Where to Travel in December

By Andrew Wong,

2017 is coming to a close and what a year it has been! These are the Best Cities to Travel to in December. Bundle a sneaky stopover into that trip home to the family or gift yourself one last trip away before the year’s end. Where to Travel in December? Our favorite cities for December have put a freeze on prices, leaving more pocket change for seats at the Nutcracker in Washington, those front row seats at the Children’s Health Holiday Parade in Dallas or another round of Christmas Ale in Seattle.

 

Your D.C. Getaway

Weather Forecast: High 56°F ~ Low 26°F  

Whether politics is your thing or not, Washington, D.C. still begs for one last visit this year. Come for the monuments, but stay for the rumbling dining scene, holiday performances and an impressive list of hotel options (which we touch on below).

The month-long weather outlook for D.C. is looking perfect for short strolls around the monuments and dashing between the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, including the newly-opened Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture. While in Penn Quarter, you may find that last-minute gift for your loved ones at the Downtown Holiday Market.

Don’t you worry about the budget this weekend, because hotel room prices in D.C. are at their lowest for the year. trivago hotel data shows average hotel room prices in the ballpark of $213 per night in December, 38% cheaper than the most expensive month of the year (October).

What to do in D.C. in December?


D.C. is not shy about getting into the holiday spirit and the abundant green spaces are happy to comply. With the help of Destination DC, we’ve tracked down the jolliest activities to get you into the Christmas spirit and imparting a conviction that December is the month to visit Washington, D.C.

Have a very Obama Christmas

Anthony Quintano White House Holiday Decorations 2014

Photo by Anthony Quintano CC BY

Be hypnotized by the gilded Christmas Decorations at 1600 Pennsylvania, decorated by the First Family and their roster of holiday decorating volunteers. The festive spirit at the White House begins on November 30th with the National Christmas Tree Lighting, which promises performances by Craig Campbell and Us the Duo in 2017. Your free ticket inside grants you access to these historic rooms with their carefully-selected decorations and can be arranged through your congressional representative or by securing one of the Congressional Member’s passes through the White House Visitors Office.

Catch a live performance

Nutcracker Steve Snodgrass

Photo by Steve Snodgrass CC BY

Make your D.C. stay all the more special with tickets to one of the countless small and large stage productions around town for the holidays. For families, there’s no missing Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker, Into the Woods at the Kennedy Center, and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the National Theater.

For adults, December will see a return of Second City’s A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens.

How Much to Budget


Once you’re on the ground in the Nation’s Capital plan to set aside roughly $602 over 48 hours as a couple in Washington, D.C.

Cappuccino: $4.17

Taxi from the airport: $15 from DCA, $75 from IAD

Metro from DCA: $3, Bus 5A from IAD: $7

 

One night in a 3-star Hotel  – December: $177.90

Candlelight Tour of Georgetown’s Tudor Place: $40

Find December deals from $70

 

Your Dallas Getaway

Weather Forecast: High 65°F ~ Low 34°F  

Dallas gets decked out for the holidays — and by virtue of being in Texas, you can bet that the decorations are big. Visit Dallas was happy to guide us to the must-see Christmas decorations around town, including the brilliantly-decorated gazebos for “The 12 Days of Christmas” at the Dallas Arboretum and the 4,000-plus square foot world of miniature trains at NorthPark Center.

If you’re looking for a steal this holiday season, Dallas could be your answer. Like the other two cities on our list, December is also the cheapest month of the year for hotel rooms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. trivago hotel data points to savings of 22% over June rates (the most expensive month) with an average of  $144 per night in December. Each of these Dallas hotels shows off a different side to the city, all at affordable rates.

What to do in Dallas in December?


Celebrating a Wild West Xmas in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Stockyards Hotel sign Marco Becerra

Photo by Marco Becerra CC BY

If you’ve never seen a cowboy Santa Claus, drive over to the Fort Worth Stockyards where Jolly Old St. Nick stops by for the month in true North Texan garb. Better yet, celebrate Christmas in The Stockyards with their very Western take on the holiday including milking cows and a Legends of Texas gunfight. Those last minute stocking stuffers are sure to be found in one of the Stockyard Station’s shops (beef jerky, anyone?).

