With the top of the yr comes a brand new world of journey prospects. You possibly can spend December totally embracing the coolness of the season, or discover a heat getaway if that’s extra of your fashion! Good factor the US gives alternatives for vacationers of every type, with locations scattered all through the nation.
Ranging from the West Coast heading east, right here’s an inventory of the highest 26 locations to go to this December:
1. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, California
Winter is indubitably the very best time to go to the deserts in California. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park is likely one of the greatest locations to go to within the colder months. The park’s temperatures decrease on common by December to a spread of close to 40 levels F in a single day to close 60 levels F by afternoon, which makes daytime mountain climbing and mountain climbing infinitely extra fulfilling than the insufferable summertime warmth.
Deserts make up round 1 / 4 of the state, so there are many different areas to go to in December. Take a look at this BMTM publish for a number of the greatest deserts to go to in California.
Extra of California’s hidden locations right here:
2. Mendocino County, California
Mendocino County in California is legendary for having climate harking back to everlasting spring and December sees chilly temperatures which might be chilly sufficient to bundle up for, however heat sufficient to have the ability to get exterior and benefit from the space’s moody California shoreline.
Fort Bragg is a part of Mendocino County and is dwelling to the legendary Glass Seaside, which will get its identify 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. Mendocino County is the proper December getaway for nature lovers and anybody who loves the comfortable vibe of the start of winter.
3. Loss of life Valley Nationwide Park, California & Nevada
In the event you’ve been dying to take a look at Loss of life Valley (see what I did there?) however are slightly nervous about its famously scorching temperatures, take into account getting in December! All all through the winter months, Loss of life Valley sees a dip in its normally excessive temps, making it far more fulfilling for hikers.
Loss of life Valley Nationwide Park is dwelling to some significantly out-of-this-world landscapes that you simply positively 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 Loss of life Valley. Although December is likely one of the greatest instances to go to this unimaginable nationwide park, it’s not sometimes crowded, so you possibly can take pleasure in a number of the greatest spots within the park with out worrying about overwhelming crowds cramping your fashion.
4. 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. Visiting Solar Valley provides you the chance to see a number of the most picturesque winter landscapes in the US. All through December, the close by Sawtooth Mountains get that far more magical when a brand new layer of snow decorates the surroundings. With incredible snowboarding alternatives, naturally occurring scorching springs, and hospitable locals, Solar Valley is likely one of the most ideally suited journeys for a comfy December getaway.
5. Yellowstone Nationwide Park, Wyoming
Because the least populated state in the US, Wyoming will be the ideally suited vacation spot to get some peace and quiet. Yellowstone is gorgeous it doesn’t matter what time of yr you go to, however the park is particularly lovely through the winter. There’s a cause why the park is one in every of BMTM’s bucket record worthy highway journey stops!
Many roads could also be closed through the month, however the highway between Mammoth Scorching Springs and the northeast entrance is open all yr. Take a look at the park’s webpage for extra info.
6. Grand Teton Nationwide Park, Wyoming
Head 30 miles south of Yellowstone and also you’ll discover Grand Teton Nationwide Park, a park that may be loved simply as a lot in December. Many of the park is just reachable by cross-country ski or snowshoe throughout this time of the yr—however the isolation is greater than value it. Take a look at this BMTM publish for a extra in-depth take a look at winter in Grand Teton.
7. San Juan County, Utah
Many individuals pondering of December journeys could 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 40’s with lows within the 20’s (Fahrenheit) in December, making the climate chilly however bearable. If you would like a December journey stuffed with exploration, San Juan County’s Valley of the Gods is BLM land, which means you possibly can camp in any of the highway pull-offs (offered you Go away No Hint.)
In the event you determine to hike in any of Utah’s nationwide parks, ensure you’re ready for doubtlessly icy circumstances.
8. Moab, Utah
Moab sits between two of Utah’s greatest nationwide parks: Arches and Canyonlands, so this charming city surrounded by purple rock landscapes is a good choose for December adventurers. Not solely are you able to hit up well-liked 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 within the wintertime, 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.
9. Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, Colorado
If you would like a December stuffed with towering mountains, Colorado is the place to go. For one, the state is understood for having essentially the most “fourteeners” (mountains increased than 14,000 toes) within the nation.
Whereas some parks shut throughout this time of the yr, this 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 ideally suited 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.
10. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is likely one of the United States’ hubs for all the things spirituality, however it’s additionally a incredible place to benefit from the outdoor in December. In the event you’re coming from a spot that will get tremendous chilly within the winter, Sedona is a good escape to hotter temperatures with out it being too scorching.
One other large 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 may have the ability to take pleasure in some solitude as there received’t be as many hikers as there are within the hotter months.
Discover out what else there’s to do in Sedona right here.
11. 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 observe, making it ideally suited for vacationers searching for a very rugged journey.
You possibly can go to the Bisti Badlands any time of yr and discover only a few folks, however December is particularly ideally suited due to the delicate climate and fewer guests. Ensure that to carry a 4×4 car and loads of water!
12. 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 driving distance away from mountains ideally suited for snowboarding. In the event you come round Christmas, you’ll have the ability to see luminarias gentle the streets and parks of the state; take a look at this BMTM publish for different issues to do in New Mexico.
