The Best Places to Visit in January for a Romantic Getaway

Sharpen your skis or pack your swimsuit, you’re in for an adventure.
Lake Hallstaetter in Austria
Photo: Westend61 | Getty Images
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
The Knot Contributor
  • Suzie is a freelance writer for The Knot, with a focus on honeymoon content and couples’ travel.
  • She’s written for publications like Outside Magazine, TripSavvy, Insider, Playboy, Forbes, SkyLife Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the SF Chron and more.
  • Suzie is an avid traveller, and she’s both stayed in luxury over-the-water villas in the Maldives, and slept in the plastic tube of an indoor playground at an airport when he...
Updated Nov 22, 2023
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January is a great month for treating yourself to a vacation, both to celebrate the start of a new year and to escape the often chilly temperatures in much of North America. And if you're looking for the best places to travel in January, it won't take long to realize that hundreds of cities and regions around the world are at their best in winter.

Friend groups may want to plan a January vacation to one of the best ski resorts in Canada, while couples may think the best countries to visit in January are those that offer tropical weather and hours of warm sunshine. While it's always important to travel in a way that matches your style, one travel trend you actually should follow is to visit destinations in an off-season, like January. You'll often have popular sights almost to yourself, and certainly will find lower rates on hotels and flights.

Deckchairs by a pool
Photo: Parker Palm Springs

The best countries to visit in January for couples, anniversary trips, special occasions or wintertime bachelorette/bachelor parties range from easy-to-reach Palm Springs, California, to the far-flung islands of the northern Maldives in the Indian Ocean. These are 17 of the best places to visit in January, plus what to do, where to stay, and sights and attractions you won't want to miss.

St. Maarten/St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin
Photo: majaiva | Getty Images

St. Maarten is one the best places to visit in January in the Caribbean for a host of reasons—and the perfect honeymoon weather is one of the biggest. You can count on temperatures in the low 80s, making it cool enough for hiking and sightseeing but not too cold for snorkeling or relaxing on a tropical beach. January is also the dry season, which makes it the busy season. But flights and hotels in January are still more affordable than they are around Christmas, especially toward the end of the month.

Fortunately, the generally pleasant weather also means smaller waves and swells in the ocean, making January the month with the clearest water. So if you want to snorkel or scuba dive, St. Maarten will definitely be one of the best places to travel in January—especially considering the many direct flights to the island from East Coast airports.

Things to Do: One of the best things about St. Maarten is its diversity of experiences, from zip lining off a mountain summit to soaking in a lush jungle pool. It's also very close to other islands, making it easy to day trip to St. Barths or hit the beaches in Anguilla. You can also stick to St. Maarten's shores with activities like snorkel trips or morning scuba dives.

Places to Stay: St. Maarten is split between two countries—France and the Netherlands. On the Dutch side, you'll want to consider options like the sprawling Divi Little Bay Resort (with snorkeling and shipwrecks right off the beach), or one of the island's all-inclusive resorts like the Sonesta Maho Beach. On the French side, La Samanna is an elegant beachfront resort with romantic Caribbean vibes.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia
Photo: Didier Marti | Getty Images

If you've always wanted to go to Bali but were put off by rumors of crowded beaches and overtourism, never fear: Bali is one of the best places to visit in January, as the month is in the middle of the island's low season. It's also known as the rainy season, sure, but there's a good chance of rain year-round on the tropical island anyway. It's also the season when beaches are least crowded and hotels are most affordable.

Another reason to visit in the slow season? Traffic and accessibility. In the dry (i.e. busy) season, it can take three or four times as long as normal to drive the island's roads. But when traffic is low, you can move across the island much quicker, making it easy to stay somewhere like Seminyak (a pretty beach town) but take day trips to Ubud, the famous water temple, or the surf town of Canggu.

Things to Do: Bali has a great balance between outdoor recreation and natural features, and a fascinating and welcoming culture. You can opt for activities like snorkeling with giant manta rays on Nusa Penida, learning to surf near Kuta, touring temples and rice terraces, or learning to cook traditional Balinese dishes. Bali is also one of the best honeymoon destinations to choose in January, since many resorts offer discounts on day passes—like this one at Adiwana Bisma in Ubud, which includes a 30-minute massage and cocktail.

