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The Best Places to Go for Christmas

These are 20 of the best places to spend Christmas this year.

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

trip ideas for christmas

For some people, the perfect Christmas vacation involves fully leaning into winter on a snowy mountain somewhere, curled up next to a crackling fire. Others prefer to lounge on a beach as far away from cold weather as possible. Wherever you choose to spend "the most wonderful time of year," you're likely to find some version of holiday cheer.

From the sunny shores of Saint Lucia to the storybook town of Solvang, California, to Santa Claus' own hometown in Finnish Lapland, these are the best places to visit for Christmas this year.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is an idyllic ski destination perched in the beautiful Tetons of Wyoming. Late December here is packed with holiday programming that typically includes ice skating, skiing with Santa, and caroling. The festivities usually kick off with a Christmas tree lighting and end with fireworks on New Year's Eve.

There are several stunning slopeside lodges to choose from, including the luxurious Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa and the ski-in, ski-out Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole . Looking for gifts in downtown Jackson? The iconic elk antler arches that frame the Town Square are illuminated for the holidays, making it feel magical. For a unique adventure that embraces the hot and cold, plan a trip to the Granite Hot Springs Pool , which can be accessed only by snowmobile, fat bike, dog sled, or skis.

New York City

There's truly nothing like Christmas in New York City . The city lights shine brightly year-round, but holiday lights add to the magic. You'll hardly have to look for activities or entertainment with all the famous displays: the enormous tree at Rockefeller Center and the smaller but still dazzling tree at Washington Square Park, the LED-lit Saks Fifth Avenue facade, and the animated window displays at Macy's Herald Square, to name a few. You can sip hot chocolate while you shop for last-minute gifts at German-style Christmas markets and partake in the age-old tradition of watching the Radio City Rockettes perform their annual Christmas Spectacular on a holiday vacation in NYC.

Bruges, Belgium

KavalenkavaVolha/Getty Images

The Bruges Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe. This enchanting event takes over the Markt, the square at the heart of the city, with stands and wooden chalets selling everything from handmade Christmas ornaments to waffles and woolly socks. The colorful storefronts surrounding the square are adorably festooned with holiday decorations, and you'll find confectioneries serving Belgian hot chocolate — no doubt some of the best you'll ever taste. The festivities extend to a smaller market in nearby Simon Stevinplein square. Elevate your stay with a suite overlooking the picturesque canal at the luxurious and historic Hotel Van Cleef .

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Another place to experience the holidays on the ski slopes is Beaver Creek, Colorado, about 12 miles over the road from bustling Vail. This picturesque ski village typically sees festive activities for the whole family, from an annual Christmas tree lighting to changing events like holiday movie nights and cookie-baking competitions.

As for a cozy place to rest your head, The Osprey offers luxurious accommodations and a heated outdoor pool all mere feet from the chairlift. Otherwise, you can book one of just 60 rooms at The Pines Lodge . Both offer ski-in, ski-out access.

Saint Lucia

If your idea of a white Christmas involves soft, powdery sand, consider going to this beautiful Caribbean island. The luxurious Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort , typically offers a full lineup of holiday activities such as visits from Santa, a traditional family Christmas meal, and a New Year's Eve beach bash. Of course, you can also spend your days lounging on the stunning beach between St. Lucia's iconic peaks, the Pitons, or enjoying the resort's regular amenities and activities, including a pool, spa, dive facility, and kayak rentals.

Highlands, North Carolina

If you're looking for a charming, small-town Christmas experience that feels like it's straight out of a Hallmark movie, head to Highlands, North Carolina. This picturesque town is in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest. Throughout December, you'll find storefronts along and around Main Street decorated with wintry displays. The city runs a competition, so cast your vote on which you think is the best. Visit with Santa in Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on any Saturday in December leading up to the big day. Old Edwards Inn and Spa and Half-Mile Farm ( favorite hotels among Travel + Leisure readers) offer cozy accommodations with a side of holiday decorations and Christmas cheer.

Salzburg, Austria

Christmas markets, warm glühwein (mulled wine), medieval castles, and a museum wholly dedicated to Christmas will surely get you into the holiday spirit while visiting Salzburg. As you probably know, the city is the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of "The Sound of Music," a movie that seemingly plays on repeat over the holidays. Ice skate around a statue of the iconic composer at Mozartplatz and soak in stunning views of the snow-capped Alps on the south-facing terrace of the Hohensalzburg Fortress . The most luxurious place to stay? That would be Hotel Goldener Hirsch right in Old Town.

Solvang, California

If you won't have a chance to wander through a storybook town in Denmark this holiday season, you can get a similar feel in Solvang. The small city in Santa Ynez Valley was founded by a group of Danes in the early 1900s. They created this adorable community, now known for its Danish businesses and architecture. Solvang typically hosts Julefest , a month-long village celebration complete with outdoor gatherings and holiday decorations. Make the stay even more Christmassy with a stay at The Landsby or the Winston , two of Solvang's coziest boutique hotels.

Stowe, Vermont

A popular ski destination among East Coasters and one of the most picture-perfect places to go for Christmas, Stowe is within driving distance of several major northeastern cities (Boston, Albany, and Montreal, to name a few). The ski season typically starts in November, so this is an ideal place to hit the slopes if you're looking for a white, powder-filled Christmas. Stay at The Lodge at Spruce Peak for beautiful mountain views and ski-in, ski-out access.

Edinburgh Castle, arguably the city's most recognizable landmark, glows over the holiday season. The annual Castle of Light event began in 2019 and draws crowds with spectacular displays projected onto the exterior walls of the 12th-century stronghold. The projections typically get a refresh every year, and have included everything from fire-breathing dragons to flowers. Other holiday must-dos include the festive afternoon tea at Dome , where the stately Georgian Tea Room is enhanced with seasonal decorations. Sip mulled wine at one of the Christmas markets and ice skate on George Street for the full experience. If you're around on New Year's Eve, participate in Hogmanay, Scotland's own end-of-year celebration. Edinburgh puts on a Hogmanay festival that includes a torchlight procession, concerts, and a disco party.

Washington, D.C.

See the National Christmas Tree, ice skate at Washington Harbour, and sing along with a choral concert at the National Cathedral this December. Washington, D.C., hosts an array of holiday happenings throughout the season, and many of them are free, so go ahead and spend some extra money Christmas shopping. Head to one of the renowned Smithsonian museums to escape the cold weather, bundle up and admire the lights at the National Zoo, or walk along the National Mall with a hot cocoa in hand. When it comes to accommodations, The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown can hardly be beat.

Florida Keys

With pleasantly warm December weather, the Florida Keys are an ideal escape for those looking to spend the holidays in a U.S. beach destination. Kick off your Christmas vacation with a scenic road trip through the Florida Keys, stopping at islands en route to Key West. This is a popular time to visit, so consider staying away from the crowds at the secluded Sunset Key Cottages , a 27-acre private island resort accessible by ferry. Upon arriving, you'll find serenity just a short trip from the attractions of Key West.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is a great place to visit any time of the year. Loved for its culture, food, and picturesque setting, the city typically hosts a number of holiday events throughout December. Annual highlights include the Santa Fe Botanical Garden's Glow light display and Christmas concerts inside the impressive Loretto Chapel leading up to December 25. You can even find winter sports at Ski Santa Fe , about 15 miles away. For a special hotel experience, book your stay at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe , which offers a range of festive amenities, or spend the night on the historic and holiday-lit Santa Fe Plaza at La Fonda .

Buenos Aires

Christmas is a summer holiday in the Southern Hemisphere, and Buenos Aires celebrates it with outdoor asado feasts and fireworks. High temperatures in December range from the upper 70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit, which means Papá Noel sometimes wears a tank top. The sunny weather is perfect for sipping cocktails and picnicking on the Plaza Intendente Alvear. While you're in the Argentine capital over the holidays, sample the pan dulce ("sweet bread"), admire the decorations that usually take over the Galerías Pacífico shopping center, or make like a local and escape the city to a nearby beach.

There's just something especially magical about London at Christmastime. Between the glittering lights, cider-slinging holiday markets, themed pop-up bars, and ice skating rinks from Hyde Park to the Queen's House in Greenwich, the city really comes alive for the holiday season. Stay at The Lanesborough for a truly festive experience — the luxurious hotel has beautiful holiday decorations, in-suite shopping from Harvey Nichols, and the option to have your room fully decorated with the hotel's Christmas in Residence program.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Why not spend the holidays in Santa Claus' hometown? Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, is home to Santa Claus Village and SantaPark , where you'll find the man himself and his reindeer sidekicks. During the winter, the arctic landscape is covered by a thick blanket of pretty snow. You'll also have the best chance of the year at spotting the northern lights. There are several hotels in the area with glass igloo accommodations, which provide stunning 360-degree views of the aurora borealis from inside.

The Maldives

If you'd rather wear sandals than snowshoes, the Maldives might be the ideal place for you to spend Christmas. Winter is the dry season, when the weather here is at its best. Daily highs average in the mid-80s Fahrenheit — perfect for a holiday beach getaway. At the end of the day, kick back in luxurious accommodations at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island or The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands .

Bavaria, Germany

Spend your Christmas holidays in this picturesque region in southern Germany. Start your adventure in Munich, where you can sip mulled wine as you stroll through a genuine German Christkindlmarkt. Then head out of the city to find Christmas spirit in small towns like medieval Rothenburg or go skiing in the Alps. Wherever you go, beware of the spooky Krampus, a frightening Christmas beast of local folklore.

Quebec City

Quebec City is about as European as it gets outside of Europe itself. The predominantly French-speaking Québécois celebrate the season with German-style markets, ice skating at Place D'Youville, and shopping in Old Quebec, transformed into a dreamy scene. For a truly Canadian experience, take a ride on Au 1884 (aka the Dufferin Terrace Toboggan Slide), one of Quebec City's oldest attractions. The slide runs right past Fairmont Le Château Frontenac , a castlelike hotel where you can stop for soup or coffee to escape the cold.

The Bahamas

Just a short flight south for East Coasters, The Bahamas is another popular choice for travelers seeking sun and sand during the holidays. Mid-December is the start of the high season here, probably because daily highs in the 80s are such a welcome change to chilly temperatures in much of the U.S. Thanks to a wide range of accommodation options — from resort complexes like Baha Mar with seemingly endless amenities to more intimate private island resorts like T+L reader favorite Kamalame Cay — there's a perfect Christmas vacation waiting for you in this sunny oasis.

trip ideas for christmas

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23 US Cities That Go All Out for Christmas

By Caitlin Morton

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Think of the phrase “Christmas in America” and you’ll likely imagine the usual suspects: giant trees festooned in twinkling lights, people of all ages caroling and singing “Silent Night,” ubiquitous tributes to the jolly man in red named Santa Claus, and gingerbread. Lots of gingerbread. But take a closer look and you may be surprised: Christmas celebrations across the United States can look very different, depending on the environment, local history, and present-day cultures of the people who live there. Not everything is a winter wonderland—in fact, maybe a warm-weather destination for the holidays is exactly what you need. Regardless of temperature, these 23 destinations are some of the best places to spend Christmas this year.

These places below are known for the ways they come alive at Christmastime: from the glitzy and glam festivities of big cities like New York or Chicago to the Santa-hats-and-shorts vibes of Santa Fe and St. Augustine. Of course, your Christmas vacation ideas in the US are far from limited to just these places. Here's one idea: Head out on a multi-destination road trip to check out some fantastical drive-through Christmas lights displays . And while there are a great many places to celebrate Christmas around the world , experience one Christmas in America and you’ll be a person changed for the better.

Here are some of the best places to go for Christmas in the United States this year, ranging all types of atmosphere and styles: from Kennebunkport to Las Vegas , from Dallas to North Pole, Alaska (note the missing the ). No matter where you choose, there are plenty of activities to participate in, events to check out, and places to stay. Happy holidays, y’all.

This article has been updated since its original publish date. All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why we go Located about 20 minutes south of Washington DC Alexandria is a pictureperfect place to spend the holiday...

Alexandria, Virginia

Why we go: Located about 20 minutes south of Washington, DC, Alexandria is a picture-perfect place to spend the holiday season. The Old Town’s row houses and centuries-old brick streets look even more charming when adorned with snow and Christmas wreaths, and you can expect a ton of seasonal activities. The festivities kick off along the Potomac River shoreline with the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights (December 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and the annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade (December 3). Come Christmas Eve, try to spot Waterskiing Santa along the Potomac River.

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 take a candlelit guided tour, and enjoy some cider and cookies (with special events on November 24 and 25, December 1, 2, 8, 9, and 17).

Stay here: Book a stay at The Alexandrian, Autograph Collection , which is on King Street, in the heart of Alexandria’s shopping and entertainment area.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville during Christmas

Asheville, North Carolina

Why we go: Asheville is easily one of the country’s best places to spend Christmas, offering all the light displays and holiday shopping—not to mention the perfect tucked-away location in the Blue Ridge Mountains —any vacationer could wish for. Some of the city’s seasonal offerings include a lit-up wonderland at the North Carolina Arboretum , and the 29th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn (on display from November 27 to January 2).

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Christmas at Biltmore Estate is just as spectacular as it sounds, with 100 hand-decorated trees, 10,000 ornaments, and 100,000 holiday lights drawing visitors through the new year in January.

Stay here: Cozy up in The Foundry , a hotel that opened in 2018 with a James Beard-nominated chef running its in-house restaurant. It’s Asheville’s best boutique hotel, filled with authentic touches—from lots of exposed brick to the restaurant’s modern spins on comfort food.

Why we go This Christmas visit the little town of Bethlehem—in Pennsylvania that is. The citys Germaninspired Christmas...

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Why we go: This Christmas, visit the little town of Bethlehem—in Pennsylvania, that is. The city’s German-inspired Christmas City Village and Christkindlmarkt (November 17 to December 17) feature rotating displays by artisans, live music, and glass-blowing demonstrations. After stocking up on handmade ornaments and nutcrackers, take a carriage ride through Downtown Bethlehem to take in all the Christmas lights.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The Winter Light Spectacular (through December 31) at the Lehigh Valley Zoo, about 30 minutes northwest of Bethlehem, features more than a million lights and illuminated scenes throughout the zoo.

Stay here: The Sayre Mansion Inn has warm and comfortable rooms, private six-course dinners, and beautiful Christmas decorations. If you want to venture out into the town, Lehigh University, St. Luke’s Hospital, the Steel Stacks Performing Arts Center, and the Wind Creek Casino are all nearby.

The Reindeer Farm Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Why we go: Normally, you wouldn’t expect an Arctic experience in southern Kentucky, but Bowling Green is shaking up the holiday game this year. The Christmas spirit is definitely alive at the city’s Reindeer Farm , where families can feed reindeer, watch holiday movies, and drink cocoa while writing letters to Santa. (There's even wine tasting for the grown-ups.)

The one thing to get you in the spirit: End your festive vacation at the SoKY Marketplace Ice Rink , an outdoor rink where you can skate with Santa and the Grinch.

Stay here: Opened in mid-2019, the Lodge at Olde Stone offers 12 cozy, Kentucky-inspired suites and a restaurant serving up Southern dishes. And if you’re a golfer, be sure to pack your clubs: the property boasts 9- and 18-hole courses onsite.

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Branson Missouri

Branson, Missouri

Why we go: Sort of like a family-friendly little sister to Las Vegas, Branson pulls out all the stops every holiday season. The Ozark Mountain town transforms into a winter wonderland with 1,500 Christmas trees in and around town, ice skating under the Branson Ferris Wheel, and several drive-through light displays .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Head straight to the 1880s-themed amusement park Silver Dollar City for the annual An Old Time Christmas festival. The party lasts until December 30 and includes 6.5 million lights, 1,000 trees (including an eight-story one), outdoor shows, parades, and, of course, rides.

Stay here: Chateau on the Lake is one of the nicest hotels in town, with beautiful lake views, a full-service luxury spa, and the Chateau Marina, where activities include fishing, water skiing, and tubing (though you may want to wait for warmer weather—or not, if that’s your thing).

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Why we go: Charleston is the perfect destination for any fan of the holidays, but not of the frigid weather that often comes with the season. There are plenty of Christmas-oriented events and festivities in the city that are fit for every type of tourist. Check out the Festival of Trees at The Charleston Place , where 16 Christmas trees, each one decorated by a local Charleston business or organization, will be on display throughout the beautiful hotel’s second floor. For something that sounds (and is) magnificent, catch The Sound of Charleston , where you can hear the music that tells the city’s story: gospel spirituals, music by George Gershwin, Civil War songs, and jazz. For something pleasantly aquatic, head over to the South Carolina Aquarium, which presents the dazzling light show Aquarium Aglow after the sun goes down on select evenings this November and December (be sure to say hi to “Scuba Claus” in the Great Ocean Tank).

The one thing to get you in the spirit: As far as classically Christmassy merrymaking goes, it doesn’t get any more traditional (minus the freezing temperatures) than the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park featuring a spectacular light show that features over two million tiny light bulbs.

Stay here: There are plenty of options in South Carolina’s beautiful port city: There’s the perennial favorite French Quarter Inn , which welcomes guests with a glass of Champagne and is just a few steps away from the famous Charleston City Market. Meanwhile, The Vendue , the city’s first art hotel concept, offers an ever-evolving experience—the hotel has a full-time docent and rotating exhibits. And for something classic, there’s Hotel Bennett , voted the very best hotel in Charleston by Traveler readers in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2023 ; its old-world grandeur and good ol’ Southern charm make this Marion Square hotel irresistible. (The place also hosts a holiday tea on Thursdays and Fridays until Christmas.)

