Category Archives: USA

Travel guides to help you plan your trip to the United States.

1-4 day itineraries and things to do in popular states including New York, Boston, Chicago and Austin.

15 Best Places to Visit in July USA: Cities, Beach Vacations & Fireworks

Sunset at South Padre Island Beach in Texas

Are you planning a trip in the USA this July and overwhelmed with all of the amazing destination choices? 

We totally get it!

July is one of the most popular months for travel because kids are out of school, the summer is at its peak, and everyone is itching for an escape.

Most people choose the beach scene to find some rest and relaxation for their vacay, others prefer to explore a big city, especially if you celebrate 4th of July.

And if you’re hoping to find a less busy spot with slightly cooler temperatures, we’ve got those covered too in this guide of the best places to visit in July in the USA.

Can’t wait for your July vacation? Check out this guide for the best places to visit in the USA in June too.

Path to the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park, in Rehoboth Beach. Depositphotos_105076368_l-2015

Best Places to Visit in July in the USA for Couples, Families & Groups

1.) Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in July for a Beach Vacation

One hour south of Dover’s capital lies Rehoboth Beach, one of the best places to visit in the USA in July.

Average temperatures ranging from the high 60s to the mid-80s mean that you can hang out on the hot sandy beaches and gorgeous ocean all day long. 

You can also have fun on the old-school boardwalk full of great things to do for everyone in your family, from crazy bar scenes to kid-friendly arcades. 

Things to do in Rehoboth Beach

  • Nightlife – Rehoboth Beach has so many great places to explore the nightlife, often all within walking distance of each other, making for a great evening of bar hopping.
  • Gordon’s Pond – Gordon’s Pond is lesser known to the tourists and is a more secluded and quieter beach spot nestled in the Cape Henlopen State Park, just north of Rehoboth Beach. 
  • Funland – Funland is one of the beach’s biggest attractions for the whole family, with old fashioned carnival games and rides.
  • The Boardwalk – The Rehoboth Beach boardwalk is a mile long and filled with quirky shops, places to eat, attractions, bars, beach stores, and more.
  • Bandstand Summer Concert Series – The Bandstand Summer Concert Series takes place Friday-Sunday all summer long with various musical acts entertaining beachgoers.
Benches on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Depositphotos_105078830_l-2015

2.) Long Beach Island, New Jersey in July for a Hot Holiday

Infamously one best vacation spots in July in the USA, LBI, as it is known to the locals, has everything you could ever want.

Just 45 minutes north of Atlantic City, you can tan on the beach, have fun in the parks, go shopping, explore, eat, drink, and live your very best life in the hot July sun (average temperatures are anywhere from the high 60s to the mid 80s). 

Read this guide to learn more about the best East Coast beaches to visit.

Things to do in Long Beach Island 

  • Surf City – Surf City is a favorite spot for visitors, especially with its popular downtown area full of shopping and eateries and its bay beach.
  • Fantasy Island – Fantasy Island is a great family-friendly spot with rides, boardwalk games, arcades, places to eat, and more.
  • Thundering Surf Water Park – Thundering Surf Water Park is the longest, continuously operating waterpark in the world with a lazy river, tube slides, and even a toddler area to keep the whole family happy.
  • Barnegat Lighthouse State Park – Visit Barnegat Lighthouse State Park to walk the Maritime Forest Trail, enter the lighthouse itself or make a little picnic for yourself in the scenery. 
  • Atlantic City Cruise – Atlantic City, is just under an hour away from LBI and is a world of fun, take advantage of the nice weather and take a cruise; get your tickets here.

3.) South Padre Island, Texas for a Texan Beach Adventure

If you’re ready to have an amazing time, head to South Padre Island on the most southeastern tip of Texas, for one of the best places to travel in July in the USA.

There’s something for everyone here; the island isn’t just for beachgoers; adrenaline junkies, wildlife lovers, golfers, and anglers, will have a blast too.

Make sure to pack your sunscreen – temps range from the low 80s to the low 90s.

Check out this guide for the best Texas road trip route and this one for more about beach towns in Texas.

If this is too hot for you, keep reading to find out cooler July vacation ideas.

Things to do in South Padre Island 

  • Port Isabel Lighthouse – Take a self-guided tour of the Port Isabel Lighthouse to see the view of the island from the top. 
  • Laguna Madre Nature Trail – Laguna Madre Nature Trail is a 1-mile long loop trail where you can see marshland, wildlife, and over 300 species of birds.
  • Gravity Park – Gravity Park is for all adrenaline lovers; this adventure/amusement park has got everything from mini-golf to the tallest reverse-bungee in the world.
  • South Padre Island Golf Club – Tee off at the South Padre Island Golf Club and enjoy beautiful sights around you. 
  • Queen Isabella Fishing Pier – Walk, fish, or people watch on Queen Isabella Fishing Pier.

South Padre also features in our best college spring break destinations.

Sunset at South Padre Island Beach in Texas

4.) St. Augustine, Florida for History

When you think about the best places to go in July in the USA, a trip to Florida is usually high on the list; head 45 minutes south of Jacksonville and take a trip to St. Augustine. 

In St. Augustine, you can have the quintessential beach experience in temps as high at 91F but also explore some of America’s oldest history and even reimagine your life as a pirate!

Since it gets hot and humid in July, plan to do your activities in the morning and if you’re at the beach, reapply sunblock often.

Read this guide for some insider knowledge on the ultimate Florida bucket list.

Things to do in St. Augustine 

  • Crescent Beach – Crescent Beach is popular for long beach walks; bike rides on the sand, volleyball, frisbee, and other fun and activities.
  • Colonial Quarter – Visit the Colonial Quarter for a chance to step back in time and explore 500 years of European History in St. Augustine with tours and interactive exhibits.
  • Fountain of Youth – Discover the Fountain of Youth, America’s oldest colony, and find out for yourself if the fountain’s magical properties are real or not.
  • Black Raven Adventures – Black Raven Adventures takes place on a pirate ship & will unleash your inner pirate whether you choose the adults-only or family-friendly version.
  • Trolley Tour & Museum – Get to know the city with a trolley tour and admission to St. Augustine History Museum; get your tickets here.
St.-Augustine-Florida with palm trees

5.) Outer Banks, North Carolina for a Chilled, Stunning Coastal Vacation

Classically known as one of the best US beaches to visit in July in the USA, the OBX is a great family-friendly vacation spot with temps ranging from the low 70s to the mid 80s.

Visitors love the low key 200-mile (320 km) stretch of the OBX – no boardwalks, high rise hotels or theme parks!

Two and a half hours west from Greenville, you can find some fantastic views, have a blast on the beach, explore some local history and go fishing from a famous pier – what else could you want?

Things to do in Outer banks 

  • Visit Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom for enslaved people.
  • Jockey’s Ridge – Jockey’s Ridge is popular for kite-flying, sunset-watching, and sightseeing because it is the tallest sand dune on the Atlantic Coast.
  • Check out the cute beach cottages at Nag’s Head next door to Jockey’s Ridge.
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial – Visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial to learn all about the first flight with interactive exhibits, sculptures, and more.
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – The 200+ year old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the country and offers fantastic island views.
  • Roanoke Island Festival Park – Roanoke Island Festival Park is a 25-acre historic site that takes visitors back to the life of the early settlers. 
  • Do the self-guided Northeast North Carolina African American Experience to discover 30 sites.
  • Fishing at Jeanette’s Pier – Fishing at Jennette’s Pier is a classic activity for anyone visiting the OBX interested in angling; try for a catch off of the 1,000-foot long concrete pier.
Beach with cottages at Nags Head in the outer banks. North Carolina

6.) Boston, Massachusetts for History, July 4th & Tours

If you want to celebrate Independence Day, Boston is one of the best places to visit in the US in July.

It is full of American history, celebrations, and of course, fireworks – but did you know Boston has a fantastic beach too? With temperatures from the mid-60s to the low 80s, you’ll be grateful for a dip in the water.

History buffs and beach lovers can find the perfect vacation combo here – and if you only have 24 hours for your trip, read this guide.

Green and orange trolley tour in Boston

Things to do in Boston

  • Fourth of July – Fourth of July in Boston consists of historical re-enactments, live music, parades, & a fireworks display over the Harbor. 
  • Explore the self-guided Black Heritage Trail or the seasonal Walk The Black Heritage Trail around Beacon Hill.
  • Revere Beach – Most people don’t think of beaches when they picture Boston, but Revere Beach has blue water, white sand, and tons of amusements and attractions.
  • Red Sox – Red Sox game at Fenway Park is a must-do activity when in Boston – just make sure not to wear any Yankees merch! 
  • Shakespeare on the Common – Shakespeare on the Common is a free event all summer long under the stars.
  • Boston Tea Party Museum Tour – Relive the early American roots with this interactive Boston Tea Party Museum tour; get your tickets here.
Boston Common park garden

7.) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in July for Patriotic Activities

Get your Fourth of July celebrations on in Philadelphia with some of the best patriotic activities in the country.

Nothing more American than a cold beer on a hot summer’s day (up to 90F!) and fireworks where the Founding Fathers met and created America.

Philadelphia Liberty Bell.

Things to do in Philadelphia

  • Stars and Bars – Stars and Bars is the best way to celebrate the nation’s birthday is with a cold beer, entertainment, great food, and even prizes and giveaways. (All July)
  • Fourth of July Wawa Welcome America – Fourth of July Wawa Welcome America has a variety of events to celebrate leading up to the holiday but is most well known for their concert on the 4th.
  • Liberty Bell – Liberty Bell is mandatory if this is your first visit to Philly; get up close and personal with the world’s most recognizable symbols of freedom.
  • Battle of Gettysburg – Gettysburg is about two and a half hours west; but, if you’re traveling in that direction in early July, the Battle of Gettysburg is an amazing historical re-enactment that you have to see to believe.
  • Founding Fathers Historical Walking Tour – Brush up on your knowledge of the nation’s history with a Founding Fathers historical walking tour; get your tickets here.
Philadelphia skyline at dusk

8.) New York, New York in July for Fireworks

People all around the country watch the Macy’s fireworks show on TV, and this year maybe you’ll get to see the infamous event for yourself.

Even if you miss the show, there’s so much to do, especially if you like to be outdoors in the low 70s to high 80s weather. 

There’s never a wrong time to visit New York, but July is definitely a great time to go. 

Yellow taxi Central Park New York

Things to do in New York

  • Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks – The classic NYC experience for the holiday, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show features multiple various musical performances, and of course, fireworks!
  • Outdoors Summer Movies – New Yorkers love going to the free outdoor summer movies throughout the city. Bring a snack and a blanket with you!
  • Kayak on the Hudson – Get out on the water and kayak on the Hudson from Pier 26 and get a little respite from city life.
  • Broadway in the Park – Broadway in the Park is a great way to get a little teaser of the best of Broadway with free performances in Bryant Park.
  • American Museum of Natural History – Cool off from the heat in the American Museum of Natural History and explore the interactive exhibits, including the planetarium; get your tickets here.
Beautiful skyline of Central Park and New York city from Rockefeller Observatory - Top of the Rock - New York, USA

9.) Washington DC for Museums, Jazz & July 4th Celebrations

With so many fun and festive things to do, it’s clear why DC is one of the best US cities to visit in July.

Whether you want to sit outside in gorgeous weather (expect the heat to get up to 90F) and listen to music or watch people pass you by, or go exploring to a new and secret spot, you’ll love your whole trip no matter what.

Washington Monument on the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC

Things to do in Washington DC

  • Fourth of July – Fourth of July in the Capitol has to be on your DC bucket list; watch the fireworks over the National Mall as you celebrate. 
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival – The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates and brings together people from all over. (Early July)
  • Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens – Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a hidden oasis in the city where you can relax amongst the greenery.
  • Jazz in the Garden – Every Friday in the summer, Jazz in the Garden takes place in the Sculpture Garden on the National Gallery of Art grounds for free.
  • Nighttime Trolley Tour – Take a nighttime trolley tour to see the most famous DC monuments by moonlight; get your tickets here.

DC also features in our guide to the best places to visit in March for the cherry blossoms.

10.) Chicago, Illinois in July for July 4th Festivities

If you picture nothing but baseball and old-school mobsters when you think of Chicago, you are missing so much!

Come to Chicago for the baseball but stay for the fun on the river, priceless art, and the 80 something degree weather on their beach.

Here’s our Chicago itinerary packed with things to do.

