Looking to escape frigid winter temps? January is the month to do it! There’s no reason to shovel snow and endure gloomy gray skies when you could be basking on a beach or setting sail under blue skies and an easy sea. From Hawaii’s tropical islands and So Cal beaches to tempting desert getaways and favorite festivals, this is the ultimate guide to the very best warm places to visit in January in the USA!
Here’s how to thaw out this winter…
Warm Places to Visit in the USA in January
1. Maui, Hawaii, for Whale Watching
With temps in the mid-70s, Maui makes the ideal warm weather getaway in January. Plus, it’s prime time for whale watching! (June is also great if you’re looking for best weather and don’t mind bigger crowds.)
The Auau Channel here, just off the coast of Lahaina, is where the action is.
You’ll find mostly humpback whales who’ve migrated here from Alaska to mate and give birth this time of year.
The best way to see them is on an eco-friendly tour with a naturalist guide.
Choose Maui for your January getaway if you’re looking for top notch resorts and gorgeous beaches.
In addition to whale watching and beach time, your Maui itinerary must include driving the scenic Road to Hana, sunrise or sunset in Haleakala National Park, and snorkeling the legendary Molokini Crater.
Musts for your Maui packing list? Water shoes, reef safe sunscreen, and a rash guard.
2. San Diego, California, for So Cal Beaches
With mild temperatures and clear skies, San Diego is an incredible January destination that boasts rugged beaches, maritime history, and some incredible fish tacos. Just like in May, it’s off season for fewer crowds and better prices! (Although water is warmer in August.)
San Diego in winter has dreamy January weather with daily highs around 65 degrees. It’s a perfect winter getaway to escape those post-holiday winters.
Head to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged, unspoiled wilderness.
The water isn’t quite warm enough for a swim, but you won’t mind because there’s eight miles of trails with spectacular ocean views.
La Jolla Cove is one of the best things to do in San Diego…and a family favorite.
Don’t miss this cliff-lined beach famous for its playful sea lions and other marine life you can watch from the sand or explore in a kayak.
January in San Diego is also a perfect time for some surfing lessons.
The ocean is easily doable in a wetsuit and bonus… you’ll avoid the summer tourist crowds. Head to Pacific Beach for lessons, or stroll the lively boardwalk.
Don’t miss Taco Tuesdays for margaritas and fish tacos at the eateries along Garnet Avenue.
For history buffs, there’s the Maritime Museum of San Diego with its collection of submarines and historic vessels.
The vessels are all docked right in the water and you climb aboard the ships to view the exhibits.
The USS Midway Museum is another great floating museum with a 4-acre flight deck lined with restored aircraft.
With more time, day trip north to cute little Encinitas!
Dee | Vanilla Papers
3. Puerto Rico for Rum Splashed Days
January is a fabulous time to visit San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Days are warm and sunny, with highs in the low 80s, making it a great time to explore outdoors.
And if you enjoy local culture, January also features a number of local festivals.
Among the many things to do in Old San Juan, the colorful historic district, visiting the old fortifications (now a National Historic and UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a must.
The forts offer spectacular views over San Juan Bay, as well as a peek into the city’s past.
Eating and drinking are big reasons to visit San Juan!
Puerto Rico is known for its rum, and you must visit a rum distillery to see how it’s made (and sample some infused rum). Local cuisine features plantains, meats, and rice and beans…all super flavorful!
Of course, there are lots of beautiful sandy beaches you can visit; head directly to Isla Verde and Condado. (And yes, you can enjoy the water in January, so bring your swimwear!)
Among the festivals you can attend in January, the Fiestas de la La Calle San Sebastian is famous.
You’ll enjoy lots of live music, dancing, and acrobatic performances in the evenings if you visit during this multi-day festival!
During the day, browse the offerings by local artisans.
Dhara | It’s Not About the Miles
4. Oahu, Hawaii, to See Big Wave Riders
While Oahu is best known for Waikiki Beach near Honolulu and iconic Pearl Harbor, there’s a particularly unique reason to head to Oahu in January.
Visit Oahu’s wild north shore for a chance to see big wave riders compete on some of the craziest surf you’ll ever see! It’s an unforgettable experience.
North Shore Oahu is a lot like Kauai…It’s feels remote and untouched. You won’t find a lot of amenities here but the food trucks on the north shore are tops!
