usa usa

10 Best Places to Visit in December USA

Discover the magic of best places to visit in December USA with our guide to the top 10 unforgettable places to visit.

Why December in the USA Spells Unforgettable Adventure

December in the USA is a time when the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Cities shimmer with festive lights, snow blankets the picturesque landscapes, and the air buzzes with holiday spirit. Whether you’re gliding across an ice rink, sipping mulled wine under the glow of Christmas lights, or enjoying the milder climes of the south, December offers an affordable winter escape for everyone. From the snow-capped mountains of Colorado to the historical streets of South Carolina, let’s embark on a journey to the best places to visit in December USA.

1. New York City, New York: The Quintessential December Destination

Best Places to Visit in December USA

A City That Never Sleeps, But Always Dreams

In December, New York City transforms into a glittering winter wonderland. The iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center towers majestically, surrounded by the hum of excited visitors and the delicate grace of ice skaters. The window displays of Fifth Avenue become a storybook brought to life, capturing the imaginations of all who pass by.

Holiday Cheer at Every Corner

The city’s Christmas markets are a must-visit, offering everything from handmade crafts to the most delicious festive treats. Bryant Park, Union Square, and Columbus Circle host the most popular markets, turning shopping into an enchanting holiday experience. And let’s not forget the Christmas lights that adorn the streets, turning the Big Apple into a dazzling display of holiday cheer.

2. Aspen, Colorado: A Snow Lover’s Paradise

aspen colorado

Where Winter Dreams Are Made

Aspen in December is a snowy retreat for those who love winter’s embrace. The ski season is in full swing, offering pristine slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. But Aspen’s charm goes beyond the ski trails; its town is a festive spectacle of lights and decorations, with luxury touching every corner from boutique hotels to gourmet restaurants.

A Toast to the High Life

After a day on the slopes, what’s better than warming up with a hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine in the village? Aspen’s après-ski scene is as vibrant as it is cozy, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and luxury amidst the backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

3. Charleston, South Carolina: A Warmer December Getaway

south carolina

Southern Charm with a Festive Twist

For those wishing to escape the chill, Charleston offers a December filled with mild weather, fewer tourists, and an abundance of holiday spirit. The historic city dresses in festive decor, from the wreaths on antebellum homes to the lights along the Battery.

Holiday Markets and Culinary Delights

The holiday markets here are not to be missed, offering unique southern crafts and mouthwatering local cuisine. Charleston’s renowned food scene also shines during the holiday season, with restaurants offering special menus that celebrate the best of southern hospitality and holiday cheer.

4. Orlando, Florida: A Theme Park Winter Wonderland


Magic in the Air, Joy Everywhere

Orlando in December is where fairytales come to life. The city’s world-famous theme parks don their holiday best, offering parades, live shows, and night-time spectaculars that celebrate the season. Whether it’s the magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom or the dazzling Christmas lights around Hogwarts Castle at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, every moment feels like stepping into a holiday card.

Festive Fun for the Whole Family

The holiday spirit in Orlando extends beyond the theme parks. The city hosts numerous Christmas markets and festivals, filled with local artisans, delicious festive treats, and activities for all ages. With Orlando’s mild December weather, it’s the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy the holiday cheer in short sleeves.

5. Lake Tahoe, California: Natural Beauty All Year Round

lake tahoe

A Winter Wonderland Unlike Any Other

Lake Tahoe’s allure doesn’t wane with the seasons; it transforms. December sees this stunning destination blanketed in snow, offering a serene escape for lovers of the great outdoors. Ski resorts around the lake provide some of the best slopes in the country, while the lake itself offers a picturesque backdrop for a winter retreat.

Adventures in a Snowy Paradise

From snowshoeing through silent forests to enjoying cozy nights by the fire, Lake Tahoe embodies the winter spirit. The area’s natural beauty is unmatched, making it a perfect spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. Despite its popularity, December in Tahoe feels like a secluded getaway, with crystal-clear skies and fewer tourists.

6. Chicago, Illinois: The Windy City’s Winter Charm


A City That Sparkles

Chicago in December is a sight to behold. The Magnificent Mile shines with holiday lights, and ice skating rinks pop up, offering fun for everyone against the skyline backdrop. The city’s Christmas markets, especially the Christkindlmarket, bring a touch of European charm to the Midwest, complete with handcrafted goods and traditional snacks.

