A month-long holiday celebration (yes, you read that right!) Here are the best places to spend Christmas this year. Thousands flock to Duluth during the holidays to witness Bentleyville, a massive light display. Over at Triple Creek Ranch, you can enjoy horseback riding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and more, and you'll find elaborate holiday décor all around the property and cabins. The city offers special attractions that only happen during the holidays. It’s location … Ride the North Pole Express, then keep things locomotive-themed at the annual Holiday Train Show, or do some Christmas shopping at the holiday village where you can also catch a stunning light show. This year's activities include rooftop ice skating at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Santa Claus scuba diving in the Shark Reef Aquarium inside Mandalay Bay, a 15-foot sugar castle at ARIA, and a massive holiday display—complete with a 42-foot Christmas tree—at the Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Elsewhere in this active mountain town, locals gather to watch Santa rappel down Chimney Rock as a warm-up exercise for his upcoming Christmas Eve activities. Why we go: If you thought Las Vegas was dazzling before, just wait until you see it decked out for Christmas. 10 warm-weather destinations to visit in the USA in December 1. And when in doubt, you can always catch a yuletide show at the Grand Ole’ Opry. The annual Christmas Stroll, which takes place in the first week of December, is an excellent way to get a little local shopping done while sipping mulled cider. Why we go: Located about 20 minutes south of D.C., Alexandria is a picture-perfect place to spend the holiday season. A train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and bona fide Southern charm? An average of 23.1 inches of snow will have fallen in Aspen by the time December comes around, and there’s likely to only be more in time for Christmas. Colonial holiday traditions like caroling by torchlight, fife and drum performances, and interpretive programs (care to celebrate with the Madisons and Jeffersons?!) Stay here: Cozy up in the The Foundry, a hotel that opened in 2018 with a James Beard-nominated chef running its in-house restaurant. (All of the events will be held virtually this year to help with social distancing.) In the days leading up to the holidays, Taos holds tree-lightings, concerts, and crafts fairs like many other towns, but on Christmas Eve, the game changes. The one thing to get you in the spirit: View the parade from Balboa Island, where the decorated houses threaten to upstage the passing boats. One of the best places to visit during the Christmas season in the USA is Boston, MA. The Denton Farmpark’s Country Christmas Train in Denton, North Carolina is well worth the trip—both for you and any little ones you're bringing along. In the late 1920s, the local postmaster began to promote the town and pretty soon, children's letters to Santa began pouring in. Have dinner or even stay at the historic Griswold Inn for the perfect New England holiday. Trust us, grown-ups: You'll be jealous you can't partake in all of them yourself! What better way is there to celebrate Christmas than with tons of … Why we go: Unwrap the magic of the holidays in Denver this season with special events and millions of twinkling lights. The nation’s capital goes all out for the holidays, celebrating in a way only DC … Make sure you hit all the classics, like Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo, the poinsettia show at Jewel Box in Forest Park, and ice skating at Steinberg Rink. Stay here: The Gould Hotel has elegant rooms and a restaurant serving hearty, local meals that will warm you from the inside out. It sounds like the image of a Christmas card: a parade of horses and buggies circling a snowy village green. Can’t make it this year? We know, we know: It sounds like something out of one of your favorite winter movies. Park City is a breathtaking place nestled in the mountains. Skate in an outdoor rink on a sunny day, enjoy holiday events at Disneyland and Universal Studios, witness the splendor of the nightly Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, and see Las … The one thing to get you in the spirit: Get a taste of the Christmases of yore at nearby Mount Vernon (George Washington’s former home), where you can see light installations and listen to carolers from Dec 11-13 and 26-28. The one thing to get you in the spirit: The 20th annual Denver Christkindl Market, a traditional European Holiday Market, will return this winter with a move to Denver's Civic Center Park in a spacious, open-air location. Old-fashioned cars line the main street to recreate the painting, and the public can tour historic homes decorated for the holidays. You won’t regret it. The month of December greets us with sweater weather, seasonal treats, and joyful sentiments. At the town’s historic Hotel Settles, you can expect to find a beautifully decorated grand lobby lounge complete with traditional décor. The well-established arts scene in town makes shopping for unique gifts easy at craft shows and studio visits in the River