In addition to smoothies, pizza, and tacos, you’ll find plenty of shrimp trucks which are unique to this island.
The best way to enjoy a week in Oahu, in my experience, is to choose two bases—one in the south and one on the north shore—to minimize drive time to see all the sights.
You’ll want to hike Diamond Head—one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks—snorkel Hanuama Bay, and explore the beautiful windward coast. Plan plenty of time for hiking on Oahu, too.
It’s also prime whale watching season this month across the state of Hawaii. You can see them until spring.
Note: in 2022, the state of Hawaii implemented an advance reservation system for popular tourist sites so be sure to plan ahead.
How to Rent a Car for Your January Vacation
My top two recs are:
1. Discover Cars has no hidden fees, 24/7 customer service, and free cancellation. They search all the major rental car companies so you don’t have to.
Check price and availability on rental cars here.
2. Turo is like Airbnb for cars. It saved us $$$ during the pandemic on our Hawaii rentals when rental car prices were sky high.
5. Florida Keys for Island Time
When visiting the Florida Keys, January is the sweet spot! In fact, the balmy winter temps here is likely why Key West is why so many rate it one of the top places to travel in the USA.
You want to arrive after hurricane season but before it gets too hot again.
That sweet spot makes for a perfect escape from snow boots to flip flops! Leaving the hustle of the holiday season behind for the laid back island life.
As you leave Miami, your first stop should be Alabama Jack’s in North Key Largo.
Relax by the water, enjoy the live music, and slip into island time while enjoying the best conch fritters you’ll find anywhere.
Each of the key islands (there are more than 800) will give you a different vibe.
While you’re sure to find your own favorite, popular keys are Key Largo, Islamorada, and, of course, Key West.
The common theme throughout is the beauty of nature all around you.
Leave your car behind and hit the crystal clear blue waters for scuba, snorkel or floating before hitting up the amazing restaurants and historic locations here.
Angela | Fitting in Adventure
6. San Luis Obispo, CA, for Foodie Fun
While it’s not warm enough to swim at area beaches, daytime highs in the mid 60s are perfect for exploring outdoors.
And bring your appetite, because January is Restaurant Month in SLO!
Among the many things to do in San Luis Obispo, you’ll want to tour the SLO Mission, located right in the heart of downtown.
Visit the museum, and tour the tranquil grounds, where you will find the old bells of the mission.
Downtown SLO makes for a lively wander, with numerous boutiques, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants.
If you happen to be in town on a Thursday evening, do not miss the Farmers’ Market, where you can enjoy music and street performers and sample yummy treats.
SLO is home to several small museums if you want to delve deeper into local history and culture.
And if the outdoors is more your thing, bring your hiking shoes and take to the trails.
Wine lovers will want to schedule tastings at Edna Valley or nearby Paso Robles, and if you enjoy barbecue, be sure to sample Santa Maria style barbecue when you are in town!
Dhara | Roadtripping California
7. Phoenix, Arizona, for Desert Hikes
Phoenix, Arizona is one of the most pleasant US destinations in January, making it a spectacular place to visit…for a few days or the entire month.
Many snow birds—people living in northern US states or Canada—choose to spend many months in Phoenix every winter.
However, the Cactus League, Major League Baseball’s pre-season, is not yet in full swing in January so it’s easier to find decent Phoenix hotel room rates.
In January in Phoenix, average high temperatures are 60s and low 70s.
With super low humidity and desert climate, it feels just about perfect. And after any type of rain shower, desert cacti bloom with vibrant color flowers. It is a spectacular sight.
Fun things to do in Phoenix in January include desert hikes and mountain bike rides (note that rattlesnakes are still hibernating!), and hot air balloon rides.
When the sun is too intense or you otherwise want to head indoors, check out the phenomenal Musical Instrument Museum, Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright’s home), Heard Museum, and the many mouth-watering restaurants here.
Phoenix is the USA’s fourth largest city so you’ll find diverse cuisines and cultural activities to enjoy here.
Charles | McCool Travel
8. Big Island, Hawaii, to See a Lava Lake
Have you ever seen a lava lake? On Hawaii’s Big Island, visitors can see an active lava eruption of the Kilauea volcano at Volcanoes National Park here. It is something to behold!
If you have only have 3 days on Big Island, spend one days snorkeling near Kona and one day at Volcanoes National Park.
You’ll find ancient petroglyphs and lava tubes here in addition to otherworldly hikes.
