The 30 Best US Beaches in December

While many associate beach vacations with the summer months, December brings its own unique charm to coastal destinations in the United States. As the temperature drops in many parts of the country, some regions offer mild weather, making it the perfect time to escape to the beach. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an active outdoor adventure, the US has a wide variety of beaches to explore in December. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the 30 best US beaches to visit during this magical winter month.

Key West, Florida

We begin our list with the southernmost point of the continental United States – Key West. Known for its stunning sunsets and lively atmosphere, Key West offers pleasant weather in December, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers.

Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach boasts a vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and warm temperatures year-round. In December, you can enjoy the beaches without the sweltering heat of summer.

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San Diego, California

San Diego is known for its fantastic weather, and December is no exception. The beaches here are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and even surfing.

Maui, Hawaii

For a tropical beach getaway, head to Maui, Hawaii. December is a great time to explore its golden shores and indulge in water sports or simply relax.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach is famous for its white sandy shores and clear, turquoise waters. December offers a reprieve from the summer crowds while still providing pleasant beach weather.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach’s mild December temperatures allow for comfortable walks along the coastline, and you can explore the vibrant boardwalk.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island offers a more relaxed beach experience in December. It’s perfect for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Santa Monica Beach, California

Santa Monica Beach, with its iconic pier and stunning views, is a must-visit in December. The mild weather allows for leisurely beach strolls.

Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida

Known as the “Venice of America” due to its extensive canal system, Fort Lauderdale Beach is a charming destination for beachgoers in December.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks offer a unique beach experience with its untouched natural beauty and historic sites. December is an excellent time to explore its serene beaches.

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Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Island’s beaches are perfect for families looking for a December getaway. Enjoy beachfront resorts and fun activities like mini-golf.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores offers a quieter beach experience in December. You can enjoy long walks on the soft, white sands and explore nearby nature preserves.

South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, even in December. Kiteboarding and windsurfing are popular activities during this time.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston’s historic charm extends to its beaches. Enjoy the combination of history, architecture, and beautiful coastlines in December.

Coronado Beach, California

Coronado Beach is known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Hotel del Coronado. December provides a mild climate for beachgoers.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod offers a serene coastal experience in December. You can explore quaint seaside towns and enjoy fresh seafood.

Pensacola Beach, Florida

Pensacola Beach’s white sands and emerald waters are a sight to behold in December. The beach is perfect for swimming and beachcombing.

Destin, Florida

Destin, known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” offers beautiful beaches and a vibrant dining scene in December.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach’s boardwalk and pleasant weather make it an excellent destination for December. Enjoy beachfront restaurants and shops.

Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach is an artist’s haven, known for its stunning scenery and artistic community. December is a great time for beach walks and art appreciation.

Sanibel Island, Florida

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Sanibel Island is famous for its seashell-covered beaches. December is the perfect time for shell collecting and birdwatching.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head offers golf enthusiasts a fantastic December getaway along with its beautiful beaches.

Malibu, California

Malibu is synonymous with luxury and natural beauty. Explore its pristine beaches and enjoy the mild December weather.

Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach offers a mix of relaxation and excitement. In December, you can enjoy the beach and explore the Daytona International Speedway.

Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island is known for its laid-back atmosphere and historic lighthouse. December provides mild weather for beachfront relaxation.

Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach is famous for its upscale dining and shopping. December is perfect for enjoying the beach and exploring the harbor.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach offers stunning views of Haystack Rock and rugged coastline. December provides a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Pismo Beach, California

Pismo Beach is known for its dramatic cliffs and beautiful sunsets. December is a great time to enjoy its natural beauty without the crowds.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head offers golf enthusiasts a fantastic December getaway along with its beautiful beaches.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, with its charming cobblestone streets and historic homes, is a delightful December destination with beautiful coastal scenery.

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December might not be the most conventional time for a beach vacation, but the US offers a wide range of coastal destinations that provide enjoyable experiences during this winter month. Whether you prefer the warm sands of Florida or the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest, there’s a US beach waiting for you to explore and relax in December. So, pack your swimsuit and sunscreen, and embark on a memorable beach getaway this holiday season.

Additional Tips for December Beach Travel:

Before you embark on your December beach adventure, here are some additional tips to enhance your experience:

Pack Accordingly: While December in many of these destinations is mild, it’s still a good idea to pack layers, including sweaters and light jackets, to stay comfortable in cooler evenings.

Plan for Off-Peak: One of the advantages of traveling to the beach in December is fewer crowds. However, it’s essential to check the opening hours of restaurants, shops, and attractions, as some businesses might have reduced hours during the off-peak season.

Water Activities: If you’re planning to engage in water sports or swimming, make sure to check the water temperature and consider renting wetsuits if necessary.

Wildlife Viewing: Many coastal destinations in December offer unique opportunities for wildlife viewing. Keep an eye out for migratory birds, dolphins, and other marine life that might be more active during this season.

Local Cuisine: Take advantage of the less crowded restaurants and savor the local cuisine. Many coastal towns and cities have seafood specialties that are a must-try.

Holiday Festivities: Some beach destinations go all out with holiday decorations and events. Check if there are any special holiday festivals, parades, or markets happening during your visit.

Sun Protection: Even in December, it’s crucial to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.

Safety Precautions: Be aware of local safety guidelines and any specific COVID-19 restrictions or requirements that may be in place during your visit.

Respect the Environment: Practice responsible tourism by disposing of your trash properly and respecting the natural beauty of the beaches and surrounding areas.

Book Accommodations in Advance: While December sees fewer crowds, it’s still advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially if you plan to visit during popular holiday periods.

In conclusion, December is an underrated time to explore the diverse and beautiful beaches of the United States. From the sunny shores of Florida to the picturesque landscapes of the Pacific Coast, these 30 beach destinations offer a fantastic mix of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty. So, consider escaping the winter chill and enjoy a memorable beach vacation in December at one of these fantastic locations. Whether you seek solitude or vibrant coastal communities, there’s a beach for every traveler’s preference.