With a diverse climate and plenty of fun winter activities, the US is the place to be in January! These are the best places to visit in January in the USA!
From ski resorts to festivals, museums, concerts, attractions, and more, there’s so much to do in all of the world’s most famous cities and towns in the United States.
Be sure to pack your warmest clothes, then join us to see what the best places to visit in the USA in January are!
Best Places to Visit in January in the USA
Average temperatures in San Francisco in January: highs of 58F and lows of 47F, 8 days of precipitation
San Francisco isn’t too cold during January; its daytime high temperatures range in the mid-50s and tend to be in the upper 50s by the end of the month. It’s also sunny, or at least partially sunny throughout the month.
Enjoy both the weather and daily live entertainment by famous street performers at Pier 39, next to the carousel.
The city also has special days during the month in which visitors can enter museums for free– the Botanical Gardens, Conservatory of Flowers, and the de Young Museum of Fine Arts are all included on this list!
In addition, around the Bay Area, you’ll find bigger events, such as Broadway musicals and stand-up comedy.
As for the sports scene, perhaps you can catch the final game of the 49ers before the close of the football season, or find tickets to a Golden State Warriors basketball game.
Otherwise, the city boasts an abundance of highly-rated sports bars!
Average temperatures in St. Petersburg in January: highs of 70F and lows of 54F, 5 days of precipitation
This city on Florida’s gulf coast isn’t called Sunshine city for nothing! With a daily average temperature ranging from the high 60s to the mid-70s, St. Petersburg attracts not only locals but also people from the colder North for the remainder of the season.
As a part of the Tampa Bay Area, there are a handful of popular beaches to enjoy. You will also find many cute small towns in the area to visit.
Further enjoy nature at Weedon Island Preserve with its many amenities, such as fishing or bird watching. Additionally, at Fort De Soto Park, there are also opportunities to camp and hike.
The Sunken Gardens is another popular local attraction, with a beautiful collection of various rare tropical plants from all over the world.
Other mixed outdoor-indoor activities would include the important winter festivals of the city, such as the John’s Pass Seafood Festival, and the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. The Museum of Fine Arts is another excellent option to keep busy in the city.
Average temperatures in Austin in January: highs of 61F and lows of 41F, 5 days of precipitation
January may be the coldest month for Austin throughout the year, but its daily highs averaging 62°F and lows of 41°F are by no means going to ruin your plans of seeing the city.
If you’re a fan of music, then head to Austin in the first week of January to catch its annual music festival, Free Week, where almost two hundred local bands play free shows all around the city in multiple venues.
One of the highest-rated hiking spots in Texas is in Austin at the Barton Creek Greenbelt, with about 13 miles of trails, skirting around the lush landscape, steep cliffs, and waterfalls of the forest; at Lady Bird Lake, is the popular Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, running about 10 miles with a view of the city’s skyline.
Additionally, you can check out the 28-acre sanctum at Zilker Botanical Garden in the heart of Austin.
Average temperatures in Philadelphia in January: highs of 41F and lows of 28F, 8 days of precipitation
January is the coldest month in Philadelphia with average highs of 37°F and average lows of 25°F. However, that doesn’t slow down the fun in the city– instead, expect an elongation of Christmas events.
At Dilworth Park, Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink has ice skating sessions, and the adjacent cabin serves snacks and seasonal cocktails with a view of the nearby lights of the Wintergarden.
The Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show in Franklin Square also presents thousands of lights dancing to famous tunes performed by the Philly Pops Orchestra.
Until January 9th, you can catch the winter wonderlands created in the Longwood Gardens, which has over 500,000 lights, fire pits, live music, and fountain shows.
One of the best skating rinks in Philly, which has an amazing view of the Benjamin Franklin bridge, hosts the Blue Cross RiverRink’s Winterfest, where carnival games, fire pits, food, beverages, and even a Ferris wheel can keep you entertained.
St. Simons Island
Average temperatures on St. Simons Island in January: highs of 61F and lows of 43F, 6 days of precipitation
Georgia’s coast has ideal winter temperatures for those wanting something slightly colder than paradise, with average temperatures in the mid-60s.
The Cannon’s Point Preserve has a 5-mile trail on St. Simons Island includes many checkpoints, passing the maritime forest and the Marshes of Glynn, and is popular for off-road biking.
Take the opportunity to horseback ride through the Stables at Frederica, with both beach and marsh rides available.
On the coast is Fort Frederica, which is now a National Historic Site and museum with majestic views of the famous marshes.