Arts District. It’s truly one of the best places to travel in the USA for a historic Christmas experience. Just outside the city at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, there is a pop-up experience called “I Love Christmas Movies” that includes films like The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. For the past 63 years, this Charlotte suburb has put on an impressive holiday display, with 265 evergreen trees covered in 500,000 lights, plus more than 160 decorated houses. If you're a fan of White Christmas and are hoping to recreate the movie's iconic, rural Vermont atmosphere this year, there's no better place to do it than in Manchester. The one thing to get you in the spirit: The Winter Light Spectacular at the Lehigh Valley Zoo (about 30 minutes northwest of Bethlehem) features more than a million lights and illuminated scenes throughout the zoo. Take a drive to these cozy, Christmas-crazed towns, and you’ll be in for a holiday filled with some of the season’s best.We're blessed with some of the mildest weather in the country during the Christmas season, and we like to take full advantage. Christmas is, of course, one of the biggest holidays of the year in many places around the world.There are certain cities and regions that are the absolute best destinations for an extravagant Yuletide celebration, but sometimes extravagance isn’t what someone might want.Sometimes, all you want is some snow. Skip the crowded cities, and spend your Christmas in one of the South’s charming small towns. From California to New York, these are the best places to spend Christmas in the U.S. The one thing to get you in the spirit: Make it a priority to amble over to the Ford’s Theatre, which puts on an annual run of A Christmas Carol for the holidays. Best Christmas Vacations On A Budget. All that and more is available for your family to explore in this northern Georgia town. If you'd prefer to celebrate Christmas sans freezing temperatures, consider this central Louisiana city. No town lights up for the holidays quite like Jackson. The holiday season kicks off this year with the city's annual Christmas Parade, then continues through the end of January with the famous Nights of Lights festival. New York City, New York. You're probably not familiar with Santa Claus, Indiana, for instance—but believe it or not, the town has dubbed itself "America's Christmas Hometown." At the center of the aptly named Old School Square (a historic district revived as a cultural center), the tree magically opens to reveal a wonderland inside, with toy trains running around miniature scenes depicting holiday traditions. New Hope is also home to the North Pole Express, where you and your family will be treated to Christmas carols, hot cocoa, cookies, and even a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves. There are various fun seasonal attractions and festive places to visit for a holiday getaway or vacation to the Southeast U.S., whether you head to Atlanta, Louisville, Orlando, or elsewhere. There's simply no place quite like New York City at Christmastime. Stay here: The Hay-Adams is a historic classic, just steps away from the White House and National Christmas Tree. The Wentworth Mansion, completed in 1886 by wealthy cotton merchant Francis Silas … Why we go: It's a Wonderful Life may have been shot on an RKO soundstage in Los Angeles, but the fine folks of Seneca Falls, New York swear that their five-square-mile upstate hamlet is the inspiration for the real Bedford Falls. Why we go: Proving you don't need cold temperatures to get in the Christmas spirit, Austin's holiday... Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Whether you stop by the La Jolla Christmas Parade or simply enjoy shopping at one of this locale's beachfront shops, you can't go wrong with a Christmas trip to beautiful La Jolla. Historic homes and farms open to celebrate rural holiday heritage. It has been updated with new information. Okay, okay. Why we go: There’s no shortage of ways to make your New York City Christmas magical, whether it's ice skating at Rockefeller Center, carriage rides through Central Park, or lurking around 34th Street hoping to witness a miracle. Then you'll want to head to Greenville, South Carolina where the sidewalks twinkle with lights as Santa’s electric sleigh drives by with an elf in tow. Activities center around historic Courthouse Plaza, ablaze with more than a million lights for the season and site of the town's Christmas tree. Each December, they host an array of old-timey activities to prove it. This historic mining town uses the local steam-engine train to festive advantage with snowy rides through the surrounding mountains along the Animas River. The event is free to the public and runs through November and December. Festivities, including carriage rides, historic home tours, a children's festival, fireworks, a 5K race, parades, and live performances, go on until early January. The town hosts Julefest, which lasts all December long. You know it for its stunning Gilded Age mansions and gorgeous ocean views...but did you know that Newport also has a lot to offer in wintertime? There are plenty