25 Greatest Locations To Go to In California In December For a Getaway



There are various finest locations to go to in California in December. Sure, you might be shocked to know that December in California provides you totally different sorts of experiences, due to its non-icy temperatures in most elements of the state.

If you wish to get away from the snow, freezing temperatures or rain, the golden state is your excellent vacation spot as there are lots of fabulous issues to do and locations to go to within the USA in December.

California in December is primarily sunny and offers the very best month for being outside.

Whether or not it’s for recognizing the wealthy and distinct wildlife within the nationwide parks, mountaineering within the lush mountains, enjoyable at its many lovely seashores, or having fun with street journeys alongside its winding roads opening to attractive views, there are lots of issues to do in California in winter.

The cities gear up for the vacations and are incredible for California winter trip concepts.

You can see streets with lights in every single place. Christmas decorations, parades, music festivals, concert events, and markets are the foremost sights in California in December.

You too can expertise snowfall in California if that’s in your bucket listing. There are various locations for a ski vacation, snowboarding and admiring the magical white winter within the golden state.

One other cool factor is you can plan your journey for decrease costs than standard and keep away from the summer season crowds this month!

Onerous to imagine? Effectively, learn on to find why it is best to plan your journey to California in December and all of the incredible locations to go to in California in December.

In case you are particularly searching for seashores, Try these 25 Best California Beach Towns For a Family Getaway. Or you’ll be able to plan a visit to any of those 30 Top Northern California Beach Towns if you wish to go off the crushed bathtub.


Relying on the actions you intend to get pleasure from and the kind of vacation you like, you can also make your decide from the very best locations to go to in California in December.

As a result of the climate in December in California barely varies from place to position, however total, the times are largely sunny, perfect for being outside, and pleasant climate to discover nationwide parks, go mountaineering, tenting and spot wildlife.

You may anticipate daytime temperatures in Southern California within the mid to excessive 60s to 70s as properly, with the temperatures dropping to about 50 levels at night time, which implies sunnier throughout the day and barely windy and chilly throughout the nights.

You might also expertise slight showers and snow at larger elevations, but it surely mustn’t intrude together with your journey plans.

Best places to visit in California in December

In Northern California, it’s only a bit cooler. As you head in direction of the mountains, you’ll be able to anticipate winter snow in California at Lake Tahoe or Mammoth and the Sierra Nevadas area.

These are the attractive locations to go to for Christmas in California in December as a snowy wonderland to go snowboarding and snowboarding.

California’s coastal cities are additionally a lot much less foggy in December.
So though the water will likely be chilly for a swim, you’ll be able to chill out on the seashores, watch migrating whales and take pleasure in water adventures should you plan a visit to the seaside cities in California in December.

Some locations can see the foliage of late fall, whereas deserts are finest visited throughout December if you’re in California.

If you wish to decide heat locations for the California December journey, I like to recommend deserts and cities round them. Demise Valley and Palm Springs make a great California trip in December.


Now you realize what to anticipate from a December journey to California, listed here are a couple of extra issues to know earlier than you go.

December is low season for California, so you’ll be able to anticipate fewer crowds.

It’s barely inexpensive to journey to California in December, together with California lodge costs which can be decrease as properly.

Like the remainder of the world, the height vacation season is from Christmas to New Yr. So should you want to be right here throughout this time, book in advance.

For California journey in December, attempt to have all the things booked by the end of fall, or no less than about Three months earlier than.

warmest place in california in december

December is the very best time to identify distinctive California wildlife, so take excursions to identify the child elephant seals, whale watching tours at Monterey, dolphins, and migrating white whales.

However observe that California winter holidays might be costly should you wait until the final minute to ebook your journey.

The right strategy to discover the very best locations to go to in California in December is by renting a car.

The queues for cabs might be longer, together with on the airport and bus stations and vehicles can run out rapidly round Christmas and New Yr’s Eve, so it’s finest to book your rental car earlier than you arrive. You’ll want a global driving allow to hire a car.



Suppose you’re searching for snow in California to admire the incredible powdery slopes dotting mountain valleys or to take pleasure in winter sports activities. 

In that case, Mammoth Lakes is considered one of my favourites and the very best locations to go to in California in December.

The Mammoth Lakes space is thought for its spectacular mountain landscapes dominated by the dramatic Excessive Sierra Nevada. 

things to do in Mammoth Lakes

There are a great deal of awesome things to do in Mammoth Lakes, with one thing for everybody – from snowboarding to snowboarding to sizzling springs and mountaineering. You may simply spend a weekend in Mammoth Lakes for a superb vacation in December.

Due to the excessive elevation, snow arrives early at Mammoth Lakes. Do you know? Mammoth Mountain Space will get round 300 inches of snowfall a 12 months no less than.

December is the height ski season at Mammoth Mountain, as you get entry to over 3,500 areas of mountain slopes carpeted with snow.

It’s residence to among the finest ski resorts in California, attracting many households and journey seekers to the California Japanese Sierras.

You’ve gotten over 150 attractive trails for alpine downhill snowboarding, cross nation snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, and snowboarding.

Places to visit in California in December
Locations to go to in California in December

You may take the incredible Gondola journey to the height, having fun with the luxurious views of the mountainous landscapes in your journey.

There are additionally loads of beautiful natural hot springs in Mammoth Lakes, together with or close to tenting websites. After out of doors adventures, there may be nothing extra enjoyable than soaking in these mineral-rich sizzling springs and having fun with the gorgeous views.

You may get pleasure from fishing, boat journeys, mountaineering, or picnic lunches in any of the gorgeous glacial lakes around Mammoth Lakes, surrounded by dramatic mountains providing lovely dawn and sundown views.


I like to recommend Innsbruck Lodge, situated close to the Village Gondola, for its secluded and gorgeous location. This beautiful lodge provides flats with kitchens to easy rooms, and so they have an on-site sizzling tub and spa. 

The Westin Monache Resort is subsequent to the Village Lodge and beside Mountain Middle within the Village comes with condos comprising spacious rooms and balconies providing lovely views. Book a stay here.

If the favored ones don’t enchantment to you, take a look at Sierra Lodge, centrally situated, which provides spacious rooms with kitchenettes.


One other attractive vacation spot deep within the coronary heart of the Japanese Sierra recognized for its gorgeous location is June Lake, a tiny mountain village.

It is among the finest locations to go to in California in December if you’re searching for a comparatively cheap resort city for snow and winter sports activities together with your households. 

The daytime highs at June Lake in December are within the excessive 30s going as much as the low 40s. 

The June Mountain ski space is among the hotspots for households heading right here for winter enjoyable when the ski slopes begin welcoming vacationers in mid-December. Right here snowboarding is free for youths.

In case you are a newbie skier, the flat Freeway 158 is a straightforward route and appropriate for snowshoeing. In case you are a complicated skier, you’ll be able to be part of guided excursions with mountain consultants to strive backcountry snowboarding.

Trip the ski carry to the highest to get pleasure from fabulous views of 4 lakes set amidst the magnificent snow-blanketed mountains of the Japanese Sierra. 

Really helpful – 10 Top Lakes In Mammoth Lakes Area For a Perfect Winter Holiday

You too can get pleasure from different winter sports activities, together with snowboarding, mountaineering, snowmobiling, sledging, cross-country snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Admire the mountains forming an imposing backdrop for the spectacular alpine lakes from many viewpoints

Stroll by means of the primary streets decked up with lights, on the centre of which is the gorgeous lit Christmas tree.

Pack winter clothes with layers, good water-proof mountaineering sneakers, and snow boots. 


Interlaken #29 – Deluxe Studio, a studio condo, is ideal for a household of 4, surrounded by lovely mountain views. Check here.

When you favor a resort, Double Eagle Resort and Spa is a wonderful selection. Find out more here.


There are some locations that may solely be loved in winter in the USA, and Alabama Hills is considered one of them.

Situated on the foothills of the dramatic Sierra Nevada Mountain vary, Alabama Hills is among the finest locations to go to in California in December.

You can be handled to splendid views of the snow-capped mountain vistas in every single place, and it’s a jackpot for journey seekers and out of doors lovers.