Chicago Christmas

Chicago, Illinois

Why we go: From its European-inspired Christkindlmarket (from November 17 to December 24) to light shows galore (there’s the Let It Shine drive-through Christmas lights display), Chicago knows a thing or two about embracing the Christmas spirit (and freezing temperatures). Can’t-miss activities include visiting the 51-foot Christmas tree in Millennium Park and cozying up in a heated igloo at The Godfrey Hotel .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Be dazzled by 2.5 million LEDs at ZooLights (from November 17 through January 7), an annual light festival held at Lincoln Park Zoo. Check out the event’s calendar for sensory-friendly visit times.

Stay here: As far as hotels go, travelers truly have their pick of the litter in the Windy City. One top choice is The Langham, Chicago , housed in a landmark Mies van der Rohe building along the Chicago River. It's just a Chicago hotdog’s throw away from Magnificent Mile, where you can get all your holiday shopping done. For the sportier among us, there’s the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel , which has a strong local following for its historic lobby, indoor bocce, foosball in its game room, and the gem-like Milk Room bar, among other things. On the rooftop, and mostly enclosed by an atrium, Cindy’s cranks it up with large format cocktails, shareable dishes, and some of the best views of Millennium Park.

Galleria Dallas

Dallas, Texas

Why we go: Proving you don’t need cold temperatures to get in the Christmas spirit, the holiday celebrations in Dallas put most northern cities to shame. Most notable is Holiday at the Arboretum (now through January 5), a Christmas village with millions of lights, a 50-foot tree with lights animated to music, and visits with Santa Claus. Elsewhere in town, you can drive through the Dallas Zoo Lights route (from November 17 to January 2) and skate next to the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree at the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Throw a few back at Miracle , a Christmas-themed pop-up bar that returns to Dallas this year at the cocktail bar Royal 38 in Uptown Dallas.

Stay here: If you really want a festive experience, check in at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek , where the grounds are beautiful and the food is so tasty, you could dine on property every night.

Denver Colorado

Denver, Colorado 

Why we go: Unwrap the magic of the holidays in Denver this season with special events and millions of twinkling lights. Enjoy a family outing to the Denver Zoo Lights , or a fun day of shopping and ice skating downtown. Get a dose of culture with a viewing of A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker (see the full calendar here ), then visit the Mile High Tree at the 16th Street Mall (it’s actually 110 feet tall, but that’s still pretty impressive).

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The Denver Christkindlmarket (one of the best German markets in the country) returns to Civic Center Park this winter, open daily now through December 23.

Stay here: The Crawford Hotel , a boutique property in LoDo’s Union Station, boasts Art Deco rooms, and the city’s most beautiful lobby. Soaring ceilings and sky-high chandeliers hang overhead, while oversized sofas and leather chairs create a casual and bustling “living room” frequented by travelers and locals alike.

Kennebunkport Inn

Kennebunkport, Maine

Why we go: If you’re wondering where to go for Christmas celebrations unlike anywhere else, look no further. Every December, this tiny New England town bursts with holiday cheer during its annual Christmas Prelude ; check out the site and you’ll see a live countdown to the event’s start date—it’s that highly anticipated. It’s an 11-day bash that’s about as New England as it gets: one of the main attractions is a tree made of lobster traps. Speaking of, the legendary lobster rolls at hotspots like Scales , The Highroller Lobster Co. , and Miyake will make you forget about gingerbread and sugar plums altogether.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Santa Claus’s arrival at the Christmas Prelude on a lobster boat.

Stay here: According to this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Traveler readers love the 14-room Cape Arundel Inn & Resort for its oceanside location and restaurant serving up fresh seafood—and, unlike a lot of Maine resorts, it’s actually open during the winter months.

The LINQ Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Why we go: If you thought Las Vegas was dazzling before, just wait until you see it decked out for Christmas. Basically, the entire Strip transforms into a winter wonderland full of festive events for the entire family. This year's activities include rooftop ice skating at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (beginning December 2), colorful displays outside The LINQ promenade , a 6-foot-tall gingerbread man at ARIA , and a massive holiday display—complete with a 42-foot Christmas tree—at the Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Catch an iconic show at the Fountains of Bellagio to see performances set to “Santa Baby,” “Carol of the Bells,” and other holiday classics.

Stay here: It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to the hotels on the Strip in Las Vegas , especially as each property tries to outdo each other—whether for the holidays or just around the year. That said, for a classic experience, stay at The Venetian . The whole place is so marvelously over-the-top that it doesn’t matter that it looks nothing like the real Venice . That’s not the point. This is Vegas, baby.

Nashville Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Why we go: The Music City is all about the—wait for it—music during the holiday season. From November 10 through January 1, enjoy “Country Christmas” at Gaylord Opryland , with tons of Christmas shows, plus ice skating and acres of light displays. Or head to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and take the two-mile drive through Jingle Beat , a light show set to remixed versions of classic Christmas carols. And when in doubt, you can always catch a yuletide show at the Grand Ole Opry .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Given the Christmas season, a hotel named Noelle seems as perfect a place as any to spend the season. Its Holiday Glow Package is a nice deal, but even cooler is its Ralphie’s Christmas experience, inspired by A Christmas Story, which features Oval-tinis and other seasonal bites (happening in the hotel’s Hidden Bar until January 8).

Stay here: Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Stay at the Noelle—officially Noelle, Nashville, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. It’s in the center of the downtown Nashville action, and its emphasis on art, design, and local artists and designers will help you get to know the city all the more.

New Orleans at Christmas

New Orleans, Louisiana

Why we go: It’s no surprise that New Orleans leans into the holiday season, but we still get all tingly thinking about Christmas in the city. 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 7 to 10. City Park also becomes a wonderland for the entire month with Celebration in the Oaks (November 23 to December 30), a festival with vendors, food and drink stands, and decorations adorning the centuries-old oak trees.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The annual Christmas Eve lighting of the bonfires along the banks of the Mississippi River is a seasonal tradition that's as authentically “New Orleans” as they come.

Stay here: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans has lots of holiday offerings this year, including gingerbread house building and a four-course dinner on Christmas Eve.

New York City Skating

New York City

Why we go: There’s no shortage of ways to make your New York City Christmas magical, whether it’s ice skating at Central Park, window shopping along Fifth Avenue, visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center, seeing the Rockettes in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, or lurking around 34th Street hoping to witness a miracle.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Prepare to be incredibly and thoroughly overwhelmed (in a good way!) by the Christmas spirit in this Brooklyn neighborhood, which famously goes all out on the holiday decorations each year. Think candy cane lanes, giant snowmen, illuminated snowflakes, and too many glowing Santa Claus figures than the census can count. Lights go up after Thanksgiving and last through the New Year, so whether you’re driving through in a car or taking the pedestrian route, there’s plenty of time to take in the wall-to-wall displays of life-size nutcrackers, enormous twinkling trees, and lawn ornament reindeer. Big sleigh.

Stay here: Easy answer: The Plaza . If you've ever watched Home Alone 2 , you’ll recognize it as the hotel where young Kevin McCallister, while lost in New York, lived lavishly in a posh suite for the holidays. Fittingly, the hotel has a “Home Alone 2: Fun in New York” experience package, offered throughout the year, that lets guests mimic memorable moments from the movie. It includes a limousine ride all over the city to landmarks like Central Park and Radio City Music Hall, a large cheese pizza (to be eaten in the limo, naturally), and the Home Alone sundae, made to fit Kevin’s exacting taste (specifically: 16 scoops of assorted ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, M&M’s, brownie bits, chocolate, caramel, and raspberry sauce). If a more traditional Christmas is what you’re looking for, there’s also the “Suitest Season of All” package that comes with a seven-foot-tall decorated Balsam Hill tree placed directly in your suite.

Newport Beach California

Newport Beach, California

Why we go: The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the longest-running holiday festivals in the entire country, celebrating its 115th anniversary this year from December 13 to 17. (To compare, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting has been running for 90 years.) The “parade” takes place in the harbor of Newport Beach, where yachts, boats, and kayaks have been known to show off up to $50,000 worth of decorations to millions of visitors.

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.

Stay here: The nautical, all-American feel at Lido House, Autograph Collection fits in perfectly with the theme of the holiday events—especially with the addition of bright, colorful Christmas decorations in the cottages.

North Pole Alaska

North Pole, Alaska

Why we go: Even though this North Pole is 1,700 miles south of the true North Pole, the quaint Alaskan town is 100 percent saturated with Christmas cheer. Most famous for the Santa Claus House (the self-proclaimed “official” home of St. Nick), the North Pole’s nominal spirit even extends to its street names: Snowman Lane, Saint Nicholas Drive, Holiday Road, and Santa Claus Lane, which has light poles shaped like candy canes. Just as adorable is the town’s post office, which gets flooded with tens of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus each year.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The annual tree-lighting ceremony has plenty of photo ops with Santa himself.

Stay here: The North Pole Cabins are comfortable and warm log cabin retreats, located just a mile from the Santa Claus House.

Snowfest at Park City Mountain

Park City, Utah

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. 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.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Hop on a 90-minute train ride with the North Pole Express at Heber Valley Railroad, where you can sip hot cocoa and meet Mrs. Claus.

Stay here: The 12-room Washington School House is just a hop away from Park City’s lit-up Main Street, and its Christmas decorations are some of the prettiest ever seen. In nearby Deer Valley, there’s also the iconic Stein Eriksen Lodge , a luxurious chalet with easy ski-in/ski-out access. And just 25 minutes from downtown Park City Auberge Resorts’ The Lodge at Blue Sky is a perfect place to unwind in luxury.

Holiday Luminaria Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Why we go: Santa Fe’s already-beautiful plaza becomes downright magical with the addition of Christmas lights—but the holiday spirit doesn’t start and stop there. The city also offers midnight mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi , holiday exhibits at the New Mexico Museum of Art , holiday flamenco performances at El Flamenco Cabaret , and seasonal shopping at the Winter Indian Market. Even when Christmas is officially over, you can keep busy at Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe —both just an easy drive away.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Santa Fe’s annual Canyon Road Farolito Walk , a Christmas Eve event consisting of farolitos (paper bags filled with sand and topped with a votive candle) lining the streets and walls of adobe buildings, is sure to get you in a pleasant and festive mood for the occasion.

Stay here: Condé Nast Traveler ’s 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.

Seattle at Christmas

Seattle, Washington

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. Your one-stop shop for holiday cheer is Winterfest at Seattle Center (November 24 to December 31), which has family-friendly activities like train rides and ice sculpting demonstrations. There’s also a huge celebration just eight miles east of Seattle in the town of Bellevue: Snowflake Lane (November 24 to December 24), a nightly light show with caroling and snow machines ensuring a white Christmas.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Sheraton Grand Seattle ’s annual Gingerbread Village is probably Seattle’s most beloved holiday tradition, in which the city’s top architecture firms and culinary teams get together to create next-level gingerbread houses. This year’s event runs from November 21 to New Year’s Day.

Stay here: With its mountain lodge interiors, The Edgewater Hotel is one of the best places to cozy up in the Pacific Northwest. If you like to fall asleep while staring out at gentle waves glistening in the moonlight, you won’t find a better spot in the city.

Seneca Falls at Christmas

Seneca Falls, New York

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 . Each December, they host an array of old-timey activities to prove it. This year, the event runs from December 7 to 10 and will include special film screenings, gingerbread house contests, and museum exhibits.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The “It's a Wonderful Bonfire” event on Friday, December 8, which includes caroling, a visit from Santa, and a tree-lighting ceremony.

Stay here: The Gould Hotel has elegant rooms and a restaurant serving hearty, local meals that will warm you from the inside out.

Why we go Christmas in St. Augustine is truly something to behold. The holiday season kicks off this year with the citys...

St. Augustine, Florida

Why we go: Christmas in St. Augustine is truly something to behold. The holiday season kicks off this year with the city’s annual Christmas Parade, then continues through January 28 with the famous Nights of Lights festival. During the celebration, St. Augustine glows with three million tiny white lights over the Bridge of Lions and through 20 city blocks in the historic district. Bonus: You can enjoy the whole show without wearing a coat and gloves, because, you know, Florida.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Tour, which departs nightly from November 19 through January 28.

Stay here: The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens pairs all the charm of a bed and breakfast with all the amenities of a true luxury hotel. No little detail is overlooked, from interesting on-site activities (like watercolor painting in the courtyard) to immaculate turndown service. The hotel has an age minimum of 16, making this a great retreat for harried parents.

St. Louis at Christmas

St. Louis, Missouri

Why we go: It’s been almost 80 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. 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 . For the third year running, there's even a Polar Express -themed train ride at the Union Station development.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Walk among a million dazzling lights at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Garden Glow , which runs from November 18 to January 6.

Stay here: You can’t beat the glittering, Gateway Arch-facing views at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis .

Washington DC

Washington, D.C.

Why we go: There are few holiday displays in the nation that compare with Washington, DC’s National Christmas Tree, but other seasonal perks include private igloos at the Watergate Hotel, the Downtown Holiday Market (now through December 23), and a glorious absence of field trip groups in the Smithsonian museums.

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.

Stay here: The InterContinental The Willard Washington D.C., an IHG Hotel , is just a few blocks away from the White House and National Christmas Tree, and offers a holiday afternoon tea and tons of gorgeous decorations. You’ve heard it a thousand times: “There's no place like home for the holidays.”

American Beech Hotel

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Acorn Street in Boston MA with Christmas decor hanging from the buildings on the left and an American flag in the distances. Boston is one of the best Christmas vacations in us

25 Best Christmas Vacations in the USA

Whether your idea of the perfect holiday getaway is to be surrounded by snowy mountains, twinkling city lights, or sandy beaches, one thing is for sure: there are plenty of unforgettable options for Christmas vacations in the USA that fit your travel style!

In fact, there are many wonderful places to visit in December that choosing just one can be overwhelming (trust me, we’ve learned that the hard way).

Determined to take a festive getaway this December but aren’t sure where you want to go?

We teamed up with several other travel bloggers to create this bucket list of the best Christmas vacations in the USA, from classic white Christmas destinations to beach getaways that will have you pulling out your bathing suit and abandoning your heavy coat at home.

No matter what kind of vacation you’re looking for, there’s a US Christmas getaway here for you!

Table of Contents

Coolest Cities for Christmas Vacations in the US

Charming small-town christmas getaways in the usa, nature-focused christmas trips in the united states, best us destinations for christmas at the beach.

Woman in a green coat looking up at the Rockefeller Christmas tree with colorful lights. NYC is a classic Christmas vacation usa

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Washington D.C.

From Lara of Both Feet on the Road

If you are looking for the best USA Christmas trips, a visit to the National Christmas Tree in Washington D.C. has to be added to your bucket list!

For nearly 100 years, the lighting of The National Christmas Tree near the White House has been a tradition.

With famous singers, the enormous tree, and spectacular lighting ceremonies are a must for all Christmas lovers in Washington D.C.

However, even if you’re not there at the opening lighting ceremony, you can admire the gigantic Christmas tree from mid-December until the beginning of January.

US Capitol Building with a Christmas tree in front of it. The ground is snowy. Washington DC is one of the best christmas trips in the us

The National Christmas Tree is surrounded by handmade Christmas ornaments representing all U.S. states and territories, and every night there are different musical performances around the tree.

The lights or on between 4:30 P.M. and10:00 P.M., so make sure you also visit in the evening for the best experience.

Besides ticking “visiting the National Christmas Tree” off your bucket list, there are a number of other great festive things to do in Washington D.C. around Christmas.

Including visiting one of the many Christmas markets, the festive lights at the National Zoo, the Georgetown GLOW, the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, the Union Station tree, the Library of Congress Tree, The City Center Tree, or the Botanic Garden Tree.

All of these and more feature beautiful festive decorations to help you get in the holiday spirit!

Where to Stay in Washington DC

  • CitizenM Capitol : Another stunning example of CitizenM hotels is this location in Washington DC Capitol. Expect all the style and comfort these hotels are known for.
  • Riggs Washington DC : Located in the former home of Riggs National Bank this iconic building is now home to a classic and beautiful hotel. Rooms are huge and comfortable and offer views of Penn Quarter.

front facade of us white house with snow on the lawn in winter in usa

Chicago, Illinois

From Diana of Travels in Poland

Chicago is a beautiful place to visit for Christmas in the United States. 

As a city that tends to be quite cold in the winter, the chances of snowfall or cold weather are pretty much guaranteed. 

The city itself goes all out in creating a festive atmosphere for its residents as well as out-of-town visitors.

Chicago has an official tree lighting ceremony at Millenium Park every year. Typically the tree lighting is accompanied by musical performances. 

Millennium Park is also a short walk away from the German Christkindlmarket at the Daley Plaza which mirrors Christmas markets in Germany. 

There are dozens of booths, representing different parts of Germany in food and artisan items.

people ice skating in downtown chicago at night, one of the best places to visit in winter in usa

Chicago also has ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo as well as the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. 

The latter has about one million lights adorning Michigan Avenue and creates an illuminated atmosphere during the Christmas season.

Not too far away is the Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier where visitors can experience a festive and decorated pier with numerous holiday attractions geared towards kids and families. 

The Museum of Science and industry also hosts an exhibition where trees are decorated to showcase the way other countries and cultures celebrate the holidays. 

Regardless of what one may choose to do, being in Chicago during Christmas is magical and an experience unlike anywhere else.

