Whether you’re looking to take advantage of the after-Christmas crowds and head to the slopes, or you’re seriously needing some vitamin C, we’ve rounded up the five best places to visit after the New year.
1. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Never heard of it? That’s one of the reasons why this dusty, ocean-side town is so perfectly Pura Vida. While getting to the town of Santa Teresa proves to be a bit more difficult than most surfside towns, once you’re there, you’re likely never going to want to leave.
Frequented by surfers, backpackers, and couples looking to escape reality for a few days, this town truly has a magical vibe to it. We know you’ll be thanking us as you watch the pink hued-sun set over the ocean in front of you and hear the beautiful sounds of the rainforest behind you. Not to mention the incredible restaurants that line the main road here. And if you consider yourself a sushi connoisseur, we promise you’ll be pretty impressed.
How did a small town in the middle of the rainforest ended up with some of the best Asian, Italian, and Argentinian cuisine we’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing? That we’re still unsure of. Just make sure you don’t leave Santa Teresa before trying out one of their local sodas for a taste of the traditional Costa Rican cooking. Of course, you can’t go wrong with any of their Casado dishes.
2. Aspen, Colorado
Simply put, Aspen is the epitome of a winter wonderland. With freshly powdered snow dotting the beautiful ski resorts (hopefully) and the picturesque Colorado Rockies surrounding you, it’s pretty easy to enjoy your time here.
If skiing isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Apres is a way of life in Aspen and in our opinion, it’s as equally important as hitting the slopes. You certainly won’t have a hard time finding a spot from the W hotel to AJax Tavern and the J Bar at the Hotel Jerome.
After a day of high-end shopping and checking out some of the fun winter festivals that take place in this charming town, at the end of the day, you’ll be happy to head back to your humble abode, kick back and enjoy a nice glass of red in the heated pool.
3. Miami, Florida
Most people usually frequent this beautiful city during the holidays, which is why we think you should do the exact opposite. The best time to visit the “Magic City” is truly after the dust settles. The weather is perfect, you’ll spend way less time sitting in traffic, and you’ll actually have a shot at getting a table at one of the cities many fabulous restaurants.
Wondering what should be on your itinerary for the ideal relaxing Miami day? You’ll quickly lose track of time soaking up the blue water and white sand at South Beach while sipping a Miami Vice under a cabana. As the sun starts to set, head on over to Wynwood, and before you check out the Wynwood Walls, which feature some of the best art in the city, make sure you stop by Miami Mojito company for one of the best mojitos you’ll ever have.
Of course, one can’t leave Miami without making time for Cuban food. We’d suggest spending an evening in Little Havana. Versailles has been a staple of the area since 1971, and once you try one of their Cuban sandwiches, you’ll understand why.
4. Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky is pretty much one of the most incredible mountain towns out there. Not to mention the magic that happens when it’s covered in snow. There’s a reason it’s known for the “biggest skiing in the US.”
This town truly checks all the boxes for your perfect winter vacation. From its beautiful ski runs to some pretty awesome local breweries, it’s a place where you’ll quickly feel like you belong.
Our favorite part about the area is how many activities there are for every traveler—for starters, visiting Yellowstone National Park is a pretty amazing experience in itself—or spending an afternoon hiking Ousel Falls with the family (yes, it’s even more magical in the winter).
Maybe you’ll try out dogsledding for the first time or spend a romantic afternoon at one of Big Sky’s hot springs. Long story short, you’ll have a hard time running out of things to do during your time there.
5. Baja California Sur, Mexico
January is, without a doubt, one of the best times to visit Baja. Not only is the weather picture-perfect (sunny, dry, and warm), but it’s also prime-time whale watching season, and if you haven’t experienced the beauty of the peninsula’s blue and gray whales, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Baja is well known for the unique landscape that surrounds it. The land is bursting with beauty and rich history, from crystal clear blue waters below you to mountains above you.
You’ll also want to take some time for a little R&R in the well-known Cabo San Lucas. Still, we also think Rosarita, Tijuana, and Valle de Guadalupe are well worth exploring for the fantastic dining options alone.
Looking to get off the beaten path and find some adventure? Some of the area’s best surf is in Todos Santos. Cerritos is a surf town with great vibes and even better people. The town has a reputation for making everyone quickly feel like a local.
We know we’ve laid out some pretty incredible options for your next trip, and to be honest, we’re feeling a little inspired ourselves.
It looks like we just might take our own advice this January and plan a little getaway to kick off 2022 the best way we know how.