40 Best Warm Places to Visit in December in USA [2024]

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii - Where Is Hot in December in the USA

Looking for a warm winter getaway and wondering where is hot in December? Here’s the ultimate guide on the best warm places to visit in December in USA. Whether you’re looking for a tropical seaside getaway or a vibrant metropolis to explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

In this detailed guide, you’ll discover the hottest places in December and all that they have to offer – from breathtaking national parks to vibrant cities and hidden gems. Don’t miss all the insider tips along the way!

So, without further ado, let’s find out where you can get hot weather in December. For your reference, all the destinations in this guide reach at least 59°F (15°C) in December.

You might also be interested in:
🎆 36 Best Warm Places to Visit in January in the USA
🌿 34 Best Warm Places to Visit in February in the USA

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

☀️ Best Warm Places to Visit in December in USA

🌊 Where is Hot in December in the USA — West

40. Saguaro National Park, Arizona

🌡️ Average December temperature: 39°-64°F | 4°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 3

Saguaro National Park, Arizona - Warm US Places to Visit in December
Saguaro National Park – one of the best warm places to hike in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Outdoor enthusiasts from all over come to visit the otherworldly cacti forests and rolling foothills of Saguaro National Park in Arizona. December is the best time to visit, bringing mild weather and unbridled access to the park with no crowds. 

🏜 Hike into a desert paradise: The fragrant, scenic hikes of Saguaro are idyllic in the mild Arizona winter. Embark on the 3.8-mile Loma Verde Loop Trail to see unique wildlife and an abandoned gold mine. Or, take the Bridal Wreath Falls Trail to see flowing desert waterfalls. 

🌅 Admire a desert sunset: There’s something unforgettable about vivid winter sunsets in Saguaro. In the eastern Rincon Mountain District, summit the quick 0.5-mile Tanque Verde Ridge Trail, or park at the Javelina Rocks pull-out for a front-row seat to the sky show. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Trying to find the best cacti photoshoot spot in the park? Wander into the Valley View Overlook Trail, a meandering path that leads you into a thick brush lined with towering cacti. It will be relatively human-free as well in December.  

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hacienda del Sol (⭐️ 8.8) | Westward Look Wyndham (⭐️ 8.2)

39. Sedona, Arizona

🌡️ Average December temperature: 34°-59°F | 1°-15°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 3

Sedona, Arizona - Warm Weather December

☀️ Why visit in December: The enchanting desert town of Sedona is beloved for its scenic red-rock hikes, charming downtown, and esoteric spirit. While tourism here explodes in spring, the off-season of December is perfect for comfortable hikes, quieter tourist attractions, and more affordable prices.

📸 Have popular sites to yourself: Sedona’s magnificent nature is far from secret. But in December, you’ll have space at normally jam-packed landmarks. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, or take a Cathedral Rock Trail sunset hike. Don’t forget to snap your photo at the iconic Devil’s Bridge!

🍷 Take a winery tour: Welcome to wine country! Don’t miss the cozy, scenic wineries along the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Sample a Spanish variety at Winery 1912, enjoy Friday live music at Oak Creek Vineyards, and support sustainable winemaking at Clear Creek Vineyard.

🔥 Insider Tip: If you get lucky, you might catch a rare Sedona snowfall. Snowflakes turn the red rocks into a fairytale. So, dash over to the Crescent Moon Picnic Site for a breathtaking angle of Cathedral Rock dusted with snow!

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Sky Ranch Lodge (⭐️ 8.5) | Amara Resort & Spa (⭐️ 8.2)

38. Joshua Tree National Park, California

🌡️ Average December temperature: 37°-61°F | 3°-16°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 1

Joshua Tree National Park - Warm Places to Visit in December California

☀️ Why visit in December: Joshua Tree National Park is known for its exciting outdoor activities, Mars-esque landscapes, and crystal-clear stargazing. Come in December for solitude on the trails, comfortable weather for adventuring, and affordable nearby accommodations.   

🧗🏽‍♀️ Try crack climbing: Joshua Tree is a major rock climbing destination. First-timers are surprised by its smooth-domed rocks with crack grips. Bring a friend and challenge each other to a beginner crack climb. Try “Double Cross” at Hidden Valley Campground, or “Sail Away” in Real Hidden Valley.

🌿 Meander on a mellow trek: Sometimes, it’s nice to meander on a leisurely hike without exhausting yourself. The low-key, 1.5-mile Barker Dam features fascinating Indian petroglyphs. Alternatively, the 2.25-mile Split Rock Loop boats a magnificent split boulder with an adjoining cave to explore. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Take advantage of this Dark Sky territory with a night of stargazing. The east side of the park has the least amount of light pollution, so head for Cap Rock and get a one-of-a-kind snapshot of the Milky Way.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa (⭐️ 8.4) | L’Horizon Resort & Spa (⭐️ 8.7)

37. Death Valley National Park, California

🌡️ Average December temperature: 39°-66°F | 4°-19°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 0

The Dramatic Landscapes of Death Valley National Park in California - One of the Top Vacation Spots in the US

☀️ Why visit in December: The vast landscapes of Death Valley National Park offer epic recreation, scenic drives, and out-of-this-world experiences. As one of the best warm places to go in December, this remote park features virtually no crowds, perfect for exploring in peace. 

🏜 Witness a desert waterfall mirage: Talk about a rare sight! Darwin Falls is one of the only year-round waterfalls in Death Valley. Embark on the 2-mile moderate hike to see this remarkable fall, which cascades into a shallow pool surrounded by lush vegetation. 

🏞 Get a mountaintop perspective: There are too many scenic views in the park to count. For an easy-to-reach-by-car vista, drive to Dante’s View, 5,500 feet up. This viewpoint offers sweeping vistas of the entire park. A bonus viewpoint is the Artists Palette drive.

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to see unusual topography with a funny backstory? Drive to see the Devil’s Golf Course. This eroded rock-salt formation is so jagged, an old guidebook described it like this: “Only the devil could play golf here.” 

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Inn at Death Valley (⭐️ 8.3) | The Ranch At Death Valley (⭐️ 7.5)

36. Los Angeles, California

🌡️ Average December temperature: 48°-68°F | 9°-20°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 3

Buildings, Highways, and Palm Trees in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles – one of the warmest US cities in December

☀️ Why visit in December: There’s so much more to Los Angeles than just Hollywood glamor. This dynamic cultural hub offers boardwalk fun, pleasant weather, and endless entertainment in December, without the peak crowds and prices of summertime. 

