Best Place To Go On December In USA

Best Place To Go On December In USA

December can be a magical time to travel across the best place to go on December in USA. With the holiday season in full swing, many destinations are decked out in festive decorations and events. Cooler temperatures also make it an ideal time to visit warm-weather locations before the summer crowds arrive. Alternatively, winter sports enthusiasts flock to mountain towns for fresh powder and snowy slopes.

While December is a popular travel month, the crowds and prices aren’t as high as other peak seasons. Airfare and hotels are often cheaper than summer or holidays. The weather can be unpredictable but you can find great destinations with mild temperatures across the southern U.S. or snowy wonderlands out west.

Some key factors to consider when choosing a December destination include your ideal climate and activities. Do you want to relax on the beach or shred down ski slopes? Take in a Broadway show or cozy up by a fireplace? Experience holiday markets and festivities or escape to nature? From lively cities to charming small towns, national parks to amusement parks, December offers various travel experiences across the United States.

Warm Beach Destinations

The winter chill makes warm, sunny beach destinations especially appealing for December trips. You’ll find perfect beach weather on the southeast and southwest coasts and the Hawaiian Islands.

Southern California enjoys sunny 70-degree days in December, ideal for spending time on the beaches of L.A., San Diego, and Orange County. The water will be cool for swimming but you can stroll on the sand, play volleyball, surf, or relax oceanside. Attractions like Disneyland and LEGOLAND get decked out for the holidays too.

Down in Florida, places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and the Florida Keys bask in 80-degree warmth. The Atlantic waters are refreshing for swimming. It’s a great time to snorkel or scuba dive to see colorful tropical fish. Don’t miss Art Basel in Miami which brings impressive contemporary art exhibits.

Hawaii sees highs in the 80s in December, with low humidity. Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island boast gorgeous beaches for sunbathing, swimming and trying ocean sports. Whale-watching cruises get popular this time of year. The big island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers a landscape like no other.

Ski Destinations

December is prime ski season in many popular mountain towns in the western United States. Resorts like Aspen, Vail, Park City, and Breckenridge offer ideal ski conditions, with fresh powder and sunshine almost daily.

The Rocky Mountains provide the country’s best downhill skiing and snowboarding. Aspen is world-renowned, with four separate ski mountains and Aspen Mountain’s famous expert trails. Nearby Snowmass is ideal for families and intermediate skiers.

Vail also caters to all abilities, with 5,300 skiable acres, heated gondolas and a charming pedestrian village. Park City, Utah, is home to two massive resorts, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley. This historic mining town offers an authentic mountain experience with luxury amenities.

Breckenridge, Colorado features four interconnected peaks, high alpine bowls, and the largest ski resort in the United States. With so many trails and lifts, there are no crowds or long lift lines. The charming Victorian town offers plenty of shopping, dining, and nightlife options for après ski.

Ski conditions are excellent, with packed powder coating the slopes. Most resorts open by late November and remain open through April, giving you a long ski season. When the slopes close, enjoy après ski activities like relaxing by a fireplace with hot cocoa or mulled wine. Many resorts have lively bars, clubs, live music, and restaurants to enjoy after a day hitting the slopes.

Big Cities

The excitement and energy of America’s big cities make them popular destinations year-round but they shine during the holiday season. Major metropolises like New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco go all out with elaborate decorations, festive events, and seasonal attractions, making December an ideal time to visit.

New York City

New York City is full of holiday magic, from the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and elaborate department store window displays on Fifth Avenue to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the high-kicking Rockettes. The streets of Manhattan come alive with holiday markets selling gifts, food and cheer. Catch a Broadway show or join the crowds watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade wind through the towering city streets. Top it all off with an ice skating session in Central Park or Bryant Park.


Chicago dazzles during the holidays with a month-long Christmas festival featuring music, ice skating and Christkindlmarket’s traditional German fare. Michigan Avenue and State Street shopping districts sparkle with decorative lights. See the elaborate holiday flower displays at the Chicago Botanic Garden or Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights. Enjoy festive theater productions like the Goodman Theatre’s annual A Christmas Carol. For a bird’s eye view, visit Skydeck Chicago or 360 Chicago Observation Deck.

San Francisco

San Francisco’s holiday charm centers around Union Square, where an enormous Christmas tree and nightly light show create a magical scene. Shop the Union Square holiday marketplace and department stores decorated for the season, or head to Pier 39 for carolers, Santa visits and a 65-foot tree. Experience the Victorian architecture of Alamo Square and Haight-Ashbury dressed up for the holidays. Enjoy festive concerts, plays and ballet productions at the city’s renowned cultural institutions. Wrap up chilly nights with hearty clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.

Small Town Charm

Visit some of America’s quaint small towns for a cozy winter feel. Many have charming main streets perfect for strolling, with local shops, restaurants and inns decked out for the holidays. You’ll find horse-drawn carriage rides, Christmas light displays and seasonal festivals.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered streets, sleigh rides and plenty of holiday cheer. As you browse the shops and art galleries, the antler arches overhead glow with white string lights.

In Woodstock, Vermont, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Christmas card. The covered bridge has evergreen garlands and the town green has a towering tree. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride while carolers serenade you. Stop for hot chocolate or cider and soak in the holiday spirit.

Small towns like these offer a magical experience you won’t find in big cities. The slower pace and community feel make it easy to embrace the season.

Southern Hospitality

The American South is known for its hospitality, charm, and mild winter weather. December is a lovely time to visit classic Southern destinations like Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans.

