Why not start off the year with a vacation? You can begin planning now and make it a holiday gift to yourself. Just decide whether you want warm, relaxing sunshine or snowy ski slopes. For something in between, there’s lots to do in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Fort Worth. Sightseeing in Scotland, jetting off to the Maldives, skiing in Park City, and exploring the rainforest in Puerto Rico are a few of the travel ideas we’re presenting this month. Whether or not you decide to travel in January, we hope you’ll at least put a vacation or two on your list of New Year’s resolutions. By
Here are 10 of the best places to visit in January:
Los Angeles, California
January is a great time to visit the City of Angels, with perfect weather for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or strolling along one of the city’s beaches. You can be one of the first to visit the new Academy Museum, where you can take home a video of yourself accepting an Oscar. The month starts with the Rose Parade in Pasadena, and in February, Los Angeles will host the Super Bowl at the new SoFi Stadium. With so many places to stay, visitors can choose downtown’s Hotel Figueroa, the new Pendry West Hollywood, or the completely reimagined iconic Fairmont Century Plaza, more glamorous than ever. The Shay, recently opened in Culver City, is home to etta, by Chef Danny Grant.
Lake Placid, New York
With the 2022 Winter Olympics starting in February, snow sports will be the focus, and the city that hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games is the place to get into the spirit. At Whiteface Mountain, skiers will find trails for all levels, 11 lifts including a high-speed gondola, terrain parks, and Adirondack views. There’s also ice fishing, dog sledge rides, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. Olympics-inspired activities include bobsledding, ski jumping, ice skating, and hockey in the rink where the 1980 US men’s hockey team won the gold medal. Stay at Whiteface Lodge, an all-suite luxury resort, minutes from skiing, with nightly campfires, fireplaces, and an upscale restaurant, Kanu. High Peaks Resort offers three unique lodging experiences.
There’s a chill in the air, a welcome change from summer. Food, culture, history, and attractions make Atlanta a great destination, and highlighting the city’s culinary scene is Chattahoochee Food Works, a food hall featuring 31 vendors and an indoor-outdoor bar. Several distinct neighbourhoods make up the city, each with its own style. Downtown, the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca Cola are popular attractions, and on the east side, there’s the Zoo Atlanta and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. With Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, it’s a perfect time to explore his life and Atlanta’s role in the civil rights movement. Shoppers will want to visit the fashionable Buckhead Village District with hotel options that include the new Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta, Thompson Buckhead, and Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead.
The island’s rich history, culture, food, beaches, mountains, rainforest, and warm weather are just a few reasons to visit Puerto Rico. The holiday season continues into January when the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián is celebrated from January 13-16, with music, dancing, and parties throughout Old San Juan. Stroll the cobblestone streets of the 500-year old city, venture out to the mountains, explore the rainforest in the east and the surfing beaches in the west, and experience the many regions of Puerto Rico. Stay at the historic Caribe Hilton, home of the original Piña Colada, the adults-only boutique Condado Ocean Club, the Embassy Suites San Juan Hotel & Casino, or the Fairmont El San Juan. The family-friendly Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico offers golf and a lagoon-style pool. La Concha Resort is located in the trendy Condado District, and there’s the luxurious Condado Vanderbilt with spacious rooms and suites.
Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Sure, January is cold in Banff National Park, and that’s the idea. Bundle up to enjoy the area’s breathtaking mountains, wildlife, and blue lakes. Add to that Banff’s SnowDays Festival, a free 12-day event that transforms the streets of downtown with snow sculptures from January 20-31. A kids’ play zone, ice skating rinks, nearby cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails, dog sledging, and horse-drawn sleigh rides are more things to do. From January 19-30, the Ice Magic Festival lets visitors watch ice carving by Canadian artists. With a range of places to stay, there’s a perfect spot to warm up and relax. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Banff Springs, located within the national park, offer elegant, historic accommodations. For comfort, luxury, and world-class views from glass-domed coaches, guests can experience Banff and Lake Louise aboard a Rocky Mountaineer adventure by rail.