Where to Stay in Chicago, Illinois

  • CitizenM: Stylish, colorful, trendy, and ultimate comfort. This hotel on the Chicago Loop is the perfect spot for your winter in Chicago.
  • Hotel Felix: Located in River North this modern hotel is a great choice for your trip. Rooms are earthy and comfortable, and you are a short distance from Chicago Theatre, perfect for getting home easily after an evening show.

skyline of chicago in winter with lake visible in the distance

New York, New York

From Anisa of Two Traveling Texans

New York City does Christmas better than any other city in the world. 

The fabulous decorations, holiday markets, ice skating rinks, and special events all over the city are worth the trip: if NYC can’t put you in the holiday spirit nothing will!

When it comes to decorations, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is the most famous, but you should also check out the holiday windows at the big department stores like Saks, Macy’s, and Bergdorf. 

If you want to venture outside Manhattan, the residents of the Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn go all out with decorating their homes!

If you are looking to buy gifts, check out the Bryant Park Holiday Market.  You will find lots of boutique shops, delicious food, and even ice skating. 

christmas tree in front of stock exchange in nyc, one of the best places to visit in usa in december

Speaking of ice skating, there are several rinks in Manhattan.  The Rockefeller Center rink will generally be the most crowded, but you can also go to the one in Central Park.

One of the most popular Christmas traditions in NYC is the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. The dancing and special effects are inspiring. 

Another special event is the Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens. You can see miniature versions of many iconic landmarks. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much to see in New York during the holiday season . 

Where to Stay in New York

  • The Plaza Hotel : For a memorable place to stay, this is one of the most classic and luxurious hotels in New York. It is located right by Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, and some of NYC’s most popular museums.
  • The Renwick: Offering stylish residential style accommodation, this beautiful hotel is equipped with plenty of amenities and high class comfort. It is also a short walk to the Empire State Building and Bryant Park for exploring.

Empire State Building or Top of the Rock: Girl with Binoculars on Empire State Building

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

From Stephanie of Oklahoma Wonders

Oklahoma City might not be the first place you think of for a Christmas getaway, but there are a lot of special winter activities that take place here during the holiday season.

If you love theater and ballet, your first stop should be the Civic Center Music Hall to see the Oklahoma City Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker.

This show tends to sell out early, so make sure to buy your tickets in advance.

If you’re after beautiful Christmas lights, head to “Downtown in December” which is one of Oklahoma City’s most popular festivals .

This event also includes an outdoor ice skating rink, snow tubing, and free rides on the water taxi in the Bricktown Canal, as well as one-off parties like the tree lighting ceremony and Mistletoe Market. 

lake hefner lighthouse during a brilliant orange sunset in okc

You can also see great Christmas Lights in Nichols Hills. If it’s a White Christmas, add a drive around Lake Hefner.

If you’re a sports fan, you’ll love attending a game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena to see the Oklahoma City Thunder.

OKC’s NBA team is often selected to play on Christmas Day, but even if they aren’t at home on Christmas you can typically see a game in the days before or after Christmas.

If you’re in town on New Year’s Eve, you can head down to Bricktown’s Opening Night Festival, the most popular New Year’s Eve party in the state.

Lake Hefner in OKC after a snowstorm, with icicles in the trees

Boston, Massachusetts

New England’s largest city is absolutely beautiful year-round, but during the holiday season, Back Bay sparkles a little brighter (with seemingly endless rows of Christmas lights), the already-stately brick homes of Beacon Hill are given a festive facelift, and Christmas trees dot the city.

You’ll definitely want to pack your warmest clothes and heaviest coat to explore Boston in winter, but the city’s incredible beauty shines bright in December, making Boston one of the best Christmas vacations in the United States.

While you’re there, be sure to go ice skating in City Hall Plaza, check out the Boston Pops holiday show, and, if you’re into the classics, the Boston Opera House’s gorgeous Nutcracker performance.

It’s hard to say where the best Christmas light displays are in the city–there are simply too many impressive neighborhoods to count–but the Boston Common, Fanueil Hall, Quincy Market, the North End, and of course, Back Bay and Beacon Hill as mentioned above, all deserve a wander.

And, of course, many of the classic things to do in Boston , from exploring the Freedom Trail to museum-hopping, are still a delight (if a bit chilly) in December.

Where to Stay in Boston

  • Found Hotel Boston Common: This boutique hotel in the Theatre District is perfect for exploring Boston. Rooms are bright and comfortable, and there is access to public transport a short walk from the hotel.
  • Revere Hotel Boston Common: Also in the Theatre District and close to Boston Common is this stylish hotel with a stunning rooftop terrace and bar, perfect for crisp afternoon drinks. Rooms are spacious and have a coffee machine for those of you who need coffee the moment you wake up.

Commonwealth Avenue in Boston MA under a blanket of snow with Boston Public Garden visible in the background

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From Derek of Robe-Trotting

Philadelphia is a wonderful city break to turn into a festive USA Christmas trip.

During the holiday season, Philadelphia comes alive with decorations and lights on every street. A Christmas Market springs up in LOVE Park, a wonderful photo spot all year long, as well as on City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza.

There’s a gorgeous Christmas tree in the City Hall courtyard and an ice-skating rink and hot chocolate stand on the plaza.

Another great destination is the ice-skating rink and Christmas vendors around Penn’s Landing. It’s larger and often less crowded than the City Hall festivities.

Another great stop for Christmas fun in Philly is the Macy’s Department Store on Market Street. Inside you’ll find the normal holiday shopping, but on the third floor is Dicken’s Christmas Village.

It’s a self-guided tour of animatronic scenes from Charles Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol. There is also a light show and, of course, Santa Claus himself to entertain the whole family.

If you have more time in the city, explore festivities with some  day trips from Philadelphia .

historic street in philadelphia pa in winter with cobblestone lane in the center, philly is one of the best usa december travel destinations

About 30 minutes outside of the city you can visit Longwood Gardens for its seasonal Christmas displays.

Longwood Gardens is a massive botanical gardens complex that celebrates the art of horticulture.

For the Christmas season, they dazzle with lights, poinsettias, and even festive performances.

If you drive about two hours west, you can visit the Sweet Holiday Celebration at Hershey Park.

The beautiful amusement park reopens for Christmas with rides and a beautiful light display.

Whether you’re downtown or just outside of the city, Philadelphia is a festive place to visit for the Christmas season.

Where to Stay in Philadelphia

  • Morris House Hotel : Located right by Washington Square and a short walk from Independence Hall, Morris House Hotel is both a National Historic Landmark dating to the 18th century and a popular boutique hotel!
  • Home2Suites By Hilton : The Home2Suites concept of combining the appeal of a hotel and an Airbnb into one property was excellent (our spacious room had a kitchenette), and the customer service is great.

Christmas tree display at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, one of the best christmas vacations in us

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

From Paulina of Paulina on the Road

One of my favorite Christmas trips in the US is exploring the largest city in Wisconsin: Milwaukee!

Already throughout the year, Milwaukee has plenty of things to offer to its visitors.

From spectacular museums such as the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Harley Davidson Museum and great restaurants….there is something to do in Milwaukee for every type of traveler.

During the holiday season the entire city lightens up and it’s just the perfect setting for long walks. 

Some of the  best things to do in Milwaukee during winter include taking a brewery tour, going Christmas shopping in Mayfair Mall, and visiting Milwaukee Winter Farmer’s Market. 

Long exposure of a street scene in Milwaukee at blue hour during the Christmas season, a Christmas tree is visible in the left side of the photo

The mission of the Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market is to connect neighborhoods to fresh, local food – from farm to market to table.

The Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market brings together about 50 weekly vendors in the Mitchell Park Domes. The best thing is that you can taste some homemade dishes, too!

If you want to learn more about Milwaukee’s brewing tradition, you might consider doing a brewery tour of some of the best ones.

Milwaukee’s most famous breweries include (but aren’t limited to!), Pabst Brewing Company, Miller Brewing Company, or Sprecher Brewing Company.

It’s a must on any trip to Milwaukee, at Christmas, or any other time of year.

Where to Stay in Milwaukee

  • The Plaza Hotel : If you’re looking for a memorable place to stay, this is a great choice for your stay in Milwaukee. The Plaza is conveniently located midway between Lake Michigan and the Downtown Riverwalk, so it’s within walking distance of many of Milwaukee’s top attractions. The rooms also have full-sized kitchens to give you more dining options during your vacation.
  • The Pfister Hotel: For stunning old world charm and a Victorian art collection on site this is the hotel to book. The entrance way is spectacular and the charming martini bar on the 23rd floor is historic. Many rooms also have views of Lake Michigan.

woman holding a glass of beer from a flight at a milwaukee brewery

Los Angeles

From Jodie of Ala Jode

Combining beaches, city life, and fun for the whole family, Los Angeles is a great place to enjoy a Christmas holiday getaway.

The weather in southern California in December is mild and sunny, making it a great time of year to visit, and LA boasts some of the best weather in the state.

Despite the sunny weather, your trip to LA won’t be lacking any festive spirit.

The city knows how to do Christmas in style (what else would you expect from the home of Hollywood?), and puts on a real show. 

As well as the Christmas spectaculars put on by local theme parks, LA has a number of Christmassy events to enjoy.

View of LA skyline from Griffith Park with stockings and holiday decor in the foreground--you can expect decor like this when visitin LA on a USA Christmas trip

Little ones will love riding the Holiday Light Festival Train in Griffith Park, while all ages can enjoy the Christmas lights that stretch from Beverly Hills to West Hollywood.  

For foodies, you can also enjoy one of the many Christmas Eve menus available around the city.

If you’re traveling to Los Angeles as a group, the annual Christmas pub crawl is a must!

It’s completely free to join and will take you to some of the best restaurants and bars along Long Beach – just make sure you bring your ID (and your Santa costume!).

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

  • Hotel Erwin: With views over the Pacific Ocean and Venice Beach Boardwalk, you will be hard pushed to find a hotel with more iconic views. Rooms are stylish and comfortable and most have balconies to take in the views. You can also lounge in the rooftop bar for a dreamy LA afternoon.
  • Palihotel Melrose: For something a little more city based this beautiful hotel in Hollywood spares no expense in charming details, homey comforts and stunning decor. The location is also excellent in the heart of the Melrose Shopping District.

Skyline of Los Angeles CA with palm trees in the forground, one of the best places to visit in the US

Detroit, Michigan

From Chelsea of The Portable Wife

Detroit may not be at the top of everyone’s travel bucket list, but it’s a truly magical city to visit at Christmastime.

Between the vibrant downtown events, enchanting historic village, and a high chance of snow, you won’t regret a Christmas trip to the Motor City.

Downtown Detroit has undergone a large-scale revitalization in the past decade, with the Campus Martius area getting a major makeover.

This award-winning urban park transforms into a winter wonderland in December, with open-air ice skating, artisan craft stalls, and a towering Christmas tree.

The surrounding streets are also lined with twinkling lights and illuminated branches, making a simple evening stroll into a festive experience.

Just outside the city center lies Greenfield Village, the famous living history museum depicting how Americans have lived and worked since the late 1700s.

Large Christmas tree in Detroit MI at night, one of the best christmas vacations in us

While nearly two million tourists come here every year to see historical places like Henry Ford’s home and the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, the Holiday Nights event draws in the Christmas crowd.

Every weekend in December, Greenfield Village dials the holiday magic up to 11.

Visitors can step back in time as they ride in decorated Model T cars, pass by carolers dressed in historical outfits, and skate beneath the stars.

All of the historic buildings are decked out in garland and lights, and the smell of roasted chestnuts wafts through the air.

It’s one of the closest places you can get to a European winter break   without leaving the country!

skyline of detroit michigan in winter with lake frozen over in the foreground

San Antonio, Texas

From Ketki of Dotted Globe

San Antonio , located in southern Texas, is famous for its rich history and Spanish colonial heritage.

It is home to many Spanish frontier missions including the famous Alamo, the beautifully landscaped Riverwalk, and many famous museums.

The city has amazing markets including the Farmer’s Market in Pearl District and the Historic Market Square which has a variety of Hispanic goods.

San Antonio is also a great destination for a family vacation, featuring much-loved spots like Six Flags: Fiesta Texas and the San Antonio Zoo.

san antonio riverwalk decorated with christmas lights at night, one of the best places for christmas vacations in usa

While San Antonio is a year-round destination, it is especially lovely to visit San Antonio in winter , when the Riverwalk trees and bridges are decorated with a million lights.

There is nothing more romantic than taking a stroll along the Riverwalk during this wonderful time of the year.

The Riverwalk restaurants have music and great Mexican food while the neon-lit riverboats add to the ambiance.

Christmas magic is present all over the city and even the horse carriages near the Alamo are decorated with fairy lights.   

Don’t miss the many holiday lights at the UNESCO-listed San Antonio Missions or 18th-century San Fernando Church, either.

san fernando cathedral at night in december with christmas tree in the foreground

Leavenworth, Washington

From Marissa of Postcards to Seattle

When you’re looking for a getaway around the holidays, head right to Washington State’s small town of Leavenworth.

Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to Germany with the Bavarian theme here.

All the storefronts have a European feel to them, and you’ll be delighted to find multiple sausage stands and beer gardens.

Christmas is the best time to visit Leavenworth , as the entire town is decorated in lights.

You can find traditional German music and Christmas carols playing with musicians dressed in Lederhosen during the weekends.

leavenworth washington decorated in christmas lights in america at night

Mulled wine and spiced nuts are also sold this time of year for a special treat that makes you feel like you’re visiting traditional German Christmas markets.

Kids will love sledding down the hill in the middle of town during the day.

You can also visit the Gingerbread Factory and the Nutcracker Museum to take home a few souvenirs.

Speaking of nutcrackers, the whole family can go on a nutcracker hunt during this time of year to find a list of nutcrackers hiding around the museum.

You won’t want to miss out on visiting Leavenworth in the winter .

Small street in Leavenworth Washington decorated for Christmas, with a Christmas tree on the left side of the photo

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

From Darcy of Plan, Ready, Go

Christmas is a great time to visit Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum, and they pull out all the stops at Christmas.

Not only is the entire historic center of the town beautifully decorated for the holidays, but there are also many special Christmas events to choose from to fill out your Colonial Williamsburg itinerary .

Colonial Williamsburg Christmas events include the Grand Illumination held on the first Sunday of each December in addition to a host of special concerts, historical re-enactments, dramatic presentations, special guided tours, and more.

Many of the special events are free though there are some that require the purchase of additional tickets.

Detailed information about each event is always available on the Colonial Williamsburg website , or you can stop by the Visitor’s Center for a complete schedule of each day’s events and activities.  

Although the hours are limited, the historic center of the town is open on Christmas Day.

There are a wide variety of special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meal options hosted at the Colonial Williamsburg resorts and historic taverns such as the Christmas Day brunch buffet at the Williamsburg Lodge.

Horse and carriage in colonial Williamsburg that is moving away from the camera on a paved road

Helen, Georgia

Situated in Georgia’s idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen, Georgia offers a taste of Bavaria in the heart of the American South!

Featuring Alpine architecture and an outsized list of things to do ranging from browsing the boutiques and shops along Main Street to hiking along the Chattahoochee River, Helen makes for a quirky, charming, and unforgettable Christmas holiday destination.

It has even been used as a filming location in a few Lifetime Christmas movies (and likely in more to come)!

Dreaming of visiting German Christmas markets but not able to make it across the pond this year?

Head to Helen, where 2 weekends feature a traditional German Christmas market, perfect for doing your shopping and eating plenty of treats.

And, while the weather will be cold enough that it will feel like Christmas, you won’t need more than a warm coat to comfortably visit outdoor attractions like Anna Ruby Falls.

bavarian architecture in helen, one of the cutest small towns in georgia usa to visit

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

From Tori of Tori-Leigh.com

A little over an hour away from both New York City and Philadelphia , Bethlehem sits in Pennsylvania’s gorgeous Lehigh Valley.

Affectionately known as Christmas City, Bethlehem is an absolute must for anyone looking for a Christmas-inspired trip in America.

Take a day trip or spend the weekend and enjoy Christmas markets, holiday shopping, festive treats, drinks, decor, and more.

There is no shortage of magic and festivities when visiting Bethlehem, Pennsylvania during the Christmas holiday season.

Though small, downtown Bethlehem truly captures the magic of Christmas.

Visitors can peruse Christmas City Village, an outdoor market with handmade goods and European-inspired fare.

Stroll the city’s cobblestone streets or take a narrated carriage ride through the historic city, tree displays, and twinkling lights.

Heart-shaped Christmas ornament with an American flag painted on it hanging from a tree. This post rounds up the best christmas vacations in us

Don’t skip the iconic Moravian Bookstore, the oldest continually operated bookstore in the country.

Pay a visit to (or even spend the night at) Historic Hotel Bethlehem , which displays over 35,000 lights and decorations during the holidays.

A short way from downtown, tourists and locals alike flock to Christkindlmarkt, a German-inspired Christmas market set behind the famous Bethlehem SteelStacks.

Listen to live Christmas music, enjoy demonstrations such as glass-blowing, or finish up holiday shopping.

Look no further than Bethlehem, PA, America’s very own Christmas City, for a charming holiday getaway.

historic building in bethlehem pennsylvania covered in snow during winter

Asheville, North Carolina

From Stephanie of Explore More Clean Less

Asheville, North Carolina is a quiet, quirky city with stunning mountain views and wonderful Christmas events!

Weather is typically mild and snow is rare, making it a nice escape from northern winds.

The city’s main tourist attraction, the Biltmore Estate , goes all out with a replica gingerbread house and more than 55 decorated trees throughout the house and grounds.

There are special tickets for candlelight tours with live choral singers but visiting during the day is special too!