The island is also a great place to bird watch, with over 11,000 acres and more than 300 species of birds to catch sight of.
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort is another popular destination for visitors, with an 18-hole golf course and its stunning facility, a great place to spend the night, and the clubhouse a great place to dine and socialize.
St. Simons Island is a great getaway from Savannah during winter and other places in the region.
Average temperatures in McCall in January: highs of 30F and lows of 12F, 10 days of precipitation
If you’re looking for the chance to jump off a trail with a snowmobile, then there are over 500 miles and unlimited chances to do so in McCall.
The ski resorts in the area have a combined terrain of 2,600 skiable acres, with a network of trails that include vertical drops and dips for enthusiasts of all levels.
For an adventure further into the wilderness, there is a backcountry of more than 20,000 acres accessible with guides and tour groups, such as Brundage SnowCat Adventures.
Other activities include sleigh rides, snow biking, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. The average high temperatures range between 27°F to 30°F, which is ideal for snow activities like these throughout the day.
Other trails include the McCall Ale Trail, which directs you through a variety of craft breweries and restaurants. The trip can end in a hot spring overlooking the snowy wilderness.
Average temperatures in Boulder in January: highs of 47F and lows of 22F, 3 days of precipitation
The average daily high of 45 degrees in Boulder is the perfect temperature to cozy up at local craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and cideries, such as Asher Brewing Co. or BOCO Cider. It is an incredible day trip from Denver!
Besides lounging and enjoying the social life of the city, head over to the natural beauties of the city, where there are city-wide events taking place.
The Polar Plunge is an event that takes place annually at the Boulder Reservoir, where locals dive into the freezing water.
On the first of January, there is the First Day Hikes event where locals together in groups, hike one of the many, popular trails, such as the Red Rocks Trail at the Peoples’ Crossing, which is a fairly easy trail of about one mile, looping around the stunning sandstone formations nestled between the landscape; it is right around the corner from downtown and has a rewarding view of the city from below.
Average temperatures in Palm Springs in January: highs of 71F and lows of 45F, 5 days of precipitation
Hiking in any of Palm Springs’ one hundred trails will give unforgettable views of the canyons and waterfalls around the city.
Some of the most popular trails are the Andreas Canyon Trail at Indian Canyons and Araby Trail, which either lead through tribal grounds or iconic developments– a peek into the region’s history.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway elevates passengers over 8,000 feet and provides phenomenal views of Mount San Jacinto State Park.
Palm Springs is also renowned for its impressive bike loops and paths around the city; it’s so popular that multiple businesses offer bike rentals.
The AmericanFootGold League is based around the city, and thus some of the best places to play the sport are locally at The Lights at Indio Golf Course, a popular attraction.
January is known for its International Film Festival, which attracts celebrities, and other events, and closes with a gala and awards show. Be sure to also check out Joshua Tree!
Location: North Carolina
Average temperatures in Boone in January: highs of 41F and lows of 23F, 10 days of precipitation
The city of Boone has a broad range of winter activities for beginners to experts, from snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating at various resorts and parks, to snow tubing and winter ziplining at the largest snow tubing park on the East Coast.
Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding are additional activities to consider for a more gradual experience as opposed to the aforementioned thrill-seeking adventures.
Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, and Hawksnest SnowTubing are excellent options to consider for all of these activities.
The hikes through the Elk Knob State Park, Otter Falls, and Roan Mountain, add another level of magic to the trails in the winter.
The Winterfest at the end of January in Blowing Rock is one of the winter highlights; held in the High Country, it includes four days of events, including Ice Sculpture Carving and a Polar Plunge at the Chetola Resort, and hosts local businesses and vendors.
This is one of the best small towns in NC to enjoy winter at its fullest!
Average temperatures in Jackson Hole in January: highs of 28F and lows of 5F, 8 days of precipitation
Jackson Hole is perhaps the paramount winter location to check out.
With Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, or the National Elk, there aren’t many other cities that can keep up with the natural beauties around the United States; take a wildlife or park tour to see the unrivaled sights, such as Old Faithful, and catch a glimpse or perhaps encounter the moose, elk, and bald eagles.
Otherwise, the endless list of popular winter sporting activities can keep you occupied: from snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, snow tubing, to sleigh riding.
Snow King Ski Area has a brand new attraction called the Cowboy Coaster, which takes riders through thrilling twists and turns of up to 456 feet.
The Aerial Tram also offers panoramic views of the national park from over 10,000 feet high, journeying from the Mountain Resort all the way to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain.
