December may be the perfect time of year to travel. As chilly winter weather takes hold across the globe, tropical destinations and snow-covered holiday décor are equally appealing. These six destinations are among the best places to travel in December.
1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The desert heat of Dubai becomes more bearable in December, with highs around 80°F. It’s the perfect temperature for a desert day trip or exploring the farmers’ markets and street vendors selling traditional goods. The World Rugby Sevens Series Dubai game takes place in December each year as well. If sports don’t interest you, you’ll find the theater season in full swing this time of year. You can’t miss the Dubai Shopping Festival, which pairs deep discounts on designer goods with fireworks and concerts.
2. Chubu Sangaku National Park, Japan
Nestled in what some call the Japanese Alps, Chubu Sangaku National Park is home to a volcanic mountain range divided by the Kurobe River. While some areas of the park are inaccessible during December, ski resorts, hot springs and snow-covered mountains await. There are seven nearby cities filled with amenities year-round, making the region a great December vacation spot.
3. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
High season begins mid-December in Grand Cayman. Early in the month, you’ll enjoy the amenities of the high season without the crowds that arrive closer to the new year. The temperature reaches about 85°F this time of year and the month sees only a few days of rain. The water is also warm, perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, jet skiing and kayaking.
4. Miami, United States
In Miami, Art Basel is without a doubt December’s biggest attraction. Modern and contemporary artists, collectors, curators, critics and enthusiasts flock to Florida early in the month for the fair. Even if you’re not an art aficionado, there’s plenty to do in Miami this time of year. The warm, dry weather, events leading up to the Orange Bowl and multiple professional sports teams make Miami a fun December destination.
5. Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City exudes European charm year-round, but even more so when it’s covered in a fresh dusting of snow. You can’t leave without a visit to the German Christmas Market in Old Quebec. There are plenty of museums to explore when your toes get too cold to wander the picturesque streets any longer. When you’re ready to head back outside, head to the toboggan slide in the city center, go ice skating or take a short trip outside the city to cross-country ski.
6. Vienna, Austria
For a true Christmas market experience, spend your December vacation in Vienna. Visitors are welcomed with stalls of artisan goods, twinkling lights and comfort foods (mulled wine, roasted chestnut, Vienna sausage and more). The temperatures hover around freezing, so being outdoors is not unbearable. There is plenty to do inside throughout the city, including museums, coffee shops and architectural tours.