What’s The Warmest Place In Arizona In December? [Inc. Travel Ideas]

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People looking for a great December warm-weather vacation destination will find the cities and towns of Arizona a great place to be. From enjoying the bustling energy of the Phoenix metropolitan area down to the relaxed vibe of Tucson and Yuma, Arizona will give you a great vacation. 

The warmest place to go in Arizona in December is down to the southeast corner of the state in the laid-back charming town of Yuma. Yuma has average temperatures with a high of 69 and a low of 46 for December. The top five warmest places in Arizona are:

  1. Yuma
  2. Tempe
  3. Mesa
  4. Phoenix
  5. Tucson

Let's dig into the great things to do and see in these five great Arizona towns. This December, you can enjoy delicious food, beautiful hikes, and fun explorations. A warm December is in your future in sunny Arizona.

How Warm Is Arizona In December?

Arizona's temperatures vary widely across the state. The central and southern regions of the state have the warmest temperatures and over 250 sunny days a year. The National Climate Data Center tracks temperatures. 

Downtown Yuma Sign at Arizona, What's The Warmest Place In Arizona In December? [Inc. Travel Ideas]

Here are the high and low average December temperatures for popular Arizona locations:

  • Yuma - high 69, low 46
  • Tempe - high 68, low 38
  • Mesa - high 67, low 40
  • Phoenix - high 66, low 45
  • Tucson - high 66, low 42
  • Ajo - high 66, low 46
  • Scottsdale - high 65, low 42
  • Tombstone - high 60, low 36
  • Sedona - high 57, low 37
  • The Grand Canyon - high 45, low 18
  • Flagstaff - high 43, low 11

What Is The Best Place To Be In Winter In Arizona?

The best place to be in winter in Arizona depends on your hope for warm weather or cooler temperatures with nearby skiing. For warmth, stick to the central Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa urban area or the Tucson and Yuma areas in the south. 

For cool and colder weather, Sedona and Flagstaff can't be beaten. In Sedona, the beautiful red rocks have an abundance of trails for you to explore. Flagstaff is your snow sport capital with nearby ski resorts, cross-country skiing, and snowmobile trails.  

What City In Arizona Has The Best Year-Round Weather?

You will be the best judge of which city in Arizona has the best weather. Yuma has the most sun and is the warmest in the winter. Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe all have highs in the mid 60s in the winter as well. All can have highs well over 100 degrees in the summer.

Towns like Flagstaff and Prescott have December highs in the 50s during the winter, but in the summer the highs are in the 70s-80s.    

Thinking of visiting Flagstaff? Check out: Red Rock State Park, Arizona – A Visitor’s Guide

Yuma, Arizona

If you go to Yuma, Arizona in December, you will find a friendly, laid-back city overlooking the Colorado River. Yuma declares itself as "The Gateway to the Great Southwest." This city of over 97,000 people offers visitors great golf, water activities, and an authentic Mexican cultural experience.

Guinness Book Of World Records - Most Sunshine

Come to Yuma to experience an average of 310 sunny days a year. The Guinness Book of World Records awards Yuma, Arizona the sunniest place on the planet.  Guinness says Yuma is sunny on average 91% of all the hours in the year. 

Hot desert weather of Downtown Yuma, Arizona

Where Is Yuma, Arizona?

You can drive or fly to Yuma, Arizona. The city is located in the southwest corner of Arizona with Mexico to the south and California to the west.

San Diego, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, are about 180 miles from Yuma to the west and east. Yuma International Airport hosts daily flights on American Airlines to Phoenix and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

Colorado River Fun In Yuma

You can have all kinds of fun on the Colorado River. People enjoy jet skiing, tubing, paddle boarding, and relaxing on inner tubes on the water. At Gateway Beach, families enjoy picnics and splashing in the river.

Great History In Yuma, Arizona

Yuma began as a wild west trading town for the indigenous people with the Spanish traders and explorers who came to the area. They named the local people Yuma with the Spanish word for smoke: "humo." The fast Colorado River widened and slowed in Yuma so people could cross it for trading.

Today, the National Parks Services manages the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area which designates many sites of historical importance. You can visit the Pivot Point Interpretative Plaza where the Southern Pacific Railway brought gold rushers to use the river's rope ferry.

Yuma Territorial State Prison

A must-visit historic site is the Yuma Territorial State Prison. The prison was an important part of the wild west from 1876-1899, holding stagecoach robbers and other criminals. You can tour the prison with its guard outpost high on a bluff over the Colorado River. 

Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area

Large sand dunes located in Arizona

Yuma sits 60 miles southeast of Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area with its 40 miles long by 5 miles wide of pure sand dunes. Some dunes reach over 300 feet high. Visitors can rent dune buggies or ATVs at Jet Rent in Yuma for exploring fun and guided tours. 