Taos can also be a hub for forward-thinking structure and has a complete group of individuals with Earthships, a sustainable sort of dwelling with every kind of neat environmentally-friendly options. Learn extra in regards to the Taos Earthships right here.
13. 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 to stargaze on this record— 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 now and then. In accordance with the park’s web site, the vacations are sometimes busy, so reservations for lodging are extremely really helpful.
14. Fredericksburg, Texas
For a vacation expertise with a German contact, the city of Fredericksburg is dwelling to the most important variety of Texas German audio system. In the event you come within the latter a part of December, you’ll have the ability to see the city decked out in full Christmas ornament—German Christmas Pyramid included!
The city can also be round 70 miles from different cities like San Antonio and Austin, making for an incredible roadtrip cease.
15. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has so a lot to supply past the Mardi Gras season. Moreover being an incredible metropolis for solo feminine vacationers, town is simply as stuffed with vitality in December as it’s in February with Mardi Gras. As a plus, December is throughout this metropolis’s shoulder season, so that you’ll have the ability to nonetheless discover comparatively good lodging offers.
16. St. Augustine, Florida
If you would like a December buying and selling snowboards for surfboards, few locations match the invoice as completely as Florida. Throughout the vacation season, St. Augustine is most identified for its Nights of Lights, a free celebration the place town is roofed in lights!
On the whole, you possibly can take pleasure in Florida’s summer time actions through the winter. Whether or not you need to discover ways to sail in Ft. Myers, or discover Cocoa Seaside, the state has a ton to supply all through the top of the yr.
17. Savannah, Georgia
For a quaint, southern getaway, Savannah is a perfect vacation spot. Outlets 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 his or her annual Holly Jolly Jekyll competition. All through December, the island gives actions that vary from a skating village to an array of sunshine shows.
18. Charleston, South Carolina
Much like the appeal and historic panorama of Savannah, Charleston is a soothing possibility for December vacationers. Town is a vacation spot with a light local weather, giving guests the slight chill of winter with out the dramatic snowfall. All through December, town hosts a vacation season celebration referred to as the Vacation Pageant of Lights, full with lights, sculptures, and Santa!
19. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville’s location helps you to expertise the very best of the Appalachian’s winter surroundings whereas maintaining the conveniences of town. In the event you’re prepared to spend some cash, the Biltmore Property hosts an annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration that’s made town well-liked through the vacation season.
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 a couple of of the very best free and budget-friendly issues to do in Asheville.
20. Nashville, Tennessee
Although a lot of December is Nashville‘s off-season, town doesn’t lose any of its appeal. Well-liked pastimes all through the month embody seeing the Christmas decorations on the Gaylord Opryland Lodge and attending town’s annual Christmas Parade. In the event you come on the finish of the month, you possibly can catch the Music Metropolis’s New 12 months’s Eve extravaganza.
That is additionally a incredible funds vacation spot within the US, as there are dozens of free issues to do in Nashville.
21. Hocking Hills, Ohio
Hocking Hills is an space in southeastern Ohio with a number of the most dramatic topographic options within the Midwest. There are a ton of scenic preserves and parks within the space, essentially 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 fantastic thing about the parks’ hikes.
22. 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 make it a wonderful vacation spot if you wish to reap the benefits of some low season offers. A December within the metropolis means you’ll have the ability to see a number of the metropolis’s major vacation points of interest, together with gentle shows from the Lincoln Park Zoo and the standard Christkindlmarket.
Chicago is one other metropolis with tons of free issues to do, so between that and the low season offers, December is the proper time to go to Chicago on a funds.
23. New York Metropolis, 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 town not be iconic? From ice skating within the metropolis’s parks to vacation purchasing down fifth Avenue, NYC is a playground of festive exercise.
In the event you’re intimidated by NYC’s popularity for being tremendous costly, take into account all of those free issues to do within the Large Apple, which may also help offset a number of the increased costs on issues like meals and lodging.
24. Acadia Nationwide Park, Maine
Acadia Nationwide Park is a bit of northeastern coastal land totally on Maine’s Mount Desert Island that shines in December. A few of its roads shut in December, so concentrate on the park’s working hours and seasons. Cross-country snowboarding and snowshoeing are a couple of of the well-liked actions this time of yr, together with ice fishing (although ice fishing is especially well-liked through the latter a part of winter).
Off the Mainland
25. Maui, Hawaii
There isn’t actually a foul time to go to Hawaii, making it a well-liked vacation spot for these with break day through the vacation season. Maui is a good spot to discover throughout your time right here, with journeys just like the Highway to Hana to maintain you busy. Take a look at BMTM’s Hawaii Information for extra suggestions as to how one can spend your December right here.
26. Vieques, Puerto Rico
Due to its location south of the Tropic of Most cancers, Puerto Rico is in a year-round state of summer time. As one in every of two territories within the Caribbean U.S. residents can enter with out a passport, Puerto Rico is an ideal possibility 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 planet. Paddle out right here on a darkish night time to expertise nature’s very personal gentle present.
Pin me for later:
No matter the place within the US you might be, there isn’t a one technique to spend the month of December. With the vacation season in full tow, there’s sure to be a vacation spot that’ll end your yr off in an unforgettable method.
Is there a spot you need to go to this December? Let me know!
Click on to learn extra posts about