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The best places to visit in the USA for every month of 2022

We've named the 12 best places to visit in the USA —one amazing destination for every month of the year.

Written by
Time Out contributors
Sarah Medina
Jenny Peters

Sometimes deciding where you want to go on vacation is just as important is deciding when to do it. Sure, some places are gorgeous month after month (we're looking at you, Hawaii) but getting the timing right can make a good vacation great. We know from personal experience how frustrating it is to show up at a destination you've been dreaming of only to find that you've missed the most exciting events of the calendar year. 

We're here to help with our picks for the best places to visit in the USA according to each of the twelve months of the year. And since the COVID pandemic is still throwing wrenches into our travel plans, we've included plenty of places where you can feel safe in the great, wide open. From winter skiing, snowboarding and hot-springing in Colorado and cherry blossom ogling in spring, to summer exploration in northern the reaches of Maine and Alaska and autumn spectacles in New Mexico and Las Vegas, every place on our list is optimized for an enviable vacation.

RECOMMENDED: 13 awesome and new things to do in the USA in 2022

Itching for more ideas about where to go in the U.S. in 2022? Try out our picks for the best cities in America, gorgeous national parks from Minnesota to Texas, and even some awe-inspiring craters, crevices and other natural wonders. Just consider this your guide to the beautiful ol' US of A—from sea to shining sea, January to December. 

Time Out Market United States

Time Out’s expansive food-and-culture destinations are what happens when your go-to guide to the city’s best restaurants, bars and things to do becomes an actual place. These are the spots we’ve curated with the same fuss, care and curiosity we bring to our editorial—and there’s probably one near you right now.

Best places to visit in the USA

January: Colorado
Photograph: Courtesy Dunton Hot Springs/JACK RICHMOND

1. January: Colorado

It’s no secret that Colorado ski resorts are among the country’s best, but that's not all this state has to offer outdoor enthusiasts in the winter. Try your hand at heli-skiing (that's dropping from a helicopter rather than a ski lift) in the backcountry at Telluride, bask in natural hot springs after your ride down the mountain in Steamboat Springs, or embrace winter camping (and dog sledding) at the refurbished mine town of Dunton Hot Springs, where you'll find an Old West saloon, the opportunity to ice climb and (of course) more hot springs. 

February: Yellowstone National Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. February: Yellowstone National Park

This world-famous Wyoming national park is always spectacular, and while it’s understandably mainly visited in warmer months, if you can get there in February you’ll be in for a real treat, with the whole place transformed into an other-worldly wintery wilderness. Animals are much easier to spot in the snow, with the most notable example being bison, complete with their shaggy winter coats, and the steam from the geysers is far more pronounced.

March: Hawaii
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. March: Hawaii

Hawaii enjoys beautiful weather and comfortable temperatures year-round, with thermometers reliably staying above 79F and below 88F, but March and April are a particularly pleasant time to visit, slipping in between the spring and summer vacation seasons. From the massive volcanoes on the Big Island (Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Kilauea), and the Na Pali cliffs of Kauai, to the pristine beaches of Oahu—every part of the state is stunning. But if you have to pick just one spot to see while you're there, we recommend heading to the very top of Maui, where the Haleakalā crater's huge caldera's landscape is otherworldly.

April: Washington DC
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. April: Washington DC

Despite being such a historic city, Washington DC keeps evolving—even now, new museums are breaking ground. There's one more big reason to head to D.C. this spring, too: cherry blossom season. While Japan’s cherry blossom season seems to grab most of the world’s attention, Washington D.C. has a pretty good one too, which typically spans late March into early April. The best place to see it is the Tidal Basin, where over 3,000 trees are transformed with radiant blooms. And you can still get your obligatory selfie with the White House/Lincoln Memorial/National Mall while you're in town. 

May: The Mighty Five

5. May: The Mighty Five

No idea what The Mighty Five is? We're talking about Utah's wild landscape, which is connected by a series of five national parks—Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches. There's also the iconic Monument Valley, which is located in the nearby Navajo nation; you've seen it on the silver screen in almost every John Wayne western and it hasn't changed an iota since. In all five destinations, notice massive sandstone formations, twisty slot canyons and dark skies bursting with stars that up the beauty ante. 

June: The West Coast
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Ryan Ancill

6. June: The West Coast

Sound the road trip klaxon! California and the Pacific Northwest are calling. Head out in June to avoid the July 4th madness, when roads in the U.S. will be crammed with long weekenders on their way to family barbecues and baseball games, and take the whole month to discover the best of the West Coast. Whether you want to catch some rays in San Diego, forest bathe in Oregon, tour Seattle’s street art or simply make the most of Vancouver's least rainy month of the year, this slice of North America is as diverse as its days are long.

July: Alaska
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. July: Alaska

July is a wonderful month to spot caribou, wolves and golden eagles in Denali National Park, as well as grizzly bears, who are busy hunting salmon in order to fatten up before hibernation. They also nibble on the season’s abundant berries—blueberries are particularly fat and juicy in Alaska—and you can taste them too on almost any hike and around the stunning Glacier Bay National Park.

August: Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. August: Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island

At the far reaches of the northeast coastline of America is Acadia National Park, which covers much of Mount Desert Island (beautiful Bar Harbor is here, too) and beyond. Crashing Atlantic Ocean waves hit rocky beaches, massive granite rock formations loom and quiet forests, lakes and ponds await you here. Once you've experienced this achingly lovely island sanctuary, there are plenty of Maine's famed lobster roll stands waiting near town ready to feed you the state's delicious crustacean.

September: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. September: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

America's most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains are a place where the easygoing rhythm of the South combines with an outdoor lover's heaven. Hike in to see lovely waterfalls and expansive views filled with mountains and forests, fish for trout in a quiet stream (you'll need a permit) and peep at a riot of colors during the autumn foliage change. You might run into someone hiking the Appalachian Trail, too. More than 70 miles of that 2,190-mile path run through the national park.

October: New Mexico
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. October: New Mexico

There’s a lot more to New Mexico than desert and a certain Netflix show. Every October, Albuquerque hosts its eye-popping International Balloon Fiesta, where you can spot hundreds of technicolor hot air balloons as they make their spectacular ascent. With seemingly endless skies and epic sunrises, it’s become the world’s largest balloon festival and the most photographed event on Earth. Also make time to visit Santa Fe, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains for a mix of Spanish colonial architecture and earth-colored historic adobe neighborhoods, plus a comprehensive Georgia O'Keefe Museum dedicated to her artistic legacy and American modernism.

November: Las Vegas

11. November: Las Vegas

As the names of artists now getting residencies in Las Vegas get bigger and more relevant (like Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars), so does Sin City’s credibility as an entertainment destination. So do catch a show while you’re there but, since temperatures are pleasantly cool at this time of year, now is also the perfect time for exploring off-strip. Want geological beauty? Head to rouge-tinted Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Street art? Go downtown. Mafia stuff? Don’t miss the Mob Museum and its in-house distillery.

December: Miami
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. December: Miami

In December the Swiss-born contemporary art fair Art Basel arrives in Miami to exhibit and sell the work of established international artists. But you don’t have to be in the industry or uber-rich to get in on the action: Plenty of fringe events happen outside of the main convention center at Miami Beach that same week. Check out the public sculpture, and the many pop-ups, gallery events and installations that have led this to be dubbed ‘Art Week’ by locals. In between, hit up South Beach for tanning and our very own Time Out Market Miami for grubbing. Welcome to Miami! 

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