of reasons to visit Essex at Christmastime. This year's festivities will be held virtually and include special film screenings, holiday lights contests, and museum exhibits. (Also to be held virtually this year.). Why not escape to a literal winter wonderland for Christmas? Head to Cape Cod! makes it an excellent place to spend Christmas. Residents of this walkable Italian-American enclave erect intricate and spectacular displays on and around their homes. You're veritably obsessed with the holiday, from the Christmas cookies to the outdoor Christmas decorations to belting out classic Christmas songs; what could we possibly tell you here that you don't already know? Leavenworth, Washington Our top pick for the best U.S. city to visit during Christmas time is, without deliberation, Leavenworth, Washington. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Washington! There's also a "Santa Claus house" with live reindeer, a mayor who goes by the name of Santa, and candy cane street lamps. There's even a miniature outdoor skating rink on Main Street, a "Festival of Trees" competition, tree lighting ceremonies, and more. It’s here that you can experience a month-long holiday extravaganza with live music, festive displays of lights and fun-filled parades. Stay here: You can't beat the glittering, Gateway Arch-facing views at the Four Seasons. Snowy weather, an annual Christmas Stroll, and small town charm will have you pinching yourself all day. You can even hop aboard the Branson Scenic Railway's Polar Express Train Ride and feel like you're in a scene from the classic movie. During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with 3 million tiny white lights, over the Bridge of Lions and through 20 city blocks in the Historic District. There may be less than 15,000 people living in this town, but that doesn't mean they're short on holiday spirit. How's that for a winter wonderland? We recently found seats from Philly for $118 nonstop on Frontier for off-peak travel, and from Chicago for $385 nonstop for peak travel … Visitors will be wowed by more than 4,500 hand-lit candles while they listen to Christmas carolers. Few destinations offer the charm and atmosphere of Boston at Christmas. Why we go: Sort of like a family-friendly little sister to Las Vegas, Branson pulls out all the stops every holiday season. Stay here: The nautical, all-American feel at Lido House, Autograph Collection fits in perfectly with the theme of the holiday events. Adults will love this festive hotel that features activities all season long, including parties, tree lightings, and a Gingerbread Ball. On the day of the tree-lighting, Sharlott Hall Museum hosts a Frontier Christmas Open House where locals enjoy hot cider and cookies while listening to stories about pioneer holidays. Enjoy concerts, watch the annual tree lighting, shop at craft fairs, and even tour those majestic homes by candlelight. This town may not be the real thing, but it's got the name—and it boasts year-round Christmas spirit. Why we go: There are few holiday displays in the nation that compare with Washington, D.C.'s National Christmas Tree, but other seasonal perks include private igloos at the Watergate Hotel, the Downtown Holiday Market, and a glorious absence of field trip groups in the Smithsonian museums. Newport Beach, California As a destination in itself or as a 30-minute side trip from Disney Resorts, Newport Beach is one of the best places to travel in the USA at Christmas. Stay here: Historic Hotel Bethlehem gets all decked out for the holidays, with 35,000 lights, giant toy soldiers, and several Christmas trees. Take a boat ride, go kayaking, or simply stroll the streets! The Best Places to Visit in the U.S. During Christmastime by Jessica Montevago / November 13, 2018 Filled with nostalgic charm, Woodstock, Vermont transforms into a Christmas card. You'll stop by Santa's cabin, travel through a real-life "gingerbread house," and even sing carols at a church. Look out for lights at the indie boutiques on King Street while you get some last-minute shopping done, then enjoy the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and try to spot Waterskiing Santa along the Potomac River. Sierra Madre, a foothills town just a few miles east of Pasadena, imports snow from the San Bernadino Mountains every year to build a big snowman in the town's central square, Kersting Court, until the balmy local temperatures send him downstream. You may not expect to find an Alpine village along the banks of Georgia's Chattahoochee River, but Helen, a former logging town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, reinvented itself long ago as a Bavarian town. It's downright magical! Chicago is a beautiful place to visit for Christmas in the United States. South Padre Island, Texas 2. Around the world, there are magical towns and villages that come alive during the holiday season. You’re in luck: The theater will air a radio version of the play on Christmas Day at noon EDT. Stay here: Readers' Choice Award favorite Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi has a tangible warmth to it, with gaslit kiva fireplaces and hand-carved four-poster beds