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The 20 Best Places to Visit in January in the U.S.


Are you looking for someplace to escape the winter cold? Or maybe you're looking for a fun vacation destination to visit in January. Either way, we've got you covered with our list of the 20 best places to visit in January in the U.S. From beaches to theme parks, there's something for everyone on this list. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today.


20. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a charming place to visit any time of year, but there are some special reasons to plan a trip in January. The weather is usually mild, with Fahrenheit highs in the 50s and 60s. This makes it ideal for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and biking. According to Cabins USA Gatlinburg, winter's scenery is also stunning, as the Smoky Mountains are blanketed in snow. In addition, Gatlinburg is home to several great festivals and events in January, including the Winter Magic Trolley Show and the Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival. If you want a winter wonderland or a festive atmosphere, Gatlinburg is the perfect place to be in January.


19. Aspen, Colorado

According to Forbes, it is a world-renowned ski resort town in Colorado. It is also a popular destination for snowboarders, ice skaters, and those who enjoy winter sports. January is an ideal time to visit Aspen, as the town is bustling with activity and the slopes are open for business. The standard high temperature in January is 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low is 9 degrees Fahrenheit. However, be mindful that temperatures can drop below zero at night, so pack plenty of warm clothing.


18. Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is a paradise island located in Hawaii. It is famous for its pristine beaches, lush vegetation, and an active volcano. The average temperature in January is 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it perfect for spending time at the beach or hiking through the rainforest. In addition, January is one of the busiest months for tourism in Oahu, so there are enough activities and events to keep visitors entertained. From snorkeling and surfing to volcano tours and luaus, there is something for everyone to enjoy on Oahu in January.

mammoth lakes

17. Mammoth Lakes, California

The climate is crisp, and the crowds are smaller than in the summer, making it the perfect time to enjoy all the area offers. Plenty of activities keep visitors entertained, from skiing and snowboarding on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain to snowmobiling and ice skating. And don't forget about all the incredible hiking trails - Mammoth Lakes is home to some of the best hiking in California. If you want a small-town vibe or big-city excitement, Mammoth Lakes got you covered.

mount hood

16. Mount Hood, Oregon

Mount Hood is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but it is especially scenic in the winter. The snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes make for a breathtaking landscape, and the area is full of fun winter activities. There are plenty of hiking and cross-country skiing trails to explore, and the snow-covered slopes are perfect for sledding and tubing. And if you call for a break from all the outdoor activity, there are plenty of homey cafes and restaurants to warm up in.

key west

15. Key West, Florida

The climate is mild and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities like snorkeling and sunbathing. January is also peak season for tourism, so expect crowds and higher prices. One way to avoid the worst of the crowds is to visit during the week rather than on weekends. Another tip is to book your accommodations well in advance, as many hotels and resorts fill up quickly during peak season. If you desire to relax on the beach or explore the island's vibrant nightlife, Key West is a great destination in January.

los angeles

14. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is a great place to visit in January. The weather is usually mild, with occasional showers, and the days are typically long and sunny. There are many things to do in L.A., from exploring the city's museums and art galleries to taking a hike in one of the numerous parks. And, of course, no trip to Los Angeles would be complete without spending some time at the beach. Whether you desire a relaxing vacation or an action-packed getaway, Los Angeles will surely have something for everyone.

san diego

13. San Diego, California

Like Los Angeles, San Diego is a great option for sunny weather in January. The average high temperature is 70 degrees, making it perfect for days spent at the world-famous San Diego Zoo or Balboa Park. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and exploring the many kitschy tourist attractions. Also, a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico, just a short drive from San Diego. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach or explore a new city, San Diego is the perfect place to visit in January.


12. Fairbanks, Alaska

While most people associate Alaska with snow-capped mountains and icy glaciers, the state is home to many landscapes and climates. Fairbanks is an unmatched place to experience this diversity, located in the heart of Alaska's Interior. The city is blanketed in snow during winter, making it a popular destination for outdoor activities like dog sledding and cross-country skiing. However, Fairbanks is also home to the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. So, if you want to experience Alaska's natural beauty or chase the Northern Lights, a visit to Fairbanks in January will be an unforgettable experience.


11. Tucson, Arizona

January is an ideal time to explore Tucson, Arizona. The weather is mild, with highs in the 60s and 70s and plenty of activities to enjoy. Visit the Santa Catalina Mountains for hiking and bird watching, or take a tour of one of Tucson's many historical sites. According to Pima Air, The Pima Air and Space Museum is a great place to learn about the area's aviation history, and the University of Arizona Art Museum offers various exhibitions. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to explore downtown. So if you need an adventure or want to enjoy sunny weather, Tucson is the perfect destination in January.

south padre island

10. South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island is a charming destination to visit any time of year, but January is an ideal month to enjoy all the island offers. The weather is typically mild, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s, and there is often a refreshing breeze blowing off the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches are uncrowded, so you can relax and enjoy the sound and smell of the waves crashing on the shore. And because South Padre Island is such a popular destination for spring break, you can often find great deals on vacation rentals and hotels. South Padre Island is the perfect spot if you need a place to escape the winter blues.


