While most people try to cram in travel over the busy holiday season, January and February often offer fewer crowds and better prices. Regardless of if you are looking to escape the cold weather somewhere tropical or if you want to lean into the season with a winter wonderland destination, there are plenty of amazing places to vacation during these months.
Here are a few ideas to get you started if you are looking to plan a getaway in the coming months.
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If you are itching to hit the slopes, you would be wise to put a trip to Aspen at the top of your itinerary list. Buried deep in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is the epitome of luxurious ski accommodations. This world-class ski resort offers a cornucopia of dining options, theater and cultural opportunities, and premium shopping. If you time your trip for the end of January, you may even catch some of the popular X Games. While it may take a little bit of work to reach Aspen and its off-the-beaten-path location, your effort will be worth it when you are taking in the sweeping views and enjoying the best that life has to offer.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Learn what many snowbirds already know. Fort Lauderdale delivers an ideal winter escape. In addition to the warm weather and endless sunny skies, the city also features a laid-back beach environment known for its 165 miles of waterways and canals. Artsy types will appreciate the chance to attend the Art Fort Lauderdale festival at the end of January. Shop the high-end retailers located on Las Olas Boulevard, take a gondola ride on a canal, or stroll the iconic beachfront promenade.
Miami Beach, Florida
Looking for something similar to Fort Lauderdale but a bit more energetic? Head south an hour and discover the hotspot known as Miami Beach. While South Beach has a reputation of having a hardcore party vibe, Miami Beach is more chill. Here you will find upscale hotels, a slew of ethnic restaurants, and tons of outdoor recreational opportunities on the water. You are also just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami.
Taos, New Mexico
If you are looking for something for everyone in your travel party this winter, consider a trip to Taos, New Mexico. Ski enthusiasts will appreciate the chance to take to the slopes in this stunning natural setting. Meanwhile, the town itself is a cultural hotspot offering loads of Native American and Spanish history, art, and more. The scenic Rio Grande Bridge is particularly beautiful during this time of the year when it is covered in snow.
Atlanta might not be the obvious choice for a winter escape but January and February are great times of the year to visit this city. Not only will you avoid the heat and oppressive humidity of the summer, but you will also see fewer crowds. This is a great destination if you are traveling with the younger set, thanks to a number of fun kid-friendly attractions. Visit the amazing Georgia Aquarium, explore the World of Coca Cola, get up close and personal with the animals at the Zoo Atlanta, and much more. Be sure to leave time to indulge in the traditional southern cuisine of this region.
If you are all about embracing the cold of the season, there is no more beautiful place this time of the year than Banff, Alberta. Wrap up the end of January with the famous Banff SnowDays Festival, featuring gorgeous snow sculptures and a variety of activities. The city comes alive in the winter with horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, and nearby cross-country skiing and dog sledding. For the ultimate indulgence, book a room at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
The Caribbean is a hotspot during the winter months, both literally and figuratively. Budget travelers have discovered the Dominican Republic as a great place to soak up the sun without breaking the bank. With daily highs in the low 80s and dry conditions during this time of the year, you are nearly guaranteed perfect beach weather. The country offers a wide array of accommodations, ranging from high-end all-inclusive resorts to full-size value-driven condos.
Los Angeles, California
While it may seem cliche, a trip to Southern California during the winter months simply makes sense. You will enjoy moderate temperatures and low crowds but still enjoy plenty to see and do. After shutting down for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Angels is rolling out the welcome mat to greet its visitors. Not only does the city offer close proximity to some of the nation’s best beaches, but it also features a cornucopia of diverse neighborhoods, delicious food and drink, and numerous cultural activities and sporting events to take in.
Las Vegas, Nevada
There is never a bad time to visit Sin City. But if you are looking for temperatures that do not resemble the surface of the sun, the months of January and February are your best bets. While you may not be able to lounge at the pool, walking the Strip will be much more enjoyable this time of the year. It is also lovely to head out of the city and hike the beautiful Red Rock Canyon because of the cooler temperatures. The lower crowd levels will also make it easier to score that coveted dining reservation or show ticket.
These 10 ideas should give you a great headstart as you dive into planning your winter escape. What are you waiting for?
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