The North Carolina Arboretum puts up a huge winter lights display that makes for a lovely night (but buy tickets early!) drinking hot cocoa.

Strolling through the garden is extra special when it’s decorated with over half a million twinkling lights in different, creative displays.

interior of asheville biltmore house library, one of the best 3 day itinerary asheville nc stops

Kids will love the festive model train and free crafts to make while watching the animatronic winter animal show!

Downtown Asheville puts up lots of lights while musicians play holiday music on the street, perfect for dinner and a stroll before you check out the famous National Gingerbread House Competition at the historic Omni Grove Park Inn !

Browse the content entries from young kids up through professional adults after you grab some cookies from the life-size gingerbread house concession stand.

The mild weather won’t keep you from hiking to see waterfalls or mountain views, so be sure to pack a hat and make time to take an  easy hike around Asheville  before you head home.

Or, if you want to see if you get lucky and are able to see some snow, consider extending your trip and heading up to one of North Carolina’s mountain towns that sits at a higher altitude.

Skyline of Asheville NC at sunset with Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, one of the best weekend trips in the south

The Rocky Mountains, Colorado

From Meg of Fox in the Forrest

When it comes to beautiful mountain scenery, it doesn’t get much better than the Colorado Rockies.

Of course, you can find world-class skiing and snowboarding at one of Colorado’s many ski resort towns.

However, there are lots of other activities to enjoy when you need a break from the slopes.

Enjoy one of the many beautiful Colorado winter hikes , take a dip in a famous hot spring, visit one of the state’s 4 national parks, or take a snowmobiling tour.

There are lots of different mountain towns that make the perfect place to spend Christmas in Colorado.

vail colorado as seen from above at sunset in winter in colorado

For those that like an upscale feel, check out Vail or Aspen.

There’s plenty of family-friendly fun to be had at Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Keystone Resort, and Steamboat Springs.

Those that want plenty of options simply must base themselves out of Frisco or Dillion where you can access Loveland Ski Area, Arapaho Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and more.

There’s no wrong answer when it comes to spending Christmas in Colorado.

With so many different places to choose from, you’ll find plenty of winter-filled adventures that are suitable for almost any budget.

If you love having a white Christmas and you’re looking for an iconic mountain landscape, look no further than the Colorado Rockies.

Woman in a blue jacket hiking in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at sunset in winter. The Rocky Mountains are one of the best christmas getaways in the usa

Yosemite National Park, California

From Allison of She Dreams of Alpine

If you’re looking for a natural winter wonderland, Yosemite National Park is an absolutely magical place to visit during Christmas time.

Most people think of Yosemite as a summer destination, with visitors coming from all over the world to take in the awe-inspiring views of giant granite walls and hike the best trails in Yosemite .

However, a little-known secret about Yosemite is that it becomes uniquely breathtaking in the wintertime.

Seeing the iconic monoliths of Half Dome and El Cap dusted with snow is a very special experience.

Yosemite Valley with a coating of snow in the mountains

Also, winter in Yosemite features fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere, as everyone gets into the holiday spirit.

If you visit Yosemite for Christmas, you’ll have lots of fun winter adventure options to choose from, from snowshoeing to ice skating to skiing at Badger Pass Ski Area.

Plus, the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, Yosemite Valley Lodge, and Big Trees Lodge all celebrate the season with Christmas festivities and grand holiday dinners.

Grab your winter gear and head to Yosemite National Park for a magical and merry Christmas experience you’ll never forget!

winter in yosemite national park with snow on the ground and evergreen trees, mountains visible in the distance

Whitefish, Montana

From Jenn and Ed of Coleman Concierge

Everybody dreams of a classic White Christmas in the US.

It brings back memories of a simpler time when people still carol in the streets, and miracles wait around every corner.

That spirit of Christmas past is alive and well in Whitefish, Montana.

The Whitefish Christmas season officially begins on the first Friday in December with the Whitefish Christmas Stroll.

Carolers are singing, bells are ringing, and chestnuts are roasting on open fires.

What’s more, snow is already falling on the slopes of Big Mountain, which are visible from the decorated streets of the quaint, historic downtown.

Whitefish Montana covered in snow with a ski slope visible in the background. Whitefish is one of the best christmas vacations in usa

It’s a white Christmas, “just like the ones you used to know”.

The freshly fallen Christmas snow is perfect for Whitefish’s primary winter passion, skiing.

Big Mountain is perhaps the best place to learn to ski in America.

Besides having the perfect skiing snow from the moist Pacific air hitting the Rocky Mountains, Big Mountain also has an incredible learn-to-ski package where you get two half-days of skiing, including lessons and rentals for under $100.

There are many   things to do in Whitefish for every season , but Christmas is special. 

view looking up big mountain in whitefish montana with skiers coming down

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

From Sarah of Lets Grow Cook

The Wyoming town of Jackson is a simply awesome place to spend Christmas.  

Not only do you have 3 ski areas on your doorstep (Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort), but the scenery, in general, is quite simply stunning.

To the north of the town are the jagged peaks of the Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park is also close by.  

At Christmas, Jackson’s town square, quite normally adorned with shed elk antlers has them lit up for the festive season.  

Christmas lights display in Jackson Hole Wyoming with a pair of antlers hanging in the center

Those elk antlers have been shed by elks overwintering at the nearby National Elk Refuge, which makes a magical place to take a horse-drawn sleigh ride to see these magnificent creatures up close.   

Even Santa makes an appearance in the town square every day from December 15 th  until Christmas Eve when he becomes otherwise occupied!

Before Santa leaves, though, he does begin his journey by rappelling out of the Jackson Hole aerial tramway at 4:30 P.M. on Christmas Eve – another great reason to spend Christmas in Jackson!

The downhill skiing and snow sports here are simply beyond compare, but if it’s a more gentle exercise you want, then taking a snowshoe tour through the National Park with the Park Rangers is a simply superb experience and an unforgettable addition to a Christmas holiday vacation!

grand teton mountains covered by snow with elk in the foreground, one of the best national parks in winter usa

Colorado Springs, Colorado

From Oksana and Max of Drink Tea & Travel

If you want to combine holiday cheer with outdoor adventures, Colorado Springs is a great destination, where you’ll find a city alive with holiday spirit.

The outdoor skating rink is a big hit and people come from miles around to attend the annual Festival of Lights .

If you happen to miss the Festival of Lights, you’ll still have a chance to check out some beautiful displays at the Cheyenne Zoo or the Broadmoor Hotel. 

Just outside the city is Pikes Peak, one of the highest mountains in the area and a great place to explore year-round.

However, Pikes Peak’s Cog Train takes on another dimension during the holiday season.

aerial view of colorado springs attractions with garden of the gods in the foreground and snowcapped pikes peak in the background

If you chose the Santa Train you’ll be accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves for the ride. It’s a great activity for the little ones.

The Garden of the Gods is another famous Colorado Springs attraction.

It is a great place to go for a hike if you would rather bliss out in nature for a few hours.

However, don’t miss stopping by the Garden of the Gods Trading Post during the Christmas season.

It has become an iconic holiday shopping destination for the area and a must-see when visiting Colorado Springs in December!

Colorado Springs decorated for the holidays with multiple Christmas trees, as seen at night

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

From Anna of My Travel Scrapbook

Monument Valley might seem like an odd place to go for Christmas cheer in the USA!

Monument Valley is known for its iconic desert landscape of orange buttes where cowboys roam.

Yet for a few months of the year, Monument Valley is sometimes covered in a light layer of snow.

What an unusual place to celebrate Christmas cheer by seeing such an iconic US sight in the snow!

Monument Valley is located in Navajo Nation which straddles Utah and Arizona, and is prominently featured on many American Southwest road trip itineraries !

Monument Valley in winter with snow covered the ground and parts of the monuments

There are many things to do and see in Monument Valley. You can visit famous movie spots such as Forrest Gump point and John Wayne point, eat local Navajo dishes, hike around the beautiful mesas and discover Navajo petroglyphs.

In winter, you will want to bundle up on the   hikes in Monument Valley  as it can get quite cold up on the plateau!

To warm up after your Christmas visit to Monument Valley consider staying at the Desert Rose Resort in nearby Bluff, Utah.

They have an amazing pool meaning you can enjoy the winter landscape from the warmth of the swimming pool!

As it is low season, you will also avoid the summer crowds and have an amazing time at Monument Valley in winter!

sunrise at monument valley in american southwest in winter

Key West, Florida

From Pauline of Beeloved City

Key West is particularly famous for being the most southern point in the continental USA.

Part of the Florida Keys , it’s one of the best places to go for the perfect Christmas vacation. 

With an average temperature of 67°F, December is one of the best times of the year to go to Key West and Florida in general.

The weather is dry and warm, making it the perfect sunny escape in the United States! 

Key West is surrounded by coral reefs. It’s the ideal place to go on a diving or snorkeling trip.

If you want to explore the mangroves and maybe see some manatees, another option is to go paddleboarding or kayaking!

Palm-tree lined path leading to Caribbean Sea beach in Key West Florida, one of the best southern weekend getaways

After that, you can head to the Southernmost Point Buoy, it’s a very nice photo spot! 

Key West is also home to The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum which was the official residence of the famous author.

If you are looking for shops and bars, bustling Duval Street will be the place for you!

There is live music everywhere, it’s a very nice place to relax and enjoy a drink. 

In the evening, head to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. You will get to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world!

front facade of a house in key west florida decorated for christmas in usa

Galveston, Texas

From Patricia of Travel Fam Live

Galveston can be a great escape around the holidays, Christmas in particular.

This barrier island is located about 50 miles from Houston and it’ll offer an array of activities in a warm environment perfect for enjoying a laid-back Christmas on the beach in the United States.

With the festivities starting at the beginning of November, there is always something to see or do around the Island.

Founded in the early 1800s, Galveston has so much history and historical sites that would enhance anyone’s Christmas.

Around Thanksgiving weekend, all the City’s Christmas trees are lighted and Galveston becomes a magical place.

And the best part is that if you are lucky, you might be able to enjoy the beach even in December. 

The East End Victorian Homes Tour takes place at Christmas and is a tour of some of the luxurious homes built by the first European settlers to come to Galveston (check the calendar for this year’s date and time).  

front facades of historic victorian homes in galveston texas with palm trees in the foreground

Dickens on the Strand is a well-known festival organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation that brings you back to the Charles Dickens era.

There is a parade, costume contest and a ball to celebrate the event, complete with attendees dressed in Victorian fashion as they stroll up and down the Stand.

Dickens on the Strand has been happening for almost 50 years on the first weekend of December.

Other Galveston holiday events include the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, A Lone Star Christmas, Ice Land at Moody Gardens, and many others. 

Plus, most of the typical things to do in Galveston are still doable in December, too!

Beach in Galveston Texas with a flock of seagulls on it

Oahu, Hawaii

From Anne of Travellers Archive

Spending a couple of days in Oahu, Hawai’i , will quickly let you fall in love with the island, its vibe, and its uniqueness.

The best thing to do on Oahu is to leave Honolulu behind and head up North along the North Shore, which is one of the most famous surf areas in the world.

It’s not only the place where surfing was actually born but also an area where huge waves roll in and international pro surfers would quickly take their board for a ride in their “living room”.

The best way to experience the North Shore is by car during a very easy and chilled day trip. 

waikiki beach as seen from above, one of the best attractions oahu hawaii

From here follow the Kamehameha Highway and make your way up to the old surfing village of Haleiwa, where you’ll find little shops and an amazing lunch spot – Haleiwa’s Joe.

Once filled up with fresh fish burgers follow up North and enjoy the constant views of the coastal landscape with amazing surf spots passing by, such as Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, and Banzai Pipeline.

Usually, when the swell is up, you can simply stop on the side of the road and join hundreds of other visitors watching the pros take their waves.

This will quickly turn into an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Waimea Beach in Oahu Hawaii with a large rock on the left side of the shot and people sitting on both the rock and sand

Destin, Florida

From Disha of Disha Discovers

Some people enjoy staying home for Christmas. Others like to get away and have a vacation.

If you fall into the latter category, Destin, Florida is a great place to escape for a warm USA Christmas on the beach.

Destin truly feels like one of those picturesque towns you see in a Hallmark Christmas movie.

While others are dealing with cold weather, you’ll be hanging out on the beach in a t-shirt and a light jacket.

If you’re worried about not having a white Christmas, don’t worry too much. The gorgeous white sand on the beaches is just as white as snow.

group of boats parked at crab island destin florida

Also, Destin offers several Christmas activities throughout the month of December with everything from tree lightings to parades.

Aside from Christmas activities, there are plenty of other great things to do in Destin.

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is filled with restaurants and shops. It’s fun to walk around and sample fresh seafood from all of the eateries.

Another memorable thing to do in Destin is to take a sunset dolphin cruise. It’s a magical experience, especially at sunset.

The best part about spending Christmas in Destin is that there won’t be very many tourists around.

By then, peak season has died down and you can enjoy everything Destin has to offer without tons of people around.

Two photos of Christmas decor in the US: Acorn Street in Boston on top and an ornament hanging from a tree on the bottom, black and red text on a white background reads "25 best usa christmas trips"

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About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

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41 Magical Places to Visit During Christmastime

There's plenty of holiday cheer to go around at these spots in America, including NYC and Christmas Town USA.

preview for The Best Winter Vacation Ideas

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There's no better way to capture the magic of the holidays than to see it right before your eyes. Sure, you're able to take in some of it in your hometown thanks to your neighbors' festive decorations and local tree lighting ceremonies, but if you want to see what Christmas cheer America really has to offer, head out of town for a bit and visit one of these top Christmas places.

From magical New York City to Santa Claus, Indiana, any of these spots would make the perfect December getaway . All that's left to do is buy your tickets or fill up the car, and start packing. Just don't forget to bing the presents!

If you're looking for more vacation ideas, check out our 2024 Family Travel Awards .

Woodstock, Vermont

best places to spend christmas

Looking for that quintessential New England holiday charm? You'll feel like you stepped into a Hallmark Christmas card in the historic charming town of Woodstock, which annually hosts an iconic holiday celebration called Wassail Weekend (think carriage rides, twinkling lights, decorated homes and more!).

Solvang, California

best places to spend christmas

If you want to feel like you've traveled to Europe without leaving the country, you'll love the charm of this small city in California and the festive Danish-style holiday celebration they host every year called Julefest .

New York City, New York

best places to spend christmas

Is there anything more iconic than Christmastime in New York? You'll of course want to take in the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza (where you can also ice skate!), before marveling at the gorgeous Christmas window store displays along Fifth Avenue. Don't forget to catch The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular show!

RELATED: Fun and Festive Things to Do on Christmas Day in NYC

Vail, Colorado

best places to spend christmas

For the ultimate winter getaway, head to the ski town of Vail, Colorado. You can spend the perfect snowy Christmas season at the ski slopes before strolling the idyllic winter wonderland of Vail Village. There, you can visit the Kris Kringle Market and witness the big tree lighting ceremony.

Seneca Falls, New York

best places to spend christmas

If your favorite Christmas movie is It's A Wonderful Life, you need to visit Seneca Falls — the town believed to have been the real-life inspiration for the film’s fictional town of Bedford Falls. Each December, Seneca Falls holds a festival to celebrate the Christmas classic , complete with a movie screening, a meet-and-greet event with the cast, a parade and more.

Stockbridge, Massachussets

best places to spend christmas

This Massachusetts town was once depicted in a 1967 Norman Rockwell painting (titled "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas") — and now, every holiday season, Stockbridge recreates the art, complete with vintage cars lined up on Main Street. Plus, the annual celebration also includes historic property tours, a holiday concert and more.

North Pole, Alaska

best places to spend christmas

Every kid has dreamt of visiting Santa Claus at the North Pole — and as it turns out, you actually can! This quaint Alaskan town is home to the “Santa Claus House,” where you can also stroll down Santa Claus Lane, see live reindeer, and marvel at the world’s largest Santa statue. What could be a better way to celebrate Christmas?

Hershey, Pennsylvania

best places to spend christmas

What better way is there to celebrate Christmas than with tons of chocolate? The whole family will love spending the holidays at Hersheypark ' s Christmas Candylane , where you can enjoy holiday rides, visit Santa (and his reindeer!) and take in more than 5 million lights decorating the fun-filled chocolate theme park.

Oahu, Hawaii

best places to spend christmas

Forget winter wonderlands — if you’d rather go somewhere warm and sunny this year, a tropical Hawaiian Christmas is exactly what you might need. You’ll find plenty of holiday cheer (without the cold!) in the island of Oahu, especially aboard the Waikiki Holiday Lights Trolley tour and the annual Honolulu City Lights event.

McAdenville, North Carolina

best places to spend christmas

McAdenville is known as " Christmas Town USA " — which, of course, makes it the perfect holiday season destination. Every winter, the small town transforms into a twinkling wonderland adorned with thousands of lights and Christmas decorations, drawing thousands of visitors every year.

Aspen, Colorado

best places to spend christmas

This beautiful ski resort town is a well-known haven for ski bunnies and travel enthusiasts, but it also holds plenty of Christmas activities during the holiday season, including an annual tree lighting, a fun-packed "12 Days of Aspen" event and holiday shows (like The Nutcracker ) at the Opera House.

New Orleans, Louisiana

best places to spend christmas

You may first think of Mardi Gras when you think of New Orleans, but the Crescent City also pulls out all the stops during the holidays, too. After enjoying the city's dazzling light displays and bonfires, be sure to check out Celebration in the Oaks , which is said to be one of the most spectacular holiday lights festival in the country.

