Best Places to Visit in December

Planning a vacation in December can feel overwhelming alongside holiday shopping and year-end festivities. But you'll thank yourself later if you squeeze in time for a trip. U.S. News considered prices, accessibility and seasonal crowds to pick the top vacation destinations to travel to in December. Whether you're seeking a warm weather hideaway or want to experience the holiday spirit in a snow-covered town, you'll find it in these five spots. Vote for your favorite below to help decide next year's list. 

SUMMARY

Best Places to Visit in December

  • Quebec City
    View 34 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Quebec City

    #1 in Best Places to Visit in December

    It's easy to fall in love with this Canadian destination, especially when it's covered in fresh snow. You'll be enchanted by Old Québec's sights and sounds as it transforms into a Christmas village. Or, you can shop for gifts (or for yourself) in Quartier Petit-Champlain. Plus, with its 17th- and 18th-century architecture, Quebec City allows you to soak up European culture without dropping the cash for a flight across the pond. 

    Read More
  • Hawaii - The Big Island
    View 35 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Hawaii - The Big Island

    #2 in Best Places to Visit in December

    This tropical paradise is the perfect place to escape winter's onset. Weary travelers can thaw on black sand beaches, while more adventurous types can hike in Akaka Falls State Park or catch a glimpse of the 4,000-foot-tall Kilauea volcano at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. You'll likely contend with other snow birds, but you'll find that hotel prices on the Big Island are consistently lower than those on neighboring isles. 

    Read More
  • Breckenridge
    View 14 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Breckenridge

    #3 in Best Places to Visit in December

    Ski season is in full swing by December, and Breckenridge is one of the best places in the world to hit the slopes. While you can count on crowds and higher hotel rates, the 2,908 acres of skiable terrain along the Tenmile Range means there's plenty of room to spread out. Away from the fresh powder, this Colorado town offers a charming Main Street with locally owned boutiques and restaurants. Just remember to reserve your room a few months in advance before resorts are all booked up.

    Read More
  • Banff
    View 40 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Banff

    #4 in Best Places to Visit in December

    At the base of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is known for its imposing landscape and superb skiing and snowboarding conditions. You can also snap Instagram-worthy photos of the town's natural beauty from the Banff Gondola and its 360-degree observation deck at the Sulphur Mountain summit. After a day full of activity, ease your muscles with a dip in the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Just remember that daylight can last as little as eight hours in December, so plan your itinerary accordingly.

    Read More
  • Torres Del Paine National Park
    Belongs on List?

    Torres Del Paine National Park

    #5 in Best Places to Visit in December

    This national park nestled in Chilean Patagonia offers travelers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Frequently touted as one of the most scenic hiking destinations in the world, the park is home to turquoise lakes and dense forests in addition to the massive Glacier Grey and towering granite of Cuernos del Paine. Even though December is part of Patagonia's summer season, temperatures drop dramatically after nightfall, so travelers will want to pack layers. 

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

You May Be Interested In

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

14 Top Jigsaw Puzzles, Games and Books to Keep Travelers Entertained

Even though you're stuck at home, you can still indulge your wanderlust with these activities.

15 Top Cookbooks to Buy

Travel to far-flung destinations and enjoy international food without leaving home.

The 12 Best Language-Learning Apps, Programs and Online Courses

Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

The 13 Best Sedona Tours

Get lost in the magic of Sedona's red rocks on these top adventures.

What is an Ecolodge? 21 Top Eco Resorts and Eco Hotels Around the World

Luxury meets environmental welfare at these top-notch ecolodges.

The 12 Best Puerto Rico Tours

Experience island living at its best on one of these guided trips.

I Went On a Cruise During the Coronavirus Pandemic. This Is What Happened.

Coronavirus concerns, itinerary changes and uncertainty lead to an unusual vacation.

5 Travel-Themed Activities to Do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Use these suggestions to fill the travel void amid the pandemic.

Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

If you are rescheduling a vacation or booking a future trip, consider purchasing an insurance policy with the CFAR benefit.

The 21 Best Costa Rica Tours

Dive into this natural paradise on these exceptional excursions.