Chicago River Boat Tour

Things to do in Chicago

  • Fourth of July – Celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks over the lakefront, take a boat cruise along the river, and catch-free live concerts in Millennium Park.
  • Chicago River – Take a kayak or canoe out onto the Chicago River to cool down and check out the sights.
  • Navy Pier – Navy Pier is one of the top spots in the city, full of places to eat a drink, attractions, sights, and more.
  • Shore Club Chicago – Shore Club Chicago is the best spot for beach life in the city, with great food and entertainment opportunities.
  • Art Institute of Chicago – Skip the line to the Art Institute of Chicago and see the extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings; get your tickets here.
Chicago Beach with USA Flag

 11.) St Michaels, Maryland for a Small Town Getaway

 If small towns are your favorite vacation spots, St. Michaels needs to be on your list of places to visit in the USA in July.

Head 45 minutes west of the Delaware border, and you’ll stumble upon this small but gorgeous seaside town brimming with quaint streets and things to do.

Stay on land and learn about their history and check out the shops or take advantage of the nearly 90F weather and head out on the water to cool off. 

Things to do in St. Michaels

  • Talbot Street – Grab some ice cream, go antiquing, check out an art gallery, and more on this popular street.
  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a great way to learn about the history of the area, and you can even explore the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse.
  • St Michael’s Winery – Taste some local wine at St Michael’s Winery and enjoy the sunshine on the outdoor patio.
  • Go Crabbing – Take a chartered boat like this one to go crabbing and catch your own infamous Maryland blue crabs.
  • Go Adventuring – Take a paddleboard out on the water or take a bike ride around the shore with rental companies like Shore Pedal & Paddle.

12.) Lake Saranac, New York in July for Cooler Temperatures

About an hour south of the Canadian border, the sleepy town of Saranac comes to life in the summertime.

The sunny days are a little more bearable, with temperatures only reaching the mid 70s most days, meaning you can hang out on the lake for even longer!

Check out the best places to explore upstate with this New York bucket list.

Things to do in Lake Saranac

  • Saranac Lake – Saranac Lake is full of adventure; take out a jet ski and explore it for yourself!
  • Adirondack Carousel – Adirondack Carousel is full of hand-carved colorful woodland animals created by volunteer woodworkers and has been a beloved part of the town for ten years.
  • Adirondack Artists Guild – The Adirondack Artists Guild is the perfect spot to find a one of a kind masterpiece to take home to remember the views.
  • Downtown Saranac – Downtown Saranac is a charming little spot where you can have a coffee and marvel at a mountain or grab a souvenir at a shop overlooking a lake.
  • The Saranac Six – The Saranac Six refers to the six mountains around the lake, Baker, St. Regis, Scarface, Ampersand, Haystack, and Mackenzie; if you do them all, you’ll be a “Saranac 6er”.

13.) Portland, Oregon for Craft Beer, Coffee & a Cool City Break

Calling all music and beer lovers – Portland in July is the place for you!

Slightly cooler temperatures (from the high 50s to the low 80s) mean that you will still enjoy the long days of sunshine but not feel so lethargic – leaving plenty of energy for beer tastings. 

If you’ve only got a few days in Portland, check out this guide for the best way to spend them.

Portland Oregon sign at night

Things to do in Portland

  • Sunday Parkways – Sunday Parkways promote health and wellness, and community by pedestrianizing city areas for people to walk and cycle, set up vendor booths, and try something new to eat. 
  • Cathedral Park Jazz Festival – Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is the longest-running free jazz festival west of the Mississippi and is any jazz lover’s paradise. (Mid July)
  • Waterfront Blues Festival – Waterfront Blues Festival is one of the world’s premier blues festivals and has raised over $10 million to help those facing hunger in the last 20 years. (Early July)
  • Oregon Brewers festival – Oregon Brewers festival is one of the country’s longest-running craft beer festivals and features every sort of brew you could imagine. (Mid July)
  • Craft Brewery Walking Tour – Explore the Eastside neighborhood, taste the best beer samples, and learn about the brewing history in the city; get your tickets here.

Portland also features in our guide to the best places to visit in January if you prefer a city to yourself.

Alternatively, visit Portland at Christmas for lights, independent shopping and boat decorations.

Portland Oregon Waterfront with buildings and bridges

14.) San Juan Islands, Washington in July for Island Life with Cool-ish Temps

If you want to escape to island life but can’t make it as far over as Hawaii, try the San Juan Islands.

Much cooler than Hawaii, with temperatures usually in the low 70s, the San Juan Islands offers everything from fantastic views to beautiful art to amazing wildlife sightings. 

Just hop a ferry from Anacortes, located an hour and a half north of Seattle, to begin the fun.

Things to do in the San Juan Islands

  • Mount Constitution – The highest point on the island, Mount Constitution has a stone tower that offers a 360 view of the area.
  • Orcas Island – Orcas Island is 57 square miles of lush green that many people love to scenically drive-through or explore by bicycle.
  • Lopez Village – Lopez Village offers coffee shops, galleries, farmer’s markets, restaurants, and more — everything it needs to be self-sustaining and a quaint place to visit.
  • San Juan Islands Sculpture Park – San Juan Islands Sculpture Park holds over 150 rotating sculptures on its 20 acres — you might even be able to purchase your favorite one.
  • Whale Watching – Taking a whale watching tour is a great way to see the best of the islands; Orcas live here year-round along with other species like sea lions, minkes, grey whales, and more.

15.) Lake Tahoe, California  in July for Outdoor Activities

On the border of Nevada, just 45 minutes south of Reno, lies the beautiful Lake Tahoe.

The temperatures fluctuate from 50-80F, meaning warm sunny days and chillier cozy nights leaving you tons of choices of things to do, from exploring the outdoors in the day to huddled bonfires at night.

Get the best out of your trip to California by following this guide.

Things to do in Lake Tahoe

  • Vikingsholm Castle – Standing for nearly a century, Vikingsholm Castle is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States and is open for summer tours.
  • Baldwin Beach – Baldwin Beach has stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and gorgeous sandy beaches along Lake Tahoe.
  • Eagle Falls and Lake – Eagle Falls and Lake is full of breath-taking scenery but is an easy enough hike that most people can endure the journey.
  • Rubicon Trail – Rubicon Trail is a moderately difficult and very popular 16-mile trail near South Lake Tahoe.
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Flight – Take a helicopter flight over Emerald Bay to see the best views in the area; get your tickets here.

Final Thoughts

July is such a great time to get away if you love the sun (and who doesn’t love the sun!) Independence Day celebrations bring lots of fun and festivities and warm sunny days mean lazy beach days or city exploring – or both!

Not ready to go on a vacay in July and need more time to plan? Check out this guide for the best places to visit in September.

14 Best Places to Visit in USA in June – Summer Vacation Ideas

Planning a summer trip to find adventure and fun or maybe sun and relaxation – or perhaps all of the above?!

There are definitely the obvious choices like Florida or California, which have a whole host of ideal summer getaway spots, but in this guide, we’ve also got some hidden gems to add to your list of best places to visit in USA in June.

Take a hot air balloon ride over the mountains, snorkel through sea caves, hit the links on a professional course, or just snooze in the sun with your favorite book.

As with all of our US by month travel inspiration guides, we’ve outlined the temperatures in June for each location, the fun festivals and events taking place, what the prices are compared to off season and why you might want to visit that destination.

Which US destination do you hope to visit this June? Tell us in the comments below. We love to hear about your travels!

Check this guide for the best places to visit in May or July.

Best US Beaches to Visit in June in the USA

1. Ft. Lauderdale For Lazy Beach Days & Lively Nights

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida has it all; the nightlife, the beaches, art & culture, and even activities for the whole family. 

If you haven’t yet visited for a vacation in June, you’ll definitely want to next year. 

If the sunshine state is the place for you, extend you Ft. Lauderdale trip and check out our Florida bucket list to inspire you for the rest of your travels.

Temperatures start at 76F and hit 89F by the end of June.

Princes vary between resorts but most charge more in June compared to March and some increase rates by $100 per night!

Things to Do in Ft. Lauderdale 

  • Las Olas Boulevard – Whether you want to shop at boutiques, grab a happy hour drink, check out an art gallery, or grab a snack at a sidewalk cafe, you can do it all at Las Olas Boulevard.
  • Las Olas Beach – Las Olas Beach is full of white sand, palm trees, blue water and has a basketball court & a volleyball net, and incredible views.
  • Bonnet House – Bonnet House is a museum and garden that you can visit with a self guided audio tour or take a guided tour.
  • Hollywood Art Murals – The outdoor Hollywood Art Murals are created by local, national, and internationally recognized artists and bring color, livelihood, and culture to the area.
  • Family Pirate Cruise Adventure – This family-friendly activity comes with face painting, pirate tattoos, treasure, and a pirate certificate; get your tickets here.
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park Looking North Palm trees. Florida.

2. La Jolla For California Beaches, Golf & Shows

If a vacation in June doesn’t scream California to you, what will?

Head to La Jolla Cove for top notch beaches, pristine golf course, and don’t forget about the world class theatre productions you’ll see here as well.

So much to see and so little time to see it? Our California bucket list guide will help you prioritize.

There’s a bit of a mark up on June hotels compared to March in La Jolla.

Expect to pay $20-50 more per night.

Temperatures range from 61F to 73F so pack accordingly.

Things to Do in La Jolla

  • La Jolla Playhouse – If you want to see some of the best Broadway shows before they get to Broadway, visit the La Jolla Playhouse, where brand new shows regularly make waves.
  • La Jolla Shores – Relax with the gentle waves at La Jolla Shores, a mile-long beach that is family friendly and known for its amazing sunset views.
  • Torrey Pines Golf Course – Tee off with amazing views at Torrey Pines Golf Course, where you’ll hunt for your missing golf ball atop cliffs looking out over the Pacific Ocean. 
  • La Jolla Underwater Park – La Jolla Underwater Park is one of the top 10 places to snorkel in the world; the crystal clear water means to can see amazing undersea creatures, swim through sea caves, and maybe even see the secret underwater graveyard.
  • Sea Cave Kayaking Tour – Embark on a guided sea cave kayaking tour at La Jolla’sJolla’s Ecological Reserve and Seven Sea Caves; get your tickets here.

3. Lewes in June For a Small Beach Town Getaway

Lewes in Delaware is a little beach town is beloved by many, with people flocking year after year to get to one of the best US cities to visit in June.

Have fun doing some tax-free shopping at the outlets and the boutique shops, spend your days on the perfect beach, or just take a lazy walk around the beautiful old mansions. 

Want to know more about the Delaware beaches? This guide will help.

Lewes, Delaware bench on beach

Things to Do in Lewes

  • Lewes Beach – Lewes Beach is a small, family friendly public beach that is great for playing the water or reading a book on the sand. 
  • Shopping at the Outlets – Thanks to the tax-free shopping, a day at the Tanger Outlets in nearby Rehoboth Beach is the perfect way to grab a new summer wardrobe.
  • Second Street – Stroll down Second Street, a quaint and popular street filled with shopping places and eating surrounded by historical homes and buildings.
  • The Lewes Historical Society – Known as the “First Town in the First State,” The Lewes Historical Society can tell you all about the rich history of this little town.
  • Get a photo of the famous Purple House on Savannah Road.
  • Cape May Sunset Cruise – If you take the ferry from Lewes to Cape May, you can spend the evening on a cruise watching the sunset – just don’t forget to keep an eye out for the dolphins; get your tickets here.
Purple house along Savannah Road in Lewes, Delaware

4. Virginia Beach For Beach Life, Jazz & Soccer

A classic beach vacation, you might already know that Virginia Beach is one of the best US vacation spots to visit in June.

You’ll probably spend all of your time in and around the beach, but you can also play soccer, listen to live jazz, and even take a haunted ghost tour.

For more on the best East Coast beaches, read this guide.

You can expect lows of 64F and highs of 75F at Virginia Beach in June.

It is summer, so hotel prices double in June at Virginia Beach so choose your accommodation wisely!

Things to Do in Virginia Beach

  • Hampton Jazz Festival – A celebration of all things American Jazz, the Hampton Jazz Festival has been a staple for over 50 years for people to come together and enjoy the music together. (Late June)
  • North American Sand Soccer Championships – Everyone is invited to play at the North American Sand Soccer Championship; just grab ten friends, design your uniforms, and hit the sand. (Mid June)
  • Virginia Beach – Hit the water or relax on the sand at Virginia Beach; you’ll enjoy The Oceanfront the best, it is known for its attractions, cafes, and everything a classic beach vacation needs.
  • Virginia Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk – The Virginia Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk is a 28 foot wide three mile long quintessential beach experience complete with live entertainment, art installations, shops, cafes, attractions, and even a bike path.
  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour – Get to see the darker side of the city with a haunted walking ghost tour where you’ll learn all about everything from pirates to witches; get your tickets here.

5. Hilton Head in June for Beaches & Golf

If you’re looking for the best US beaches to visit in June in the USA, Hilton Head in South Carolina is one of them!

You won’t want to spend a minute indoors with the many choices of beaches and golf courses to spend your time at; you won’t ever want to leave.

Temperatures range from 70F to 88F.

