The Best Christmas Destinations in the US: From California to New York, Explore the Festive Magic of these Enchanting Towns and Cities

2023-11-18 00:52:59 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Looking for the ultimate holiday getaway? Get ready to explore the best Christmas destinations in the US! From charming small towns adorned with twinkling lights to bustling cities bursting with festive cheer, this list has it all. Whether you dream of snowy mountains in Colorado, enchanting coastal towns in Maine, or vibrant festivities in Las Vegas, we've got you covered. Join us as we embark on a magical journey through these incredible destinations, where Christmas spirit comes to life in the most unforgettable ways. So grab a cup of hot cocoa and get ready to be enchanted!

Solvang, California

Best Places to Spend Christmas in the USA: Solvang, CaliforniaSolvang is a delightful Danish town located in Southern California. It is situated just 35 miles north of Santa Barbara, making it an ideal destination for Christmas celebrations.

Solvang is often referred to as the "Danish Capital of America." As this name suggests, the town is known for its authentic European architecture and cuisine, providing visitors with a unique Christmas experience. Throughout the village, you will discover replicas of Denmark's famous landmarks, adding to the enchanting atmosphere.

What Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Solvang, CaliforniaDuring the holiday season, Solvang transforms into a picturesque European Christmas market. At night, the town's iconic windmills and the rest of the village light up, creating a magical ambiance. The streets are adorned with Christmas trees, and the shops are filled with seasonal ornaments, treats, and decorations of all kinds.

While in Solvang, be sure to make a stop at the famous Solvang Bakery and indulge in one of their renowned gingerbread houses. Additionally, a visit to Jule Hus is a must. This local landmark, established in 1967, offers a dazzling assortment of sparkling, unique, and whimsical Christmas ornaments that will make perfect souvenirs to bring home.

Ogunquit, Maine

Monique Meadows

Travelers are often attracted to this charming seaside town in Maine for its beaches, but the holiday season brings a different kind of charm, with lower prices and a peaceful atmosphere combined with festive celebrations. One such event is the "Christmas by the Sea" festival, which takes place in December and includes activities like a beach bonfire and Santa visits.

From Ogunquit, it is easy to explore two popular Christmas shopping destinations: the Kittery Outlets and Freeport, both offering a wide range of stores. Freeport is especially known for its L.L. Bean Flagship store, where you can also take a photo with the famous big boot. For a unique shopping experience, don't miss the Harbor Candy Shop on Ogunquit's Main Street, where you can find great stocking stuffers in the form of gift boxes filled with delicious treats.

Las Vegas, Nevada

From extravagant holiday decorations to artificial snowfall, Las Vegas knows how to celebrate Christmas in style. The city's year-round mild temperatures, averaging in the low 60s Fahrenheit during the day, make it an ideal destination for outdoor activities and strolling along the famous Strip.

During the Christmas season, many of Las Vegas' resorts are adorned with holiday-themed decorations, creating a festive atmosphere. One of the most impressive displays can be found at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, where you will be mesmerized by the stunning arrangements of poinsettias, candy canes, lights, and carefully crafted holiday scenes. The display changes every year, ensuring a new thrilling experience for repeat visitors.

Christmas display at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas is one of the best destinations for Christmas vacations in the USA!Christmas display at the Bellagio Conservatory

Other resorts, such as The Venetian and The Wynn, also boast elegant holiday decor. During our visit, we were particularly captivated by Wynn's exquisite white-and-gold displays.

The Bellagio fountain show is another fantastic and free attraction. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and find a spot around the lake after dark to witness the mesmerizing water and light dance synchronized to holiday-themed music.

The LINQ promenade is a must-visit for its tall Christmas tree, extensive shopping options, and a variety of seasonal food and beverages. Don't forget to take a ride on the High Roller, the giant observation wheel, to enjoy the light show set to holiday music. It is undoubtedly one of the best activities to experience on the Strip.

If you enjoy ice skating, head to The Cosmopolitan's ice rink, considered one of the top rinks in the US. This family-friendly activity is a perfect way to embrace the Christmas spirit in Las Vegas. And while you're there, treat yourself to some delicious food, hot chocolate, and s'mores.

For more family fun during Christmas in Vegas, check out the lights at the Ethel M's Chocolate Factory Holiday Cactus Garden or enjoy the made-to-order snow and the holiday train at the Springs Preserve.

Of course, no Las Vegas vacation is complete without indulging in the city's renowned culinary scene. During the holiday season, many restaurants offer special holiday menus, and Las Vegas buffets are filled with delectable holiday-inspired dishes.

Where to stay: To make the most of your visit, consider booking a stay at one of the resorts along the Strip. Opt for a room with a fountain view at the Bellagio for a truly enchanting experience. Alternatively, you can choose the upscale Venetian for a luxurious stay.

If your vacation allows for it, consider adding some day trips from Vegas to your itinerary. During the winter months, there are also several national parks near Vegas that offer amazing sights and experiences.

Newport, Rhode Island

The Preservation Society of Newport County

If you prefer a more elegant and subdued Christmas experience, Newport in Rhode Island is the perfect choice. Here, the focus is on creating an old-fashioned, candlelit ambiance through the use of white lights and a touch of sophistication. Take a tour of the Mansions of Newport, including iconic architectural treasures like The Breakers, The Elms, and The Marbles, all beautifully adorned with lavish trees, exquisite china, and festive decorations. The smaller crowds during this time of year provide an opportunity to dine at Newport's finest restaurants, such as The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn.

Aspen, Colorado

Jeremy Swanson

The combination of luxury and small-town charm makes Aspen one of the most spirited destinations for Christmas celebrations. While strolling along Cooper Avenue, you may stumble upon cookie exchanges, public s'mores roasts, or encounters with Santa's elves. Embrace the festive spirit at Aspen's cherished hotels, such as the Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection, where carolers often entertain guests. Enjoy fabulous holiday meals at Ajax Tavern and Element 47 in The Little Nell. For a bird's-eye view of the dazzling decorations, consider booking one of the Sky Residences at W Aspen, which offer access to a private rooftop lounge with breathtaking mountain views.

Vail, Colorado

Best Places to Spend Christmas in the USA: Vail, ColoradoFor outdoor enthusiasts, Vail in Colorado offers an abundance of activities during the holiday season. Choosing between Aspen and Vail can be a tough decision, but Vail's lively atmosphere and reputation as one of the best Christmas destinations in the US make it a top choice.

Vail Ski Resort has undergone numerous improvements in recent years, enhancing its already world-class facilities. The perfectly groomed runs cater to skiers of all skill levels and provide a diverse range of terrain, from picturesque glades to the expansive Back Bowls and the backcountry of Blue Sky Basin. It truly is a paradise for skiing enthusiasts.

What Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Vail, ColoradoHowever, Vail offers much more than just skiing. Explore the beautifully lit outdoor ice skating rinks, take a memorable holiday sleigh ride, or enjoy some exhilarating rounds of Ice Bumper Cars. The shops and restaurants in the village are adorned with festive decorations, and you can indulge in a delightful Christmas dinner right in the heart of Vail. For a more relaxing experience, treat yourself to some well-deserved rest and relaxation at one of the many spas and resorts scattered throughout Vail.

Curious about other things to do in Colorado? Check out:

The 25 Best Things To Do in Colorado

Atlanta, Georgia

Best Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Atlanta, GeorgiaExperience a Southern-style Christmas by visiting Atlanta during the holiday season. This city is undoubtedly one of the best places to spend Christmas in the US, offering an array of twinkling lights, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and an array of unique and delicious food.

A visit to Atlanta is not complete without attending a show. During the holiday season, you can enjoy performances such as The Nutcracker by the Atlanta Ballet, holiday shows by the renowned Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the classic production of A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theatre.

What Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Atlanta, GeorgiaIf you are looking for a dazzling light display, make sure to visit Stone Mountain. Here, you can enjoy activities such as tubing, strolling through a magnificent holiday light garden, and attending an outdoor concert. The Atlanta Botanical Garden and Lake Lanier also offer stunning lighting displays that are well worth a visit.

Atlanta boasts an impressive selection of seasonal pop-up bars. The Miracle bar is a local favorite, immersing visitors in holiday cheer with its unique cocktails and extravagant decor. Don't miss the themed holiday bar and unique igloos at Ponce City Market, or the tiki-inspired Christmas experience at Sippin’ Santa.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Nantucket's annual Christmas Stroll is a highlight of the holiday season on the island. The tradition began in the 1970s when shopkeepers extended their hours so that locals wouldn't have to travel to Cape Cod to shop for gifts. Nowadays, during the first weekend in December, visitors can explore downtown Nantucket while surrounded by numerous Christmas trees, participate in wine and cocktail tastings, and join organized walking tours. Be sure to find unique gifts at Murray's Toggery Shop, known for its Nantucket reds, and Jessica Hicks, a local jewelry designer boutique. And don't miss the beautifully decorated Christmas trees at the annual Festival of Trees held at the Whaling Museum, showcasing the creativity of the community.

Grapevine, Texas

Known as the Christmas Capital of Texas, the small town of Grapevine comes alive during the holiday season, offering a range of festive events suitable for all ages.

One of the highlights is the Grapevine Christmas Passport, a fun way to explore the city and discover everything it has to offer during this time of year. The passport takes you to different locations in historic Grapevine, and at the end of the day, you'll leave with handmade souvenirs and wonderful memories.

Another unique experience is the North Pole Express, where you can enjoy holiday treats and a special show while riding in a restored 1925 train carriage that takes you to the magical Christmas Village Forest. This is a perfect activity to show the little ones where Santa lives.

For a cozy date night, consider getting tickets for the Christmas Wine Train. Grapevine has plenty of tasting rooms and fantastic restaurants that offer local Texan flavors with a creative twist.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Nathan Bilow

Breckenridge becomes even more vibrant during the holiday season as ski season kicks into high gear. This resort town strikes the perfect balance between excitement and tranquility. Throughout December, you can enjoy a variety of festivities, from the tree lighting ceremony to the Race of the Santas, a half-mile footrace featuring runners dressed in festive costumes. When it comes to après-ski options, Breckenridge offers charming establishments like Breckenridge Brewery, where you can savor house-made beers, and Base Nine Bar, which serves delightful martinis and flights.

Washington, DC

What Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Washington, DCWashington, DC, is a fantastic destination for the holidays. The city is transformed into a winter wonderland, with numerous massive Christmas trees adorning the landscape. The Smithsonian Museums also join in the festive spirit!

The National Christmas Tree is a must-see attraction. Each year, artists from all over the country create unique ornaments, resulting in a different experience every time. Another impressive tree can be found on the US Capitol's West Lawn, which has traveled across the nation from a national forest.

Where to Vacation in the USA for Christmas: Washington, DCEvery year, Mount Vernon by Candlelight offers seasonal tours of George Washington's historic property. Don't miss the special fireworks show that takes place the weekend before Christmas!

Other attractions include the United States Botanic Garden's annual holiday exhibit, the festive ZooLights at the Smithsonian event, and the enchanting Enchant Christmas light maze. Washington, DC has something for everyone during the holiday season.

Lewisburg, West Virginia

Aaron Maxwell

Experience a winter wonderland in Lewisburg, West Virginia, complete with Christmas lights and charming carriage rides. This destination offers a peaceful and low-key escape for holiday travelers. However, there is also plenty of opulence to be found at the nearby Greenbrier resort, where you can admire extravagant decorations and enjoy family programming.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a magical place to visit during Christmas vacations in the USA.

Historic brownstone buildings adorned with twinkling lights, street lamps adorned with velvet bows and evergreen branches, and live holiday music filling the air create a festive atmosphere.

Christmas lights in downtown Boston, MAYou can enjoy the enchanting Christmas illuminations in downtown Boston!

Exploring the small boutiques along Charles Street in Beacon Hill is a must-do activity. Here, you can find unique gifts, toys, chocolates, and more.

Be sure to visit Rouvalis Flowers, a local favorite flower shop known for its seasonal arrangements featuring evergreen boughs, holly, and poinsettias.

Another highlight is ice skating on the Frog Pond at Boston Common. After dark, the Boston Common Christmas tree, which has been lit for over 80 years, creates a magical atmosphere. Don't forget to visit the famous Make Way for Ducklings statues in the Boston Public Garden, dressed in cozy knit scarves and hats for the season.

On the Seaport side of Boston, you can experience the Holiday Market at Snowport, Boston's version of a European Christmas market. Explore the booths of local vendors selling everything from outerwear to Christmas ornaments and seasonal treats.

Where to stay: For a perfect stay in NYC during Christmas time, consider the Plaza Hotel, one of the city's most iconic hotels. Located next to Central Park and 5th Avenue, it offers easy access to the best Christmas decorations in the area.

