Miami in December

Miami during the holidays is something everyone should experience at least once. There is a multitude of events and celebrations happening all over the city, mixed in with all the perfect weather conditions. Miami is a beautiful time and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Due to the ideal weather conditions and the holiday season present, December tends to see a significant increase in crowds as well as higher prices.

Despite the downsides of higher rates and crowds, we have put together local tips and all the information you need to have a stress-free and fantastic holiday season in Miami.

This guide was written by our Miami resident. We provide you with everything you need to know for visiting Miami in November:

  • Is the weather pleasant?
  • Is it hot, humid, or rainy?
  • What you should pack and wear in December?
  • Is it comfortable to swim in the ocean?
  • Which holiday specials and events take place?
  • Which are the best activities?

Is December a Good Time to Visit Miami?

December is a very good time to visit Miami, especially if you are looking to have a tropical holiday season. While this month does tend to have a higher number of visitors, there are dozens of events and attractions for one to take part in Miami.

Our Favorite Miami Tours

Our recommended tours in Miami are:

However, you are free to choose any other activity of course. Just click the banner above and check the dozens of tours that are available.

Weather

Temperatures in December in Miami, Florida

The weather in Miami during the month of December is perfect for those who are looking to escape the cold winter temperatures. It’s no surprise there are so many seasonal residents and visitors present during this month due to the warm weather and bright sunny skies.

In Miami, the average high temperature in December is 76-79°F (24-26°C). It is the beginning of the dry season, with blue skies accompanied by a crisp breeze. There is little rainfall this month with an average of 1.4-4.2 inches.

💡 December is a great month to hit the beaches with temperatures in the mid or high-70s. However, it’s possible that a cold front hits Miami for two or three days, causing a temperature drop to the mid-60s. But that’s the exception.

December in Miami | Average High Temperatures:

  • Early December: 79°F (26°C)
  • Mid-December: 78°F (26 °C)
  • Late December: 76°F (24°C)

Temperatures remain relatively stable throughout the month.

Rainfall

December is during the dry season and is one of the driest months of the year for Miami. It only tends to rain seven days throughout the month, averaging 1.4 inches. Very rarely do occasional rain showers exceed 0.5 inches and are usually very brief.

Rainfall and unpredictable weather shouldn’t be a worry during December in Miami. You can relax on the beach, enjoy water sports, and spend your days outdoors while being stress-free with blue and sunny skies.

Heat/Humidity

Miami’s southern location brings high humidity levels throughout the entire year. However, humidity doesn’t tend to be an issue this month. The dry and breezy air and slightly lower temperatures keep the effects of humidity at a low.

The humidity in December tends to peak in the mornings, averaging 86%, and drop in the afternoon to an average of 59%. Due to the lack of rain and drier climate, the high humidity levels in the morning hours aren’t as noticeable this month.

Even though it is December and the humidity is lower, it is still important to stay hydrated throughout the day and apply sunscreen frequently when being on the beach or outdoors for long hours.

Daily Weather Progression

December tends to have cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings, but the weather conditions tend to stay rather consistent throughout most days.

Typical daily temperature progression:

  • Early Morning (6 AM): 68°F
  • Early Afternoon (1 PM): 78°F
  • Evening (10 PM): 72°F

Mornings tend to be chilly, but still on the warmer side and filled with sunshine. Leading into warmer temperatures in the later morning and afternoon hours.

Evenings: The breeze from the coastline is more noticeable in the evenings, and the temperatures slightly decrease again once the sun goes down.

Water Temperature

The month of December brings cooler waters to the coastline of Miami, but still some of the warmest waters in the state. The average ocean temperature is 75°F (24°C) in Miami. While it may be too cool for some, it is still comfortable to swim and dive in the afternoon hours.

December brings some of the most ideal diving and snorkeling water conditions, and there is a multitude of great diving spots all around Miami. It is also a popular time for boating activities, due to more winds and less rainfall.

What to Pack | What to Wear

In Miami, it is summer all year long! During the month of December, there is no need to pack your winter coat, and you can leave the snow boots at home. Additionally, we love Miami because the city allows you to be your authentic self with any style you may choose.

During December, shorts and a light sweater or long-sleeved shirt are great to wear in Miami due to the cooler weather in the morning hours. The afternoons tend to be bright and filled with sunshine, so it is optional to shed the long sleeves and opt for a t-shirt instead.

💡 We always keep a sweater or light jacket when dining out in an indoor space in Miami. Since the temperatures are mainly hot, the air conditions inside are usually running 24/7. This is a good tip to keep in mind if you are someone who gets cold easily.

Evenings tend to bring a cool breeze, so jeans are appropriate to wear, as well as a similar outfit as morning hours (shorts and a light sweater).

