Holiday decor in NYC - best places to travel in December

The Best Places to Travel in December

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December is a magical time to travel, whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland or a tropical getaway. But with so many amazing places to choose from, it can be tough to decide where to go. So we’ve put together this list of the best places to travel in December, based on a variety of factors including climate, activities, and attractions.

Whether you’re looking for a festive city break, a relaxing beach vacation, or an adventurous outdoor escape, we’ve got you covered.

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New York City

Holiday Magic in the Big Apple

New York City is a great place to visit during the holidays and definitely one of the best places to travel in December. The city is famous for its amazing holiday decor celebrations. The streets are decorated with bright lights and beautiful Christmas decorations that will leave you in awe. Everywhere you look, there are fun and exciting things to see and do. The holiday spirit is alive and well in New York City.

Christmas decoration in NYC - best places to travel in December

Rockefeller Center

No visit to NYC during December is complete without witnessing the magnificence of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The gigantic tree towering over the ice skating rink is not only a sight to behold but also a symbol of the city’s long-standing Christmas traditions.

Breathtaking Window Displays

Holiday window displays are another must-experience highlight. The creative displays at flagship department stores such as Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue capture the imagination with their enchanting Christmas-themed story-telling, making window-shopping a truly magical experience.

Ice-Skating in Central Park

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace paired with a dash of fun in the form of ice skating at Central Park. The Wollman Rink provides cold-weather revelry with a remarkable backdrop of the city’s skyline, allowing you to indulge in a leisurely activity while soaking up the city’s holiday atmosphere.

Winter Shopping at Bryant Park and Union Square

For those hunting for unique and eclectic gifts this Christmas, both Bryant Park and Union Square winter markets offer an extensive array of vendors. These melting pots of culture and commerce offer exclusive handmade goods and delectable holiday treats that are perfect for gifting.

Experience the Artistic Wonders

For a grand holiday experience, reserve your seats at the Lincoln Center for a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet. This timeless classic brings fairy tales to life through mesmerizing dance and music. If high energy is more your style, catch the famously spectacular high kicks of the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, another must-do holiday tradition.

As you wander through the city, take the time to absorb the palpable excitement of the holiday season that makes New York City in December an incredible travel destination.

Here are a few more reasons why NYC is a great place to travel in December:

  • The city is home to a wide variety of cultural attractions, including museums, theaters, and music venues. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, no matter your interests.
  • NYC is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world calling the city home. This diversity is reflected in the city’s cuisine, architecture, and arts scene.
  • NYC is a very walkable city, and it has a great public transportation system. This makes it easy to get around and see all that the city has to offer.

Golden, Colorado

Winter Wonderland in the Rockies

If bright lights and big cities aren’t your thing, consider Golden, Colorado. Golden is a great place to travel in December. A charming mountain town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, it’s the perfect destination for a winter wonderland vacation, with plenty of activities to enjoy for the whole family.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Golden is home to several world-class ski resorts, including Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Eldora Mountain Resort, and Copper Mountain Resort. These resorts offer a variety of terrain for all skill levels, from beginner to expert.

Snowshoeing and Sledding

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of other winter activities to enjoy in Golden. Go for a snowshoe hike through the snow-covered trails of Golden Gate Canyon State Park, or sled down one of the many hills in the area.

Ice Skating

If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, go ice skating at the Golden Ice Rink. The rink is located in the heart of town, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Shopping and Dining

Golden has a charming downtown area with a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from. Find unique gifts for your loved ones at the many boutiques and art galleries, or enjoy a meal at one of the many delicious restaurants.

Holiday Events

Golden hosts a variety of holiday events throughout the month of December. Be sure to check out the Golden Christmas Parade, the Miners Alley Playhouse Christmas Show, and the Lights of December festival at Clear Creek History Park.

Here are a few more reasons why Golden is one of the best places to travel in December.

  • The weather is mild and sunny, with average temperatures in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit.
  • The town is decorated for the holidays, with twinkling lights and festive displays everywhere.
  • There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, from skiing and snowboarding to ice skating and shopping.
  • The town is close to Denver, making it easy to get to by plane or car.

Sedona, Arizona

A Magical Desert Getaway

Sedona, Arizona is a beautiful desert town known for its stunning red rock formations, spiritual energy, and New Age culture. It’s the perfect destination for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation in December. Here’s just a few of the things you can do there:


Sedona has over 100 hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, and Devil’s Bridge.

Jeep Tours

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to explore the red rocks, take a jeep tour. Jeep tours offer stunning views of the red rocks and the surrounding desert landscape.

Pink Jeep Tours is a popular company that offers a variety of different jeep tours, including sunset tours, vortex tours, and historical tours.

Spa Treatments

Sedona is home to many world-class spas that offer a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. Indulge in a spa treatment to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body.


Sedona is a great place to go glamping, even in December. With its stunning natural beauty and mild weather, it’s the perfect destination for those who want to experience the great outdoors in style. There are several great glamping sites in Sedona that offer a unique and luxurious camping experience. Some of the best places to go glamping in Sedona include Rancho Sedona RV Park, which offers specialized accommodations for recreational vehicles, and Glamping Hub, which offers luxury camping rentals such as tree houses, yurts, and cottages.

New Age Experiences

Sedona is known for its New Age culture and spiritual energy. There are many different New Age shops and galleries in town, as well as a variety of New Age experiences to try, such as crystal healing, meditation, and yoga.