Alabama hills lone pine
Alabama hills in lone pine California

You may hike or mountain bike on the various trails resulting in lovely views, perfect for all expertise ranges. 

Alabama Hills is among the most photographed locations due to its distinct landscapes. If you wish to seize some attractive pictures, you’ll love visiting the Alabama hills in California in December.

Camping in the Alabama Hills may be very well-liked, particularly throughout winter. Star gazing, watching epic dawn and sunsets, and driving round to see the long-lasting landmarks are another actions you’ll be able to get pleasure from other than mountaineering.

One must-stop is the well-known Alabama Hills Film Highway, well-known for Instagram-worthy pictures.

Try the well-known vacationer sights in Alabama Hills, together with the simply accessible geological wonders like Mobius Arch, Lone Ranger Canyon, Nightmare Rock and Boot Arch.

Things to do in Lone Pine CA
Mobius Arch

Make sure that to deliver numerous layers, particularly jackets, heat sleeping luggage, and plenty of blankets should you plan to go Alabama Hills tenting.


As a substitute of tenting, should you would fairly keep in a lodge or Airbnb otherwise you really feel the necessity for consolation, Lone Pine is the closest city with many trip leases, cabins, and cottages accessible. 

Listed here are the very best picks of Cottages, Cabins, and resorts in Lone Pine, CA – Quality Inn Lone Pine near Mount WhitneyCozy Muir CottageMt Williamson Motel and Basecamp


Though it’s a lovely park it doesn’t matter what time of the 12 months, Yosemite Nationwide Park is among the finest locations to go to in California in December.

It won’t be as crowded as within the spring and summer season, and the attractive landscapes sprinkled with snow provides a surreal atmosphere to the park. Plus, there are not any entrance reservation necessities throughout winter in Yosemite.

best places to visit in California in December

The glacier-carved Yosemite Valley in December is magical after a quick however lovely week of snowfall that may remodel the panoramas right into a paradise.

It’s the proper place to seize probably the most lovely footage of the various iconic landmarks in Yosemite, together with Tunnel View, El Capitan, Half Dome, Mirror Lake and Bridalveil Falls from many factors. 

Don’t miss witnessing the distinctive wildlife right here, together with recognizing some deer and sheep.

You may get pleasure from some gorgeous snow-capped views of Yosemite National Park on the well-liked factors with just a few guests, whether or not from Sentinel Dome or Taft Level.

Not like the opposite locations, Yosemite solely will get every week of snow in December, which implies the nice daytime climate will let you get pleasure from mountaineering, mountain biking, and driving.

Really helpful – 10 Top Spots For Watching The Best Sunset in Yosemite

You too can take pleasure in cross-country snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, and tubing at Badger Go Ski Space, the primary ski space, established in California.

best view of el capitan

Temps are often within the 40s throughout the daytime and 20s at night time, however the climate typically feels chilly because of its elevation, so pack layers.

Reaching Yosemite throughout winter could also be tough, and it’s best to take 4 by 4 over an everyday automotive. Notice that Tioga Go Highway and the street to Glacier Level sometimes shut in November.

Most of the trails and services in Yosemite additionally shut throughout the winter. So test street situations and closures earlier than you go.


If you need a uniquely conventional Christmas expertise, I like to recommend staying within the well-known heritage and historic Ahwahnee Resort, which organizes standard vacation decorations.

Wawona Resort is one other well-known historic lodge contained in the park.

Another choice consists of Yosemite Valley Lodge, which offers comfy lodging near Yosemite Falls. 


Lake Tahoe, thought of one of the lovely lakes in California, is among the finest locations to go to in California in December for households and out of doors adventures.

Lake Tahoe, the most important alpine lake in North America, situated excessive within the basin of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is a year-round vacation spot. 

December is among the well-liked months as about 100 inches of snow transforms the mountain landscapes right into a winter paradise.

Places to visit in California in December

The south of Lake Tahoe is a magical place to go to in California throughout winter, whether or not you wish to hit the slopes for snow adventures or just soak within the blissful views of the crystal blue water and the recent mountain air.

The daytime temperatures hover within the 30s and low 40s, holding you wrapped in heat garments as you got down to get pleasure from varied enjoyable actions within the snow. 

South Lake Tahoe is right for downhill snowboarding, cross-country snowboarding, sledging, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides.

Aside from these, you too can get pleasure from out of doors ice skating at Northstar or the Heavenly Village ice rink in South Lake Tahoe.

Try the ice sculptures at Heavenly Mountain Resort or hop on the gondola journey to the mountain high for fabulous views.

Places to visit in California in December

Don’t forget to seize the gorgeous pictures of the lake and the encompassing landscapes from the Emerald Bay lookout.


The Lake Tahoe space has many high ski resorts. Among the many most well-known and fabulous ones are Charming Mountain Cabin about 7 Mi to Heavenly Resortwhich will get booked rapidly, due to the wonderful services and placement.

For a non-public seaside and nice facilities, take a look at Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa.


One other vacation spot if you’re searching for snow is Mount Shasta, situated in Northern California. 

It is among the finest locations to go to in California in December, with nice climate to be outside and revel in powdered snow remodeling the landscapes into magical panoramas.

You may simply plan a day journey from Redding or Sacramento to Mount Shasta, linked by way of Interstate 5.

I like to recommend spending a weekend in December for a superb winter getaway in California with your loved ones.

best places to go in California in December

In comparison with different locations in California that want a little bit of a problem, attending to Mount Shasta is comparatively extra simple as there are fewer or no street closures in winter.

Lassen Volcanic Nationwide Park is a good looking park situated near Mount Shasta. It’s a prime spot for having fun with epic snowshoe hikes and cross-country snowboarding close to the gorgeous Manzanita Lake. 

At Lassen Volcanic Nationwide Park in December, you can be amazed by the gorgeous landscapes and the totally different wildlife. Don’t miss the hydrothermal options at Sulphur Works if you’re up for a 2-mile round-trip hike over the snow.  

The typical daytime temperatures in December in Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic Nationwide Park are within the 40s.

Due to the snowfall on Mount Shasta, you’ll be able to get pleasure from all of the snow sports activities within the mountains. 

Mount Shasta Ski Park provides downhill snowboarding, mountaineering, snowmobiling, snow tubing, snowshoeing, sledging and snowboarding.

best places in California to visit in December

If you wish to strive ice skating, don’t miss visiting the Siskiyou Ice Rink, the one Nationwide Hockey League-sized out of doors rink in California outdoors Mt. Shasta Metropolis Park.

If you don’t want to get into these adventures, you’ll be able to rapidly get on the various trails providing fascinating views of the world.

In case you are up for an adventurous journey, do the favored one-mile snowshoe trek to Castle Lake, situated in Citadel Crags State Park, probably the greatest ice fishing spots in California and provides spectacular views of Mount Shasta.

One other hike that gives lovely views and isn’t sophisticated is the trek to the gorgeous Coronary heart Lake.

Plan a visit to the neighbouring McCloud city situated solely a 15-minute drive away. Throughout winter, it turns right into a magical wonderland as many video games, rides, and occasions are held downtown.

California winter


This historic mattress and breakfast, within the shadow of 14,162-foot Mount Shasta, Mount Shasta Ranch Bed and Breakfast, is probably the most well-known lodge providing spacious rooms, glorious atmosphere and facilities, excellent for {couples} and households. Check out more here.

Strawberry Valley Inn provides giant bedrooms and incredible mountain views. It has glorious opinions as properly. Find more here.

Mount Shasta Resort is ideal for households if you’re searching for a superb resort surrounded by lovely views. Check here.


Large Bear Lake, situated in southern California, is thought for being a wonderland, attracting hundreds of tourists each winter, particularly households that come for an adventurous getaway.

Large Bear Lake is among the finest locations to go to in California in December to witness snowfall, the attractive San Bernardino mountains encapsulated by snow supply loads of actions to get pleasure from.

