With the top of the yr comes a brand new world of journey prospects. You may spend December totally embracing the nippiness of the season, or discover a heat getaway if that’s extra your type! Good factor america presents alternatives for vacationers of every kind, with interesting locations scattered all through the nation. 

Ranging from the West Coast and heading east, right here’s a listing of the highest 29 locations to go to this December:


1. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, California

Joshua trees in nevada

Winter is definitely the very best time to see the deserts in California. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park is probably the greatest locations to go to within the colder months. The park’s temperatures vary on common by December from close to 40 levels Fahrenheit in a single day to close 60 by afternoon, which makes daytime mountaineering and mountain climbing infinitely extra pleasurable than the insufferable summertime warmth. 

Learn Subsequent: What to Do in Joshua Tree Nationwide Park

Deserts make up round 1 / 4 of the state, so there are many others as effectively. Take a look at this BMTM put up for among the finest deserts in California.

2. Demise Valley Nationwide Park, California & Nevada

death valley national park in winter

In case you’ve been dying to take a look at Demise Valley (see what I did there?) however are slightly nervous about its famously scorching temperatures, take into account entering into December! All all through the winter months, the realm sees a dip in its normally excessive temps, making it rather more pleasurable for hikers.

Demise Valley Nationwide Park is house to some severely out-of-this-world landscapes that you simply undoubtedly don’t need to miss out on. From the colourful Artist’s Palette to the gorgeous Golden Canyon, there’s lots to see and do in Demise Valley. Despite the fact that December is likely one of the finest occasions to go to this unimaginable nationwide park, it’s not usually crowded, so you possibly can take pleasure in among the finest spots with out worrying about overwhelming crowds cramping your type.

3. Mendocino County, California

fort bragg glass beach

Whereas Mendocino County is known for having climate harking back to everlasting spring, December sees chilly temperatures which might be chilly sufficient to bundle up for however heat sufficient to have the ability to get outdoors and benefit from the space’s moody shoreline.

Mendocino County is the proper December getaway for nature lovers and anybody who loves the comfortable vibe of the start of winter. Fort Bragg is house to the legendary Glass Seashore, which will get its title from the layer of colourful sea glass that washes up on its shore. In Mendocino, you possibly can take a look at Jug Deal with State Pure Reserve, Van Damme State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park, and different gorgeous pure areas.

4. Truckee, California

Truckee within the winter is a snowy wonderland and completely lovely when the snow settles. You’ll need to take a look at the lake views at Donner Memorial State Park, hike the Truckee River Regional Park Legacy Path, and dive within the Emerald Swimming pools swimming gap — it’ll be chilly, however so very refreshing. Lake Tahoe and Reno are solely day journeys away, and Donner Cross is a historic expertise to drive by way of. There’s additionally enjoyable available with snowboarding, snowboarding, and ice skating!

In case you get snowed in although and should spend time indoors, there are many neat museums, breweries, and occasional retailers to fill your coronary heart. Take a look at this wonderful listing of issues to do in Truckee.

5. Solar Valley, Idaho

Idaho is one the nation’s best-kept secrets and techniques, and December is particularly a good time to go to the state. Solar Valley provides you the chance to see among the most picturesque winter landscapes in america. All through December, the close by Sawtooth Mountains get that rather more magical when a brand new layer of snow decorates the surroundings. With implausible snowboarding alternatives, naturally occurring scorching springs, and hospitable locals, Solar Valley is likely one of the most excellent journeys for a comfy December getaway.

6. Yellowstone Nationwide Park, Wyoming

Because the least populated state, Wyoming would be the excellent vacation spot to get some peace and quiet. Yellowstone Nationwide Park is gorgeous it doesn’t matter what time of yr, however particularly so throughout the winter. There’s a cause why the park is considered one of BMTM’s bucket listing–worthy highway journey stops!

Many roads could also be closed throughout the month, however the oen between Mammoth Sizzling Springs and the northeast entrance is open all yr. Take a look at the park’s webpage for extra info.

7. Grand Teton Nationwide Park, Wyoming


Head 30 miles south of Yellowstone and also you’ll discover Grand Teton Nationwide Park, which may be loved simply as a lot in December. Most of it is just reachable by cross-country ski or snowshoe throughout this time of the yr, however the isolation is greater than value it.

8. San Juan County, Utah

valley of the gods

Many individuals considering of December journeys might not take into account Utah. Fortunate for you (and your pockets!), there’s a lot to discover within the state’s off season. The temperatures within the space dip to highs solely within the 40s Fahrenheit and lows within the 20s in December, making the climate chilly however bearable. If you’d like a visit stuffed with exploration, San Juan County’s Valley of the Gods is BLM land, that means you possibly can camp in any of the highway pulloffs (offered you allow no hint). In case you resolve to hike in any of Utah’s nationwide parks, be certain you’re ready for probably icy circumstances.

9. Moab, Utah

Moab sits between two of Utah’s finest nationwide parks: Arches and Canyonlands, so this charming city surrounded by red-rock landscapes is a superb decide for December adventurers. Not solely are you able to hit up standard locations like Delicate Arch and Mesa Arch with out seeing too many crowds, however the chilly climate right here isn’t too frigid to place a damper in your journey.

