Whether you’re yearning for a traditional, enchanting Christmas with streets adorned in twinkling lights, or you’re seeking a sun-soaked escape to escape the winter chill, December is undeniably a special time of the year for travel.
It’s the season of festive cheer, where the world transforms into a tapestry of holiday splendor. So, let’s explore some of the finest destinations to consider for your December trip, to make your holidays truly magical.
1. Maui, Hawaii
Maui is a fantastic vacation destination any time of year, but it’s especially nice in December if you’re looking for warm weather in the United States! Expect 80 degrees during the day and temperatures around 60 degrees at night.
Spending a lot of time on the golden sandy beaches near Kihei or Lahaina is one of the nicest things you can do on Maui. The snorkeling here is excellent, and the food trucks are not to be missed!
2. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is at its best in December, especially if you enjoy the bright lights and festive atmosphere of the holiday season.
Christmas activities are also offered in the historic neighborhoods of Biltmore Village and Antler Hill.
There’s also the National Gingerbread House Contest at the Omni Grove Park Inn and Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re considering a December visit to New Orleans, you’ll find a multitude of delightful and festive events scheduled throughout the entire month. Moreover, the city is adorned with holiday adornments and glistening lights, crafting a wonderfully enchanting atmosphere.
From the beginning of the month, the restaurants will be serving celebratory, handcrafted cocktails and unique menus, including the traditional Reveillon dinner. Don’t forget to attend one of the free jazz and classical programs in the St. Louis Cathedral Concert Series.
4. Lake Placid
One of the greatest places to go on vacation in the US in December is Lake Placid, if you’re searching for amazing winter destinations for your year-end getaway. This charming New York village, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, is a haven for adventure seekers, particularly during the winter.
Lake Placid has been a popular winter resort since the early 1900s. It even hosted the Winter Olympics twice, in 1932 and 1980.
5. Austin, Texas
Numerous factors make Austin, Texas, an incredible gem, including its wonderful weather, fantastic culinary scene, and famously exciting nightlife with live music every night of the week.
And to make it even more special, Austin is home to one of December’s “10 Best Public Holiday Light Displays,” known as The Trail of Lights, held in Zilker Park.
6. Savannah, Georgia
There are not many cities that compare to Savannah, Georgia. This southern city is known for its quaint cobblestone squares and historic district. It exudes beauty in every way. However, if you visit in December, the entire city is decked out in festive decorations, crimson ribbons, and twinkling lights.
7. Williamsburg, Virginia
In December, Williamsburg, Virginia, is one of the greatest places in the U.S. to visit, with a variety of unique attractions.
If you come in December, the city is full of Christmas activities. Don’t miss the Christmas Market on Yorktown’s Main Street, the Bizarre Bazaar at the neighboring Richmond Raceway Complex, or the fantastic sales at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
8. Zion National Park for Snowy Trails
Visiting Zion National Park in December provides a unique and serene experience for those seeking a quieter side of this natural wonder. While some hiking trails may be snowy or icy, the park’s lower elevations remain accessible and offer striking winter vistas.
The absence of large crowds allows for a more intimate connection with Zion’s stunning red rock formations and the Virgin River. Adventurous travelers can explore the park’s wonders with a peaceful ambiance, making December a tranquil time to witness the park’s beauty in a different light.
9. Washington, D.C. for Xmas Markets
Washington, D.C.’s vibrant Downtown Holiday Market known as one of the best Christmas Markets in the U.S., transforms F Street NW, just in front of the National Portrait Gallery, into a lively daily festivity. This event boasts over 75 captivating performances by local musicians and serves as a prime shopping destination.
With an emphasis on supporting local businesses, the market showcases over 70 Black-owned and minority-owned enterprises through the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development’s Made in D.C. program. Additionally, six food vendors and live entertainment by regional artists contribute to the market’s spirited atmosphere.