Suggested by Sam of Find Love and Travel

Beaufort, North Carolina

The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority

Celebrate Christmas on the water in Beaufort, North Carolina. Despite the lack of snow, the mild climate allows for enjoyable outdoor activities like kayaking and boat tours along Taylor's Creek. One of the biggest holiday events is the Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla, a boat parade adorned with twinkling lights held in early December.

New York City, New York

New York City is undoubtedly one of the most magical destinations for Christmas vacations in the USA.

From elaborate window displays and the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to bustling Christmas markets and winter villages, the city offers countless attractions during the holiday season.

Experience the enchanting Christmas decorations in the Big Apple!

Standing under the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a must-do activity. The tree is usually put up right after Thanksgiving and is open 24 hours. You can also enjoy ice skating under the tree.

Another highlight is admiring the best Christmas decorations in NYC. Don't miss the Saks 5th Avenue light show, the Cartier Display, the Radio City Christmas Ornaments, and the decorations on the Upper West Side.

Christmas window displays are a major attraction in New York City. Macy's Herald Square, Bloomingdales on 5th Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue are among the top spots to visit.

No visit to Manhattan during Christmas is complete without exploring a Christmas market. The market at Bryant Park is one of the best, offering an ice rink, a Christmas tree, food vendors, and cozy pop-up igloos for rent.

Where to stay: For a perfect stay in NYC during Christmas time, consider the Plaza Hotel, one of the city's most iconic hotels. Located next to Central Park and 5th Avenue, it offers easy access to the best Christmas decorations in the area.

Suggested by Sam of Find Love and Travel

Park City, Utah

If you dream of a white Christmas, Park City, Utah is the perfect destination.

Experience the beauty of Park City covered in snow!

Park City was a host city for the 2002 Winter Olympics, making it an ideal location for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

You can visit the Utah Olympic Park, where you can see athletes training or even take a thrilling ride down the bobsled track if you're feeling adventurous.

Christmas is a fantastic time to visit Park City, as it offers a variety of holiday festivities. Snowfest at Park City Mountain features Santa arriving via ski lift, a torchlight parade, and a fireworks show on New Year's Eve.

Park City's Main Street transforms into a winter wonderland with dazzling lights, snow globes, and holiday decorations. It's the perfect place to explore charming après-ski bars, restaurants, art galleries, and enjoy seasonal entertainment.

For a family-friendly activity, take a ride on the North Pole Express on the nearby Heber Valley Railroad.

If you've never been to Park City, now is the perfect time to add it to your Utah bucket list!

Where to stay: For a wonderful stay in Park City, consider The Condos at Canyons Resort by White Pine. These accommodations offer ski-in/ski-out access and a full-service spa, providing the perfect retreat after a day of outdoor adventures.

Suggested by JJ Haglund of The Minivan Bucket List

Croix, US Virgin Islands

The Caribbean islands are the ideal destination for a Christmas getaway. The St. Croix Crucian Christmas Carnival is a major event on the island, attracting visitors from around the world to join in the festivities.

Frederiksted on Saint Croix in the USVIEnjoy the idyllic Saint Croix during Christmas!

Crucian Christmas lasts an entire month and offers a rich cultural experience. The festivities include parades, art fairs, local cuisine, and more, providing a glimpse into the island's history and traditions.

The main celebrations take place in Frederiksted, where you can enjoy local food vendors, art displays, and lively activities.

Two of the largest celebrations are the Children's Parade and the Adult Parade, which feature extravagant costumes, dancing in the streets, and a festive atmosphere.

December is also the beginning of the tourist season in the US Virgin Islands, with perfect weather for outdoor celebrations and excursions.

A popular excursion is visiting Buck Island National Reef National Monument. This uninhabited island, home to Turtle Beach, offers stunning coral reefs, colorful fish, and marine wildlife for snorkeling.

Lastly, don't miss the Carambola Trumbull Trail, which leads to natural tide pools located in the northwest of the island.

St. Croix offers a unique and beautiful Christmas experience, combining natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Where to stay: For a wonderful stay in St. Croix, check out Sand Castle on the Beach, located near all the Christmas activities in Frederiksted.

Suggested by Rachel of Caribbean Uncovered

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Visit South Walton

Escape to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida for a unique Christmas experience by the white-sand beaches. With December temperatures reaching the 60s, it's easy to forget it's the holiday season. However, you can still enjoy the Annual Holiday Market at The Artists Warehouse, where you can find unique gifts. Kitchen Garden Books and Antiques is another great spot to discover one-of-a-kind finds for under the tree.

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Michigan is a magical Christmas destination, especially for families. Two cities in particular, Frankenmuth and Owosso, are perfect for celebrating a white Christmas.

Bronners, Frankenmuth, MichiganDiscover the gigantic Christmas store, Bronners!

Owosso is home to the steam engine that inspired the sights and sounds in the movie "The Polar Express." Treat your kids to a themed train ride to the "North Pole," complete with hot chocolate, ticket punching by a conductor, and even the elusive hobo.

Afterward, head to Frankenmuth, a charming city less than an hour away. Downtown Frankenmuth shines brightly with lights and elaborate Christmas decorations, including a stunning choreographed light show. Explore the Bavarian-inspired shops and restaurants, and make sure to visit Bronners, the world's largest Christmas store offering a wide range of products.

Where to stay: Immerse yourself in the Bavarian charm by staying at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in downtown Frankenmuth.

Suggested by Catherine of Postcard Narrative

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Courtesy of Brookgreen Gardens

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers the perfect winter escape. Enjoy lower rates during the off-season while appreciating holiday-specific sights.

Brookgreen Gardens features an annual display of 2,700 hand-lit candles, creating a magical ambiance. Ripley's Aquarium hosts the Festival of Trees, showcasing beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The Carolina Opry Theater's decorations are worth a visit, especially for "The Christmas Show of the South," a cherished tradition.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont is a must-visit destination during Christmas time.

Middle Covered Bridge in Woodstock, VTExplore the charming Middle Covered Bridge in Woodstock.

Take a stroll down the main street of Woodstock, admire the stunning architectural styles of the buildings, and enjoy the snow-covered scenery.

Don't miss the iconic covered bridges, including the Middle Covered Bridge and the Taftsville Covered Bridge, known for their beauty and historical significance.

Woodstock offers several events during the holiday season. One of the highlights is Wassail Weekend at Billings Farm, where you can experience historic New England Christmas charm. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, sleigh rides, fire pits, Christmas movie nights, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.

Where to stay: For a perfect stay in Woodstock at Christmas, consider the Woodstock Inn & Resort, a classic New England hotel located on the Village Green. Don't miss their Christmas buffet!

Suggested by Paula of Paula Pins the Planet

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland, located along the Chesapeake Bay, is a military town that truly embraces the holiday season with grandeur and excitement. The town is illuminated with a stunning display of Christmas lights, especially on boats and along the water's edge. To make the shopping experience even more special, the charming shops downtown stay open until midnight on select Thursdays leading up to December 25. This delightful event is aptly named "Midnight Madness" and not only offers great deals but also treats and beautiful Christmas decorations.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

If you're seeking a remarkable Christmas experience in the western United States, look no further than Jackson Hole, Wyoming. During the winter, this town transforms into a magical wonderland, offering the perfect setting to celebrate the holidays.

Snow at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the winterJackson Hole is truly a winter paradise during Christmas PC: BeaUTAHful World

You can easily access Jackson Hole by flying directly into its unique airport (JAC), which is the only airport located within a national park in the United States, specifically Grand Teton National Park. If flying into Jackson Hole proves complicated or expensive, you have the option of flying into Salt Lake City and enjoying a 4.5-hour drive to reach this picturesque town.

One of the highlights of visiting Jackson Hole during Christmas is the opportunity for downhill skiing. The renowned Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) is a popular destination for skiing enthusiasts and is included in both the Mountain Collective Pass and the IKON pass (reservations required). Additionally, there are two smaller ski areas available for those looking for alternative options.

Even if skiing isn't your cup of tea, Jackson Hole offers a plethora of other activities during the winter season. Its close proximity to Grand Teton National Park allows for extensive exploration. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing in the park or its surrounding areas. If the cold weather is a concern, you can still experience the park's beauty through a scenic drive.

For a more adventurous experience, consider booking a snowmobiling trip. There are various places where you can enjoy snowmobiling, including the unplowed roads within the national park and local hot springs. You can even make bookings for a Christmas Day excursion.

Where to stay: If your plans include skiing at JHMR, the ideal accommodation is the Continuum Hotel, located at the base of the slopes in Teton Village. This hotel offers an outdoor heated pool and jacuzzi, which will undoubtedly enhance your stay.

Suggested by Andrea of BeaUTAHful World

Cleveland, Ohio

Must Visit Places in the USA for Christmas: Cleveland, OhioCleveland is an underrated travel destination in the US, offering beautiful historic buildings, fascinating attractions, and mouthwatering cuisine, all at an affordable price. When it comes to Christmas destinations in the US, Cleveland's holiday events cater to all types of travelers.

Attending a holiday concert in Cleveland is a fantastic way to celebrate Christmas, especially with the magnificent Severance Hall showcasing its stunning art deco design and hosting the world-class Cleveland Orchestra.

If you visit in late November, kickstart your holiday season with the Winterfest kickoff, a delightful annual event filled with live concerts, a pop-up market, and a dazzling fireworks show.

Best Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Cleveland, OhioIf you miss the Holiday Lighting Ceremony in November, don't worry! Cleveland extends its celebration until February.

Other special events include the winter lights displays at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Festival of Trees at the stunning Allen Theatre, and the unique igloo village at Merwin's Wharf, providing an unparalleled private dining experience.

Suggested by Kyleen of The Bonnie Traveler

Augustine, Florida

While St. Augustine, FL may not experience snow, visiting this historic city during Christmas time will transport you to a winter wonderland.

St. Augustine, FloridaSt. Augustine is enchanting during the Christmas season

In addition to its numerous historic landmarks and natural attractions, St. Augustine offers a variety of spectacular activities during the holiday season.

From mid-November to the end of January, the historic district of downtown St. Augustine shines with millions of sparkling white lights, creating a breathtaking display.

The Night of Lights festivities kick off with the official tree lighting ceremony. Throughout December, you can enjoy parades, live nativities, Christmas markets, and glittering boat regattas that immerse you in the enchantment of Christmas.

Make sure to immerse yourself in the city's rich history by exploring landmarks like the Castillo de San Marco and the Colonial Quarter, where costumed rangers and volunteers depict life in the 18th century.

For beautiful views of the city, especially when illuminated at night, visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse. You can also take part in Luminary Night at the Maritime Museum, where you'll find Santa paying a visit. Don't miss the Lighthouse Illuminations, featuring a collection of themed Christmas trees that twinkle delightfully.

In addition to strolling through the illuminated historic district, you can admire the lights from the comfort of the Old Town Trolley, which provides magical glasses, warm cookies, and cider.

Another extraordinary way to experience the lights is by taking a boat tour. There are various options available, from luxury schooners to the Black Raven pirate ship, each offering a unique perspective on St. Augustine's Christmas splendor.

Where to stay: For the ultimate Christmas experience in St. Augustine, stay at the St. George Inn, located in the heart of the historic district. This charming inn allows you to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas celebrations of St. Augustine.

Suggested by Kyleen of The Bonnie Traveler

Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia adopts a peaceful atmosphere as college students prepare for their finals and journey home for the holidays. Before their departure, however, the University of Virginia campus embraces the holiday spirit with the annual "Lighting of the Lawn" event, typically held in early December. Another fun tradition in Charlottesville is the gingerbread display competition at the Ronald McDonald House.

Chicago, Illinois

Christmas is a special time to visit Chicago, as the city wholeheartedly embraces the holiday season. Decorations adorn nearly every storefront, with beautiful lights and tinsel adorning popular pedestrian streets. The city hosts numerous indoor and outdoor public events to celebrate this festive period.

Chicago, IllinoisExperience the Christmas spirit in Chicago

Chicago exudes a palpable Christmas spirit, inviting you to bundle up in your warmest coat and boots and explore the city. Families will find Navy Pier a highlight, featuring an indoor ice rink, a light garden, and a lively gift market. Santa is usually available for photos too.

If the weather permits or you're properly dressed, visit the outdoor skating rink and free zoo in Lincoln Park. For a more cultural experience, indulge in the expansive Art Institute of Chicago, a breathtaking art museum that has become one of the city's greatest attractions since its establishment following the Great Fire of 1871.