Moab doesn’t get very a lot snow, however the surrounding La Sal Mountains will probably be fully white this time of yr. The colour distinction between the white mountains and red-orange rock formations is a surprising sight that you simply solely get within the wintertime.

Discover out what else to do in Moab right here.

10. Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, Colorado

If you’d like a December stuffed with towering mountains, Colorado is the place to go. For one, the state is thought for having probably the most “fourteeners” (mountains greater than 14,000 toes) within the nation. 

Whereas some parks shut throughout this time of the yr, Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park is open year-round. Although you possibly can take pleasure in your journey right here with simply snowshoeing gear, there are alternatives for sledding and snowboarding too. The colder months are additionally excellent for watching wildlife like elk, moose, and deer. Take a look at the park’s web page for extra particulars on the winter actions you are able to do right here. 

Colorado additionally makes for a enjoyable highway journey if you wish to discover the state throughout your December journey. 


11. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona, is likely one of the United States’ hubs for all the pieces religious, however it’s additionally a implausible place to benefit from the open air in December. In case you’re coming from a spot that will get tremendous chilly within the winter, Sedona is a superb escape to hotter temperatures with out it being too scorching.

One other big plus of visiting Sedona in December is the laid-back ambiance and thinner crowds. Head out for a hike to the Seven Sacred Swimming pools or Satan’s Bridge, and also you would possibly be capable to take pleasure in some solitude, as there gained’t be as many hikers as there are within the hotter months.

Discover out what else there’s to do in Sedona right here.

12. Bisti Badlands Wilderness, New Mexico

Need to see some otherworldly landscapes with names like “Alien’s Throne” and “Dragon Eggs”? Head out to the Bisti Badlands Wilderness in New Mexico for all that and extra. This unimaginable slice of undisturbed nature is a must-see place in New Mexico due to its uniqueness. The Bisti Badlands are a whopping 45,000 acres, with no actual trails or paths to comply with, making it excellent for vacationers searching for a very rugged journey.

You may go to the Bisti Badlands any time of yr and discover only a few folks, however December is particularly excellent due to the gentle climate and even fewer folks. Make certain to convey a 4×4 automobile and loads of water!

13. Taos, New Mexico

After the warmth of the New Mexican local weather fades away, December brings a time of wealthy cultural actions to the state. Taos combines each the pure and conventional attracts of New Mexico, as a historic city situated a half-hour drive from mountains excellent for snowboarding. In case you come round Christmas, you’ll be capable to see luminarias gentle the streets and parks of the state.

Taos can be a hub for forward-thinking structure and has a complete group of individuals with Earthships, a sustainable kind of house with all types of neat, environmentally pleasant options. Learn extra concerning the Taos Earthships right here.

Take a look at this put up for different issues to do in New Mexico.

14. Albuquerque, New Mexico

In case you like historical past, Albuquerque is likely to be the very best subsequent trip for you. Undoubtedly take a stroll by way of Outdated City, take a look at the Albuquerque Museum, keep at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Natural Farm, go to the Petroglyph Nationwide Monument, and watch a movie on the historic KiMo Theatre.

However there’s lots extra to do for those who’re not that into historical past, like snowshoe the Cibola Nationwide Forest, hike the Sandia Mountains, and get a view from above on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway.

15. Large Bend Nationwide Park, Texas

Large Bend Nationwide Park is a desert space alongside the southwest Texan border with Mexico. This park is arguably the very best place on this listing to stargaze — it has the least gentle air pollution of another nationwide park unit within the decrease 48 states! 

The common temperatures in Large Bend vary from a nighttime low of 39 levels to a daytime excessive of 63 levels Fahrenheit, although sudden durations of chilly climate occur every so often. In line with the park’s web site, the vacations are usually busy, so reservations for lodging are extremely advisable.

16. Fredericksburg, Texas

For a vacation expertise with a German contact, take a look at Fredericksburg, house to the most important variety of Texas German audio system. In case you come within the latter a part of December, you’ll be capable to see the city decked out in full Christmas decorations — German Christmas pyramid included!

The city can be round 70 miles from different cities, corresponding to San Antonio and Austin, making for a fantastic roadtrip cease.


17. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has so a lot to supply past the Mardi Gras season. Apart from being a fantastic metropolis for solo feminine vacationers, it’s simply as stuffed with power in December as in February throughout Mardi Gras. Undoubtedly go to the Bywater District, and possibly strive some scrumptious vegan meals! Right here’s a fantastic itinerary for exploring New Orleans, and a useful packing listing. As a plus, December is throughout the shoulder season, so that you’ll be capable to nonetheless discover comparatively good lodging offers.

18. Florida Keys Highway Journey

florida sailing school

In case you’re craving a way of freedom, the Florida Keys are the reply. You may drive the complete Abroad Freeway and gaze out on the Atlantic Ocean the entire time, hopping from key to key. There’s loads of issues to do in Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Large Pine, and Key West, like sundown sails, snorkeling, and heading to the seashores. It’s America’s personal slice of Caribbean paradise, with a particular really feel. (In case you’re touring solo, right here’s all the pieces you want to know.)