Places to Stay: Bali has become quite popular, so your options for hotels run the gamut. Choose from luxury eco-lodges in the mountains of Ubud, hip beachfront hotels near trendy towns like Canggu, and boutique retreats on smaller islands like Nusa Lembongan. Consider this list of the best honeymoon hotels in Bali, or check out options like Viceroy Bali for a splurge, Como Uma Canggu if you're into surfing, or the Seminyak Beach Hotel for a more budget-friendly tropical stay.

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler, Canada
Photo: Judy Bishop - The Travelling Eye | Getty Images

It's not a secret that Whistler gets crowded in the middle of ski season, but it's also one of the best places to visit in January if you're a skier (or want to be a skier). Whistler-Blackcomb offers one ticket for two mountains, giving it more than 8,000 skiable acres and 32 lifts so you can get in as many runs as possible in one day. The mountain's walkable base is one of the biggest and best ski villages in North America, with endless options for food, nightlife, shopping and spas. If you're going in January, avoid the weekends when everyone drives up from nearby Vancouver (approximately two hours away), and you'll miss most of the huge crowds.

Things to Do: The obvious thing to do in Whistler is ski (and backcountry ski, if you're skilled enough). But since the lifts stop running around 4 p.m., you'll have free time in the evenings. The town's Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre is a gorgeous building filled with First Nations art and history from the region's indigenous Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Lil̓wat7úl peoples, and the Audain Art Museum is a great place to spend the late afternoon. You can also take snowmobile tours, give bobsledding a try or take a relaxing snowshoeing tour.

Places to Stay: As long as you don't mind shelling out a bit of dough, you can stay ski-in, ski-out in the Whistler Village. A romantic pick is the Fairmont Chateau Whistler; book the gold level for access to a private lounge, bubble dining pods in the snow, and cushy rooms with private fireplaces. The Westin is equally convenient and arguably as pretty, and the Glacier Lodge is a more budget-friendly pick on the free ski shuttle route.

La Paz, Mexico

La Paz, Mexico
Photo: ferrantraite | Getty Images

La Paz is just north of Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, meaning it's super hot in the summer. But in the winter, after hurricane season, is when it really shines. That's not just because the weather is in the delightful low-80s, but because it's when outdoor adventures are at their best—and if La Paz is known for anything, it's outdoor adventures.

Many of those outdoor adventures revolve around the town's healthy wildlife—no animals in captivity here. The warm Sea of Cortez is where animals like whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, gray whales, giant manta rays and humpback whales spend their winters, making January one of the best times to swim, dive or paddle near the beautiful marine creatures. Go toward the end of the month to maximize your chances of wildlife sightings.

Things to Do: While in La Paz, you need to get in the water. Consider scuba diving or snorkeling at Los Islotes with friendly sea lions who are as playful as puppies. You can also take whale-watching tours if you'd rather not get in the water, or opt for a whale-shark tour to snorkel with the gentle giants (they only eat plankton and small fish). The Cortez Club offers all these activities and is easy to book online.

Good on-land activities include guided horseback rides along the beach, ATV tours through the mountainous desert and guided mezcal and tequila tastings.

Places to Stay: Options in La Paz range from budget hostels to $1,000-a-night-plus lodges. Consider the boutique Marea Hotel by the beach (with killer breakfast chilaquiles), the high-end Costa Baja Resort and Spa, or do something a little unusual and go glamping on nearby Espiritu Santo Island.

Northern Maldives

Northern Maldives
Photo: Westend61 | Getty Images

There's no beating around the bush: the Maldives is an extremely expensive country to visit, partially because of the "one island, one resort" mentality. The country has roughly 1,100 islands and most resorts have their own private one. Factor in transportation via seaplane or boat to said island from the international airport on Malé, and it can add up.

But the northern Maldives is one of the best places to travel in January for in-the-know travelers. That's because it hits the sweet spot between affordable and great weather. Visit in early January, and you'll be at the very start of the southwest monsoon season. The threat of rain makes stays cheaper, but there's an easy answer: just book a hotel on one of the northernmost islands. That way, you get rainy season prices, but likely peak season conditions (otherwise known as perfect honeymoon weather).

Things to Do: Many resorts in the Maldives are all-inclusive when it comes to activities like kayaking, snorkeling and sunset sailing tours. So you don't need to spend a lot of money on additional activities if you don't want to. However, scuba diving may cost extra (and will need to be arranged via your hotel, if it's on a private island).