Warmth in the Cold

The chill of the Windy City is easily forgotten with the warmth of its holiday spirit. From the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights to the festive concerts at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, there’s no shortage of holiday cheer. Chicago’s renowned food scene also gets into the spirit, with restaurants and bars offering seasonal fare and warm drinks to fend off the winter cold.

7. Austin, Texas: For Music Lovers and More

austin texas

A Melody of Holiday Spirit and Live Music

In the heart of Texas, Austin shines as a beacon for music lovers, especially during the holiday season. Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, the city’s streets, bars, and venues come alive with melodies ranging from blues and country to holiday classics and indie rock. December in Austin is a symphony of festive tunes, great food, and an indomitable spirit.

Festivals and Feasts: A December to Remember

Austin’s holiday markets are not just shopping opportunities; they’re cultural events that blend music, artisan crafts, and culinary delights. Sipping on hot cocoa or enjoying some of Texas’s best BBQ, all while browsing through local crafts and listening to live music, encapsulates the unique December experience Austin offers.

8. Washington, D.C.: A Capital December


Holiday Traditions in the Nation’s Heart

Washington, D.C., in December, is steeped in American traditions and holiday cheer. The National Christmas Tree stands as a beacon of the season’s joy, with nightly performances and a stunning model train display. The historic streets and monuments are beautifully lit, reflecting the city’s rich heritage and the universal joy of the holiday season.

Cultural Riches and Seasonal Wonders

The holiday markets in D.C. offer a blend of educational and festive experiences, where visitors can find unique gifts while enjoying the capital’s monuments and museums decked out in holiday style. Seasonal events at the Kennedy Center or holiday-themed tours of the Capitol offer unique ways to experience the city’s cultural offerings amid the festive atmosphere.

9. Fairbanks, Alaska: For a Glimpse of the Northern Lights


A Winter’s Dream Under the Aurora Borealis

December in Fairbanks offers one of the most breathtaking natural spectacles: the Northern Lights. With its location in the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks provides one of the best vantage points for this dazzling display, turning the long winter nights into a canvas of vivid colors and ethereal beauty.

Embracing the Arctic Wonderland

Aside from the auroras, Fairbanks invites adventure seekers and nature lovers to dive into a true winter wonderland. Dog sledding, ice sculpting, and soaking in hot springs under the starry sky are just a few experiences that make a December getaway to Fairbanks unforgettable. The cold is merely a backdrop to the warmth of Alaskan hospitality and the magic of the season.

10. Los Angeles, California: A Sunny December Escape

los angeles

Where Winter Meets Endless Summer

Los Angeles offers a unique December experience, where the winter season is met with sunny skies and mild temperatures. It’s the perfect destination for those looking to escape the cold without missing out on the holiday spirit. The city is alive with festive lights, from the glamorous displays in Beverly Hills to the Venice Canals lit up with a softer glow, offering a different kind of winter wonderland.

Holiday Cheer in the City of Angels

The holiday season in LA is marked by iconic events such as the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the LA County Holiday Celebration. Outdoor shopping at The Grove or strolling along Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade offers holiday magic without the chill. For a more traditional touch, there’s ice skating at Pershing Square, proving that even in a city known for its sunshine, you can find a slice of winter joy.

Conclusion: Celebrating December’s Diverse Delights Across the USA

From the snowy peaks of Aspen to the festive streets of New York City, and the sunny shores of Los Angeles, December in the USA is a tapestry of diverse and unforgettable experiences. Each destination offers its unique blend of holiday cheer, outdoor adventures, and cultural richness, making it the perfect time to explore and create new memories. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of the Northern Lights in Alaska, the historic charm of Charleston, or the musical heart of Austin, there’s a December getaway waiting for you.

Share Your Best Places to Visit in December USA

Now that we’ve journeyed together through the best places to visit in December in the USA, we’d love to hear from you! Are there any destinations you’re dreaming of visiting this holiday season? Maybe you have your own winter travel tips or a memorable December adventure you’d like to share. Drop your stories, suggestions, and dream destinations in the comments below. Let’s inspire each other and expand our holiday horizons with shared experiences and travel dreams. Happy holidays and safe travels to all!

Festive decorations in early December, rainy season, christmas decorations to visit in december in national park in past few years as christmas markets and christmas trees.

Let’s dive into the other USA inspirations: