3 Lovely Places to Visit in California in December

Places to Visit in California in December
December is a wonderful time to travel to California. With the sun shining brightly most days, the temperatures are generally in the 50s, allowing for plenty of opportunities for daytime outdoor activities. The evenings sometimes dip into the 30s, which is perfect for snuggling up by a cozy fire with a glass of California wine and your special someone. Read on for suggestions on three lovely places to visit in California in December, including San Francisco, Carmel and our own Napa Valley, of course!

This trio of towns makes a wonderful loop when planning a road trip. With short driving distances between each stop, you’ll enjoy plenty of things to see and do in each area. Just make sure you set aside plenty of time to enjoy the rolling Napa Valley countryside and plan to stay with us at Churchill Manor, where you can enjoy a delicious complimentary wine tasting each evening and cozy up next to that crackling fire described above!

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of California’s most beloved cities. Located about an hour and a half from Napa Valley, San Francisco is the city many travelers fly into when they are visiting Northern California. Before embarking on your road trip, take some time to explore this small but mighty city. A few things you must do while you’re here: walk over the Golden Gate Bridge, ride a cable car (the hills are a thrill!) and visit Pier 39 to see the sea lions. The adorable creatures are plentiful in December when the herring spawn in the San Francisco Bay.


Located in Monterey County south of San Francisco, this stunning city on the Pacific Coast is known for many things, including its natural beauty and its significant connection to “the arts.” A few of the high points to visit while you’re in Carmel include art galleries (there are more than 80!), the white sandy beaches and Point Lobos State Reserve. Be sure to take your camera to Point Lobos to capture the dramatic coastline, complete with clear water and majestic coves where you can often spot sea otters, seals and migrating gray whales during the winter.

Napa Valley’s Wine Country

After spending a little time in San Francisco and Carmel, we suggest settling down in Napa for several days to unwind from your journey and experience all that our famous Northern California Wine Country has to offer.

The first order of business should be deciding where to stay, and we invite you to make Churchill Manor your home away from home! Our location makes it a very convenient place to stay, as historic Downtown Napa is just a block away, where you can find wonderful restaurants, wine tasting rooms, shops, spas and more. As you must be well aware, Napa Valley has hundreds of wineries with tasting rooms! Our knowledgeable staff can suggest wineries that match your “taste,” and we are eager to offer advice to help you find the perfect wineries for you!

In addition to exploring the area’s wineries, there are plenty of activities to enjoy year-round in this region. Just a few examples include visiting art galleries, going on hot air balloon rides (for a bird’s-eye view of Napa), bike tours, cooking classes, golfing, hikinghorseback riding, kayaking, nightlife and more! In fact, there are so many things to see and do in Napa, you’ll just have to plan your return trip before you leave!

For even more ideas for things to do during your visit to Napa Valley, download our free Napa Valley Vacation Guide!

Photo Credit: Jumping Rocks