  • Sandals
  • Shorts
  • Leggings/Capris
  • T-shirts & V-necks
  • Light sweater or Jacket
  • Jeans (if wanted)
  • Bathing Suit/Swim Trunks
  • Bathing Suit Cover Up

Additional items to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottle -stay hydrated!
  • Small backpack or fanny pack
  • Water shoes

Crowds

Miami is a very attractive city in Florida year round, especially in the month of December. It is the perfect place to escape the cold winter temperatures and have a tropical holiday season. Visitors should expect significantly higher crowds during the month of December.

Crowds will fluctuate depending on the week, but they will still usually be higher than average. Despite the fact the snowbirds are back in town, The Art Basel, as well as News Year’s Eve, tend to attract a lot of visitors every year. So expect the first and last weeks of the month to see the highest number of visitors.

Beach crowds: The area called ‘Miami Beach’ is very wide and feels infinite. Even during perfect weather conditions and in popular months like December, you can always find places where you can sit in solitary.

Tip: Traffic tends to get extremely heavy during the holiday season in Miami. Plan accordingly and allow extra time if traveling by car over the holidays.

Rates

The ‘Confidante Miami Beach’ is a non-budget tip. You have direct access to its section of Miami Beach. Check prices for December here: The Confidante Miami Beach – part of Hyatt (via booking.com).

Miami sells out fast during the month of December. Due to the holiday season and a large number of events happening all over the city, visitors should expect higher rates for most accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. Certain rates are going to really depend on which neighborhood you are in, but overall prices are high everywhere.

The first week and the last week of December are where prices will peak at their highest rates. The Art Basel and Holidays attract visitors worldwide and the demand is high at this time, causing rates to skyrocket. New Year’s Eve is also extremely popular in Miami due to the abundance of nightlife and warm weather conditions. Nightlife events and locations will raise their rates to meet demand.

5 Awesome and Affordable Hotels in Miami

Even in December, a night in Miami does not have to be outrageously expensive. There are numerous excellent but reasonably priced hotels. We’ve compiled a list of superb but fairly priced accommodations. If you can’t find one right now, make sure to bookmark the top hotels in Miami with a price match guarantee by booking.com.

  1. The New Hotel (Location: North Beach/Miami Beach): This is a hidden gem! Actually, we don’t think you can find a more affordable hotel that is so good and so close to the beach. The rates per night start from ~ $120. The owner is just lovely and a super helpful lady.
  2. Marriott Vacation Club Pulse (Location: South Beach): What a hotel and location for that price! If you can spend a little more (from ~180 USD), select this one in December! It is an affordable oceanfront hotel situated in the heart of South Beach. It’s location is in the middle of everything. Great rooms, comfortable beds, and bathroom, fantastic staff. A+++ for everything, including the cleanliness.
  3. Circa 39 Hotel (Location: Miami Beach): Another gorgeous boutique hotel with amazingly friendly staff and excellent rooms. The location is just perfect, as you can walk to Miami Beach within 3-4 minutes. One great detail: They offer free beach chairs and umbrellas. Ask the staff at the hut and they set it up for you on the beach during your December visit!
  4. El Paseo Hotel (Location: South Beach): You easily walk to South Beach in 1-2 minutes from the El Paseo Hotel. This will save you a lot of time! Furthermore, there are amazing restaurants downstairs and it’s a safe place in the evenings. The rooms are super clean, the beds are great and comfortable (you will sleep well!), and the staff is very friendly.
  5. Life House (Location: Little Havana): An extraordinary place to experience Cuba’s atmosphere during November in December: Little Havana (Google Maps Location). The hotel is very close to Main Street, with a lovely rooftop bar, and very friendly and helpful staff. We highly suggest this hotel for one or two nights in December.

Tip: Depending on your preference and budget, you can find hostels starting at around $60 a night and up. Staying in an Airbnb starts around $165 a night (depending on the size), hotels average $110-$300 a night, and full home vacation rentals start at an average of $500 per night and go up from there.

Christmas | New Year’s Eve | Holiday Specials

Many hotel restaurants provide excellent lunch and dinner service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve (some buffet, some a la carte).

Your best bet is to wait until late November and then start looking through the Christmas listings and menu options at OpenTable Miami. Typically in early December, they start to show menus for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and update them daily.

Fireworks: Miami Beach (seaside) and Miami (city) host music and fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve for free.

Additionally, there are various Holiday events happening throughout the entire month of December. Most popular is the ever-so-famous “Santa’s Enchanted Forest,” the largest and only holiday-themed carnival in Florida, with thousands of lights and a multitude of games, rides, and snacks.

Miami also showcases thousands of twinkling lights at the “Miami Zoo” and the city also hosts the famous Nutcracker Ballet, available for viewing at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

Places to Visit / Things to Do in Miami

December is hustling and bustling, just like most cities are during the holiday season. There’s always something going on and Miami is a city where it is hard to ever be bored.

Between the various beaches, museums, restaurants, and shops, visitors have a never-ending list of things to do in Miami in December. Enjoy a different and festive holiday season, filled with sunshine instead of snow.

Events | Art Basel

Miami is filled with festivals all throughout the month of December. The first week of the month is the “Art Basel.” This is one of the biggest cultural events of the year in Miami, showcasing and attracting artists from all over the globe.