Then explore the unusual black lava beaches on the west side of the island. You’ll also want to book a night swim with manta rays!
It’s one of the most unique and popular things to do in Hawaii…and it’s only on Big Island!
With more time, head over to the east side of the island near rain forested Hilo for spectacular waterfalls.
Akaka Falls in Akaka Falls State Park makes a great stop. Then explore the wild Hamakua Coast.
You’ll also find the memorable Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden here. It’s worth every penny to wander through its rare plant collections and orchid garden.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana, for Carnival
One of the best warm places to visit in the USA in January is New Orleans, Louisiana.
January means cooler temperatures in New Orleans, making it an optimal time to enjoy all the fun this city has to offer.
This is the time of year when New Orleans is gearing up for their most beloved time period, Carnival season!
The Mardi Gras parades begin to kick off the first week of January, and the locals are all enjoying a treat that can only be eaten during Carnival, king cake.
With that in mind, be sure to check out the parade schedule so that you don’t miss this fun time of year during your visit.
Of course, the cooler temperatures in the city mean that you can stroll the amazing streets of the French Quarter and the Garden District without pouring sweat!
Check out famous Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde to taste beignets, and wander Bourbon Street before you get off the beaten path to explore Frenchmen Street, the Bywater District, and the historic Treme neighborhood.
One of the best things to do in New Orleans is to just walk around and take in the vibrant atmosphere around you.
Enjoy the European-influenced architecture as a jazz band plays on the street corner. This is New Orleans. Take it all in!
Michelle | That Texas Couple
10. US Virgin Islands for Beach Time
Looking to escape the winter to a slice of Caribbean paradise without a passport?
Even in the coldest month of the year, January is an ideal time to visit the United States Virgin Islands as the weather is dry and sunny, with temperatures averaging at 79 Fahrenheit.
With a relatively short and inexpensive flight from the US, take your holiday to islands that offer stunning beaches, lots of tourist attractions and viewpoints, and a laid-back atmosphere.
USVI is made up of three major islands: St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, each with its own character and attractions.
St. Thomas is the most developed of the three, famous for duty-free shopping, historical attractions, water sports, and beach-hopping.
Learn about the Caribbean’s pirate history or explore the beautiful turquoise seas of Magen’s Bay to catch sight of swimming turtles.
The best place to soak up the spectacular views of Magen’s Bay and neighboring islands? Head up to St. Thomas’s highest point, Mountain Top, while sipping on their famous banana daiquiri.
Finally, pack your bags to set sail to the other islands for a day trip or longer!
You may even get a chance to see the tail end of the month-long Crucian Christmas Festival on St. Croix, which ends the first Saturday of the New Year.
Catherine | Nomadicated
11. Charleston, South Carolina, for Historic Homes
January is an excellent time to visit Charleston, South Carolina.
With relatively warm weather (high 50s to low 60s), it makes touring this city very enjoyable.
Moreover, Charleston sees much smaller crowds in January, so you will feel like you have the city all to yourself!
One of the coolest things to do in Charleston during January is to tour historic homes and mansions.
And one of the most notable mansions to tour is the Williams Mansion, also known as the Calhoun Mansion.
This extravagant home is the largest privately owned home in the city and has over 30 rooms!
Another great home to tour if you love antiques and architecture is the Nathaniel Russel House.
The home is notable for its lovely garden and three-story free-flying spiral staircase.
You also won’t want to miss the classic places to visit in Charleston including the Pineapple Fountain, the Battery, shops on King Street, plantations, and Rainbow Row.
If you happen to be visiting Charleston on the second Sunday of January, King Street is the place to be as it’s open only to pedestrians and is one of the most popular events that happen in Charleston!
Additionally, for all the boating enthusiasts, January is a huge month in this Holy City.
Going on its 43rd year, the Charleston Boat Show is a major event that happens every January. To attend, you will want to get your tickets in advance!
Sam | Find Love & Travel
12. Kauai, Hawaii, for Unspoiled Wilderness
If you’re a hiker or nature lover, Kauai is the best island to visit in Hawaii. It makes an ideal winter getaway.
The best activities in Kauai all involve exploring nature here.
Hiking the Kalalau Trail on the stunning Na Pali coast is a can’t miss experience…whether you just hike up the first half mile or reserve a permit months ahead to camp overnight.
