The secret to starting the year on a high note? Take a trip somewhere fabulous. Whether it’s the black-sand beaches of Tahiti or the snow-capped peaks of Park City, there are tons of destinations across the globe that are prime for exploration in January. Ahead, our picks for the best places to travel right now.
Tahiti, French Polynesia
Craving an exotic escape? Pack your bikini and SPF for Tahiti. The largest island in French Polynesia brims with black sands, tranquil lagoons, and lush foliage. For a dose of culture, check out Musée de Tahiti and Papeete Market. Posh accommodations and low-season prices up the appeal. Barefoot luxury comes to life at Le Méridien Tahiti. Bonus: Thanks to budget airline French bee, one-way fares from San Francisco to Papeete start at $330.
The home of crab au gratin and étouffée, the Big Easy has scrumptious eats on lock. Want to taste traditional king cake? Carnival season kicks off January 6. Of course, local delicacies aren’t the only motivation to visit New Orleans. Costumes, parades, and hurricane-fueled revelry abounds. After all that partying, park your tired tush at The Eliza Jane, a historic respite in the center of downtown that’s just two blocks from the French Quarter.
New York City
There’s no bad time to experience the wonder of New York City. The beginning of the year is especially great because the holiday hordes have departed. You can catch a Broadway show (FYI Avenue Q is closing this spring) or book a class at Astor Center. Also on the agenda for January? Skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Plus, you’ll find awesome deals at hotels such as The Knickerbocker and The Pierre.
Sedona is a magical place with striking red rocks, energy vortexes, and endless sunshine. Why is January the ideal month to visit? The average daily temp is 57 degrees, and it delivers that dose of vitamin D you’ve been missing. And it’s off-peak season. Translation? Less traffic and discounts on rooms. Speaking of, for refined digs, L'Auberge de Sedona is the move. This five-star stunner also has a transformative spa with custom facials and sound healing.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Film crews and hungry honeymooners alike flock to Vancouver for a bite of its natural beauty, art scene, and culinary chops. Sample all that the city has to offer during Dine Out Vancouver Festival, the largest food and drink event in Canada. Need a reco for date night? Savor French-infused Pacific Northwest cuisine at L'Abattoir. Another reason to go in January? Wallet-friendly rates at luxe lodgings like the Fairmont Pacific Rim and JW Marriott Parq Vancouver.
Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
The getaway of your dreams awaits at Jose Ignacio. When the thermometer dips in the U.S., things heat up in the Southern Hemisphere. The hype surrounding this former fishing village turned star-studded hotspot isn’t cooling anytime soon. Go for gorgeous beaches, hip hotels such as Bahia Vik Jose Ignacio (a favorite among well-heeled jetsetters), and lively nightlife. Surfers will love riding the waves, while grilled seafood and stiff cocktails are the recipe for an amorous eventing.
Seeking a warm-weather vacay or a zika-free babymoon? The flight from JFK to Nassau is three hours. Which means in as much time as takes it to binge a few episodes on Netflix, you can journey to the sandy shores and sunny skies of the Bahamas. Baha Mar is bright, shiny, and new. Choose between oceanfront rooms at the Rosewood, SLS, and Grand Hyatt. There’s also an endless array of amenities and activities. So, your chances of being bored are zilch.
Park City, Utah
Park City is a mecca of mountainous fun. January brings heaps of fresh powder and perfect conditions for outdoor adventure. Of course, skiing isn’t the only way to get your chilly thrills. There’s also snowboarding, dog sledding, and fat biking. Main Street is lined with cozy pubs, restaurants, and chic shops. Washington School House is just steps from the action. Ready to unwind? Couples can stay at the ultra-romantic and relaxing Montage Deer Valley.