For an authentic local experience, try a hot dog from Portillo's or savor a deep-dish pizza from Pequod's. In Logan Square, you can visit The Logan Theater, a vintage movie theater that dates back to 1915. Enjoy a delicious espresso drink at the warm and rustic Gaslight Coffee Roasters if you're in need of a self-care break from the post-vacation blues.

Where to stay: For a memorable Christmas stay in the city, choose The Peninsula Chicago. This upscale hotel located along the Magnificent Mile is reported to be the best place to stay during the Christmas season in Chicago.

Suggested by Amber of Amber Everywhere

Seneca Falls, New York

Seneca Falls is widely recognized as the inspiration behind the town of Bedford Falls, famously depicted in the classic holiday film, "It's a Wonderful Life." This charming town fully embraces its association with the film by hosting an annual It's a Wonderful Life Festival. It's a truly unique way to celebrate Christmas!

The festival typically spans three days in early December and completely transforms the entire town into a real-life depiction of Bedford Falls. Special guests and cast members from the movie make appearances, and exclusive presentations offer insights into the legendary production.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Bridge Street Bridge, fondly referred to as the "It's a Wonderful Life Bridge." This spot holds sentimental value for fans of the film, as locals and visitors hang mementos of loved ones on the bridge. Throughout December, the town hosts various holiday brunches, Christmas caroling events, and festive pop-up events.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

For an East Coast mountain vacation during the holidays, there's no better place to be than Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This small town, often considered the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, offers a unique Southern charm that sets it apart from other destinations.

Pigeon Forge, TennesseePigeon Forge is a perfect Christmas destination in the USA! PC: Adventure Dragon

Christmas in Pigeon Forge presents a multitude of activities to enjoy. The iconic Great Smoky Mountain Wheel grants stunning aerial views of the majestic mountains. During Christmas, it becomes even more magical as it illuminates in vibrant red and green colors to celebrate the festive season.

Dollywood, the local amusement park, showcases over five million Christmas lights during its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration. This event offers holiday-themed shows, beloved theme park rides, and even a special Christmas menu.

If you prefer a budget-friendly option, Pigeon Forge hosts a Christmas lights drive experience. You can simply stay in your car and drive through the town, enjoying more than twenty different lighted scenes scattered throughout. Best of all, this experience is completely free.

When hunger strikes, you have the option of attending one of the many Christmas dinner shows that have become popular attractions in Pigeon Forge. Indulge in a four-course meal while watching a thrilling horse-themed stunt show at Christmas at Dolly Parton's Stampede or enjoy the comedic antics and singing of two rival families at the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Feud.

Where to stay: For a truly Christmas-themed vacation in Pigeon Forge, book your stay at the Inn at Christmas Place, the only Christmas-themed hotel in town.

Suggested by Jillian Michelle of Adventure Dragon

New Orleans, Louisiana

Christmas time is the perfect season to visit the vibrant city of New Orleans. Known for its year-round appeal, New Orleans showcases out-of-this-world festive decorations during the holiday season.

Christmas lights in New Orleans, LouisianaExperience the enchanting Christmas lights in New Orleans

If you're looking to escape the cold, New Orleans offers a mild winter climate on the US Gulf Coast, making it the perfect winter getaway. Immerse yourself in the city's beautiful architecture and rich history, which will captivate any history enthusiast. Foodies will delight in the plethora of culinary traditions found in New Orleans.

December temperatures typically range from around 64 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to the 40s at night. While most days are mild, an unexpected cold front may require some warm layers to ensure comfort.

Be sure to visit the Roosevelt Hotel to marvel at its elaborate decorations. The hotel's lobby turns into a splendid winter wonderland, adorned with beautiful light displays. While you're there, enjoy a drink at the Sazerac Bar, where you can savor a festive cocktail or a renowned New Orleans classic like the Sazerac.

Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Garden District, where you can admire the elegant Christmas decorations adorning historic homes. This neighborhood is known for its stunning architecture, which is exceptionally charming during the Christmas season.

Witness the lighting of the bonfires on the levee, a unique Cajun tradition. Rows of bonfires are set up along the levees of the Mississippi River, and on Christmas Eve, these bonfires are ignited to light the way for Papa Noel. While this spectacle takes place in St. James Parish, a short drive from New Orleans, it's a magical sight worth experiencing.

Indulge in a special French tradition called Reveillon dinner, a celebratory meal served on Christmas Eve. Many restaurants throughout the city offer special Reveillon menus for this occasion. Keep an eye out for the release of these menus as the holidays approach and make reservations in advance.

Where to stay: Enhance your Christmas-themed vacation by booking a stay at the Windsor Court Hotel. Situated close to the French Quarter, this hotel is beautifully decorated for the holidays. Its lobby features an impressive Christmas tree, twinkling white lights, and an abundance of poinsettias.

Suggested by Jackie of Bon Voyage Jackie

San Diego, California

If you're looking for a warm-weather getaway during Christmas, consider San Diego, California. The weather in San Diego hovers around 65 degrees, even in winter!

Additionally, there are plenty of fantastic family-friendly activities to keep your holiday itinerary full.

Old Town San Diego, California at ChristmasYou can immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere in Old Town San Diego.

For instance, San Diego is famous worldwide for its amazing waves that are perfect for surfing. Even beginners can enjoy these popular waves, as there are many beaches that offer easy-to-ride waves!

Winter is an especially exciting time for surfing in San Diego. The cold weather brings swells that create large waves. But if you prefer a beach stroll, head over to La Jolla Cove, where you can enjoy beautiful coastal scenery and witness hundreds of sea lions and seals lounging on the rocks. Don't be surprised if they bark back at you when you pass by!

If you want to get into the holiday spirit, visit Balboa Park. In early December, the park is adorned with Christmas lights, and they even host a Christmas light festival called December Nights!

On two Sundays in December, you can enjoy the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, where illuminated and decorated boats parade through San Diego Bay, creating a festive spectacle.

And of course, don't forget to indulge in the delicious cuisine of San Diego. The city is home to numerous hidden food gems, especially in downtown San Diego!

You can also visit the holiday market at Petco Park, which is San Diego's version of a European Christmas market, admire the towering Christmas tree at Liberty Station, or go ice skating at the Rady Children's Ice Rink.

Where to stay: For a cool Christmas getaway in San Diego, consider staying at Pendry San Diego. Located in the Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel's Nason's Beer Hall is beautifully decorated for the holidays, creating a winter wonderland. The hotel also organizes events for kids during the holiday season.