Because the country is so spread out, you'll want to make sure the activity you're interested in serves the resort/island you'll be on. On the northern islands, fun activities include underwater photoshoots in the North Male Atoll or a multi-day island hopping tour.

Places to Stay: For the dining experience of a lifetime, stay at the romantic You and Me Maldives and make a reservation at their undersea restaurant (go for lunch, so it's easy to see outside). There's also Le Meridien Maldives, where you can choose if you want your villa to face sunrise or sunset, and the slightly more affordable JW Marriott Maldives Resort and Spa, near the country's northern Funadhoo Island.

Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida
Photo: Cavan Images | Getty Images

You don't need to travel internationally to have a great January trip, and one of the best January vacation spots in the US is Key West in the Florida Keys. It's warmer than nearly everywhere else in the US (usually in the low 70s), making it a perfect time for strolls along the beach, outdoor cocktails on one of the island's super laid-back beach bars, or visiting sites that may be too hot on summer days, like the Key West Butterfly Garden or Audubon House and Secret Garden.

Things to Do: Many people don't know that Florida is home to one of the least visited national parks in the US—Dry Tortugas National Park. You can get there from the Key West Ferry Terminal in about two hours and once you're there, you can choose from a dozen snorkel sites.

One of the reasons why Key West is a great place to go in January is the reasonable daytime weather. In the summer, the mangrove forests can be unbearably hot, but they're great in January. Explore them on a kayak mangrove tour, or if you'd rather stay on land, take advantage of walkable temperatures with a walking food tour of downtown Key West. The Ernest Hemmingway Home and Museum is worth a visit for literary lovers, and couples traveling together may want to turn up the romance with a private sunset sail, priced at around $600 for two hours.

Places to Stay: You won't hurt for hotel options in Key West. The Key West Marriott Hotel has a private beach and a water taxi around town. The Lighthouse Hotel is styled in vintage Key West style, and is just a quick walk from the Hemingway House. The LaTeDa Hotel is a colorful and fun place to spend a weekend (with a piano bar, no less), and The Capitana is bright and airy, mixing Art Deco Miami vibes with classic Key West details like white shiplap walls and hanging rattan chairs.

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria
Photo: Lingxiao Xie | Getty Images

Hallstatt has suffered from the same over-tourism fate as many of Europe's other too-cute-to-be-real towns. But it's pretty sleepy in January, meaning you can walk into just about every attraction and restaurant in the tiny town. You'll have stunning views of snow-covered mountains from the mountaintop SkyWalk, have only a few other people on your surprisingly cool tour of the ancient salt mines, and get perfect photos of the town's historic buildings reflecting on Lake Hallstatt. It's also easy to reach from Munich on the train. That makes it the perfect place for a weekend romantic getaway as part of a longer sightseeing trip or ski trip to nearby SkiWelt in the Austrian Alps.

Things to Do: You can't miss the weirdly fascinating salt mine tour, complete with underground slides to go soaring through the centuries-old tunnels and silos. The nearby Skywalk is the prettiest place you'll ever have a cup of coffee or pastry, and walking around the Old Town can easily fill an afternoon. Even though it's small, there are plenty of interesting places to see, including the Ossuary, the archaeological site in the basement of the Janu sports shop, and plenty of artisan shops and cafes.

Places to Stay: You'll want to stay somewhere within walking distance of the ferry terminal from the train station—fortunately, most hotels are. Braugasthof is housed in a historic building with a popular lakeside beer garden, Hallstatt Hideaway offers modern and romantic suites with hot tubs and fireplaces, and Seehotel Grüner Baum is probably the most popular hotel in Hallstatt—it's a large hotel with stunning lake views and private balconies on some rooms.

Southern Argentina

Southern Argentina
Photo: Carlos Maranhao | Getty Images

If you've always dreamed of exploring Tierra del Fuego and the furthest reaches of South America, there's no better place to go in January than Argentina. Because it's at the far tip of the Southern Hemisphere, winter in the US is summer in Argentina, making it the best time for hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park, glacial trekking at the Ojo del Albino glacier, and going penguin or whale watching.

Things to Do: January is part of a very short window to visit southern Argentina without wild winter weather, so you absolutely can't miss a few activities. You'll want to take the famous "Train to the End of the World," visit a penguin colony near Ushuaia, and visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, either via a kayak tour, hiking or just a sightseeing tour to see the most stunning natural highlights.

