Being the year’s final month, December is the best time to travel. After all, it’s one of the least-busy times (aside from the holidays, that is), and you can score some great deals.
Not to mention the fact that a quick getaway does wonders to break up the otherwise dreary monotony of winter. But with so many places to visit, how do you pick the right one for you?
That’s where we come in. Our travel experts have done the hard work for you and have complied a comprehensive list of the best places to visit in December. Let us be your guide!
16 of the Best Places to Visit in December
So, without further delay, here are some of our favorite places to go at the end of the year.
1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Visiting Rio de Janeiro in December offers you an opportunity to escape the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. The City has numerous attraction sites, including Christ the Redeemer statue.
Rio de Janeiro has a lively party vibe, and you can expect numerous carnivals, samba, and bossa nova festivals. If that doesn’t interest you, head to the beach and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean.
The City is ideal for hiking and engaging in physical activity, like soccer. Rio de Janeiro is a perfect destination to visit on New Year’s Eve due to the annual Copacabana Beach celebrations.
2. Miami, Florida
Florida has warm weather during December, making it a perfect destination to escape the cold without leaving the country. Miami has numerous attractions you and your family can visit, such as:
- The Everglades National Park
- Little Havana
- Bayfront Park
- Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- South Beach
- Wynwood Walls and Bayside Marketplace
Miami is also home to the Miami Heat, making it an ideal destination if you are a basketball fan. Art enthusiasts can feel at home in Florida by visiting the Art Deco District.
Read Next: Where to Stay in Miami, Florida in 2023
With its tropical coastal areas, misty plateaus, and lava deserts, Hawaii is one of the best places to visit in December. Hawaii is warm during December, so leave your jackets and ski gear home.
Hawaii has many scenic beaches and rich cultural diversity.
You can visit active volcanoes and wildlife refuge centers to enjoy the Island’s natural beauty. Consider visiting Hawaii during the first weeks of December as occupancy rates during the later stages of the month skyrocket.
Read Next: Where to Stay in Hawaii in 2023
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Pack your summer clothes when heading to Cape Town, South Africa, in December. The City offers many attractive sites you and your family can visit, including:
- Robben Island
- Cape Winelands
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
- Lion’s Head and Signal Hill
South Africa has the largest economy in the continent, and is actually a fairly safe country, given you know where to go.
Cape Town offers a diverse culinary scene, including street food you can enjoy on the go. United Airlines offers uninterrupted flights to Cape Town if you depart from Dulles Airport or Atlanta.
5. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of the best European destinations to visit during Christmas. Check out the City’s gorgeous vistas, snow capped buildings, and the Old Town Square.
Prague is one of the safest places in Europe, and you can easily travel from one place to another using its public transit system. Go out shopping on the streets of Prague as the Christmas market goes on for the whole month.
Head to the Old Town Square to enjoy a spectacular firework show if you find yourself in the City during New Year’s Eve.
The best time to visit Prague is during the first weeks of December due to the annual St. Nicholas Eve event. The event is great, especially if you have kids, because the City’s residents walk the streets handing out candy.
Italy is a popular destination due to its rich history, diverse art, and unique architecture. The country has many areas of interest, including the Palace of Caserta, a famous Star Wars filming location.
Italy has balanced all-year weather, which means it’s better to pack for every type of weather. Some of the destinations you can check out while in Italy are:
- Sicily and Positano
- Amalfi coast
- Florence and Venice
Read Next: The Best Places to Visit in Italy in 2023
7. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is one of the best winter destinations in the United States. The 50-mile valley allows you to fully experience the West. You can view wildlife by visiting the National Elk Refuge or taking a walk through the Bridger Teton National Forest.
Some of the activities you can engage in while in Jackson Hole are:
- Fine dining
Temperatures in Jackson Hole stay below freezing in December, so carry your winter gear. Some resorts you can stay at are the Snow King Resort and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Read Next: Where to Stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 2023
8. Death Valley National Park, California
Covering more than 3 million acres, the Death Valley National Park is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in the United States. The park has numerous features, including the Badwater Basin.
The Basin is the lowest spot in the nation since it sits 282 feet below sea level. Death Valley National Park is moderately warm during December, making it an ideal location for hiking or outdoor exploring.
The Park is perfect for a solo getaway if you want to spend some time alone. The yearly pass to Death Valley National Park is $80.
Read Next: Where to Stay in Death Valley in 2023
9. Salt Lake City, Utah
Skiing and snowboarding are the major attractions for visiting Salt Lake City, Utah. You can stay at any ski resort or hotel while on your visit. You can enjoy Utah’s restaurants and visit other locations, including the five national parks near the Great Salt Lake.
Book your visit in advance, as the rates might increase exponentially during the holiday season.
You can engage in bird watching, but there are not a lot of fish due to the lake’s high salt content. Nevertheless, you and your family can ride horses, hike, and go on hunting trips around the lake.
