It can get pretty hectic during the holiday season but that’s just more reason to plan yourself a nice little vacation. Here, we curated the top travel destinations just for you. Be sure to check events you may have arranged or planned as they may be cancelled or postponed.
Keep reading for our top ten travel destinations in December. Take advantage of these amazing travel destinations we’ve written for you today! In addition, you can check out our best credit card bonuses here to maximize savings.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Tokyo (Japan)
- 2 2. Miami, Florida (USA)
- 3 3. Tallinn (Estonia)
- 4 4. Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
- 5 5. Chiang Rai (Thailand)
- 6 6. Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA)
- 7 7. Auckland (New Zealand)
- 8 8. Paso Robles, California (USA)
- 9 9. Patagonia (Chile)
- 10 10. New York City, New York (USA)
- 11 Best Credit Card To Redeem For Flights
- 12 Top Destinations By Month
- 13 Bottom Line
1. Tokyo (Japan)
The holiday season in Tokyo is beautiful, lit with gorgeous winter illuminations to add to the festive feel. The city is decked in lights and full of holiday spirit. For souvenirs and gifts, shop at the European-style Christmas market in Hibuya Park.
Additionally, Tokyo has a plethora of non-holiday activities. Visit Harajuku district for boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants that cater to the popular youth fashion culture. Check out Meiji Jingu featuring a museum, garden and shrine buildings. Explore the grounds of the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor of Japan and an impressive art collection. For a family friendly fun day, check out Tokyo Disneyland.
2. Miami, Florida (USA)
Miami is full of fun during December. Families can enjoy Zoo Lights Miami every Friday and Saturday throughout the month with Santa photos, Snowman’s River Boat rides, fun events and performances.
Additionally, there is Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park with rides, shows, games and eye-catching holiday decorations. The Miami City Ballet will present The Nutcracker from mid to late December. For art fans, check out the annual Art Basel Miami Beach, featuring large-scale works, performances and film screenings.
3. Tallinn (Estonia)
|Average Temperature||34°F high; 23°F low|
|December Events|| PiparkoogiMaania (Gingerbread Mania)
Google Translate may be needed
Check out the traditional Tallinn’s Christmas market. This market features typical holiday fare, mulled wine, a gigantic Christmas tree, an outdoor ice skating rink and a stage for live performances. If you’re looking for more festive activities, visit PiparkoogiMaania – Gingerbread Mania – which is an art exhibition showcasing all things gingerbread.
Head into the Old Town to admire the beautiful architecture and locals dressed in medieval clothing. Get unobstructed views of the harbor, bell towers, and the terracotta roof tiles from the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform. And indulge in food, from Estonian cuisine to Indian to medieval fare, and local craft beer.
4. Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)
|Average Temperature||59°F high; 26°F low|
|December Events||Wrangler National Finals Rodeo|
December in Vegas offers a different experience than typical trips to the city that doesn’t sleep – the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It’s got all the typical rodeo events as well as the Miss Rodeo America contest, Cowboy Christmas, charity events and after parties.
If you’re looking for a more festive feel, then check out the special holiday display at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden and the ice rink on top of the Cosmopolitan Hotel with the occasional “snow shower.”
5. Chiang Rai (Thailand)
|Average Temperature||81°F high; 57°F low|
|December Events||Chiang Rai Flower Festival|
Dry season in the northern part of Thailand makes December the ideal time to visit Chiang Rai with cooler and less humid weather. Although Christmas and New Year’s aren’t traditional holidays in this area, many locals celebrate these occasions anyway.
The city hosts festivals this month, including the Chiang Rai Flower Festival with tulip, lilies and other cold-climate flowers in full bloom. You can also enjoy a photo contest, flower-painting competition, cultural shows, local product and food fairs, and musical performances.
The Color of Doi Tung Festival showcases six ethnic groups and their cultures. Indulge in both ethnic and royal cuisines, shop for hilltribe fashion and handicrafts, wander through flowery gardens and go on a tour led by local youth guides.
6. Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA)
|Average Temperature||52°F high; 33°F low|
|December Events||Holidays in Old Salem|
Winston-Salem was founded by Moravians from Eastern Europe in the mid-18th century, while the more industrial Winston offers resources and a streamlined bureaucracy.
In Old Salem, the festive season is celebrated as the Moravians did hundreds of years ago with candlelight tours, gingerbread and Lovefeast buns. Admire the holiday decorations on Main Street and shop for a gift or two.
Visit the Reynolda House, where the gardens, village and house are open for shopping, Christmas carols, arts and crafts, and tours led by costumed actors. And take a walk around the Downtown Arts District to enjoy galleries, murals and artistic displays.
7. Auckland (New Zealand)
As another year wraps up and the summer right around the corner, New Zealand in December is full of revelry and cheer. If you’re in Auckland, don’t miss out on Coca-Cola’s Christmas in the Park. It’s a free annual event featuring outdoor concerts that’s fun for the whole family.
While you’re there, take the SkyWalk at Sky Tower, tour the city on a private cruise, kayak to Rangitoto Island, go on a marine mammal eco-safari with Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari and taste some wines at Waiheke Island.
8. Paso Robles, California (USA)
|Average Temperature||61°F high; 31°F low|
|December Events||Christmas Light Parade
Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase
Paso Robles is on the central coast of California, almost exactly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The town is warm and vibrant with vineyards, olive orchards, farms and ranches. Check out the wine trail, nosh on some seafood and visit an organic farm while you’re there.
The town celebrates the holidays with the Christmas Light Parade, featuring sparkling lights on spectacular floats, and the Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase, where 13 blocks are cordoned off as more than 15,000 people stroll up and down to admire the beautifully-restored Victorian houses lit up with Christmas lights and decorations.
9. Patagonia (Chile)
|Average Temperature||63°F high; 39°F low48|
December in Chile is magical, with beautiful weather. Note that Patagonia‘s infamous winds can tend to get a bit crazy, so it’s best to bring warm layers.
You can enjoy horseback riding and whitewater rafting, hang out with the Magellanic penguins at Isla Magdalena, explore Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego National Park, stroll through the quaint fishing towns and sip on a glass of local wine.
The city of Aysen hosts the starting point of Patagonman, an extreme triathlon where competitors swim 3.8km, bike 180km and run 42.2km.
10. New York City, New York (USA)
|Average Temperature||45°F high; 32°F low|
|December Events||Luminocity Festival
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Broadway Under The Stars
Holiday season in the Big Apple is full of spirit and fun. New York City offers the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza, meeting Santa at Macy’s Santaland, shopping at the winter and holiday markets, admire the holiday window decorations along 5th Avenue, and go ice skating at Bryant Park.
Check out th elight show at Randall’s Island Park for Luminosity Festival. Head to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the infamous Radio City Rockettes. Join thousands of wannabe Santas in Santacon, a fun and charitable pub crawl. And if you’re a fan of the arts, watch a free Broadway Under The Stars performance at the Shops at Columbus Circle.
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Top Destinations By Month
To start accumulating more miles & points, below is a list of the top destinations for each month during the calendar year:
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in January
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in February
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in March
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in April
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in May
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in June
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in July
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in August
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in September
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in October
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in November
- Top 10 Travel Destinations in December
If you want to save even more money on your travels, then be sure to check out our Best Travel Credit Cards. Check our list on Discounted Gift Cards and get the best bang for your buck with the Best Cash Back Shopping Portals and our eBay Gift Cards list offered here at HMB!