Places to Stay: Argentina is a hugely popular tourist country and has every type of hotel you could possibly imagine. If you want something unique in Tierra del Fuego with a local feel, you have plenty of good options. Posada fin del Mundo starts around $100 per night and is walkable to much of downtown Ushuaia (the main city in Tierra del Fuego). For something higher-end, Los Cauquenes offers adventure packages and a la carte activities with a phenomenal culinary program, and Arakur Resort and Spa has fantastic views of the Beagle Channel and sits inside a nature reserve, with stunning views of Mount Alarken.

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos
Photo: Matt Anderson Photography

January falls within the dry season in Turks and Caicos, meaning that a vacation to the Atlantic Ocean islands brings lower humidity and minimal rainfall. The dry weather is particularly advantageous for those interested in exploring the stunning beaches, as every day is good for a beach day here. Winds can be a smidge higher in winter (but still not high), making it a great time to try sports that require a bit of a breeze, like beginner surfing or kitesurfing. Activities like diving and fishing are generally unaffected, so don't worry about the wind if those are your sports of choice.

The tourist season is in full swing in Turks and Caicos during January (as it is on most Caribbean islands), but the slightly higher price tag on lodging and activities means it never gets as packed as islands like Jamaica or Puerto Rico. And January is also the start of humpback whale migration season—go at the end of the month for lower rates and a great chance of seeing whales.

Things to Do: Pick your poison—nearly all island activities are offered on a January vacation. Just be sure to book activities on the right island. Most people stay near Grand Turk, where you can swim with stingrays, drive desert ATVs along ocean view trails, or go diving or snorkeling. Be sure to visit Grace Bay (probably the islands' prettiest beach), and consider booking a sunset sail with an open bar on at least one night. You can also find more unique activities, like clear kayak drone photo shoots—though the island is covered in gorgeous photo spots, even if you don't book a private photographer.

Places to Stay: The hotels on Turks and Caicos are elegant and classy, but not so stuffy that you can't wear flip-flops everywhere. Consider Rock House (home to the largest infinity pool in Turks and Caicos) or Amanyara, which is every bit as posh as you'd expect from the Aman resort brand. While it's not in the same class as the other two, Ports of Call Resort is still very nice, with rooms starting at around $300 per night.

Southern Iceland

Southern Iceland
Photo: Natthawat | Getty Images

Some of Iceland's attractions near Reykjavik have a reputation for being crowded (looking at you, Blue Lagoon), but head just a bit away from town, and you'll find the vast spaces Iceland is famous for. January may not have much daylight, but what a January vacation does have is extensive opportunities to view the country's famous Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. The early sunset in January means aurora viewing can start as early as 8 p.m., so you don't have to stay up all night to spot the colorful phenomenon. Pack warm clothes, of course.

Things to Do: Since daylight hours are short, you better make them count. South Coast Adventures offers tours through natural ice caves, tours to natural hot springs in a mountain-ready exploring vehicle (called a super Jeep), or ATV tours through the region's volcanic terrain. If you've never been to Iceland before, set aside at least one day for a tour of the southern part of the island's many waterfalls. Most tours include pickup from Reykjavik, but if you're staying in Hella or Vik, they'll probably be able to pick you up from there, saving you quite a bit of driving time.

Places to Stay: You can explore southern Iceland while staying in Reykjavik, though it does add a bit of driving time to your trip. If you do that, the Reykjavik Edition is hip and comfortable with easy access to most of the city's restaurants and glacier views.

But the easiest way to see southern Iceland is to stay in southern Iceland, and if you're there for the Northern Lights, stay at Hotel Ranga. Rooms have murals from local artists, there are multiple outdoor hot tubs, and most importantly, it offers a "Northern Lights wake-up call," in which staff will call your room if the aurora appears (and offer you a hot chocolate, too).

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Photo: Rafael Barmak

January is summer in Rio de Janeiro, setting the stage for the lively and world-famous Carnival preparations. While the official festivities take place in February, they make February very expensive. But the city is still buzzing with excitement in January as samba schools rehearse, musicians start performing more at bars and restaurants, and vibrant parades are in preparation. The warm weather also makes it the perfect time to relax on stunning beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, ensuring you're as sun-kissed as the locals by the time Carnival rolls around.