There are many superior issues to do within the winter, whether or not you wish to be adventurous actions like snowboarding to tasting the scrumptious Christmas bakes and sizzling chocolate cosying as much as a hearth.

best places to visit in December near me

Stroll by means of the streets of the small downtown space, residence to many glorious eating places serving scrumptious cuisines, and store for distinctive souvenirs on the boutique outlets.

Since Large Bear Lake freezes by the tip of November, it turns into the recent spot for ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and sleigh journey across the lake.

You may get pleasure from cross-country snowboarding and snowboarding on the two well-known mountain slopes, Snow Summit and Large Bear Mountain Resort.

If you wish to do one thing at a slower tempo, get pleasure from horseback using by means of the snowy trails or hike alongside the various trails that move by means of lovely landscapes and gorgeous views.

You too can get pleasure from snowshoeing, sledging and high-speed adrenaline-kicking tubing on the well-known Grizzly Ridge Tube Park.

You too can study snowboarding at Snow Summit resort, though you’ll should ebook your spot fairly early throughout the peak days.

Plan a day journey to neighbouring Lake Arrowhead, a 45-minute drive away, which can also be a superb vacation spot for a weekend getaway.

In December, go to Santa’s Village in your strategy to Lake Arrowhead.


I like to recommend Big Bear Retreat, the incredible vacation residence excellent for households that may get pleasure from a snug stick with views. Find more here.

One other lovely vacation residence with glorious opinions and placement is Moosehead Lodge, recognized for its lovely settings. Book here.

This attractive chalet Summit Happy Cabin comes with a patio and a sizzling tub in addition to good views, a romantic keep for {couples}. Check out this here.

Dream Getaway with Secluded Spa is a shocking vacation residence that includes a balcony with mountain views, a backyard and barbecue services, situated near Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain. Find out more here.


What higher than seeing probably the most big tree on this planet blanketed in snow, which is able to take you straight into the fairytales throughout Christmas?

Sequoia & Kings Canyon Nationwide Park within the southern Sierra Nevada mountain ranges is thought for being residence to among the largest residing issues on earth. 

The 2 parks, situated adjoining to one another, might be explored collectively.

California weather in December

The majestic pink timber dominating the panoramas in opposition to the powdery snow in every single place make for lovely pictures.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are each glorious locations to go to in California in December for mountaineering, pictures, cabin stays, and snow actions with flat and simple trails to among the park’s best-known websites.

There are fewer crowds, and mountaineering by means of magical winter wonderland landscapes is an excellent expertise.

You are able to do all these over an extended weekend, due to Sequoia Nationwide Park, situated just a few hours from Los Angeles, making it a incredible out of doors escape particularly within the winter.

You may drive round or hike to witness distinct old-growth forests, attractive meadows, hidden streams, lakes, and spectacular granite cliffs.

Wolverton Meadow is 2 miles north of Basic Sherman, the most important tree on this planet, situated in Sequoia Nationwide Park, probably the greatest locations to go to in California in December.

Get pleasure from sledging, cross-country snowboarding, and snowshoeing at Wolverton Meadow.

Different trails price including to your listing of hikes are the Large Timber Path, Moro Rock, and the Alta path.

The Kings Canyon Nationwide Park is residence to the second largest tree on this planet, the Basic Grant Tree, which was additionally declared the nation’s Christmas Tree in 1926

On the second Sunday of December, witness a small and distinctive celebration, a trek to the tree.

The opposite primary attraction within the Kings Canyon Nationwide Park is the Large Stump snow play space, the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from sledging and go on guided snowshoe walks in Grant Grove led by Park rangers.

The one draw back could be that the street connecting the 2 parks could also be closed because of heavy snow. You may need to drive again all the way down to the foothills should you plan to go to each parks. 

Examine forward for street closures and chain necessities earlier than heading on the market.


Blue Jay Paradise, a vacation residence situated in Three Rivers, is 10 minutes away from Sequoia and is an ideal selection for households with spacious homes and mountain views. Check here. 

The Quail’s Nest situated in Three Rivers within the California area, includes a patio and backyard views. Check more here.

For households, one other advisable vacation house is In The Oaks, a spacious three bed room home. Find more here.



Thought-about the most popular place on earth, Demise Valley Nationwide Park is among the finest locations to go to in California in December as it’s the excellent month weather-wise.

Demise Valley Nationwide Park, the driest and the most important nationwide park in the USA, is situated in Southern California alongside the Japanese border with Nevada.

Best places to visit in California in December

This Three million acre of wilderness is famend for gorgeous desert landscapes, distinctive vistas encompassing rugged mountains, golden canyons, orange dunes, vibrant canyons, valleys, dry lake beds and salt flats.

The park is a few 5-hour drive from Los Angeles, and you may plan an extended weekend at Demise Valley Park in December to take a look at all of the sights.

The daytime temperatures in December are within the 60s to 70s, with largely clear skies. Therefore it’s the excellent time to discover this huge park, which might be completed in two to 3 days.

When you get pleasure from mountaineering, you’ll find trails of all lengths and issue ranges at Demise Valley Nationwide Park. 

From the official car parking zone, you are able to do a straightforward stroll proper up onto the multi-coloured mineral deposits which can be superbly vibrant, comprising pink, rust, gold, pink, lavender, and blue.

places to visit in december in california

Stroll out onto the Badwater Basin salt flats, one of many high landmarks, the bottom level in America. 

Zabriskie Level is one other must-visit attraction the place you’ll be able to benefit from the attractive views of the incredible badlands on all sides. It’s higher to start out your day by witnessing a spectacular dawn at Zabriskie Level.

You too can hike the badlands close to Zabriskie Level by way of the Golden Canyon path.

One other viewpoint simply accessible by a drive is the attractive Ubehebe Crater. Or drive as much as Dante’s View for magnificent panoramas over the valley. 

Try the gorgeous 100-foot sand dunes, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, which is among the few sand areas within the park. It’s enjoyable to stroll on the dunes, however you can be doing a exercise for certain.

For a fund journey, climb to the highest of Telescope Peak, the tallest level within the park.

You must drive the Artist’s Drive, the 9-mile splendid loop that includes Artist’s Palette, one of the photographed locations within the park.

At night time, it will get very chilly on this desert, therefore it’s best to pack layers, particularly should you plan to go tenting.

Places to visit in California in December

Demise Valley Nationwide Park is a incredible time to be in December to observe lovely stargazing and seize the unimaginable night time skies in your digital camera.


Regardless of being the most important park within the nation, there are restricted lodging choices in Demise Vallet Nationwide Park. 

The Inn at Death Valley is advisable if you wish to keep in Demise Valley Nationwide Park. Check more here.

Amargosa Opera House & Hotel is a 15-minute drive away and a fantastic possibility for households. Find more.


Joshua Tree Nationwide Park wants no introduction, drawing over 4 million guests yearly. 

It is among the finest locations to go to in California in December if you wish to have a vacation that includes mountaineering, tenting, driving round, or enjoyable outside.

Situated nearly 2 hours away from Los Angeles over the Colorado and Mojave desert, you’ll be able to plan a day journey to Joshua Tree Nationwide Park. Nonetheless, I’d suggest spending an extended weekend right here as there are lots of issues to do and see right here.

It is among the finest occasions to go to Joshua Tree Nationwide Park for the reason that climate is cooler. December and January are the coldest months in Joshua Tree when temperatures keep between 50-60°F throughout the day.

Make sure that to deliver layers because it will get fairly chilly in a single day in December, and the temperatures are likely to drop to the 30s.

It’s surreal to observe gorgeous sunrises and sunsets throughout the varied desert landscapes, together with palms, cacti, ocotillos, and the long-lasting Joshua Timber, that are yucca palms.

You may drive by means of the park to cease on the high sights, together with Native American heritage, petroglyphs, and the San Andreas Faultline, and tour the historic mining websites.

The park is legendary for its mountaineering and mountain climbing, due to the plenty of giant boulders scattered for miles, that are excellent actions that may comfortably be completed in December.

There are fast, family-friendly hikes and difficult trails for every type of vacationers.

Hidden Valley Path, a 1-mile spherical journey and a comparatively straightforward hike are among the many extra well-liked hikes the place you’ll move by means of boulders and distinct desert vegetation.