Take in the Children’s Health Holiday Parade

Bart Fields Dallas Holiday Parade

Santa floating his way down Commerce St. Photo by Bart Fields CC BY

A Dallas tradition since 1988, the Children’s Health Holiday Parade was created jointly by local hotelier The Adolphus Hotel and the parade’s namesake children’s hospital. Now delighting crowds of more than 400,000 every year, experience this nationally-syndicated holiday parade in person on the streets of the downtown core. For unobstructed views of the marching bands and the Big Man himself, look into pre-purchasing tickets on the parade route.

 

How Much to Budget


Once you’re on the ground in the Big D, plan to set aside roughly $562 over 48 hours as a couple in Dallas.

Cappuccino: $3.99

Taxi from the airport: $45 to Downtown

DART Orange Line (Two-hour Ticket): $2.50

 

One night in a 3-star Hotel  – December: $126

Two Dallas Children’s Holiday Parade seats (Commerce/St. Paul): $50

Find December deals in Dallas

trivago Travel Planner Tip: Quickly pull up the latest availability for hotel rooms using ‘Recent Searches’. Check back on your searched city tomorrow, later this week or in a month by choosing ‘Recent Searches’ on your trivago profile. Stay posted on the best hotels at your destination with the click of a button!

Your Seattle Getaway

Weather Forecast: High 65°F ~ Low 34°F  

A snow-capped Mount Rainier welcomes visitors to Seattle in December. It’s no secret that Seattleites love the outdoors and a little (or a lot) of rain has never known to slow them down. Take the Ugly Sweater Run, for example, whose 3.1 mile run on December 2nd embraces the chill and thrill of the holiday season. Come 11:59 PM on December 31st, all eyes will be fixed on the fireworks display fired off the top of the Space Needle.

trivago hotel data is showing a cold front freezing hotel prices in the Pacific Northwest with the average hotel room price in Seattle standing at $178 per night in December. Our December accommodation picks highlight the city’s ingrained quirkiness and longstanding support for the arts, which now has found its way into the hotel scene.

What to do in Seattle in December?


We guarantee you won’t be short on activities for a weekend trip to Seattle. For those chilly December days, check out the Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) or for the little ones, a live performance of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn playing at the 5th Avenue Theatre until Dec. 31. We tapped the shoulders of two local bloggers to learn how they embrace the snow and the foam in December.

Get outside with your Pup

Seattle Dogwalking Jessica Rhae Williams PetTalk Media

Photo by Jessica Rhae Williams

“Seattle is a wonderful place to travel with your dog, even in December. When it’s raining in the City, it’s usually snowing in the mountains. It’s a great time to rent some snowshoes from REI and head out for a winter-wonderland snowshoe romp. If you want to stay in town, you and your pooch can hang out at the Dogwood indoor dog park & bar or just hop on a bus (the buses in King County are dog-friendly) and see another part of the City. We do see a sunny day or two in the winter, too. In that case, head to Discovery Park for an urban hike or take a ferry ride on Puget Sound.”

— Jessica Rhae Williams, YouDidWhatWithYourWiener.com

Cozy up with a Local Brew

Seattle Pyramid Brewery pints

Photo by Jenny CC BY

“The weather is notoriously cold and rainy in Seattle in December, so I like to use that as an excuse to visit the city’s many excellent breweries. This time of year, you’ll find me cozied up to the bar at Holy Mountain Brewing, Rooftop Brewing, Urban Family Brewing, and Seapine Brewing. You can’t go wrong with a dark stout or a refreshing, bright IPA this time of year!”

Megan Hill

How Much to Budget


For a cozy December weekend in the Pacific Northwest, plan to set aside roughly $738 over 48 hours as a couple in Seattle.

Cappuccino: $3.89

Taxi from the Sea-Tac: $45

Link Light Rail: $3

One night in a 3-star Hotel  – December: $169

Winterfest at the Seattle Center: $0

Find December deals in Seattle

Learn more in our Travel Advice Calendars


If you can’t make it to our “Where to Travel in December” destinations this month, try them out later this year with the help of our Travel Advice Calendar or subscribe to our “Where to Travel” mailer to be the first to learn of our destination picks.

*Feature photo by m01229 CC BY

trivago hotel price data was accurate on the date of publishing. For the most up-to-date info and media requests, visit our Press Page.