December is a festive month, and traveling during this period has a lot of benefits only if you find yourself in one of the best places to visit in December.
Think about relaxing with a warm beverage in a friendly European café or strolling on a faraway beach while watching fireworks.
Deciding to travel in December means immersing yourself in the spirit of the holidays, not simply the destinations.
Are you ready to travel?
Join us as we reveal the best places to go in December.
Travel in December is unlike any other. As you step outside, every street transforms into a shimmering wonderland, and every corner sings a festive story.
More than just decorations, it offers the ability to take in a variety of festivities, from joyful parades to sentimental carols.
Decide to use this month as your ticket to a world of cultural wonders.
Dive in and let the enchantment of December lead the way.
This list’s top 25 December destinations were chosen based on their unique holiday celebrations, stunning winter wonderland, and cultural significance.
The holiday season in the US is a spectacle, with towns and cities adorned in shimmering lights and carols. These destinations capture the true essence of the December holidays.
The Winter Wonderland has a breathtaking atmosphere, with snow-covered streets, icy lakes, and winter sports.
The cultural significance of December is also highlighted, with places holding significant cultural events like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
The selection aims to showcase the multifaceted charm of December across the US.
1. Aspen, Colorado
Aspen, Colorado, is one of the best places to visit in December in the US.
Imagine yourself tucked away in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, with Aspen as your winter haven.
When you enter this town, you are met with immaculate slopes that call you to go skiing and streets lit up with sparkling lights.
You should personally experience the “12 Days of Aspen.” Allow carolers to sing for you while you take horse-drawn sleigh rides and watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the December skies.
2. Charleston, South Carolina
In December, Charleston becomes a Southern wonder, with cobblestone lanes sparkling with holiday decorations and old homes decked out in cheery garlands.
For some seasonal activities, enjoy the candlelit tours the Historic Charleston Foundation offers as you explore.
Explore holiday markets in the holiday atmosphere, or take a harbor boat to see the city lights sparkling on the water.
3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Mexico isn’t just a popular tourist destination; it’s one of the best places to visit in December.
Santa Fe in December intersects history, art, and holiday cheer. The city evokes a desert beauty thanks to the snow that highlights its adobe structures.
Some cultural experiences worth checking out include the dazzling Christmas Eve custom of the Farolito walk.
As you travel, you’ll see tens of thousands of paper lanterns illuminating ancient paths, providing a tranquil sense of Southwestern holiday beauty.
4. Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine, has a lot of popular attractions all year round, but December is exceptional, and that’s why it’s one of the best places to visit in December to get the most out of the holiday season.
Portland, Maine, offers a maritime winter escape unlike any other, thanks to its historic lighthouses and chilly harbors in the winter.
For local delights, enjoy a cup of Portland’s renowned lobster soup to warm up, and don’t miss the annual boat procession to see holiday-lit boats sparkle against the chilly water.
5. New York City
As you stroll around NYC, you will see illuminated buildings and be drawn to Central Park’s snow-covered walks.
The city’s energy doubles in December, wonderfully capturing the Christmas atmosphere.
If you are looking for some holiday activities, glide on ice while seeing the illustrious Rockefeller Center Christmas tree illumination.
The joyous Broadway productions are must-sees that highlight the city’s artistic flair.
6. Savannah, Georgia
Under the warm lights of December, Savannah’s ancient squares and moss-covered trees take on a new beauty.
You can’t run out of seasonal activities here. Take your time to experience the romantic candlelit house tours and horse-drawn carriage rides along cobblestone streets that will take you back to a time of festive luxury.
Read Also: Top 20 Things To Do In Waikiki at Night
7. San Antonio, Texas
The River Walk shimmers with millions of lights in December, creating a picture out of a fairy tale.
Cultural experiences are enormous. Immerse yourself in the blend of Texan and Mexican festivities.
Enjoy the delight of Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration before Christmas that includes food, music, and processions.
8. Anchorage, Alaska
The Northern Lights, which dance against the winter sky, are a natural show that may be seen in December in Anchorage, Alaska.
Local attractions to explore include trying out authentic Alaskan cuisine like king crab or reindeer sausage and participating in the Fur Rendezvous Festival, which celebrates winter with unusual activities like dog sled racing.
9. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois, is also one of the best places to travel to in December, especially if you’re more focused on visiting the US. Chicago has lots of December enchantments to explore.
With snow-capped skyscrapers and tranquil lakeside views, Chicago’s fusion of modernity and tradition takes on an excellent tint.
Allow yourself to be pulled to the Christkindlmarket, a traditional German marketplace bursting with handcrafted goods, seasonal treats, and cups of spiced glühwein to warm your heart.
There’s a lot to experience here that we can’t continue listing.
10. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston’s old streets are full of stories from the past that are made more vivid by the winter’s embrace as you go through them.
In December, the colonial past of the city coexists with festive magnificence.
If you want to get the most out of the holiday season, remember the holiday concert by the Boston Pops Orchestra.
And stroll around the exquisitely decked-out Beacon Hill, where doors and windows are transformed into works of holiday art.
11. Breckenridge, Colorado
Picture a snow-globe town come to life, with Victorian homes frosted in snow and mountains providing the perfect backdrop.
Seasonal activities to look out for include skiing the area’s world-class slopes. You can participate in the town’s Snow Sculpture Championships, where artists create intricate works out of snowblocks.
12. New Orleans, Louisiana
Even in the bitter air of December, New Orleans redefines celebrations with its southern warmth.
For exquisite cultural experiences, discover the Réveillon Dinners, a lengthy feast for Christmas Eve, a Creole tradition.