On the Fortynine Palms Oasis path, also called the Misplaced Palms Oasis path, you’ll come throughout a fairly oasis. It’s about 7 miles spherical journey, although, so it is probably not appropriate for everybody.

One other quick stroll is exploring the Cholla Cactus Backyard, the place you may get to know the desert’s distinctive vegetation.

Cranium Rock Nature Path is one other very talked-about hike within the park, the place you’ll attain a rock formation that appears like a cranium. This well-known photograph spot is a straightforward hike, lower than two miles out and in.

The best level within the park, providing lovely panoramic views, might be accessed by way of Ryan Mountain Path.

Do you know that the park was as soon as one of many gold-producing areas throughout the Gold Rush period? You may see the ruins of a gold mine by getting on the Misplaced Horse Mine Path.

A few of these trails have little to no shade, and it might probably get fairly sizzling, so gown appropriately and put on sunscreen and good strolling sneakers.

Queen Valley Highway and Park Boulevard are two well-known roads for driving round that it is best to take a look at.

Tenting is well-liked in Joshua Tree Park in December, so the spots get booked early. It’s best to make reservations properly upfront should you plan to camp. The identical goes for cabins and glamping, that are very talked-about throughout winter.

Don’t miss capturing the gorgeous starry skies above the gorgeous and mystic Joshua Timber, because the landscapes are excellent for stargazing on clear moonless nights.

You too can head subsequent to Palm Springs, only a 30-minute drive away.


@Marbella Lane – The Wine Mine Desert Escape is among the incredible lodging in Joshua Tree, perfect for households as they’ve luxurious multiple-bedroom flats and a sizzling tub. Check details here.

AutoCamp Joshua Tree, set in Joshua Tree, provides lodging with a seasonal out of doors swimming pool and is a wonderful selection most well-liked by {couples}. Check here.

@Marbella Lane – 10 Acres Oasis Desert Retreat is one other household possibility for lovely flats. Check here.


When you love wine, you already know that Napa Valley is among the many USA’s high wine locations. 

You may simply plan a day journey, however Napa Valley is among the finest weekend getaways from San Francisco.

Though Napa Valley is just 30 miles, it’s residence to over 400 wineries serving the very best wines on this planet, from glowing wines to chardonnays and zinfandels. 

Take this excellent guided tour with a picnic lunch for the best wine tour experience at Napa Valley.

Best Places to visit in California in December

Though the temperate climate makes it a great time to go to any time of the 12 months, Napa Valley is among the finest locations to go to in California in December for a lot of causes.

Because it’s low season, you’ll be able to catch affordable costs on lodging. You may even ebook a superb keep at any of the highest resorts that in any other case might be too pricy within the busy season.

There are fewer crowds at Napa Valley cities in December and loads of vacation festivals to attend.

You’ll witness distinctive landscapes dotted with naked vineyards and the well-known Napa Valley wild mustard.

The month of December provides a mean excessive within the higher 50s that may go as much as the 60s too, however early mornings and nights might be chilly, so carry a heat jacket with you.

The climate is right for sampling the world’s advantageous eating, from traditional French to trendy. You may rapidly get tables in delectable Michelin-star eating places, together with romantic and rooftop eating overlooking a winery.

Most eating places characteristic particular vacation menus, together with seasonal delights that use regionally sourced elements. Don’t miss attempting out puddings and cuisines product of chestnut apple.

Notice that you could make reservations for Christmas and New Yr’s Eve forward of time.

places to visit in California during winter

Witness the vacation lights throughout the rolling hills and cities. Downtown Yountville is decked up in Christmas lights, and the markets come into life with many bakeries serving particular vacation chocolate drinks and baked gadgets.

In downtown Napa, you’ll be able to watch the carols and benefit from the rides. When you go to Calistoga, be certain to not miss their particular parades.

The Napa Valley Wine Prepare, or the Napa wine practice as it’s famously recognized, runs a Santa Prepare throughout the holidays, which is a must-do if you’re travelling to California in December with children.

The interactive practice provides an opulent journey with connoisseur meals, native wine, video games, characters in costume, and sing-alongs, which you’ll get pleasure from together with your children for enjoyable household time.

Check here to book your tickets on the Napa wine train with options to choose between Gourmet dinner or lunch.

Pamper your self on the many spas within the cute city of Yountville, recognized for its many wellness remedies.

Best places to visit in California in December


Probably the most luxurious resort and the well-known selection amongst {couples} and households visiting Napa Valley is Auberge du Soleil, An Auberge Resort recognized for its huge olive groves, out of doors pool with cabanas, enjoyable well being and wellness spa and a advantageous eating restaurant. Examine right here.

One other resort in Yountville is North Block Hotel which has glorious opinions for its spacious rooms. Find more here.

If you wish to go to a lodge in Yountville, take a look at Hotel Yountvilleonly a 10-minute stroll from the Napa Valley Museum and Napa Valley Symphony, that includes an outside pool and a 4000-square-foot spa. Find here.

If you wish to keep in Napa, this Mattress and Breakfast, The George, will not be solely attractive however nearly 300 m from Uptown Theater and 400 m from Morimoto Restaurant. Check out here.

Rancho Caymus Inn in Rutherford is a well-liked selection amongst households for its further giant room and atmosphere. Find out more details here.

If you wish to base your self in Calistoga, Embrace Calistoga, a good looking villa well-liked amongst {couples}. Check more here.


For wine lovers, one other county is ready to be explored, which produces extra wine than Napa Valley. 

Sonoma County is among the finest locations to go to in California in December for its nice climate, tasting several types of wines, attending festivals and having fun with advantageous eating with fewer crowds.

Relying in your desire, there are lots of coastal cities and quaint villages in Northern California’s rural Sonoma County.

Not like the opposite coastal cities in California, you’ll be able to anticipate some rain throughout the winter months in Sonoma County, however be assured you can nonetheless be out and take a look at all of the actions.

For {couples} searching for a secluded retreat and households wanting a quiet coastal time, the idyllic fishing village of Bodega Bay is a fairly place to go to throughout December. It’s residence to probably the most gorgeous seashores in California you’ll be able to think about.

There are totally different sorts of pink wines you’ll be able to strive in Sonoma County.

Since most wineries have each outdoors tasting areas and indoor ones, you’ll be able to wine style on the terrace or indoors subsequent to a comfortable fireplace if it drizzles.

If you wish to be certain to cowl probably the most of your time, take this Sonoma Valley Guided Winery Tour with Picnic Lunchthe place you’ll be able to go to boutique wineries as you study in regards to the area’s wealthy historical past and revel in a picnic lunch.

When you love white wines, check out Sonoma Chardonnay, which is ideal for the climate in winter right here that blends completely with the views.

Healdsburg is residence to many boutique wineries and epic eating places serving the very best Zinfandels, Pinot Noirs and Cabernets.

In case you are not a wine lover, you’ll be able to get pleasure from a scrumptious dinner on the many out of doors eating places amidst gorgeous rolling hills and plush panoramas.

I highly recommend this guided Healdsburg Boutique Wine and Food Pairing Walking Tour that will introduce you to Boutique wine.

In case you are searching for one thing budget-friendly or an offbeat wine city, Sebastopol is a fairly city with many wonderful issues to do.



For households and {couples}, if you wish to base your self in Sonoma, I extremely suggest Sonoma Wine Country Bungalow, a superb bungalow providing gorgeous villas excellent for a getaway. Find out more here.

If you wish to keep in a historic place or are keen on heritage buildings, you’ll love staying at El Dorado Hotel instantly throughout the road from Sonoma Plaza in Sonoma. Check out more here.


I extremely suggest Hotel Les Mars Situated in Healdsburg within the coronary heart of Northern California’s Wine Nation, which is kind of well-liked amongst {couples}. Check more here.

If you wish to keep nearer to the seaside, I like to recommend H2hotel situated in downtown Healdsburg, only a block from the Healdsburg City Plaza that includes a solar-heated creekside pool. Find out more here.

Harmon Guest House is a wonderful selection for households and {couples}. Check here.