Learn subsequent:

The place to Keep in MarathonWhere to Keep in Key LargoWhere to Keep in Key West

19. St. Augustine, Florida

If you’d like a December buying and selling snowboards for surfboards, few locations match the invoice as completely as Florida. Through the vacation season, St. Augustine is most recognized for its Nights of Lights, a free celebration throughout which the town is roofed in lights! 

Basically, you possibly can take pleasure in Florida’s summer season actions throughout the winter. Whether or not you need to discover ways to sail in Ft. Myers or discover Cocoa Seashore, the state has a ton to supply all through the top of the yr.

20. Savannah, Georgia

For a quaint Southern getaway, Savannah is a perfect vacation spot. Retailers promoting vacation trinkets fill the hallmark River Avenue in December, providing the festive expertise with out the extraordinary chilly.

As a bonus, head about an hour and a half south to Georgia’s Jekyll Island for its annual Holly Jolly Jekyll pageant. All through December, the island presents actions, starting from a skating village to an array of sunshine shows.

21. Charleston, South Carolina

Much like the allure and historic panorama of Savannah, Charleston is a calming choice for vacationers this month. Town has a gentle local weather, giving guests a slight chill of winter with out the dramatic snowfall. All through December, the town hosts a celebration known as the Vacation Pageant of Lights, full with lights, sculptures, and Santa!

22. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville’s location allows you to expertise the very best of the Appalachian’s winter surroundings whereas retaining the conveniences of the town. Relying on the climate, some elements of the Blue Ridge Mountains could also be closed.

However there are extra issues to do right here than simply day hike. Listed here are just a few of the very best free and budget-friendly issues to do in Asheville. In case you’re prepared to spend some cash, the Biltmore Property hosts an annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration that’s made the town standard throughout the vacation season.

23. Nashville, Tennessee

Despite the fact that a lot of December is Nashville‘s off-season, the town doesn’t lose any of its allure. Well-liked pastimes all through the month embody seeing the Christmas decorations on the Gaylord Opryland Resort and attending the annual Christmas Parade. In case you come on the finish of the month, you possibly can catch Music Metropolis’s New Yr’s Eve extravaganza.

That is additionally a implausible funds vacation spot within the US, as there are dozens of free issues to do in Nashville.


24. Hocking Hills, Ohio

Hocking Hills is an space in southeastern Ohio with among the most dramatic topographic options within the Midwest. There are a ton of scenic preserves and parks within the space, probably the most well-known being Hocking Hills State Park. In December, you might even see snow and ice formations alongside the paths, including to the great thing about the parks’ hikes.

25. Chicago, Illinois

There’s no denying that winters in Chicago can get very chilly. Nonetheless, December doesn’t endure the brunt of the winter freeze, which makes it a wonderful vacation spot if you wish to reap the benefits of some low season offers. You’ll be capable to see among the metropolis’s foremost vacation points of interest, together with gentle shows on the Lincoln Park Zoo and the normal Christkindlmarket.

Chicago additionally has tons of free issues to do, so between that and the low season offers, December is the excellent time to go to Chicago on a funds. 


26. New York, New York

If Hollywood has confirmed us something, it’s that New York Metropolis is the quintessential place to spend the vacation season. And the way can it not be iconic? From ice skating within the parks to vacation purchasing down Fifth Avenue, NYC is a playground of festive exercise.

In case you’re intimidated by its fame for being tremendous costly, take into account all of those free issues to do within the Large Apple, which might help offset among the greater costs on issues like meals and lodging.

27. Acadia Nationwide Park, Maine

Acadia Nationwide Park, a chunk of northeastern coastal land totally on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, shines in December. A few of its roads shut this month, so concentrate on the park’s working hours and seasons. Cross-country snowboarding and snowshoeing are just a few of the standard actions this time of yr, together with ice fishing (although that’s primarily standard throughout the latter a part of winter).

Off the Mainland

28. Maui, Hawai’i

road to hana

There isn’t actually a foul time to go to Hawai’i, making it a preferred vacation spot for these with day off throughout the vacation season. Maui is a superb spot to discover, particularly solo (listed below are suggestions for the way to expertise Maui alone), with journeys just like the Highway to Hana to maintain you busy.

Take a look at our Hawai’i information for extra suggestions as to how one can spend your December right here. Unsure what to pack? We’ve acquired you coated with this excellent Hawai’i packing listing.

29. Vieques, Puerto Rico

Due to its location south of the Tropic of Most cancers, Puerto Rico is in a year-round state of summer season. As considered one of two territories within the Caribbean that US residents can enter and not using a passport, Puerto Rico is an ideal choice for December vacationers eager to brush up on their Spanish. Most individuals visiting Vieques Island come to see Mosquito Bay, one of many 5 bioluminescent bays on the earth. Come out right here on a darkish evening to expertise nature’s very personal gentle present.


No matter the place within the US you’re, there isn’t any one method to spend the month of December. With the vacation season in full swing, there’s sure to be a vacation spot that’ll end your yr off in an unforgettable means.

Is there a spot you need to go to this December? Tell us!


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