rolled out in phases and is expected to be widely available in mid-March. Find more about Direct File pilot eligibility, scope and the 12 participating states on Direct File . 

Sign and validate electronically filed tax returns

The IRS reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter prior-year information to electronically sign their 2023 tax return.

Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2022 tax return to file electronically. Review these steps to validate and sign an electronically filed return .

Use IRS.gov to find a reputable tax professional

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can prepare their tax return and provide helpful information and advice. People can use the  IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications to find a preparer who is skilled in tax preparation and accurately files income tax returns.

Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, choosing the wrong tax return preparer hurts taxpayers financially every year. Be sure to check  tips for choosing a tax preparer  and how to  avoid unethical "ghost" return preparers . 

Questions about refunds? EITC, ACTC available for many by Feb. 27

Although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer. The easiest way to check a refund’s status is by using Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go app. 

Most Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) related refunds should be available in bank accounts or on debit cards by Feb. 27 if taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Taxpayers can check  Where’s My Refund?  for their personalized refund date. Where's My Refund? will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC and ACTC refund filers by Feb. 17.

Know the signs of identity theft

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses stolen personal information, including Social Security numbers, to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. If a person suspects they are a victim of identity theft, they should continue to pay their taxes and file their tax return, even if they must file a paper return. Visit Identity Theft Central to find out more.

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone and email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals. Check out the latest consumer alerts and read more about the most recent tax related scams identified by the IRS.

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COMMENTS

  1. 15 Best Places to Visit in January 2024

    Jaipur View 19 Photos Belongs on List? Yes No Argentine Patagonia #1 in Best Places to Visit in January 2024 As January brings some of the warmest temperatures and the most daylight hours of...

  2. The 15 Best Places to Visit in the US in January (2024)

    Tucson, Arizona 3. San Diego, California 4. Savannah, Georgia 5. Oahu, Hawaii 6. Austin, Texas 7. Zion National Park, Utah 8. Breckenridge, Colorado 9. New York City 10. New Orleans, Louisiana 11. Chicago, Illinois 12. Gatlinburg, Tennessee 13. Mammoth Lakes, California 14. Aspen, Colorado

  3. 31 Best Places to Visit in January in the USA

    Sometimes the best places to visit in January in the USA are underrated year-round, which is why Beaver Creek, Colorado, made this list. This small town by Avon is often overlooked for other ski destinations in the state like Aspen and Telluride, making it a great place to visit in the new year.

  4. Top 20 Awesome Places to Visit in January USA

    1. Breckenridge, Colorado - for stunning scenery and skiing I'm a huge fan of the charming mountain town of Breckenridge.

  5. The Best Places to Travel in the U.S. in January

    For January, Travel + Leisure whisks you off to the snow-capped mountains of northern Idaho, on a treasure hunt for glass globes on an island in Georgia, and to a new Minneapolis hotel set to...

  6. 10 Best Places to Travel in January 2024

    Vail, Colorado miralex/Getty Images Ski season is prime time to visit Colorado, and Vail is a great spot to hit the slopes. The quaint town is modeled after a Bavarian village, with pedestrian...

  7. 26 BEST Places to Visit in January in the USA (2024)

    If you are seeking a family winter/ski vacation, Aspen is one of the best places to visit in January. 13. San Diego - California. San Diego is a great beach destination all year round, but in January, people head to this coastal city to enjoy off-season prices and fewer crowds.

  8. The 14 best places to visit in January

    Fort Worth PA THOMPSON/GETTY IMAGES If you're contemplating a trip to the Lone Star State, you might want to set your sights on Fort Worth. Often dubbed the "Modern West," Fort Worth has emerged dynamically from the shadow of its more famed neighbor, Dallas. It's a city that marries modernity with its classic Texas twang.

  9. 26 Best Places To Visit In January USA (2024)

    1. South Padre Island South Padre Island is a brilliant place to visit in January if you want sunny weather and a glorious vacation on a barrier island. In January, temperatures drop marginally, but you can still enjoy plenty of outdoor activities and beach days.

  10. The best places to travel to in January 2024

    Keep going to Tarutao National Marine Park, an archipelago of 51 islands just north of the Malay border. Start 2024 with epic adventures, cultural experiences, foodie forays and wildlife encounters. Here are the best places to visit in January.

  11. 15 Best Places to Visit in USA in January: Beaches, Mountains & Cities

    6. Death Valley in January For National Park Exploration. Like its name says, Death Valley is a dangerous place to travel in the summer, with the heat often over 100F. Still, during the winter, the temperature is usually in the pleasant 70s, making it a great place to travel to in January.

  12. 14 Best Places to Visit in the U.S. in January

    14 Best Places to Visit in the U.S. in January by K.C. Dermody Last updated on October 19, 2023 In January, most people are looking at booking trips for the upcoming year, but this month can be a great time to travel. It's usually easier to find more affordable airfare, and trips can be a lot more enjoyable without as many people traveling.

  13. 21 Best Places to Visit in January 2024 (in USA & World)

    Matthew Reppond UpdatedJanuary 24, 2024 USA 👉 Jump to: Places to Visit in January in USA | International Places to Visit in January | FAQ I've extensively traveled across the USA and abroad, and my guide will point you to the best places to visit in January!

  14. The Best Places in the U.S. to Visit in January

    Atlantic City, New Jersey R&R meets Rock'n'Roll retreat in AC? Don't mind if we do at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Here, you can find R&R at the Rock Spa & Salon featuring 31 newly...

  15. 12 Best National Parks to Visit in January 2024 (USA)

    Biscayne National Park, which is located in Florida, is 95% water. The best way, and really the only way, to explore this park is by boat. In January, the high temperature is about 74°F. That's relatively warm, but for some people, 74° might be too cool to spend a day on a boat, snorkeling and swimming.

  16. 7 Best Places to Travel in January 2022

    Big Island, Hawaii. With daily highs around 83 degrees and lows around 79, January is one of the best months for a trip to the Big Island—especially with such stunning attractions like Hawaii ...

  17. 22 of the BEST Places in the USA to Visit in January

    21. Florida Keys road trip. There's nothing like a gorgeously warm road trip through the Florida Keys, and January is an amazing time to discover this Caribbean part of the USA. There are five main keys you want to explore: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine, and of course, Key West.

  18. Best Places to Travel in January: Winter Vacation Ideas ...

    Go north to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada for their annual icewine festival, which pays homage each weekend from January 13 to 29 to the concentrated dessert wine made from naturally ...

  19. 15 Best Places to Visit in January in the USA 2023

    1. Aspen, Colorado. 590 N Mill St, Aspen, CO 81611, map. Weather Avg: 36° / 10° F. If you love snow, Aspen is one of the best places to visit in January in USA. You'll find groomed runs or fresh powder. Since school break is over, it will be much less crowded, and hotel prices will be more reasonable.

  20. 5 best places to visit in January in the US

    Phoenix. Phoenix skyline at dusk. Image: 4kodiak/Getty Images. On the edge of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is at its temperate best in January, when desert flora and red mountains are at their most beautiful and accessible. Hiking is a must during your visit and there are suitable trails for every level of hiker.

  21. The best places to visit in the US in January

    Here are the best places to visit in January in the United States: 1. New York City, New York. The Big Apple tends to draw in smaller crowds in January than other peak times of year. However, January in New York City still boasts an incredible festive spirit and turns into a winter wonderland, making it a truly enchanting time to visit.

  22. The Best Places to Visit in January

    Alexa Miller / Getty Images. January brings ideal skiing conditions to this resort town that has been investing heavily in its skiing infrastructure and hospitality offerings. The region's Rocky Mountain snowfall is legendary, with 5,850 acres of skiable terrain, and it has the most technologically advanced lift network in the country, with features like heated seats, weatherproof bubbles ...

  23. The 10 Best Places to Travel in January 2024

    Here are the 10 best places to travel in January. Parc Jean-Drapeau once hosted the World's Fair in 1967—hence the futuristic, EPCOT-like Biosphere dome, which is its hallmark. ... on the four-stage travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department, which makes it a viable, largely safe destination for adventurous travelers ...

  24. Best travel destinations in 2024: National Geographic's new list

    Kenya, Kyoto, and Paris, West Virginia, Alaska, and Niagara Falls all landed on National Geographic's list of the best places to travel to in 2024. But this year there's a fun new twist: Experiences.

  25. U.S. Travel Advisories And Where To Find Them

    Jan 30, 2024, 06:00am EST. Share to Facebook; ... Travel advisories can help you be best prepared for a delayed or canceled trip. Advisories can also help you decide whether the trip is worth ...

  26. U.S. travel advisory for Jamaica warns Americans to reconsider visits

    U.S. raises alert level for travel to Jamaica, urges Americans to reconsider visiting island 00:53. The U.S. government has raised its travel alert level for Jamaica amid a spate of murders in the ...

  27. 2024 tax filing season starts as IRS begins accepting tax returns today

    IR-2024-24, Jan. 29, 2024 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service successfully opened the 2024 tax season today by accepting and processing federal individual tax returns as the agency continues focusing on expanding options to help taxpayers. ... To see if a nearby TAC is offering extended hours, taxpayers can visit Contact your local ...

  28. The US economy added 353,000 jobs in January, starting off 2024 ...

    The US economy added a stunning 353,000 jobs last month, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday, registering a stronger-than-expected gain to kick off 2024 and underscoring ...