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Warm Weather Destinations to Visit in the USA in December

Big Cat Sanctuary

December is synonymous in many places with snow, heavy coats, hot chocolate, and evergreen trees. But, if you’re looking to get away from the cold and snow and pack shorts and a t-shirt instead of your hat and gloves this December, the U.S.A. has plenty of warm-weather destinations. Each of these destinations will steer you clear of the snow and ice, but they won’t lack for Christmas charm and holiday traditions. Here are 10 warm places to visit in the U.S.A. this December

10 warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

1. South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas -hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

South Padre Island, Texas -hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

Most people don’t think of Texas when they imagine white-sand beaches, sparkling blue water, and warm tropical temperatures. But a South Padre Island has all of that and more. This barrier island off the southern coast of Texas one of the hottest Spring Break destinations in the U.S. right now, but is a haven for families and those seeking refuge from cooler climates during the winter months. On warm days, the Gulf of Mexico can be warm enough to swim in and on cooler days, the weather is ideal for exploring the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a picnic in Isla Blanca Park or a dolphin cruise.

Average December high temperature: 22 degrees Celsius

2. Siesta Key, Florida

Siesta Key, Florida - hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

Siesta Key, Florida - hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

If you’re looking for a winter paradise in the U.S. in December, this is it. With glittering turquoise waters, white quartz sand, and amenities galore, Siesta Key offers something for everyone and has been voted the best beach in the world twice. It’s also the dry season in Florida, so rain will be scarce and the sun will be shining all day long. Warm temperatures are perfect for paddleboarding or kayaking through Sarasota’s enchanted mangrove tunnels. Cooler weather also means a visit to Big Cat Sanctuary, a refuge for neglected and abused big cat species from around the world is in order. If you’re into art, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a must-do. It’s filled with 21 galleries of European paintings as well as Cypriot antiquities and Asian, American, and contemporary art. Famous artists represented include Rubens, Bernini, Finelli, Boudin, and more.

Average December high temperature: 23 degrees Celsius

3. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia -where to go in the USA for hot weather in December

Savannah, Georgia -where to go in the USA for hot weather in December

If you’re looking to escape the cold but not the holiday spirit, Savannah is the place to be. Throughout the month of December, there are holiday light shows, and musical and theatrical performances just about every day. Historic houses host events that let visitors see what Christmas in the South is all about. Stop by River Street to grab any last-minute gifts. Take a tour on one of Savannah’s famous trolleys which will be decked out in holiday décor this time of year. If you need to get your beach fix in, head out to Tybee Island in the afternoon. If you’re lucky you might even spot some dolphins!

Average December high temperature: 18 degrees Celsius

4. Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida -warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

Orlando, Florida -warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

If you love the magic of the holidays, Orlando in December is an absolute delight! With holiday-themed events happening at all the major theme parks, you’ll find everything decked out in lights and holiday finery. Visit Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort to see a life-sized Victorian gingerbread house. At the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Castle is dripping in icicle lights and Mickey and Minnie march down Main Street U.S.A. during Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. You can even see “snow” without being cold! Experience holiday traditions, décor, and food from around the world at Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays.

Universal Studios is just as magical as its mouse-eared neighbor. If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City, you’re in luck, you can see a version of it during the holidays at Universal Orlando. Harry Potter fans will love strolling through the tinsel-trimmed streets of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade while sipping on butterbeer. Next door at Universal’s Islands of Adventure Dr. Seuss fans can enjoy the park’s “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular” and visit the Grinch himself.

For those not interested in the theme parks, Orlando has shopping, golf, and resorts with heated pools galore.

Average December high temperature: 24 degrees Celsius

5. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas -warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

San Antonio, Texas -warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

If your goal is to vacation in shorts and a t-shirt in December, San Antonio is the perfect destination for you! The city’s most iconic neighborhood, the 2.5-mile River Walk is lit up for the holidays all month. With over 100,000 lights and more than 185 different caroling groups, it’s hard not to get in the holiday spirit. If there’s one thing you have to do while in San Antonio in December, it’s making your own tamales. La Gran Tamalada offers the opportunity to make the favorite local holiday food hands-on in the Historic Market Square. Because of San Antonio’s warm climate, local theme parks are open year-round including Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Average December high temperature: 24 degrees Celsius

6. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona -hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

Tucson, Arizona -hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

With a dry, desert climate year-round, December falls right in the middle of the peak travel season in Tucson. Temperatures are perfect for exploring the surrounding desert or visiting local wildlife attractions. Celebrate the holidays with a western flair as events throughout the city put on holiday programs that bring you back to “Old Tucson.” One of the most uniquely Tucson holiday things you can do on your vacation is to see The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday ballet takes you back to the Tucson of the 1880s. The Tucson Regional Ballet puts on a presentation of A Southwest Nutcracker each holiday season. Experience this holiday classic in a new as the ballet sticks to the original story but brings the tale to territorial Arizona, where coyotes, rattlesnakes, and a Western cavalry take center stage.