Expect to pay at least an extra $80 per night on hotel rooms.

Things to Do in Hilton Head

  • Harbour Town Golf Links – Go golfing at Harbour Town Golf Links; this public park is used for PGA tournaments and is a world class place to play.
  • Burkes Beach – Not only is Burkes Beach is a great place to have fun in the sun, but it is also well known to be a great place to cycle, thanks to the many paved trails. 
  • Gullah Museum Of Hilton Head – Learn about and celebrate Gullah culture at the Gullah Museum Of Hilton Head.
  • Coligny Beach Park – Coligny Beach Park is one of the most popular spots on the island; there is free parking, outdoor showers, restrooms, a fountain, boardwalk, umbrella & chair rentals, and of course, a beautiful beach. 
  • Scenic Helicopter Tour – Get the best views of the island with this scenic helicopter tour that the whole family will love; get your tickets here.

Best US Cities to Visit in June

6. Anchorage in June for (Nearly) 24 Hours of Daylight

When you think about places to visit in the USA in June, Alaska isn’t usually the state that springs to mind – but that’s about to change.

Your trip will have almost 24 hours of sunlight, celebrations, beautiful gardens, and even the opportunity to mine for gold! What more could you want?

Temperatures in Anchorage range from 47f to 65F in June.

Hotel prices do double in summer compared to low season (March) so consider this when budgeting your trip.

Things to Do in Anchorage

  • Summer Solstice Festival – Celebrate the 22 hours of sunlight at the Summer Solstice Festival, including a downtown celebration, marathons, fishing, baseball, cookouts, parades, and more.
  • Anchorage Gardens – Known as “the City of Lights and Flowers,” the city has over 80,000 flowers in 460 city beds; Town Square Park is one of the most popular spots to see the sights. 
  • Anchorage Museum – The Anchorage Museum has a wide range of exhibits and programs that span everything from the Native history of Alaska to a planetarium.
  • Crow Creek Mine – Relive the Gold Rush at the Crow Creek Mine, where you can pan for gold and even camp. (All June)
  • Sightseeing Trolley Tour – See some of the city’s most historic and scenic parts on the trolley tour, complete with narration and indoor heating; get your tickets here.

7. Portland, Maine For Wine & Water Sports

Is there anything lovelier than Maine at the beginning of the summer? 

Sip the best wines, walk through the parks in full bloom, and go out onto the water. No matter what you want to do, Portland will have it ready and waiting for you.

Can’t get enough of New England? This guide will help you find all the best things to do.

Portland, ME sees highs of 75F and lows of 51F during June with lower temps forecasted for the start of the month.

Hotel room rates also double in June compared to March but there are lots of outdoor activities that don’t cost much which could balance things out.

Things to Do in Portland

  • Portland Wine Week – Get ready to drink at the Portland Wine Week; it has tastings and special events, seminars, wine brunch/lunch/dinners, and more. (Mid June)
  • Portland Museum of Art – The Portland Museum of Art has collections from Andy Warhol to Claude Monet and over 18,000 items to keep you entertained.
  • Visit the social media darling, Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth.
  • Bug Light Park – Take a walk through Bug Light Park, and you’ll see Portland Harbor, the skyline, the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse; visitors picnic, fly kits, fish, and enjoy seasonal events here.
  • Victoria Mansion – The late 19th Century Victoria Mansion has been open to the public since 1941, and visitors love to take a walk back in time and learn about gilded life. 
  • Schooner Tall Ship Cruise – See the views of the town on a schooner tall ship cruise and keep an eye out for seals and other wildlife; get your tickets here.
Portland Head Light Maine New England

8. City Island, New York For Seafood & Getting Away From NYC Pace

Even if you’ve visited New York a hundred times, odds are you haven’t visited City Island, a neighborhood in northeastern Bronx.

An oasis from the craziness, City Island is much more like a town from New England instead of less than 20 miles from Times Square, so if you need to get away, this is one of the best places to travel in the US in June.

Expect NYC temperatures to reach 96F by the end of the month.

There isn’t much difference between accommodation rates in the Bronx but Manhattan hotels have a slight increase of around $30 per night compared to March.

Things to Do in City Island

  • Eat Fresh & Local Seafood – Anywhere you look; you’ll see signs for fresh & local seafood that was most likely caught that same morning; from lobster to shrimp to calamari if you want it, they’ve probably got it.
  • Go Fishing -Grab some bait and tackle or take a charter and see what you can catch.
  • City Island Historical Museum – Learn about this tiny island’s nautical history on weekends all summer long at the City Island Historical Museum.
  • Orchard Beach – Orchard Beach is just across the water, once known as the “Riviera of New York City” the beautiful beach is a great way to spend the day, and you can walk (or drive) into City Island for dinner.
  • Bronx, Queens, & Brooklyn Tour – Get out of Manhattan on this tour of the best parts of the Queens, Brooklyn, & The Bronx; get your tickets here.
Aerial view of cityscape in Bronx New York

9. Cincinnati in June For The Fringe, Pride and Juneteenth

Cincinnati, Ohio might just surprise you, but it is on our list of best places to go in June in the USA for good reason.

The Cinci Fringe, Pride, and Juneteenth festivals hold a world of cultural and community based ways to get to know this great city.

Pack for temperatures starting at 59F and reaching 84F.

Hotel rates don’t change much between June and March, you might pay $10 more per night at some hotels.

 Things to Do in Cincinnati

  • Cinci Fringe Festival – Inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe, the Cinci Fringe Festival has all sorts of live acts for you to enjoy. (Early-mid June)
  • Summerfair – Head to Coney Island to join in on one of the oldest continuous art fairs in the country; Summerfair has hundreds of artists and craftspeople selling everything you could imagine. (Early June)
  • Cincinnati Pride – March and celebrate in style at the Cincinnati Pride with floats, entertainment, and more. (Late June)
  • Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival – At the Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival, you’ll find music, dancing, historical and educational activities, and more. (Mid June)
  • Riverboat Tour of Ohio River – Board the vintage riverboat and take an afternoon cruise down the Ohio River while you enjoy lunch and listen to live music; get your tickets here.

10. Manchester For Music Festivals, Jack D & a Day Trip to Nashville

Music lovers will flock to Manchester, Tennessee for the infamous Bonaroo Music Festival, but that’s not the only reason this is one of the best places to travel in June in the USA.

You can also spend time in the beautiful outdoors and even get the freshest bottle of Jack Daniels to bring home as a souvenier. 

In Manchester, temperatures go as low as 60F and reach 87F in June.

There isn’t much difference between hotel rates comparing June with March.

Things to Do in Manchester

  • Bonnaroo Music Festival – Bonnaroo Music Festival not only has 150+ musicians playing on over ten stages but also interactive art installations, top notch food, campgrounds, and more. 
  • Jack Daniels Distillery – Get the best of American bourbon at the Jack Daniels Distillery, where you can take a variety of tours and, of course, indulge in some tastings.
  • Arrowheads/Aerospace Cultural Center – Arrowheads/Aerospace Cultural Center is an interactive museum featuring local Indian artifacts, several antique collections, scale replicas, and more.
  • Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park – Thousands of years old, the Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park was used by the Indigenous population, the European settlers, and today is a favorite hiking & camping spot for many.
  • Half-Day Tour Nashville – Just an hour north, take a narrated half-day tour of Nashville, visiting all of the top spots; get your tickets here.

11. Greenville in June For Lesser-Known City Getaway

Greenville in South Carolina is a bustling and fast growing city well known for its art scene; you can check it out for yourself at the many galleries and museums. 

It also is home to some of the best southern eats you’ll find anywhere, so come hungry!

Temperatures lows start at 64F and highs reach 88F in Greenville in June.

Hotel prices don’t change much in June compared to March.

Things to Do in Greenville

  • The BMW Charity Pro-Am – The BMW Charity Pro-Am allows amateurs, celebrities, and professionals to play together to raise millions for South Carolina charities. (Early June)
  • First Friday Gallery Crawl – Start the month with an artistic flair at the First Friday Gallery Crawl, where you can visit the galleries and venues across the city.
  • Greenville Museum of Art – The Greenville Museum of Art is a free museum that focuses on inclusion to make art accessible for all.
  • Saturday Market – Two blocks of Downton Greenville turn into a vibrant farmer’s market every Saturday from May to October, with over 75 vendors selling produce and crafts.
  • Breakfast Foodie Walking Tour- Learn your way around the downtown Greenville area on this guided tour and try various breakfast dishes from some of the town’s staples; get your tickets here.

12. Albuquerque in June For Romantic Hot Air Balloon Rides

Did you know that Albuquerque, New Mexico is the ballooning capital of the world?

Just imagine a gorgeous mountain range with colorful hot air balloons dotting the sky, and that’s what you’ll find here.

Even if heights aren’t your thing, you can  hang out in the river, check out a museum, or go for a scenic cycling route.

Another great thing about Albuquerque is affordability.

It is one of the cheap places to visit in June and all year round which is ideal for budget travlers.

Temperatures range from 58F to 93F in June.

Hotels in Albuquerque don’t change too much in summer compared to low season, expect to pay $20-30 per night if that.

Albuquerque also features in our cheapest cities in visit in the US.

New Mexico, Albuquerque scenic mountain landscape shot at Sandia Peak National Park

Things to Do in Albuquerque

  • The Sandia Mountains – See the Sandia Mountains from the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, the longest tramway in North America & look out over 11,000 miles of landscape.
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride – See why the city is the Ballooning Capital of the World and take a hot air balloon ride over the desert and mountains.
  • 50 Mile Activity Loop – The 50 Mile Activity Loop is a multi-use bikeway and trail path that goes from downtown, over the Rio Grande, along the Sandia Mountains, and more; a great way to get out and see the city.
  • Georgia O’Keefe Museum – Visit the Georgia O’KeefeO’Keefe Museum and see the works of one of the greatest American artists of all time. 
  • Rio Grande Paddleboard Tour – Spend the day on a guided Rio Grande paddleboard tour learning the basics of what to do & experiencing the 5th longest river on the continent; get your tickets here.

Albuquerque also features in our romantic places to visit in the US.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Best Places to Visit in June For the Outdoors

13. Jackson For National Park Adventures

If Jackson in Wyoming isn’t on your list of best places to visit in June in the USA, it should be; your trip will be nothing but fun and adventures.

Visit one of America’s most beloved National Parks, get to know the locals at the market, and even partake in the longest running shoot-out .

Prepare for cooler temps at the start of the month going as low as 31F then increasing to highs of 76F as June comes to an end.

Hotel rooms are pricer in June, 2 x more than March. Ouch!

Things to Do in Jackson

  • Grand Teton National Park – Grand Teton National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the country for a good reason; with a gorgeous mountain range, a scenic highway, a National Elk Refuge, forest, river, and more, there are endless ways to explore. Early summer is the best time to spot elk!
  • Jackson Hole Shootout – The Jackson Hole Shootout gives a glimpse into life on the frontier; see how justice was one served at the longest-running shootout in the entire country (All June)
  • Jackson Hole People’s Market – The People’s Market focuses on and celebrates all things local, community, and sustainable; get some fresh produce or handmade items here.
  • Summer Solstice Celebration – Kick off the new season at Rendezvous Park with live muisc, food, and fun for the whole family. (Late June)
  • Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride – Start your day off with a champagne toast and see the world from up above in a hot air balloon ride of Grand Teton National Park; get your tickets here.

14. Colorado Springs For Outdoor Playground & Live Music

There are so many free things to do in Colorado Springs; it is one of the top cheap places to visit in June in the USA.

Listen to live music, wander through a Farmer’s Market, walk through beautiful gardens, check out local art, and more, all without spending a dime.

Colorado Springs temperatures double by the end of the month of June, starting with lows of around 49F and hitting 83F.

As with the beach locations featured in our guide, the nature locations are also in demand so look forward to hotel rates doubling in June.

Things to Do in Colorado Springs

  • Woodland Music Series – The Woodland Music Series is a great way to enjoy live music all summer long; you’ll hear from the best local talent from all musical genres. (All June)
  • Old Colorado City Farmers Market – Grab some delicious and fresh produce & goods at the Old Colorado City Farmers Market, a 20-year love favorite with dozens of vendors to choose from. (Mid to Late June)
  • Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – Watch as cars “Race to the Clouds” at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an automobile hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak. (The last Sunday of June)
  • Garden of the Gods – Aptly named, the Garden of the Gods is a gorgeous nature center with free admission where you can hike, cycle, rock climb, & more. 
  • First Friday Artwalk- On the first Friday of every month in Old Colorado City, local businesses and artists put on the Artwalk; this free event gives you the chance to see art galleries and open artist studios.
  • Four Wheel Drive Tour – See the Pike National Forest on a four-wheel drive guided tour; get your tickets here. 

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to see why these destinations are among the best places to visit in the USA in June. 

