During the cold and snowy seasons of the vast northeast and midwest, the southern United States (or Hawaii) offers surfing, golfing, hiking, and sunbathing in the sunshine. Once your coat is in your closet, pack your sun oil in your travel bag and head out to seven cities full of warmth and holiday events.
Average maximum temperature in December: 26 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: surfing, snorkeling
Sip Maitai and hang out with the waves of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii ‘s Oahu city. Honolulu City Lights in downtown Honolulu Hale (City Hall) celebrates the holiday season with the spirit of Hawaiian Aloha (Hawaiian for “peace and affection”). It’s a celebration. Don’t miss the illuminations with 6.4 meters of Santa Claus. The Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour is a convenient way to see the illuminations. There are also many resort hotels on Oahu that decorate the lobby for Christmas. Don’t miss the Sheraton Waikiki Christmas motif sand sculpture.
Average maximum temperature in December: 18.9 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: golf, hiking
Head out in a suitcase with hiking boots and a golf club to the desert mountains, Saguaro Cactus Forest, Phoenix, Arizona, with nearly 200 golf courses, and nearby resort Scottsdale. For Christmas shopping, Scottsdale’s art galleries and boutiques, as well as the huge mall Fashion Square, are for you. One of the best illuminations in the area can be seen at the Phoenix Zoo in Papago Park. From late November to early January, ZooLights offers 3D animal-like light sculptures and live music, camel rides, merry-go-rounds, and ice sculpture demonstrations.
San Antonio, Texas
Average maximum temperature in December: 18 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: Riverwalk walks
If you’re hungry, try the Mexican flavor of tamale (a dish of corn flour dough mixed with meat and cheese, wrapped in corn husks and steamed). In San Antonio, a town in south-central Texas, it’s a Christmas specialty. During the holiday season, homemade tamales decorate the menu at restaurants throughout the city. Be careful not to overeat. You’ll end up taking a return flight with the belly of Santa Claus. Excessive calories can be consumed by walking along the River Walk in San Antonio. The promenade along the San Antonio River is lined with restaurants and specialty stores. In December, millions of glittering lights and thousands of Luminaria lanterns lit candles in paper bags illuminate the road.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The average temperature in December: 17.8 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: fishing, kayaking
Famous for its story, New Orleans is a city in the state of Louisiana in the southeastern United States. The most famous is the magnificent Mardi Gras in February. But you can’t miss the Christmas season when hotel prices are low and there are plenty of events. At the annual Celebration in the Oaks, 2 million lights illuminate the City Park. Meanwhile, the city’s symbol, St. Louis Cathedral, offers live music and special Christmas events. On New Year’s Eve, join the big festivities in the city’s historic French Quarter.
Average temperature in December: 22.8 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: golf
Spend Christmas with Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. Located in the heart of the southeastern United States, the city is sunny all year round and has more than a dozen large amusement parks. Walt Disney World Resort is filled with Christmas-themed shows, parades, and decorations, including the glittering icicles of Cinderella Castle. Universal Orlando, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will host a live show featuring Dr. Seuss’s Grinch. The protagonists of the Christmas Bricktacular in Legoland Florida are a 9-meter-high Christmas tree made of Lego blocks and a life-sized Santa Claus.
Charleston, South Carolina
The average temperature in December: 15.6 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: boating, fishing
Vibrant culture, rich history, well-preserved architecture, coastal location, famous restaurants, and friendly locals. Charleston, South Carolina is very popular, especially during the holiday season. The decorated house museum and plantations that have been passed down from generation to generation are reminiscent of the times when they were founded. Find bargains that can only be found in historic Charleston at America’s oldest blue sky market.
San Diego, California
Average maximum temperature in December: 18.3 degrees Celsius
Popular outdoor activities: ice skating, surfing
How do you feel about ice skating in a T-shirt by the sea? In the southernmost city of California, San Diego, a beachfront ice rink will be set up by the Victorian Hotel del Coronado, built-in 1887, during December. Illuminated and Christmas at popular spots in the city such as Balboa Park, where the San Diego Zoo is located, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, and Old Town. A special event will be held. Don’t forget to set aside time for the annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, where more than 80 decorated ships march through the bay.