December is by far the most festive time of year and the places we’ve chosen reflect that holiday spirit. During the Christmas season, cities transform into a magical place and whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland or a warm tropical getaway, we have you covered.

Here is a list of the places below:

1 — Miami, Florida6 — Belize
2 — St. Lucia7 — Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
3 — New York, New York8 — Arlington, Texas
4 — Los Cabos, Mexico9 — Tulum, Mexico
5 — Washington DC10 — Chicago, Illinos

1 — Miami, Florida

Some people think of December as involving warm weather and sunshine while lounging poolside with a cold drink. If this is as close to ‘cold’ as you want to get this month, then Miami should be on your list. It may not have the winter wonderland setting but it definitely has certain Christmas essentials such as “The Nutcracker” performing at the Miami City Ballet along with other annual attractions like Art Basel and Winterfest Boat Parade. Don’t forget this town has all of the spots for your holiday gift needs and all of the beach you can ask for after a long day of shopping.

Suggested Hotel: The Miami Beach EDITION

For a more city vibe: SLS Brickell


2 — St. Lucia

If you’re looking for a Caribbean Christmas this island has got everything you would want like a  tropical rainforest, jungle, volcano, mountains, and of course, beaches. It also offers hiking trails, kayaking, and top snorkeling sites. This island’s patron, St. Lucia, is celebrated on December 13 and the National Festival of Lights and Renewal in her honor welcomes the coming Christmas season.

Suggested Hotel: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort


3 — New York, New York

Countless Christmas movies have been the backdrop in this city and you can be sure that you will get your fill of this wonderful time of year. From the holiday markets scattered throughout Manhattan and beyond, to the ice skating rinks replacing grassy parks, this is one town where Christmas makes its mark. As you stroll down the city streets you will come across festive lights, extravagantly decorated store windows, special events, and every holiday show that plays this season.

Suggested Hotel: Equinox Hotel

For a unique view of Manhattan, try: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge


4 — Los Cabos, Mexico

Mexico is always an option for December and Los Cabos has the sunshine and warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Everywhere in Mexico you can expect to find Christmas decorations, lights, and celebrations and this area, on the southern tip of Baja, is just as festive as any place in the country. Furthermore, this month sees the arrival of an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 whales from the ice cold waters of the Bering Sea as they prepare for their journey north in the spring. Don’t miss the chance to experience swimming with whale sharks during this month.

Suggested Hotel: Vidanta


5 — Washington DC

This US capital city may not be known for its cold, wintery weather but you can count on dressing warm because it will be chilly if not freezing. Regardless of its uncertain weather, you can be sure that this town is all decked out in holiday cheer with decorations adorning its monuments, landmarks, and city streets. With glittering lights and cozy neighborhood markets, Washington DC is always prepared to welcome those tourists looking for a memorable holiday tour of some of the most prominent buildings in the country and world. 

Suggested Hotel: Mandarin Oriental


6 — Belize

Just south of Mexico on the Caribbean Sea lies Belize and it has all of the coastal charm that its northern neighbor boasts such as jungles, rainforests, lagoons, waterfalls, caves, and more. Home to many ancient Mayan archeological sites, Belize is also popular for its diving and snorkeling where the world’s second largest barrier reef, several coral atolls, and Great Belize Blue Hole, a geological wonder, are found.  

Suggested Hotel: Cayo Espanto Private Island

For a an adults-only option: Matachica Resort & Spa


7 — Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Colorado, and Aspen for that matter, needs no superfluous adjectives to get anyone excited about visiting this month. The slopes will be ready for those looking to carve up some fresh powder. If skiing or snowboarding aren’t your cup of tea you can also experience snowbiking, tubing, dog sledding, or even take a snowshoe tour. After a day of fun in the snow, Aspen and Snowmass offer many restaurants and bars to warm up near a fireplace and get into the holiday cheer surrounded by the quintessential Christmas decorations.

Suggested Hotel:Viceroy Snowmass


8 — Arlington, Texas

Halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth is Arlington and a great destination for December. The weather is mild and the city really gets into the holiday spirit. The Texas Christkindl Market (the German-inspired traditional Christmas market) is here along with Holiday in the Park at Six Flags. In addition to these holiday staples, there are other seasonal attractions, live entertainment, lights shows, a skating rink, and, of course, a massive Christmas tree. Wherever you plan on staying, you’ll enjoy driving past extravagantly decorated homes in these areas.

Suggested Hotel: The Beeman Hotel


9 — Tulum, Mexico

Arguably the best time to visit Tulum is during November and December with reasonable hotel prices, post hurricane-season breezes, and smaller crowds. Temperatures do drop a bit but are still warm for swimming and ideal for exploring the jungle and ancient ruins this part of the world is known for. Add Christmas celebrations to the mix and, without a doubt, you will have a special experience this time of year.  

Suggested Hotel: Papaya Playa Project

For a wellness-focused option: Nômade Tulum


10 — Chicago, Illinois

December in the midwest equals the Christmas season and this town is a classic example of Christmas time in the city. The weather is cold, the lights are bright, and the vibe is energetic with all of the outdoor activities set up specifically for this time of year. A Chicago classic is the Christkindlmarket (the largest in the US), transforming a city plaza into traditional shops and foods from around the world. Just a short walk from the German-style Christmas market is the Millenium Park’s ice skating rink along with the Ice Skating Ribbon. If that still isn’t enough to get you in the mood for the holidays, try walking down the Magnificent Mile with all of the seemingly endless festive decorations and lights or head to Lincoln Park Zoo to see the ZooLights. Everywhere you go Chicago’s museums, neighborhoods, and monuments have all transformed to the Christmas season.

Suggested Hotel: The Peninsula

For a spot just off the Magnificent Mile, a newly renovated option: 21c Museum Hotels


Looking to visit a different place this December? …

Click here for more information on the best destinations and top locations from North to South America.

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