10. Banff National Park, Canada
Famous for its beautiful mountains and Lake Louise, Banff National Park offers a winter paradise for anyone interested in skiing or snowboarding. The park grants easy access to outdoor adventure, but you can also stay indoors and enjoy hot chocolate with your family.
Banff National Park is perfect for hiking due to its rocky terrain. The scenic view of the park during December has earned it a reputation as one of the most beautiful places in the world.
11. New York City
There is nothing quite like New York City during December, specifically Christmas. The City comes to life with the Christmas spirit and thousands of people flocking the streets. Some of the places you ought to visit in New York City are:
- The Rockefeller Center
- The statue of Liberty
- The Empire state building
- The Brooklyn Bridge
New York has a vibrant cultural and art scene with numerous museums, concert venues, and galleries.
There is no shortage of places to go or things to do while in New York. Thus, the best way to find out is to visit the City that never sleeps and explore it at least once in your lifetime.
Read Next: Where to Stay in New York City in 2023
12. Ibiza, Spain
One of the most popular tourist destinations, Ibiza, should be on your travel bucket list. Ibiza offers a vibrant nightlife with DJs from around the world converging on the Island throughout December.
You can walk the beaches of Ibiza or swim in the Mediterranean as the weather during December is relatively warmer here than in the rest of Europe. Have some outdoor fun in Ibiza by hiking its rugged cliffs or taking a tour of its lush countryside.
Take your family horseback riding or book a Jeep safari while on the Island. Ibiza has something for everyone, and the advantage of visiting this destination in December is that it is less crowded.
13. Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia
Hotel Sidi Driss has become famous mainly because it is the home of Luke Skywalker. But the hotel allows you to explore the rich cultural history of the people who built the structures where the hotel now stands.
You can visit the hotel and sleep in Luke Skywalker’s bedroom. You can visit the Mediterranean Sea, explore the desert, and immerse yourself in Tunisian culture while at the hotel.
14. Quebec City, Canada
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Quebec City, especially when it’s covered in snow during December. The City allows you to explore Canada’s history by visiting sites such as Old Quebec.
Indulge in the local cuisine and learn about European architecture. Visiting Quebec in December is cheaper because tourists often visit during the warmer months. But ensure you have packed your winter clothes as temperatures can drop below freezing.
15. Sun Valley, Idaho
The name might throw you off, but Sun Valley is one of the best winter destinations. Visiting Sun Valley in December allows you to enjoy outdoor winter fun, like snowboarding. You can also stay indoors at Sun Valley’s numerous art galleries and restaurants.
Staying at one of the resorts in Sun Valley lets you get a clear picture of the two mountains, Bald and Dollar Mountain. You can engage in scavenger hunts or sleigh rides if you don’t like skiing.
16. Asheville, North Carolina
Visit the Blue Ridge Mountains by heading to Asheville, North Carolina. The town has approximately 100,000 people and offers an unforgettable outdoor experience.
Take a tour of the town and visit other attractions, such as:
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Linville Gorge
You and your family can choose from various activities to engage in while in Asheville, from hiking to exploring the local museums and waterfalls.
December is one of the best periods to visit Asheville due to the winter light celebrations and numerous festivals, such as the National Gingerbread House Competition.
Read Next: Where to Stay in Asheville, NC in 2023
Things to Consider
Knowing what places to visit in December is one thing, but planning the trip is a different ball game.
Here are some of the things you should consider before your visit:
- Cost of transportation and accommodation
- Weather conditions of the destination
- Your operating budget for the visit
- The time you can spend on the trip
- Number of travel companions
- The foreign exchange rate of the country
- Laws and rules of the nation or destination you are visiting
Finances will play a key role in determining where you can visit and how much time you can spend at the location. Remember that prices often go up during the holiday season. It’s better to have more in your travel budget just in case prices change.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about traveling in December:
What places have the best weather in December?
Countries outside the Northern Hemisphere all have great weather in December. Places with the best weather include Barbados, Cancun, Brisbane, and the Dominican Republic.
Which country has the best scenic views in December?
Countries that are most beautiful in December are those that experience winter. Snow and the winter period best capture the spirit of Christmas. Destinations such as New York and Canada have emerged as some of the beautiful places to visit in December.
What is the warmest place to visit in the United States?
Florida is the warmest state during December. If you want to avoid the cold, visit Miami, Naples, or Marco Island.
Is December a good month for visiting American destinations?
Yes, December is ideal for visiting various attractions in the country. Most destinations will have cold weather, but you can visit states that are a bit warmer, such as Florida.
What is the best national park to visit in December in the United States?
The best National Park to visit in December is Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
So, What Is the Best Place to Visit in December?
A trip abroad or to your local tourist destination is the best way to spend the holidays. The best places to visit in December aren’t necessarily expensive, especially if you book your trip early.
The above list has included everything you may need, whether you are looking for a domestic destination or want to travel to a foreign country.
But do more research on the destinations in advance and find ways to optimize your experience. Whatever destination you choose, remember to be safe and have fun. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!