The new year is here and after you’ve reviewed your schedule for the next dozen months, you realize something: your schedule is wide open. You can choose to go wherever you want whenever you please.
We think it’d be fun if you checked off a new travel destination every month this year. But don’t worry about racking your brain trying to figure out where to go because we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find our top picks for the best places to travel in 2019 for each month. From the East Coast to the West Coast and everything in between, this is going to be quite the year for you.
January: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
There are few better places to travel in January than sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Leave your parka at home, as you tap into your leftover holiday nest egg and shop your way up and down Las Olas Boulevard, a beautiful street that cuts through the heart of downtown. Take in a bit of history with a self-guided walking tour through the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Finally, top your day off with a wonderful meal at 3030 Ocean. We recommend their three-plate tasting menu to go along with any one of their fabulously crafted cocktails.
February: Phoenix, Arizona
Instead of shoveling driveways and freezing all month, head to Phoenix, Arizona, where the average high is 67 degrees F in February. A stroll along the trails of the Desert Botanical Garden will get you familiar with some of the area’s most popular desert plant species. If you’ve had a desire to familiarize yourself with American Indian art, make your way to and through the Heard Museum. This museum currently houses over 40,000 items and has an archive section containing 34,000 volumes. Plus, the second weekend in February, they hold the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. Afterward, head back to town and venture into one of the many amazing restaurants in Heritage Square—you won’t go hungry here.
March: Vail, Colorado
You’ll be in America, but you’ll feel like you’re in the midst of the Alps when you wake up at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, Colorado. This place oozes European vibes thanks to its décor and its on-site restaurant, the Swiss Chalet. There’s nothing better after a long day of skiing than a delicious bowl of fondue. Speaking of fun in the snow, check out Vail’s sister resort of Beaver Creek and go on a snowshoeing and wine excursion. Even with the onset of spring, it’s still possible to frolic through a picture-perfect winter wonderland in Vail, making March the ultimate time to visit.
April: Napa, California
Set your sights on rolling hills covered with grape vines and wildflower blossoms: Welcome to Napa in April. This little slice of heaven in Northern California is great for a spring time getaway when the vines are green, and the wildflowers are in bloom. It’s also great if you’re a wine, food, and cycling enthusiast because of CampoVelo. This 3-day event at the end April is worth basing your whole trip around. When you’re not on your bike, test out your culinary skills with a cooking class at the CIA at Copia. Whether you’re a novice chef looking for a new experience or an accomplished hand in the kitchen, this is a must-do. When you’re ready to indulge in Napa’s most famous commodity—wine—hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. You may not want to get off.
May: Savannah, Georgia
If you’re a fan of city tours and seafood, you’ve come to the right place. Savannah, Georgia, has plenty of both. Start your trip during the first weekend of May so you can satisfy your appetite at the River Street Seafood Festival. When it’s time for touring, start with the Historic Landmark District that’s packed with restored 18th-century homes, museums, and monuments. Parlay that into a Famous & Secret East Side Food Tour. Round out your touring extravaganza with a ride aboard the Georgia Queen riverboat. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time to the days of Mark Twain once you step aboard this fantastic paddle steamer.
June: Laguna Beach, California
Since summer will officially begin in June, what better place to visit than a gorgeous coastal town in Southern California? Take in the views and ocean breezes while eating lunch at The Deck, a cliffside restaurant that sits perched over water when the tide is high. If you’re up for a day of hiking, wander through one of the fine outdoor spaces like Laguna Coast Wilderness Park or Crystal Cove State Park. Another good reason to visit in June is so you can attend the Sawdust Art Festival at the end of the month. There are art festivals in Laguna Beach throughout the year, but the Sawdust might be the best.
July: Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington, is fantastic to visit any time of year, so why July? Because the weather is beautiful, and the Seafair Summer Fourth celebration takes place. Enjoy great food, live music, and a spectacular firework show. Also, the salmon runs are big, which means whale watching for orcas in Puget Sound with the Puget Sound Express is at its prime. When you’d like to relive the thrills of your childhood, head back to land and go for a spin on the Seattle Great Wheel. The views across the sound from up here are incredible, especially on a clear July day.
August: Bozeman, Montana
If a jaunt in the American West is what you’re looking for this summer, look no further than the city of Bozeman in August. Begin your trip during the first weekend of August so you can attend the festivities of the Bozeman Stampede, a wild west rodeo. Not only is August great for watching cattle roping and bull riding, but also for outdoor activities. The vistas from hiking trails like the College M Trail are spectacular and the fly fishing in the waters of the Gallatin River might be the best in the country. Set your itinerary and enjoy the last month of summer in this gorgeous, southwestern Montana city.
September: San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California, will probably remind you of the Summer of Love. Not much has changed since those glorious summer days of 1967; free spirits still roam the streets and Grateful Dead tunes still drift from open living room windows. But what’s so cool about September? Well, for one, the second weekend of the month hosts the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival and the end of the month is when Oktoberfest by the Bay at Pier 48 happens.
October: Nantucket, Massachusetts
Located about 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a treasure trove of fun, beauty, and relaxation. Why is it one of the best places to travel to in October? Because the 16th annual Cranberry Festival will be held on Saturday, October 12. There are all sorts of fun things to do like cranberry harvesting and listening to live music. But if you do one thing on this island, it has to be buying a pair of famous Nantucket Reds from Murray’s Toggery Shop. No visit to Nantucket is complete without purchasing a pair of these classic pants—and October offers the perfect weather for wearing them!
November: Honolulu, Hawaii
November is usually when the weather begins to turn from cool to downright cold in the continental U.S. It’s also shoulder season—right before the holidays—which means cheaper travel prices and fewer crowds. That’s why you should escape to Honolulu, Hawaii, and head straight for the outdoor deck at Duke’s Waikiki. A couple of mai tais later, and you’ll forget all about the upcoming winter back home. When you’re ready to play tourist, head to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor or explore the Iolani Palace, the former royal residence for the Kingdom of Hawaii.
December: Golden, Colorado
If a white Colorado Christmas is what you desire then make plans to spend the holidays in Golden, Colorado. The city’s Olde Golden Christmas is a month-long celebration of everything Christmas. Victorian carolers, candlelight walks, a holiday market, and so much more take place throughout the month. You can even hop aboard a free, horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic downtown district. When the outside air gives you a chill, warm up with a spirit from Golden Moon Distillery. Their single malt whiskey will keep you toasty from head to toe.
With a different destination to visit every month, you’re looking at what could possibly be the most exciting year of your life!
Header image via Sean Pavone