December is generally not the most popular month to visit the United States of America (USA). One of the reasons is that many states in the USA face extreme winters, including snowfall, during the winters. However, this should not be the reason not to visit the USA in December. This is because December is a festive season, and there are many things to see and enjoy during this month. Moreover, those who cannot tolerate extremely low temperatures can choose to visit states or cities that enjoy a pleasant climate during winter. Whether you want to indulge in Christmas celebrations or take a break from the extreme cold in your own country, the USA will not disappoint you. Here we present the 10 best places to visit in December in the USA.
1. New York City, New York
If you do not mind bundled up in layers of clothes, a visit to New York City will give you the chance to be a part of some amazing Christmas festivities. One of the best things to do here is witness the Christmas tree light up in Rockefeller Center. Broadway’s winter-themed Nutcracker Show and the Christmas Markets of Bryant Park and Union Square are a few other highlights of December in the city. Apart from these, you can go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, stroll along the snow-covered Central Park, and see the light show at Dyker Heights and Fifth Avenue. All in all, New York City promises a magical holiday in December.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
If you love adventure and outdoor activities, December is the perfect month to enjoy climbing and hiking in Las Vegas. On the other hand, if Christmas festivities are what you are looking forward to, Las Vegas offers plenty of that too. The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is the main attraction here, as this place is converted into a winter wonderland during this month. Enchant Christmas Las Vegas, the Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Magical Forest at Opportunity Village, Festival of Lanterns at Cowabunga Bay, etc. are a few other festive attractions to see here.
3. Anchorage, Alaska
If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, there is no better place than Anchorage in Alaska for the same. Enveloped in powdery white, crystal-clear snow, Anchorage has a fairytale air to it. With so much snow around, it is the best place to indulge in some snow-related adventure and fun. Here you can go skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice skating & hockey, snowshoeing, winter biking, etc. But the star attraction in Anchorage in December is a chance to see the colorful and magical northern lights that lit up the sky like a dream.
4. Maui, Hawaii
Winter in the USA does not always mean snow and extremely low temperatures. In fact, if you want to escape the cold weather for some time, Maui Island in Hawaii is an ideal December holiday destination. As the weather is pleasant throughout the month, you can have a great time exploring the beautiful beaches of the island. While lounging on the beaches of Maui is the most relaxing thing to do here, the island is also a great place to indulge in water adventures like snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding. December is also a great month to go whale watching in Maui.
5. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Another place in the USA where you can enjoy a snowy winter in December is Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Situated at an elevation that goes up to 9100 feet, the Bryce Canyon National Park receives enough snowfall to transform it into a winter paradise. Apart from enjoying the natural beauty of the place, you also get to indulge in winter adventures like winter hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. But the thing you should not miss here is the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival. Usually held during the President’s Day Weekend, you get to enjoy geology talks, snowshoe hikes, art classes, yoga, photography workshops, etc. here.
6. Key West, Florida
Key West in Florida is another place for those who want to stay away from cool weather and enjoy the sun and the sand this holiday season. A magical island with gorgeous beaches, Key West is the best place to enjoy the lazy beach vibe. One of the best things to do here is watching the Lighted Boat Parade, which happens every year. The sight of well-lit and decked-up boats is something you should not miss. You can also go on a historic tour where you will get to see beautiful historical buildings decked up for the festive season. Bar hopping and watching a marvelous sunset are some other things you can do in Key West.
7. Leavenworth, Washington
A pleasant, Bavarian Mountain town, Washington’s Leavenworth does not leave any stone unturned to make Christmas a magical affair. The best part is that you do not have to wait for Christmas eve or Christmas week to enjoy the festivities. The celebrations in this town start at the beginning of December itself. The center of all Christmas festivities in Leavenworth is at the Village of Lights Christmastown Festival, where you can enjoy Christmas decorations, live holiday music, Christmas-themed shops, etc. This is one of the best places to visit in December in the USA with family, as there are many fun things for children like kids’ crafts, gingerbread houses, sleigh rides, sledding, etc.
8. San Antonio, Texas
One of the best places to visit in December for couples in the USA is San Antonio in Texas. With all the beautiful lights and decorations, San Antonio has a romantic air to it in the month of December. The one thing that you need to do in San Antonio in December is visit the River Walk to admire the beautiful lights adorning the area. Here, you can ride on a river boat, indulge in a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants or cafes, and enjoy live music too. Lost Maples State Natural Area, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Hemisfair Park, San Antonio Zoo, Gruene Hall, etc. are some of the popular attractions you can explore in San Antonio in December.
9. Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is one of the most gorgeous places on earth, and it becomes even more beautiful in winter when the area is laden with snow. Apart from admiring the breathtaking beauty of Lake Tahoe, you can also indulge in some exciting winter sports and activities here. Downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, etc. are some of the exciting activities you can try here. You can also be a part of some interesting winter events like the Snowfest and Winterwondergrass Festival here. Watching a splendid sunset while riding on a sleigh and going on a candlelight cruise are some other things that you can enjoy in Lake Tahoe in California this December.
10. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is one of the warm places to visit in December in USA, making it a good place to visit during winter if you do not enjoy the snow. Right from Christmas lights to lively parades, the city hosts several Christmassy things for the locals and tourists. While in the city, you must check out the Christmas lights at LA Zoo, Christmas Tree Lane, and WonderLand. The Hollywood Christmas Parade that begins at Hollywood Boulevard at Universal Studios Hollywood is worth watching. Apart from this, Santa’s Northpole Village, LA County Holiday Celebration, etc. are some other must-see attractions in Los Angeles. You can also book tickets to watch a festive concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
An important thing to note here is that the popular places to visit in the USA in December are generally crowded. To ensure that you have a good and memorable holiday, make your bookings in advance.