🎸 Attend a world-class concert: Los Angeles has an undeniably impressive music scene. Some of the finest venues and concert halls are here, so attend a majestic orchestra performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Novo. Or, enjoy an electric indie show at the 1920s Fonda Theatre. 

🌳 Meet ancient trees: Want to experience something unforgettable? Visit the fairytale 123 Farm. This historic farm houses acres of lavender, a century-old olive grove, and ancient oaks, which will be glowing with a million lights in December. Make s’mores, take a carriage ride, and eat in the gingerbread house!

🔥 Insider Tip: Getting overwhelmed by the electricity of Los Angeles? The perfect escape is waiting for you. Tucked away is the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. Wander through the labyrinth, meditate in the garden, and recharge.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Freehand Los Angeles (⭐️ 8.3) | Hilton Universal City (⭐️ 8.5)

35. Las Vegas, Nevada

🌡️ Average December temperature: 27°-59°F | -3°-15°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 1

Las Vegas, Nevada - Warm Places in December USA
Las Vegas, Nevada – one of the best hot December destinations

☀️ Why visit in December: The electric city of Las Vegas is perfect for fans of all-night fun, world-class entertainment, and epic festivals. As one of the best warm places to travel in December in USA, Vegas offers lively holiday festivities and affordable prices.

🎄 Make some Christmas magic: Vegas might as well be the North Pole in December, with holiday cheer in full supply. Go ice skating at Enchant Christmas, and wander through the festively decorated Bellagio Conservatory. Don’t miss the mesmerizing Parade of Lights on Lake Mead!

Follow the illuminated path: Vegas holiday activities are endless. Experience a winter wonderland with sparkling lights and tasty food at the Magical Forest, or at the Festival of Lights with its extensive lights displays. Then, cruise through the enchanting Motor Speedway lights tunnel.

🔥 Insider Tip: If you haven’t had your fill of light shows yet, you’ll want to head straight for ‘Akhob’. This secret art installation, hidden on the 4th floor of a Louis Vuitton store, immerses you in a soothing bath of changing colors.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Desert Club Resort (⭐️ 8.9) | Hilton Grand Vacations Suites (⭐️ 8.9)

34. San Diego, California

🌡️ Average December temperature: 50°-66°F | 10°-19°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

San Diego in California - February Beach Vacations

☀️ Why visit in December: The coastal city of San Diego is a beach oasis with idyllic year-round weather and an electric culture that adventure seekers will love. In December, the more affordable prices and mild weather for outdoor activities are unbeatable. 

🏝 Get out on the water: It’s special to be able to comfortably boat in the wintertime, so take this opportunity. Rent a kayak and explore the La Jolla sea caves, go on a guided harbor cruise featuring sea lions, and ride a quirky HydroBike in Mission Bay. 

💃🏽 Dance until your feet hurt: San Diego never stops moving, so join the party! Country fans will be excited to jump around at the annual Wild Horses Festival. Likewise, those who want to practice their skills can join the dance floor at the annual Tango Festival. 

🔥 Insider Tip: If you’re a solo traveler looking to meet new people, get involved in the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl in downtown San Diego. Wear your worst Christmas getup and have fun visiting different bars with new friends!

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Manchester Grand Hyatt (⭐️ 8.7) | InterContinental (⭐️ 8.8)

Read more: 51 Most Tropical Places in the USA

33. Phoenix, Arizona

🌡️ Average December temperature: 45°-68°F | 7°-20°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 2

Phoenix, Arizona - Places Warm in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Phoenix is a desert destination with ample luxury activities and outdoor recreation. It’s also an incredible sunny holiday in December that serves up mild weather and vibrant creative festivals for a memorable getaway.

🧿 Surround yourself with creators: Creative souls and lovers of handmade goods will adore the annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts. Browse creations from local artists, grab a handmade gift, and sample mouthwatering snacks from various food trucks as live music sets an inspiring ambiance.

💃🏾 Immerse in Southwestern culture: There’s always an exciting cultural event happening in Phoenix. In December, imagine yourself living in a tiny home at the TinyFest Southwest, dance all afternoon at the Zona Music Festival, or honor the indigenous with a visit to the Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Market. 

🔥 Insider Tip: If all those festivals weren’t enough, here’s one more: the Fabulous Holiday Art & Crafts Festival kicks off in December on Ahwatukee Plaza. This is the perfect pitstop for finding holiday gifts, beautifully handmade by local artisans.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Royal Palms Resort and Spa (⭐️ 8.8) | The Phoenician (⭐️ 9.2)

32. Palm Springs, California

🌡️ Average December temperature: 45°-70°F | 7°-21°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 1

Palm Springs in California - Hot Locations in February

☀️ Why visit in December: The desert oasis of Palm Springs is beloved for its iconic mid-century modern architecture, stunning mountain landscapes, and luxury-leisure activities. December is an excellent month to visit for warm weather, great prices, and pleasant outdoor recreation. 

🏞 Soar through a canyon: Palm Springs is immersed in beautiful desert and mountain landscapes to explore. Go for an Araby Trail hike, or see nature from the sky! Ride the Aerial Tramway through the breathtaking Chino Canyon on a 2-mile trek through the clouds.

🥘 Feast on tamales: The world’s biggest tamale festival happens right here. In early December, head to Miles Avenue Park for the Indio International Tamale Festival. It’s your chance to eat authentic tamales, enjoy live Latin musicians, and shop around the open-air market.

🔥 Insider Tip: There’s no better representation of the city’s eclectic personality than the Palm Springs Vintage Market. The event only happens a few times a year, so visit this large open-air market to browse retro and vintage cars, furniture, clothes, and more.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage (⭐️ 8.6) | Kimpton Rowan (⭐️ 8.7)

31. Newport Beach, California

🌡️ Average December temperature: 48°-64°F | 9°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 3

Newport Beach, California - Warmest Places in December USA
Newport Beach, California – one of the best warm states in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Newport Beach is a laid-back oceanfront city with a luxurious flair, offering everything from yachting and boutique shopping to relaxing in the sand. December is a great time to enjoy mild days on the beach and festive winter celebrations.

⛵️ Witness a parade of yachts: Perhaps Newport Beach’s most tantalizing Christmas celebration is a 100-year-old tradition: the Christmas Boat Parade. Get cozy on Newport Harbor and watch as a magical display of decorated yachts, kayaks, and motorboats parade across the water.

🎸 Support local with a winter stroll: Now’s your chance to support a beautiful local community. Join the annual Christmas Walk event, celebrating all-things Corona del Mar. Catch live local musicians, shop for gifts, and savor tasty foods from the neighborhood’s best eateries. 