Things to Do: January is the best time to hit the beach, and you'll find plenty of beach clubs at both Copacabana and Ipanema. You'll also want to visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and the Selarón Steps, and check out the hiking trails on Corcovado Mountain (go early to beat the heat). Also consider doing a trip to the waterfalls of nearby Tijuca National Park and booking tickets to at least one samba show (and lesson!).

Places to Stay: Belmond Copacabana Palace is an iconic hotel on the famous Copacabana Beach with a gorgeous swimming pool, Fasano Hotel Rio de Janeiro has a rooftop pool and ocean views, and Villa Paranaguá is an upscale boutique hotel surrounded by greenery and Brazilian art.

Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho

Schweitzer Mountain, Iceland
Photo: SEASTOCK | Getty Images

The town of Sandpoint, Idaho, might not mean much to you, but once you take a few runs at Schweitzer Mountain, you'll see why Sandpoint is one of the best places to visit in January for skiers. The mountain is quite large, with 2,900 skiable acres, but still seems relatively uncrowded compared to more well-known resorts in the US. Lift tickets are also some of the cheapest in the US for a major resort. You can buy half-day tickets starting at just $45—way, way less than major resorts like Vail or Heavenly Mountain.

Things to Do: Most people visiting Schweitzer are there to ski, but you don't have to do full days lapping the lifts. You can buy a twilight lift ticket for an unbelievably cheap $20, or explore roughly 20 miles of cross-country ski trails. The resort is also famous for cat skiing, where you'll get towed to the top of the mountain in a snow-grooming machine. Non-skiers can go tubing or fat biking, and everyone will love grabbing dinner and a few drinks at Baxters on Cedar.

Places to Stay: You can stay on-mountain at one of a few slopeside properties managed by the resort, but the equally convenient Humbird Hotel is something unique, with amenities like happy hour with ski patrol dogs and big rooms with mountain views. In Sandpoint, most hotels are budget-friendly, clean and roomy chain options, like Best Westerns and Best Value Inns—though the Talus Rock Retreat is rather high-end.

Sonoma, California

Sonoma, California
Photo: Gary Saxe

Sonoma is one of the best places to travel in January for anyone who likes breezy temperatures, the possibility of seeing whales in the county's small but gorgeous coastal stretch, and, naturally, fantastic wine. It's generally less expensive than Napa County, and has fewer crowds in the winter, meaning you can walk into just about any tasting room or winery and get one-on-one attention. A January vacation to Sonoma also means cooler hiking weather at gorgeous parks like Sonoma Valley Regional Park and Armstrong Redwoods, home to centuries-old redwood trees. And if you're looking for dog-friendly vacations, good news: many of Sonoma's hotels are dog-friendly, as are dozens of wineries.

Things to Do: Wine tasting is the main draw in Sonoma, and ways to do it range from a wine trolley to e-bike tours to food and wine walking tours. Wine aside, outdoor enthusiasts can see trees bigger than houses at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve or go birdwatching in the county's tiny coastal towns. Add in the fact that many of the county's 400-plus wineries host dinner series events through the winter, and no wonder it's one of the best places to travel in January in the US.

Places to Stay: If you want to stay by the beach, the gorgeous Timber Cove Resort is one of the prettiest in northern California. In Guerneville, choose from trendy hotels like Boon Hotel + Spa, Autocamp Russian River and Dawn Ranch. You can also find plenty of Airbnbs on winery grounds, like this Scandinavian-inspired stay or this loft at Gracianna Winery.

Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City, Canada
Photo: Buena Vista Images

Embrace the winter wonderland in Quebec City, one of the best places to visit in January in Canada. The city's historic charm is accentuated by snow-covered streets and the iconic Château Frontenac (which is also one of the prettiest hotels in North America). You can also experience the renowned Winter Carnival, which happens each year from late January to early February, with ice sculptures, parades and outdoor concerts.

Things to Do: Quebec City is one of the best January vacation destinations for people who love winter, but aren't skiers. Visitors can go dogsledding through snow-covered woods and try ice canoeing on the frozen St. Lawrence River. Walking tours of the Old Town's food scene are offered year-round, and the waterfall at Montmorency Falls Park is especially gorgeous when covered in frost—especially since it's even taller than Niagara Falls.

Even if you're planning a ski trip, set aside at least one day for a stroll through Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and warm up in fairy-light-covered cozy cafes with traditional French-Canadian cuisine.