You can choose to go to the mountains, the ocean, small towns, or big cities but you’re guaranteed to have a great time at all of them. 

When you’re ready to start planning for fall, this guide will help.

Best Places to Visit in USA in September: Beaches, Fall Colors & Labor Day Events

Mountain in Hawaii, baseball on sand, Lake Placid at Fall

Looking for the best places to visit in the USA in September? This guide details options for a variety of trips. So if you’re planning a sunny trip to the beach, chasing the start of leaf peeping season or hoping for a Labor Day getaway, let us help you create the perfect September vacation.

As with all of our US by month travel inspiration guides, we’ve outlined the temperatures in September for each location, the fun festivals and events taking place, what the prices are compared to summer and why you might want to visit that destination.

Which US destination do you hope to visit this September? Tell us in the comments below. We love to hear about your travels!

If you are still deciding what month to travel in, check out our guide on the best places to visit in the US in October too.

Best Places to Visit in September in the USA For a Warm Vacation

Maui, Hawaii in September For Fewer Crowds & Warm Temperatures

If you are looking for a beach vacation in September with fewer crowds, consider Maui in Hawaii,

Maui’s September temperatures range from 60°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C), but some areas still see temperatures near the 90s. 

The weather is perfect for cruising down the picture-perfect Hana coast that’s dotted with black sand beaches and waterfalls.

Take a leisurely stroll along the Wailea Beach Path (image) which is 3.5 miles along the oceanfront.

Visit Hamoa Beach, a small patch of sand with stunning views.

There’s also the black-sand Honokalani Beach along the Hana drive.  

Maui is one of the world’s top diving destinations, so hop in the crystal clear water for a snorkel tour

Further inland, there’s Haleakala National Park where you can hike active volcanoes and explore plants only found on Maui. 

September is also full of festivals and events including the Festivals of Aloha, the Chinese Moon Festival, and weekly community parties.

Although Hawaiians indeed love Spam, there’s certainly more to the local cuisine than canned meat.

Fuel up for a day on the beach with a Loco Moco breakfast.

You can’t go wrong with fresh seafood dishes, especially poke. 

A September Maui vacation will be cheaper than going to the island during the peak summer and winter seasons and you can save $50-100 per night on hotel rates compared to July. 

Wailea Beach Path over golden sand at Maui Hawaii

Delray Beach in September for a Sunny, Small Beach Town Vacation

If you fancy a beach getaway this September but don’t want your shores attached to a city or a big resort, head to Delray Beach in Florida.

Delray Beach was voted “Most Fun Small Town in the USA” and art fans will love what it has to offer.

September temperatures range from 76°F to 88°F.

If you can only handle a few days lazing on the beach, Delray has enough to keep you in town for a week.

Visit the museum and ground of Hatsume Fair at Morikami Park or Cornell Museum for contemporary art.

Dine and shop on Atlantic Avenue and get your sounvenirs at the Big Apple Bazzar.

Look out for the happy hour deals for Downtown bars at ‘Florida’s Village by the Sea’.

Delray Beach isn’t just one of the best beaches to visit in September in the US, it is rated all year round.

However, it is slightly more expensive for hotels compared to July.

Looking for more small coastal town inspiration? Check out our guide to East Coast beach towns.

Aerial drone photo of sandy beach and blue ocean at Delray Beach Florida

Palm Springs in September For Warm Weather & Desert Nature

Holiday as the rich and famous used to at Palm Springs in California.

This arid location enjoys temperatures of 64°F to 91°F in September so remember to pack your sunscreen and hat.

Golf or admire the gardens at Sunnylands Center, check out the natural palm fans at Indian Canyons once home to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and see the area from high via the Palm Springs Tramway up Mount San Jacinto.

Take a day trip to Pioneertown, created in the 1940s as a “Living Breathing Movie Set”.

It’s just a 40 minute drive away and there is free parking, partner.

Want to visit a famous national park?

Let someone else do the driving on this day tour to Joshua Tree National Park.

Hotel prices in Palm Springs in September are similar to that in summer.

Western style building at Pioneertown California

Best Places to Travel in the US in September for Fall Colors

Crisp morning, cozy sweatshirts, pumpkin spiced everything and fall colors – these are a few of our favorite things.

The following New England and New York State destinations have a smidge of a chance of showing off the start of their foliage towards the end of September however, we always stress – don’t just plan a trip just for trees!

Make sure there is enough going on at the location for you to still enjoy your vacation if leaf peeping takes place later than previous years.

It is difficult to determine for definite when leaves will change color but you can keep an eye on handy foliage reports curated by locals which we’ll link to below.

If seeing fall colors is non negotiable, check out our guide to the best places to visit in October in the USA.

Aerial view of fall foliage along the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York along Five State Lookout.439076974_l-2015

Bar Harbor in September For a Chilled Coastal Retreat

Bar Harbor, Maine at the outskirts of Acadia National Park, gets inundated with tourists during the peak summer and autumn months. 

Early to mid September visitors can take advantage of Bar Harbor’s mid-season lull with cheaper prices and less-crazy crowds.

Although temperatures will be getting cooler between 50°F to 68°F, visitors can embrace the easy access to stunning lookouts and rugged beaches in Acadia National Park.

Early birds should make reservations to watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia.

If you’re more of a night owl, head to the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival for the best stargazing on the east coast.

Bar Harbor also has plenty to explore including seaside restaurants, historic mansions, and peaceful walking paths along the beach. 

Be sure to keep an eye on the water to catch a glimpse of migrating whales off the coast. 

You can also do some shopping at the annual Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival or take a walk downtown.

Rocky coast and view of boats in the harbor at Bar Harbor, Maine

Although Bar Harbor may feel like a remote destination, there are certainly some delicious local foods to explore. 

Sample the fresh lobster rolls and fresh blueberry pie that Maine is famous for.

Bar Harbor is an ideal location for more mature visitors so why not take your grandparents for Grandparents’ Day?

While the north of Maine sees its greens turn to orange and red first, there is a chance you will experience foliage change if you visit Bar Harbor towards the end of the month.

Keep an eye on the foliage reports here.

Bar Harbour is one of the best places to visit in the USA in September for a cool, coastal getaway and fresh ocean air with the chance of seeing summer slip into fall.

Hotel prices in September are similar to summer, you might find a small saving of $10 per night.

Lake Placid, New York State For Foliage & Fall Getaway

Lake Placid is one of the most visited areas in New York State.

It is known for hosting the Winter Olympic in 1980 and is a popular snow vacation but don’t let that put you off visiting in September because if you time it right, the fall colors have been known to turn at this time of year.

Follow the Lake Placid foliage report here.

Located in the Adirondack Mountains, there is plenty of outdoors activities to do around Lake Placid.

Hike around Mirror Lake or get on it in a boat, learn to luge the roller loops at Mount Van Hoevenberg and play Stick n’ Puck at the Olympic Ceter.

Shop local at Lake Placid Downtown and dine at the family owned Generations or eat pub grub with a view at The Cottage.

Lake Placid’s September temperatures range from 39°F to 69°F so pack accordingly.

Good news! September accommodation prices at Lake Placid are around $30-50 cheaper than July.

You may also like our New York State bucket list.

Beautiful Village of Lake Placid with fall colors at Adirondack Mountains

New Hampshire White Mountains For a New England Road Trip

Late September can be a good time for moderate foliage change in New Hampshire but again, we stress, plan other activities in case peak fall is later in October.

Follow the foliage tracker here.

Plan for temperatures ranging from 43°F to 74°F. 

The majority of things to do in the White Mountains are based around nature, making it a great escape from the city, office or working from home.

Choose between the small mountain towns of Lincoln, Littlejohn or the busier North Conway as a base for your White Mountain exploration.

Enjoy the scenic 7.6 mile drive on the Mount Washington Auto Road which is only open from May through to October.

If you prefer not to drive, you can still get great views using the gondolas at the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway and the White Mountain Express (Loon Peak) or by taking a ride on the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

The White Mountains are no stranger to beverages, pick up drink from White Mountain Cider Co or Seven Birches Winery.

Like a souvenir?

New Hampshire is one of the few states that has tax-free shopping!

Hotel prices vary between lodgings but some come in at $50 cheaper per night compared to July.

As to be expected, prices hike up for October’s peak fall season.

Mount Washington Cog Railroad at the top of Mount Washington in fall, New Hampshire

Best US Cities to Visit in September

Food, festivals and the last of the summer days.

September might just be the perfect month to visit the following cities considering crowds are fewer but the sun is still out.

Chicago in September For Lots of Live Music Festivals & Football

The Windy City, Chicago in Illinois, is the perfect September escape for its comfortable temperatures, unbeatable shopping, and a busy lineup of festivals. 

The weather is usually pleasant and mostly clear with temperatures ranging from 62°F to 74°F (16°C to 23°C).

Spend a warm afternoon cruising down the Chicago River on a guided boat tour of the city’s stunning architecture, or head to the Magnificent Mile for a day of shopping. 

If you’d rather be indoors, Chicago happens to be home to some of the nation’s top museums.

Try to get to the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago River Boat Tour

September visitors can choose from several music festivals to attend including the Chicago in Tune music festival, the North Coast Music Festival, Riot Fest alternative music festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival

There is also art, food and film festivals on such as the EXPO Chicago modern art festival, Reeling Film Festival, and the Chicago Gourmet food festival.

Chicago knows how to do celebrations well and features in our guide to the US in March for its St Paddy’s Day events.

September means football for many in the US and the Chicago Bear’s schedule kicks off so look out for games at Soldier Field.

With so much going on downtown, it’s easy for forget that Chicago is a waterfront city.

Escape the city center and head east to Navy Pier for food, drinks, and family-friendly entertainment. 

When it comes to local food, it’s hard to beat Chicago’s tasty menu.

Try Chicago deep dish pizza, a Chicago Italian beef sandwich, and a Chicago-style hot dog.

Chicago is known for its steakhouses and its great Greek food in Greektown. 

Hotels prices vary but some offer savings of up to $100 in September compared to July.

Chicago also features in our guide to the best places in the US to visit in July, if you can handle the heat!

Deep Dish Chicago Pizza

San Francisco in September For Clearer Skies & Fringe Festival 

Tourists flock to southern California beaches in September, but smart travelers turn to San Francisco for better prices and smaller crowds. 

The weather is still comfortable in September, with temperatures ranging from 56°F to 71°F (13°C to 22°C). 

San Francisco Bay’s pervasive fog tends to lift in September.

That means ideal conditions for a seaplane tour over the water for a bird’s eye view of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco - red bridge over water on blue sky day

Just because it’s not peak season doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do on land. 

San Francisco is the birthplace of many of our favorite adult beverages.

Check out America’s first craft brewery, Anchor Steam Bar. When in doubt about your cocktail, order a martini, which was invented in the city. 

Sample the food along Fisherman’s Wharf, especially fresh seafood and Cioppino stew.

You can also catch The Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival and the San Francisco Fringe Festival in September. 

Once you’ve eaten your way through the city, get some fresh air on a day trip to Redwood National Park to gawk at the tallest trees on earth. 

As above, hotel prices vary but there are some savings to be had in San Francisco in September compared to July.

Trolly riding in San Francisco

Charleston For History and City with Beaches Close By

It’s easy to feel like you’ve traveled back in time while vacationing in the small city of Charleston, South Carolina.

Get a feel for the city’s history strolling down cobblestone streets surrounded by historic mansions in the French Quarter and Battery districts. 

You can also learn more about the Gullah people in Lowcountry at McLeod Plantation or via the Geechee Experience Tour.

History buffs can visit the site of the first Civil War battle at Fort Sumter.

If you have a car, take a drive to the country’s oldest landscaped gardens at Middleton Place. 

Once you’ve seen enough of the city, spend a day or two visiting Charleston’s elegant white-sand beaches.

Explore Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms. 

Folly Beach, South Carolina.

September is still warm and sunny with temperatures ranging from 72°F to 83°F (22°C to 28°C) offering pleasant beach conditions.

September’s great weather is perfect for festivals. 

Visitors can relax to live music at the Lowcountry Jazz Festival, eat through the city during Charleston Restaurant Week, and admire contemporary art at the MOJA Arts Festival

As for food, there’s always fresh seafood – especially oysters – on the menu in Charleston. 

You’ll also see Beaufort Stew, Beaufort Boil, or Lowcountry Boil – it’s all a delicious combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, and Old Bay seasoning. 

Hotel prices are the same in Charleston in September and July.

Charleston also features in our guide to warm winter vacation destinations.

Sunset over Charleston Downtown buildings, South Carolina.

Las Vega For a Party Vacation & Desert Day Trips

Las Vegas, Nevada is always one of the best places to vacation in the US if you are looking for 24/7 indoor and outdoor fun.

September is finally when Sin City starts to cool down from its sweltering summer heat.

