Shoulder season is the ideal time to travel: It’s that perfect window between peak seasons that means cheaper airfare, cheaper hotels, shorter lines, less traffic, and fewer people.
We teamed up with Kayak to find the best destination in the US to visit each month of the year.
Using data from their Travel Hacker Guide, Kayak calculated the median monthly airfare for US destinations for travel between November 2013 and December 2014, and median hotel rates for travel between August 2014 and July 2015 with a minimum of three nights at four-star properties. Activities and weather were also taken into consideration.
Here is the ultimate guide to your next 12 months of vacations.
JANUARY: Orlando, Florida
Median Airfare: $281 Median Hotel Rate: $184
Orlando boasts its lowest airfare rates of the year this month, as well as shorter lines and fewer crowds at its many amusement parks.
FEBRUARY: Savannah, Georgia
Median Airfare: $355 Median Hotel Rate: $259
This southern charmer sees a dramatic drop in tourism in January and February, making it the perfect time to visit thanks to a lack of crowds and reduced hotel rates. The city beckons as the perfect winter escape thanks to temps in the 40s to 60s, as well as an ideal spot for a romantic Valentine’s day.
MARCH: Nashville, Tennessee
- Flickr / Thomas Hawk
Median Airfare: $350 Median Hotel Rate: $328
Avoid Spring Breakers heading to Florida and the Caribbean, and instead enjoy cool blues and balmy weather.
APRIL: Los Angeles, California
Median Airfare: $364 Median Hotel Rate: $231
April is LA’s temperature sweet spot: there’s not a lot of rain, and it’s still in pre summer smog mode. Escape April showers and hit the beach to kick off summer early.
MAY: New York, New York
Median Airfare: $338 Median Hotel Rate: $300
There’s never a bad time to visit New York, just like it will never be cheap to. However, May is the best time – New Yorkers are coming out of their winter hibernation, temperatures aren’t stifling yet, and holidays the world over haven’t brought in boatloads of tourists… yet.
JUNE: Chicago, Illinois
- Flickr/Mike Warot
Median Airfare: $352 Median Hotel Rate: $272
Chicago in June is the ideal mix of urban adventure and beachy escape, as the month is chock full of events, parades and festivals like the Pride Parade or Chicago Blues Festival, while nearby Lake Michigan beckons as a relaxing day trip.
JULY: Boston, Massachusetts
- Flickr/Wally Gobetz
Median Airfare: $368 Median Hotel Rate: $371
The students have engaged in a mass exodus and Boston is as empty as it will be all year. Enjoy the awesome summer weather and lack of crowds while catching a duck boat tour, baseball game, and Boston’s Harborfest.
AUGUST: San Francisco, California
Median Airfare: $417 Median Hotel Rate: $363
August is one of San Francisco’s warmest and driest months, and the perfect end-of-the-summer trip. With half the town away for Burning Man, it’ll be pleasantly empty.
SEPTEMBER: Seattle, Washington
Median Airfare: $334 Median Hotel Rate: $269
Fall foliage is at its finest this month, but New England isn’t the only place to see some stunning colors. Head to Seattle where fall is in full swing, and embrace the autumn spirit with a Pumpkin Spice Latte from the original Starbucks.
OCTOBER: Nantucket, Massachusetts
Median Airfare: $469 Median Hotel Rate: $215
It might be a bit breezy to bust out the bikini beach side, but Nantucket is still in top form: most of its businesses are open during the off-season, there’s Fall Restaurant Week, the Nantucket Arts Festival, the Cranberry Festival, and, best of all, no crowds.
NOVEMBER: Portland, Oregon
- Shutterstock/Josemaria Toscano
Median Airfare: $319 Median Hotel Rate: $191
Enjoy mild temps and significantly lower hotel rates in Portland in November, as well as tax-free shopping for Black Friday.
DECEMBER: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Flickr / Spreng Ben
Median Airfare: $340 Median Hotel Rate: $177
Escape the cold and head to Vegas, where both airfare and temperatures are at their best this month, though you might want to avoid the New Year’s Eve crowds.