Sonoma Coast Villa is a well-known villa most well-liked by folks with children if you wish to go to Bodega Bay. Check more about the spacious villas here.



If you wish to expertise a typical European Christmas, probably the greatest Christmas cities in California is Solvang. This cute Danish city has grown well-liked lately, based over 100 years in the past by a gaggle of Danes.

It is among the finest locations to go to in California in December if you wish to take pleasure in conventional Christmas festivities, together with the well-known annual Julefest.

best Solvang attractions
Visiting bakeries is among the should issues to do in Solvang

Your entire city basks in lights because the locals welcome you with scrumptious Christmas bakes on the many cute and well-known bakeries downtown.

Expertise the Christmas Market Gentle Present, and go to the Santa Village & Winter Lade, which the youngsters and adults love. Participate in Christmas carols or attend candlelight excursions.

Don’t forget to buy Christmas souvenirs at Jule Hus, a well-known family-owned store recognized for its distinctive souvenirs.

Whether or not you intend to increase your journey to Solvang together with a go to to Santa Barbara or a day journey, don’t miss trying out the plush wine area of Santa Ynez Valley.

day trips from Santa Barbara

There are greater than 120 wineries and tasting rooms, most being family-friendly, recognized for his or her glorious location and gorgeous views other than their wine varieties.


Victorian Mansion At Los Alamos is a wonderful romantic keep possibility, situated off Freeway 101 within the coronary heart of the Santa Ynez wine nation. This 19th-century Victorian Mansion has lavish rooms geared up with many facilities, together with a complimentary breakfast.

King Frederik Inn, situated in downtown Solvang is a good looking lodge and one of many high lodging spots amongst vacationers. This attractive Danish-style constructing is thought for its spacious rooms, incredible facilities, and heritage worth.

Ballard Inn & The Gathering Table is among the well-known B&B in Santa Barbara Wine Nation, excellent for making a base should you plan on exploring the close by vineyards, together with locations to go to in Solvang.


Whether or not you wish to expertise the trendy structure, get pleasure from purchasing, or take pleasure in thermal baths and journey actions, there’s something for everybody in Palm Springs, making it a preferred vacation vacation spot amongst households.

It is among the finest locations to go to in California in December because the climate is nice to be outside, providing a short lived reduction from the recent desert temperatures.

california places to visit in december

In case you are right here on the primary Saturday of December, you can be welcomed by the colorful and crowded Palm Springs Competition of Lights Parade, the place you will notice the enormous floating balloons as the town is in a festive temper.

There are various unimaginable issues to do in and round Palm Springs. Start your metropolis tour by trying out the trendy structure in downtown Palm Springs, which can also be a great place for purchasing.

Stroll by means of the Moorten desert botanical backyard and Palm Canyon Drive, the primary purchasing road that will likely be embellished with Christmas lights in December.

Drive across the many neighbourhoods in Palm Springs to admire the vacation lighting and decorations.

There are additionally loads of mountaineering trails and different leisure alternatives corresponding to fishing, ATV using, or horseback using.

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Hop on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to soak up hovering views of the desert and discover snow on Mt. San Jacinto, which will get about 25 inches of snow in December.

December can also be a good time to discover the desert because the daytime temperature is round 70 levels. So you’ll be able to go mountaineering or take jeep excursions. 

The paths to Indian Canyons, a sacred nature protect and true desert oasis, or Tahquitz Canyon are well-liked. You too can be part of a tour of the San Andreas fault. 

There are various day journeys from Palm to select from. You may drive to the well-known Joshua Tree Nationwide Park, the place you’ll be able to see gorgeous rock formations and the namesake Joshua timber.

Additionally, plan a visit to Anza-Borrego State Park for mountaineering and tenting, or lengthen your journey by spending a weekend in Julian, an enthralling mountain city, tucked away within the fairly Laguna Mountains, recognized to all for its juicy apples, ciders, and pies.

places to visit in December California


the Weekend Palm Springs is a wonderful lodge providing Delux suites and is beloved by {couples} and households for a calming keep. Check more here.

Andalusian Court is a superb keep possibility, well-liked amongst {couples} for its romantic settings, views, and spacious villas. Check out here.

One other place beloved by {couples} is Korakia Pensione, recognized for its boutique rooms, stylish atmosphere and fairly pool. Find out more here.

In case you are touring with children, I like to recommend Vista Mirage Resort, which provides spacious studios and a big swimming pool on the premises. Check out here.

Desert Riviera Hotel is a superb decide if you’re searching for a lodge with choices to select from suites, rooms and studios. Check here.


No listing of finest locations to go to in California in December is full with out Los Angeles, the Metropolis of Angels recognized for its glitz, Hollywood, and Disneyland, among the many many different fabulous issues and actions.

From purchasing to being fortunate to satisfy celebrities on Sundown Boulevard, Los Angeles stays an eternally favorite vacation spot for vacationers worldwide, and it doesn’t appear to vary anytime quickly.

In case you are fleeing chilly and searching for a hotter metropolis, Los Angeles is a superb California vacation spot in December, with daytime highs within the higher 60s.

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Regardless of the winter months being the rainiest of the 12 months in Los Angeles, it often solely rains for six or seven days a month, permitting you to journey round.

Aside from the less crowds and decrease costs, you’ll be able to attend many vibrant occasions and vacation festivities in L.A. in December.

Though gardens are incredible any time of the 12 months, don’t miss visiting them in L.A. in December, particularly L.A. County Arboretum and Descanso Gardens, which have lovely illuminations explored finest by excursions.

If you wish to witness boat parades, a cherished vacation custom alongside the Southern California coast, head to Los Angeles Harbour.

When you’re in L.A. the Sunday after Thanksgiving, witness the Hollywood Christmas Parade, filled with floats, bands, and big balloons.

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quotes about Los Angeles

One factor you shouldn’t miss if touring with children is heading to Common Studios, dressed up in vacation decor. 

You may get pleasure from Christmas within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Who-Ville to have a good time with the Grinch. 

Though it might be unusual to move to the seaside in December, probably the greatest issues to do in L.A. is discover the seaside suburbs and the seashores. 

You may plan day journeys to cities like Long Beach or Huntington Seaside close by.

Benefit from the view from Griffith Observatory, and seize your Insta-worthy footage on the Hollywood signal. 

For a pinch of journey, head to Santa Monica pier for thrilling rides and video games.

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Many glorious L.A. museums must be visited, however when you have time for just one, then head to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Artwork), the place you’ll witness City Gentle, a particular version of lights and show held throughout this season.


When you want to keep near the guts of L.A., I extremely suggest Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMAwhich has glorious opinions, nice location, and facilities. Check out more here.

One other glorious selection for the town centre is Stanford Court San Francisco, which additionally provides room upgrades should you ebook upfront. Find here.

For {couples} searching for a comfortable and romantic keep, head to The Clancy, Autograph Collection, recognized for its glorious decor, central location, and spacious rooms. Find details here.

Omni San Francisco, centrally situated on the intersection of California Avenue and Montgomery Avenue, is a well-liked decide amongst {couples} and households. Check out more here.

For a finances possibility, I like to recommend Orchard Garden Hotel in Chinatown. Book here.


San Francisco, among the many high cities within the USA year-round, is among the finest locations in California to go to in December. 

It makes for probably the greatest winter holidays in California if you don’t thoughts getting drenched within the drizzles in between your journey. 

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You may barely keep away from the height touristy crowds, temperatures will often be within the mid to excessive 50s, you’re going to get surprisingly incredible lodge offers, and you may dine at world-class eating places with out ready in your tables.

There isn’t any scarcity of sunshine shows in San Franciso in December. You may benefit from the lights by means of guided strolling excursions of San Francisco or driving across the metropolis.

In the course of the vacation season, it’s enjoyable to go to Union Sq., which is brimming with festive atmosphere. The sq. is embellished with a large Christmas tree, shops showcasing their vacation lights throughout the window and distinctive shows. 

Right here you’ll be able to get pleasure from a journey on the ice-skating rink surrounded by skyscrapers and lights, an exercise beloved by children and adults each.

