Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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