Suggested by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades

Prescott, Arizona

Prescott, known as "Arizona's Christmas City," boasts a charming downtown, a white-columned courthouse, and a small-town feel that will transport you to the setting of "It's A Wonderful Life."

Take a stroll through Prescott's old-fashioned downtown, where you'll find historic buildings, independent bookstores, antique shops, and unique boutiques adorned with fairy lights. It's the perfect place to discover one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.

The courthouse in Prescott, Arizona, decorated and illuminated at the holidays.The courthouse in Prescott is beautifully decorated!

Stop for lunch at the historic Whiskey Row, lined with saloons that exude the ambiance of the Wild West. You can also indulge in delicious caramel popcorn or handmade chocolate as you explore. A leisurely walk along this historic street is definitely one of the highlights of visiting Prescott.

Head to the tree-lined courthouse plaza for a taste of small-town American life. The plaza is adorned with twinkling lights, and in front of the courthouse stands a gigantic tree that adds to the festive atmosphere.

The Christmas Lights Parade is a must-see for families, with live music, caroling, and a reading of "The Night Before Christmas."

The Annual Christmas Parade and Courthouse Lighting, held on the first Saturday of December, is a grand spectacle that brings the local community together. Colorful floats and holiday cheer delight visitors.

And don't miss The World's Largest Gingerbread Village event, where you can marvel at hundreds of handcrafted gingerbread creations displayed in a sugary village. The aroma alone is amazing!

Where to stay: For a stay with historic charm, check into Hassayampa Inn. Known as the Grand Dame of Prescott, this inn was built in 1927 and features a beautifully restored 1920s-style lobby, along with all modern amenities.

Suggested by Dee of Vanilla Papers

San Francisco, California

There's nothing more magical than taking a stroll through San Francisco during the holidays.

San Francisco's City Hall, illuminated in red and green for Christmas.San Francisco's City Hall is beautifully illuminated in holiday colors!

Every year, Union Square comes alive with a magnificent Christmas tree standing at 83 feet tall, adorned with 1,000 ornaments and 33,000 LED lights. If you love ice skating, you'll delight in the ice rink located right next to the Christmas tree!

Head over to Macy's across the street for some window shopping and to admire more holiday decorations.

Or better yet, step outside to see the adorable animals featured in the window display. Macy's partners with San Francisco SPCA and SF Animal Care & Control to showcase adoptable pets in the store windows every holiday season. While doing so, they prioritize the comfort and well-being of the animals.

Up the steep hill lies the Fairmont Hotel, which hosts a life-sized Gingerbread House inside. Standing at two stories and 25 feet tall, the Gingerbread House is made with real gingerbread bricks and adorned with 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,000 pounds of ice cream. And the scent is simply amazing!

Once inside the Gingerbread House, you can visit the bars and rooftop garden. And if you're traveling with little ones, they'll love Santa's Playroom, which features a lavish hot chocolate bar.

Speaking of hot chocolate, a visit to Ghirardelli Square is a must! They offer specialty holiday drinks flavored with peppermint or sea salt caramel. It's the perfect spot to sit and sip on a chilly day while enjoying some people-watching.

If you're seeking a magical experience similar to what NYC has to offer, but without the frigid temperatures, San Francisco is the place to be for the holidays!

Where to stay: Stay at The Westin St. Francis, located right on Union Square in the heart of all the holiday festivities. The hotel usually features a beautifully designed and rotating Enchanted Sugar Castle in the lobby for guests to admire, along with other festive decorations.

Suggested by Hannah of Hannah on Horizon

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is one of the best places to visit in Texas, no matter the time of year. But during Christmas, it becomes even more delightful with its daytime temperatures in the mid-60s and a festive holiday atmosphere.

San Antonio's stunning Riverwalk, always a popular attraction, transforms into a magical wonderland during the holidays. Thousands of twinkling lights and enchanting holiday decor create a captivating ambiance. The Riverwalk is also adorned with luminarias, traditional Mexican Christmas lanterns, adding to the festive atmosphere.

The Riverwalk in San Antonio, TexasThe Riverwalk in San Antonio during Christmas time

Take a boat ride along the illuminated river, and don't forget to shop for holiday gifts, ornaments, and arts and crafts at the shops lining the Riverwalk.

With numerous top-notch eateries along the Riverwalk, be sure to savor a meal (or a few!) while soaking in the festive decor and ambience.

For a unique Christmas experience in San Antonio, head to the Natural Bridge Caverns. During the holidays, live choirs sing Christmas carols in the underground caverns. With the addition of Christmas trees and lights, it becomes even more festive.

Lightscape at the San Antonio Botanical Garden is a dazzling holiday event. You'll encounter unique light displays that showcase the beauty of Texas along a one-mile illuminated path. The event also offers seasonal food and drink for your enjoyment.

If you're traveling with kids, make sure to visit the Texas Transportation Museum for Santa's Railroad Wonderland. Kids can ride a decorated train and travel to "the North Pole" to meet Santa Claus.

And of course, the holidays are the perfect time to sample tamales in San Antonio, so come hungry!

Where to stay: Consider the historic Crockett Hotel, located close to The Alamo and the Riverwalk. It offers convenient access to sightseeing, shopping, and dining.

Suggested by us

North Pole, Alaska

If you're looking for a truly magical destination for Christmas, why not visit the North Pole in Alaska? Who wouldn't want to meet Santa Claus?

In North Pole, Alaska, your Christmas dreams can come true. It's one of the best places to spend Christmas in the USA!

Santa Claus House in North Pole, AlaskaSanta Claus House in North Pole

North Pole, Alaska, just a 20-minute drive from Fairbanks, sets the stage for the holiday spirit with its Christmas-themed street names and candy cane striped light poles.

During your visit, don't forget to explore the Santa Claus House, where you can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. You can also indulge in delicious homemade fudge and shop for all your Christmas needs. While the reindeer may be busy during the Christmas season, you can still admire them as they enjoy their time off during the summer.

The best time to visit is early December, before Santa gets too busy. You can enjoy Winter Fest, which features over 60 vendors offering handmade Alaska products. There is also a candlelight processional where a king and queen are chosen, and fireworks light up the night sky.

One of the highlights of visiting the North Pole during winter is seeing the ice sculptures. If you love them, head to Fairbanks, where an entire city block is transformed into a dedicated outdoor winter wonderland, complete with ice slides and sculptures.