Holiday Events

Sedona hosts a variety of holiday events throughout the month of December. Be sure to check out the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village Lights Up the Holidays event, the Sedona Nutcracker Ballet, and the Gingerbread Village at the Sedona Arts Center.

Why Sedona is Ideal for a December Trip

  • The weather is mild and sunny, with average temperatures in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit.
  • The town is decorated for the holidays, with twinkling lights and festive displays everywhere.
  • There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, from hiking and jeep tours to shopping and dining.
  • The town is close to Phoenix, making it easy to get to by plane or car.

Washington, D.C.

Holiday Cheer in the Nation’s Capital

Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, is a fantastic destination to visit in December, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and holiday festivities.

The National Mall

The National Mall is a must-see for any visitor to Washington, D.C., and it’s especially magical during the holidays. The mall is home to many of the nation’s most iconic landmarks, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the U.S. Capitol Building. During the holiday season, the mall is decorated with festive lights and displays, making it a perfect place to take a stroll and soak up the holiday atmosphere.

The Smithsonian Museums

Washington, D.C., is home to 19 Smithsonian museums, all of which are free to visit. The Smithsonian museums offer a wide variety of exhibits, covering everything from American history and culture to art and science. Many of the museums offer special holiday programs and events in December, making it a great time to visit with kids.

The White House

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and it’s especially beautiful during the holidays. The White House is decorated for the holidays each year, and it’s open to the public for tours during the holiday season.

Holiday Events

Washington, D.C., hosts a variety of holiday events throughout the month of December. Some of the most popular events include the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the ZooLights display at the National Zoo, and the Holiday in Georgetown festival.

Why Washington, D.C., is an ideal December destination

Here are a few more reasons why Washington, D.C., is ideal for a December trip:

  • The weather is mild and sunny, with average temperatures in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit.
  • The city is decorated for the holidays, with twinkling lights and festive displays everywhere.
  • There are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, from visiting the Smithsonian museums to seeing the White House.
  • The city is easy to get around, with a variety of transportation options available.

Cancun, Mexico

Sunshine and Sandy Beaches in December

Cancun, Mexico, is a popular tourist destination for a reason. It’s known for its stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and abundance of sunshine. Cancun is also a great place to visit in December, when the weather is warm and sunny, and the crowds are smaller.

Beaches and Watersports

The beaches in Cancun are some of the most beautiful in the world. The white sand and clear blue waters are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Cancun also offers a variety of watersports activities, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and scuba diving.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Cancun is known for its all-inclusive resorts. All-inclusive resorts offer everything you need for a relaxing vacation, including food, drinks, accommodations, and activities. This makes them a great option for families and couples alike.

Day Trips

In addition to its own attractions, Cancun is also a great base for exploring other parts of Mexico. You can take day trips to Mayan ruins, cenotes (natural swimming holes), and other nearby towns and villages.

Here are a few more reasons why Cancun is ideal for a December trip:

  • The weather is warm and sunny, with average temperatures in the 80s Fahrenheit.
  • The beaches are less crowded than during the peak summer season.
  • There are a variety of all-inclusive resorts to choose from.
  • Cancun is a great base for exploring other parts of Mexico.

Belize, Central America

Paradise Awaits in Belize

Last but certainly not least, Belize is a great place to travel in December. This beautiful country is located in Central America and offers a warm escape from the cold winter weather. December is the perfect time to visit Belize, as it’s the start of the dry season. You’ll be able to explore all of the amazing wonders that Belize has to offer in blissful and temperate weather.

Belize has something for everyone, from its pristine beaches and warm Caribbean waters to its untouched underwater treasures in the Belize Barrier Reef. If you’re a marine enthusiast, you’ll love the snorkeling and diving opportunities that Belize has to offer. You can explore the gigantic blue holes, vibrant seascapes, and over 500 species of fish that call the world’s second-largest barrier reef home.

Mayan Ruins and More

If sandy beaches and crystal clear waters aren’t enough to satisfy your desire for adventure, Belize abounds with a rich history demonstrated through the ancient Mayan ruins scattered throughout the vast country. The world-renowned Xunantunich and Altun Ha ruins, alongside many others, stand as idle testament to the exquisitely diverse history of this mesmerizing land.

December in Belize is not just about pleasurable weather and adventure, it’s also a culinary fiesta in the form of Lobsterfest in Placencia. This coastal village turns into a gastronomic haven, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to partake in the culture and tastes of Belize by indulging in the nation’s diverse and mouth-watering lobster dishes.

Quality Time in Quietude

Most significantly, Belize during December tends to escape the tourist influx commonly observed in other Caribbean destinations. So, you can thoroughly relish your getaways without battling for beach space or waiting in frustrating queues for recreational activities. Therefore, Belize offers the quality so often overlooked in the busier tourist scenes – tranquility.

Avoid the winter blues this vacation season by packing your swimsuit and sunscreen and heading to Belize for a warm escapade mixed with mysticism, adventure, mouth-watering cuisine, and ample relaxation opportunities. This underestimated gem of the Caribbean is the perfect December escape, waiting to take you on the trip of a lifetime.

Final Thoughts on Choosing Where to Travel in December

Choosing the perfect destination for December travel depends greatly on what you seek from the holiday season – a bustling city painted with holiday spirit or a sunny escape filled with serene landscapes and rich history. As you consider these contrasting destinations, whether it’s the snow-laden streets of NYC, or the dreamy beaches of Belize, remember that each place has an extraordinary story to tell. So, buckle your wanderlust, for the enchanting charms of December travel are all set to captivate your heart!

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