Beaches

A trip to Miami isn’t complete unless you spend a day or three at the beach. Miami has among of Florida’s warmest waters and most beautiful coasts. Depending on the type of beach you like, Miami offers a variety of possibilities. The two most popular beaches in the Miami area are South Beach and Miami Beach.

  • South Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in the country and is loaded with restaurants, attractions, shops, and sights. It is a very welcoming, energetic, and trendy/upbeat city, so visitors shouldn’t be surprised by anything. It is known for its thriving nightlife and abundance of bars and clubs on the strip.
  • Miami Beach: For visitors wanting a more relaxing and peaceful vibe on the beach, head north to Miami Beach. Ideal for travelers who are wanting to enjoy their time in Miami, without all the craziness and upbeat energy that comes along with South Beach.
Airplane / Heli Tours

This is an incredible experience to view Miami and Miami Beach from a breathtaking bird’s eye view. We did this one 3 times already! It makes you feel as if you are in my own private plane!

We loved this flight! The pilot brings confidence, humor, and experience. Felipe, the guide, is more than attentive and willing to coordinate everything perfectly and adjust to our needs and wishes 100%. An unforgettable experience and more than recommended.

Everglades

Everglades National Park is just a short 30-mile drive west of downtown Miami. In December, the Everglades is generally warm, with an average high of 78°F (26°C) and an average low of 65°F (18°C).

It is one of the driest months of the year in the Everglades, and there is a higher chance of spotting animals, as there are more pleasant weather conditions.

We recommend a tour from Miami which starts at 9 AM:

Boat Tours

The city of Miami, especially Biscayne Bay, is filled with various different boat tour options for travelers. Depending on your budget and interests; there is something for everyone. If boats aren’t your thing, jet skis (South Beach Jet Ski Rental) are also available as an alternative.

45-Minutes Speedboat Tour (reservation via GetYourGuide): Our personal tip and absolute favorite. What an adventure! We were blown away at how much fun this was. We did this one three times last year!

You can float by Millionaire Row and Celebrity Island for views of some of the most beautiful homes in all of Miami, owned by famous celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal and P.Diddy. We highly recommend checking out this tour:

City Cruise to Millionaire’s Homes & Venetian Islands. The tour guides are amazing and the whole cruise is simply amazing.

There are also sunset tours, city tours, and boat tours all over the area of Biscayne Bay. Sunset tours are great for group or girls trips, and a superb way to end an evening of exploring:

Sunset Cruise through Biscayne Bay and South Beach: ‘Our guide was an amazing host, entertainer, and historian! The views of the sunset were stunning!’

Water Sports

The abundance of water sports available in Miami is unmatched. You can take part in kayaking/canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, kitesurfing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing all over the city of Miami.

Biscayne Bay Kayak or Paddleboard Rental: Perfect for explorers, as you can get to incredible places that are hard to reach with a car or motorized boat along the shores of Biscayne Bay.

Since Florida has some of the bluest waters in the state, Key Largo Marine Sanctuary has some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the country.

Great for beginners, and seasoned SUP lovers as well, Crandon Park has calm waters and little distractions, and ideal conditions for stand-up paddleboarding.

Wynwood Arts District

A personal favorite activity of ours, is the Wynwood Arts District. This outdoor street museum is filled with street art, graffiti, and art installments that are unique, beautiful, and historical as well. There are guided tours available if you are interested in learning about the history.

Wynwood Art District 1-Hour Street Art Tour by Golf Buggy: Even locals are doing this tour and recommend it as a fantastic experience!

It is also the ideal place to get the perfect new profile picture as there are dozens of backdrops available for creators.

Little Havana

This is a ‘must see’ in Miami if you are a lover of food. Little Havana offers a little taste of Cuba right in the middle of Miami. It is a very walkable neighborhood and there are guided walking tours daily as well.

Little Havana: Food & Cultural Walking Tour with Lunch: The tour guides are exceptional and the food on this tour is fantastic! This is a must-do!

While you are here, don’t forget to stop by Versailles restaurant; Miami’s most popular Cuban restaurant dating back to 1971.

Museums

Miami has a museum for every type of traveler. Depending on your interests, Miami is home to history, science, art, and interactive museums. This is a great activity for people of all ages.

Special Tip: Miami ARTECHOUSE Immersive Art Experience Entrance Ticket

If you are a lover of music, head downtown to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Friday evenings for live music. If history is more your cup of tea, you may enjoy the Vizcaya museum and gardens, with history and facts dating back to the 19th century, and beautiful views. Additionally, and great for kids, The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is not only a museum but also a planetarium and aquarium.

Bayside Marketplace

Located in the heart of downtown, the Bayside Marketplace is another one of our personal favorite places to spend an afternoon. Located on the Bay close to Miami’s port, visitors can enjoy an afternoon of shopping and snacking at the various stores and cafes at the marketplace. This is an ideal place to grab any last-minute gifts or souvenirs!