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26 of the Finest Locations to Journey in December (USA Version)

With the end of the year comes a new world of travel possibilities. You can spend December fully embracing the chill of the season, or find a warm getaway if that’s more of your style! Good thing the United States offers opportunities for travelers of all types, with destinations scattered throughout the country. Starting from […]



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With the tip of the 12 months 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 type! Good factor the US gives alternatives for vacationers of every kind, with locations scattered all through the nation.

Ranging from the West Coast heading east, right here’s a listing of the highest 26 locations to go to this December:

1. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, California

Winter is no doubt the most effective time to go to the deserts in California. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park is one of the best places to visit in 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 mountaineering and mountain climbing infinitely extra pleasant 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. Check out this BMTM post for among the greatest deserts to go to in California.

Extra of California’s hidden locations right here:

2. Mendocino County, California

fort bragg glass beach
Glass Seashore in Fort Bragg

Mendocino County in California is known for having climate paying homage to everlasting spring and December sees chilly temperatures which are 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 residence to the legendary Glass Seashore, which will get its identify from the layer of colourful sea glass that washes up on its shore. In Mendocino, you'll be able to take a look at Jug Deal with State Pure Reserve, Van Damme State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park, and different beautiful 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

death valley national park in winter
The Artist’s Palette space of Loss of life Valley Nationwide Park

If you happen to’ve been dying to take a look at Loss of life Valley (see what I did there?) however are a bit nervous about its famously scorching temperatures, think about moving into December! All all through the winter months, Loss of life Valley sees a dip in its often excessive temps, making it far more pleasant for hikers.

Loss of life Valley Nationwide Park is residence to some critically out-of-this-world landscapes that you just undoubtedly don’t need to miss out on. From the colourful Artist’s Palette to the beautiful Golden Canyon, there’s loads to see and do in Death Valley. Regardless that December is likely one of the greatest instances to go to this unbelievable nationwide park, it’s not sometimes crowded, so you'll be able to take pleasure in among the greatest spots within the park with out worrying about overwhelming crowds cramping your type.

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 offers you the chance to see some 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 hot springs, and hospitable locals, Solar Valley is likely one of the most superb journeys for a comfy December getaway.

5. Yellowstone Nationwide Park, Wyoming

Because the least populated state in the US, Wyoming will be the superb vacation spot to get some peace and quiet. Yellowstone is gorgeous it doesn't matter what time of 12 months you go to, however the park is particularly stunning throughout the winter. There’s a motive why the park is one of BMTM’s bucket list worthy road trip stops!

Many roads could also be closed throughout the month, however the highway between Mammoth Sizzling Springs and the northeast entrance is open all 12 months. Take a look at the park’s webpage for extra data.

6. Grand Teton Nationwide Park, Wyoming


Head 30 miles south of Yellowstone and also you’ll discover Grand Teton National Park, a park that may be loved simply as a lot in December. A lot of the park is simply reachable by cross-country ski or snowshoe throughout this time of the 12 months—however the isolation is greater than value it. Check out this BMTM post for a more in-depth look at winter in Grand Teton.

7. San Juan County, Utah

valley of the gods

Many individuals pondering of December journeys could not think about Utah. Fortunate for you (and your pockets!) there’s so much to explore in 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. In order for you a December journey full of exploration, San Juan County’s Valley of the Gods is BLM land, that means you'll be able to camp in any of the highway pull-offs (offered you Go away No Hint.)

If you happen to resolve to hike in any of Utah’s nationwide parks, make certain you’re ready for probably icy circumstances.

8. Moab, Utah

Moab sits between two of Utah’s best national parks: Arches and Canyonlands, so this charming city surrounded by crimson rock landscapes is a good choose for December adventurers. Not solely are you able to hit up widespread 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 doubtless be utterly white this time of 12 months. The colour distinction between the white mountains and red-orange rock formations is a surprising sight that you just solely get within the wintertime.

Find out what else to do in Moab here.

9. Rocky Mountain Nationwide Park, Colorado

In order for you 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 increased than 14,000 ft) within the nation. 

Whereas some parks shut throughout this time of the 12 months, this park is open year-round. Although you'll be able to take pleasure in your journey right here with simply snowshoeing gear, there are alternatives for sledding and snowboarding too. The colder months are additionally superb for watching wildlife like elk, moose, and deer. Take a look at the park’s page for extra particulars on the winter actions you are able to do right here.

Colorado additionally makes for a fun road trip if you wish to discover the state throughout your December journey. 

10. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is likely one of the United States’ hubs for everything spirituality, however it’s additionally a incredible place to benefit from the open air in December. If you happen to’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 sizzling.

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

Find out what else there is to do in Sedona 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 unbelievable 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 superb for vacationers searching for a really rugged journey.

