If you’re wondering where to travel in January, consider seeking out warmer destinations across America’s sunny southern latitudes. For many living in the northern states, January brings bitter cold, icy weather, and gloomy shortened days. However, that doesn’t mean you must hibernate until spring.
Consider visiting one of the best places in the USA during January for an unforgettable New Year’s escape. You’ll find a variety of destinations to choose from, including desert landscapes, tropical beaches, southern hospitality, and spiritual retreats – all ideal for starting the year 2024 on the right foot. So why wait? Soak up some vitamin D and plan your next adventure now!
Majestic Desert Landscapes and Chic Urban Escapes
Some of America’s most spectacular desert scenery shines even more brilliantly once cooler weather descends. January vacations can be an excellent opportunity to admire the stunning desert scenery of the southwest. This time of year is perfect for enjoying the region’s fiery colors and geological wonders while enjoying postcard-worthy sunny panoramas.
1. Palm Springs & Greater Palm Desert, California
This retro-chic region features plush resorts with golf, shopping, and a thriving food and cocktail scene. Marvel at the rocky crags of Mt. San Jacinto, tour mid-century modern architectural gems, or go hiking amongst nature preserves just outside downtown. Palm Springs is undoubtedly one of the top warm places to visit in January in the USA for a stylish desert escape.
2. Phoenix & Scottsdale, Arizona
In a five-hour nonstop flight from the East Coast, you can transport from icy winter to eternal summer in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun. You’ll find endless resort options, top museums, professional sports, concerts, and more. Moreover, you can enjoy awesome desert hiking, which offers some of the most stunning scenery.
3. Death Valley National Park, California
For an otherworldly experience, head to Death Valley, where you’ll discover dramatic valleys, sand dunes, and colorful rock formations shaped over the ages. The sheer scale astounds, especially viewed from Zabriskie Point. Enjoy scenic drives down Badwater Basin (282 feet below sea level!) and engage in hiking and wildlife viewing in this land of extremes. Death Valley National Park is the place to be if you’re wondering where to go in January for a truly unique landscape.
America’s Tropical Winter Playground: Florida
Without featuring Florida, you can’t discuss the best warm places to visit in the USA this January. Every corner of the state sees January highs around 70 degrees, giving you 1,350 miles of glorious balmy coastline options for the ultimate beach retreat.
4. Miami & Miami Beach
For a livelier urban getaway, Greater Miami sizzles with culture. The trendy South Beach, adorned with pastel Art Deco district, world-class museums, lively nightlife, and an explosion of Cuban, Caribbean, and Central/South American influences, makes this magic city an international hub. With average highs around 70 degrees, Miami has some of the best weather in the U.S. in January.
5. Florida Keys
Do you prefer a more peaceful pace? Make your way down Overseas Highway through island-dotted Florida Bay to Key West. Soak up the authentic, laid-back tropical lifestyle. Enjoy fishing, diving, snorkeling, and fresh seafood galore each evening at sunset. Florida remains one of the best states to visit in January to escape winter and revel in tropical sunshine.
6. Everglades National Park
A Florida trip allows you to indulge in a one-of-a-kind adventure within Everglades National Park. Its sprawling River of Grass wetlands, the biggest subtropical wilderness in the lower 48 states, invites you to immerse yourself in its beauty. Wander sandy trails underneath shaded oak hammocks and see alligators floating like logs. Paddle a kayak through emerald marshes, where egrets and herons skim the mirrored waters.
Quintessential Southern Hospitality: Charming Historic Cities
Are you craving some fabled Southern hospitality? You’ll discover it flowing in antebellum river cities whose atmospheric streets exude history around every corner.
7. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston remains one of the most captivating places to visit in January in the USA, offering a true taste of Southern history and hospitality. Strolls reveal 18th-century mansions in pastel pink, blue, and green hues, still flanked by original walled gardens perfumed with roses and jasmine. Later, relax under market umbrellas and savor Lowcountry cuisine that fuses West African recipes with local seafood into some of the South’s most delicious flavors.
8. Savannah, Georgia
Spanish moss cascades from ancient oaks in America’s first planned city, where a wonderfully walkable downtown overflows with funky shops, ghost tales, and mouthwatering southern cooking around every turn. Savannah is consistently ranked one of the best places to go in America in January for its authentic southern charm and hospitality.
Spiritual Sanctuaries Amid Fiery Red Rocks & Lush Green Peaks
Two towns in the Southwest U.S. provide the perfect recipe of art, adventure, and healing framed by majestic desert mountains or verdant forests.
9. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Enjoy Santa Fe’s magical trifecta of art, adventure, and renewal against the towering Sangre de Cristo range. Downtown galleries and museums astound while the cuisine artfully fuses native and Mexican flavors. Recharge your body and soul in a canyon hike amid healing Piñon pine forests.
10. Sedona, Arizona
Has 2023’s chaos left you craving a reset? Escape to Sedona’s ENERGY vortexes nestled amid soaring red sandstone pillars and mesas. Hike through monumental Boynton or picturesque Oak Creek Canyon, then replenish at an award-winning restaurant. Consistently ranked one of the best places to visit in January in the United States, Sedona offers unique natural beauty and spiritual rejuvenation.
The turn of each new year brings fresh hopes, dreams, and adventures. Kick off your 2024 with OneAir by breaking free of winter’s gloom to revel amid sunny southern warmth. This roundup of the best places in the USA to visit in January proves that the start of the year presents the perfect opportunity to create travel memories that will glow beyond the short winter days.