10+ Best Places to Visit in December in the United States

by | Oct 24, 2023 | 0 comments

If you want to plan the ultimate getaway this holiday season, this list of the best places to visit in December in United States will get your planning well underway!

The holiday season is a popular time for travel, and for good reason. December is a month filled with festivities, twinkling lights, Christmas markets and winter wonderlands.

In this article, I’ll share a list of top destinations to visit in the United States this holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a snowy escape or a warm getaway, this blog post will provide you with the most comprehensive and accurate information on the topic, making it the perfect resource for your holiday travel planning. So, without further ado, let’s explore the best places to visit in December in United States and make your holiday season this year the best one yet!

best december vacation destinations in usa

Choosing the Best Places to Visit in the Winter in USA 

Before choosing a destination for your December travels, you want to narrow down a few things. First, think about the weather. Do you prefer a snowy winter wonderland, or are you looking for a warm escape from the cold? Next, consider the activities you enjoy. Are you an avid skier or snowboarder? Or do you prefer holiday markets and light displays? Lastly, what’s your budget?

To help you make your decision, I compiled a list of popular activities that are perfect for the holiday season. For those who love skiing and snowboarding, destinations like Aspen, Colorado and Park City, Utah offer world-class slopes and breathtaking scenery. If you’re looking for holiday markets and light displays, cities like New York, Chicago, and Boston are known for their festive displays and winter wonderlands. And for those looking for a warm escape, destinations like Florida and San Diego offer sunny beaches and outdoor activities.

By considering these factors and using my expertly curated list of the best places to visit in December in the United States, you’ll be able to choose the best December trip destination that fits your preferences and budget.

best places to visit in december in united states

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in December in the United States

Here are the top 10 best places to visit in December in the United States, ranked in order of preference. Each destination offers its own unique charm and attractions during the holiday season. 

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Aspen, Colorado
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Park City, Utah
  5. Boston, Massachusetts
  6. Sarasota, Florida
  7. San Diego, California
  8. Nashville, Tennessee
  9. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  10. New Orleans, Louisiana
new york city best vacation destination in the united states

In New York City, visitors can experience the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and ice skating rink, as well as holiday markets and Broadway shows.

aspen colorado december vacation destination

Aspen, Colorado is a winter wonderland with world-class skiing and snowboarding, as well as cozy lodges and après-ski activities.

best places to visit in december chicago

Chicago, Illinois boasts festive lights, holiday markets, and ice skating in Millennium Park.

Park City, Utah is another great skiing destination with stunning mountain views and charming downtown shops and restaurants.

Boston, Massachusetts offers historic charm and holiday events, such as the Boston Tea Party Reenactment and Boston Common’s ice skating rink. 

december beach vacation destination

Sarasota, Florida provides one of the best December beach vacations. This warm escape has sunny beaches and tons of arts and culture activities.

Related Post: Hands Down Best Restaurants in Sarasota, Florida

best december vacation destination san diego

San Diego, California is another warm destination with holiday lights and events, such as the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights.

best places for december travel

Nashville, Tennessee offers country music and holiday shows, as well as festive lights and decorations.

best places to visit in december in united states santa fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico has a unique holiday tradition with the Farolito Walk, where luminarias light up the streets on Christmas Eve.

Finally, New Orleans, Louisiana boasts a festive atmosphere with holiday parades and events, as well as delicious food and drinks.

Any of these destinations is guaranteed to give you a memorable holiday vacation in December.

Best December Vacation Destinations in the United States That Are Underrated

In addition to the popular destinations, there are some underrated destinations in the United States that are especially interesting to visit during December. These unique destinations offer a different kind of holiday experience, away from the crowds and typical tourist hotspots. Here are my top picks:

best december vacation destinations asheville

Asheville, North Carolina – This charming town in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers a cozy and festive atmosphere during the holidays. You’ll enjoy holiday markets, a gingerbread house competition and amazing dining experiences.

Related Post: A Dreamy Tiny House Getaway in Asheville, NC

Leavenworth, Washington december vacation destination

Leavenworth, Washington – This Bavarian-style village in the Cascade Mountains transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Sleigh rides, carolers, and a Nutcracker Museum? Yes, please!

christmas in taos new mexico best december vacation spot in usa

Taos, New Mexico – This historic town in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains offers a unique holiday experience. You’ll love the Christmas Eve procession, luminarias, and traditional New Mexican cuisine.

Newport, Rhode Island – This coastal town offers a festive atmosphere with holiday mansion tours, a tree lighting ceremony, and a holiday boat parade.

St. Augustine, Florida – This historic town on Florida’s east coast gives you a much-needed warm escape during the holiday season without compromising on festivities like holiday lights, a holiday market, and a boat parade.

Santa Claus, Indiana – This Christmas-themed town is sure to be one of your best December family vacations, if not the best! There are tons of holiday events and attractions, including the Santa Claus Christmas Store and Holiday World amusement park!

Personally, I always go for the underrated destinations because you get to experience a unique and special holiday season away from the crowds.

woman and dog on christmas for best us travel destination for december

Enjoy Your Holiday Travels in December!

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to start planning your December travels! I truly believe that changing up traditions with holiday travel is one of the best ways to make unforgettable memories with loved ones.

I hope that this guide has provided you with the inspiration and information you need to plan the perfect December getaway. Whether you choose one of the popular destinations or one of the underrated towns I mentioned.

So, as you plan your travels and pack your bags, remember to take in all the sights, sounds and experiences that make this time of year so special. Cherish the moments with your loved ones and make memories that will last a lifetime!


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I’m Tara Weber, a Sarasota, Florida based travel blogger and copywriter. On She Needs Less, I share my adventures across our beautiful planet and inspire women to build self confidence and independence so they can live the life they dream of. No matter how unconventional!

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