Average December high temperature: 18 degrees Celsius

7. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii- hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

Honolulu, Hawaii- hot destinations to visit in USA in DEcember

If there was ever perfect December destination, it’s Hawaii. You probably won’t need to pack anything warmer than a light sweater in case the evenings get a bit cool. Hawaii’s oceans are warm enough to swim in throughout the month and you won’t even need a wetsuit should you decide to pick up a surfboard. December is also the perfect time to see the poinsettia, the unofficial Christmas flower in bloom. Check out the Honolulu City Lights display at the city hall, visit the holiday displays at the Polynesian Cultural Center, or catch Santa coming ashore at Waikiki Beach. Visiting in early December will be your best bet as Christmas week leading up to New Year’s Eve is the most expensive time to visit Hawaii all year.

Average December high temperature: 28 degrees Celsius

8. San Diego, California

San Diego, California -where to go in the USA for hot weather in December

San Diego, California -where to go in the USA for hot weather in December

California’s southern coast is paradise during December. Beautiful beaches, the deep blue Pacific Ocean, and more nature activities than you could ever dream of. December is whale watching season in San Diego and the weather is still warm enough that you won’t be freezing out on the boat. Visit Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Coronado Beach, or La Jolla all in a t-shirt this time of year.

Average December high temperature: 18 degrees Celsius

9. Miami, Florida

Miami - warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

Miami - warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

Miami is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. It’s brimming with culture, cuisine, nightlife, and of course—beaches. Miami has it all and is a reputable respite for those seeking refuge from the colder temperatures. Only in Miami can you see palm trees decorated with Christmas lights, go to the beach in your bikini on Christmas Day, and run into celebrities taking a break themselves in Miami’s hottest night-time hangouts. Of course, you can’t visit Miami in December without a visit to the world’s largest holiday theme park and carnival—Santa’s Enchanted Forest. Since the temperatures in December are cooler in Miami than most any other time of year, it’s the perfect time to stroll along the beautiful Art Deco District in South Beach. Prices during high season in Miami would turn anyone off, but a visit during the shoulder season in December means fewer crowds and more reasonable prices.

Average December high temperature: 24 degrees Celsius

10. Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California -warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

Palm Springs, California -warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December

Palm Springs is literally an oasis in the desert. The city is located in the Sonoran Desert in southern California and is famous for its hot springs, spas, golf courses, and high-end hotels. Many golf courses throughout the U.S. are covered in snow in December, but not in Palm Springs–golf season is just beginning. If you’re not up for hitting the links, the area offers a multitude of hikes that draw visitors from all over the globe through the desert’s well-preserved landscape. Because the weather is cool enough to be outside during the middle of the day, farmer’s markets, festivals, art walks, and street fairs abound. If you’re really in the mood for a white Christmas, there’s a chance you’ll find it just a short tram ride away atop the nearby San Jacinto Mountains.

Average December high temperature: 21 degrees Celsius

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5 Luxury Spa Resorts in America for Tranquil and Amazing Experience

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Today’s travelers value peace of mind over anything else. While sightseeing and embarking on adventurous activities remains preferred activities for tourists on holidays, rejuvenation and detoxification have also been gaining increasing focus from travelers. This evolving trend is not lost on the American hospitality sector, as in-house spas and signature massages become the norm rather than the exception.

In the U.S., the concept of luxury spas has been making a resurgent comeback, mimicking the broader stability in the economy. As travelling for business and leisure once again gains traction, the luxury spa resorts in the U.S. are in full bloom. As a resort, American visa online services have gained popularity.

However, the pertinent question remains how to choose a luxury spa that promises the tranquility and rejuvenation one dreams of. Well, we have compiled a list of the top 5 luxury spas in the U.S. by considering consumer reviews, awards and recognitions, and the range of facilities offered to patrons. So, check out our guide to the top 5 luxury spas in the U.S. for amazing American holidays.