You’ll also want to see the green jagged cliffs from the water so be sure to also book a snorkel or sunset sail tour here.
But be aware you’ll find more rain in January on the north shore for the above activities. (But don’t let that stop you…Add a rain jacket to your Kauai packing list.)
If you’re looking for sunshine galore, base in Poipu in the south.
You can visit Waimea Canyon (known as the Grand Canyon of the Hawaii) from here, enjoy epic snorkeling in shallow, family-friendly bays, and get a bird’s eye view of the island on a helicopter tour!
Other things to include on your Kauai itinerary are kayaking the Wailua River and visiting Kilauea Lighthouse.
Slow down to island time and just breath in the beauty.
13. Death Valley, CA, for a Bucket List Sunrise
Death Valley National Park, in southern California, is famously the hottest place on the planet, with a recorded record temperature of 134°F.
Thankfully, January is quite a bit cooler, with daytime temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s, which is perfect for hiking and exploring this incredible landscape. March in Death Valley is also a great time to visit.
There are so many amazing and diverse things to do in Death Valley National Park.
For example, the park is also home to the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin, which stands at 282 feet below sea level.
These salt flats, stretching on for over 200 square miles, look like something from another planet, thanks to the geometric polygons of salt blanketing the ground.
Alternatively, watching sunrise at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes is a bucket list experience.
Stand on top of a dune (some of which tower up to 100 feet in height) and watch the rising sun cast dramatic shadows across the dunes, which span miles and miles in every direction.
If you’re looking for something a bit more active, consider the Golden Canyon, a choose-your-own-adventure trail (ranging from 2.7-7.8 miles in length), where you’ll hike through swirling badlands, towering canyons, and colorful cliffs.
The landscape here is so otherworldly that it was used as a filming location of the original Star Wars!
Jessica | Uprooted Traveler
14. South Padre Island, Texas, for Kite Fest
South Padre Island is so popular with snow birds—people escaping cold weather in Canada and northern US states—that the term “Winter Texans” is widely used to describe them.
With a comfortable and enviable subtropical climate, readily available Gulf seafood, and phenomenal nature, wildlife, and outdoor activities, South Padre Island (SPI) is a haven for Winter Texans every January.
But SPI is also a fantastic place to visit for a vacation even if you are not quite yet ready to commit to being a full-time Winter Texan.
SPI temperatures in January average 60s and 70s, so outdoor activities are pleasant and fun.
Be sure to post selfies on social media to make your shivering friends back home jealous. Fishing on the Gulf of Mexico (and Laguna Madre) is a personal favorite of things to do in South Padre Island.
Another popular SPI activity is bird watching.
In fact, 500 different species of migrating birds use two principle migratory flyways (Mississippi Flyway and Central Flyway) that pass through South Padre and the Rio Grande Valley.
Also, don’t miss Kite Fest! It’s one of the most popular annual events on South Padre Island and is held on the last weekend in January.
Charles | US Gulf Coast Travel
15. Palm Springs, CA, for Desert Beauty
One of the best warm weather January getaways in the United States is retro Palm Springs, roughly two and a half hour’s drive from the city of Los Angeles.
Visitors will have fun exploring this perfect mix of rugged nature and trendy downtown, filled with colorful artwork and unique eateries.
Whether you have a full week or just one day in Palm Springs, the festive neighborhoods will transport you far from L.A.’s traffic and crowds.
Hollywood celebrities began visiting Palm Springs in the 1920s, quickly making it one of the most popular getaways for those living in the Southern California region.
Today, Palm Springs is known far and wide as an artsy desert town nestled between rugged mountain ranges and covered with towering palm trees.
January is a great time to visit this area for several reasons. First, the triple digit temperatures have finally cooled off and the still sunny days are pleasurable.
Activities like biking, hiking, and walking the neighborhood are much more enjoyable!
Plus, if you’re feeling festive, holiday decorations still line the streets and houses, lighting everything up when the sun goes down.
Winter is the perfect time to relax in a Jacuzzi under the stars, too.
Monica | This Rare Earth
16. Anna Maria Island, Florida, for Sea Turtles & Manatees
Florida’s Anna Maria Island is a paradise for anyone seeking to escape the bitter cold. The average daily high and low temperatures in January are 71 and 52 degrees, respectively.
The weather is ideal for a beach vacation. It’s comfortable and warm, but not oppressively hot.
These temps are perfect for enjoying outdoor activities like kayaking, riding, running, or golfing.