Charleston dazzles during the holidays with over 600,000 Christmas lights strung throughout the historic downtown. Carriage rides, holiday tours and festive events create a magical atmosphere. Enjoy the decorated historic homes and buildings, then relax at a cafe on the waterfront.

In Savannah, the weather is mild enough to explore the tree-lined squares and moss-draped historic district comfortably. Stop for pralines, pecan pie and other Southern treats as you take in landmarks like Forsyth Park. Don’t miss the nightly Christmas carol sing in Chippewa Square.

New Orleans celebrates the season with Reveillon dinners, Creole-style feasts tracing back to the early French settlers. Stroll through the French Quarter to see the festive decorations and listen to lively jazz music spilling onto the streets. No December trip to NOLA would be complete without indulging in beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

The Southern charm, seasonal festivities and comfortable weather make destinations like Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans ideal for December travelers. Immerse yourself in the rich history, culture and hospitality.

National Parks

December is a great time to visit some of America’s iconic national parks. The crowds from summer have died down and you can enjoy the unique landscapes with smaller crowds.

Some top national parks to consider in December include:

Arches National Park- Located in Utah, this park is known for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The arches and red rock formations are especially beautiful with light snow dustings. Activities include hiking, biking, and camping.

Death Valley National Park – Located in California and Nevada, Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America. But December temperatures are milder, ranging from 40-70F, making it perfect for exploring the below-sea-level salt flats and colorful rock formations.

Joshua Tree National Park – This Southern California desert park is named for its unique Joshua trees. December temperatures are cool but comfortable for rock climbing, hiking among the boulders and Joshua trees and star gazing at night.

Everglades National Park – Florida’s unique Everglades ecosystem is perfect to explore by canoe or kayak in December. Look for alligators, crocodiles, birds and other wildlife as you paddle through the subtropical wetlands.

National parks let you experience America’s diverse landscapes and natural beauty. And December is one of the best times to visit when the summer crowds are gone but the weather is still mild in most parks. So escape to the outdoors this December at one of America’s majestic national parks.

Festivals and Events

December is an exciting time in the United States, with major festivals, events, and celebrations happening across the country. Here are some of the top festivals and events to check out:

New Year’s Eve

New York City’s Times Square hosts the most famous New Year’s Eve party in the world. Hundreds of thousands gather in Times Square to watch the iconic ball drop at midnight. Major cities like Las Vegas, Miami, and Los Angeles also host fantastic NYE parties and events.

Art Basel Miami

This premier art fair draws artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts to Miami in early December. Along with the main art show, Art Basel hosts parties, exhibitions, and events across Miami. It’s a hot spot for celebrities and fashion.

Gasparilla Pirate Festival

Tampa hosts this unique pirate-themed parade and street festival in mid-late December. Expect pirate ship invasions, music, food, and lots of revelry. Kids love the pirate theme.

College Bowl Games

College football bowl games kick off in mid-December and last through early January. Major matchups like the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl happen around New Year’s Day. Cities host parades and events around the big games.

First Night Celebrations

Many cities host a First Night celebration on New Year’s Eve, with live music acts, performances, food, and family-friendly events leading up to midnight fireworks. Some of the biggest are in Boston and Atlanta.

December has no shortage of festive events for travelers to check out. From New Year’s Eve parties to unique parades and college football showdowns, there’s something for everyone.

Where to Avoid

Some destinations in the U.S. are best avoided in December due to extreme cold, rain, or snow. These places may have limited attractions and activities during the winter months. You’ll also want to avoid destinations with higher prices and bigger crowds.

The Northeast and Midwest

Places like Boston, Chicago, and New York City can be bitterly cold in December. Temperatures often drop below freezing with wind chills in the teens. If you don’t mind bundling up, you can still enjoy indoor attractions and holiday festivities, but outdoor activities will be very limited.

The Midwest states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have abundant snowfall in December. Road conditions can be dangerous for those not used to driving in winter weather. Many attractions and parks will be closed for the season too.

Mountain Resorts

Popular ski destinations like Vail, Aspen, and Park City come with peak holiday rates in December. If you want to hit the slopes, go mid-week when crowds are smaller. The weekends will be the most expensive and crowded.

Other mountain towns and parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming will have heavy snow, making travel difficult and many activities inaccessible.

Anywhere With Limited December Attractions

If you’re looking for warm beach vacations or outdoor adventures, many parts of the U.S. simply won’t fit the bill in December. It’s an ideal month for winter activities up north or holiday festivities in the big cities. Save the hiking, beaches, and water sports for a warmer month.


December is a magical time to explore the United States. From warm beach vacations to snowy mountain getaways, December offers something for everyone. The sunny shores of Florida and Southern California are ideal for those seeking warmth during the winter months. For snow lovers, destinations like Colorado, Utah, and Vermont offer world-class skiing and snowboarding. Big cities like New York and Chicago dazzle with holiday markets, shows, and light displays. Small towns exude charm with parades, festivals, and cozy inns.

The southern states welcome visitors with hospitality, history, and holiday cheer. And America’s awe-inspiring national parks are open year-round for exploring their natural wonders. Special events like New Year’s Eve celebrations, Christmas markets, and light shows add to the excitement.

With so many possibilities, planning is important to make the most of a December trip. Review your options and make flight, hotel, and activity reservations to ensure availability. Pack appropriate clothing and gear for the climate. Get ready to embrace the holiday spirit across America’s beautiful landscapes. December opens up a world of travel opportunities without the crowds and heat of summer. Take advantage to get out and explore the diverse beauty, culture, and holiday magic that America has to offer this time of year.



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