🔥 Insider Tip: You know that Christmas Boat Parade? Just before it kicks off, make your way to Balboa Boulevard to browse the Creative Communal Holiday Market. This pop-up features the best local crafts and goodies in the city, so don’t hold back.

🌴 TROPICAL PLACES TO STAY: Balboa Bay Resort (⭐️ 8.8) | Doryman’s Oceanfront (⭐️ 8.7)

🏞 Warm Places in December in USA — Central US

30. Jackson, Mississippi

🌡️ Average December temperature: 39°-59°F | 4°-15°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 7

Jackson, Mississippi - Hot Cities in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Jackson, the “city with soul”, is an exciting modern destination brimming with a rich cultural heritage that will captivate history buffs, leisure travelers, and curious minds. Visit in December for mild weather, virtually no other tourists, and excellent prices.

🏙 Get a taste of modern living: You might not think of historic Jackson as cutting-edge, but it’s definitely up to speed with the 21st century. Get a taste of this in the gorgeously curated District at Eastover. Peruse its upscale stores, walk the courtyards, and admire this sleek living center.

🏛 Discover a soulful history: Jackson was at the crux of so many important moments in US History. Take a docent tour at the stately Mississippi State Capitol, historic Eudora Welty House & Gardens, and AG History Museum homestead to piece this complex history together. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Calling all writers and literature lovers! The Mississippi Writer’s Room is hidden away in the Eudora Welty Library. Step inside to discover some of the area’s most important writers and literary moments throughout history.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Westin Jackson (⭐️ 8.9) | Old Capitol Inn (⭐️ 9.1)

29. Castroville, Texas

🌡️ Average December temperature: 43°-66°F | 6°-19°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 2

Castroville, Texas - America Weather in December
Castroville, Texas – the best warm place to visit in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Venture off the beaten path to Castroville, a hidden Texan gem where natural beauty, warm locals, and enchanting Alsatian culture come together. December is an idyllic time to tour its scenic neighborhoods, explore nature, and visit local attractions without crowds.

🔮 Admire fairytale architecture: What makes Castroville so unique is its Alsace influences, reflected in the storybook Alsatian architecture around town. Take a visit to the St. Louis Catholic Church. Then, admire the half-timbered Steinbach Haus Visitors Center and Haby’s Bakery. Or, simply stroll through the residential neighborhoods.

🥘 Feast on fusion cuisines: Castroville’s food scene will surprise you at every turn, from tasty Tex-Mex to sumptuous Alsatian delicacies. Enjoy tacos at Taqueria Jalisco or Andrea’s. For French flavors, try the Alsatian sandwich at Castroville Cafe, or creamy pastries at Haby’s Alsatian Bakery. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Castroville is all for an old-fashioned Christmas. The first weekend in December, you can catch its traditional tree lighting and carolers along Houston Square. It’s a great way to get involved with this tight-knit local community.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hillside Boutique Hotel (⭐️ 8.8)

28. New Orleans, Louisiana

🌡️ Average December temperature: 46°-64°F | 8°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 6

New Orleans in Louisiana - Hot Climates in February

☀️ Why visit in December: New Orleans is a lively city with a bold personality, first-class live jazz scene, and a rich Creole-Cajun cultural heritage. It’s also one of the warmest places in December, boasting fewer crowds and mild days for comfortable outdoor festivities.

🎨 Watch architecture become art: There’s nothing quite like the Luna Fete. This Arts New Orleans-hosted event blends contemporary art with the city’s historic architecture. Be in awe as light and motion projections transform iconic buildings into works of art after dark. 

🍢 Join a bonfire tradition: The mysterious lore of New Orleans lives on in its Cajun holiday tradition: Christmas Eve bonfires on the levee. At dusk, these tree-shaped bonfires blaze along the water, welcoming “Papa Noel” into town. Get even closer with a Bonfire Express coach tour.

🔥 Insider Tip: Need an escape from city life? Find some peace and quiet in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. This space brings nature and sculpture together seamlessly, so take a moment to yourself and just wander.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Westin New Orleans (⭐️ 8.8) | Courtyard by Marriott (⭐️ 8.7)

27. San Antonio & Texas Hill Country, Texas

🌡️ Average December temperature: 41°-64°F | 5°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

San Antonio, Texas - Hot Climate in December

☀️ Why visit in December: San Antonio is a cultural hub boasting UNESCO heritage, scenic riverside neighborhoods, and beautiful colonial architecture. December in Texas Hill Country offers the best weather of the year, plus exciting holiday festivals for the books.

☃️ Let it snow in San Antonio: You’re just in time for Winterfest San Antonio. Don’t miss this family-friendly event, complete with 50,000 pounds of artificial snow. Check out the carnival, do some holiday shopping at local artisan booths, and enjoy tasty street food. 

⛵️ Sail down a glowing river: The bustling River Walk is a joy year-round. But in December, it transforms into an enchanting fairytale, with 100,000 Christmas lights framing the neighborhood. Hop on a GO RIO boat tour to experience the magic in full. 

🔥 Insider Tip: If you want to venture into Texas Hill Country for something quirky, visit Gruene. Rumor has it, Cowboy Kringle can be spotted riding around on his horse. Stop him for a photo, then peruse local vendors at Christmas Market Days.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: JW Marriott Resort & Spa (⭐️ 8.6) | Marriott Rivercenter (⭐️ 8.5)

26. Galveston, Texas

🌡️ Average December temperature: 52°-64°F | 11°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 6

Palm Trees and Buildings in Galveston, Texas

☀️ Why visit in December: The charming Gulf Coast town of Galveston is a warm beach destination with epic boardwalk entertainment, coastal activities, and beautiful Victorian charm. December is an affordable time to enjoy warm weather, seaside strolls, and interesting historic tours.

🗿 Travel to another century: The Victorian Era has a strong presence here. Step back in time at the elegant Moody Mansion Museum, with a guided tour of its halls. Definitely catch the annual Dickens on the Strand, an immersive festival for all-things 19th Century Victorian London. 

🏝 Get active on the Gulf: In Galveston, winter doesn’t mean staying indoors. Mild days allow for outdoor adventures, so go fishing at Galveston Fishing Pier, birding in East End Lagoon Nature Preserve, or simply walk along the sand near the vibrant Pleasure Pier. 

