Putting 2020 in the Rearview: Where to Travel in 2021

A male hiker is standing on top of steep cliffs enjoying the beautiful view of Colorado river flowing at famous Horseshoe Bend in beautiful post sunset twilight on a summer evening, Arizona, USA

It’s been quite a year, and most people are ready to close the book on 2020. If you’re looking forward to a new start in 2021, you might be ready to make some loose plans for the year. And while you may not be ready to travel just yet, there is hope on the horizon.

Whether that means a road trip in the near future or just thinking about where you’ll go next holiday season, here are some of the best places to travel in the U.S. to add to your 2021 wish list for when you are ready. So, take note of these top spots for each month of the year and keep them in your back pocket for the hopefully-very-close upcoming better days of travel and exploration. Here’s to 2021!


The best places to travel in January are wintery wonderlands where you can keep it cool (or even cold) like Aspen and Vail. Even if you want to stay away from action-packed winter sports, taking in the gorgeous icy views of these snow-blanketed locales can lift any spirit. Plus, sipping warm cider in front of a blazing fireplace is sure to ignite the spark for a cozy getaway.

Check out our top U.S. winter destinations for more places worth bundling up for.


‘Tis the season to get all lovey-dovey. And taking a romantic road trip to some of the best travel destinations in February to cham-filled towns like Charleston and New Orleans may be just what the heart wants. Temperatures are fairly mild during late winter in the South, so there will be plenty of opportunity for idyllic strolls and outdoor dining or wine sipping.

Looking for more romantic inspiration? Give these anniversary getaway ideas a try to stoke the flames of passion.


Spring is one of the best times to travel to Yosemite National Park. It can also be one of the cheapest places to travel in March, depending on your accommodations. Plus, crowds are minimal and there’s still some lingering snow, which makes for incredible sunsets and sunrises. Amateur photographers and outdoor enthusiasts will especially enjoy the park during this time, with opportunities for perfect photo lighting and activities like snowshoeing.

Before you hit the trails, take a virtual tour of the best national parks in the U.S.


The best places to travel in April allow you to enjoy warming temperatures in whatever setting you’re craving. See Boston’s historical sites in full bloom and dine on delectable seafood, or take your talents to Denver for outdoor adventures in hiking and biking.


Some of the best travel destinations in May are along California’s coast. Whether you want to take in magically majestic Big Sur up north, laid-back artsy vibe of Laguna Beach in Southern California, or do a stunning road trip and see both, May is the time to plan your visit. Coastal California boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in the country, and if you want to stay active, there are hikes and state parks aplenty.


As the summer season begins, some of the best places to travel in the U.S. are in the north. The temperatures are warm but mild, foliage is flourishing, and places like Portland, ME, the Adirondacks, and Niagara Falls really come alive. It’s also prime time for outdoor recreation in the northern states. Swimming, biking, and boating are all ready for you to enjoy in June.


July is known for a lot of things: Independence Day, fireworks, hot dogs, and maybe most of all—beach season. The best places to travel in June are coastal destinations, whether it’s a road trip tour of Florida beaches or the New English charms of Nantucket. No matter where you want to put your toes in the sand, a July beach trip is the perfect way to celebrate summer.

Need more inspiration to help you unwind? Take a peek at these tips for planning a relaxing getaway.


This is the perfect month to say “wine not?” to a getaway to Napa Valley. August is the start of peak harvest season for the region, and warm temperatures allow you to immerse yourself in outdoor vineyard strolls and vino tastings. The season is also the time Napa maxes out on fun activities for visitors like harvest dinners and grape smashing. Cheers to Napa Valley, the best place to travel in August to un-wine-d.


Hikers and nature buffs alike will find that the best time to travel to the Grand Canyon is in September. Not only will you find milder weather with the first hints of fall, but you can also explore the natural wonders of Arizona without the summer crowds. Plus, if you decide to make it an RV road trip, you’ll find it can be a cheap place to travel in the U.S. while enjoying one-of-a-kind views.

If you’re looking for other gorgeous places to cruise around in your RV, check out these top RV destinations for fall.


The best places to travel in October are all about leaf peeping. Destinations like Asheville, NC, the Great Smoky Mountains, and all the way up to Acadia National Park in Maine feature vibrant fall foliage from a wide variety of trees. This makes for both lovely hikes and photographs, depending on what activity boxes you like to check on your autumn getaways.

Seeking other sites for when the leaves change? These top spots for fall foliage are always a good bet.


While it’s not typically known as a cheap travel destination in the U.S., a getaway to Maui in November is as affordable as this island paradise gets. As one of Hawaii’s top locales, Maui is extremely popular with tourists. But November is the slowest time of the year for the island, giving you more space on the beaches and better deals on Maui hotel rooms. You may have never considered having your Thanksgiving turkey on island time, but 2021 might just be the year to give it a whirl.


If getting as festive as possible for the holiday season is on your to-do list, the best place to travel in December is to one of the cute Christmas towns you can find popping up around the country. The sweet and quaint Dahlonega, GA hosts an annual tree lighting and is so picturesque that it’s been the backdrop of several Hallmark Christmas movies. And West Coasters can travel to Leavenworth, WA, a mountain town that transforms into a Bavarian wonderland around the holidays, boasting a display of over 500,000 twinkling lights as well as a classic German street market.

No matter when you decide you’re ready to venture out again in the next, better days are on the way. And while there still may be uncertainty in the near future, keeping plans flexible can help you stay safe and optimistic as you look towards 2021. In the meantime, keep dreaming of where you can’t wait to go, who you want to see, and the adventures you’ll soon have.

Header image via canadastock/shutterstock

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