Taos, New Mexico

best places to spend christmas

For those seeking a one-of-a-kind holiday experience, a must-go location is Taos, which offers a unique New Mexican spin on holiday traditions every year. The ski town celebrates the season with its annual Yuletide in Taos , which features holiday markets, bonfires and other ultra-festive events.

Branson, Missouri

best places to spend christmas

There are light displays galore, as well as the massive event called An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City . But perhaps our favorite Branson holiday activity is hopping on the Polar Express, where you and your kids can witness the Chris Van Allsburg classic come to life.

Charleston, South Carolina

best places to spend christmas

Charleston may be a great destination spot any time of the year, but it's especially magical (and still warm!) around the holidays, when the city goes all out on the Christmas festivities. This year, you can enjoy the Holiday Festival of Lights from your car before strolling down the streets to shop, eat and marvel at the city's historic mansions decked out for the holidays.

Jackson, New Hampshire

best places to spend christmas

Around the holidays, there's no more apropos destination spot than the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa . After enjoying skiing and plenty of other outdoor activities, be sure to hop aboard a sleigh ride for the festive Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour , where you can taste test handmade chocolate while enjoying the sights.

Chicago, Illinois

best places to spend christmas

There's nothing like winter in The Windy City, which celebrates the holidays with much cheer. From the Christkindltmarket to ice skating at Maggie Daley Park and a Christmas tree exhibition , there are plenty of holiday activities to enjoy. BOOK NOW

Leavenworth, Washington

best places to spend christmas

Leavenworth likens itself to a "swirling snow globe," and you'll definitely see why when you browse through photos of the Leavenworth Village of Lights . The Bavarian-style town has an annual tradition of hanging up beautiful Christmas lights downtown, and you'll be able to take it all in this year (though there won't be a big reveal at an official lighting festival as usual).

Cleveland, Ohio

best places to spend christmas

You might recognize this home from the beloved Christmas movie A Christmas Story . Ralphie's iconic house has been restored as a museum , and now you can go inside and even stay the night . And yes, leg lamps are available for purchase (but remember, they're very fragile ).

RELATED: Here's Where 'A Christmas Story' Was Filmed 37 Years Ago

Andalusia, Alabama

best places to spend christmas

Head down south this December for Andalusia's Candyland , the town's ultra-festive holiday event held throughout the month. Admission is free of charge, but includes a small $4 fee for horse-drawn carriage rides. You can also enjoy the Snow Show, take photos with Santa, hop on the holiday train and more!

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25 best Christmas getaways to celebrate the season

After months of planning and preparations, the final countdown to Christmas is officially on.

Between shopping , wrapping presents and nailing down a Christmas dinner menu that the whole family can agree on, it can be downright difficult not to let a bit of bah-humbug creep in. Perhaps a break from the holiday madness is exactly the gift you're hoping Santa Claus will deliver this year.

If that's the case, you're in luck because we've got a list of Christmas getaways guaranteed to fill your cup with cheer.

Restore a bit of that ol' Christmas magic by packing up and heading to one of these charming winter towns , sunny beach escapes or fun-fueled destinations.

Whether you're hoping to visit the bright lights of the big city with the fam or spend some quality time cozying up with your beau, we've got getaways for just about every kind of vacation you're looking to book this holiday season.

Better yet, you can leave your passport at home, because all but one locale on this list are located in the U.S., which means you can skip customs and get straight to R & R.

From quaint New England towns that'll make you feel like you're living a real-life Hallmark movie to snowy mountain retreats where the powder is always fresh, these inspired getaways are sure to put the merry back in your Christmas. So, grab your suitcase , because Christmas is nearly here and your festive getaway awaits.

The Berkshires, Massachusetts


Like James Taylor croons in "Sweet Baby James," the Berkshires are pretty much "dreamlike" when covered with snow.

The mountainous region located in western Massachusetts is teeming with gorgeous winter scenery and there are plenty of cold-weather activities to boot, including skiing (downhill or cross country) at one of the area's many resorts.

At the heart of the Berkshires is the quintessential New England town of Stockbridge, which not only oozes charm, but is also a cultural center chock full of museums, antique shops, fine restaurants and Winterlights, a seasonal light display.

Find out more at Berkshires.org .

Hula Dancers and Christmas Tree in Tropical Hawaiian Beach Hz

Any time of year is the right time to visit Hawaii. But Christmas can be an especially good time if you’re seeking to escape the throes of winter, snow and one too many family gatherings.

Ask Santa to book a flight to Maui, Kauai, the Big Island or any of the others, where you’re sure to find tranquil relief along any of Hawaii’s majestic beaches.

There’s plenty more to see and do, like Maui’s Road to Hana or Kauai’s breathtaking Na Pali Coast. The only problem? Picking just one island to visit.

Find out more at Go Hawaii .

Solvang, California

Solvang, California

Head to Solvang for a little slice of Denmark in the U.S. You’ll swear you’re in Europe strolling along the Danish-inspired streets of the village, which is located in California’s Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara wine country. The tiny town is home to more than 120 wineries and vineyards, boutique shopping and bakeries that offer — you guessed it — Danish pastries. There’s even a horse-drawn street car reminiscent of days gone by.

Come Christmas, it’s exactly what you’d expect: an old-world wonderland. The town’s annual Julefest Christmas celebration begins after Thanksgiving and is a bounty of holiday lights, interactive candlelight tours and more festive fun.

Find out more at SolvangUSA.com .

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is recognized worldwide for its incredible skiing, scenic mountains and luxury accommodations. During the holidays, the already-magical destination becomes a veritable winter wonderland with snow-covered trees and twinkling lights. There are winter activities abound like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and even outdoor swimming (don't worry, the pools are heated).

There’s also caroling at a few of the local hotels and afternoon s’mores at Aspen’s Snowmass ski resort. With abundant winter activities, restaurants and things to do, Aspen is an ideal getaway for just about anyone — couples, families and solo travelers.

Find out more at AspenChamber.org .

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Can’t make it to Europe for the Christmas markets this year? Do the next best thing and travel to Frankenmuth, Michigan. Smack dab in the middle of the mitten is the cutest Bavarian town that isn’t actually in Bavaria.

You’ll be positively delighted by the charming architecture and fun festivities this little town has to offer. Outfit your Christmas tree at one of the holiday shops, take a drive through the twinkling lights or go ice skating in the park. There’s also a waterpark for the kids and Frankenmuth’s famous all-you-can-eat-fried-chicken dinner at Zehnders.

Find out more at Frankenmuth.org.

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington

In the 1960s, the town of Leavenworth, Washington, had a big idea. Hoping to draw visitors to its streets, Leavenworth’s leaders decided to change the town’s aesthetic from sleepy to European. Why? Since it's nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth was the ideal location for a Bavarian transformation.

The last five decades have seen an explosion of tourists (nearly a million annually) who come to participate in one the town’s many festivals. Christmas, of course, is its biggest. Each December, the town comes alive under an umbrella of twinkling lights and cheerful holiday festivities. Among them is The Village of Lights: Christmastown, which features more than half a million holiday lights, along with music and entertainment.

This one’s perfect for families with kids and anyone else looking for a little bit of Bavaria in America.

Find out more at Leavenworth.org.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

There’s nothing like spending the holidays in New England. Think candles in the window, rustic charm and cozy little towns with snow-covered rooftops. If that's up your alley, then Stowe, Vermont, is your destination. Offering the ultimate winter experience, Stowe is home to some of the best skiing along the East Coast. Conveniently located next to Mount Mansfield (Vermont’s highest mountain peak), the powder doesn’t get much better.

Along with downhill skiing, Stowe offers other winter activities like sleigh rides, fat bike riding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating and Nordic skiing. There’s also a lively nightlife, dining and plenty of après ski options. Even better, you can take a tour of Ben and Jerry’s (and enjoy free samples).

Find out more at GoStowe.com.

Dyker Heights, New York

Christmas Getaways

If you think your neighborhood goes all out for the holidays, trust us when we say, you haven't seen a light display like the one in this bright Brooklyn 'burb. Each year around the holidays, Dyker Heights residents take festive to a whole new level. Home after home is illuminated to the hilt with lights, animatronics, snow scenes and holiday decor like none other.

It's a veritable wonderland like something straight out of a movie. Stay in nearby Manhattan and enjoy the splendor the city has to offer, or drive in and park for the day if you live in the tri-state area. If you want to see the best of the best, try a guided tour from one of the many companies that offer them or wander on your own. Don't forget to charge your phone, you'll want plenty of pics of this annual spectacle that's guaranteed to get you into the spirit of the season.

Find out more at TODAY.com .

New Orleans

New Orleans

Full of revelers and rich history, New Orleans, or NOLA as it’s often called, is a one-of-a-kind destination that offers a little something for everyone. Influenced by both the Spanish and French, the city’s European heritage is apparent in everything from the gas lights to its unique architecture in the French Quarter.

During Christmas, New Orleans comes alive with a variety of events including Bonfires on the Levee, a dazzling display along the Mississippi and Candlelight Caroling in historic Jackson Square. You also don’t want to miss Celebration in the Oaks in City Park, which takes visitors on a train ride to view 25 acres of lights and holiday displays.

While there’s plenty of family fun in The Big Easy, New Orleans is known for its buzzy nightlife, making it an ideal getaway for couples. 

Find out more at NewOrleans.com.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Christmas Getaways

A beach retreat in the summertime, charming Kennebunkport, Maine is also a magical winter getaway. The vacation home of the Bush family, the idyllic town is nestled along the Atlantic Ocean and is quintessentially New England from its stately white churches to the sailboats rocking in the harbor. Perfect for families or couples, think flannel shirts, hot cocoa and lobster traps. The latter, of which, serves as the fire department's holiday tree with dozens of lobster traps fashioned into a very Maine-like lighted tree and covered with wreaths.

Like a scene straight out of Hallmark, merrily-decorated shops beckon guests inside to enjoy the warmth and do a little holiday shopping while they're at it and there's no shortage of cozy inns in which to book a room.

Find out more at kennebunkport.org .

Montreal, Canada

Montreal, Canada

Montreal, Canada is a quick jaunt across the U.S. border and upon arrival you’ll swear you just deplaned in France. Though Montreal is a modern, vibrant city, the section designated as “Old Montreal” is pure, old-world enchantment. Upon arrival, you'll feel like you’re strolling down the cobblestone streets of Paris with accordion music filling the air. The holidays, however, are when the real magic happens.

Twinkling lights fill Jacques Cartier Square and revelers gather to watch performances, imbibe at outdoor bars and celebrate the spirit of the season. There are also traditional Christmas markets, skating rinks, an interactive light installation and the city’s annual Santa Claus parade.

Find out more at MTL.org.

New York City

Rockefeller Center, New York City

Start spreading the news! If you didn’t already know that New York City is one the premiere holiday destinations, considered yourself officially informed. There are so many things to do in the city: Broadway, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, you name it. But the holidays? Well, it's as magical as it gets.

Prepare to be wowed looking at the famous Rockefeller Tree all lit up for the season. Arguably the best view can be had while ice skating at the Rock’s iconic ice rink. Ice skaters can also head over to Central Park’s Wollman Rink for an escape from the hustle and bustle. Visit the Empire State Building decked out in festive red and green lights for the holiday season. Not to mention the abundant holiday decoration displays throughout the city, including the giant Christmas ornaments, a must-see along the Avenue of the Americas.

Find out more at NYCgo.com.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley

Known as the “Soul of the Southwest,” the Taos Ski Valley beckons snowboarders and skiers to the legendary terrain along the slopes of Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Once a trading outpost, Taos is now a beacon to skiers seeking perfect powder. It’s also famous for its art colony, Native American culture and fabulous food. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, they host a series of celebrations called “Yuletide in Toas.” Here, you'll find a holiday market and crafts fair that features the work of local artisans, concerts, traditional Native American dances and other holiday festivities.

Find out more at Taos.org.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Christmas Getaways

If you're hoping St. Nick will bring you a bit of excitement for Christmas, feel free to bypass roasting chestnuts by the fire and go straight for the slots instead. After all, no one ever said the holidays have to be spent building snowmen and listening to carols. Nope, if high octane entertainment is more your speed, then head to Sin City, where the bright lights of Vegas are sure to eclipse even Clark Griswold's holiday display.

Catch a show, concert or enjoy dinner at one of fine-dining restaurants along the strip. Wander through the casinos, which are decked out in the spirit of the season including the Bellagio, which transforms its 14,000-square-foot botanical gardens into a resplendent Christmas wonderland that pays homage to "The Nutcracker." There's also ice skating at the Cosmopolitan and a 65-foot holiday tree that puts on a nightly light show at the Venetian and much more.

Find out more at visitlasvegas.com.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Escape the cold and head to sunny Florida for a Christmas getaway that’s sure please the whole crew. Best known for its theme parks — Universal Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld and Legoland, among others —there’s no shortage of fun activities, especially for families with kids.

Along with its world-famous parks, Orlando offers a wide array of shopping options, dining experiences, arts and entertainment.

Find out more at VisitOrlando.com.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Christmas Town, Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia, was established in the 1600s and remains a cornerstone of American democracy. History buffs will appreciate taking a trip back in time as they stroll along Colonial Williamsburg or visit the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Williamsburg is also known for its parks, museums, shopping and restaurants.

If that’s not enough, Williamsburg is also home to Christmas Town, one of the largest holiday light displays in North America held annually at Busch Gardens theme park.

Find out more at VisitWilliamsburg.com.

Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic Seaport Lighthouse, Mystic, Connecticut

Once upon a time, the quaint village of Mystic was a quiet fishing seaport along Connecticut’s shoreline. That all changed, of course, after it was featured in “Mystic Pizza” starring Julie Roberts. Since then, it’s become a tourist hot spot. It's easy to see why: Small boutiques, seafood restaurants and its quintessential New England vibe make it a draw for families and couples alike.

The Mystic Aquarium is a must-do as is the acclaimed Mystic Seaport Museum which offers the annual Lantern Light Village, a throwback to the 19th century with costumed role players and carriage rides.

Find out more at ThisIsMystic.com.

Woodstock, Vermont

Middle Covered Bridge, Woodstock, Vermont

The charming town of Woodstock, Vermont, is like a Hallmark movie come to life. Tucked away in the Green Mountains, there are covered bridges, cozy inns and quaint shops. Come Christmastime, the town gets a makeover with hundreds of white lights just in time for “Wassail Weekend, an annual festival with historic home tours and the Horse and Carriage Holiday Parade.

Other fun activities include carriage or sleigh rides, shopping and dining.

Find out more at WoodstockVT.com.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Located an hour’s drive north of Boston, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a delightful seacoast town. Although the town has plenty of boutiques and restaurants of its own, it's worth it to take a short drive to the Kittery Outlets. Not only will you be able to knock off your holiday shopping in one shot, you can also attend Vintage Christmas, the town's month-long holiday celebration.

Other highlights include the Strawbery Banke Museum’s Candlelight Strolls, ice skating at the Labrie Family Skate rink (weather-dependent) and a gingerbread house contest hosted by the Portsmouth Historical Society that’s truly a sight to see.

Find out more at GoPortsmouthNH.com .

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah is home to the Sundance Film Festival, the 2002 Winter Olympics and some of the finest skiing the west has to offer.

Beyond the snow, there are all kinds of other activities and events including concerts, torchlight parades and trolley rides. The town’s historic Main Street gets dressed in its Christmas best with sparkly lights and life-size snow globes. The best part? The town chairlift, which transports skiers to and from Park City Mountain right from the end of Main Street.

Find out more at VisitParkCity.com.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus, Indiana

It's all in the name: Skip the North Pole and book a trip to Santa Claus, Indiana, this year. You may not find Saint Nick in the flesh, but you can enjoy all the things his namesake town has to offer.

It’s everything you’d expect from a place dubbed “America’s Christmas Hometown.” There are holiday events like the Santa Claus Christmas Celebration, a Santa Claus museum, a candy castle and a post office where you can get your Christmas cards postmarked by the Man in Red.

Find out more at SantaClausInd.org.

The White Mountains, New Hampshire

Santa's Village, Jefferson, New Hampshire

When Santa’s not at the North Pole, he's probably hanging out with the elves at Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire — at least during the weeks in December. The theme park is exactly what you’d expect given its name. There are Christmas-themed rollercoasters, roaming reindeer, decked-out snowmen and hot cocoa to warm you from the inside out.

Santa’s Village isn’t the only gift in the area. Just 40 minutes away, there's Loon Mountain, a family-friendly ski mountain that even offers gondola rides to the top of the mountain if snow sports aren’t your thing. Other winter activities include snowmobiling, snow tubing and Nordic skiing. If that’s not enough, the scenery along the Kancamagus Highway is bound to take your breath away.

All in all, the White Mountains are a great escape for couples, families and anyone who doesn’t mind the cold.

Find out more at VisitWhiteMountains.com.

Siesta Key, Florida

Siesta Key beach at Sarasota, Florida, USA

While everyone’s saying “ho, ho, ho” this Christmas, you’ll be “ha, ha, ha-ing” all the way to the sunny beaches of Siesta Key, Florida. Named the second-best beach in the U.S. by Tripadvisor , its white sands and turquoise water are exactly what tropical dreams are made of.

Nearby Sarasota is a cultural and shopping mecca between The Ringling Museum and Gardens and St. Armands Circle, a collection of boutiques guaranteed to provide all the retail therapy you’ll ever need.

This escape is perfect for beach lovers and shoppers, aka everyone.