California winter vacation

Participate within the month-long celebration, the Competition of Lights, the place huge mild sculptures are put in in every single place.

The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park hosts the annual exhibit, “Tis the Season for Science: Life on Ice,” the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from indoor snow, reside reindeer, and vacation performances.

Head to the San Francisco Ballet to witness the distinctive efficiency of The Nutcracker.

Benefit from the fascinating views of the Golden Gate Bridge from totally different angles.

Additionally, stroll or bike the Golden Gate Bridge within the afternoon, or drive as much as Mount Tamalpais for spectacular 360-degree views.  

Plan a visit to Alcatraz Island, stroll alongside the Fisherman’s Wharf for road eats, discover Lombard Avenue, and style the distinctive delicacies at Chinatown and Ferry constructing.

Try the exhibitions at MOMO, San Francisco’s well-known Museum of Fashionable Artwork, or the de Younger Museum in Golden Gate Park, the place you’ll be able to spot the bloom of magnolias and camellias throughout wintertime. 

Best Places to visit in California in December

From the Municipal Pier on the Aquatic Cove, you’ll be able to benefit from the views of the superbly lit metropolis, together with Coit Tower, and don’t miss attempting out the recent chocolate at Ghirardelli Sq.. 

Take an evening tour in a Large Bus to see all the long-lasting San Francisco landmarks lit up. You too can be part of a night romantic Bay cruise to admire the gorgeous views of the skyline of SFC.

In case you are touring with children, head to the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 to identify the ocean lions and the Exploratorium. Pier 39 in December is fairly with vacation decorations and reside performances.



In case you are seeking to discover a metropolis throughout the winter, probably the greatest locations to go to in California in December is Pasadena.

From glorious structure to wealthy historical past to lovely museums, this metropolis near the northeast of downtown Los Angeles has so many issues to supply for everybody.

The typical daytime highs are within the excessive 60s or low 70s throughout December, making it nice to take a look at the sights.

Discover Outdated Pasadena, a purchasing and eating district recognized for its Victorian and artwork deco buildings and boutique shops.

The streets in Outdated Pasadena are embellished with vacation lights with distinctive shops promoting sizzling drinks and Christmas particular delicacies.

You may get pleasure from road music performances and occasions within the metropolis within the evenings.

When you love museums like I do, you’ll love the incredible trendy Norton Simon Museum, which homes glorious collections of European and Asian artwork and a sculpture backyard. 

Go to the USC Pacific Asia Museum, housed in a good looking constructing with collections of Asia and the Pacific Islands artwork. 

Historical past lovers ought to take a look at the Pasadena Museum of Historical past, whereas your children will love the Kidspace Kids’s Museum.

Spend a day visiting the attractive Huntington Gardens, considered probably the greatest gardens within the golden state, residence to a fairly library and a museum.

Some landmark sights embrace the moon bridge, the Japanese backyard, Desert Backyard, the lake, and the Chinese language park.

Thetington hosts particular vacation occasions throughout December, together with music performances and light-weight shows.

Drive to Altadena, which attracts many guests throughout Christmas for its well-known and historic vacation lights show known as Christmas Tree Lane, a mile of street encompassing deodar timber strung with hundreds of lights.

There are parades, marching bands, and choirs held on this road creating a good looking show.


When you favor a pleasant, comfy resort for a weekend with household, I like to recommend The Langham Huntington, surrounded by 23 acres of lush gardens. Check details here.

Hyatt Place Pasadena is a well-liked selection for its glorious location and facilities, that are appropriate for all vacationers. Find more here.

Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena/Outdated City is one other glorious selection in Pasadena. Book here.



San Diego is considered one of California’s finest locations to go to in December.

As California’s southernmost metropolis, you can be handled to most excellent days with temperatures ranging within the 50s-60s in San Diego in December.

It is among the perfect months to be in San Diego with household as many enjoyable actions are open throughout the winter season.

Best Places to visit in California in December

You may take a look at Lego land California or Sea World in case your children love theme parks. Additionally, you will witness fairly vacation decorations and particular occasions in December together with all the journey.

The winter months from December by means of April are additionally peak whale watching season in San Diego. So book a cruise to watch migrating grey whales from southern Alaska.

You too can get pleasure from somewhat seaside time on close by Coronado Island.

You may get pleasure from browsing on the gorgeous seashores, mountaineering, and admiring the best San Diego sunrises.

For exploring the wealthy historical past, head to Outdated City, the place you must also strive some scrumptious Mexican meals.

Go to the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, an 18th-century Nationwide Historic Landmark and one of many metropolis’s primary sights.

Your journey to San Diego is incomplete with out exploring the stylish neighbourhood of La Jolla, well-known for meals, beachfront and purchasing.

Balboa park, the huge 1200-acre park, is among the finest locations to go to in San Diego in December as you’ll be able to participate in lots of Christmas actions and occasions, together with the annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights boat parade, when over 80 boats are colourfully embellished ushering within the festive spirits.

Plus, throughout this competition, there may be free admission to all the museums.

You may go mountaineering and attend the theatre screening motion pictures at this park.

Additionally, Balboa Park’s December Nights is San Diego’s premier vacation competition that you shouldn’t miss for the scrumptious meals, drinks, and vacation lighting. 

RECOMMENDED – 15 Top Waterfalls In San Diego You Should Not Miss



One of many beautiful beach towns in North California, Mendocino is thought for its magnificent Victorian buildings, saltbox cottages, gorgeous seashores, and unimaginable views.

Nearer to redwoods and the ocean, this simply accessible city is among the finest locations to go to in California in December.

Due to the temperate Mediterranean local weather, the climate in Mendocino might be as nice in winter as it’s within the summertime, however minus the fog, which is why it’s a excellent decide for a seaside metropolis to journey in December in California.

 California at Christmas

You can be rewarded with the nice ocean breeze, spectacular blue skies, fewer vacationers crowd, and sweeping sea views alongside the rocky cliffs.

The typical each day excessive temperatures are within the low 50s and might dip down into the excessive 40s.

You may benefit from the Magical Christmas Prepare with tales and Santa in December.

Go to the gorgeous Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, embellished with dazzling vacation lights throughout the Competition of Lights, as you get pleasure from reside music, Christmas sweets and bakes.

Begin by exploring downtown Mendocino, filled with Victorian structure, historic buildings, brick paved sidewalks, and conventional boutique outlets.

The Mendocino coast, stretching from neighbouring Fort Bragg to Level Area, is the very best place if you wish to spend time on the seafront.

The rugged cliffs, bluffs, and sumptuous views of the Pacific Ocean might be loved by way of many hikes or quick drives.

Mendocino is among the high cities to get pleasure from whale watching. Grey whales migrate alongside the Mendocino Coast from November by means of April, arriving from Alaska.

places to visit in California during winter

There are various methods and locations to try this. You may spot the gorgeous migrating gray whales by happening the mountaineering trails in  Mendocino Headlands State Park or mountaineering to the long-lasting landmark Level Cabrillo Lighthouse. 

One of the best ways to identify the whales is by getting on the water. Take a guided whale-watching boat journey in Fort Bragg. The whaleboat journeys can be found from mid-December by means of April.

You may plan a day journey to the city of Fort Bragg, which has many sights and seashores. 

The highest factor to do with children within the space is to take a spin on the well-known Skunk Prepare, which is able to take you thru the best California Redwoods.

Mendocino has many well-liked mountaineering trails that provide splendid views and take you thru the plush forests.

Van Damme State Park options miles of trails passing by means of a forested canyon with luxuriant ferns throughout winter.

Put on good mountaineering sneakers that may provide help to get a grip as you navigate by means of the plush forests or slippery, rocky cliffs near the coast.

The best places to visit in December in California


Agate Cove Inn is a well-liked selection, due to its glorious location and spacious suites, perfect for {couples} and households. Check here.

Headlands Inn Bed and Breakfast, situated a 5-minute stroll to the Mendocino Bay seaside, is a superb possibility to remain for {couples} and households. Check here.

