December marks your last opportunity to cash in on this year’s travel determination before they reset in the new year. So, let the magic of this beautiful month take you to a place near or far.
Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital, still has a lot going for it: innovative supper clubs, futuristic architecture, buzzy restaurants helmed by expats, and cocktail dens that draw the city’s international crowd. December brings a amazing feeling to the city, when Christmas markets and ice skating rinks open to the public. Also, the city’s famous apple wine is served in each corner. Another motivation to go: Frankfurt is one of the cheapest places to travel this month, as hotel rates dip to their lowest prices.
2.Los Cabos, Mexico
Cabo is back on track since Hurricane Odile crushed its coastline, and major hotels are opening all throughout the Mexican resort town. Two newcomers we cherish: the Cape, from Thompson Hotels, with rooms overlooking the arch-shaped El Arco rock formation and a restaurant by chef Enrique Olvera. The design-centric Mar Adentro, whose show-stopping sushi restaurant is housed in a cocoon of twigs. Close-by, the whale-watching program at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort kicks off in December, where every room—and every restaurant—has a bird’s-eye view of humpback mothers and their calves frolicking in the Sea of Cortés.
The state of Kerala is a far cry from India’s chaotic urban cities. Here, houseboats cruise the backwaters, wellness retreats are tucked into jungle forests. Life moves at a leisurely pace—no different in December, when the weather is blissfully cooler. This city, the historic center, is experiencing new energy this season as it hosts the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an influential exhibition of contemporary art by emerging Indian and established international talents. Planning to see a little bit of everything? Embark on a luxuriously slow-moving trip of a lifetime for an insider’s look at the country’s inside.
4.Quebec City, Canada
Few can deny the romance of Quebec City come wintertime. Within the walled city, horse-drawn carriages rumble down Old Town’s streets, low-lit wine bars fill with hand-holding pairs in deep conversation, the Place D’Youville opens its rink for ice-skating, and the castle-like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac overlooks it all. Enjoy a fresh snowfall during a walk along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, or from a room at Le Monastère des Augustines, a new hotel and wellness spa where “rest” gains a whole new significance.
5.Prague, Czech Republic
What could be more romantic than Prague during the winter season? With its historic streets, Baroque and Gothic architecture, looming cathedrals, and storied holiday markets, it’s no wonder Prague is one of the best places to spend Christmas at. Among the many things to do in Prague, you might consider a walking tour of Prague Castle, walking over the famous Charles Bridge, or pairing dinner with a Mozart performance at Lobkowicz Palace.
6.Siem Reap, Cambodia
December spells dry season for Siem Reap, where guests can enjoy consistently cloudless skies and refreshingly comfortable temperatures. Perfect for active pursuits like walking tours of Angkor Wat or cycling through the city streets. Definitely, this part of the year is also high season, so book your travels early, especially if you’re looking to stay at one of Cambodia’s best hotels like Phum Baitang. Its 45 stilted villas have soaking tubs and hang over rice paddies, while the spa specializes in coconut-milk massages.
Scotland’s cultural capital, Edinburgh is the home to narrow medieval alleys, Georgian architecture, and historic Edinburgh Castle, along with the futuristic Scottish Parliament and forward-thinking restaurants putting new twists on old classics. Somewhere in the range of 150,000 people flood the city come December for Hogmanay. Hogmanay is an end-of-the-year celebration marked by three days of concerts, fireworks, and various processions. Don’t miss Inverlieth House, which doubles as an art gallery and exhibition hall for books and drawings. Also Mary’s Milk Bar, whose gelato and dessert ice cream floats still attracts many people in winter months.
8.Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Wyoming’s Teton Range is a play area for outdoor adventure like hiking, camping, and, come winter, skiing and snowboarding. Jackson Hole is also very loved for its luxe alpine hotels, including the Four Seasons and Hotel Terra and close proximity to some of the state’s best descents. For the ultimate ski experience, head to the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park. There trails follow slopes and ridges, and everywhere you look. Also there are jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountain peaks.
In case you’re hoping to swap chilly weather with chilling on the beach, we can think of no better place to soak in the rays than the Bahamas. Atlantis is the best and mostly liked place for families. That is thanks to its Dolphin Cay and iconic faux Mayan Temple, complete with a 60-foot water slide. In December, the Junkanoo Festival takes over Nassau. There are stirring street parades combining dancing, music, and colorful costumes entrance onlookers from Boxing Day to New Year’s. The place to stay: the refreshed One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island. Now with an oceanfront infinity pool from which to clink martinis and ring in the new year.