Temperatures can be between 57°F to 96°F (13°C to 36°C). 

The cooler temps make it easier to explore more of the city – from the Strip’s luxurious hotels to the kid-friendly Neon Museum. 

One of the most popular things to do in Vegas is the Highroller, a 550-foot observation wheel which overlooks the Strip.

Visit the various hotels including Caesar’s Palace and Wynn.

At dusk head to the Bellagio to see the famous fountains light up and dance to music.

Whether you’re in town to party the night away, try your luck at blackjack, or take advantage of the world-class hotel spas, Vegas has something for everyone. 

Las Vegas casino machines

That also goes for the local food scene. 

Vegas cuisine ranges from class American late-night comfort food to exotic and high-brow gourmet dining. 

For some, Vegas is a bit of an assault on the senses and can start to feel overwhelming.

That’s when you hop in the car and head west for a 13-mile scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon. 

There are also guided tours of the Hoover Dam for an inside look at the massive structure holding back the country’s largest man-made lake. 

It is really common for visitors to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon.

It’s a long day on a 10-12 hour tour but worth it to see the national park on every US bucket list.

Travel prices are usually reasonable in September, but book your stay in advance for the best rates. 

$10-20 per night savings can be made booking a hotel in Vegas in September instead of July.

Las Vegas sign blue skies

New York For Labor Day Celebrations, Tennis & Baseball

The Labor Day Weekend falls in the month of September and a city that is no stranger to a parade or a party puts on a show viewed by millions of people.

Of course we are talking about New York City and the West Indian Day Parade aka the Carnival.

The event held along Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn tends to take place around the first Monday in September and is organized by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).

Expect West Indian dance, music, costumes and food during this colorful explosion of a parade made up of groups of masquerades.

Join 1-3 million people from around the world in the spirit of carnival this September in NYC.

Brooklyn’s Coney Island is also a holiday hot spot where locals enjoy the last days of sunshine along the boardwalk and at the beach.

Since Coney Island is seasonal, the Labor Day weekend is a great time to enjoy the amusement park and rides which close in October although the boardwalk stays open all year round.

September is also when the US Open kicks off in New York taking place at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens.

If you are visiting NYC over September 11th there will be some form of memorial for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.

You can visit the museum and observation deck of One World Observatory too.

September isn’t just football season, it is also the month where baseball takes off.

Get your tickets for the Mets or Yankees to catch a game and this cultural experience.

Aerial view on Coney Island and sands of Brighton Beach at sunset in NYC

First time visiting NYC? This city does’t sleep so you better pack comfortable shoes and a little black dress or two.

While some the September events in NYC take place in Brooklyn, the majority of NYC attractions that new visitors want to see are located in Manhattan.

Get lost in the madness of Time Square, find peace in Central Park, dine at Hell’s Kitchen and listen to jazz in Harlem.

Catch a sunset from the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building and watch the day turn to night over the city that doesn’t sleep.

Take a boat tour to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty or hop aboard the free Staten Island Ferry.

You may also like our 4-day NYC itinerary.

NYC’s September temperatures range from 57°F to 85°F.

As to be expected, hotels are slightly more expensive over Labor Day compared to July.

New York city at twilight. NYC

Philadelphia For The Made in America Festival

Philadelphia also has a lot going on over the Labor Day weekend with the 2-day Made in America music festival.

Curated by Jay Z and hosted at Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this multi-genre show attracts visitors from all over the country so book your tickets as soon as they are released.

It’s not just about the music – food trucks and fairground rides share the festival space and some ticket proceeds are donated to charity.

Other things to do in Philadelphia include, eat a Philly cheesesteak at Pat’s or Geno’s, join a food tour to learn more about the craft beer in the city and visit the birthplace of independence, Independence Hall.

Maybe not in that order!

Independence Hall at night in Philadelphia with bronze statue

Walk off all that food by running up and down the Rocky steps next to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and wandering around the Delaware River Waterfront.

Temperatures in September range from 55 °F to 82°F.

Philadelphia hotels are cheaper in September compared to July, even over the Made in America weekend.

Philadelphia skyline at dusk

Savannah in September For a Coastal City Experience & Jazz

Georgia’s oldest city Savannah enjoys fewer crowds in September and temperatures of 66°F to 87°F.

If you like jazz, this is the month to visit Savannah as this is when the Jazz Festival toots and blows through the city.

Other things to do include, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, learning more about the Gullah-Geechee culture at Pin Point Museum and a 2-hour tour of the US’s most haunted city and

A popular reason to visit Savannah is for the antebellum architecture with many of these mansions in Georgia being associated with plantations and enslaved people so be sure to take on a balanced learning experience when visiting the “Hostess City of the South” and other locations with this style of buildings.

Since September is still fair weather wise, consider a trip to Forsyth Park for a walk and some people watching.

Savannah’s hotel prices in September are considerably cheaper than July with savings up to $100 per night!

Forsyth Park trees and fountain in Savannah Georgia

Flagstaff in September For Route 66 & The City of Seven Wonders

A trip to northern Arizona’s eclectic city of Flagstaff lets you experience high-altitude desert scenery without the sweltering desert temperatures.

Monsoon season should be over by September so you can expect dry conditions and temperatures that range from 42°F to 74°F (5°C to 23°C). 

Flagstaff is known as The City of Seven Wonders as it is surrounded by Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Walnut Canyon, Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, and the San Francisco Peaks with the latter being sacred to Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, Yavapai and other Native Nations.

Since the city is located in the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, there are many amazing hiking trails.

Check out the Aspen Nature Loop and Bismarck Lake Trail.

The city is an 80-mile drive from the Grand Canyon with plenty of beautiful scenery along the way.

Make sure you see all the best sights with a guided day trip to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. 

Reserve your tour here.

September is Flagstaff’s off-peak season, so expect lighter crowds from tourists and lower prices.

In September, visitors can catch Flagstaff’s popular Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Festival, or get in the fall spirit at the annual Cornucopia Fall Festival

You’ll also have an easier time perusing local goods at the seasonal Community Farmers Market and getting a table at downtown restaurants. 

Be sure to spend a crisp fall night on Lowell Observatory’s Giovale Open Deck equipped with a half dozen high-powered telescopes for public use.

Flagstaff is the world’s first International Dark Sky City, making it the ideal spot for stargazing so stick around for night.

This city in Arizona, was voted one of the best college towns which means there are plenty of scope for drinks such as breweries and bars.

There is an Amtrak station located between downtown and the campus of Northern Arizona University.

Even if you’re not getting a train you might want to take a picture of the Route 66 sign.

Flagstaff is part of the The Southwest Chief route from Chicago to Los Angeles.

If you are driving to Flagstaff you will take on part of the famous Route 66.

Check out the Museum Club for line dancing and live music on the route.

Flagstaff Arizona Museum Club Sign.

Where do you plan to visit in the US this September? Tell us in the comments below.

17 Best Places to Visit in November in USA: Sunshine, Skiing & Thanksgiving

Leavenworth mountain with snow, Joshua tree desert, drone shot of Key West ocean

Looking for the best places to visit in the November in the USA? In this guide, we’ve detailed options for every type of vacation. So whether you want to escape to somewhere warm, catch the start of the ski season, add to your Christmas shopping or catch some Thanksgiving activities and parades, let us help you plan your November vacation.

As always, we’ve outlined the temperatures in November for each location, the fun festivals and events taking place, what the prices are compared to summer and why you might want to visit that destination.

The following US destinations offer lots of variety so be sure to tell us in the comments where you choose to visit. We love to hear it! If we’ve missed your favorite spot, do tell us.

If you are still deciding what month to travel in, check out our guide on the best places to visit in the US in October too.

Best Places to Visit in USA in November

The following guide will discuss cities, towns, beaches and snowy locations.

Note: Fall foliage is difficult to predict. Choose a November destination for more than just leaf peeping just in case it peaks earlier than expected.

Best US Cities to Visit in November

Portland, Oregon in November For Independent & Tax-Free Xmas Shopping

Portland is a fun city to visit all year round, but November is great if you enjoy shopping at independent stores and warming up in craft beer breweries!

Expect some rainy days and cooler temps during your trip with November temperatures range from 42°F to 52°F (5°C to 11°C). 

Luckily, crowds disperse when summer tourists head home, and you might just get the added bonus of some leaf peeping with autumn clinging on until the start of November.

Portland Oregon Waterfront bridges

Portland in November is a good time to visit for events.

Check out the popular Northwest Food & Wine Festival where attendees sample hundreds of regional wines and food from Portland’s best chefs.

If you’re not familiar with wine, try sampling the Pinot Noir, which Oregon is famous for. 

Book worms will enjoy the annual Portland Book Festival that features pop-up readings and a massive book fair.

If you don’t fancy the festival, be sure to check out the famous Powell’s Books instead.

Other things you have to do in Portland is grab a doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts and some java from Stumptown Coffee. 

Oregon is also known for hazelnuts, fresh crab, Tillamook Cheese, Moonstruck Chocolates, and marionberry pie. 

It’s Portland so you have to bar hop to get to know the craft beer scene!

Start at Backwoods then stumble over to 10 Barrel then Deschutes.

Powells Books Portland

Christmas starts early in Portland so you will be able to see lights at the likes of Oregon Zoo in November.

Shop local at the Portland Holiday Market weekend where you will find food, gifts, artwork, jewelry, home décor, clothing, spirits, craft items, books, ornaments, leather goods, bath and body and more!

Oh, and Oregon doesn’t have any sales tax on shopping.

To escape the cloudy weather, tour the oval-shaped Pittock Mansion – the historic home of one of Portland’s most influential families which puts up impressive decorations

It is also a recommended place to visit for Christmas things to do in Portland.

Oregon Zoo Lights in dark in Portland

If you ask a local what to do when visiting Portland there is a good chance they will mention coffee, beer and nature.

Washington Park in downtown Portland has family-friendly attractions including The Portland Children’s Museum, 150-foot Coast Redwoods in Hoyt Arboretum, along with other gardens. 

Check out the Multnomah Falls (below) which is only 30 minutes drive from the city.

If you find yourself exploring the beautiful Oregon coast, keep an eye on the water for migrating Gray whales which are spotted from June until mid-November.

There isn’t much difference in pricing when it comes to comparing hotels in Portland in November and summer.

Portland also features in our guide, the best places to the visit in July in the US where you can join in a craft beer festival.

Multnomah Falls in Oregon with snow on rocks

Montpellier, Vermont in November For a Small Town Fall Getaway in New England

If you’re looking for a cozy, quiet fall getaway, take a trip to Vermont’s charming capital city, Montpellier. 

The city of only 8,000 residents is the perfect destination to hunker down, eat local food, and enjoy small-town life. 

The city prides itself on its commitment to local businesses – it’s the only state capital without a McDonald’s.

Visitors can meander through downtown Montpelier’s local shops, tour the impressive Vermont State House, and stroll through nearby Hubbard Park. 

Local ingredients influence Montpellier’s food scene and inspires plenty of unique farm-to-table dining experiences.

Visit the Bragg Farm Sugar House to learn about Vermont maple syrup, and to try a few tasty samples.

Always save room for dessert in Montpelier.

You’ll love the hand-crafted chocolates, delectable cakes, and tempting pastries. 

Montpelier is tucked in the Green Mountains, which means visitors are in for scenic drives dotted with covered bridges. 

If you’re hitting the shops on Black Friday, be sure to wear a flannel shirt for Flannel Friday.

The city’s “Flannel Fairies” could help you win a special prize. 

Novembers are usually cool and dry, with temperatures ranging from 43°F to 59°F (6°C to 15°C). 

Although the fall foliage is gone by November, visitors can take advantage of steep hotel discounts and smaller crowds. 

Booking accommodation in November can save you $100-150 compared to a summer trip to Montpellier!

Montpelier Vermonth skyline with fall colors

Asheville, North Carolina in November For the End of Foliage in the Award Winning City

Asheville was dubbed the “Paris of the South” in the early 1900s for its artisanal charm and unique architecture.

Today’s Asheville holds on to a lot of those early characteristics.

Plus, U.S. News and World Report has ranked the city the #1 Best Fall Vacation, and we can see why.

Today, artists, craft breweries, and nature lovers make the mountain town a special place in the South.

Asheville has the most breweries per capita of any U.S. city with about 100 local beers to sample. 

Visitors should embrace the Appalachian cuisine that influences Asheville’s food scene.

Look out for local favorites like cornbread and country ham. 

November visitors happen to be in town for the end of the best fall colors.

Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or hike through Mount Mitchell State Park located along the Parkway, for stunning views. 

Nature enthusiasts can spend even more time outdoors at Pisgah National Forest for stunning vistas, primitive camping, and unique waterfalls. 

Fall is also the perfect time for exploring the galleries and boutiques in downtown Asheville. 