January draws visitors to Anna Maria Island from all over the country.
Winter festivals, shopping, dining, and other activities are all wonderful throughout the winter.
Anna Maria Island is less crowded during the month of January, too, making it the perfect time to visit for solitude seekers.
Instead of building a snowman in winter, build a sandcastle on the beach.
The beaches on Anna Maria Island are perfect for sunbathing or enjoying a family picnic. Football, frisbee, and beach volleyball are all excellent winter sports here.
Visit Rod & Reel Pier to learn more about regional activities and cuisine.
This local restaurant makes the perfect spot for a romantic dinner right over the water.
From dolphin and pelicans to sea turtles and manatees, Anna Maria Island is home to many unique forms of wildlife, too.
Consider taking a dolphin-watching cruise out to the sea for a close-up look.
Or, rent a bicycle and explore the island at your own pace.
Trijit | Budget Travel Buff
17. Hilton Head, SC, for Golf & Shopping
The average high temp on Hilton Head in January is 60 degrees, with lows around 40 degrees, making the winter months an ideal time to enjoy 12 miles of uncrowded beaches and 60 miles of biking trails.
January is also a great time to take advantage of Hilton Head Island’s many golf courses.
With more than 15 golf courses to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding a course that has what you’re looking for!
The month of January averages seven to eight days of rain, but there are plenty of rainy day activities to choose from.
Check out Shelter Cove for sporting goods, jewelry, ice cream, and more. There are several local restaurants in this part of the island and a large park nearby to visit on sunny days.
Harbour Town is one of the most popular things to do in Hilton Head Island. This area is perfect for families and couples and is filled with shops, waterfront restaurants, and a pier.
While at Harbour Town, be sure to visit the lighthouse and climb to the top for the best views of Hilton Head Island and nearby Daufuskie Island.
Wayne | Always on the Shore
18. Las Vegas, Nevada, for Glitz & Glamour
No one wants to explore the Las Vegas strip in sweltering heat, or explore Red Rock Canyon in 100 degree weather.
This is why January is an incredible time to visit Las Vegas. There is so much to enjoy in the cooler times, without the crowds.
Spend an afternoon hiking in Red Rock canyon to see the stunning red sandstone landscapes. Try out White Rock Hills Loop for an easy beginner hike to warm up for the in-town portion of your trip.
Want to make the most out of your Las Vegas Adventure? Visit the first week of January.
At this time, all of the crowds from Christmas and New Years have died down, but many of the incredible holiday displays are still up.
Insider tip: Be sure to visit the holiday display at Bellagio Conservatory Gardens, one of the most beautiful exhibits in Las Vegas.
Head to Fremont street to ride the Slotzilla Zip Line or see one of the many shows available on the Strip.
Even though it is the slowest month of the year, most of the shows remain open, making tickets easier to secure.
Packing tips for Las Vegas in January: Bring layers. The weather will be perfect during the day when the sun is still up.
At night you may need a light jacket or sweater if you’re out. Many of the hotel pools close down this time of year, so check your hotel before packing a swimsuit.
No matter what your idea of fun is, Las Vegas delivers. From adventure to glitz and glamour, visit here for a memorable break from the cold.
Julie | Family Trips and Travels
19. Santa Barbara, CA, for Monarchs & Gray Whales
Ah, Santa Barbara. The perfect place to escape the cold winter months.
With an average January temperature of 63 degrees, it’s no wonder this whitewashed California city renowned for its Spanish architecture is a popular destination for those looking to get away from the chill.
But Santa Barbara has more to offer than just good weather. This time of year, monarch butterflies can be seen fluttering around town, and gray whales can be spotted migrating along the coastline.
The world renowned Santa Barbara Zoo is always good for a visit, too.
If you’re feeling active, there are plenty of options for outdoor activities, like the 5 & 10K New Year’s Day Resolution Run.
January is also a great time to do the very easy hike to Nojoqui Falls, where you’ll see a beautiful 80 foot waterfall, especially after a rainstorm.
And if you’re looking to relax, you can catch a wave on one of Santa Barbara’s many beaches or enjoy a sunset kayak tour.
Better yet, bring an inflatable stand up paddle board and explore the coast at your leisure.
Aptly known as the “American Riviera”, Santa Barbara is the perfect place to spend your January vacation.