Average temperatures in Miami in January: highs of 74F and lows of 63F, 4 days of precipitation
If you want to experience the beauty of Florida without the bugs, humidity, and heat, then visiting Miami in winter would be your best bet.
The beaches are a priority since they are less crowded but just as sunny and warm, and some of the best places in Miami include Miami Beach, Crandon Park, Biscayne Bay, and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.
In January, there is a multitude of events and festivals to check out to experience the vast social life; the South Beach Jazz Festival, the Juicy Beer Fest, the Beaux Arts Festival, the U.S. Open Sailing Series, the International Chocolate Festival, and the Miami/Coral Gables Art & Mega Festival are a few.
One of the city’s staple festivals would be the Art Deco Weekend, which on January 14th – 16th, celebrates its 45th year; there are over dozens of activities and events, including car shows, live music, tours, and fairs, to attend.
Lake Havasu City
Average temperatures in Lake Havasu in January: highs of 66F and lows of 43F, 2 days of precipitation
The beautiful great outdoors of Lake Havasu City attracts many visitors during the winter months who wish to enjoy the pleasant climate with outdoor activities in Arizona.
From taking a kayak down the Bridgewater Channel to hiking the desert trails of Sara Park, the stunning scenery is hard to miss and enjoy.
Lake Havasu State Park is open 24 hours a day all throughout the year with an abundance of outdoor activities to choose from, including camping, swimming, and picnicking.
Explore Lake Havasu and the Colorado River with a chartered boat service from Havasu Sunseekers and capture the full beauty of the city; there are chances to go cliff jumping or swimming at the various beaches of the lake.
Try out some water activities, like jet-skiing with a rental from Sandbar Watersports, or perhaps go off-roading in the desert’s tall sand dunes with a Sandbar Powersports Off-road tour.
Average temperatures on Oahu in January: highs of 78F and lows of 64F, 5 days of precipitation
Swim, sunbathe, snorkel, or surf at the seemingly endless beaches in Oahu in January!
From the North Shore Beaches of Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay Beach Park, and Ehukai Beach, to the South Shore Beaches of Waikiki Beach–which is actually made up of a few beaches–to the Eastside Windward Coast Beaches of Kualoa Regional Park and Makapuu Beach Park, and finally the Westside Leeward Coast Beaches of Depot Beach Park and Makaha Beach.
You can also watch the migration of humpback whales with knowledgeable guides at the best spots on the island, which often involves these mentioned beaches.
Hiking to the top of Leahi’s volcanic crater (Diamond Head) is excellent for a panoramic view of Waikiki and is one of the best things to do in Honolulu.
Take advantage of the vast rental services, like renting a boat or an ATV to explore more immersively the nature of the island and hidden gems.
There are also helicopter tours and parasailing tours for thrill-seeking enthusiasts.
Average temperatures in Keystone in January: highs of 27F and lows of 3F, 12 days of precipitation
Keystone is known primarily as a ski resort (but a cute small town either way!), with claims to some of the best skiing terrain in the state.
Other outdoor activities include snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and snow tubing, and are often experienced at the Keystone Resort, due to its large landscape.
There are 135 trails with options for every level, for beginners and experienced individuals, and the terrain of the rest is spread between the three mountain peaks of North Peak, Dercum Mountain, and the Outback.
There are also opportunities to freestyle ski and night ski, which are unique options that not all resorts offer. With Keystone Lake frozen over, there are chances to ice skate day and night over a 7,200-square-foot rink.
End the evening with a 15-minute sleigh ride pulled by horses, under both blankets and the stars, to a cabin in the heart of the woods for dinner.
Average temperatures in the Apostle Islands in January: highs of 24F and lows of 15F, 9 days of precipitation
The signatory landmarks of the Apostle Islands are the ice caves and because of this, it is one of the most popular weekend getaways in Wisconsin!
When Lake Superior freezes, explore the breathtaking ice caves on the islands.
No need to worry, as the National Lakeshore staff regularly checks the condition of the ice before announcing the ability to traverse it; this process can take weeks to ensure absolute certainty of safety.
When the confirmation is given, visitors trek over the lake with their winter boots and ski poles, and other essential items to keep them warm and fed, over to the mainland’s ice caves; enjoy the surreal view of the sandstone caves independently or with a tour guide.
The journey there and back, however, may take a few miles, so be prepared.
For other activities that are guaranteed to be available, there is also snowmobiling and winter lodging, skiing at Mount Ashwabay or the Drummond Ski Trail, or hiking the Lakeshore Trail.