Places to Stay: Stay in one of the most luxurious hotels you'll ever see at Fairmont le Château Frontenac, housed in the castle that dominates the city's skyline. Overall, the city isn't as expensive as you might expect, and you can find great hotels starting under $150 per night, including Le Manoir d'Auteuil, Hotel le Priori and the chic Quebec City Marriott Downtown.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo: Atlantide Phototravel | Getty Images

The question of where to travel in January without breaking the bank can be answered in four letters: NOLA. In January, New Orleans, Louisiana, is captivating, vibrant and, like Rio de Janeiro, has the excitement of the upcoming February celebrations at half the price. Though Mardi Gras is in mid-February, January is still hopping, as parties and parades start mid-month. Plus, the famous French Quarter is never quiet.

Things to Do: During a January vacation to New Orleans, you'll want to immerse yourself in the pre-Mardi Gras festivities. Fortunately, there are lots of events, parades and festivals to choose from. Plus, most bars and restaurants start offering their own Fat Tuesday-themed events. You'll also want to walk through the French Quarter either on your own or on a historical tour, food tour or ghost tour. If you want to get out of town, opt for a unique adventure like a bayou tour via swamp boat.

Places to Stay: Hotel Monteleone is home to the city's famous Carousel Bar, the Eliza Jane is a hip and modern hotel in the city's happening Warehouse Arts District, and the upscale Pontchartrain Hotel is said to be haunted by dozens of ghosts, including a musician who still plays in the basement piano bar.

Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria, Germany
Photo: bluejayphoto | Getty Images

The region around Munich, Germany, may be known for its December Christmas markets, but here's a secret: the snow-covered cities and towns in Germany still have that cozy winter feeling long after the markets are closed. Germany is one of the best countries to visit in January for anyone who likes museums and culture, especially in Bavaria, the country's biggest state. Since it's the slow season, you can have rooms in massive museums like the Residence Museum (Munich's former royal palace) entirely to yourself—and it's hard to beat decadent German pretzels, chocolate and sausage on a chilly winter afternoon.

Things to Do: Around Munich, budget several hours for the Residence Museum, and a few more hours for the interactive BMW Museum if you're at all interested in cars. History buffs can take day tours to nearby sites like the medieval town of Rothenburg, Neuschwanstein Castle (said to be the inspiration for the castle at Disney World), or one of several World War II historical sites around the city. Other good places to visit in the greater Bavaria state include the colorful town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the geological wonder of Partnach Gorge, or any of the region's many, many beer halls—

Bavaria is the home of lager-style brewing, after all.

Places to Stay: In Munich, The Louis is walkable from Munich's central station and Marienplatz (the city's historic center), with a huge rooftop patio overlooking the city. Le Méridien Munich is chic and high-end, located in a trendy part of town near lots of popular restaurants (plus it has an on-site spa). Outside of Munich, Schloss Elmau is a sprawling five-star hotel in the Bavarian Alps with a classical music festival in January, and Romantik Hotel Markusturm is a charming historical hotel in the center of fairytale-esque Rothenburg.

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs
Photo: Parker Palm Springs

Palm Springs is considered by many the best place to travel in January in California, thanks to winter events and perfect conditions for hiking and visiting nearby Joshua Tree National Park. The weather makes it conducive to outdoor activities, like exploring desert canyons, cycling or leisurely strolling around the town's gorgeous botanical garden. And it doesn't hurt that the cooler weather is more pleasant for lounging in a hot tub at one of the town's many wellness resorts and retreats.

Things to Do: If you're planning an anniversary trip, you'll have plenty of romantic activities available in Palm Springs, from private hot-air balloon rides to couple's desert photo shoots. The Palm Springs Celebrity Bike Tour is fun for January bachelorette parties, as is booking a private cabana at a trendy hotel like the colorful Saguaro Hotel. And whether you're traveling as a couple or with a group of friends, you'll want to visit nearby Joshua Tree National Park for an epic stargazing experience (or maybe even give rock climbing a try).

Places to Stay: Palm Springs is known for having some of the most luxurious and fun hotels in the US, thanks to its colorful personality and iconic mid-century modern style. Consider the artsy Parker Palm Springs, the Mediterranean-influenced Korakia Resort (beloved by celebrities as early as the 1920s), or a wellness resort like Porcupine Creek or Azure Palm Hot Springs, with its own natural underground spring for guests.

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