You possibly can go to the Bisti Badlands any time of 12 months and discover only a few folks, however December is particularly superb due to the delicate climate and fewer guests. Make sure that to deliver a 4×4 automobile and loads of water!

12. Taos, New Mexico

This Earthship in Taos was so cool!

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 superb for snowboarding. If you happen to come round Christmas, you’ll have the ability to see luminarias mild the streets and parks of the state; check out this BMTM post for different issues to do in New Mexico.

Taos can be a hub for forward-thinking structure and has a complete neighborhood of individuals with Earthships, a sustainable kind of residence with all types of neat environmentally-friendly options. Read more about the Taos Earthships here.

13. Large Bend Nationwide Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park is a desert space alongside the southwest Texan border with Mexico. This park is arguably the most effective place to stargaze on this record— it has the least light pollution of any other national park unit in the lower 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 intervals of chilly climate occur every now and then. In keeping with the park’s web site, the holidays are typically 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 residence to the most important variety of Texas German audio system. If you happen to come within the latter a part of December, you’ll have the ability to see the town decked out in full Christmas decoration—German Christmas Pyramid included!

The city can be round 70 miles from different cities like San Antonio and Austin, making for an excellent roadtrip cease.

15. New Orleans, Louisiana

new orleans itinerary city park
In Metropolis Park twirling amongst the Spanish Moss

New Orleans has so a lot to supply past the Mardi Gras season. Moreover being an excellent metropolis for solo female travelers, the town is simply as stuffed with power 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

In order for you a December buying and selling snowboards for surfboards, few locations match the invoice as completely as Florida. In the course of the vacation season, St. Augustine is most identified for its Nights of Lights, a free celebration the place the town is roofed in lights!

Generally, you'll be able to take pleasure in Florida’s summer time actions throughout the winter. Whether or not you need to learn how to sail in Ft. Myers, or explore Cocoa Beach, the state has a ton to supply all through the tip of the 12 months.

17. Savannah, Georgia

For a quaint, southern getaway, Savannah is a perfect vacation spot. Retailers promoting vacation trinkets fill the hallmark River Street in December, providing the festive expertise with out the extreme 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

Just like the attraction and historic panorama of Savannah, Charleston is a soothing choice for December vacationers. The 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, the town hosts a vacation season celebration known as the Holiday Festival of Lights, full with lights, sculptures, and Santa!

19. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville’s location helps you to expertise the most effective of the Appalachian’s winter surroundings whereas conserving the conveniences of the town. If you happen to’re prepared to spend some cash, the Biltmore Property hosts an annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration that’s made the town widespread throughout the vacation season.

Relying on the climate, some components of the Blue Ridge Mountains could also be closed. However there are extra issues to do right here than simply day hike. Here are a few of the best free and budget-friendly things to do in Asheville.

20. Nashville, Tennessee

Regardless that a lot of December is Nashville‘s off-season, the town doesn’t lose any of its attraction. Common pastimes all through the month embody seeing the Christmas decorations on the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and attending the city’s annual Christmas Parade. If you happen to come on the finish of the month, you'll be able to catch the Music Metropolis’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza.

That is additionally a incredible budget destination in the US, as there are dozens of free things to do in Nashville.

21. Hocking Hills, Ohio

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 may even see snow and ice formations alongside the paths, including to the great 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 among the metropolis’s principal vacation sights, together with mild shows from the Lincoln Park Zoo and  the normal Christkindlmarket.

Chicago is one other metropolis with tons of free things to do, so between that and the low season offers, December is the perfect time to visit Chicago on a price range.

23. New York Metropolis, New York

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

If you happen to’re intimidated by NYC’s repute for being tremendous costly, think about all of those free things to do in the Big Apple, which may help offset among the increased costs on issues like meals and lodging.

24. Acadia Nationwide Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is a chunk of northeastern coastal land totally on Maine’s Mount Desert Island that shines in December. A few of its roads shut in December, so pay attention to the park’s operating hours and seasons. Cross-country snowboarding and snowshoeing are a couple of of the popular activities this time of year, together with ice fishing (although ice fishing is principally widespread throughout the latter a part of winter).

Off the Mainland

25. Maui, Hawaii

road to hana
A favourite photograph from the Highway to Hana on Maui

There isn’t really a bad time to visit Hawaii, making it a well-liked vacation spot for these with day without work throughout the vacation season. Maui is a good spot to discover throughout your time right here, with journeys just like the Road to Hana to maintain you busy. Take a look at BMTM’s Hawaii Guide 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 certainly one of two territories within the Caribbean U.S. residents can enter with out 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. Paddle out right here on a darkish night time to expertise nature’s very personal mild present.

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No matter the place within the US you might be, there isn't any one method to spend the month of December. With the vacation season in full tow, there’s certain to be a vacation spot that’ll end your 12 months off in an unforgettable approach.

Is there a spot you need to go to this December? Let me know!

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Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!