Whether you want to head toward the snow to enjoy amazing skiing and snowboarding, or prefer to soak up some warm January sunshine, you can find wonderful vacation destinations across the United States. Visit the Hawaiian Islands to watch the migration of the humpback whales, or enjoy theme park fun during the off-season when lines and waiting times are short. No matter where you go for your January getaway, a vacation rental provides you and your family plenty of room to relax and unwind. Take a look at the top vacation destinations that are ideal for your January vacation.
1. Experience the Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska
Head north to Alaska to experience the jewel-like glow of the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. You can take the Aurora Winter Train from Anchorage to Fairbanks to see astonishing landscapes pass by (tell your kids to count the number of moose they see), and then get cozy in a vacation rental to use as your home base. Spend time cross-country skiing or book a ride on a dogsled. In Fairbanks, visit the Aurora Ice Museum, created more than a thousand tons of snow.
2. View Wildlife at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Old Faithful keeps spouting year-round, including in January, which is a wonderful time to visit Yellowstone. The park empties out at this time, so you have it to yourself – and the elk, bison, wolves, and coyotes wandering through the snowy valleys. Enjoy the spectacular scenery dazzled with snow, and then leave the park to head to your welcoming vacation rental.
3. Warm up in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
If you want to get away from the snow, New Mexico welcomes you to January warmth. Head to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs for relaxing soaks in natural hot springs and spa treatments that will turn you into a puddle, visit the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been inhabited for more than 1,000 years, or go underground at Carlsbad Caverns, where it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like outside.
4. Catch Some Flicks and Hit the Slopes in Park City, Utah
In Park City, Utah, January means it’s time for the Sundance Film Festival. Book your vacation rental way in advance, because Sundance is the country’s biggest film festival. If you’re not in the mood for indie films, you can have a great time hanging out in the town’s restaurants and bars, like the No Name Saloon and Grill, or go shopping in charming boutiques and art galleries. Just outside Park City is Deer Valley Ski Resort, with top-notch slopes awaiting the skiers in your group.
5. Go Whale-Watching in Hawaii
January is prime time not only for a tropical vacation, but it’s also when humpback whales migrate. They head to their breeding grounds off the coast of Hawaii, raising their young in the comparatively shallow waters between Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Book whale-watching expeditions at any harbor in the state. You can find all sorts of vacation rental options in Maui, where even in January, lounging at the beach is in style.
6. Enjoy the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The oldest continuous parade in the United States takes place every New Year’s Day in Philadelphia. Enjoy the wild celebration as people dance their way through the city in the Mummers Parade. As your January vacation continues, explore history as you visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, and make sure to take some video as you run up the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, just like Rocky.
7. Ski in Breckenridge, Colorado
A ski vacation is always a great choice in January, and Breckenridge, Colorado, is a wonderful choice that’s just slightly off the beaten track. This is a Colorado ski resort where friendliness takes precedence over social status, and the Victorian charm of this former silver mining town still shines through. Choose a chic ski condo as your vacation rental, and head down Main Street to check out local restaurants and breweries.
8. Take a Snowbird Vacation in Miami, Florida
The warm weather winter of Miami, Florida makes it an ideal choice for a January vacation. Lounge on the beach, or head to the Everglades nearby to explore Florida’s natural beauty. If you’re looking for nightlife, you’re in the right city, with parties awaiting you on Miami Beach at night and intriguing art galleries calling to you during the day.
9. Have Some Theme Park Fun in Orlando, Florida
January is an ideal time to visit Orlando, Florida. Lines at Disney World and the other Orlando parks become astonishingly short at this time of year, even while the weather stays perfect. Play some golf, head to Universal Orlando to drink butterbeer at Hogsmeade, or visit your favorite sea creatures at SeaWorld. Orlando is filled with comfortable vacation rentals in easy distance of the theme parks, and if you’re traveling with your kids, this vacation is sure to be one they’ll remember forever.
10. Stroll in San Antonio, Texas
You’re likely to remember far more than the Alamo when you take your January vacation in San Antonio, Texas. This casually paced city opens the door to history with San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. Enjoy modern-day San Antone when you stroll down the River Walk to enjoy shopping and dining, and take the kids for some roller coasters and theme park fun at Six Flags Fiesta.
11. Hit the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada
The desert weather of Las Vegas is at its best in January, so head to Sin City to enjoy plenty of fun without the crowds. Vacation rentals are plentiful, and they give you a lovely respite from all the noise and excitement of the Strip. Enjoy sumptuous buffets, book tickets for a dazzling Cirque du Soleil show, and save some quarters for the slot machines. Your vacation rental is likely to have a pool here, which you can enjoy even in January, and the golfers in your family will be ecstatic at the empty fairways.
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