New York City
There really is no place on earth like the Big Apple. The city that never sleeps is a constant source of activity, and visitors will never be bored, from top restaurants and Broadway shows to some of the world’s best museums.
Of course you can also check out the city’s many iconic attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Times Square. Above all, however, New York City is a great place to visit over the holidays, with a range of special events and attractions to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas, such as Ice Skating at Bryant Park and Central Park, Christmas Markets, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and Santa-land at Macy’s.
This Central American country is just a 3-hour flight from Miami, with reasonable fares to be found even at short notice. More developed and safer than its neighbors, Panama is arguably Latin America’s most underrated travel destination.
It may not be on top of many people’s travel lists, mentally eclipsed by places like Costa Rica and Colombia , but it has a lot to offer visitors. The country has a large amount of natural beauty, and plenty of National Parks with stunning hiking trails through the rain forest.
You’ll also find beautiful beaches, most notably in the blissful Caribbean archipelago the San Blas Islands, surfing and scuba diving. The capital, Panama City, also has a large amount of high-end shopping and restaurants, as well as a beautifully-restored historic center.
What’s more, it is not overly crowded at Christmas, and the tropical weather will warm your chilled bones!
If you want to go even further afield and enjoy a warm holiday season somewhere truly exotic, Thailand is hard to beat. The South East Asian nation attracts visitors thanks to its amazing beaches, stunning temples, unique wildlife and incredible food.
As an added bonus, prices are very cheap here, so even though they go up around the holidays, as with most destinations, you will still find your vacation very affordable. December is also one of the best times of the year to visit Thailand weather-wise, with the rainy season over and lots of sunny, warm days.
Thailand is a big country, so unless you have several weeks to dedicate to your trip it is best to pick one spot or region. If you want to relax on white sandy beaches, head to the south islands such as Koh Lanta or Koh Phangan. If temples and jungles are more your thing, head up north to Chang Mai, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.
If you’re looking to escape the winter chills without having to leave the USA, why not head to Miami where it’s always summer? December weather in Miami is typically sunny with temperatures in the mid to high 70’s so a welcome relief from the freezing weather further north.
You can take advantage of the endless sunshine by heading to the beach or check of the nightlife, Miami Seaquarium and other great attractions like NASCAR Championship Cup finale in Mid-November.
December is also the time for Art Basel, one of the country’s premiere arts events, which is held annually at Miami Beach.