Tempe, Arizona

Each December, you will find Tempe, Arizona with the second warmest highs at an average of 68 degrees. Tempe sits east of Phoenix. It is a college town hosting Arizona State University and Benedictine University. 

Tempe Beach Pedestrian Walk Bridge photographed at sunset

Tempe Fantasy Of Lights Board Parade

You can bring your family down to the riverside at Tempe Town Lake and Beach on the Salt River for an afternoon of great food and holiday shopping followed by the Fantasy of Lights Board Parade. Children of all ages will love the fireworks that complete the evening.

Centerpoint On Mill: Your Entertainment Destination

Near the ASU campus sits Centerpoint on Mill with lots of hotel options, shopping, and great restaurants. Begin your day at Morning Squeeze: Serving Groovy Breakfast and Lunch. Watch the game or play Jenga Giant at Six40rty

Desert Botanical Gardens, Tempe

Another great destination for you in Tempe is the Desert Botanical Gardens. Stroll the paved Desert Discovery Trail Loop to marvel at the giant saguaro cactuses. You and your children will experience all the joy of beauty at the ButterflyPavilion.

Explore more: Arizona Bucket List: 13 Places You Simply Must Visit

Mesa, Arizona

Superstition Mountains Arizona photographed from afar

Continuing east of Tempe, the city of Mesa is a part of the giant Phoenix metropolitan area. Come to Mesa as your gateway to the Tonto National Forest and the many Arizona lakes.

Superstition Mountains

For a great day trip, follow the Apache Trail out of Mesa into the Superstition Mountains. You can see or hike the 2,000-foot-high mountains. Plan to visit Lost Dutchman State Park to try to discover the lost gold mine for yourself.

Watch The Chicago Cubs & Oakland As In The Cactus League

You will have the opportunity to see as many spring training baseball games as you want in March in Mesa. Mesa is the spring home of the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland As who play the many other major league teams in the Cactus League

Phoenix, Arizona

Downtown Phoenix Arizona Skyline photographed at Sunset

Come to Phoenix for a warm weather December getaway. Phoenix is the 5th biggest city in the USA. It offers great resorts, major sports teams, and lots to see and do.

Phoenix Zoo

Bring the whole family to the Phoenix Zoo. You will love the 15,000-gallon Stingray Bay where you can touch the velvet skin of a ray. Explore the zoo's four regions:

  • Africa Trail - See baboons, lions, zebras, white rhinos, giraffes, and more.
  • Arizona Trail - See the ringtail cat, coyotes, the Mexican gray wolf, and the golden eagle. 
  • Tropics Trail -See the Asian elephant, orangutans, jaguars, and monkeys. 
  • Children's Trail - See the dalmatian pelican, sloths, and Harmony Farm.

Musical Instruments Museum

It may come as a surprise to discover topping many Phoenix lists of sights to see begins with the Musical Instruments Museum.

December is the best time to go so you'll hear bell choirs and brass or string ensembles ringing the holiday favorites. Explore the interactive museum to discover over 6,000 different musical instruments. 

Beautiful sunset with tall cactus photographed at Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is our last December warm weather town to explore. Tucson is more than the college town hosting the University of Arizona Wildcats. It offers fast planes, mountains, and missions. 

Pima Air and Space Museum

Aircraft in the Pima Air and space Museum displayed at a hot sunny day

Come explore over 300 aircraft across this large open-air and hanger-based museum. See the airplanes that flew throughout World War II. Discover aircraft of every shape and size including helicopters, passenger planes, and spacecraft.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Musuem

Every visitor to Tucson must see the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The museum combines a botanical garden with a zoo and aquarium.

Explore the paved trails to see Sonoran desert plants with animal exhibits. Here you can see all of the natural wonders of Arizona and northern Mexico represented in accurate presentations.

San Xavier Del Bac Mission, Tucson

Mission San Xavier del Bac Church in Tucson Arizona

Tucson has many missions to visit, but it begins with the famous San Xavier del Bac Mission. The Roman Catholic Church founded this mission in 1692 when Tucson was part of New Spain.

You can explore the buildings of the mission itself that were constructed between 1783 and 1797. The mission continued during its time as part of Mexico through its transfer to the United States after the Gadsden Purchase in 1854.

Come To Arizona For Warm Weather Fun In December

You will find these Arizona towns great places for a December getaway. In Tucson and Mesa, you can explore the deserts and mountains. From the energy of Phoenix/Tempe to the relaxed vibe of Yuma, you can enjoy warm weather fun on an Arizona vacation.

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