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 your out a travel bucket list? After being cooped up at home, I’m excited to see some new places. Fingers crossed that the variant doesn’t take over 2022.
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.
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Last Updated: December 24, 2021
15 Best Places to Visit in January in USA
|| Winter Activities ||
1. Aspen, Colorado
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!
Local Tip: During the big events, like X-Games, it will be crowded and prices will be higher.
2. Vail, Colorado
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.
3. Big Sky, Montana
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.
Pro Tip: If you plan on visiting Yellowstone, be sure to check what closures there are or go on a guided visit.
4. Breckenridge, Colorado
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.
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.
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.
|| Warm Destinations ||
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.
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.
Local Tip : Weather can be unpredictable in January so it’s best to pack in layers and a rain jacket.
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.
9. Miami, Florida
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.
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.
Local Tip: Have back up plans in case the weather causes delays or cancellations of outdoor activities.
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.
Local Tip: It gets chillier at night and closer to the ocean, so pack layers.
|| Special Events ||
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.
13. St Paul, Minnesota
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.
14. McCall, Idaho
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.
Local Tip / Pro Tip / Note: dsfsdfsd
15. Park City, Utah
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.
Local Tip: Prices are significantly higher during the festival, so book early.
Map of the Best Places to Visit in January in the USA
Warmest Destinations in the US
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
What to Pack (Our Travel Favorites)
For Cold Weather Destinations:
For Warm Weather Destinations:
Is there anything we missed on our list of best places to visit in January in USA?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both 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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