adorning the rooms. There are few things more picturesque than lighthouses decked to their nines in Christmas garlands, wreaths, and lights. From wine country to Myrtle Beach, we bet there's a hidden gem somewhere in here you've never even heard of, let alone laid eyes on. Visitors come to town in December to view the wreaths and artist-decorated holiday trees on auction at the Festival of Trees and to participate in the Kinderfest, the Christkindlmarkt, and tree lighting in tiny downtown Helen. And we'll guess you've never touched down in a little town called North Pole, Alaska, right? These American towns are the best to visit during the Christmas season. The event has adapted to the socially-distanced culture this year, making the trail a drive-through affair. Other highlights include drive-through light displays at Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, the World’s Largest Toy Museum, and an epic Christmas festival at Silver Dollar City for their “An Old Time Christmas,” with more than more than 680 miles of … Bonus: You can enjoy the whole show without wearing a coat and gloves, because Florida. Guests from all over the country (not to mention the world!) Every year boat owners and residents prepare for the biggest holiday celebration on the water: the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. That's why many agree that small towns across the country are some of the most charming places to visit at Christmas time—they offer all of these things and more. From beautiful light displays to giant Christmas ornaments hanging from buildings, Christmas is the one time of the year when towns go all out. The former Olympic city has ample opportunities for skiing, fly fishing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding—with no shortage of resorts to warm up in between runs, too. There's even a massive Christmas tree with presents underneath. A 100-foot-tall Christmas tree is just the thing to shift the mood from beach to holiday. Why we go: The holidays come to life in Greenville every year, with events like the downtown Festival of Trees competition with more than 30 decorated trees, Holidays at Peace with the Greenville Symphony, and the Christmas Market on Main Street. Why we go: Aside from the delightful sight of a Christmas tree atop the Space Needle, there are plenty of reasons to visit Seattle over the holidays. Why we go: As if the world-class skiing isn’t reason enough to visit Park City this winter, the town also happens to be a wonderful place to spend Christmas. set the stage for Christmas in charming Williamsburg. Many of the most popular places to go for skiing in the United States are in Colorado, home to several chic resort towns. Guests can go on go on a Holiday Lights Tour, take part in the Santa Sprint, listen to live holiday music, and much more. The town also holds an Ornament Auction, selling unique decorations made by local artists, to raise money for its arts council. Step back in time at the annual Dickens of a Christmas festival in historic downtown Franklin. With a population under 3,000, Denton is a fabulous, homey place to spend Christmas this year. Or take the two-mile drive through Jingle Beat, a light show set to remixed versions of classic Christmas carols. More about us. Tucked within Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains, this gorgeous town is the perfect place to enjoy a true cowboy Christmas. You might be staying closer to home this Christmas, but these festive towns are worth a spot on your future travel bucket list. What's better than an all-American Christmas right in the heart of West Texas? While the event is unable to take place in person this year, the organization is already gearing up for the 2021 season. Now in its second year, Enchant Christmas is an immersive festival that typically offers 80-foot Christmas trees, an ice skating trail, Santa cameos, and a lot of twinkling lights (it’s going virtual this year with online shops and phone calls with Santa). Everyone in the family will love the annual Christmas tree lighting and an appearance by Santa Claus himself. Why we go: It's been 76 years since Judy Garland first graced the world with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” at the end of Meet Me in St Louis, and the Missouri city has embraced its role as one of America’s yuletide capitals ever since. Aside from millions of dazzling lights (which you can see from the safety of your car), you can expect a drive-through food court featuring vendors from Minnesota’s famous State Fair. Courtesy Triple Creek Ranch. This article was originally published in December 2019. Where do Southern Californians go to get the Christmas spirit? Calling itself the Best Christmas Town in America, Colonial Williamsburg particularly shines at Christmastime. The 18th … In Mystic, you'll find illuminated boats, well-reviewed seafood restaurants, and even a lantern light tour that's fun for the whole family. Each year, this Missouri city hosts the Ozark Mountain Christmas festival, a month-long extravaganza with festive music, light shows, and plenty of parades. The average temperature in December is around 64 degrees. It