Find out more at VisitSarasota.com.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Spanning 278 miles, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. It’s scope and beauty are unparalleled, and a must-see at least once in your lifetime. Since most people flock to the national park during the summer months, there will be less people to block your view and stop traffic along the Canyon’s scenic roadways come Christmastime.

Make sure to visit the South Rim and if there’s no snow, hike the Bright Angel Trail for breathtaking views. Don’t miss a trip aboard the Grand Canyon Railway, located in the town of Williams. During the holiday season, the train is transformed into the Polar Express, complete with hot chocolate and cookies for the kids.

Find out more at NPS.gov.

Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island, is best known for its striking seaside location. With beautiful beaches, marinas, shopping and restaurants, Newport is a popular destination for tourists year-round. One of its biggest attractions, however, is its collection of magnificent mansions built during the Gilded Age by some of America’s biggest magnates including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Fords.

Now historical landmarks open to the public, the opulent homes and grounds undergo a magnificent transformation during the holiday season. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any holiday décor more lavish or grand. Make a weekend of touring them all and be sure to check out the Sparkling Lights display held on the grounds of The Breakers, the former Vanderbilt summer “cottage.”

Find out more at DiscoverNewport.org.

Spread cheer this holiday season

  • The best Christmas songs for your holiday playlist
  • Funny Christmas jokes guaranteed to sleigh
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  • The best Christmas movies on Netflix right now

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Sarah is a lifestyle and entertainment reporter for TODAY who covers holidays, celebrities and everything in between.

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The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

By Laura Chubb , Anya Meyerowitz and Emma Love

The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

After years of Christmas travel being put on pause, 2022 saw avid travellers embrace the festive escape once more. Christmas holiday destinations are a contentious issues among large families, however. An amble around Europe's famous Christmas markets is on most people's bucket lists, but then there's the practicalities of finding a cosy bolthole in a new city – to tree, or not to tree? Winter sun spots like Australia and South Africa were out of bounds in recent years due to strict Covid entry requirements, but families are free to reunite on whichever side of the globe they wish – and doing so in droves. With plenty of options back on the agenda, we've listed the best holiday destinations for Christmas in 2023. To stay closer to home, see our pick of the best UK Airbnbs to book for Christmas .

white sand beach and crystal clear water with coconut palm tree Phuket Thailand.

Why? For ultimate beach bliss. Clear water laps against the sandy shores, palm trees sway, and the chill of the UK seems so far away. There’s also something for everyone; larger resorts and villas for families on the larger Thai islands , boutique and big-name hotels on some of the smaller ones, and hostels at every turn for a cost-effective, island-hopping festive experience. Every type of traveller is catered to somewhere, and the beaches are undeniably divine, making it ideal for intergenerational escapes.

Insider tip: Christmas in Thailand is delightful, but New Year’s Eve is another spectacle altogether. Stay on Koh Samui and head to the beaches for raucous parties and kaleidoscopic firework displays, or head to one of the many beach clubs and high-end hotels for a more civilised affair. Alternatively, a two-stop trip could be the bucket list adventure to beat them all. You’ll likely need to pass through Bangkok to reach the islands, so consider sticking around on the return leg to experience the celebrations in one of Asia’s largest metropolises, watching the colourful explosions illuminate the Chao Phraya River.

Where to stay: Splash out on a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui for the most indulgent festive escape, and you’ll barely need to lift a finger. It’s a large resort, but it doesn’t feel that way, thanks to clever landscaping and guest rooms hidden among the towering trees and wild flora. Connor Sturges

Panorama of Las Palmas from the sea. Gran Canaria Canary Islands Spain.

Gran Canaria

Why? For (almost) guaranteed short-haul sun. The average temperature can hover around 20C on December afternoons, perfect for long sunny lunches along the harbour and walks along the coast – take a tip if you dare.

Insider tip: Hire a car to experience all Gran Canaria has to offer. December isn’t quite sunbathing season, but it’s ideal for exploring the charming towns, historic churches, markets and natural wonders dotted across the island.

Where to stay: Gran Canaria is an ideal Christmas holiday destination for families with broods in tow, but the island is no longer the reserve of those needing all-inclusive convenience. Adults-only Hotel Veintiuno is set in an 18th-century colonial house and offers cosy rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and a location ideal for exploring the capital Las Palmas. Connor Sturges

The Cotswold village of Broadway Worcestershire England.

The Cotswolds

Why? To experience a quintessentially English Christmas. Chocolate box villages dusted in snow, cosy evenings by pub fires, and the chime of churchbells ricocheting off period properties.

Insider tip: The Cotswolds has some of the cutest Christmas markets around. Broadway’s market is the perfect place to enjoy gooey raclette, a glass of mulled wine and a last-minute spot of shopping from craft stalls.

Where to stay: Cotswolds cottages don’t come cheap at Christmas, but make it a family affair, and it’ll be one to remember. Check out our guide to the best Airbnbs in the Cotswolds for some inspiration, or look to Luxury Cotswold Rentals for gargantuan homes designed to fit all the family… and some. Connor Sturges

Why The fairytale Christmas scene  snowy gabled houses and twinkly cobblestone streets  doesnt get much more...

Bruges, Belgium

Why: The fairy-tale Christmas scene – snowy, gabled houses and twinkly cobblestone streets – doesn’t get much more quintessential than in Belgium’s prettiest city. The medieval centre is known for its Gothic architecture, and the squares are strung with fairy lights and dotted with market stalls selling crafts and waffles wrapped in paper. Blow away the cobwebs on Christmas morning with a bracing walk alongside the icy canals, followed by a stint in one of the cosy pubs.

Insider tip: Belgian chocolatiers are famous for good reason – and Christmas is a great time to sample the wares of as many different stores as possible. We particularly like Spegelaere, a family-run chocolate shop just outside the city centre. Sarah James

Where to stay: Embrace the romance of the town with a B&B stay. The canal-side Bonifacius was famously used by Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as a green room during the filming of In Bruges . An immaculate breakfast here is served in the intimate Gothic Room. If you can brave the cold, wander up the winding staircase to the roof terrace where you'll find exceptional views over the Church of Our Lady and 13th-century belfry.

Why Sure everyone knows Christmas in New York is special  but do they know its romantic too From iceskating under the...

New York City, USA

Why : Sure, everyone knows Christmas in New York is special – but do they know it’s romantic, too? From ice-skating under the Rockefeller Center tree, to riding the gorgeously restored, vintage Jane’s Carousel on the East River-front, and strolling hand-in-hand across a twinkly Brooklyn Bridge, this is movie-grade amour .

Insider tip : Cuddle up on a Christmassy date at Williamsburg ’s Nitehawk Cinema . Even better, you can order food and cocktails right to your seat.

Where to stay: For the full New York at Christmas movie magic experience, nothing can beat The Plaza . A stay here is particularly magical for children, where little ones can call on the service of a family 'ambassador' and goodies on offer include a closet full of dressing-up gear, children's terrycloth bathrobes and a $100 gift card for nearby toy store FAO Schwartz. See our pick of the best hotels in New York for more.

Why The Caribbean has always been a favourite destination for cruisefans over the festive period with its honeyhued...

Barbados, Caribbean

Why? The Caribbean has always been a favourite destination for cruise-fans over the festive period, with its honey-hued beaches and cerulean waters, and Barbados is arguably its star attraction. The festive season is the island’s sweet spot, where it is at its most relaxed until mid-December and still enjoying balmy temperatures, however the hotel prices often drop and the UK fashion set has yet to jet in for New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to picture a Christmas spent among the coconut palms and rolling surf, doused in sunscreen, rather than curled up in a jumper, but we’re certain you’ll soon get used to it… 

Insider tip: If you can’t bear to miss out on your Christmas Cake fix, tuck into the Bajan version (known as a ‘Great Cake’), made with local rum. Really get the flavour of things by booking a day trip to the Mount Gay rum distillery – we defy you not to be singing carols at the top of your voice by the end of it. 

Where to stay: Swap the supersized resorts for Cobblers Cove , a 40 bedroom bolthole that's dressed delightfully – think millennial- pink accents and candy-cane-striped pool umbrellas – like a tropical country club. For more recommendations, see our edit of the best hotels in Barbados . 

Why Forget the 12 days of Christmas  the festive season in Iceland lasts a full 26. In fact most Icelandic traditions at...

Why: Forget the 12 days of Christmas – the festive season in Iceland lasts a full 26. In fact, most Icelandic traditions at this time of year are bigger and more elaborate than those in the UK – including the 13 Santa Clauses who bring presents to children across the country. The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in December are also pretty good, and experiencing a white Christmas here is all but a given. In the capital Reykjavík , the frozen central pond of Tjörnin is a brilliant spot for ice skating on Christmas Day, while the big celebration is on Christmas Eve, with a supper of smoked lamb and langoustine.

Insider tip: If you stay until New Year’s Eve , you can catch the city’s unique fireworks display – locals purchase their own and the sky is lit up with countless mini displays when midnight strikes.

Where to stay: Reykjavik Edition has a standout location plus a rooftop terrace for viewing the northern lights. Another option is Kvosin Downtown Hotel , a charismatic boutique property with fantastic apartment suites. See our pick of the best Iceland hotels for more. 

Why This Middle Eastern playground can make every generation feel like a kid again  whether thats riding the slides of...

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Why : This Middle Eastern playground can make every generation feel like a kid again – whether that’s riding the slides of its water parks, sledding down a ski slope in a shopping mall, or jumping around on its giant trampoline park, Bounce . And while Christmas isn’t a national holiday here, bling-bling Dubai can’t resist this twinkly time of year: the malls and hotels are all a-sparkle with lights and enormous trees. Add to that the weather (highs of 26˚C in December), plentiful beaches, and all-ages fun (such as ogling a giant dancing fountain or speeding up the world’s tallest building), and it’s not such an out-there idea.\

Insider tip : Don’t miss the surreal experience of shopping centre Souk Madinat Jumeirah at Christmas, when there’s a German market, a snowball zone, and Santa riding a gondola-sleigh around the mall’s canals.

Where to stay: All of the major players are here but for a change of pace, try the newly opened 25hours Hotel One Central , where 30-something hipsters and creatives move between the co-working spaces, pottery and podcast studios, and mixed-gender saunas. The rooms and suites here are equally un-Dubai, with hammocks, sheik-sized beds, and private bar areas with room for a DJ.

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Finnish Lapland

Why : It's been a while since we've had a bit of child-like magic at Christmas. Lapland needn’t just be for kids either: throw over Santa and snowmen for cosy nights in glass igloos, and romantic husky-sled rides through forests glittering with frost. Head up to Ylläs and you can even get steamy in a sauna gondola: a cable car converted into a sauna, which takes guests on a 20-minute ride. An outdoor Jacuzzi session and traditional sauna are included in the (admittedly steep) price. Note that a typical Lappish Christmas dinner often involves reindeer, which seems like a truth only suitable for an adult.

Insider tip : If you’re looking to work off all that Christmas food, Ylläs National Park opens up its snowshoe tracks to fatbikers, so you can pedal your way around this wintry wonderland and work up a real sweat.

Where to stay: In one of the glass igloos at Apukka Resort near Rovaniemi, perfect for cosying up to watch the Northern Lights from bed. All igloos have sofa beds so they're great options for families, while self-catering apartments are also available.  

Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

Why: For a blast of winter sun with a sprinkling of festive spirit, all without the jet lag. In December , the top draw in Cape Town is usually carols by candlelight at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Children will also love the holiday activities at the V&A Waterfront, from magic shows on the croquet lawn, to puppet shows and face painting at the aquarium. If you're organised, book in to one of the best restaurants in Cape Town for an extra special Christmas or Boxing Day lunch. City centre restaurant FYN recently made it onto The World's 50 Best Restaurants list. 

Insider tip: The most obvious place to spend Christmas Day is at the beach – whether you fancy surfing at Llandudno or people-watching at Camps Bay. For a change of pace, book a table on the terrace at Grande Provence, a stellar wine estate in Franschhoek.

Where to stay: For the best poolside scene in the city, check in to Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel . The Wes-Anderson -style pink palace has clear views of Table Mountain from its main terrace, making it one of the best spots for a sundowner in Cape Town.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

Why: Boxing Day can sometimes feel a little flat – especially if you’ve over-indulged with too many helpings of trifle at Christmas lunch – but not in the Bahamas where the annual Junkanoo Parade brings a carnival party vibe to the streets. The biggest event takes place in Nassau where the sound of drums, horns and cow bells fill the air and musicians and dancers dressed in elaborate bejewelled costumes shimmy their way through the town. Afterwards, pick up a conch salad (try Dino’s, by Compass Point) and head to the beach.

Insider tip: For those wanting a quieter escape hop on the ferry to Eleuthera, known for its coral-pink sand and clusters of cays, and nab one of the chic safari-style tents at The Other Side.

Where to stay: If you're travelling with little ones, SLS Baha Mar is perfectly set up for families, most notably for their poolside cabanas, kitted out with couches, a mini fridge, a flat-screen TV, and waiter service. For couples, check in to the all-inclusive, adults-only Warwick Paradise Island .

St Moritz Switzerland

St Moritz, Switzerland

Why: What better way to kick off Christmas Day than with an exhilarating family toboggan run from Preda to Bergun? This glitzy Alpine ski resort comes up trumps with plenty of festive sporty fun on offer from ice skating (there are two rinks, at the Kulm Country Club and Lake St Moritz ) to snowshoe hikes and even snowkiting on the Bernina Pass. Those who prefer to slow the pace can wrap up warm for a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride or tap into centuries-old spa traditions – the Kulm Hotel has a heated open-air pool that looks out onto a winter wonderland.

Insider tip: After a morning spent swooshing down the slopes, refuel at an Alpine hut with panoramic mountain views, such as El Paradiso Mountain Club or the legendary Alpina Hutte. See our St Moritz insider tips for more. 

Where to stay: The obvious options are Badrutt’s Palace and the Kulm Hotel but for something cosier, book one of the seven rooms at the art-loving Villa Flor in nearby Zuoz. 

Why Caribbean islands dont come more romantic than St Lucia with its dreamy views of the Pitons incredible beaches and...

St Lucia, Caribbean

Why : Caribbean islands don’t come more romantic than St Lucia , with its dreamy views of the Pitons, incredible beaches and chocolate plantations (meaning you can expect chocolate-covered spa treatments, and couples’ chocolate-making classes). Thanks to a strong Catholic culture, Christmas is a big deal here, too: St Lucian twists include its traditional, deep-red sorrel drink (made with cinnamon, cloves and ginger), and black Christmas pudding (soaked in red wine). While roast turkey remains on the menu, expect sweet potatoes and plantains in place of parsnips and sprouts.

Insider tip : The island ’s most interesting restaurant for a romantic meal is undoubtedly The Rabot Hotel , at Hotel Chocolat’s cocoa-plantation-set boutique residence. Along with head-on views of Petit Piton, you’ll eat a cacao-infused menu, featuring dishes such as tuna-dorado tartare with cacao nibs and cacao beer pork tenderloin.

Where to stay: The Rabot Hotel was also voted the best hotel in the Caribbean in our Reader's Choice Awards. 

Why Mexico goes big on Christmas  elaborate nativity scenes street processions plazas decked with fairy lights festive...

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Why: Mexico goes big on Christmas – elaborate nativity scenes, street processions, plazas decked with fairy lights, festive piñatas – so it’s ideal for a taste of tradition with a side of sunshine. Forgo the rowdy Caribbean coast for the more laid-back Pacific side, where family-friendly town Puerto Vallarta excels at ‘something for everyone’: snorkelling trips around the Marietas Islands’ ‘Hidden Beach’; a sunset boat ride to Las Caletas cove for a traditional dance show; wandering around botanical gardens and eating at torch-lit waterfront restaurants.

Insider tip: The Malecón is Puerto Vallarta’s seafront promenade, the centre of community activity and a riot at Christmas, with craft markets, street-food vendors, palm trees hung with stockings and Santa-hat-wearing sand men.

Where to stay: At handmade hotel Verana , where 10 casas are embedded in the jungle with spellbinding views of the ocean. Families will love One&Only Mandarina where you can opt to stay in oversized treehouses or ocean-facing villas, and the fantastical kids’ club was designed by Academy Award-winning art director Brigitte Broch, whose wonderland sets have been seen in Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet .

Why A tropical Christmas in Hawaii still feels festive. On Oahu Honolulu City Hall is festooned with lights and has a...

Why : A tropical Christmas in Hawaii still feels festive. On Oahu, Honolulu City Hall is festooned with lights, and has a heavily decorated 50ft-tree out front; on Maui, Santa rocks up at Wailea Beach on Christmas Eve via outrigger canoe. Any one of these preternaturally gorgeous islands will appeal across the generations, with their mix of white-sand beaches, watersports, and family-friendly hijinks.

Insider tip : On Oahu’s North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center hosts a Christmas marketplace; on certain days, real snow is brought in for making snowmen. Check out Hukilau Marketplace for updates.

Where to stay: At Four Seasons Resort Hualãlai , fresh off a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renovation that saw a refresh of every guest room, the expansion of its family-friendly villa offerings, a sleek new pool and several updates to its world-class golf course. 

Why Dreaming of a white Christmas It doesnt get much merrier than North Americas favourite ski resort where snow is...

Whistler, Canada

Why : Dreaming of a white Christmas? It doesn’t get much merrier than North America ’s favourite ski resort, where snow is guaranteed, as are festively freezing temperatures. As well as a heap of family entertainment (the weekly Fire & Ice show sees skiers jumping through fiery hoops), there’s everything from ice skating to snowmobiling for the kids, and the slopes stay open on Christmas Day. Large, luxurious chalets are plentiful around Whistler Village: many with gorgeous views of Blackcomb Peak, patio heaters for outdoor evenings, and games rooms to keep all ages entertained.