Average temperatures in Washington DC in January: highs of 43F and lows of 25F, 7 days of precipitation
Ice skating is still popular and accessible for months after Christmas in Washington DC.
The Wharf Ice Rink, the Pentagon Row Outdoor Skating Rink, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture, and the Garden Ice Rink all offer opportunities for ice skating in iconic locations throughout the city.
Touring the city during the pretty snowfall is highly recommended, with the National Mall, Georgetown, Capitol Hill, and the Arlington Cemetery as important sights to behold.
The month of January is also important for a multitude of holidays, including the remembrance and honoring of Martin Luther King Jr.
January 17th is the MLK Holiday DC Parade and Festival at noon; it starts at 2700 MLK Avenue SE and reaches Anacostia Park where the free festival continues.
Closer to the end of the month, the Kennedy Center’s REACH hosts a Winter Lantern festival where LED-lit, animal-themed lanterns illuminate the night in dedication to the Chinese New Year.
Average temperatures in Bend in January: highs of 42F and lows of 23F, 6 days of precipitation
Lodged in the otherworld scenery of Bend are the Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Bachelor, and Tumalo Mountain– raved to be some of the best views of Central Oregon.
When heading up to the many ski resorts and sno-parks in Bend, consider also snow-shoeing or skiing in the direction of these phenomenal sights for a two-in-one experience;
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort is the 6th largest ski resort in North America and is recommended to check out.
The Virginia Meissner Sno-Park, Wanoga Sno-Park, Swampy Lakes Sno-Park, Cascade Snow Bike, Edison Butte Sno-Park, and Central Oregon Adventures are great places for winter activities including snowmobiling and snow biking.
The Oregon Trail of Dreams has an authentic dog-sledding experience to trail and tour the most beautiful sights in the area.
It’s worth also seeing the 1.6 million acres of the stunning Deschutes National Forest, by winter hiking or any other touring means.
Average temperatures in Fairbanks in January: highs of 0F and lows of -15F, 2 days of precipitation
You will catch Fairbanks, one of the best places to visit in Alaska, in the Aurora Season when visiting in January; during this season when there are dark, clear skies, the northern lights always appear.
You can plan accordingly with apps to track the timing and possibility of seeing it in accordance with the weather forecast.
There are also tour guides or special lodging available to maximize your view and experience of the lights at the Borealis Basecamp or Salmon Berry Tours.
Experience some of the best dog-sledding in Fairbanks; Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service Dog Sledding, Black Spruce Dog Sledding, and Paws for Adventure are great options to consider, and may even offer sledding tours in the evening when the northern lights are visible.
Additionally, there are wildlife parks–like the Fountainhead Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary– snowmobiling tours at Rod’s Alaskan or Alaska Wildlife Guide, and even hot springs to thaw from the day’s adventures at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
Average temperatures in Los Angeles in January: highs of 68F and lows of 49F, 4 days of precipitation
The winter time may arguably be the best time to visit Los Angeles because of its pleasant average temperatures of 68°F– not too hot and not too cold– and enjoy the bustling social life of the city.
The city may even have more than you can handle– with entertainment ranging from theme parks and thrill rides at the Universal Studios Hollywood which includes the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to Disneyland Park, and the Griffith Observatory– a planetarium with telescope views.
The shopping in LA is also overwhelming with its endless malls and shopping centers, with the Westfield Century City, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, Robertson Blvd., the Americana, and the Grove.
Try to catch a Lakers game in person, or at one of the many sports bars around the city. The city is huge and infinitely diverse, and is usually internationally raved as a foodie haven… so be sure to book a weekend getaway there!
Average temperatures in Memphis in January: highs of 50F and lows of 32F, 7 days of precipitation
January has the most snowfall during the winter season in Memphis and has a decently chilly weather forecast, however, the city has a handful of indoor activities to look into.
There are unique, theme-centralized parties and scholarly events to entertain all kinds of people at all kinds of levels.
The Sun Studio, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, and Stax Museum of American Soul Music are musical landmarks in Memphis pertaining to the birthplace of prominent American genres, and the Children’s Museum of Memphis and the Orpheum Theatre have seasonal performances you can catch.
Additionally, there is a week-long celebration commemorating Elvis’ birthday at the Graceland Mansion with a range of events, including the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s pops concert, or an educational beer festival hosted by the Museum of Science & History, where you can sample the finest brews from actual breweries participating in the event if music isn’t your thing.
Average temperatures in Atlanta in January: highs of 53F and lows of 33F, 7 days of precipitation
Atlanta during the winter has pleasant daytime highs averaging around 50 to 60 and rarely snows, however, it does get ice.