There’s also the eclectic River Arts District where you can visit working studios and galleries of local artists. 

Get in the Christmas spirit at the lavish Biltmore Estate.

The estate’s 250 rooms are decked out in festive decor and twinkling lights for the annual Christmas at Biltmore.

Book your trip in advance for the best prices if you want to see the end of the fall colors. 

Accommodation is slightly cheaper in November compared to summer rates.

Dress warm if you go. November temperatures range from 38°F to 58°F (3°C to 14°C). 

Sunset over city buildings and mountain in Asheville North Carolina

New York City in November For Thanksgiving Parade & the Start of Xmas

It’s never a bad time to visit The Big Apple, but the crisp autumn air certainly brings out New York’s loveliest side. 

November temperatures range from 41°F to 54°F (5°C to 12°C). 

Although you may need to bundle up, runners participating in the annual New York City Marathon certainly enjoy the cooler temperatures. 

Expect heavier-than-usual crowds around Thanksgiving.

That’s when the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes over the city with festive floats and marching bands.

Serious shoppers can spend Black Friday on 5th Avenue for the very best luxury products on sale. 

November visitors can catch the Big Apple Film Festival, which celebrates independent filmmakers.

There’s also the New York Comedy Festival with a stellar lineup of comedians. 

Before we start talking about the C word, depending on the foliage map, you might just hit NYC in peak fall season.

Central Park is an obvious choice to see the leaves turn golden and frame the pond.

After Thanksgiving, it’s time to think about Christmas and just like in the Hollywood movies, New York goes big from the mid/end of November.

There are also dozens of holiday markets around the city to buy decorations, snacks, and handmade gifts. 

Don’t miss the huge Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center. There’s also skating in Bryant Park. 

If Central Park is too cold, head to the New York Botanical Garden for the Holiday Train Show.  

For those who prefer Halloween to Christmas, take a spooky tour through the catacombs of New York at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. 

Hotel prices in November are similar to summer prices. NYC is an all year round destination.

Check out our NYC itinerary and New York State bucket list.

New York Christmas decorations in Midtown Manhattan NYC.Depositphotos_259394780_L

Washington DC in November For Fun Runs, Markets and Foliage

While Washington DC is better known for its cherry blossoms, check out our guide to US in March and April for more on that, it does put on a pretty good foliage show and you might just get the end of it while visiting in November.

Expect a mix of weather, DC can be pleasant or experience sleet with highs of 62°F and lows of 38°F.

You might want to factor indoor attractions into your itinerary to combat the unpredictable weather.

The good news is that DC is packed with free museums including the Smithsonians so you won’t be short of things to see.

If you are around over Thanksgiving, watch the Trot for Hunger run starting at Freedom Plaza.

From the end of the November you can shop at the Downtown Holiday Market located at 8th and F Streets.

If the weather is onside, walk by the National Mall, Tidal Basin and the many memorials such as the Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial.

If you like street art, head to Columbia Heights, Union Market, and U Street.

Another bonus about visiting DC is its proximity to other states and the Lumino City Festival takes place in Vienna, Virginia in November which is less than 30 minute away by car.

Hotel prices in Washington DC are in November are similar to summer prices.

United States Capitol building. Washington DC at dusk

Chicago in November For Parades & Lights

Chicago in November, you must be crazy, right?

Sure temperatures drop in The Windy City in November with highs of 62°F and lows of 36°F but there are many reasons to brace the cold.

Firstly, NYC is not the only city to put on a Thanksgiving Parade.

Marching band music fills the air and giant character balloons take over the Chicago sky from State Street to Randolph.

November is a good month for parades in Chicago with the US’s third biggest also taking place to celebrate the lights switch on at the Magnificent Mile.

This weekend-long event kicks off with the ceremonial tree-lighting in The Wrigley Building Centennial Plaza then moves on to family-friendly events at Lights Festival Lane (401 North Michigan Avenue) before the parade takes over to spark up 1 million lights along The Magnificent Mile!

The famous Christkindlmarket opens in November so you can enjoy a mulled wine and pick up some souvenirs at the stalls or hit up the brand stores on The Mag Mile.

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink opens from mid-November, one of the many benefits of visiting a colder destination is that November feels festive!

Find out more Christmas things to do in Chicago.

Christmas Tree Magnificent Mile Chicago

If this is your first trip to Chicago consider booking a show, taking a picture of the Bean aka Cloud Gate at Millennium Park and dining on a deep dish pizza!

Willis Tower or the 360 Chicago will give you magical views over the twinkly city.

If you like to explore the local neighborhoods head Wicker Park for bar hopping or Pilsen for art and museums.

You may also like our guide on 3 days in Chicago.

There are some hotel savings at around $50-70 per night if you decide to visit Chicago in November instead of summer.

Chicago Theatre sign and buildings

Boston with a Day Trip to Plymouth for a Balanced Thanksgiving

Another cold city worth a visit for its history and day trip options is Boston in beautiful Massachusetts.

Pack your bag with the temperature highs of 63°F and lows of 38°F in mind – lots of layers and waterproof options.

This student town, has more than just Harvard to offer but a campus tour is recommended.

There’s lots of food and drink bucket list things to do in Boston.

Have a drink at the Cheers bar (84 Beacon Street), sink a Sam Adams in a historic pub, eat your way around Faneuil Hall (4 S Market Street) then pick up holiday shopping at South Market, North Market, and Quincy Market. 

Walk it all off during the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail covering 16 locations. Join a tour if you want an expert guide to tell you about the spots.

Treat your eyes to a performance of The Nutcracker which begins at the end of the month.

Side note: Boston knows how to do St Paddy’s Day very well, read about it out guide to the US in March.

Hotel prices in Boston in November are similar to summer prices.

Boston buildings

For Thanksgiving, watch runners endure the Turkey Trot along the Charles River or consider driving less than an hour to Plymouth, for two reasons.

Firstly, to observe the traditional Plymouth Thanksgiving Parade at the historic Plymouth Harbor and Waterfront.

Secondly, to learn more about the National Day of Mourning with the Indigenous People of Mass and their allies.

The Thanksgiving myth busting event takes place on Cole’s Hill overlooking the Plymouth Monument and includes speeches, prayers, dance, music and a parade to remember the ancestors who helped the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Sunrise over Plymouth Harbor Massachusetts

The National Day of Mourning has taken place in Plymouth since 1970 after the leader of the Wampanoag, a man called Wamsutta, who was also known as Frank James, after he was uninvited to the 350th Thanksgiving celebrations in Plymouth.

Initially, was asked to write a speech for the dinner and the organisers said it was inflammatory so he took to Cole’s Hill and created the annual event.

If you visit before or after it you can still see the statue of the Massasoit Great Sachem of the Wampanoags and a plaque explaining the National Day of Mourning.

Warm Places to Visit in November in the USA

Tempe in November for Lanterns, Street Art & Marketplace Shopping

Tempe is a cool location in Arizona for hikes, art and culture.

Temperatures start to drop as the month goes one with highs of 82°F and lows of 48°F.

Tempe is an inner suburb of Phoenix, so you can do enjoy both areas during your November vacation.

Popular things to do in Tempe include holiday shopping at Tempe Marketplace and Arizona Mills, Christmas decor at Mill’s Avenue and Peterson House and paddling in a swan boat on Tempe Town Lake.

Follow the public art and street art murals throughout the town using this free map.

Hike “A” Mountain at ASU Hayden Butte Preserve at sunset. It’s a short walk at only 30 minutes up and down.

Catch the end of the fall concerts with a stunning backdrop at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Desert Botanical Garden_Golden Hour-Credit Tempe Tourism
Image credit -Tempe Tourism

Take part in the November Water Lantern Festival, don’t worry, the lanterns are cleaned up by the festival team at the end of the event.

Start to feel the Christmas buzz at the Fantasy of Lights Opening Night Parade at Downtown Tempe or the World of Illumination on Reindeer Road.

Hotels in Tempe are little more expensive in November compared to summer but they are affordable making it a great option for budget travelers.

Tempe also features in our guide to warm winter destinations guide.

Tempe Town Lake Donut boat friends. Arizona Credit Tempe Tourism
Image credit -Tempe Tourism

San Francisco in November For Shows, Sports & Food

Head to San Francisco, California this November for fewer crowds and lots of culinary options.

Pack for all four season, regardless of when you visit The Golden City it can always feel like it has a chill.

Expect lows of 55°F and highs of 63°F.

Enjoy outdoor activities such as a cruise to Alcatraz or a Chinatown food walking tour.

Chinatown red lanterns hanging San Francisco USA

Embrace the early festivities with an xmas theater production such as A Christmas Carol at the Golden Gate Theater.

Watch the Pier 39 Fisherman Wharf’s tree lighting from the end of November and while you’re there why not pop into Musee Mecanique for vintage arcade games?

Be blown away by the talent at San Francisco Opera which puts on performances at the the War Memorial Opera House and Wilsey Center for Opera.

Catch a home game for NBA The Golden State Warriors.

Watch the best dance companies perform at the award-winning The San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest (SFIHHDF).

This is the first international show to celebrate Hip Hop dance artistry and is a family-friendly event.

If visiting over Thanksgiving, consider the Alcatraz Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering Thanksgiving.

This is a sell out event where Indigenous People and allies travel by ferry from Pier 33 to Alcatraz which closes to the public from 04:15 to 06:00.

This Un-Thanksgiving event is open to everyone.

Hotel prices in San Francisco in November are similar to summer prices.

Alcatraz on island San Francisco

Napa in November for Fewer Crowds, Fall Colors & Cabernet

Those who love Napa and know it well often return in November to take advantage of the great deals on accommodation and less people around.

November is often a good time to see Napa’s foliage and it is Cabernet season!

Plan for highs of 68°F and low of 39°F.

If visiting over Thanksgiving there are plenty of restaurants to dine at from Michelen star (Yountville) to local fayre.

Popular ongoing events include Farmers’ Markets, live music and meet the maker events at vineyards.

If you’ve not managed to make it over to Europe in a while, Napa has you covered with its European style wineries, Chateau Montelena, Domaine Carneros and Castello di Amorosa.

There are over 375 wineries in Napa so you can’t do it all which gives you a reason to go back!

Wine vineyard, grapes on vine

New Orleans For Food and a Lesser-Know Carnival in November

New Orleans is a party city so if you like food, drink and fun, NOLA is the obvious choice for your November city break.

As the city moves from November in to December you will experience cooler temperatures with highs of 76°F and lows of 54°F so pack accordingly.

Festivals kick off from the start of the month with Bayou Bacchanal – the original Caribbean Carnival of New Orleans.

Expect Caribbean cuisine, dance, music and celebration over two days.

If you like sandwiches you’ll love this event – The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival!

A Po-Boy is soft bread rolls stuffed with filling and you can try from over 30 vendors at Oak Street.

Keeping with the food festival theme is the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival at Louis Armstrong Park.

Po Boys bread roll stuffed with meat in New Orleans

If this is your first time in New Orleans don’t miss drinks on Bourbon Street, especially the hand grenade cocktails and hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s.

Lose a day to jazz music on Frenchmen Street and keep the sugar levels up with Cafe Du Monde beignets.

Learn about voodoo and the darker side of New Orleans during a 2-hour tour, get on the water to listen to more jazz on the Steamboat Natchez and enjoy lunch in the upmarket Garden District.

Accommodation is more expensive in New Orleans in November compared to summer, often by just $20-30.

Red and yellow streetcar New Orleans

New Braunfels, Texas for 10 Days of Meat

If you like bread with your meat, the New Braunsfel Wursfest is a unique sausage festival in Texas.

Located at the Comal River in New Braunfels, locals and visitors dine on tasty food, listen to music, dance and drink German, Texan and domestic beer.

So look out your lederhosen, get ready to do the Chicken Dance and learn the words the famous Oktoberfest song, Ein Prosit as you’ll need it all for this high energy 10-day festival.

You may also like our Texas road trip guide.

If you like meat, check out Pennsylvania’s Bacon Fest.

Terlingua, Texas For Chilli Cook Off

Terlingua is also known as the Texas ‘Ghost Town’ referring to its past in mining (1800s).

Before WWII, thousands of people were part of the Terlingua community. Today there are less than 100. 

However, visitors still stay in Terlingua all year round for solitude and as a stopover on the way to Big Bend National Park.

In November, the infamous Chill Cook Off, which started in 1967, takes place here!

Terlingua Welcome Sign Texas

Things to do in Terilingua in November

  • Take part in the 3-day Chilli Cook Off events and competitions
  • Visit the mining ruins
  • Dine at the Starlight Theatre
  • People watch with a beer on the Starlight Theatre porch
  • Stay in a wigwam
Terlingua Wigwam Teepee Texas_

Palm Springs, California for Cheaper Prices, Nature & Events

Once an enclave for classic Hollywood icons, Palm Springs is once again a trendy vacation destination in the California desert. 

