5 States with Terrible December Weather (and When to Visit Instead)

If you enjoy visiting different parts of the United States, you may be curious about the ideal time of year to visit each state. Not all states offer such pleasant temperatures throughout the year, even though some do.

The first step in vacation preparation is to know the weather. A pleasant journey might quickly become a nightmare due to bad weather. You definitely don’t want to travel to one of these states during the winter if you’re not acclimated to coping with blizzards and freezing weather. For this reason, we’re here to discuss the five states with awful December weather and the best times to visit them.

5 — Minnesota

December temperatures in Minneapolis typically vary from 10° to 30°. Minnesota is an awful place to come in the winter because of the bitter cold temperatures and the about 60% of the month that are often cloudy with clouds. Get used to seeing very little of the sun because, for the majority of the month, even on clear days, sunset is about 4:30 p.m.

Rather, you ought to schedule a trip to Minnesota in the late spring, early fall, or summer. A pleasant and cozy visit should be had any time between May and September. Our preferred choices are July and August because you’ll be able to do the most and it will be the warmest. In the summer, you can take walks around Lake Superior, visit Duluth or Saint Paul, and explore some of the state’s national parks.

Voyageurs National Park is one of our favorite places to visit in Minnesota. Water is the main feature of this park, and to fully explore its 218,055 acres, you’ll need a boat. Along with these activities, the park offers camping, stargazing, and lake exploration.

The typical July temperature in Minnesota is between the mid-60s and mid-80s, if you needed further incentive to visit in the summer. Sounds much more cozy than being extremely cold!

4 — Michigan

Michigan is distinct from other states in that it is typically divided between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Not connected to the lower peninsula, the Upper Peninsula is located further north. The Lower Peninsula borders Indiana and Ohio, while the adjacent state of Wisconsin borders it as well.

In the farthest reaches, the Upper Peninsula is more remote, rugged, and colder. One of the bigger cities in the UP, Marquette, typically experiences December temperatures in the 20s. Detroit typically experiences temps in the 30s in December, while the Lower Peninsula experiences warmer and denser weather.

We advise going in the summer, whether you want to see the UP or the LP. That is, unless you are traveling particularly to engage in skiing or snowboarding, in which case you should continue to hold off until January or February, when peak season begins.

Marquette has far milder summers, with mid-50s to mid-70s temps in July. The best time to visit the UP is in July or August because the area can become perilous after the snow falls. Michigan is best left for the summer, especially if you’re not used to dealing with extreme temperatures. Locations inside the LP, including as Traverse City and Detroit, are well worth a visit any time between late spring and early autumn. Even though their weather isn’t quite as bad as the UP’s, I still wouldn’t go there in December to avoid the extra layers and snowy conditions.

3 — Dakota

Because of the bitter cold and high winds, South Dakota’s winters may be quite severe. The temperature range for December is between 20° and 30°. The state truly comes alive in the spring and summer. Anytime between May and September is a great time to visit South Dakota because of the milder weather.

In South Dakota, summer is the busiest travel season, but there’s a chance of strong thunderstorms. In the summer, you may expect up to 16 hours of sun per day, barring the occasional stormy days. Given that the majority of days have highs in the nineties, you can visit some of the state’s lakes and rivers.

Summer is a terrific season to visit the Badlands and Mount Rushmore because it’s when both national parks are at their best. Our second favorite season to travel to the state is fall, especially because of the stunning foliage. Fall brings more comfortable temperatures, with most days remaining in the 50s. You might occasionally get autumn snow, but if you want to avoid damp weather, it’s best to visit early.

2. — Alaska

It’s important for you to understand that Alaska is very dark throughout the winter months. Places like Fairbanks and Anchorage only get about four hours of light a day in December. Even less is received in some places! When combined with temperatures between 10° and 20°, that can make for a gloomy and dull vacation.

Although there’s a potential you could see the northern lights in December, we wouldn’t suggest traveling for that reason alone. Alternatively, you should go anywhere in August, September, April, and early fall/spring. By then, the aurora borealis will be visible, and the weather will be warmer and brighter.

If you’re not dead keen on seeing the northern lights, we suggest traveling to Alaska any time between May and September. In this manner, you’ll have more time to appreciate and explore the area during the 16 to 20 hours of daylight. The state will be simpler to navigate without as much snow and ice, and temperatures in the 60s to 70s will be more comfortable.

Although Alaska has a plethora of amazing sites to see, we heartily suggest visiting Denali National Park and Anchorage. In Anchorage, there are several museums showcasing the history of the area and an abundance of hiking trails throughout the city. You won’t have to worry about snow and ice when driving throughout the state if you visit in the summer.

1. North Dakota

Among the lower 48 states, North Dakota has some of the harshest winters. Traffic accidents, hypothermia, and fatalities are caused by the dreadful snow storms and blizzards. We advise against traveling to North Dakota in December if you are not confident behind the wheel in extremely snowy weather.

The best time to visit the state is in the summer, when average highs and lows are comfortable in the 70s and 80s. You might even go exploring in September, which is when the first frost typically occurs. We do not advise traveling any later than that, though. While late spring is the ideal time to visit North Dakota, early spring is still OK. The majority of the snow normally melts by May, and the slush is typically gone for the season. The neighborhood comes alive in the early part of June. The animals are out and about with their young, and all the vegetation are green and in bloom.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park are two state and national parks in North Dakota that are well worth a visit. Other than that, the state doesn’t have a lot of tourism attractions. North Dakota is the ideal state to visit if you want to be in a quiet, unhurried area with few tourists! you truly enjoy the state, make sure you explore it during the summer!