Not sure where to travel this Christmas? Whether it is to escape all the crazy, get away from all the holiday happenings, or divert from those excellent holiday dinners with the in-laws, a Christmas getaway may trick you into the holiday spirit! Here are my top places to spend Christmas vacations in the USA.
1. Aspen, Colorado
I visited this beautiful Colorado mountain town a few years ago during the holiday season. So many beautiful little shopping areas make a BIG deal out of the beginning of Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, there are numerous winter wonderland-themed activities and a tree-lighting ceremony in almost every area. If you want somewhere magical for a White Christmas or options for romantic Christmas getaways, this is a top choice!
2. Bentonville, Arkansas
Bentonville, Arkansas, is full of southern, old-world charm. The Bentonville Square does a huge ceremony called “Lighting of the Square,” complete with vendors, carolers, hot chocolate, and tons of holiday cheer. You may even see Santa Claus a little bit early! The square is known for taking visitors back to the simpler days of life. This square is complete with an old-time ice cream parlor, the Walton 5-10 store with the museum, tons of excellent Christmas shopping and gourmet restaurants, and the world-class art museum Crystal Bridges. Last but not least, are a ton of Christmas activities for kids that are free or extremely inexpensive, such as ice skating, singing Christmas carols, and coloring!
3. Orlando, Florida
While Orlando, Florida, is usually in the 70s and 80s temperature-wise during the holiday season, no one does Christmas vacations better than Mickey Mouse. If you decide to take this trip as a family, it will undoubtedly be one of the best Christmas vacations your family can take. There are tons of holiday events for your whole family to attend, fake snow falling all over the place, and more festive decorations than your eyes can comprehend. If you visit Orlando for your Christmas vacation, visit the Disney Springs shopping center. This Christmas city is full of wonder, shopping, and Christmas cheer!
4. Redwoods of Californi
Celebrate a California Christmas in the beautiful and famous Redwood forests. If you wish for a more calm way to celebrate Christmas, being in a real-life winter wonderland will bring you the simplicity you desire. One thing I love about this area of California is that you get tired of being in the woods; the city is just a short drive away. Plus, many beautiful little coastal towns join the Christmas spirit with decorating and holiday markets that appear like a quant Christmas village. This place is a true and natural outdoor winter wonderland, like a National Christmas tree park.
5. Branson, Missouri
Full of holiday spirit, Branson, Missouri, is an excellent option for Christmas vacations with the kids and family! This place features tons of great outlet mall shopping for the whole family to get all of their gifts, Christmas music playing at every corner, an entire town full of holiday decorations, and tons of southern hospitality. The Branson Landing has more great shopping with live holiday concerts that the family will enjoy. Take a trip to Silver Dollar City and experience festive traditions in an 1800s-themed atmosphere. Christmas Eve is celebrated in this town with great reverence and is a very unique way to spend Christmas Eve.
6. New York City, New York
What should be one of the world’s wonders, but isn’t, is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree! If New York City is not on your list of places to see at Christmas, it should be! This Christmas vacation will be filled with glamour, glitz, lights, holiday shopping, amazing food, and much more. Take horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park, get tickets to the Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration, ice skating in Rockefeller Center, or see the class A Christmas Carol on Broadway. With so many things to do here, your Christmas vacation will be full of fun.
7. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Come fall and into winter, the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is a beautiful place to spend Christmas. Visit theme parks such as Dollywood (as in the picture), visit the Christmas markets, or even walk across a 700ft long suspension bridge adorned with festive lights. There are tons of local holiday activities to participate in and lots of moonshine and hot cocoa to keep you warm. Make sure you stay in a cozy cabin in the Smokey Mountains to make this one of the best Christmas getaways!
8. Savannah, Georgia
Keeping on with the theme of the South, Savannah, Georgia, at Christmas time is like visiting a Christmas past. While you’re here, check out the Davenport House Museum, a holiday train through town, a Savannah Riverboat cruise, and more! With flocked Christmas trees all around the town and twinkling lights, the Savannah Holiday Tour of Homes is a wonderful way to be part of the town’s holiday traditions.
9. Galveston, Texas
Home to the great-great-granddaughter of the famous Charles Dickens, Galveston, Texas, celebrates Christmas in a way nowhere else can. Of the whole list of places to travel, this one is certainly one of the most unique Christmas getaways, in that “Dickens on the Strand” is one of a kind. This event allows you to participate in a Dickens Christmas with a festive afternoon tea and reading the famous A Christmas Carol, a classic Christmas season story.
10. Kansas City, Missouri
When was the last time you took a horse-drawn sleigh ride? Probably never! Kansas City, Missouri, is full of Christmas lights and wonder. Grand Central Station is beautiful to be seen during this festive season. Take a trip to the Kansas City Ballet to see The Nutcracker, visit the various markets and malls, or check out the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. This town goes all out during the Christmas holiday season!