🔥 Insider Tip: As an old city with an affinity for legends, Galveston is brimming with spooky stories and local haunts. Take a haunted cemetery ghost tour, or take matters into your own hands and visit the spooky Bishop’s Palace or the Hotel Galvez.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: San Luis Resort Spa (⭐️ 8.6) | Ocean House Hostel (⭐️ 8.4)

Read more: 35+ Best Hidden Vacation Spots in the US

25. Port Aransas, Texas

🌡️ Average December temperature: 54°-66°F | 12°-19°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

Port Aransas in Texas

☀️ Why visit in December: Port Aransas is a stunning coastal destination with over 18 miles of dreamy sand beaches, scenic outdoor adventures, and unique wildlife spotting opportunities. Visitors can enjoy great deals, mild weather, and less crowds in the low season of December.

🌅 Ride off into the sunset: The beautiful white sand beaches of Mustang Island are a joy year-round, but in wintertime the beach sunsets are unbeatable. Get a special perspective of the setting sun with a horseback riding tour along the shoreline.

🎨 Admire Texan art: Port Aransas has an impressive creative arts scene. Take a visit to the Port Aransas Art Center to see stunning contemporary paintings. Or, check out the Port A Glass Studio & Art Gallery and Mustang Island Art Gallery to see local artistry in action. 

🔥 Insider Tip: If you want to venture to a hidden spot with a view, take a short hike up to the white Chapel on the Dunes. This tiny chapel with unusual interior frescoes is the oldest church on Mustang Island.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Amelia’s Landing (⭐️ 8.5) | Ocean’s Edge Hotel (⭐️ 8.4)

24. Dallas, Texas

🌡️ Average December temperature: 39°-59°F | 4°-15°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

Dallas, Texas - Best Holiday Weather December

☀️ Why visit in December: The diverse metropolitan mecca of Dallas boasts an amazing variety of cuisines, world-class museum institutions, and a never-ending roster of cool events. In winter there are exciting festivals, no crowds, and mild weather, making Dallas one of the best warm vacations in December.

🎅🏼 March with the holiday parade: Take to the streets of Downtown Dallas for the epic Holiday Parade, where nearly half a million locals come to watch holiday-themed floats, balloons, and costumed characters. Wave at Santa, then stop at a food truck for a snack.

🎄 Have an enchanted Christmas: You’ve never seen anything like Enchant Christmas in Dallas. This multisensory holiday experience is the largest of its kind. Navigate the light maze adventure, shop and eat in Christmas Village, and go ice skating under the magical glow.

🔥 Insider Tip: The holiday fun rages on in Grapevine, just 20 minutes from Dallas. Dubbed the “Christmas Capital of Texas”, Grapevine hosts a 40-day Christmas jamboree. Attend live shows, interactive experiences, and view light displays as you eat tasty holiday treats.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: HALL Arts Hotel (⭐️ 8.7) | The Joule (⭐️ 8.7)

23. Austin, Texas

🌡️ Average December temperature: 43°-63°F | 6°-17°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 5

The City of Austin in Texas, One of the Warm Winter Places in USA
Austin, Texas – one of the best places that are hot in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Welcome to Austin, a sunny, blue-skied city with a top-notch live music scene, beautiful urban parks, and a creative spirit that culture seekers and nature lovers will adore. Visit in December for no crowds, travel discounts, and exciting holiday festivities. 

🧿 Shop at a holiday bazaar: You won’t run out of holiday shopping and entertainment in Austin. Attend the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar to admire fine art, shop for gifts from local artisans, and enjoy live musicians. Or, appreciate local Black artisanry at the Kwanzaa Kwanzaa Ujamaa Marketplace.

🎄 Bask in festive vibes: You’re never far from a little Christmas magic here! Take a drive down the mile-long Peppermint Parkway lights tunnel, or see it on foot through the illuminated Downtown Holiday Stroll. But that’s not all! Don’t miss the Austin Trail of Lights tunnels either.

🔥 Insider Tip: Interested in a little adult-friendly Christmas fun? The Miracle on 5th Street is a cute Christmas pop-up cocktail bar serving up holiday cocktails in a cheery setting.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hyatt Regency Austin (⭐️ 8.7) | East Austin Hotel (⭐️ 8.6)

🌿 Warmest Places in the US in December — East

22. Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

🌡️ Average December temperature: 48°-61°F | 9°-16°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 7

Daufuskie Island in South Carolina

☀️ Why visit in December: The unspoiled Daufuskie Island is a stunning destination brimming with pristine seashores, serene maritime forests, and undisturbed historic gems to experience. Travelers looking for total solitude in nature will love visiting in December.

🌿 Trek into the wild: Immerse yourself in the pristine forested trails and maritime landscapes of Daufuskie. Explore Bloody Point, Oak Ridge, and the untouched 3-mile beach on foot. December is the perfect time to visit this empty beach to ride horses or beachcomb for treasures.

🧿 Uncover Gullah history: The island holds a fascinating African-Gullah culture, with its own distinct language, traditions, and food. Learn more at the Bloody Point Lighthouse Museum, preserved heritage sites in the Historic District, or on a historic walking tour.  

🔥 Insider Tip: Swing by D’fuskie’s Store & Eatery for a super cool picnic spot with great water views. Grab a made-to-order sandwich or morsel from their on-site pub and enjoy lunch from the charming porch.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Omni Oceanfront Resort (⭐️ 8.6) | Sonesta Resort (⭐️ 8.2)

21. Key West, Florida

🌡️ Average December temperature: 70°-77°F | 21°-25°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 3

Key West, Florida - Warm Places December
Key West – home to some of the best warm beaches in December in USA

☀️ Why visit in December: The island paradise of Key West offers unspoiled beaches, turquoise-blue waters, and ample outdoor recreation in a romantic setting. There’s nothing better than escaping the cold in Key West, with warm ocean water and local festivities in full swing.

🎸 Jam out by the beach: To celebrate the end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, the island comes alive with the Coast is Clear Music & Arts Festival. This fest boasts an impressive lineup of musicians, so jam out at one of the Fort East Martello live shows or other local haunts.

🐠 Dive into the colorful sea: December is one of the best months to venture into Key West’s underwater world, with calmer seas and ideal temperatures. Admire coral reefs and tropical fish off Higgs Beach, or dive to spot turtles in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  

🔥 Insider Tip: Looking for an underrated spot for a vacation photoshoot? The Key West Garden Club is a hidden gem. This picturesque garden offers a backdrop of lush foliage, vibrant flowers, winding pathways, and a historic tower.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Santa Maria Suites (⭐️ 9.3) | Oceans Edge Key West (⭐️ 8.7)

Read more: 24 Prettiest White Sand Beaches in the US

20. Gulf Shores, Alabama

🌡️ Average December temperature: 46°-64°F | 8°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 5

Gulf Shores Public Beach in Alabama

☀️ Why visit in December: The white-sand oasis of Gulf Shores is home to pristine beaches, world-class golfing, and a thriving seafood scene. In December, snowbirds can take advantage of mild, dry weather, quiet beachfront attractions, and top restaurants with no wait times.