Insider tip : Canadians are more likely to feast on pumpkin pie than Christmas pud on 25 December. Save the hassle of making your own and pick one up at local favourite Peaked Pies – it’s actually an Aussie bakery, but Whistler’s hungry skiers love it.

Where to stay: If it's your first time, opt to stay amongst the action of Whistler Village at Sundial , a boutique hotel with a rooftop hot tub, or nearby at Four Seasons Resort Whistler.

Why You dont have to look hard for the romance in Bali. Horseback rides on the beach Check. Gripping each other tightly...

Bali, Indonesia

Why: You don’t have to look hard for the romance in Bali . Horseback rides on the beach? Check. Gripping each other tightly on a scooter, zipping past 50-shades-of-green rice fields? But, of course. Glamping in the jungle, with your own private saltwater pool? Well hello, Capella Ubud. And then, when you’re hankering for a festive fix, there’s the Canggu Xmas Bazaar: a unique blend of traditional wooden Balinese architecture, festive crafts and Indonesian street food. Kitschy, yes – but it’s Christmas, after all.

Insider tip: Top off Christmas Day with a fireworks display: locals love setting them off once darkness falls, and if you head to the beach in Canggu you’ll catch one of Bali’s more fabulous sunsets, too.

Where to stay: For a private stay, takeover one of these villas in Bali . In Ubud, we like the look of Sharma Springs , a six-storey bamboo villa that sleeps up to ten (a fifth bedroom is located in a separate guest house) and has its own private pool and yoga pavilion.

Salvador Brazil

Salvador, Brazil

Why: Rio de Janeiro might be the kingpin Brazilian party capital on New Year’s Eve but for festive cheer, head north to the Bahia city of Salvador . With a fusion of African and Brazilian culture, this place crackles with energy all year round – but cranks it up several notches at Christmas. The pastel-hued houses of the UNESCO historic quarter make a colourful backdrop for impromptu marching band parades where the drummers dress up as Santa, and live music and dancing in the squares.

Insider tip: From here, it’s a two-hour (often choppy) boat trip to Morro de Sao Paulo, on the tip of Ilha de Tinharé. There are five numerically-named beaches: first beach is crowded and for watersports, by the time you reach fifth, you’re likely to have the sand to yourself.

Where to stay: The grand Hotel Fasano Salvador stands tall in a carefully restored 1930s building – once the former headquarters of the A Tarde newspaper – and has spectacular city views from its rooftop pool.

Why If youre looking to combine Yuletide cheer with a breathless party scene you wont go far wrong with Berlin. The...

Berlin, Germany

Why : If you’re looking to combine Yuletide cheer with a breathless party scene, you won’t go far wrong with Berlin . The Germans practically invented Christmas (we have them to thank for embellishments including decorated trees, baubles and tinsel), and they’re the undisputed world champions of the Christmas market (find a toboggan run and ice rink at Potsdamer Platz; Alexanderplatz packs a Ferris wheel and Christmas ‘pyramid’ with more than 5,000 lights). The city’s club scene hardly closes down as December comes to a close, however; on the contrary, it often ramps up, making it one of the best Christmas holiday destinations for those looking to party before spilling out into the snow.

Insider tip : Clubbing stints require planning: wear sturdy shoes and at least one T-shirt change. Dresses and heels aren’t simply impractical – they usually induce the bouncers to turn you away.

Where to stay: If you're here for the nightlife, Orania.Berlin — a luxury hotel in the edgy Kreuzberg district – is surrounded by some of the city’s best clubs. Radisson Collection Hotel , with its two-storey-high freestanding cylindrical aquarium, is an ideal option for families.

Why Morocco isnt exactly big on Christmas though youll still find traces of it in bigcity malls and hotels and there are...

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Why : Morocco isn’t exactly big on Christmas, though you’ll still find traces of it in big-city malls and hotels, and there are Catholic churches throughout the country (thanks to historic Spanish and French influences). Make a beeline for the remote Atlas Mountains just outside Marrakech . 

Insider tip : If you’re set on scaling Mount Toubkal, be aware that this time of year requires serious skills, crampons and ice axes. Alternatively, stay below the snow line with treks through Ouirgane National Park and Azzaden Valley, which are excellent in their own right, but also have great views of Toubkal.

Where to stay: Handily, some smart retreats have sprung up in this rugged region, so you can go off-grid in style. Berber Lodge – village-like and set inside an olive grove – is low-key, glam and gorgeous.

Why Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to climb the Roof of Africa. So if youre travelling solo but fancy...

Kilimanjardo, Tanzania

Why: Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to climb the Roof of Africa . So, if you’re travelling solo, but fancy meeting new people, this is a great way to tap in to some group spirit while also ticking off a life goal – pack your Santa hat for commemorative pictures at the top. As Christianity is a major religion in Tanzania , the holiday is very much celebrated: though it’s more low-key than the West’s commercial circus, you’ll see enough trees and baubles to feel suitably full of good cheer. Forget the turkey, though: Tanzanian families tend to go all out and buy a goat or a cow for the big dinner.

Where to stay: It’s practically mandatory that you follow up the Kili trek with a restorative break in Zanzibar. The village-style Zuri hotel has 56 standalone bungalows set amid dense bush and spice gardens, with Indian Ocean waves rolling just beyond your window.

Why This StTropezonsnow is the party ski resort and a Christmas cardworthy delight this time of year too. Here in the...

Val d'Isere, France

Why : This St-Tropez -on-snow is the party ski resort, and a Christmas card-worthy delight this time of year, too. Here in the powder-swept Alps , there’s no shortage of festive markets, steaming vin chaud , or decadent Christmas menus paired with Champagne . On Christmas Day, ski lifts are open as usual and Dick’s Tea Bar , the party place-to-be, brings the après with resident DJs. 

Insider tip : Luxury travel specialist Scott Dunn tells us you can’t beat L’Atelier d’Edmond for a decadent Christmas dinner. This double- Michelin-starred stunner typically rustles up a tasting menu that forgoes turkey for the more refined flavours of Arctic char and deer.

Where to stay: Val has been outdoing itself with ultra-luxe chalets lately: seven-room Chalet Husky has a climbing wall, infinity waterfall and space for rifle shooting and archery; at Arctic Townhouse , you’ll find a sauna, indoor hot tub and screening room. For more, see our where to stay in Val d'Isere guide. 

Why For a solo Christmas with just the right mix of adventure and home comforts playing cowboy  at a dude ranch in the...

Dude ranch, Colorado

Why : For a solo Christmas with just the right mix of adventure and home comforts, playing cowboy (or cowgirl) at a dude ranch in the Rocky Mountains could be ideal. You’ll spend your days getting active in that crisp mountain air – riding horses, learning to shoot and lasso – and evenings sharing hearty home-cooked meals, swapping stories around a campfire or square-dancing at the local saloon. Colorado’s little mountain towns come alive with holiday lights and festivities this time of year, and the region is stuffed with dude ranches offering seasonal packages, which typically include a snowy horseback ride and family-style feast on Christmas Day.

Where to stay: Dude ranches come in all styles and sizes, so do your research on the vibe. Sundance Trail Guest Ranch , for example, is small and low-key, with a real focus on a homestay-style experience, while C Lazy U Ranch is more like a hotel and goes all-out with sleigh rides and Santa PAs.

Why Christmas is a time for giving so if you feel like doling out some good cheer try a festive break with International...

Volunteering in Cusco, Peru

Why : Christmas is a time for giving, so if you feel like doling out some good cheer, try a festive break with International Volunteer HQ . You could even combine it with a pilgrimage – in Cusco, for example, IVHQ volunteers wrap presents and prep Christmas decorations for underprivileged local children; why not independently tack on the Inca Trail trek to nearby Machu Picchu , too?

Insider tip : Cusco’s Plaza de Armas is a brilliant spot for Christmas Eve, with its market and incense-filled churches. Stick around to see the whole city explode with fireworks at midnight.

Why Sometimes in order to escape Christmas you need to escape the world entirely. Even in Kathmandu a colourful clash of...

Himalayan Trekking, Nepal

Why : Sometimes, in order to escape Christmas, you need to escape the world entirely. Even in Kathmandu, a colourful clash of Hindu temples and Buddhist prayer flags, Christmas Day is a recognised holiday – with Santa hats, decorated trees and glittering lights to match. There’s never been a better time, then, to leapfrog the masses and head for the Roof of the World on an Annapurna trek. Though it can get cold up in the Himalayas this time of year, the trails are blissfully quiet. Even better, a proper trek should take at least a week, so if you head off on Christmas Eve, it’s all about New Year by the time you’re back – when Santa will be safely absent 'til next winter.

Insider tip : December’s daytime temperatures and clear skies make ideal hiking weather, but come nightfall, the mercury will usually dip below freezing. Be sure to bring a down sleeping bag and plenty of layers.

Why‘Partying in Colombia might once have been synonymous with cocaine but if theres one place that really shows how the...

Cartagena, Colombia

Why: ‘Partying’ in Colombia might once have been synonymous with cocaine, but if there’s one place that really shows how the country has changed, it’s Caribbean seaside city Cartagena : no longer a best-kept secret, but a bona fide tourism big-hitter. Crowds come for the buzz of the picturesque Old Town, livelier than ever at Christmas: where festivities spill into cobblestoned streets, public squares shimmer with over-the-top trees and giant baubles and the colonial mansions’ famous flower-filled balconies are strung with lights.

Insider tip: Formerly sketchy, now shabby-chic Getsemani isn’t just Cartagena’s hippest neighbourhood (with interactive pop-up dining and factories-turned-pizza-restaurants), it’s the best damn nightlife spot in the city, too. Bazurto Social Club is the place for sultry salsa dancing with locals, or touristy Café Havana – all retro 1930s style, Panama hats and lethal mojitos – pops five nights a week until 4am.

Where to stay: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena , a former 17th-century monastery located a short walk from the beach. 

Why This is where probably the worlds most famous Christmas Day beach party is held. On 25 December Santahatwearing...

Sydney, Australia

Why : This is where probably the world’s most famous Christmas Day beach party is held. On 25 December, Santa-hat-wearing crowds descend on Bondi ’s beloved crescent for barbecues and frolics. Lifeguards even plant a fir tree in the sand and, in the absence of snow, many folk build festive sandmen. However, anyone planning a rowdy booze-fest will be disappointed: the entire beach is an alcohol-free zone. Christmas just not Christmas without grog? Nearby, The Bavarian Bondi Beach will be a beery riot, and even does a Christmas roast .

Insider tip : For a less crowded experience, try Balmoral Beach, where the Bathers’ Pavilion usually puts on both a booze-included buffet and a three-course lunch. The restaurant’s wall of glass patio doors, which look out to sea, just might seal the deal.

Where to stay: Park Hyatt Sydney , beloved for its location tucked beneath the Harbour Bridge and it mosaic rooftop pool that is one of the city's great spots. 

Why Incidentally just voted one of the top 20 best cities to visit in the world in the Cond Nast Traveller Readers...

Salzburg, Austria

Why? Incidentally, just voted one of the top 20 best cities to visit in the world in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2021 , Salzburg really turns on the charm over the festive period. Decked out in its finest baroque regalia and surrounded by the Alps’ lofty peaks – smothered in snow – a December spent among the clock towers and chocolate box architecture of the Old Town begs a knitted jumper, rosy cheeks and a constant sense of occasion. The Salzburg Christmas Market on Cathedral Square conjures the sort of romantic, fairytale scene that might be plucked from a cheesy rom-com, and there’s no finer way to escape the cold than to take your seat for a Mozart concert in the composer’s own birthplace. 

Insider tip: In Austria , warming up chilly fingers over a hot chocolate is an unmitigated delight, and one that the city takes very, very seriously. You’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to stop, but for an extra special treat, head for Mozart’s favourite café, Café Tomaselli. 

Where to stay: For a spectacular view, we love the look of the large sun terrance at this penthouse apartment on Airbnb , located at the foot of Gaisberg and a 10-minute bus or car ride from  Salzburg city centre. 

22 Best Christmas Getaways to Enjoy This Winter

Some are festive. Others are just plain warm.

Tropical Xmas

Though you often hear everyone talking about going home for the holidays, the truth is: there's no time like Christmas to book a long-anticipated getaway. And you don't even have to sacrifice that time with your family—just bring 'em with you?

Just remember: Though travel is undoubtedly picking up and your memorable winter trip could be just around the corner, there are still some regulations surrounding both domestic and international travel . And, it's imperative to check rules on the destination end, as some locales require quarantines or COVID-19 testing beforehand.

So what are you waiting for? Let this list of awe-inspiring destinations guide your next adventure.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

the broadmoor in colorado at christmas

A wonderful spot for Christmas trips, Colorado Springs offers an affordable and outdoorsy destination with so much to do for all ages that it’s undeniably ideal for Christmas vacations for families. December is chockablock with festive happenings, including ice skating in Acadia Park, catching a ride on the Santa Express Train, complete with music, cookies, and hot cocoa, and the annual lighting of the Palmer Lake star.

WHERE TO STAY: Family-friendly 5,000 acre resort The Broadmoor provides plenty of space to play and transforms into a winter wonderland, offering everything from holiday dinners to the Classic Broadmoor Christmas variety show. During the festive season, its enclosed Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is festooned with lights for an Electric Safari, with 85 light sculptures on over 50 acres.

Woodstock, Vermont

woodstock inn  resortinstagram

The small New England town of Woodstock is tailor made for Christmas trips, when it celebrates the holidays with aplomb. The town’s yearly Wassail Weekend features concerts, an equestrian parade, romantic horse-drawn carriage rides ideal for couples, and a lighting of the Woodstock tree and yule log. Don’t miss a stop by Billings Farm & Museum to step back into the 19th century, complete with historic Christmas decorations.

WHERE TO STAY: Elegant Woodstock Inn & Resort bills itself as "Vermont’s most beautiful address" and, indeed, it lives up to the name, with a picture-perfect stay for couples, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and festive, farm-fresh holiday dinners. There are also countless B&B options.

Washington, D.C.

Our nation's capital is an ideal place for holiday Christmas trips, thanks to jaw-dropping celebrations, lights, and spectacles (and plenty of holiday shopping in Georgetown!). There are no shortage of stately decorative trees: lighting adorns the US Capitol Tree, as well as trees at the Library of Congress, Union Station, and the National Christmas Tree just beyond the White House. Visitors can also enjoy the Downtown Holiday Market, or the Holiday Boat Parade and fireworks down by D.C.'s waterfront The Wharf. And of course, there are tons of world-renowned museums, subject to social distancing.

WHERE TO STAY: The Wharf Intercontinental is ideally situated in one of the most charmingly Christmasy parts of D.C. Steps from your luxuriously modern room (and exquisitely comfortable bed) is a S'mores Airstream where you can pick up marshmallows for roasting on the waterfront, plus there's a pretty tree replete with nautical nods, and holiday tunes takeover the scenic area. Looking for something more substantial to eat than graham crackers? The property's restaurant, Moon Rabbit , has an inventive menu with contemporary Vietnamese food (don't sleep on the melt-in-your-mouth pineapple milk buns or the scallop crudo). Plus, they offer outdoor dining under cozy heat lamps, so you can still take in the festive view.

Branson, Missouri

If you're trying to figure out where to go in 2021, look no further than Christmas in Branson, a magical spectacle beginning like clockwork on November 1 each year. Known as "America’s Christmas Tree City," Branson’s more than 6.5 million lights compete for wows with more than 1,000 Christmas trees. 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 lights.

WHERE TO STAY: Mega resort Chateau on the Lake comes alive for the holidays. Its highlight is an entire edible city that puts traditional gingerbread houses to shame, featuring Nutter Butter cookies in white confection as snowmen, shredded Mini Wheats as sheep dogs, and a wide variety of candy as houses, churches and village buildings.

Savannah, Georgia

This stunner of a Southern city is worth a visit year-round, but it's especially charming for couples in the winter when the weather (and hotel rates) drop. Spend your afternoons exploring the various stunning squares dotted with Spanish moss trees (perfect for family pictures). Dine at the historic Olde Pinke House for brunch. (Don't skip the shrimp and grits!). And, finish the evening with dinner at Cotton & Rye , set in a converted old bank, followed by a nightcap back at Wayward , an eclectic bar which mixes a mean Old Fashioned (free for Perry Lane guests) and has both skee-ball and pinball. Then, if you dare, let a ghost tour guide you through the city's history.

WHERE TO STAY: Stay at the cozy and perfectly located Perry Lane Hotel that offers unlimited free Champagne, which will undoubtedly help you get in the holiday spirit, plus complementary bikes to help you explore.

Cape May, New Jersey

New Jersey’s Victorian seaside town Cape May turns into a Dickensian village for Christmas, with everything from candlelit trolley tours, to wine tasting, to a holiday tree-lighting ceremony. Couples can enjoy outdoor tours of Cape May’s historic mansions, festively decorated for a Victorian-themed Christmas or partake in brunch and bingo on the beach at the Inn of Cape May.

WHERE TO STAY: America’s oldest seaside resort, Congress Hall provides a bounty of seasonal cheer for guests, including a Christmas tree lighting, letters from Santa upon arrival, gingerbread house making, and Candy Cane tents around the pool. Or stay at 62-acre Beach Plum Farm , with decorated cottages, and activities such as wreath making and farm-to-table Christmas dinner.