Jenifer | The Evolista
20. Tuscon, Arizona, for Wine Tasting
Tucson, Arizona is one of the best winter destinations due to the vast array of activities you can partake in.
One of the main highlights of Tucson is Saguaro National Park. January makes for the perfect time for hiking in Saguaro and taking in the views of the massive saguaro cacti.
Be sure not to miss the Valley View Overlook Trail and the Cactus Forest Loop Trail.
In January, Saguaro also sometimes puts on a sponsored walk or run through the park.
Outside of hiking in Saguaro, visitors will want to spend time at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and check out the gardens or head up Mount Lemmon for views of Tucson.
Another delicious thing to do in January is to visit some of the wineries.
While several have tasting rooms in town, visitors can also opt to head out to nearby Willcox and Sonorita to visit the vineyards.
January’s cooler climate here means wineries will just have completed harvest so there will be plenty of new wines to sip.
Where to eat? Head to the Mercado de San Agustín.
Seis Kitchen and 47 Scott are two popular options here. For those who love pan dulce, don’t miss La Estrella Bakery.
Francesca | Homeroom Travel
21. Austin, Texas, for Walks & Cycling
A January visit to Austin brings some amazing and unique ideas to a winter travel itinerary.
With average high temperatures in the 60s, this destination allows outdoors lovers to explore the area completely with only the need for light layers.
Favorite hikes in the area include the trails around McKinney Falls State Park, the peak of Mount Bonnell for beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the easy walking and bike paths winding their way through downtown Zilker Park.
The park also features Lady Bird Lake where kayaks and paddle boards can take to calm water.
Feeling adventurous? Head to iconic Barton Springs for the annual Polar Bear Plunge into the beautiful 68 degree water on New Year’s Day.
Austin’s food truck park, The Picnic, was the first of its kind in the city with everything from gyros to nachos to spring rolls.
No trip to Austin is complete without BBQ and you might find a trip out of the city to Agape BBQ or Salt Lick will add some country ambiance to your meal.
Should travelers find themselves with unexpectedly chilly days, the Museum of Ice Cream is a tasty and fun way to wait for the sun to come out. Prime shopping abounds at The Domain or Barton Creek Square.
Most notably, January is quite possibly the best time to visit Austin for music lovers.
Free Week festival affords hundreds of bands the opportunity to perform at multiple venues while tens of thousands of attendees get to experience the culture and talent of Austin.
Sierra | Very Truly Texas
22. Sedona for Red Rock Canyons
Known for its stunning natural beauty, iconic red rock formations, perpetual sunshine, epic hiking, and mystifying energy vortexes, Sedona has a little something for everyone.
In particular, January—considered the “shoulder season” between the busy holiday rush and spring break travel—offers pleasant weather and some of the lowest crowds of the year.
With bluebird days and high temperatures averaging in the 60s, this is a wonderful time to explore some of the most popular hiking trails.
Take advantage of notably thinner crowds and hike Devil’s Bridge or Cathedral Rock, or try to find one of the “hidden” caves in Sedona such as The Subway or Soldier Pass.
Off roading is another popular wintertime activity in Sedona.
Rent ATVs in town and explore on your own or join one of the famous Pink Jeep tours.
Thanks to Sedona’s central location, you can also easily enjoy the sprawling resorts and incredible food and nightlife scenes in nearby Phoenix or Scottsdale.
Both cities are even warmer than Sedona, and an easy and scenic 1.5-hour drive.
Or, if you decide you want a taste of winter, the high-alpine mountain town of Flagstaff is less than an hour away.
Taryn | Chasing Trail
23. San Francisco for Iconic Sights
While not as warm as Southern California, San Francisco can still reach temps of up to 65 Fahrenheit in January.
Plan on bright clear days as well as a few days of rain.
The best part? January is offseason for tourists here so you can enjoy popular places like Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the many museums and attractions in gorgeous Golden Gate Park without the crowds.
Be sure to visit some of San Francisco’s historic neighborhoods while you’re here.
The trendy Mission district is home to dozens of excellent eateries and swank boutiques. Taste tea in Chinatown. Revisit Haight Ashbury’s heyday in the sixties.
In January, San Francisco also hosts Sketchfest, one of the largest comedy festivals anywhere.
With more time, consider a short road trip to nearby Santa Cruz, Point Reyes or Muir Woods to see the giant redwoods.
A visit to San Francisco is always a good idea…and especially in January.