The festive season of December is around the corner, making everyone excited at the prospect of spending the last month of the year somewhere memorable. If you want a winter getaway to enjoy with your friends and family, the world is your oyster! There are frosty ski resorts, holiday-spirited charming towns, and even sunny quaint warm-weather spots to hit this December. Here we’ve rounded up the best options to satiate every taste this season.
Alexandria is a favorite city of tourists coming from around the world, especially due to its rich history, great architecture, and charming downtown district. Here the holiday season starts on November 19th with the tree lighting. On December 3rd, the Annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights take place. On 16th-17th December, a spectacular light show and fireworks over the Potomac River amaze the audience. The candlelight tour on selected weekends is also a fun activity to join.
Founded by Danish settlers back in 1911, Solvang offers a charming European atmosphere with a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bakeries. The town celebrates Christmas in traditional Danish style with Christmas trees, festive lights, a Julefest parade, Santa’s Village in the park, holiday markets, and food tours. Stay in the new boutique Hotel Ynez to enjoy an unappalled view of snow-capped oak, madrone, and redwood trees that are spread across two acres. Pet-friendly Vinland Hotel + Lounge and the Winston are also convenient options to stay in.
Located in the central Rocky Mountains, Vail is a popular ski resort town that books a lot of December reservations every year. Travelers start to flock early in the month to join the Vail Film Festival from December first to the fourth. Then the winter sports enthusiasts, skiers, and snowboarders continue to arrive throughout the month. For a high-end stay, aim for the Hythe, a luxury collection resort with curated experiences, a spa, and four dining venues. Located near Vail Village, the Grand Hyatt Vail is also a pretty decent ski-in/ski-out stay option.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira is the largest island in the eponymous archipelago. This Portuguese island is rich in natural beauty with beaches, mountains, valleys, and rugged landscapes. While December may not be the ideal swimming season, the temperatures typically stay within the 50s, providing great weather for outdoor hiking, biking, and of course, sipping the world-famous local wines. Here Christmas is celebrated throughout December with lights and decorations, traditional fares, holiday markets, and plenty of fun festivities.
Cape Town, South Africa
As a part of the southern hemisphere, Cape Town witnesses the start of summer in December. The temperature resides in the 70s, making it ideal for hitting the outdoors. Go swimming, biking, and hiking, and don’t miss visiting the gardens of the city. This Mother City also offers a diverse culinary scene. Enjoy stunning panoramic views from a cable car ride to the summit of Table Mountain. Also, opt for a well-organized ocean expedition to explore the underwater kelp forests, where the Oscar-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher was filmed.
China is a hugely popular tourist destination, and it’s not hard to understand why. From the bustling tech-savvy cities to the ancient temples, this country is a melting pot of culture, advancement, and some delicious food to boot. Of course, you probably already have numerous Chinese destinations on your bucket list, but a visit to China’s Red Beach should certainly find its place onto that bucket list sometime soon.
Ravishing In Red
While China is rarely recognized for its beaches, it’s safe to say that the Red Beach is a seasonal phenomenon that puts the country on the map. This beach, located in Panjin, is not your average beach, though. Instead of seeing golden sands and aquamarine water, this beach is more like a red blanket on the ground.
An Incredible Phenomenon
What’s so amazing about Red Beach is the fact that this area only becomes this deep crimson red between September and October each year. That’s because this phenomenon is caused by a wildflower called Suaeda salsa, which grows in these wetland conditions. Throughout the year, this wildflower changes color as it grows. First, it grows light green before turning bright red later in the year. There’s around 18km of this flower along Red Beach, which ultimately causes this stunning blanket effect.
Paradise For Wildlife
As well as looking incredible, Red Beach is also a paradise for the wildlife that lives there. Much of the beach is closed off to the public, which allows the animals to thrive in this environment. From 260 types of birds – including endangered birds – to fish and other animals, it’s safe to say that Red Beach is one of the most spectacular places on the planet.
It may be a little late to enjoy what Red Beach has to offer now, but you should definitely add it to your bucket list for next year. After all, you can make up for lost time.