🌊 Explore a seaside park: Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores highlights the best of the area’s wildlife and coastal scenery. Paddleboarding or kayaking on Lake Shelby is a great way to spend a pleasant December day. You can also enjoy a picnic along the beach pavilion!

🦞 Score the state’s best seafood: Don’t miss the world’s freshest seafood. You can snag reservations to top restaurants easily in December. For casual seafood with beautiful Gulf views, try Sea N Suds or Bahama Bob’s. Want something upscale? Get reservations at Pier House overlooking the ocean. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to splurge on an immersive experience you can’t have elsewhere? Grab tickets to a Christmas Murder Mystery Show, where an acting troupe will bring you into the mystery while you enjoy a full dinner service.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: The Lodge at Gulf State Park (⭐️ 8.9) | Hotel Indigo (⭐️ 8.8)

19. Savannah, Georgia

🌡️ Average December temperature: 45°-64°F | 7°-18°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 6

Savannah, Georgia - Places Hot in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Step into a mossy fairytale in Savannah, a seaside city bursting with historic charm, a soulful culture, and unforgettable experiences. With mild days and no crowds, Savannah is one of the most incredible warm vacation spots in December in the USA.

🗿 Step into living history: Savannah’s famous for its fascinating historic houses with powerful stories. In December, tour these decorated estates, like Andrew Low House and Owens-Thomas House, and learn about their complex pasts. The Davenport House Museum shouldn’t be missed, either.

🌹 Stroll through magical gardens: With comfortable weather for outdoor activities, you’ll appreciate strolling around the beautiful Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Wander the lush paths of this 51-acre garden to admire colorful flowers, old trees, and thousands of holiday lights. It’s certainly a tranquil escape. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Did you know Savannah is hip to the Roaring 20’s? Head straight for the Prohibition Museum to learn about the history of this crazy period. Ask for the secret password to their speakeasy, Congress Up Speak, and enjoy a classy cocktail.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: DoubleTree Historic Savannah (⭐️ 8.7) | The Marshall House (⭐️ 9.3)

18. Outer Banks, North Carolina

🌡️ Average December temperature: 43°-59°F | 6°-15°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 8

Seaside Houses and the Beach at Outer Banks, North Carolina

☀️ Why visit in December: The pristine sandy beaches and charming historic towns of the Outer Banks are idyllic for nature lovers seeking a scenic, rejuvenating getaway. December’s off-season brings empty beaches, peaceful exploration, and easy access to local attractions. 

🐚 Unbury beach treasures: Always dreamt of having unbridled access to the endless miles of Outer Banks beaches? December is the time! Stroll down the stunning Cape Hatteras National Seashore or Avon Beach, and comb the sand for colorful scallop shells, sea glass, and fulgurite. 

🌿 Immerse into the wild: Outer Banks locals treasure their amazing wildlife population, and in December, you can too! Join in on the annual Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival to hear interesting keynotes, embark on birding expeditions, and enjoy natural history activities along the national seashore. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to capture a unique Outer Banks perspective? While everyone’s taking photos at the national seashore, head to the enchanting Jockney’s Ridge State Park sand dunes. The rich changing textures of the sand dunes make for magical photoshoots at sunset.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: White Doe Inn Bed & Breakfast (⭐️ 9.5) | Hilton Garden Inn (⭐️ 8.4)

17. Boca Raton, Florida

🌡️ Average December temperature: 61°-79°F | 16°-26°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 5

Boca Raton, Florida - Hot Weather December
Boca Raton, Florida – the warmest place in Florida in December

☀️ Why visit in December: The gorgeous beach town of Boca Raton is brimming with laidback leisure, upscale shopping, and a creative cultural flair. As one of the greatest hot destinations in December, visitors can savor warm beach weather with no need to beat crowds.

🏝 Take a winter dip: Snowbirds love Boca Raton for a reason! Even in December, temperatures stay warm, and ocean water averages around 70°F (21°C). Savor comfortable paddleboarding, surfing, and swimming at South Beach Park or Spanish River. These spots are normally swamped in high season. 

🎨 Be wowed by the arts: Who would’ve guessed it? Boca Raton has an impressive creative side. Don’t miss a visit to the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Or, acquire a unique art piece at Rosenbaum Contemporary. You can also catch a performance at Mizner Park Amphitheater or Wick Theatre.

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to truly blend in like a local? Refer to the town as “Boca”, and never “Boca Raton”. If you use its full name, you’ll give yourself away as a tourist.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hampton Inn (⭐️ 8.6) | Marriott at Boca Center (⭐️ 8.3)

16. Charleston, South Carolina

🌡️ Average December temperature: 46°-61°F | 8°-16°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 6

Charleston in South Carolina - Warm US Places to Visit in February

☀️ Why visit in December: Charleston is a charming seaside city with iconic architecture, rich cultural heritage, and a timelessly warm culture. If you’re looking for sweet hotel discounts, light crowds, and memorable holiday festivities, December is the month to visit.

🥘 Savor southern delicacies: You could dedicate an entire Charleston trip solely to its mouthwatering cuisine. Enjoy southern cooking with an upscale twist at Virginia’s on King or Magnolias. Or, savor the world’s best soul food at Rodney Scott’s BBQ and Bertha’s Kitchen. 

🎄 Bask in festivities: This city doesn’t mess around with its month-long Christmas in Charleston. There’s so much magic to experience, from the Festival of Lights in James Island County Park to Holiday Walking Tours. Or, catch Christmas exhibits at historic homes like Aiken-Rhett House.

🔥 Insider Tip: Charleston is home to North America’s only tea garden: the Charleston Tea Garden! This 127-acre tea plantation looks like a fairytale year-round. Take the fascinating 45-minute trolley tour, then purchase homegrown teas from their tea shop.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Indigo Charleston (⭐️ 8.5) | Andrew Pinckney Inn (⭐️ 9.0)

15. Dauphin Island, Alabama

🌡️ Average December temperature: 48°-61°F | 9°-16°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 6

Dauphin Island, Alabama - Best Weather December Holiday

☀️ Why visit in December: Dauphin Island is one of the Gulf Coast’s best-kept secrets, with pristine white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and a laid-back pace. You’ll have the whole island to yourself in December; perfect for peaceful beach strolls and unbridled access to the charming local culture.

🐢 See local creatures up close: The island is home to incredible biodiversity, with wildlife you can see and learn about up-close at the Sea Lab Estuarium. This research and education center features alligators, turtles, crabs, rays, and more in their natural habitats.