You can experience winter activities with artificial snow at Stone Mountain Park if you’re craving a snowy Atlanta, otherwise, you’ll experience the sun no matter what you do.
The Atlanta Beltline offers you a chance to walk or ride a bike with a view of the city’s best sights, one of the most popular being the Eastside Trail.
Piedmont Park and the adjacent Botanical Garden located in central Midtown are great places to stroll through to view the urban life and culture of the city from green gardens.
The Garden Lights at the Botanical Garden have Christmas and holiday light displays until mid-January when it switches to a Chinese New Year theme with illuminated lanterns.
Westside Park is an additional place to hike and enjoy the mild winters of the city.
Location: New Mexico
Average temperatures in Taos in January: highs of 41F and lows of 10F, 2 days of precipitation
New Mexico’s desert borders the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the north and offers a myriad of not only a millennia’s worth of Native American culture but also resorts to explore the full potential of the mountains’ steep, snowy peaks.
The most prominent Taos landmark would be the Taos Pueblo, which is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and a continuously lived Native American community.
You can also experience the mountain towns and villages of the region, including the prominent Eagle Nest and Village of Questa, which are both excellent stops for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling between resorts.
Ballooning is another popular activity that gives you a panoramic view of the desert mountains in the distance in contrast to the snow-covered mountains.
End the trip at the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, which was historically considered a sacred place by the natives because of its unique combination of five waters.
Average temperatures in Chicago in January: highs of 32F and lows of 22F, 5 days of precipitation
Other than touring the famous metropolitan city of Chicago and admiring its stunning buildings, there are supplementary activities to check out during the wintertime.
For a simultaneous, stunning view of Michigan Avenue, Cloud Gate (aka the Bean), as well as the skyline during the famous Chicago winters, ice skate at the ice rink in Millennium Park.
Catch glimpses of the frozen Michigan Lake as you walk the Lakefront Trail.
For activities more focused indoors, there is the Magnificent Mile which is a seemingly endless shopping area with luxury boutiques, shopping centers, restaurants, and cafes.
All around the city, however, you will find rooftop bars with fire pits and trendy drinks.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory and Garfield Park Conservatory are both lush, picturesque greenhouse spaces and gardens to warm up in.
The iconic Adler Planetarium, which also hosts exhibitions, offers a surreal experience into space and is another view into Chicago’s historical past.
Average temperatures in Sandpoint in January: highs of 34F and lows of 22F, 11 days of precipitation
Schweitzer Mountain, Selkirk, and Cabinet mountains surrounding the waters of Lake Pend Oreille create an otherworldly visual that attracts visitors every year for outdoor activities in this small Idaho town.
In the winter, there is just as much to do in Sandpoint when over three hundred inches of snow cover the mountains, thus creating an abundance of skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling opportunities.
Round Lake State Park, Farragut State park, Schweitzer XC Trails, and Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Trails are a few of a dozen local parks, all with dozens of their own groomed trails for a variety of activities.
If the weather conditions are met, visitors are also able to ice skate on Lake Pend Oreille and enjoy the beautiful scenery of its prime location.
For life inside the city, there are popular, local craft breweries and wineries to check out, such as MickDuff’s Brewing Company and Pend d’Oreille Winery, in addition to the Sandpoint Shopping District.
Location: New Hampshire
Average temperatures in Lincoln in January: highs of 28F and lows of 8F, 9 days of precipitation
Lincoln rests within the western White Mountains and during the winter months, becomes a world-class skiing destination.
With difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert, there are plenty of opportunities for potential skiers and non-skiers alike.
Loon Mountain and Cannon Mountain are the prominent mountains used by the resorts for a variety of activities: snowshoeing tours at Loon Mountain Adventure Center and Alpine Adventures, ziplining above the Pemigewasset River on the Loon Mountain Zipline and Alpine Adventures, checking out the panoramic views of the White Mountains and the neighboring states and Canada on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram, and walking through the enchanted forest towards the Ice Castles.
For those that don’t want to ski at the resorts, there are snowboarding and snow tubing options available as well.
Finish the trip at a warm and relaxing spa, like the Viaggio Spa, or perhaps warm your body with a drink at a local craft brewery.
Did we miss any of the best places to visit in January in the USA? Let us know in the comments!
Traveling another time of the year? Check out our month-by-month guides!
- USA in February
- USA in March
- USA in April
- USA in May
- USA in June
- USA in July
- USA in August
- USA in September
- USA in October
- USA in November
- USA in December
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