Where to stay: After your adventure in the North Pole, head to the Aurora Borealis Lodge, located twenty miles north of Fairbanks. From there, you can watch for the mesmerizing Northern Lights and enjoy a pleasant stay in the area.

Suggested by Lisa of Planning Away

Oahu, Hawaii

One of the most exotic places to spend Christmas in the USA is Oahu, Hawaii.

Here, you'll experience an island twist on your favorite holiday traditions, like Christmas carols. You might even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus wearing an Aloha shirt or surfing in the ocean!

Honolulu City Lights sign in Oahu, HawaiiHonolulu City Lights is a must-see attraction on Oahu during Christmas!

And the best part? You can spend Christmas in your swimsuit!

There are plenty of Waikiki Christmas activities to enjoy, such as visiting Santa, shopping at the Waikiki Christmas Store, and marveling at the Sheraton Waikiki Sand Sculptures.

Ala Moana Center, the largest outdoor shopping mall in the world, offers an array of holiday entertainment, a Santa village, and fantastic Christmas shopping deals.

But the highlight is Honolulu City Lights. This month-long event fills Oahu with thousands of lights, entertainment, and grand Christmas decorations.

Another not-to-be-missed experience is the Waikiki Christmas Trolley, which takes you on a tour of Honolulu, passing by beautiful light displays.

Many restaurants offer fancy Christmas dinners, but if you're looking for something extra special, book tickets for the Rock-a-Hula Christmas Luau. This renowned Waikiki show offers several ticket packages and allows you to celebrate the season in style.

All the major resorts and hotels on Oahu go all out with their holiday decorations, creating a festive atmosphere.

Where to stay: Consider The Moana Surfrider for an unforgettable Christmas stay on Oahu. Located right on the beach at Waikiki, this hotel offers breakfast with Santa Claus and an afternoon Christmas-themed tea. The stunning Hawaiian Christmas decorations will add to the magic of your stay.

Suggested by Marcie of Hawaii Travel with Kids

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Natchitoches, one of the oldest settlements in Louisiana, becomes a splendid sight during the holiday season. The entire city is illuminated with impressive light displays, and family-friendly festivities take place every weekend from Thanksgiving through Christmas. One of the standout events is the boat parade, where string lights and fireworks reflect on the Cane River.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Must Visit Places in the USA for Christmas: Williamsburg, VirginiaThis small town is known for its pastoral charm, culinary delights, and family-friendly attractions. During the holidays, that charm is multiplied, with snow blanketing the cobblestone streets and wreaths strung up all across town.

Exploring Williamsburg during the holidays involves a lot of eating, shopping, and ice skating. Between local boutiques, fine dining restaurants, the Christmas Market, and the town’s many breweries and wineries, you’ll have your pick of fun spots to check out in town. 

Best Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Williamsburg, VirginiaWe'd recommend making a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. The beautiful grounds and historic boutiques alone are worth a visit, and during the holidays, the events calendar is filled with festive activities, including the Mistletoe Market, Yule Log Celebration, and the iconic Grand Illumination ceremony.

The Busch Gardens Christmas Town gives the famous theme park a festive makeover. Special ice shows, visits from Santa Claus, and a breathtaking 10 million lights create a joyous atmosphere. Plus, all the theme park attractions remain open!

Atlantic City, New Jersey

With its vibrant casino scene and popular boardwalk, Atlantic City may not be the first place that comes to mind for traditional Christmas festivities. However, its wild weekend spirit and lively atmosphere make it an intriguing destination during the holiday season. Festivities include the annual tree lighting at The Quarter at Tropicana shopping center and the Atlantic City Holiday Bazaar at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

What Places to Visit in the USA for Christmas: Bethlehem, PennsylvaniaBethlehem is an excellent destination for a December trip in the US. It is widely known as "Christmas City USA" for its festive holiday markets, Live Advent Calendar, and rich history. During the holiday season, the city illuminates every window with candles, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Light displays, Christmas trees, and yuletide decorations add to the festive ambiance. The city hosts two markets exclusively for the holidays: Christmas Huts on Main, inspired by the German Weihnachtsmarkt tradition, offers handmade jewelry, treats, and gifts, while Christkindlmarkt is an indoor extravaganza with thousands of artisan goods, live performances, and ice skating. Additionally, the Live Advent Calendar at the historic 1810 Goundie House offers daily activities like musical performances, arts and crafts sessions, and seasonal snack giveaways from December 1-23.

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, a charming town along the Jersey Shore, embraces the holiday season with its Victorian architecture and Dickensian vibes. Take a stroll down Washington Street Mall, adorned with garlands and festive lights, while exploring its shops. While there, don't miss The Original Fudge Kitchen, where you can find excellent fudge and saltwater taffy gift boxes. If you're traveling with kids, consider staying at Congress Hall, where the Grand Lawn transforms into a seaside winter wonderland with various festive activities.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a perfect destination to visit during Christmas. The city, renowned for its unique charm, goes all out in decorating and celebrating the season. Enjoy the beautifully adorned Christmas lights throughout the city and indulge in the rich culinary traditions of New Orleans. With temperatures hovering around 64 degrees Fahrenheit, New Orleans offers a mild winter climate, making it an ideal winter getaway. Don't miss the elaborate decorations at the Roosevelt Hotel, where the lobby transforms into a winter wonderland. Visit the Garden District to admire the Christmas decorations on historic homes. Experience the lighting of the bonfires on the levee, a Cajun tradition that illuminates the way for Papa Noel. Additionally, partake in the Reveillon dinner, a festive meal served on Christmas Eve.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, a waterfront town in New England, is steeped in history, offering a festive ambiance during the winter season. Explore the Strawbery Banke Museum, a 10-acre time capsule showcasing centuries-old homes decorated for Christmas. Join the open-air Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond or take a walk along candlelit paths to admire the beautifully decorated historic homes. Portsmouth is known for tax-free shopping statewide, making it a great place to shop for classic toys and kids' books.

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, located in the Washington Cascade Mountain Range, is an American town that resembles a traditional Bavarian village. During Christmas, it transforms into a magical European-inspired destination. More than half a million lights adorn the town, creating a stunning display that lasts from late November to February. Explore the charming streets, enjoy gingerbread house displays, caroling, and even meet Santa. Experience the town's enchanting atmosphere and cozy up to the festive holiday activities.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando is a top choice for spending Christmas in the USA. With its mild winter weather and world-renowned theme parks, it offers a unique holiday experience. Celebrate Christmas at Walt Disney World, where all the parks are festively decorated. At Magic Kingdom, witness the spectacular projection show on Cinderella's Castle and attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. EPCOT offers the International Festival of the Holidays, featuring holiday foods from around the world. Universal Orlando Resort is another great option, with attractions like Grinchmas and the famous Universal's Holiday Parade. Downtown Orlando also gets into the festive spirit, featuring a tall Christmas tree and holiday decorations along Lake Eola.

