For family travelers, January and February are lighter-traffic months between Holiday Season and Spring Break: you can enjoy some uncrowded vacations if your kids are small or for other reasons aren't tied to a school schedule. Those with school-goers can grab a long weekend with Martin Luther King Day, which is on the third Monday in January. Many school districts extend the long weekend a day or two: a good chance for a Caribbean or Mexico getaway without the high prices at Spring Break. Presidents Day -- on the third Monday in February-- gives another long weekend, and many schools take an entire "Presidents Week" off.
And now for some ideas for Jan. and Feb.:
Arizona Dude Ranch
Horse-riding, the Great Outdoors, home-cooked meals, cookout under the stars; and maybe a massage and spa treatment... Dude Ranches these days range from rustic working ranches to resort-style luxuries. Many have kids' programs. And for ranches in Arizona, Jan. and Feb are good months to go.
Arizona is classic Dude Ranch country, and Rancho de Los Caballeros -- near Wickenburg- is an authentic guest ranch that dates back to the fifties. Horse-riding's still the heart of the place, but the Ranch has added golf and a beautiful spa. Dude ranches in this area close during the hot summer months, so time to go is October to May.
- continue to Presidents Week Ideas, or mouseover for more options