The city’s cathedrals also provide fantastic carol services that reflect the holiday atmosphere.
13. Sedona, Arizona
Imagine flaming red rock formations coated with snow, producing a striking and magnificent contrast.
This is what the place is known for. That’s Sedona for you in the dead of winter.
Some local things to delight yourself in include staying warm with the classic southwestern fare.
You could also attend the annual Festival of Lights to see the walkways illuminated by thousands of luminaries, transforming the desert into a starry paradise.
14. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is another great destination for December traveling in the US.
The City of Brotherly Love has a timeless charm that winter’s touch has intensified.
Elfreth’s Alley, the country’s oldest residential street, is a spectacle.
While in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, allow yourself to be mesmerized by the German-inspired Christmas Village in LOVE Park, which has distinctive crafts and delectable delicacies like bratwursts and hot cocoa to make for a joyous shopping experience.
15. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is decorated as it moves to the beat of country music.
The skyline sparkles while festive music fills the air.
To experience the best of the holiday celebrations, attend “A Country Christmas” at Gaylord Opryland, where countless lights and musical productions create a festive atmosphere, and take in the warm Christmas concerts by the Grand Ole Opry.
16. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Imagine crystal-clear blue seas blending with snow-capped peaks.
The calm serenity of Lake Tahoe is enhanced in December as snow covers its magnificent scenery.
Besides skiing and snowboarding, you may go on moonlit snowshoe hikes or participate in festive boat parades that shine a light on the lake.
17. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is another great place to travel to in December in the US.
San Francisco in December feels like a dream, with its majestic Golden Gate shrouded in mist and streets gleaming in festive colors.
To experience culture, participate in the Lantern Light Festival to experience Chinese culture through performances, crafts, and enormous hand-crafted lanterns.
18. St. Augustine, Florida
This historic city transforms into a dazzling wonderland in December. Imagine three million sparkling lights illuminating cobblestone streets.
Local delights to enjoy include the specialty of Minorcan clam chowder and participating in the “Nights of Lights” celebration, which has won praise for transforming the town into a colorful fairy tale.
19. Minneapolis, Minnesota
As winter descends on Minneapolis, its lakes freeze over to gleam in the sunlight, and the city center transforms into a merry playground.
The Minneapolis Holiday Market evokes European celebrations and is a great place to be during your December holiday travel in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Your hands will find warmth here in the chilly air while clutching handcrafted items made by local craftsmen and mugs of steaming mulled wine.
20. Miami, Florida
Miami will marry tropical warmth with holiday cheer under swaying palm trees, offering a unique December setting.
Holiday festivities include; embarking on the magical Bayfront Holiday Village, where you can skate on an ice rink overlooking the bay and watch the Bayfront Park tree light up the night.
21. Park City, Utah
Park City dazzles as a warm, bright winter retreat in December amid snow-covered peaks and alpine charm.
Indulging in the town’s annual Snowfest, which includes concerts, Santa meet-and-greets, and fireworks, in addition to visiting the world-class ski slopes, is a great way to get the most out of the December season.
22. Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s December atmosphere is magical and joyous, shrouded in mist and glittering lights.
Cultural experiences are numerous. You can join to celebrate the city’s Nordic roots during Julefest, a fun festival with traditional music, food, and crafts from Scandinavia.
23. Burlington, Vermont
Imagine a small town on the beaches of Lake Champlain with streets lined with sparkling lights and old buildings covered in snow. Burlington, Vermont, for you, then.
Don’t miss out on the local delights. Warm up your taste buds with the region’s well-known maple hot cocoa and participate in the fun parades honoring the chilly season with local treats.
24. Washington D.C
The heart of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., is illuminated by the National Christmas Tree, adding to the city’s charm beyond its regal monuments.
The holiday markets are a must to experience; explore the Downtown Holiday Market, which features a vast selection of handmade goods, original artwork, and treats.
You can find warmth in the holiday atmosphere and the glimmer of hundreds of stalls here in the chilly month of December.
25. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston during December is like stepping into a storybook.
Historic mansions are brought to life with festive garlands, and cobblestone streets are decked with holiday decorations.
Holiday cheer and the colonial elegance of the city combine to create a charming ambiance that warms the heart.
While enjoying your December holiday, visit the seasonal markets on Market Street and at the City Market to find one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, and delectable sweets that will make your December trip spectacular.
Utilizing Your December Adventure to Its Fullest
Leaving for a trip in December? How to make it unforgettable is as follows:
- Making Advance Plans: The holiday season is hectic. Therefore, book your lodging and activities early to avoid being left stranded.
- Festive Attire: Place a couple of clothing with seasonal themes in your suitcase. Wearing them will enhance your holiday spirit and produce priceless photo opportunities.
- Local Traditions: Investigate and partake in regional traditions to delve deeper into the holiday enchantment. You’ll not only gain knowledge, but you’ll also make lifelong memories. Travel safely!
Wrapping up, the magic of December travel is undeniable.
Every moment offers the possibility to create enduring memories, whether it is through festive rituals or sparkling cityscapes.
These are the top 25 best places to visit in December with family, with their distinctive Christmas appeal.
So, take inspiration from these locations as you consider your next December getaway.
We wish you joyful travels and treasured memories this Christmas season! Travel safely.
FAQs on Best Places to Visit in December
Where do you go on holiday in December?
Consider going to Amsterdam, Brussels, or Edinburgh for a lovely European city trip with history and great buildings.
Which country is best to visit in December in Europe?
One of the best countries to visit in December in Europe is Germany.
What is the best holiday in December?
The best holiday in December is the Christmas Holiday.
Where is the best place to travel in December?
Aspen in Colorado is the best place to visit in December, among others.