With a brand new year comes 365 days of opportunity to adventure — and that should include visiting some (or all!) of the best places to travel in the U.S. this year.
Whether you want to go on a family vacation, a pet-friendly escape, or a road trip with your best pals, these are some of the best places to travel each month. Organized by season so you can plan early — and book the perfect vacation rental — these U.S. destinations are sure to get you excited to pull out the suitcase this year.
From March through June, spring vacations are all about new beginnings and self-renewal — especially when surrounded by Mother Nature. There are a ton of places across the U.S. that can help you fully catch that breath of fresh air (national parks, anyone?), but there’s one that rises above the rest for travel in 2023: Phoenix, AZ.
Why you should visit Phoenix: Vacation days can start in a variety of ways — take a swing at one of eight golf courses in the area, head out to hike iconic Camelback Mountain, or explore the Desert Botanical Garden before the heat sets in. Just remember to lather up the sunscreen: the area boasts around 300 days of sunshine per year, with temps averaging around 68 degrees in spring (climbing near 105 in summer).
To make the most of each afternoon, guests visiting Phoenix love to lounge by a private pool, admire over 20,000 pieces of artwork at the Phoenix Art Museum, or learn about wildlife at the Odysea Aquarium in nearby Scottsdale. As the sun sets, it’s easy to channel your inner competitor at a sporting event before strolling the always vibing streets of downtown Phoenix. There you’ll find fine-dining, entertainment, and maybe a local brew or sweet treat to top off the night.
Other Top Places to Travel This Spring:
Summer is best spent outside, and that’s what makes Blue Ridge, GA one of this season’s best places to travel in 2023. Nestled in the mountains, it’s a popular destination because, well, it’s a little like Goldilocks — with temps averaging in the 80s from June through September, it’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right for a sunny summer vacation.
Why you should visit Blue Ridge: Mornings can start slow and easy, perhaps with a hearty breakfast in your vacation rental, or a hike to a nearby waterfall while you breathe in the crisp alpine air. Once the appetite kicks in, there’s nothing like a legendary Cuban sandwich and cafe con leche at Rum Cake Lady Cuban Cafe.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are home to a handful of small towns that make for charming day-trip destinations. A top spot: Helen, GA. About an hour from Blue Ridge, this Bavarian-style village is home to about 545 residents and is the perfect place to rent inner tubes for a refreshing river float. You can also visit the awe-inspiring Anna Ruby Falls, or sip your way through local tasting rooms.
Making the most of long summer nights in Blue Ridge comes with a hit of nostalgia. You can grab a cold pint at Grumpy Old Men Brewery and pick up candy at Huck’s General Store. Then head down the street to Swan Drive-In, where you can awaken the past as you turn on the radio, let the headlights dim, and experience what a visit to Blue Ridge might’ve been like back in 1955 when the theater opened.
Other Top Places to Travel This Summer:
Oh, autumn. September to December is the time for cozy sweaters, warm cider, and brilliant colors for fall foliage chasers. Slow down, reconnect with nature, and experience a leaf-peeping palette that rivals them all in The Poconos, PA.
Why you should visit The Poconos: Guests visiting this area should grab a camera and venture out on a tour of local waterfalls. A short and easy hike takes you to the base of Hawks Falls at Hickory Run State Park. Or, you can head to the immersive Bushkill Falls, where eight cascading waterfalls paint the side of the rock. When midday sets in, heat some cider at your home base and pick one of these seven scenic drives to continue basking in the natural beauty around you.
As for evening, there’s nothing quite like relaxing on the porch during this time of year in The Poconos. After a tasting at Three Hammers Winery (where you can bring a bottle home), grab dinner to-go — maybe some locally-loved pho — and curl up to watch the leaves shift colors in the fading light. Once the sun disappears and temperatures start to drop, venture back inside to get the fireplace roaring, play board games, or watch a movie.
Other Top Places to Travel This Fall:
Cooler weather invites us to embrace the holiday season, find inner joy, and maybe even make a snowman or two. Leavenworth, WA offers all of that and more come December, earning its spot as one of the best places to travel in the U.S. in 2023.
Why you should visit Leavenworth: Half a million holiday lights twinkle around the town’s authentic German restaurants, quaint shops, and quiet natural wonders at this time of year. So head out from your cozy cabin rental and grab a warm cup of Joe at local J5 Coffee before really getting into the seasonal spirit. Then you can explore over 7,000 wooden toy soldiers at the one-of-kind Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, or visit Leavenworth’s Reindeer Farm — a perfect place to befriend caribou and take a fairytale sleigh ride.
When it’s time to warm up, grab a pizza at Blewett Brewing or head over to The Gingerbread Factory to pick out decorated — you guessed it — gingerbread cookies. As night falls, take a walk to experience why Leavenworth is called the Village of Lights. You could also ski the Cascade Mountains — Stevens Pass invites adventure-lovers to night-ski with six lifts that stay open late.
Other Top Places to Travel This Winter:
You know exciting plans are in the works when you book a vacation rental in one of the best places to travel in 2023. And that excitement should come without fear: our verified homes are backed by our Rest Easy Promise, so you’ll always arrive at a clean, private place that’s 100% ready for you.