Seagull Inn Bed & Breakfast is a wonderful place if you’d like one thing easy, centrally situated, and finest for {couples}. Check here.


Certainly one of my favorite coastal places throughout the winter is Santa Cruz, filled with so many unimaginable issues to do, one thing accessible for each sort of traveler.

Santa Cruz is undoubtedly probably the greatest locations to go to in California in December, with the nice climate just one motive.

Winter is a way more relaxed time to discover as you’ll be able to expertise the laid-back environment and beachy festivities with fewer vacationers.

Surf Metropolis Santa Cruz, situated at a 6-hour driving distance from Los Angeles, dwells in Christmas celebrations early, and you shouldn’t miss being on the well-known Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk, one of many landmarks on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations. 

A large Christmas tree embellished with seaside balls towers over the park.

There are gorgeous vacation lights shows on the seaside amusement park, and you may even get pleasure from a journey on the skating rink.

You could find rides for all ages right here, whether or not in arcade video games or the thrilling curler coasters and Ferris wheels.

This gorgeous city holds its place within the hearts of the US folks for bringing browsing to mild within the US from the then Hawaiian Kingdom and at this time the browsing capital of California.

December is the time for the massive winter waves coming to Mavericks, simply up the coast in Half Moon Bay. 

When you favor to get away from the crowds on the boardwalk, you’ll be able to decide from greater than a dozen excellent Santa Cruz hiking trails, which is able to take you thru numerous landscapes, from the majestic coastal Redwoods to spotless seashores and miles of coastal bluffs.

Late December is the very best time to observe elephant seals returning to Año Nuevo State Park to mate.

Stroll by means of the coastal groves of Pure Bridges Park. You’ll come throughout this overwintering website right here for monarch butterflies, majestic butterflies that start arriving in mid-October.

One of many must-do issues in Santa Cruz in December is reserving a journey on the well-known Roaring Camp’s Vacation Lights Prepare and Chanukah Prepare, run by the Roaring Springs Railroad.  

This Vacation Gentle Prepare leaves from the boardwalk and passes by means of the shoreline inland to the enormous redwoods as you drink sizzling cocoa and hearken to the carols.

For a extra conventional practice journey, I like to recommend reserving your ticket to start out from Felton, which is able to take you thru the redwoods to Bear Mountain, the place you are able to do the Vacation Tree Stroll. 


In case you are seeking to be proper throughout the seaside, my favorite suggestions could be Beach Street Inn and Suites, throughout from Major Seaside.  

When you favor one thing elegant, go for West Cliff Inn, A Four Sisters Inna shocking 3-story Victorian residence steps from the Santa Cruz Seaside and Boardwalk.

I like to recommend La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Santa Cruz within the metropolis centre for {couples} and other people travelling with children.


In case you are touring with children to California in December, there may be nothing extra glamorous and glitzy because the magical world of Disney, which is a little more incredible throughout winter.

Anaheim is among the finest locations to go to in California in December for the younger at coronary heart and children.

Even if you’re not into Disney, it is best to go to throughout this month for all the gorgeous vacation lighting and celebrations and the unmissable vacation spirit that may bowl you over.

However not like different locations on this listing, heading to Disneyland is among the most enjoyable issues to do in California in December, and therefore numerous households head to Disneyland to get pleasure from Christmas, so anticipate crowds.

All of the sights are themed round Christmas, because the Sleeping Magnificence Citadel is adorned with icicles and the Haunted Mission is embellished with  Nightmare Earlier than Christmas.

When you love rides, one which you shouldn’t miss is It’s A Small World in opposition to a background of the Jingle Bells. It appears magical with hundreds of lights.

Watch the holiday-themed parade, beginning at Its A Small World and continuing down Major Avenue, with the backdrop of lights alongside the primary road. It’s a dazzling present with many musicals, dances, Disney tunes, vacation songs, and particular fireworks.

Gingerbread males and reindeer get pleasure from themselves alongside acquainted Disney characters within the parade.

There are a great deal of scrumptious Christmas particular delicacies ready for you, whether or not it’s the particular bakes or the recent chocolate varieties.

Anaheim can also be a hub for eating and purchasing and has extra to supply past Disney.

Try the large Christmas tree in City Sq. of Anaheim, embellished with beautiful ornaments.

You may get pleasure from musical performances and theatre at live performance halls and take a look at downtown sights.

If you need extra theme parks, head to Knott’s Berry Farm and Legoland, additionally themed and decked up for Christmas.

To flee the most important crowds at Disneyland in December, planning your go to for the primary two weeks of the month is finest.


For Households

Hampton Inn & Suites Anaheim Resort is a well-liked selection amongst households for its spacious suites excellent for a vacation. Find more details here.

One other glorious selection for folks with children is Residence Inn by Marriott at Anaheim Resort, which provides luxurious studios. Check more here.

Resorts & Resorts

Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn, situated 5 minutes stroll to Disneyland Park’s primary gate, is beloved by households and {couples}. Check out more about this lovely hotel here.

If you need enjoyable resorts in your keep, I like to recommend Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort, providing spacious rooms and glorious facilities. Check more here.

One other lodge price trying out is The Westin Anaheim Resort, which has glorious opinions. Book here.


Lengthy Seaside has loads of incredible issues as it’s a year-round vacation spot beloved by households and {couples} for a lot of superior issues.

Lengthy Seaside stays considered one of California’s most underrated locations but the extra big neighbours, Los Angeles and Santa Monica get many of the consideration.

It is among the finest locations to go to in California in December with children for a calming weekend getaway, due to loads of inexperienced open areas, fairly seashores, museums, a beautiful waterfront lined with glorious eating places and an enormous string of bars and cafes.

There are various amazing free things to do in Long Beach as properly, a bonus along with the decrease lodge costs and fewer crowds in December.

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When the central attraction of a metropolis is over 6 miles of sandy seashores, you’re in for a incredible seaside vacation.

You may get pleasure from all of the seaside sports activities and head downtown to observe the show lights or the parade on the harbour. 

In case you are with children, don’t miss visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific to view sea life up shut. 

There are various incredible eating places alongside the waterfront providing particular delicacies in December, and close by Shoreline Village is an ideal addition for purchasing at quaint outlets.


If you wish to keep near the seaside, Hyatt Regency Long Beach is correct throughout, providing king-sized rooms and household condos. Find more here.

Residence Inn Long Beach Downtown, situated downtown has glorious opinions and provides studios excellent for households. Check more details here.

Residence by Marriott Inn Long Beach options spacious studios and is a well-liked decide amongst {couples}. Book here.


One other well-liked spot alongside the incredible coast is Large Sur, a well-known cease in the summertime for households and journey seekers for mountaineering, tenting, biking, and beautiful views.

Large Sur is among the finest locations to go to in California in December if you wish to skip the crowds, get wonderful reductions on resorts and excursions, and benefit from the splendid views with out the notorious California fog.

Many individuals favor a road trip along Big Sur, which I extremely suggest for an prolonged vacation and exploring a great deal of sights simply accessible on the coast.

Regardless of its recognition, Large Sur is among the nation’s most prolonged stretches of untouched shoreline in opposition to the attractive backdrops of the Pacific Ocean and the Saint Lucia Mountains.

Big Sur road trip map

You may select from a number of mountaineering trails – whether or not to go beside the rocky cliffs alongside the ocean dotted with rustic seashores or stroll by means of among the densest forests residence to gigantic towering redwood timber and hidden waterfalls.

I like to recommend doing a little bit of each as you can be awed by the stark distinction of the gorgeous landscapes situated so shut to one another.

Drive on Freeway 1 or the Pacific Coast Freeway winding alongside the coast to admire spectacular views of each land and sea. Cease on the iconic landmarks, together with the gravity-defying Bixby Creek Bridge and Keyhole Rock.

December in Large Sur can also be the prime time for recognizing migrating marine life, together with gray whales, dolphins, and elephant seals.

The hike to the gorgeous McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a well-liked path amongst out of doors lovers. Some trails right here will open to coves and seaside stretches, perfect for night strolls.