🌳 Experience Dauphin living: With 1,000 residents, Dauphin has an intimate personality you can really get to know in December. Uncover local history at Indian Shell Mound Park, picnic at Cadillac Square, and chat with locals at Skinner’s Seafood or Lighthouse Bakery.

🔥 Insider Tip: Winter is an unparalleled time for birding. Watch for the “storm fallout”, where hundreds of birds drop down to land in the vegetation. Experience this phenomenon and you might even see 20 different species of warbler!

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: A Wave From it All Beach Resort (⭐️ 8.9)

14. St. Augustine, Florida

🌡️ Average December temperature: 52°-68°F | 11°-20°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 7

St. Augustine in Florida - Hot Places February

☀️ Why visit in December: St. Augustine is a sunny destination of captivating colonial history, slow-paced Latin vibes, and pristine beaches. As one of the warmest places in Florida in December, it offers great winter vacation deals and magical holiday festivities.

Follow a trail of lights: A St. Augustine Christmas is memorably enchanting, with festivities like Night of Lights. Follow this magical trail of twinkling lights along the Bridge of Lions, and down 20 blocks of the Historic District. Or, see themed Christmas trees at Lighthouse Illuminations.

🏝 Mount a scenic lighthouse: The historic black-and-white striped St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is an incredible experience. Witness panoramic views of Anastasia Island from the top. Then, enjoy learning about its 500-year-old seafaring history at the museum. They even offer ghost tours!

🔥 Insider Tip: Fort Mose Historic State Park is an underrated park filled with captivating American history. This was the site of the US’s first legally sanctioned free African settlement. Discover this freed-slave safe haven, with interpretive exhibits and walking trails.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Penny Farthing Inn (⭐️ 9.3) | Sebastian Hotel (⭐️ 8.7)

Read more: 40+ Best East Coast Vacation Spots in the US

13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

🌡️ Average December temperature: 37°-59°F | 3°-15°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 6

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - Best Weather December

☀️ Why visit in December: Sunny Myrtle Beach is chock-full of family fun, oceanfront activities, and one-of-a-kind museums. December is the perfect time to enjoy discounted holiday shopping, quirky indoor attractions, and pleasant beach strolls with no crowds.  

🌹 Wander glowing gardens: The beach in December makes for serene strolls, but so does lesser-visited Pawleys Island. Wander through its lush Brookgreen Gardens, forested by great mossy oaks. At night, admire the glow of thousands of candles and holiday lights illuminating the park.

🛍️ Holiday shop for cheap: Not only are you saving money on December hotel prices, but you’ll also save on gift shopping in this outlet store mecca. Have fun browsing dozens of shops along the Grand Stand or the Tanger Outlets to snag crazy-good holiday deals. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to see something unexpected near Myrtle Beach? Embark into Huntington Beach State Park to find Antalya’s Castle, the once-winter home of philanthropist Archer Huntington. This strange place looks more like a Spanish Fort than a vacation home!

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Ocean Enclave by Hilton (⭐️ 9.3) | South Bay Inn & Suites (⭐️ 8.9)

12. Miami, Florida

🌡️ Average December temperature: 66°-75°F | 19°-24°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

Palm Trees and Buildings in Miami, Florida

☀️ Why visit in December: The lively and multicultural Miami is a seaside gem with stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and unique cultural attractions. December in Miami is full of excitement, with world-famous events, festivities, and beachside fun happening all month long.  

🎨 Experience world-class design: You’re just in time for the world’s most prestigious design forum: Design Miami. International design galleries from around the world host exhibitions at various local galleries for visitors to attend. Catch the Art Basel Miami kick-off event to get involved.

💃🏽 Dance the night away: Some destinations may go to sleep in December, but not Miami! The nightlife opportunities here are never-ending. Try a unique rooftop experience at Hookah Exotix, or food, cocktails, and dancing at Voodoo Lounge. Don’t miss a fiery flamenco show at Mango’s Tropical Cafe, either!

🔥 Insider Tip: Looking for a quirky way to get around the city? Take a ride on the metromover, a free mass-automated train that carries you over Downtown and Brickell. You can stop off at Bayfront Park, College North, and the Financial District.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Loews Miami Beach (⭐️ 8.6) | Four Seasons Miami (⭐️ 9.0)

11. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

🌡️ Average December temperature: 41°-63°F | 5°-17°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 7

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina - Warmest Places in January USA
Hilton Head Island – one of the best hot places to visit in December in USA

☀️ Why visit in December: The outdoor paradise of Hilton Head Island offers world-class golfing, incredible seafood, and sandy beach adventures. In December, the island boasts mild weather for fun recreation activities, active wildlife, and room to explore the island crowd-free.

🐬 Spot island wildlife: The island’s maritime forests and waterways come alive in wintertime. See white-tailed deer and migratory ducks in Sea Pines Forest, or dolphins off South Beach. Catch a rare glimpse of the great horned owl and other migratory birds around Fish Haul Creek beach.

🚴🏾‍♀️ Venture out on two wheels: With over 50 miles of extensive trails, there’s nothing better than exploring the entire island on a bicycle. Cruise along the modern boardwalk path of Coligny Beach Park. Or, roam Harbour Town and the Forest Preserve along the scenic 15-mile Sea Pines Bike Trail.

🔥 Insider Tip: While dogs aren’t allowed on the beaches in spring or summer, they’re welcome to play in the sand in December. So bring your dog to frolic along the ocean.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Omni Oceanfront Resort (⭐️ 8.6) | Sonesta Resort (⭐️ 8.2)

10. Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida

🌡️ Average December temperature: 57°-77°F | 14°-25°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 3

Captiva Island in Florida, One of the Best Winter Vacations United States

☀️ Why visit in December: The romantic islands of Sanibel and Captiva offer an idyllic blend of laidback leisure and epic outdoor adventures, with some of the state’s most beautiful beaches. December offers the best beach weather of the year, perfect for watersports and sunning.

🐊 Ride a tram into the wild: Wildlife will be more active than ever in December. Embark on a guided tram tour with a naturalist into the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge to get up close with the area’s special creatures. Spot native birds, alligators, manatees, and more. 