9. Brunswick, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia, is a charming Southern city that comes alive in winter. Visitors can enjoy mild temperatures and sunny days while strolling through the historic downtown district or exploring the scenic coastline. January is also a great time to sample the local seafood, as Brunswick is home to some of the best shrimp and crab in the country. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed vacation, Brunswick has something to offer everyone.

mount baker

8. Mount Baker, Washington

Mt. Baker, Washington, is a stunning place to visit any time. In January, the days are shorter, and the snowfall is heavier, making it the perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The average high temperature in January is only 33 degrees, so pack your warmest clothing. However, the views are more than worth the cold weather. Mt. Baker homes some of the tallest mountains in the continental United States, and the thick snow blankets make for a truly magical landscape. You might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights if lucky. Whether you desire to hit the slopes or enjoy a winter wonderland, Mt. Baker is the perfect place in January.


7. Miami, Florida

There's something about Miami that screams paradise. Maybe it's the beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Or maybe it's the never-ending stream of Spanish-speaking locals and visitors. Whatever the case, there's no denying that Miami is a top destination for anyone looking to escape the winter blues. And what finer time to visit than in January? Not only are average temperatures a comfortable 77 degrees, but many hotels and resorts offer great deals on rooms this time of year. So if you want a sunny getaway, add Miami to your list.


6. Chicago, Illinois

According to Free Tours by Foot, Chicago in January is a great time to visit if you love the cold weather. The snow-blanketed streets and frosty air make it a magical time to be in the city. Plus, there are tons of activities to keep you busy, whether you're a winter sports enthusiast or just looking to enjoy the sights. For beginners, you can go ice skating at Millennium Park, visit the Art Institute of Chicago, or explore one of the many museums. And if you're adventurous, you can take a dip in Lake Michigan. Just be sure to bundle up; regardless of what you end up doing, you will have a blast if you visit Chicago in January.


5. Breckenridge, Colorado

If you desire a winter wonderland, then Breckenridge, Colorado, is the place. This ski town is home to some of the best slopes in the country, as well as a beautiful downtown area with restaurants and shops. The town comes alive in January when visitors experience the snow and excitement. Plenty of activities keep you busy, from skiing and snowboarding to ice skating and sledding. And if you call for a break from the cold, you can always warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or take a scenic drive through the mountains.

new orleans

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

If you're looking for a unique and thrilling travel destination, look no further than New Orleans, Louisiana. The city is famed for its live music scene, delicious food, and rich history. While many people think of New Orleans as a party city, there's much more to see and do. From exploring the French Quarter to taking a riverboat cruise, there's something for everyone in New Orleans. And what could be more fun than celebrating Mardi gras in the Big Easy? If you're looking for a festive and fun-filled vacation, plan a trip to New Orleans in January.


3. Austin, Texas

Austin is an impeccable place to visit any time of year, but some special attractions make it worth a January trip. The city hosts the annual Austin Indie Fest, showcasing the best independent cinema worldwide. January is also a great time to take advantage of the city's many live music venues; according to Avoya Travel, Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World." If you're looking for something a little more low-key, there are plenty of museums and art galleries to explore, or you can enjoy strolling around downtown and taking in the city's unique architecture and charming vibe. No matter what your interests are, Austin got you covered.

beaver creek

2. Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek is a world-renowned ski resort in Colorado that attracts visitors from all over the world. January is a perfect time to visit, as the snowfall is typically heavy, and the temperatures are crisp and cool. The village of Beaver Creek is picturesque, with its traditional alpine architecture and quaint shops and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy various activities, including skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, and sledding. There are also plenty of opportunities to relax, with several luxurious spas and resorts. Beaver Creek is the perfect destination whether you're looking for an adrenaline-filled vacation or a relaxing getaway.


1. New York City, New York

January in New York City can be a magical time. The holidays are over, but the city is still decked out in lights and decorations. And while the weather can be cold, there's something exhilarating about walking the streets with a cup of hot coffee. Of course, no trip to NYC in January would be complete without a trip to the top of the Empire State Building. The views are even more phenomenal when the city is blanketed in snow. So if you're looking for a winter getaway that's both festive and exciting, be sure to add New York City to your list.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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