Scotland, United Kingdom
Scotland welcomes the new year in unique style with Hogmanay festivities throughout the country. Traditions vary from place to place, but all promise memorable celebrations. January 25, Burns Night, commemorates the birth of poet Robert Burns with events that include speeches, readings, bagpipes, suppers of haggis, neeps and tatties, and of course, whiskey. The Fife Arms, in the historic village of Braemar, is dedicating the weekend of January 21-23 to Burns events. With more than a hundred distilleries in Scotland, tours offer a glimpse into both whiskey and history. Favourites like Oban, Benriach, and Glenfiddich feature fascinating tours and tastings. Skiing in Scotland? Yes— at Glenshee, there’s snowboarding, skiing, and snow touring. Stay at the classic Gleneagles country estate or in Edinburgh at The Gleneagles Townhouse, new this autumn. Check out the city’s first food hall, Bonnie and Wild Scottish Marketplace in St. James Quarter near the Waverley train station.
Fort Worth, Texas
For family fun, nightlife, history, culture, music, and western style, Fort Worth is a great destination, and January’s weather makes it comfortable to enjoy the outdoors. From January 14-February 5, the annual Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is a perfect reason to visit, with livestock and horse shows, kids’ activities, a carnival midway, bull riding, and rodeo competitions. The Fort Worth Stockyards features restaurants, shops, entertainment, and a range of places to stay including the Hotel Drover, named to honour the cowboys who drove the cattle to market. The Fort Worth Cultural District is home to five museums and more. Near Sundance Square, downtown’s entertainment district, The Harper, set in a 24-floor historic landmark that was once the tallest building in Fort Worth, offers luxe accommodations and a penthouse lounge, Refinery 714. In the River District, the new Hotel Otto Fort Worth features eight bungalows, a pool, rooftop decks, and a variety of activities.
Park City, Utah
This popular town is gorgeous year-round, and come snow season, it’s one of the country’s most popular ski destinations. The former silver mining town is home to luxurious ski resorts, including the new ski-in/ski-out Pendry Park City, in the heart of Canyons Village, featuring Spa Pendry and a year-round rooftop lounge. Also in Canyons Village, the Grand Summit Hotel offers 350 guest rooms. Washington School House Hotel, originally a historic 1889 school, is a plush boutique with 12 stunning rooms and suites. Located atop Empire Pass, Montage Deer Valley is steps from the slopes and boasts its own snow tubing park and Adventure IO experiences. For groups and families, Apex offers luxury residences. In Park City, there’s also snowshoeing, cross-country treks, dog sledging, and snowmobiling. January brings the annual Sundance Film Festival from January 20-30, presented both in-person and online.
The country occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, with nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometres) of coastline. January’s weather is dry, and temperatures range in the 20s. A variety of resorts offer luxurious amenities, pristine beaches, golf, water sports, fishing, and more. The all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana features a water park with a lazy river, swim-up suites, and a Kids & Teen Club. Families will also enjoy Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana with its water park. Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana is set on Playa Juanillo’s white-sand beaches. Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda offers a luxury wellness experience, activities for kids, an adults-exclusive Archipelago Village with 18 oceanfront suites, and the all-inclusive, adults-only Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana is a romantic retreat. At the 30,000 acres (121 square kilometres) Eden Roc Cap Cana, a range of accommodations, lush gardens, lagoon-style pools, and oceanfront golf course make it a favourite spot.
Republic of Maldives
The nation consists of over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka. January is an ideal time to visit, with warm, dry weather and calm seas. Pristine beaches, marine life, coral reefs, and a variety of resorts let visitors choose their perfect island destination. JOALI BEING is a new wellness retreat, and JOALI Maldives offers exciting activities for kids. The Nautilus Maldives is an ultra-luxury resort, and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island includes The Muraka, with a below-sea-level master bedroom. Jumeirah Maldives offers 67 beaches and overwater villas, and Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is home to a variety of villas and a recreation area with kids’ activities. Emerald Maldives Resort is all-inclusive with family villas and activities. Coco Collection offers two boutique island resorts, and for the ultimate in privacy and luxury, guests can buy out Velaa Private Islands for USD 1 million (INR 7,41,05,500) per night.