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, a quirky town in Colorado, showcases its unique flair during the holiday season. The centerpiece of the town's decorations is the Ski Tree, constructed entirely from old skis. During the annual tree lighting ceremony, an accompanying bonfire is made from more old and broken skis. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife of Telluride, with cozy cocktail spots like the Timber Room at Madeline Hotel and Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, and the Historic Bar at New Sheridan Hotel, which has preserved its mahogany-paneled look since 1895.

Helen, Georgia

Helen, a Bavarian-style village in northern Georgia, is a one-of-a-kind destination for spending Christmas in the USA. Every building in Helen is designed in Bavarian style, creating a fairy tale-like atmosphere. During Christmas, the village becomes even more enchanting. Take a ride on the Georgia Mountain Coaster, enjoying the Christmas lights covering the town at night. Helen hosts various Christmas events, including the lighting of the village, Christkindlmarkt, and a Christmas Parade. Explore the beautiful mountains and nature surrounding Helen by hiking up Mount Yonah or visiting Anna Ruby Falls and Brasstown Bald.

Healdsburg, California

Healdsburg, a charming town in Sonoma County known for its great restaurants and wineries, offers a delightful holiday experience. Visit Flowers Vineyards and Winery and Aperture Cellars for an excellent selection of wines. Take a trip to Hearst Castle, where the elaborate Christmas decor takes you back to the 1920s. Enjoy the festive ambiance at Montage Healdsburg, complete with charming decorations, Christmas trees, and roaring fireplaces.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is a magical city to explore during the holiday season. Union Square hosts a magnificent Christmas tree adorned with thousands of ornaments and LED lights. The square also features an ice rink, perfect for skating while surrounded by holiday cheer. Macy's across the street offers window displays, including the showcase of adoptable pets. Visit Fairmont Hotel's life-sized Gingerbread House, made of real gingerbread bricks and adorned with candy and ice cream. Indulge in hot chocolate at Ghirardelli Square and take in the festive atmosphere of the city.

Paso Robles, California

Paso Robles, located on California's Central Coast, embraces the color red during the holiday season, representing its renowned red wines. Wineries offer tastings, musical performances, and great gift shopping. Visit Parrish Family Vineyard's tasting room and experience the nostalgic charm of Hearst Castle with its extravagant holiday decor.

Ogunquit, Maine

Ogunquit, a former artists' colony in Maine, offers a calm and festive atmosphere during the holiday season. The Christmas by the Sea festival includes a bonfire on the beach and visits with Santa. Take advantage of lower prices and explore the Kittery Outlets and Freeport for Christmas shopping. Don't forget to browse the Harbor Candy Shop on Ogunquit's Main Street for unique local gifts.

Asheville, North Carolina

What Places Have Shoulder Season in the USA for Christmas: Asheville, North CarolinaAsheville is also one of the top destinations in the US for Christmas. The main attraction is the stunning Biltmore Estate. But there are many more winter activities in Asheville that will bring you into the holiday spirit. There are annual events, winter waterfall tours, and plenty of shopping opportunities.

The Biltmore Estate is especially magical during this time of year. It is adorned with over 100,000 lights and 100 Christmas trees. The largest tree is raised by Santa himself every year in the estate's banquet hall to kick off the winter season.

Must Visit Places in the USA for Christmas: Asheville, North CarolinaDuring Candlelight Christmas Evenings, you have the opportunity to explore the grand manor while enjoying live music. You can also stroll through the walled gardens and visit the observatory. Don't forget to stop by the Biltmore Winery for a glass of wine under the beautifully illuminated trees.

For shopping, head to Biltmore Village or explore one of Asheville's holiday markets. You might also want to attend the Winter Lights show at the North Carolina Arboretum or check out the National Gingerbread Competition displays at The Omni Grove Park Inn.

Book your stay at Biltmore Estate.

That concludes our list of the 15 best places to visit for Christmas in the USA. Which one will you choose for your Christmas vacation?

Planning a trip to the US? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!


Best Places to Spend Christmas in the USA

Sun Valley, Idaho

With its snow-capped mountains and log cabin homes, Sun Valley, Idaho is the epitome of a winter wonderland.

The area became America's first ski resort destination when Swiss developers chose it in the early 1900s due to its resemblance to the alpine villages they grew up visiting.

Sun Valley, IdahoSun Valley is a paradise for skiers!

Even today, the town remains a favorite destination for snow sports enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

Apart from skiing and snowboarding, Sun Valley offers a variety of other winter sports. You can go snowmobiling or fat-biking in the woods near Smiley Creek, or try paragliding over the Sawtooth Mountains with a local outfitter. You can also rent ice skates and enjoy skating on one of the largest natural rinks in the country.

Every year, Sun Valley hosts a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, carol singing at the library, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and a European-style open-air winter market.

On Christmas Eve, families gather on the slopes to watch the annual Ice Show & Torch Parade. Hundreds of skiers descend down the mountainside carrying torches, creating a spectacle that culminates in a magnificent fireworks display.

Where to stay: To fully experience the Christmas charm of Sun Valley, book a stay at the renowned Sun Valley Lodge. The lodge's timber frame is beautifully decorated with garlands and twinkling lights during the holiday season.

This concludes our list of the best places to visit for Christmas in the USA. Which one will you choose for your Christmas vacation?


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Discover the best places to spend Christmas in the USA, from festive cities and fairytale towns to serene natural parks or warm beachy getaways.

Whether you're seeking a winter wonderland or a sunny beach escape, the United States offers a plethora of enchanting destinations to celebrate Christmas. From the charming Danish village of Solvang, California to the picturesque coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine, and the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, Nevada, there's something for everyone. Experience the magic of the holiday season in historic Newport, Rhode Island, or indulge in winter sports in the majestic mountain towns of Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge, Colorado. For a dose of southern charm, head to Atlanta, Georgia or relish in the coastal beauty of Nantucket, Massachusetts. No matter which destination you choose, these Christmas getaways are guaranteed to fill your heart with joy and create lasting memories.

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