may not be a tiny town, but it's still got all the charm—and it'd be impossible to make a list of the best Christmas towns in America without including the Big Apple! Phone +1 212-588-8601 New York City lands on every best destinations list, but it is especially gorgeous... Chicago. Take a trip to gorgeous wine country this holiday season and visit Solvang, located in the Santa Ynez Valley. Bet you never thought you could make a trip to the North Pole! Beaufort is a small town with a huge heart and is located in heart of the Lowcountry. #14 in Best Christmas Vacations. Over at Triple Creek Ranch, you can enjoy horseback riding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and more, and you'll find elaborate holiday décor all around the property and cabins. The market will be open daily from Friday, November 20 through Wednesday, December 23. Prizes are given out for categories such as best animation and originality—some owners are even known to spend months (and up to $50,000!) Duluth, Minnesota. Why we go: Christmas in St. Augustine is truly something to behold. Most notable is the Austin Trail of Lights, an annual festival that includes 2 million lights and 90 holiday trees (2020 marks its 56th anniversary). You may first think of Mardi Gras when you think of New Orleans, but the Crescent City also... 2 Hershey, Pennsylvania. The one thing to get you in the spirit: Santa Claus’s arrival to the Christmas Prelude on a lobster boat. When you plan your trip to Lewisburg, be sure to make a reservation to stay at The Greenbrier Resort. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Stay here: The Crawford Hotel, a boutique property in LoDo’s Union Station, boasts Art Deco rooms, the city’s most beautiful lobby, and guest perks like free Tesla transportation within a two-mile radius. There's no better place to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas than in New England! With gigantic Christmas trees, light shows, and even slides made of ice, a stay at one of these resorts guarantees a very merry Christmas indeed. The one thing to get you in the spirit: As a special treat this year, Nashville Ballet will air a free televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker for the first time in company history, on December 18 at 7p.m. Stay here: The Germantown Inn offers the best hygge outside of Denmark. And with an average December temperature of 55 degrees, enjoying all of these outdoor activities is, well, enjoyable. NOLA lights up with events like LUNA Fête, where the Central Business District around Lafayette Square fills up with installations and animated graphics from December 11-13 and 18-20. We're guessing you didn't expect our list to open with a warm weather locale. (If it's good enough for Kevin McCallister...). It receives the lowest average December snowfall in this compilation (11.9 inches), but thanks to December lows in the 10 F to 15 F range, snow tends to linger around the landscape regardless of whether or not new snowfall falls on Christmas day. The Crystal City, home of Corning Glass, is also home to a sparkling holiday season, beginning with a Parade of Lights through the Gaffer District (where the master glass blowers still ply their trade). To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, looking to get away for the weekend, or in desperate need of an adventure, you’ll find some of the best places in the US to visit … 20 Best Christmas Getaways for the Ultimate Holiday Vacation in 2020 1 New Orleans, Louisiana. But these towns are for real—and all you have to do to witness their Hallmark Christmas movie-worthy magic is book your trip. One of the most quintessential postcard-perfect towns to celebrate Christmas is Woodstock, Vermont,... Breckenridge, Colorado. Stay here: The Plaza. When Should You Take Your Christmas Tree Down? © 2020 Condé Nast. Visit Branson, Missouri, for the Ozark Mountain Christmas festival, a month-long holiday extravaganza, complete with great music, festive lights, and fun parades. Situated on the westernmost point of the Great Lakes on Lake Superior's north shore, Duluth is one of the northernmost cities on this list. Our recommendation: Check out the mahogany-lined Wilburton Inn for a truly authentic Vermont Christmas experience—the whole place is lit up like a Christmas tree each year. With its countless attractions, skating rinks, and shopping opportunities galore, it's an obvious choice for at least one of your family's Christmas trips. It doesn't get too cold in Andalusia, but that doesn't stop the town turning into a winter wonderland. Last year I shared some of my favorite places to go for Christmas, and now I want to get a little more specific and offer up ideas for hotels that go above and beyond to create a magical Christmas experience for guests. The wide and sandy beaches just next to the historic center are some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, and since it's part of the US… Kids will have a blast at the Fun Christmas Corner, where they can enjoy sweet treats and face painting. Here Are The 10 Most Enchanting, Magical Christmas Towns In Washington. 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