Ok, wait, how is it almost 2023 already? Looking back at the year, 2022 was a lot better than its predecessor — travel picked back up full-throttle and we couldn’t be more thankful. And on the heels of that shared fervent drive amongst us — the travel-obsessed — to return to globetrotting and exploring the world, we’ve rounded up five places to visit in January that are guaranteed to fuel your wanderlust.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
If you’re an aspiring Francophile who wants to go skiing, you don’t have to cross the Atlantic to hear French while slope-side. Head to the French-Canadian province of Quebec’s most illustrious ski & snowboard destination, Mont Tremblant. A 90-minute drive from Montreal, the ski destination boasts two mountains: Mount Tremblant — the highest peak within the resident Laurentian Mountains — and Mont Blanc. After a day on the slopes, we encourage you to seek nourishment at the Scandinave Spa (you deserve it, especially after being in ski boots the whole day).
Why go in January? Snow, snow, snow, everywhere. Powdery slopes as far as the eye can see, making for “above par” ski days.
Stay Here: Auberge Sauvignon is an adorable boutique hotel that’s a three-minute car ride from the resort (25-30 minutes by foot). Book one of their cottages — we love Le Trappeur, with its two bedrooms, cozy wood-heavy interior, and hot tub.
History buffs will learn all about the Civil Rights movement when visiting Montgomery, Alabama, due to its wealth of memorials and museums dedicated to the history of the cause. Further educate yourself with a visit to the Civil Rights Memorial Center, The National Museum for Peace and Justice, as well as the Rosa Parks Museum (the last one is located near the bus stop where Parks was arrested, which, in addition to this, when here, imparts other heroic stories from the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the ‘50s).
Why Visit in January?: Martin Luther King Jr. Day is in January. During this three-day weekend, opt to learn more about the Civil Rights movement and honor Dr. King’s legacy by exploring Montgomery and its various landmarks that were pivotal pillars of this specific epoch.
Stay Here: A Southern stay that’s cute to its core, opt to rest your head at Hillcrest Manor Bed & Breakfast. The colonnaded mansion is part of the Alabama Register of Historic Places and comprises five rooms/suites to spend the night in — each one different from the last. We love The Lady Perry Room, with its medley of antiques, hand-carved walnut antique canopied poster bed from the 1800s, and English Cottage Rose rug carpeting the room’s pinewood floors, adding a soft light of yellows, pinks, and greens.
Fez often gets overlooked by Marrakech — but that shouldn’t be the case. It’s one of Morocco’s most ancient cities, home to one of the world’s oldest medieval medinas. Dar Batha is a former palace turned museum that has a wealth of artifacts, along with a stunning aesthetic: an Andalusian-style garden, mosaic fountain, widespread deft embroidery, and traditional Moroccan tiles are what await. Fez is also known for its tanneries and bountiful leather production. Learn about this hyper-storied fabrication process through a visit to Chouara Tannery — it’s the world’s oldest tannery, exhibiting colorful circular vignettes that showcase the process of dyeing leather collectibles (attention shopaholics: this is an INCREDIBLE place to buy leather goods).
Why Visit in January?: It’s less crowded, and perfect sweater weather occupies the air (think highs of mid-60s Fahrenheit).
Stay Here: Hôtel Sahrai is the Moroccan stay of your dreams — made possible via its towering palm trees, town-facing infinity pool, traditional hammam, zellige pool, and rooftop bar that spellbinds guests through its unparalleled sunset views.
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
It’s way too cold here in the Northeast, and January will only be more frigid. So, with that in mind, let us suggest a trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. Road trip yourself around the island, hitting picturesque shorelines such as Eagle Beach plus Arashi Beach for seaside lounging and tan-accumulating, then Mangel Halto for snorkeling, and in an effort to inject some culture into your trip, finish the day off with a tour of the many colorful murals on display throughout the streets of the island town of San Nicolas.
Why visit in January?: Being that it’s too cold across most of the USA — we’re not the only ones with this same train of thought — you need some compulsory beach time to soak the sun and warm temperatures of somewhere such as Aruba.
Stay Here: Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba — a boutique hotel decked out in pastel hues and beachy furnishings, only a five-minute stroll from the island’s Palm Beach.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California, is one of the USA’s most iconic cities: Its colorful Victorian-era houses, trendy neighborhoods, expansive parks, and the Golden Gate Bridge are a few reasons why.
Why Visit in January?: Sunday, January 22 is Chinese New Year. San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the diaspora’s largest, making it exceedingly festive during the holiday.
Stay Here: Stay at Palihotel San Francisco, right off Union Square and close to Chinatown. The décor pays homage to 20th-century California and imbues the brand’s no-frills luxury approach (think lots of deft millwork in the lobby, neutrals throughout, chilled-out furniture, and sandy-hued exposed brick in rooms and at the hotel’s restaurant, Fisher Loft).
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