🐚 Become a seashell expert: If you’ve never given much thought to seashells before, now’s the time. The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is dedicated to all things shells. Learn all about the natural history of these unique objects, their environment, and the animals that create them. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Looking for a serene, spiritual place to escape to? Most tourists don’t know about the quaint Captiva Chapel By the Sea. This small church is a welcoming place to reflect and connect in a peaceful setting.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: West Wind Inn (⭐️ 8.6) | Sanibel Inn (⭐️ 8.4)

9. Orlando, Florida

🌡️ Average December temperature: 55°-75°F | 13°-24°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

Orlando in Florida - Where Is Warm in February

☀️ Why visit in December: Known as the Theme Park Capital of the World, Orlando is brimming with family-fun entertainment and sunny outdoor activities. In December, this affordable leisurely getaway offers endless holiday-themed events and idyllically warm, dry weather for exploring nature comfortably.  

🎄 Attend Mickey’s party: Disney World is magical year-round, but there’s something extra-special about Christmas here. Party with fireworks and live shows at Mickey’s Christmas Party. Or, honor fascinating international holiday traditions with unique foods and performances at the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.

🏞 Explore a wintertime paradise: Not many places in the US offer this kind of sunny, warm winter weather. Take advantage by hitting the 3-mile Orlando Urban Trail to enjoy beautiful lake views. Or, explore the emerald water from a kayak in lush Wekiwa Springs State Park. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Interested in architecture-designed gardens? Bok Tower Gardens is a breathtaking, off-the-beaten-track attraction an hour from Orlando. Birdwatchers won’t want to miss this. Its art-deco tower and gardens are home to 126 species of native Floridian birds!

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Universal’s Cabana Bay (⭐️ 8.7) | Grove Resort & Water Park (⭐️ 8.6)

🏝 Warm Weather in December in USA — US Territories

8. St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

🌡️ Average December temperature: 75°-84°F | 24°-29°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 11

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands - December Hot Holidays
St. Thomas – home to some of the warmest US beaches in December

☀️ Why visit in December: St Thomas, the shopping capital of the Caribbean, is a beautiful getaway made of pristine white beaches, turquoise waters, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors looking for summer-like beach weather and an active local scene will appreciate the buzz of December.

🐠 Snorkel in crystal blue waters: St. Thomas is home to some of the most magical snorkeling spots on earth. Dive beneath the surface of the warm clear waters at Secret Harbour, a quiet, small, and family-friendly beach. Then, swim alongside green sea turtles in Brewers Bay!

🚠 Ride into the sky: For a unique bucket-list experience, get whisked away into the clouds on the Skyride. Ride this cable car 700-feet up to the observation deck overlooking the picturesque harbor. Sip on a frozen daiquiri and drink in panoramic views.

🔥 Insider Tip: Ever heard of Banana Daiquiris? They were invented right here at the Mountain Top Bar. Swing by to get a taste of this famous drink, made with local Cruzan Rum, sugar cane, ripe bananas from a nearby grove, and lime juice.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Casa Cielo (⭐️ 9.2) | The Breeze Boutique Villa (⭐️ 8.4)

Read more: 37 Epic Places to Travel to Without a Passport

7. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

🌡️ Average December temperature: 68°-79°F | 20°-26°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 14

St. John Island in US Virgin Islands

☀️ Why visit in December: Outdoor enthusiasts, deep-sea explorers, and history buffs will find their paradise in the tropical St. John island. As one of the best warm places to visit in December without a passport, St. John offers sunny winter days with no crowds and peaceful outdoor recreation. 

🌿 Follow scenic coastal trails: St. John is home to Virgin Islands National Park, with 30 breathtaking hiking trails. Climb grassy Peace Hill featuring a sugar mill tower ruin, meander through the Francis Bay Trail mangroves, or hike Lind Point Trail for scenic overlooks and a white beach.

🐠 Swim to an underwater planet: The oceanic habitats of St. John are pristinely preserved for you to witness up close. Experience relaxing shallow-water snorkeling off Waterlemon Cay. Or, dive to see dramatic corals at Haulover and colorful reef fish at Henley Cay. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to take some epic sunrise or moonrise photography? There’s no better spot on the island than the Ram Head overview. You can reach this point by taking the 2.3-mile Ram Head Trail via the Salt Pond Trail.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Gallows Point Resort (⭐️ 9.3) | Estate Lindholm (⭐️ 9.5)

6. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

🌡️ Average December temperature: 72°-82°F | 22°-28°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 12

St. Croix in US Virgin Islands
St. Croix – one of the best warm places to visit in December outside US

☀️ Why visit in December: The US Virgin Islands oasis of St. Croix is known for its postcard-worthy beaches, incredible snorkeling, and colonial Danish landmarks. Dry season begins in December, bringing with it warm, sunny beach weather, and ample local cultural events.

🎉 Celebrate the Caribbean way: A historic festival with deep Caribbean roots takes place in Frederiksted every December: the Crucian Carnival. At Carnival Village, you’ll get a front-row seat to fascinating Crucian traditions, from food and craft fairs to processions of steel pan bands and fire dancers. 

🌊 Venture to the far east: St. Croix is home to the easternmost point in the US, Point Udall. Climb out on this rocky promontory overlooking the vast blue ocean. Visit at sunrise to admire the massive “Castle” and scenic views aglow with colorful morning light. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Want to escape the crowded beaches for something peaceful? Shoy Beach in Christiansted is a hidden gem in a gated community. Provide your name at the guard hut, and you’re in! Savor its privacy, crescent-shaped shores, and mangroves.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Caravelle Hotel (⭐️ 8.4) | Company House Hotel (⭐️ 8.8)

5. Maui, Hawaii

🌡️ Average December temperature: 57°-72°F | 14°-22°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

Maui, Hawaii - Warm Destinations December

☀️ Why visit in December: The tropical island of Maui is a lush oasis that surfers, beach goers, and luxury leisure-seekers from around the world flock to. This snowbird destination offers some of the best weather in December for a holiday, perfect for watersports and exploring its charming towns.

🏝 Saunter down a black-sand beach: To embark into a magical world, visit Wai’anapanapa State Park. Its unique geological features will blow you away. Stroll along the black sand beach, visit the blowhole or sea cave, and hike along its extensive scenic trails. 

🎄 See a sacred tree glow: The magnificent ancient banyan tree in Lahaina is a wonder to witness, especially in December. Visit the magical Banyan Court nightly to see it illuminated with holiday lights. Stroll along the glowing paths, and rest on a bench beneath the branches. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Have an affinity for heart-pumping adventure? The 64-mile-long Hana Highway switchbacking around the island is for you. Take a guided tour for stories and legends of the craggy cliffs, rainforests, waterfalls, and black sand beaches along the way.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Hyatt Regency Maui (⭐️ 8.6) | Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas (⭐️ 8.4)

4. Kauai, Hawaii

🌡️ Average December temperature: 66°-79°F | 19°-26°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 14

Kauai in Hawaii - Where Is Hot in February

☀️ Why visit in December: The romantic island of Kauai offers remote landscapes, sheer natural beauty, and a strong local presence that’s resilient to commercial tourism. Visit in December to take advantage of great winter deals, quiet beaches, and easy-to-book excursions.

