January Beach Vacations

For many people, January beach vacations provide a break from the winter blues. With the rolling waves, warm sand, and sunshine, a trip to a beach can be a good way to chase away seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition that can cause depression related to a lack of sunlight. It can also be just what you need after a busy holiday season. If you have some post-holiday time to travel, consider a trip to one of the following hot spots.

january beach vacations

Cowell's Beach, California

Located in Santa Cruz, Cowell's Bay welcomes you with sparkling water and sunny skies. The best January beach vacations offer up a variety of activities, and Cowell's Beach is no exception, making it a good location for family fun. In January, you'll find fewer crowds than you would during the summer. Long and gentle slow-rolling waves provide the perfect swells for newbie surfers, and it's a rare occurrence to encounter the territorial surfers who frequent other beaches. If you prefer to stay on the sand, you can enjoy a game of beach volleyball, fly a kite, or take a stroll on the boardwalk.

St. Andrews State Park, Florida

If your ideal beach is one covered in pure white sand that feels baby-powder soft, then St. Andrews State Park near Panama City, Florida, is the January beach destination for you. The sand is so white you might mistake it for sugar. Vacation rental houses in the area provide quick access to the park, where you can enjoy a variety of activities in the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Spend the day swimming, fishing, water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or kayaking.

Pink Sands, Bahamas

The tropical weather of the Bahamas can be an attractive draw for a winter vacation, as can the unique pink sand on the coast of Harbour Island. Rent a charming island cottage and let the relaxing atmosphere soothe your senses. If you prefer to be in the center of town where you have easy access to both the beach and entertainment, consider renting a town home or an apartment. The beach has warm water, so dive in and play a bit before laying out on the sand. After spending the day in the sun, head into town where you'll find shopping, dining, and entertainment.

january beach vacation

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Hawaii

Created by the lava crashing into the Pacific Ocean, black sand is a striking contrast to the typical golden and white sand dotting other coasts. There's no wrong time to visit Hawaii, and at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, you'll find paradise. Surrounded by tropical water and lush vegetation, the setting begs you to relax. Humpback whales swim in the waters around Hawaii in the winter months, and at night you may hear their songs. Dolphins like to play with their young, and green sea turtles often come ashore to sunbathe. Protective reefs help keep the water calm enough for swimming. If you feel like exploring, visit the island's active volcano.

Padre Island, Texas

January beach vacations in... Texas? Yep, Texas has a big and beautiful coast! Bordered by Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, the beach at Padre Island has plenty to offer snowbirds wanting to fly south for a bit. The tropical climate of the southern part of Texas pairs with warm water where you can swim, boat, or fish. Watch the local wildlife from birds to turtles as you lay out on your beach towel. When you've had your fill of relaxation, go into town. There you'll find night clubs, restaurants, music, and shopping. If you rent a vacation home in South Padre, you can end the day with a glass of wine or a night cap as you watch the sun set over the bay.