November in Palm Springs is dry with mild temperatures ranging from 52°F to 79°F (11°C to 26°C). 

November travelers can enjoy great weather and still beat most of the snowbirds.

It’s a great time to enjoy one of the cities many golf courses or unwind at a luxury spa. 

Outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty of desert wilderness to explore. 

Just outside Palm Springs is Joshua Tree National Park – 800,000 acres of desert vistas under starry night skies. 

There’s also Mount San Jacinto State Park, home to the second-highest mountain range in Southern California and some great hiking trails. 

You can skip the hike to the top of Mt. San Jacinto and enjoy the views on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – the world’s largest rotating tram car that takes you to the top of the summit.

Visit The Moorten Botanical Garden to learn about the desert plants you may encounter in the surrounding wilderness. 

There are also plenty of opportunities to explore the city’s rich history and culture. 

Palm Springs has a thriving LGBT scene, and November is when the city celebrates the annual Greater Palm Springs LGBT Pride.

There’s also the Props and Hops Craft Beer Festival each year in November featuring beer and classic warbirds.

Tour Elvis Presley’s Honeymoon Hideaway and take a step back in time to experience Palm Spring’s glitzy heyday. 

For even more classic celebrity homes, hop on the Palm Springs: Legends and Icons Tour

November hotel pries are around $30-70 more expensive than August per night.

Tall trees with leaves at Joshua Park with blue sky

Key West, Florida For Best Beaches to Visit in November

For a different kind of start to the holiday season, make your way down south to the tropical beaches of Key West, Florida. 

The island’s laid-back vibe inspires you to leave worries behind and simply enjoy the warm weather and relaxing waves. 

Expect sunny, warm days all month in Key West. November temperatures range from 72°F to 79°F (22°C to 26°C)

November travelers will hit the tail-end of hurricane season, but the worst of the storms are usually done by early October. 

That means you can still score some great hotel and flight deals in November before the winter residents arrive. 

Each November, Jimmy Buffet fans come to Key West for the annual Parrot Heads in Paradise meeting, which features live music and fun beachfront events. 

Water sports fans can check out the Race World Offshore Championships

Escape the sunshine to tour the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or sit among the butterflies at the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

The Key West Holiday Fest kicks off in late November, along with the annual Key West ‘Bright’ Before Christmas nautical holiday lights display. 

Don’t forget to indulge in some of Key West’s favorite local dishes like key lime pie, conch fritters, and conch chowder. 

You’ll also see Cuban-inspired eateries and plenty of fresh shrimp and lobster. 

At the end of a long day, hoist the sails and set out for a 2-hour sunset sail tour aboard Schooner America 2.0

Expect West Keys accommodation to double in November compared to August. You’re paying for that winter sun!

Key West also features in our guide on the best places to visit in January as this is when a couple of popular food festivals take place.

Aerial photo Sunset Pier Zero Duval Street Key West Florida USA

Best Places to Travel in the US in November for Snow

Stowe, Vermont for the Start of Ski Season

Looking to catch the start of the ski season in November?

Stowe is known for the best ski in the east coast so give Vermont some consideration!

Temperatures ranges from 23°F to 49°F.

Even if there isn’t much natural snow, the resort has extensive snow-making infrastructure.

Stowe has 116 ski trails, 13 lifts and gondolas connecting Mount Mansfield (4,395′, highest sku elevation 3,625′) and Spruce Peak.

To avoid crowds, skip the weekends when locals ski and use the Mountain Road Shuttle from Main Street.

According to Forbes, Stowe is one of the ‘Top 10 Ski Towns in America’ and there is plenty to do if you don’t want to ski such as sleigh-riding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, spas and shopping.

Follow weather reports at the official website.

Surprisingsly, accommodation in November is similar to prices in summer.

Stowe mountain ski resort gondola, Vermont.

Leavenworth for a Hallmark Movie Experience

Leavenworth in Washington is one of the places to visit in winter if you love decked out villages, mountainous backdrops and festive activities.

Expect temperatures highs of 43°F and lows of 32°F. Snow is not guaranteed in November but it is possible at the end of the month.

If you really want snow and can handle the crowds, visit closer to Christmas.

Festivities run from Thanksgiving through to February but be warned, December is very busy with day trippers.

Enjoy walks in the fresh, crisp air, dark evenings wandering around the Village of Lights and a visit to the reindeer farm to see Santa’s helpers before they set off on their international journey on Christmas Eve.

Kids will enjoy sledding (if it snows), hot chocolate by the fire and tubing.

For the big kids there’s pubs (indoor and patios), spas and The Nutcracker Museum.

Pick up cookies at The Gingerbread Factory, go for sugary souvenirs at Das Sweet Shoppe and get your meat feast on at Leavenworth Sausage Garten.

Parking can be a nightmare so consider using the free shuttle bus or plan your trip for Monday through to Wednesday for fewer crowds.

If you can’t make it this year you can still see this magical Christmas town as Visit Leavenworth has live cams around the village!

15 Best Places to Visit in USA in January: Beaches, Mountains & Cities

US locations - bike on beach Key West, city with snowy mountain Salt Lake City and red desert with road at Death Valley

Looking to plan a January getaway? Once the holiday season is over the January Blues come in hard and fast.

One of the best cures is to have something – even just a long weekend – to look forward to whether that be somewhere in the sunshine and sand or bundled up in the snow.

This guide of best places to visit in USA in January spans from Maine to Florida and from Washington to Texas and will surely give you the travel inspo you need to book your trip away ASAP.

Still choosing between a January vacation or February trip? Check out our guide to romantic US destinations too.

Best Warm Places to Visit in January in USA

1. San Antonio in January For History, Sports & Coffee

San Antonio, Texas is a popular destination all year long, but there is SO much happening that it is one of the best locations to kick the year off with.

Escape the cold to a more pleasant climate in the mid 60s and spend your vacation watching future NFL stars, drinking your weight in coffee, eating your way through the city, learning about San Antonio’s history, and more.

Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas

  • All-American Bowl – If you can’t get enough of football, you’ll need to get tickets to the All-American Bowl, the high school football all-star game that often produces future NFL stars. (Early January)
  • San Antonio Coffee Festival – Start your year off fully caffeinated at the San Antonio Coffee Festival, where roasters bring dozens of options to try; food, shops, and live music are also involved. (Early January)
  • Restaurant Week- Too many choices and not enough budget to eat at all the best San Antonio spots? Restaurant Week can fix that! There will be three course menus that suit all budgets, with lunches for $20 & $30 and dinners for $35, $45 & $55. (Mid-Late January)
  • Dream Week – For 16 days, Dream Week hosts events that are inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings to “foster the exchange of ideas on universal issues in an environment curated for successful civil and civic engagements.” (Mid – Late January)
  • UNESCO World Heritage Missions Tour- You’ll learn about the Spanish heritage of San Antonio on this tour by visiting Missions San José, Concepción, San Francisco de Espada, and San Juan, and more; get your tickets here.

Want to spend more time in Texas? We’ve got an awesome Texas road trip planning for you; read this guide for more.

Colorful umbrellas of restaurants along the San Antonio Riverwalk in Texas

2. Key West in January For Sun, Sand & Seafood Festival

It’s not rocket science to explain why Key West, Florida is one of the most popular warm places to visit in January in the USA; white sandy beaches, bright blue skies, and sunshine nearly every single day with temps in the low 70s.

On top of that, there are so many events and festivals this time of year that whether you want to veg out in the sun or participate like a local or a bit of both, Key West is the spot for you.

Things to Do in Key West

  • Florida Keys Seafood Festival – The Florida Keys Seafood Festival is 48 hours of seafood bliss for attendees of all ages; get the freshest catches at affordable prices and check out the vendor booths that offer arts and crafts depicting aspects of the fishing community and marine life. (Mid January)
  • Key West Half Marathon & 5K – If your New Years Resolution includes running, you can start at the Key West Half Marathon & 5K, where you can feel the burn in the beautiful sunshine. (Mid January)
  • Key West Craft Show – Calling all crafters and artsy types: the Key West Craft Show is popular with locals and tourists for its dozens of booths selling jewelry, ceramics, artisanal items, and more. 
  • Key West Food and Wine Festival -With over 20 unique events from brunch, lunch, dinner, and more, be sure to come hungry (and thirsty!) to the Key West Food and Wine Festival (End of January)
  • Reef Snorkeling – Start your morning with a snorkeling session amongst the third longest coral reef in the world and have some mimosas and breakfast, too; get your tickets here

Want to make the most out of your vacation to the Sunshine State, read this Florida bucket list for more.

Aerial photo Sunset Pier Zero Duval Street Key West Florida USA

3. San Diego in January For Warm US Destinations in January

Escape to sunny California, where the weather hovers around the mid 60s and offers attractions and events for all styles of travel.

The fitness fiend, the dino lover, and the golf enthusiast can all have the vacation of the dreams in the same trip, and it’s not very often that happens. 

Things to Do in San Diego

  • Farmers Insurance Open – Golf enthusiasts will revel at the chance to attend a PGA tournament; the Farmers Insurance Open has volunteer opportunities as well as unique experiences. (Late January) 
  • Jurassic Quest – Whether you’ve got kids or you’re a kid at heart, Jurassic Quest has over 100 life-size and realistic dinos with different exhibits and events to learn more. (Late January)
  • San Diego Brew Fest – San Diego Brew Fest has over 70 breweries, 200 beers, 10 of San Diego’s best food trucks, as well as cover bands and lawn games; what’s not to love? (Early January)
  • Carlsbad Full & Half Marathon & 5K – With options for all athletic levels (even a one-miler for the kids), the Carlsbad Full & Half Marathon & 5K  is a fun option for the whole family to get a running start to the day with amazing ocean views. (Mid January)
  • Sunset Sail- Watch the sun go down and watch out for grey whales on their migration pattern on this sail; get your tickets here.

Cali is the third largest state so it’s easy to miss the some of the best things to do, but our California bucket list will help keep you on track.

Mission Bay & Beaches in San Diego, California

4. Phoenix in January For Desert, Outdoor Activities & Art

If you’d like to trade the wintery snow for the deserts of sand, Phoenix needs to be on your list for January vacations as this desert is likely to become your winter oasis.

While not warmest, an average temperature of 50F will give you the excuse to get the winter coat out but perhaps not have to layer up as much. 

This is best places to go to in January in the USA if you want a varied trip with lots of different activities to do.

Plus, you can also visit the cool Tempe area of Arizona which features in many of our guides including the best warm winter destinations in the US.

Things to Do in Phoenix

  • Rock’ n’ Roll Marathon – Rock’ n’ Roll Marathon isn’t just a marathon; you can also choose to do a half, 10K, or 5K option as you run past some of the most iconic spots in the city. (Mid January)
  • CitySkate – Skate under the twinkling light at the CitySkate, the only outdoor ice rink in Phoenix; ticket pricing includes skate rental and 90 minutes of skate time. (Early January)
  • Arizona Fine Art Expo – All sorts of fine arts enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Arizona Fine Art Expo, where you can see bronze, stone carving, southwest art, mid-century modern, and more. (Mid-Late January)
  • Arizona Musicfest – In nearby Scottsdale, the Arizona Musicfest features a wide array of musical performances to enjoy. (All January)
  • Hot Air Balloon Flight – Spend a few hours drifting over the Arizona desert, seeing it as never before from a hot air balloon; get your tickets here. 
Phoenix Arizon skyline at dusk - trees, buildings and mountains

5. Atlanta in January For Wine, Culture & Hanging on to Festive Activities

Add Atlanta in Georgia to your January vacation list if the cold January winds blow you to slightly warmer climates … at least you wont freeze in the low 50s. 

You’ll get a mix of winter fun like ice skating and a winter wonderful with cultural happenings focusing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Plus, what vacation isn’t complete with a little wine?

If this sounds good to you, add Atlanta to your list of best places to travel to in the US in January.

 Things to Do in Atlanta in January

Midtown Atlanta skyline from the park in USA

6. Death Valley in January For National Park Exploration

Like its name says, Death Valley is a dangerous place to travel in the summer, with the heat often over 100F.

Still, during the winter, the temperature is usually in the pleasant 70s, making it a great place to travel to in January. 

Camping at Death Valley is the most popular way to visit, but there are three accommodation options in the park if you prefer a slightly more luxurious option.

Death Valley is the largest national park in America, so don’t expect to get to see it all on your first trip, but that just gives you an excuse to return again and again.