La Quinta Resort & Club – La Quinta, California

La Quinta Resort & Club – La Quinta, California 

Californication with a tinge of relaxation and wellness – the spa at La Quinta is aimed at offering complete mind body relaxation. The tagline for the resort’s spa is ‘Rejuvenate & Recharge’, and the spa does live up to the reputation.

The spa offers a host of treatment options customized as per the requirements of the guests. You can choose from body treatment, skin care, wellness ritual, and sun worshipper rituals. We recommend trying the La Quinta Citrus Escape and Pranayama Breathing Ritual for some amazing results.

Spa at Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Spa at Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii 

Experience the ultimate luxury spa experience with a Hawaiian flavor as you spend some quality time introspecting and having a quiet time. The appealing factor about the Spa at Travaasa Hana is the focus on using plants for health and wellness.

The spa offers a host of wellness programs, including massages, body treatments, facials, enhancements, and waxing services. The spas are well-equipped with everything you would expect – cold plunge, robes, personal amenities, and naturally flavored water & snacks to compliment with the whole relaxation schedule.

 

Red Mountain Spa, St. George, Utah

 Red Mountain Spa, St. George, Utah

Looking for complete body, mind, and soul rejuvenation in an environment that is conducive to health and well-being? Well, if you are holidaying in America, and you have chosen Utah, we highly recommend visiting the Red Mountain Spa to have a memorable and mesmerizing experience. The Zion National Park and Snow Canyon State Park are in the vicinity of the spa, and you can visit them if you have time on your hands.

The luxury spa and salon at the resort offer a range of treatments, including nature inspired body treatments, in-room treatments, facial experiences, massage therapy, hair care, and hand & foot care. The treatment materials at the spa are made from indigenous desert botanicals and mineral-rich muds.

Gage Spa, Marathon, Marathon, Texas

Gage Spa, Marathon, Marathon, Texas

The luxury spa at Gage Hotel offers the perfect ambience for relaxation and rejuvenation. Frequently featured as one of the best spas not only in Texas, but also the U.S., the Gage spa has everything that will compel you to keep coming back.

Services available at the spa include massage therapy, facials, and entire body treatments. We recommend you to try the signature aromatherapy massage and deep tissue massages. In facials, you can give Espresso Mud Body Treatment and Lemon Verbena Body Polish.

Peaks Resort & Spa – Telluride, Colorado

Peaks Resort & Spa – Telluride, Colorado

The Peaks Resort & Spa is a truly special and tranquil place to be if you are holidaying in Colorado. The host of amenities on offers tourists a combination of adventure, sightseeing, and deep relaxation.

The full-service spa and salon offer mind body rejuvenation while the multi-level fitness center has all the modern equipment and amenities. If you are travelling with family, we highly recommend checking in the Peaks Resort & Spa as it is family-friendly place.

These were the top 5 luxury spas in the U.S. As we mentioned before, travel today has evolved from sightseeing and adventure to also include wellness and health. Travelling for wellness is quickly gaining traction, and a number of tourists just visit a foreign country for its spas or resorts. If you know of any great luxury spas in U.S., do share it with our readers.

The post 5 Luxury Spa Resorts in America for Tranquil and Amazing Experience appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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List of the Most Beautiful Castles in the US

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The United States of America cannot lay claim to ancient castles from the Middle Ages or from the medieval times, since the country was colonized by European civilizations only in in the 1600s. However, a number of castles were built by the English, French and the Scot immigrants after the country was colonized. The USA is, surprisingly, home to several lovely old palaces, castles and chateaus. We’ve curated 10 of the USA’s most enchanting castles for you. Check them out soon!

Lyndhurst Mansion, New York

Lyndhurst Mansion, New York

The Lyndhurst Mansion is one of the one of the finest Gothic Revival mansions in the US built by the acclaimed architect Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838. The castle is located on the edge of the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York. Several notables have stayed here since it was built, such as New York City mayor William Paulding and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

This 13th-century Tuscan castle took 14 years to build. There’s a very authentic drawbridge, moat and dungeon with, believe it or not, a still functioning Renaissance-era iron maiden. The bricks are from the Hapsburg-era, the nails are hand-forged, and the chandeliers and 500-year-old fireplace are all Europe imports. There are hand-painted frescoes in the Knights’ Chamber and the Great Hall, which have been constructed out of 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled Napa Valley stone. The Castello di Amorosa is one of the top USA attractions, one of the top castles to visit.

Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Fonthill Castle was built in 1912 by Henry Chapman Mercer who was an archaeologist, anthropologist, scholar, antiquarian and ceramist. The castle features 32 stairwells, 21 chimneys, 18 fireplaces, 44 rooms, all made of hand-mixed reinforced concrete in Gothic, Byzantine and medieval styles. Even during his lifetime, the castle was the personal museum for thousands of handcrafted Spanish, Chinese, Dutch ceramic tiles (including Mercer’s own Moravian-style tiles). There’s a Mercer Museum next door which displays a number of artifacts from the original castle, including a whale boat and a Conestoga wagon. This castle is one of the top places to visit in the USA.

Bannerman Castle, Pollepel Island, New York

Bannerman Castle, Pollepel Island, New York

Bannerman Castle sits on Pollepel, a rocky island on the Hudson River. It was built by a Scottish immigrant called Frank Bannerman in 1901. At age 14, Bannerman started prospering by selling surplus military goods. The family decided to build a castle to use as an arsenal on the island. By 1918, when Bannerman died, construction halted. The castle was partly destroyed when 200 pounds of shells and powder exploded after two years. In 1989, a fire left the castle in ruins. You can visit this castle when the river is boat-friendly.

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

John Hays Hammond, Jr., American inventor, had a large collection of art – Roman, medieval and Renaissance.  He built this castle on the shores of the Atlantic in 1929 to serve as his residence plus art museum. The castle combines the structural sensibilities of castles styles from the 15th to the 18th-century.  The great hall is surrounded by elaborate rose windows; there are plenty of secret passageways, plus an indoor courtyard, a pipe organ, and huge library.

Hearst Castle, California

Hearst Castle, California

The Hearst Castle Estate was constructed between 1919 and 1947 by William Randolph Hearst. Casually nicknamed as ‘La Cuesta Encantada’ or the Enchanted Hill by Hearst, the castle comprises of four buildings. These buildings comprise of 127 acres of beautiful terraced gardens plus 165 rooms. The Gothic Study in the main building has a vaulted Spanish ceiling that dates back to the early 1400s. There’s also a gorgeous guesthouse named Casa del Mar that boasts of panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

The Biltmore Estate is nestled cozily in the panoramic Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. George Vanderbilt became enchanted by the area’s beauty and got architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the French Renaissance chateau with a 70-foot ceiling banquet hall, bowling alley and 250 rooms. It took six long years to build the Biltmore Estate. Famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the beautiful grounds including the splendid 15-acre Azalea Garden. The estate produces award-winning wines today; tours are available.

The Breakers, Rhode Island

The Breakers, Rhode Island

The Breakers has been designed by George Vanderbilt and executed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. It is one of the area’s most adorable late 19th century summer homes. The Italian Renaissance-inspired 70-room mansion includes a grand dining room with gilded cornice and several freestanding columns. Beautiful relief sculptures designed by Parisian interior design firm Jules Allard and Sons add beauty to the walls.

Bishop’s Palace, Texas

Bishop’s Palace, Texas

The Bishop’s Palace was built in the late 19th century as the residence of entrepreneur Colonel Walter Gresham. It is one of America’s most significant structures. It was designed by well-known architect Nicholas Clayton who built the spectacular sturdy mansion using steel and stone. The interior is opulent with stained glass windows, dramatic mahogany stairwell, and wood carvings. The mansion even endured the Great Storm of 1900 that destroyed a great portion of Galveston.

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s royal family in downtown Hawaii. It was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua as a way to increase Hawaii’s prestige as a modern nation overseas. In 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and it was then that Iolani Palace served as the nation’s capitol building. The palace takes design inspiration from European palaces and is America’s sole example of a mixture of Italian renaissance and native Hawaiian architectural styles, termed ‘American Florentine’. This palace, the only royal castle in America, has been a museum since 1978; it is so beautiful, it’s well worth your US visitor visa!

Conclusion

As you can see, the USA has its share of fabulous castles constructed in various styles. Many of them have been built by entrepreneurs and brilliant architects, emulating the styles of medieval, byzantine, Italian renaissance and French chateau ordinances. Most of these castles are either museums or taken over as official national buildings. You can enjoy exploring the ones that are open for view, except on US holidays; check their viewing schedules online before planning to the trip. Here’s an idea – why not plan a castle-viewing trip to the US to enjoy seeing these amazing castles?

The post List of the Most Beautiful Castles in the US appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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