🐳 Spot whales from a boat: It’s officially whale-watching season! Kauai offers some of the world’s best humpback whale migration viewing. Hop on a boat tour departing from the South Shore. Get your camera ready; you’re sure to see one of these gentle creatures resurfacing.

🌊 Let the lighthouse guide you: For rare wildlife viewing opportunities, get reservations at the Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge. Admire the picturesque white lighthouse and its surrounding ocean cliffs and tall grass habitats. This is a safe haven for Hawaiian seabirds, like the Laysan Albatross.

🔥 Insider Tip: Since this is the rainy season in Kauai, the South Shore makes for a slightly drier homebase. You’ll find calmer waves for swimming and surfing there. Sunny days make for great day trips to the North Shore, too.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Koloa Landing Resort (⭐️ 9.0) | Grand Hyatt Kauai (⭐️ 9.1)

3. Oahu, Hawaii

🌡️ Average December temperature: 66°-79°F | 19°-26°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 4

The Island of Oahu in Hawaii, One of the Best Winter Vacation Ideas USA

☀️ Why visit in December: Oahu is bursting with a vibrant urban culture, a variety of outdoor adventures, and convenient amenities for a well-rounded beach getaway. As one of the best hot holidays in December, Oahu offers warm days, bath-water ocean, and epic surf. 

🏄🏾‍♀️ Cheer on professional surfers: The waves are huge on the North Shore in December! Watching big wave surfing is a mesmerizing experience (meant for professionals). Attend the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition to watch experienced surfers ride waves up to 30 feet tall!

🗿 Support Polynesian culture: The marks of Native Hawaiian tradition and history are everywhere in Oahu. Learn more at the Polynesian Cultural Center living museum. Or, walk the halls of the historic Iolani Palace, once the royal residence of the Kingdom of Hawaii rulers. 

🔥 Insider Tip: Did you know the anniversary of Pearl Harbor falls on December 7th? Each year, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial holds a special event open to the public. Locals and visitors alike can gather at the memorial in solidarity.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Halekulani (⭐️ 9.2) | Four Seasons Resort Ko Olina (⭐️ 9.1)

2. Big Island, Hawaii

🌡️ Average December temperature: 68°-82°F | 20°-28°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 2

Big Island in Hawaii

☀️ Why visit in December: The Big Island is known for its impressive biodiversity, breathtaking volcanic landscapes, and colorful sandy beaches. Visitors can explore its array of natural wonders in December, including warm ocean water for swimming and epic crater hikes. 

🍍 Savor Hawaiian life: The Big Island allows visitors to experience authentic Hawaiian living. On Saturdays, visit the dreamy Keauhou Farmers Market in Kailua-Kona to browse booths adorned with tropical fruits and produce. Or, admire original works from resident artists at the Hawaii Nei Art Exhibition in Hilo.  

🌿 Go on a wild expedition: The Big Island’s diverse wilderness was made for lovers of adventure! You can literally do it all, from meandering along the black-sand Punalu’u Beach and climbing through the Thurston Lava Tube to backcountry hiking deep in the Waimanu Valley.

🔥 Insider Tip: Hawaii doesn’t have many secrets left, but the Big Island is large enough to maintain a few. Check out Waialea Bay, what locals lovingly call Beach 69, since it’s accessed via a nondescript road tucked between telephone poles 69 and 70.

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Kings’ Land by Hilton (⭐️ 8.7) | Four Seasons Hualalai (⭐️ 9.0)

1. Puerto Rico

🌡️ Average December temperature: 75°-82°F | 24°-28°C
💧 Average rainy days in December: 15

A Historic Fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico – one of the best hot places in December

☀️ Why visit in December: Puerto Rico is a lush island boasting incredible biodiversity, an electric city life, and historic sites to explore. Make the most of December’s warm weather and holiday spirit by participating in outdoor adventures and local festivities. 

🦎 Venture into the rainforest: With the year’s driest weather, now’s the time to comfortably experience the Puerto Rican rainforests. Take a Vieques kayak tour in the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay, zoom over the canopy at Rainforest Zipline Park, and admire the waterfalls of El Yunque National Forest. 

🎄 Take Christmas seriously: Puerto Rico doesn’t mess around with their 45-day Christmas celebration, the longest in the world. Get invited to a Nochebuena Christmas Eve meal, grab a coquito eggnog drink from La Factoria in San Juan, or attend an Encendido de Navidad town square lighting in Ponce.

🔥 Insider Tip: For an unusually quiet escape, visit Caja de Muertos, a totally uninhabited island just a 15-minute ferry ride away from Ponce. This island is a tropical paradise, and supposedly even quieter in peak season!

🏡 WHERE TO STAY: Isla Verde Beach Resort (⭐️ 8.3) | Condado Vanderbilt Hotel (⭐️ 9.0)

Read more: 60+ Best Vacation Spots in the USA

✈️ Where is Warm in December in the USA: Top Tips

Saguaro National Park - Best Places to Visit in December Warm
Saguaro National Park, Arizona – one of the best hot places to go in December

🇺🇸 Warm Destinations in December in US: A Recap

I hope this guide has helped you discover where’s hot in December in the US. Whether you’re into history, culture, food, or the outdoors, there are plenty of ways to escape the cold and enjoy a warm winter getaway in the US.

If you’re curious to explore more sunny places in the US, don’t forget that there are lots of tropical destinations and gorgeous white sand beaches too. Want to enjoy more balmy winter vacations? Don’t miss the best warm places to visit in January and February!

Maui in Hawaii - Hot Places to Travel in February
Maui in Hawaii – offering some of the warmest weather in December in USA

I hope these places that are warm in December were inspiring!

For more warm places in the US, discover:
☀️ 31 Best Warm Winter Vacations in the USA
🎃 40+ Best Warm Places to Visit in October in the USA
🍂 33 Best Warm Places to Visit in November in the USA
🎆 36 Best Warm Places to Visit in January in the USA
🌿 34 Best Warm Places to Visit in February in the USA
🐰 38 Best Warm Places to Visit in March in the USA
🌸 40+ Best Warm Places to Visit in April in the USA

For other US travel inspiration, discover:
🏝 51 Most Tropical Places in the USA
🏖 24 Prettiest White Sand & Clear Water Beaches in the USA
☀️ 37 Epic Places to Travel to Without a Passport [for Americans]

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