With winter around the corner, we can’t help imagining what will be our next winter destination. If you do the same and live in the United States or plan to spend your winter vacation here, perhaps we can help you chose the place to visit on your stay.
No matter what activities you have in mind on how to spend your vacation or journey, our list of best places to visit in December in the USA has something for everyone.
But it depends on your taste and budget which one you will choose to spend your holidays in. Just know that all are wonderful idyllic places that will give you an unforgettable trip.
10. Saint Louis
St. Louis is probably the most underappreciated city in the United States. However, it’s definitely worth your visit, especially in December. And while others ignore the beauty of the Great Lakes and Midwest regions, you can explore the area while enjoying your winter vacation.
According to travelers’ experience, it’s best to visit during the winter holidays. If you spend Christmas and New Year here, Saint Louis will welcome you full-prepared with decorations and many recreational activities to choose from.
Steinberg Rink offers outdoor skating and it’s open every day. It’s one of the largest rinks in the Midwest. Just imagine going night skating with occasional breaks by the fire. You can also go hiking.
Yes, hiking because summer isn’t the best period to hike in the Midwest. Winter is. You won’t have to worry about mosquitoes and stand the heat. Visit the Cliff Cave Park and gaze at the Mississippi River that looks simply stunning in December.
9. Palm Desert, California
If you want to enjoy your winter vacation in December, but still escape the cold, visit Palm Desert in California. It’s the perfect mid-winter getaway. You can visit El Paseo, the city’s main street loaded with art galleries, countless shops, restaurants, and cafes.
There hasn’t been any new modern hotel build here for over 30 years, but that changed when Hotel Paseo opened, a new luxury hotel with a spa center, and a pool included.
If you plan to visit, expect wind and chilly nights that are usual for this time of year here. But also expect the best journey you’ve ever had because the place has a lot to offer, starting from upscale neighborhoods you can explore by day and a beautiful scenery.
Situated above the scenic Roaring Fork Valley, Aspen turns into a breathtaking tourist draw during winter, especially in December. So, if you’re planning to spend your vacation skiing, coming to Aspen will be the right thing to do because the place has one of the best skiing centers across the globe.
Besides that, it offers plenty of cultural activities to choose from, historical tales and beautiful scenery. It’s definitely a place you should visit in December. Skiing isn’t the only thing you can do because most of the Aspen area represents a part of the White River National Forest.
Hikers know exactly what this means. So, if you’re into hiking, Aspen has some pretty exciting trails for you to hike.
7. New York City
As you probably know by now, New York City is one of the most famous and most populated cities in the United States. It’s also considered as the perfect getaway to people who live in the states, but also to travelers who want to spend their holidays someplace nice.
And you have to admit that spending your winter vacation in the Big Apple is a big of a deal. If you’re in the mood for action, there are plenty of museums, parks and art galleries to visit. New York is just amazing during the holiday season.
If you decide to visit, you can enjoy the decorations, shop for hours at the big markets, or ice skate at the Rockefeller Center. You can also attend dance shows and other special performances at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. As you can notice, the city is dynamic, no matter the time of year. And it’s definitely worth your visit.
6. Northern Lights
If you think that you can observe the Northern Light only from Norway, you’ve thought wrong. Apparently, you can do it from Finland, Greenland, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, and of course, Alaska.
Meaning, you can spend your winter vacation in Alaska and enjoy some of the best and clearest views of the Northern Lights while eating amazing Christmas food and relaxing.
If you’re not familiar with what Northern Lights it, it’s an amazing phenomenon often referred to as aurora borealis that appears in high-latitude areas. It’s a natural light that appears in the sky and many people would give anything to see it.
So, if you decide to witness this phenomenon, consider the Anchorage and the Chena Lakes region, and Denali National Park in Alaska to get the best experience. If you decide to go, it’s best to do it between September and April to get the best view.
Situated in the southwestern part of Colorado, Telluride represents one of the most populated areas in San Miguel County. You probably didn’t know, but the original name of Telluride is Columbia.
However, it was renamed back in the days. If you plan to visit, know that there’s a silver mining camp to see. And also cliffs, mountains, and forests. But the place is best known for the ski resort of the same name that’s often featured in pop culture songs.
It’s a nice town with a rich historical background that’s definitely worth your visit, especially in December.
If you decide to visit throughout December, you will catch the Telluride Holiday Prelude featuring tree lighting ceremonies, cookie making, craft workshops, live music shows, visiting Santa in the North Pole, and other holiday activities starting from December 3 and ending on December 14. If you stick till mid-January, you will catch the Telluride Fire Festival.
4. Puerto Rico
With the North Atlantic Ocean on the one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, Puerto Rico makes the perfect travel destination, especially in December. Rico includes the Dominican Republic, islands of Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti.
So, if you’re looking for the ideal place to spend your winter vacation, come to Rico. Preparations for the holidays start early in December here and last until mid-January. If you decide to visit, you will be surprised and delighted by the friendly locals and hospitality.
Rico is practically a mix of modern and vintage that will make you fall in love, at first sight, starting with the Old San Juan. The ancient city is lit during the holidays and has many gift shops that offer gifts you can buy for your friends and family. It’s definitely a must-see.
If you live on this planet, there’s not a chance you haven’t heard of Hawaii, the popular tourist draw with exotic beaches and crystal blue sky. However, that’s not all Hawaii is known for. Brought together by six islands, the place offers more than you can imagine.
It’s the perfect getaway to escape the cold but still enjoy your winter vacation while visiting some of the active volcanoes and gaze at the natural scenery. Winters here are surprisingly mild. It’s relatively warm by day. However, evenings can be windy and chilly.
If you’re a surfing lover, you will definitely love Hawaii in winter because this period brings out the best gigantic waves that are over 20-feet high. And Oahu’s North Shore represents the perfect place to watch surfers cut the waves while enjoying your stay.
2. Miami Beach
Just like Hawaii, Miami Beach is another ideal getaway where you won’t freeze but still experience the best winter vacation of your life. While the rest of the nation is dealing with coldness, you will have to deal with golden beaches and warm sunshine if you make Miami Beach your next destination.
It’s one of the most popular tourists draws, but it isn’t much crowded in December, so it’s perfect for a laid back vacation. Besides having the best nightclubs and restaurants, Miami will also teach you an art and culture lesson with the Art Deco architecture. So, if you’re an artistic soul, you will love it here.
Orlando has the perfect climate in December and throughout the year which makes it the perfect place to spend your holidays if you’re not a big fan of coldness.
Visiting in December is the ideal time because it’s when theme parks aren’t that crowded and you can get the whole experience. However, if you plan to visit Orlando throughout the holidays, don’t forget to pack a sweater or a jacket because it gets cooler at night.
If you plan to spend Christmas here, know that multiple restaurants and hotels offer a fixed many and unlimited buffets. You can join the month-long spectacular known as Now Snowing in Celebration.
Or pop on the Orlando Eye in Santa’s lap. Just kidding, it’s not safe to do that. Put your safety seatbelt on instead and climb the iconic wheel for only $30 with Santa sitting on your next. Definitely an experience you won’t forget.