Things to Do in Death Valley, California

  • Telescope Peak – The highest point in Death Valley, Telescope peak is over 11,000 feet tall and with that altitude, expect to encounter snow; strap on some snowshoes and see how high you can get.
  • Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes- Recommended for viewing sunsets and starry night skies, the dunes are harder to hike than they look, so don’t overestimate your energy levels before embarking.
  •  Devil’s Golf Course – While you probably won’t want to tee off here (although some try), you can see the spectacular views of the jagged shards from used to be the bottom of a lake.
  • Badwater Basin – Probably the most well known spot, this is the lowest point in the continent (and often the most popular with visitors) where you can see a pool of water surrounded by salt flats almost as far as your eye can see. 
  • Darwin Falls – Yes, it’s a desert, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go chasing waterfalls! The Darwin Falls are an unexpected sight, surrounded by greenery in the middle of the desert. It will be a lovely surprise to see.
  • Take a Day Trip From Vegas- If you plan on visiting Las Vegas in January, you can opt for a full day small group tour where you’ll be picked up to see all the best highlights & dropped back off at your hotel; get your tickets here.
Woman standing in Death Valley desert with water bottl

Best Places to Visit in the USA in January for Snow Season

7. Salt Lake City For Fun Winter Activities

If you’d rather trade sun and surf for snow and sleds and bathing suits for snow gear and 40F degree weather, Salt Lake City in Utah is the perfect January vacation option for you.

You can engage in every sort of winter sports activity that you could imagine, warm up in the hot springs when you get too cold, and top off the trip with one of the biggest film festivals in the world; it’s easy to see why this is one of the best US cities to visit in January.

Salt Lake City skyline with snowy mountains.

Things to Do in Salt Lake City in January

  • Sundance Film Festival – If you want to see what’s on the cutting edge of American and International film, you must attend the Sundance Film Festival. (Late January)
  • Winter Activities – There are so many winter activities to enjoy, like skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, snowshoeing, and more!
  • Hot springs – Drive 45 minutes east of SLC & you’ll find The Homestead Crater in Midway, Utah, a geothermal spring naturally heated by the earth’s core.
  • Ice Castles – Live out your Frozen dreams at the ice castles just one hour east of SLC; with slides, mazes, tunnels, caverns & more to explore (all made of ice), you’ll put Elsa to shame.
  • Beer Tasting & Brewery Tour – Visit four breweries based on your group’s beer preferences to try their different beers and learn more about the cities craft beer; get your tickets here.
Salt Lake City Utah at dusk with green trees and mountain

8. Aspen in January For Top Class Skiing and Snowboarding

A classic spot for a January trip; what better way to enjoy the winter than to take your vacation at one of the top skiing destinations in the country, Aspen in Colorado.

And if skiing isn’t exactly you’re favorite winter activity, there are still tons of reasons to visit (as if the après-ski isn’t a good enough reason all by itself!) and enjoy the bright sunshine in the chilly high 20sF temps.

If you love to ski, this is one of the best places to vacation in January in the US

Things to Do in Aspen in January

  • Alpine Coaster – The Alpine Coaster gets up to 28 mph on this elevated track to give riders a thrilling experience through the snow.
  • Snowbike Lessons – If you can’t choose between skiing and biking, snowbiking is the way to go, and you can take snowbike lessons (for all ages) to see the slopes a whole new way.
  • Ullr Nights – On certain nights throughout the month, the Norse God of Snow, Ullr, is honored with Ullr Nights, which are a winter wonderland party consisting of bonfires, s’mores, gondola rides, and more.
  • Snowcat Dinners – Treat yourself to a dinner on a mountain, only accessible by a snowcat, at Snowmass’ Lynn Britt Cabin and Aspen Highlands’ Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro.
  • Après-ski – Even if you aren’t planning on hitting the slopes, you can certainly take part in the après-ski; and pop a bottle for two of champagne at the Aspen Chamber

9. Minneapolis in January for a Winter Wonderland Getaway

There’s no way around; Minneapolis, Minnesota in January is cold; are there ever enough layers not to feel the chill when the temperature averages around the mid-teens?

Luckily there’s a lot of fun things to do to help take your mind off of it, and if all else fails, you can go to one of the top 10 largest shopping malls in the world and spend your entire vacation there!

Things to Do in Minneapolis in January

  • Adventure Hubs – Adventure Hubs can be found throughout the city and are completely free to use; they offer equipment and supplies to borrow for outdoor fun and exploration in the parks for the whole family.
  • Ice Fishing – Don’t let the cold weather stop you from enjoying your favorite activity; ice fishing is plentiful here.
  • St. Paul Winter Carnival – Celebrate winter at The Winter Carnival with family-friendly activities, ice carving competitions, ice fishing tournaments, and more. (Late January)
  • Minnehaha Falls – Minnehaha Regional Park features an amazing 53-foot waterfall that freezes over in the winter, delighting visitors who visit one of the city’s oldest and most popular parks. 
  • Mall of America – Warm up inside the Mall of America where there truly is something for everyone! If you’ve got kids with you, try this Crayola Experience.

10. Moosehead Lake, Maine For a Cozy Vacation

Let’s get ready to bundle! With averaging around 10 degrees, you do not want to come underdressed.

Greenville is home to the biggest lake in Maine, Moosehead Lake, which is what attracts most visitors, and even though lake life is usually associated with warmer months, there’s still a lot of fun to be had in the wintertime too.

Anyone who loves all things winter will definitely need to add Moosehead to their list of places to visit in the USA in January.

Things to do in Moosehead Lake in January

  • Ice Fishing – A little cold water never hurt anyone; ice fishing is just as popular as regular fishing for locals and visitors—top tip: fish behind Mt. Kineo in rough weather.
  • Winter Activities – Cold temps mean one good thing, lots and lots of winter activities like snowshoeing, skiing, or trying your hand at snowmobiling. 
  • Spotted Cat Winery – Everyone knows a drink is good to help you stay warm, so all the more reason to visit the Spotted Cat Winery, which specializes in natural, hand-crafted wines. 
  • Moosehead Historical Society – Take a break from the cold and wander around the Moosehead Historical Society and learn about what life has been like on the lake for the past and present generations. 

11. Grand Rapids in January For Beer & Winter Sports

What do nearly 100 breweries, every winter sport you could imagine, and a beautiful garden/sculpture park all have in common?

Not a lot, but they’re all great things to add to your itinerary when planing your January vacation to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It’s going to look as cold as it feels; with temps in the mid 20s and regular snow fall, but with so many fun activities planned out we don’t think you’ll mind very much.

 Things to Do in Grand Rapids in January

  • World of Winter Festival – The World of Winter Festival is full of art installations, musical performances, food, drinks, and even a silent disco! (Early-end of January)
  • Winter Sports – This is a city where winter activities are ripe for the choosing; you can go snowboarding, sledding, skiing, tubing, and more.
  • Beer City Ale Trail – Over 80 breweries make up the “trail,” and it is a vacation in and of itself, complete it its own “passport,” hotel beer packages, and behind-the-scenes tours. 
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens – The beautiful Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is still worth a visit in the wintertime! There are many winter exhibits to experience that you wouldn’t get to see any other time of the year. 
  • Grand Rapids Griffins Pro Hockey Game – Grand Rapids Griffins are a part of the American Hockey League and have games nearly every day in January.

12. Big Sky in January For Frozen Waterfalls, Show Trails & Hot Springs

This is the place to go for all snow bunnies who can’t get enough to winter activities and the cold weather – be prepared for temperatures in the low 20s – to live out their very best life.

Get ready to be outdoors and see some of the most beautiful sights that the country has to offer on your January vacation to Big Sky in Montana.

Things to Do in Big Sky in January

  • Hike a Frozen Waterfall – Ouzel Falls is a great chance to take a quick, easy hike suitable for the whole family with an amazing reward of frozen waterfalls.
  • Winter Activities – At Big Sky Resort, you can partake in nordic skiing, adventure zip lines, an enchanted forest, snowshoe tours, snowmobile tours, and more.
  • Yellowstone National Park – Visits to Yellowstone National Park don’t stop in the winter! There are fewer crowds, colder temps, incredible geysers, and lots of opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Hot Springs – The best way to warm up on a freezing day, there are multiple hot springs to soak in near Big Sky; Bozeman Hot SpringsNorris Hot SpringsChico Hot Springs, & White Sulphur Hot Springs.
  • Ice Fishing on The Gallatin – Take a guided trip for a full day of ice fishing on The Gallatin, where anglers will be able to learn about the local species and the best way to catch them.

Best Places to Travel in the US in January For Cities – Mixed Weather

13. New York in January for Fewer Crowds & Hotel Deals

January may not seem like the ideal time to visit New York, but the snowy and cold (low 30s) weather scares away most tourists, you can enjoy a less crowded, more affordable city.

Prices swell during popular travel times, but many hotels, restaurants, and entertainment options offer unbeatable deals in the early parts of the year.

If you’re looking for the big city experience on a budget, NYC is one of the best places to travel to in January in the USA.

Manhattan NYC buildings lit up at night

Things to Do in New York City in January

  • NYC Broadway Week – A trip to New York isn’t complete without seeing at least one Broadway show, but they’re not cheap, and it’s hard to choose which two see, but if you come during NYC Broadway Week, you can get 2-1 tickets to about a dozen different shows. (Mid-Late January)
  • NYC Winter Jazzfest – For over 15 years, the NYC Winter Jazzfest has been the top destination for all things jazz, from classic to contemporary. (Mid to Late January)
  • New York Restaurant Week – Every foodie’s dream, New York Restaurant Week offers amazing prix-fixe deals to NYC’s best restaurants for lunch or dinner or both. (Mid-late January)
  • Rooftop Bar Dining – So many NYC bars offer cozy rooftop atmospheres, like Mr. Purple in the Lower East Side, which turns into a ski lodge complete with a gigantic “igloo” where you’ll sip your cocktails.
  • The Museum of Modern Art – If the cold weather gets to be too much, spend a day in the MOMA, one of New York’s most famous museums; get your ticket here.

The image below was taken in NYC in January!

Yellow taxi Central Park New York

14. Seattle in January For Food, Museums & Lights

There’s a lot more to know about Seattle in Washington other than Starbucks and the near constant rain; with mild temps in the low 40s and minimal snow, it’s definitely worth adding it to your list.

There’s actually so much more to the city than coffee and umbrellas like cool museums, light trails, ice skating, and more that you’ll get to see them all on your January trip.

Pike Place Market sign at night

Things to Do in Seattle in January

  • Museum of Pop Culture – Pop culture nerds will be in heaven at the Museum of Pop Culture with exhibits that range in anything from Disney to bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam to Sci Fi & Fantasy. 
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass – Created by a local Washington artist, Chihuly Garden and Glass has eight galleries, a centerpiece Glasshouse, and amazing gardens filled with colorful and eccentric pieces.
  • Space Needle – A classic Seattle must-do, visiting the Space Needle in January means fewer crowds and better views!
  • Tacoma Light Trail – Walk through the trail of light art and sound at the Tacoma Light Trail and experience the live music performances. (Early-mid January)
  • Ice Skating – In the nearby town of Bellevue, you can skate in the region’s largest seasonal ice skating rink with over 9,000 square feet of ice. (Early January)
  • If this is your first time in Seattle a visit to Pike Place Market is a must for food and drink.
  • Just around the corner from the market is the gross but legendary chewing gum wall.

You may also like our guide one day in Seattle itinerary and Washington bucket list.

Beechers Homemade Cheese on a board at Pike Place Market Seattle

15. Portland in January For Music, Brew, Beer & Books

Hoping your January has a meet-cute in a gigantic bookstore in the cards?

Head to Portland this winter, and that just might happen!

If not, you can drown your sorrows at a sad film with a bottle of Portland craft beer or take your mind off it at an old-time music experience.

With temps in the low 40s, you can still enjoy outdoor activities like walking tours to see the best of the city.

Portland Sign lit up at dusk

Things to do in Portland in January

  • Portland Old-Time Music Gathering – The Portland Old-Time Music Gathering is a grassroots festival celebrating traditional old-time Appalachian-style stringband musicians.(Mid January)
  • Fertile Ground Festival – Start off the new year with the Fertile Ground Festival, which celebrates new works in Portland. (Late January)
  • Brew- N-View – Brew N View movie theatres are wildly popular; you can watch your film with a beer/wine in one hand and pizza/theater snacks in the other.
  • Powell’s Books – The world’s largest independent bookstore, Powell’s Books, is a magnificent haven of used, rare, and new books that you could get lost in. 
  • Craft Brewery Walking Tour – Explore the city with this craft brewery 2 mile walking tour; get your tickets here.
  • If you have time, drive out to Multnomah Falls to see snowy rocks and chilly waterfalls! Portland is just as much about nature as it is about keeping it weird.

You may also like our Portland itinerary and things to do at Christmas in Portland.

Multnomah Falls frozen with snow on stones

Final Thoughts

January is a tough month for most of us, but take a week (or two) away and visit one of these places and you’re sure to start your new year off on the right foot.

Don’t have time to go away? There’s always next month! Read this guide for the best places to go in February.