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. 


Best Places to Visit in December

  • Quebec City
    View 33 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?


    #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?


    #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

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


15 Things a Hotel Concierge Can Help You With

From tying bow ties to teaching local languages, there's almost no request a concierge can't handle.

September 23, 2019

The Best Gettysburg Tours

Use these helpful tips to plan a successful visit to the national military park.

September 18, 2019

The Best Statue of Liberty Tours: What to Know Before You Go

Use these tips and advice to help plan your visit to the iconic national monument.

September 17, 2019

The Best Graceland Tours: Tips for Visiting Graceland

Advice for making the most of your time at Elvis' famous home.

September 16, 2019

The 15 Best Stonehenge Tours

Visit one of the world's most mysterious UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the help of a guide.

September 13, 2019

Baby Travel Tips: Everything You Need to Know About Traveling with an Infant

Traveling with an infant isn't for the faint of heart.

September 12, 2019

Pearl Harbor Tours: Tickets and Tips for Visiting

Visit the historic Hawaiian memorial with ease.

September 12, 2019

The 13 Best San Francisco Walking Tours

Explore the beauty of San Francisco on two feet with these informative jaunts.

September 11, 2019

The 13 Best Places to See the Northern Lights

Check the aurora borealis off your bucket list.

September 9, 2019

The 9 Best St. Augustine Ghost Tours

Learn about St. Augustine's haunted past with an expert guide.

September 9, 2019