If you wish to splurge on a lavish keep, you’ll love the grand Alila Ventana Big Sur, a favorite amongst {couples}. Aside from the magnificent property spanning a whole lot of acres, you’re handled with facilities from a spacious patio, spa, swimming pools, and extra.

The Big Sur Lodge, situated in Pfeiffer Large Sur State Park, is a superb selection.

Big Sur River Inn, recognized for its well-known restaurant, additionally has fabulous rooms with nice atmosphere and views.


If you wish to get pleasure from one of the lovely coastal stretches in California minus the crowds, probably the greatest locations to go to in California in December is Monterey.

This metropolis, which attracts hundreds of beachgoers throughout the summer season, appears a bit foggy and even chilly throughout December, but it surely solely creates a mystic atmosphere throughout these rugged cliffs, finest loved by way of a drive.

This well-known beachside city is an ideal cease for these making the journey on the Pacific Freeway 1 drive.

Though it feels barely colder, the typical temperature hovers across the mid-40s on the Peninsula, perfect for being outside.

Yosemite to Big Sur road trip

You’ll get to identify migrating whales whereas driving or hitting the seashores, because it is among the finest months for watching these mild giants.

You may get pleasure from biking, kayaking, or recognizing the migrant seals coming all the way down to Mexico from Alaska.

Many mountaineering trails alongside the cliff open to incredible views, together with on the California State Parks south of Carmel or Level Lobos. Or you’ll be able to drive to the various boutique wineries.

At night time, don’t miss to walk by means of the streets of the historic Outdated city of Monterey to see the vacation lights at Christmas.

A must-stop is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is a delight to each the adults and the youngsters. You’ll study in regards to the kelp forests and tide swimming pools and watch jellyfish and penguins swimming.

Try the Christmas on the Wharf decorations on the Aquarium, the place you will notice a fairly 30-foot Christmas tree embellished with vibrant sea creatures.

In case you are in Monterey in mid-December, the Aquarium is the venue for the annual Christmas within the Adobes occasion, the place you’ll be able to take a look at greater than 20 historic adobes dressed up for the vacation season.

Different well-liked issues to do in Monterey embrace visiting Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row.


Certainly one of my favorite suggestions in Monterey is Merritt House Hotel for its cute and classy interiors and its glorious location near many sights and well-known eating places.

Victorian Inn on Foam road is price your cash as it’s a beautiful lodge situated a stone’s throw away from the seaside. The structure and the interiors are a fantastic and chic mixture of Victorian attraction with trendy conveniences, one thing to check out in your vacation.

Monterey Bay Inn is your best option to benefit from the gorgeous views of the seaside and the coast from proper throughout the room. Situated on the coast of Monterey Bay, Monterey Bay Inn additionally homes a rooftop whirlpool and direct entry to San Carlos Seaside.


The American Riviera, Santa Barbara, is among the well-known seaside cities all year long. 

The Central California coastal metropolis has all the things; whether or not it’s a enjoyable downtown, lovely historic sights, distinctive Spanish structure, farm-fresh meals, and exquisite wineries or its many fairly seashores, you’ll find all of them right here.

Since Santa Barbara enjoys a Mediterranean local weather, winters are very delicate right here. 

The typical temperatures are within the 60s, nice for out of doors actions. Some wet days could also be in December, and the evenings might be colder, so carry a heat jacket with you.

So it is among the finest winter holidays in California if you’re craving some solar with out the fog.

You can be shocked how laid-back Santa Barbara is all 12 months lengthy, regardless of its many issues for everybody.

warm places to visit in December California

Aside from these enjoyable vibes, Santa Barbara is among the finest locations to go to in California in December as a result of the town will get prettier, and the Christmas spirits will enchant you with many enjoyable actions, parades, and occasions.

The purchasing areas are embellished with vacation lights, carol performances, and parades, with further vacation markets promoting wares and different distinctive memento gadgets made by the native artisans.

In case you are in Santa Barbara in early December, watch the colorful Vacation Parade on State Avenue. 

At Santa Barbara harbour, benefit from the Parade of Lights, the place embellished boats cruise round in opposition to particular fireworks within the sky.

You may get pleasure from holiday-themed concert events throughout many theatres in Santa Barbara, often held all through the month.

Do you know? Santa Barbara County, surrounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains, has greater than 200 wineries and 150+ tasting rooms.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot are well-known wines right here. 

The perfect half is that probably the most well-known tasting rooms are situated in Funk Zone, inside strolling distance of the Presidio Neighborhood downtown.

You could find famend names right here, like Margerum Wine Firm, Grassini Household Vineyards and Jamie Slone from boutique tasting rooms and breweries. 

Guide a wine tasting tour to pattern the very best of Santa Barbara wines, the place you’ll tour many vineyards. 

One of the best ways to style the native specialities is by happening a guided meals tour within the metropolis.

Different high issues in Santa Barbara embrace browsing, whale watching, mountaineering, and exploring the historic structure downtown.

One of many nice landmarks is Stearns Wharf on the Santa Barbara Harbor, the West Coast’s oldest working wharf.

Drive on the picket wharf for gorgeous views of the Santa Barbara shoreline and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Stroll alongside the seaside boardwalk, or watch a beautiful sundown by taking a cruise tour. Go tide pooling together with your children at Carpinteria State Park. Admire the skyline of the town from the courthouse tower. 

For the very best protection of your time, I like to recommend taking a narrated trolley tour, which covers many sights, together with Outdated Mission Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and Butterfly Seaside.


Santa Barbara Inn is a well-liked selection with glorious opinions, due to its location proper throughout the seaside and all the trendy facilities. Find more details here.

In case you are searching for an opulent keep, take a look at El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, providing sweeping Pacific Ocean views, situated 5 minutes drive from Central Santa Barbara. Find out more here.

If you wish to expertise a snug keep at a Victorian-era heritage constructing, fairly well-liked amongst households, take a look at Simpson House Inn, with glorious opinions. Check more details here.

Cheshire Cat Inn & Cottages is one other advisable keep possibility. Book here.



Beneath is the listing of the journey assets you need to use to arrange your journey – from flights to insurance coverage and all the things. These are the assets I take advantage of myself, which is why I like to recommend you for a hassle-free journey planning expertise and incredible journeys.

Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Jet Radar, Kiwior 12go.Asia (for Asia planning). Guide and fly mid-week, taking red-eyes flights or these within the early mornings for higher offers and decrease costs. Keep away from check-in luggage on a finances airline.

Reserving Trains: The perfect web sites for reserving trains wherever in Europe are Rail Europe and TrainLine. Each are straightforward to handle on-line and monitor your journeys.

Reserving Automobiles: For the very best costs and simple dealing with of renting a automotive for street journeys and day journeys, I’d suggest Discover Cars or Rental Cars, accessible all through the world.

Lodging: I sometimes use HotelsCombined or Booking.com to ebook resorts. There are particular getaway offers with wonderful reductions(over 50%!) for this 12 months on Reserving.com, and you’ll find them here.

I take advantage of Hostelworld and Agoda to ebook hostels because the deposit is low, straightforward change/cancellation is offered and opinions are glorious on each. Relying on the vacation spot, I like staying in VRBOs/homestays.

Journey Insurance coverage: Irrespective of whether or not it’s a quick journey or longer journeys overseas, I strongly suggest shopping for journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys. I like to recommend both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage.

Excursions: Being a solo traveler, probably the greatest methods to optimize my time, finances, and tremendous importantly, meet wonderful folks from everywhere in the world is by becoming a member of excursions, particularly meals excursions, strolling excursions, day journeys, tradition, and historical past excursions.
You’ll get an area’s perspective, the very best alternatives to expertise locations and other people intently. I ebook utilizing GetYourGuideKlookViatorand Voyagin.

Please observe: This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks, that means I could earn a fee should you make a purchase order by clicking a hyperlink (at no further price to you). Learn more.

Subscribe to my emails for the most recent journey guides and itineraries straight to your inbox. No Spam. As soon as a month solely! Decide-out anytime.

Please observe: This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks, that means I could earn a fee should you make a purchase order by clicking a hyperlink (at no further price to you). Learn more.

Reshma Narasing
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