Solvang, California

For the perfect combination of California cool and Christmas cheer, look no further than Solvang, California. Located half an hour outside of Santa Barbara, smack in the middle of Santa Ynez wine country, the Danish-inspired town benefits from proximity to some of the country's great wineries, year 'round good weather, an outdoorsy vibe, and, at Christmastime, a spate of outdoor activities during Julefest: everything from holiday concerts and parades to a nativity pageant to the Skål Stroll Wine and Beer Walk. WHERE TO STAY: A stone's throw from the center of town sits family-friendly dude ranch Alisal Ranch , known for its horses, laid-back atmosphere, full calendar of events, and 100 acre lake. It's like summer camp for grownups.

Los Cabos, Mexico

Head south for the winter and enjoy the delights of Christmas in Cabo. With highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s, traditional celebrations include the 12-day Virgin of Guadalupe and the day of the Three Wise Men, plus inviting, picturesque beaches, it's a no-brainer for a holiday getaway.

WHERE TO STAY: All-inclusive Dreams Los Cabos offers something for everybody, from honeymooners, to families, to singles. The resort features 255 renovated suites with private balconies, a spa, kid's club, children's pool area and adults-only pool, and two swim up bars: Feliz Navidad, indeed!

Charleston, South Carolina

Charming Charleston is the perfect exploration spot for Christmas trips, when the city is less crowded and the lights and celebrations are in full glory. Highlights include the Charleston Christmas Parade on Broad Street, a tree lighting in Marion Park, the stunning drive-through Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island, and the Charleston Parade of Boats.

WHERE TO STAY: Zero George offers a quaint boutique hotel—with an elegant, restored circa 1804 building—steps from the heart of the action in Charleston's Historic District. The Andrew Pinckney Inn also offers a 12 Days of Christmas celebration with programming on the rooftop solarium.

Nashville, Tennessee

If you're looking for a place that won't feel totally shut down at Christmastime, Music City won't disappoint, with bars open at limited capacity and especially great for singles. Groove to Christmas songs at any number of honky tonks on Broadway, or if the bar scene isn't your thing, stick to shopping strolls along the hip Gulch district. Take in a tiki drink at Pearl Diver, a tropical oasis that'll make you forget all about winter, or enjoy an inexpensive meal of hot chicken at Haddie B's (which is worth the hype).

WHERE TO STAY: Stay at the Bobby Hotel , just minutes from the famed Printer’s Alley where you can get a cozy holiday tipple in a festive heated igloo on their rooftop before having dinner at the always tasty Mockingbird (don't skip the mac and cheese!) And in case you haven't quite finished your holiday shopping, head to Draper James , Reese Witherspoon's boutique with unrivaled Southern charm.

Carlsbad, CA

Who says you can't celebrate Christmas by the beach? For a holly jolly good time and wonderful Christmas vacations for families, visit Carlsbad, California's seven miles of coastline and sparkling beaches. San Diego's North County boasts gorgeous weather but fewer crowds, making this an ideal holiday getaway. Celebrations and events include Carlsbad Village Night of Lights, the village Tree Lighting Ceremony, and a skydiving Santa at Omni La Costa Resort during the Tree Lighting.

WHERE TO STAY: The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa hosts a series of holiday family nights, including Holly Trolley rides, sledding, train and Ferris wheel rides, spiked hot chocolate, letters to Santa, and face painting elves.

Taos, New Mexico

In the so-called Soul of the Southwest, Taos, New Mexico throws a month-long celebration called Yuletide in Taos, paying homage to the city's unique blend of cultures. Events perfect for couples include the Yuletide Caroling and Tree Lighting ceremony, lights along historic Ledoux Street known as the Lighting of Ledoux, a Christmas Eve Procession at Taos Pueblo with bonfires, rifle salutes, and the Procession of the Virgin.

WHERE TO STAY: Southwestern-flavored El Monte Sagrado Taos Spa and Resort is located on sacred grounds, and features an indoor waterfall and a destination spa.

New York City

The city that never sleeps has something for everybody during the Christmas season. Stop by the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, looming over Wollman Rink. Other can't-miss events and celebrations during Christmas include the window displays at classic department stories like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales, and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Just note: NYC establishments require proof of vaccination.

WHERE TO STAY: Steps from both Columbus Circle and open-air Central Park, well-located and uber-chic The Hudson Hotel is both wonderful for couples and singles—and also surprisingly affordable.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio's famed River Walk is especially gorgeous during the temperate holidays, when the river is lined with Christmas lights and the highs are in the mid-60s. Guests will be wowed by the two million-plus lights at the San Antonio Zoo and the 9 million lights at SeaWorld, while other events include the Ford Holiday River Parade, Holidays in Bloom at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, El Merkadito Puro Feliz Navidad on Historic Market Square, authentic tamale making at the annual La Gran Tamalada, a Hanukkah boat parade, and arts and crafts at the German-inspired Kristkindlmarkt.

WHERE TO STAY: Family-friendly La Cantera Resort & Spa is brightly festooned with lights and decor all season. Guests will enjoy a tall, lighted tree in Plaza San Saba, carolers singing from the balcony, and s'mores by the fire pit.

London, England

There's a reason London is front and center in so many Christmas movies: it positively glows during the holidays. Sprawling Hyde Park features an outdoor Winter Wonderland, including scores of rides, an ice rink, and a circus.

WHERE TO STAY: Close to the famed Christmas markets and the iconic Harrods lights is the charming 11 Cadogan Gardens . Otherwise, while the rooms tend to be small, Citizen M hotels offer great, affordable accommodations and are located throughout the city. Fancy a quaint Christmas vacation for families in the countryside? Consider visiting the royally-approved Berkshires, only 45 minutes but a world away from downtown London. Stay at festive and family-friendly Coworth Park , where Prince Harry slept the night before his marriage to Duchess Meghan, the Queen has taken tea, Duchess Kate has watched polo, and Christmas activities abound. Or for an old-fashioned cozy Christmas, complete with a decadent afternoon tea by roaring fires, carolers, and plenty of festive libations, consider a short trip to West Sussex for a stay at the Spread Eagle (one of England's oldest coaching inns) or the charming and tranquil Ockenden Manor. While both are on the pricier side, they'll make you feel like you've stepped into the The Crown .

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City is less sin and more sensational at the holidays, when it transforms into a festive wonderland that both singles and couples will love. Visual extravaganzas include the 12 foot x 7 foot x 13 foot edible Gingerbread House at ARIA—complete with lights, holiday pastries, and hot chocolate—and the Bellagio's famous yearly Holiday Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. This season's display includes a 42-foot tall holiday tree, carnation polar bears, giant ornaments, and elves. Other highlights include the Glittering Lights drive-through at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, downtown's new Circa Resort & Casino, and AREA15, a new multi-purpose experiential entertainment complex.

WHERE TO STAY: Located in the center of The Strip, ARIA Resort and Casino has an enviable location walking distance from numerous resorts, tram access, family- and tech-friendly rooms and suites, and hot spot restaurants like Catch, Jean-Georges Steakhouse, and Carbone.

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Obama-favorite getaway Martha's Vineyard enjoys a yearly must-visit festive celebration called Christmas in Edgartown, decking out the former whaling village in lights and cheer. Events include the Edgartown Lighthouse lighting, a Christmas parade, caroling, and horse and carriage rides. And, of course, it wouldn't be Christmas in Massachusetts without a Chowder Festival.

WHERE TO STAY: The landmark Harbor View Hotel has presided over Martha's Vineyard for 120 years. Recently resorted and redesigned, the historic stay is true to its name with sweeping views of the harbor, and comfortable, well-appointed rooms.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Known as Christmas City, USA, and easily one of the country's most festive cities, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania shines during the holidays. Guests can enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, see the country's only live advent calendar, explore the German-inspired Christkindlmarket and Weihnachtsmarkt, and view mini nativity scenes known as putzes.

WHERE TO STAY: Historic Hotel Bethlehem features more than 35,000 Christmas lights on dozens of trees, 36 wreaths, two life-size nutcrackers, and a gingerbread house in the fashion of the hotel itself.

Palos Verdes, California

Overlooking LA sits its best-kept secret, the Palos Verdes Peninsul—only half an hour from downtown, but with the worlds-away feeling of the Italian or the French Riviera. Nearby Christmas events in this cliffside escape include the Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights in Torrance, the Holiday Parade of Lights, and a Candlelight Christmas Concert at Wayfarer's Chapel, the so-called "Glass Church" designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son.

WHERE TO STAY: Destination resort Terranea overlooks the Pacific Ocean with more than 360 rooms, suites, bungalows, casitas, and villas—many with ocean views—and nine dining options spread over 102 acres. During the holidays, guests can celebrate Hanukkah dinner at catalina kitchen, enjoy a five-course Christmas feast at marsel, decorate a gingerbread house, and enjoy crafting and music during the annual tree lighting ceremony.

Sea Island, Georgia

For a Southern-style Christmas, look no further than the luxurious barrier island of Sea Island, Georgia. A charming coastal retreat, Sea Island is supremely family-friendly and chockablock with events and celebrations at Christmastime. Visitors can expect merrymaking like storytime with Santa's elves, a life-size gingerbread cottage, a reindog parade and children's Christmas party at the Beach Club, and family-style Christmas Eve dinner in the Cloister Ballroom.

WHERE TO STAY: The Cloister at Sea Island is an elegant retreat with the very best of Southern hospitality, featuring Georgia's only Forbes Five Star restaurant, a beach club with five miles of private beach, scores of activities like a hawk walk and clay pigeon shooting. Golf lovers can opt for the Lodge at Sea Island, the resort’s 43-room English-style manor which puts you up close and personal with the world-renowned pros.

Headshot of Nadine Jolie Courtney

Nadine Jolie Courtney is a lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Town & Country , Robb Report , and Angeleno ; a graduate of Barnard College, her fourth book, All-American Muslim Girl , was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2019. She lives in Santa Monica, California, where she posts too many photos of her daughter on Instagram.

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The 20 best places to go for Christmas

From classic festive getaways to Scrooge-friendly destinations to escape, these are the world’s greatest places to spend Christmas

Ed Cunningham

The most magical time of the year has a habit of transforming destinations around the world: cities get decked out in dazzling decorations, streets teem with local traditions and squares are taken over by pop-up festive markets.

That said, some destinations are great to visit at Christmas for precisely the opposite reason: because you might not even realise it’s Christmas at all. Who hasn’t sometimes wanted to hibernate in the sun until the madness is over? 

And so, when considering the best destinations to visit at Christmas, we haven’t just included places with quirky traditions or an unmissable festive atmosphere - there's plenty of Scrooge-appropriate destinations on here too. Dive into our festive travel list below and you’re guaranteed to find somewhere great to spend the season. 

RECOMMENDED: 💝The best Christmas markets to visit in Europe and worldwide ❄️ The best places to travel in December 🎄The 50 best Christmas movies of all time 🎊The 65 best Christmas songs of all time

At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines . This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines .

An email you’ll actually love

The best places to go for Christmas

New York City, USA

1.  New York City, USA

Best for:  shopaholics 

From the dreamy romance of ice skating at the Rockefeller to Broadway’s dazzling festive shows, there are plenty of reasons why the Big Apple has such a rep at Christmastime. NYC is a classic festive choice and, with its selection of department stores, markets and bazaars, there remains nowhere quite like it when it comes to shopping, either.

Read more: The best Christmas things to do in NYC

Lapland, Finland

2.  Lapland, Finland

Best for: wannabe Santa elves 

There are few destinations as legendarily Christmassy as Rovaniemi, which, as the capital of Lapland, is also the official hometown of Santa Claus. But Rovaniemi isn’t all about Santa. Once you’re done exploring Santa Claus Village and getting reindeer rides about town, be sure to sweat out your worries with a festive sauna – a Finnish Christmas tradition.

Edinburgh, Scotland

3.  Edinburgh, Scotland

Best for: Christmas markets

Sure, each city centre twinkles with lights and exudes wafts of mulled wine throughout December, but few do it as well as Edinburgh. East Princes Street Gardens dazzles every year with a whole host of market stalls, festive food and fairground rides, plus plenty of whisky stands for a warming Christmassy bev. Sticking around for New Year's? The city's Hogmanay celebrations are a world-renowned way to launch 2024. 

New Orleans, USA

4.  New Orleans, USA

Best for: an unconventional Christmas

New Orleans is packed full of alternative Christmas traditions, from its bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi and charmingly redecorated streetcars to its lively carol concerts and glam AF hotel lobby decorations. With daytime temperatures hitting about 17C, it’s also that bit warmer than much of the rest of the continental US at this time of year.

Reykjavik, Iceland

5.  Reykjavik, Iceland

Best for: the lads!

No, not those kinds of lads. We’re talking about the ‘Yule Lads’, 13 folkloric dudes who traditionally leave gifts in boots for Iceland ’s well-behaved kids. Christmastime is also just a rather lovely time to visit Reykjavik, with the city boasting markets and ice-skating – as well as, thanks to its extra-long nights, great opportunities for viewing the Northern Lights .

London, UK

6.  London, UK

Best for: traditional romantics 

Festive cheer sweeps through London sometime in early November and doesn’t let up. By the time the end of December comes around, Christmas vibes hit a fever pitch: the already-very-romantic UK capital finds itself lined by fir trees, twinkling with Christmas lights and sound-tracked by jangly festive tunes. Aye, it’s exactly as magical as it sounds.

Read more: The best Christmas lights in London

Nuremburg, Germany

7.  Nuremburg, Germany

Best for:  Weihnachtsmarkt fanatics

Germany ’s Weihnachtsmarkts (traditional Christmas markets) are famous the world over – and Nuremburg’s is one of the country’s oldest, biggest and best. Notes of gingerbread and mulled wine waft through a mini city of wooden stalls teeming with candy canes, scrummy lebkuchen and handmade decorations.

Sydney, Australia

8.  Sydney, Australia

Best for: Christmas dinner on the barbie

Looking for somewhere that goes full-throttle for Chrimbo but isn’t so, erm, wintry ? Australia ’s likely your best bet. Sydney has all the festive lights, trees and even ice skating of a typical Christmas-celebrating city, but with toasty average temperature highs of 25C. Don’t knock an Xmas dinner cooked on a beachside barbeque until you’ve tried it.

Bruges, Belgium

9.  Bruges, Belgium

Best for: chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

Turkey, mince pies, and pannetone are all the festive foods that might spring to mind at first, but it wouldn't be Christmas without chocolate. And where's the best place to go for that? Well, it has to be Bruges - from the divinely rich hot chocolates on offer at the market to the traditional Yule log, this little city has bags of Christmassy confection to fill those stockings, or to gorg on under the twinkly lights. 

Tokyo, Japan

10.  Tokyo, Japan

Best for: the culturally disconnected 

With no public holiday and everything open as usual, Japan doesn’t really celebrate Christmas – but that’s also its charm. The country is nicely disconnected from the rest of the world’s Xmas mania but still has tonnes of festive stuff to see and do, from Tokyo’s gorgeous winter illuminations to the annual Japanese tradition of getting KFC on Christmas day.

Caracas, Venezuela

11.  Caracas, Venezuela

Best for: religious roller-skaters

Think you’ve got a neat ride when it comes to heading down to church (if that’s your jam, anyway) during the Christmas period? Check out the locals in Caracas. From December 16-24 before 8am, roads are closed in the Venezuelan capital so that churchgoers can roller-skate to mass. It’s also common for rollerbladers to dress up in Santa gear... does it get much cooler than that?

Marrakech, Morocco

12.  Marrakech, Morocco

Best for: festive escapees 

Christmas isn’t celebrated by the vast majority of people in Marrakech, making it perfect for escaping conventional festive vibes. The Moroccan city also isn’t anywhere near as hot in December as it is in the summertime (hitting highs of 20C without dipping too low at night), so exploring its medina, souks, mosques and riads is even more pleasant.


13.  Greenland

Best for: adventurous eaters

The festive period in Greenland is best known for its food: specifically mattak (essentially a strip of whale skin) and kiviak (a kind of fermented seabird). Both are a delicacy to natives, but they’re likely a bit more, er, stomach-testing to the rest of us.

Phuket, Thailand

14.  Phuket, Thailand

Best for: clubbers and beachside chillers

Sure, if you really want to, you can have a perfectly Christmassy time in Phuket. The island has plenty of carol concerts and festive dinners if you so want them. However, it’s an ideal place to get away from all the usual festivities, too. As a largely Buddhist country, Thailand doesn’t really celebrate Christmas – leaving you free to chill out at a beachside bar or go clubbing as if it’s any normal day of the year.

Prague, Czech Republic

15.  Prague, Czech Republic

Best for: aesthetes

With its awesome gothic churches and winding baroque streets, Prague is one of Europe’s most dazzlingly pretty cities at any time of the year. But at Christmastime? Well, the Czech capital somehow gets even prettier. The key attractions here are the markets, which take over the likes of Prague Castle and Wenceslas Square with local specialities such as medovina (honey wine), rybí polévka (traditional fish soup) and perníčky (spicy gingerbread).

Vienna, Austria

16.  Vienna, Austria

Best for: total festive immersion

Whether you’re watching Krampuses (a sort of nightmarish Austrian anti-Santa) roam the streets, munching on toffee apples at one of the city’s many Christmas markets or simply soaking in the very, very pretty street decorations, we challenge you not to get totally swept up in Vienna’s all-encompassing Chrimbo vibes.

Cape Town, South Africa

17.  Cape Town, South Africa

Best for: sun bunnies

The beauty of the southern hemisphere in December is that the climate is precisely the opposite of the chilly north. With its long days of uninterrupted sunshine and temperatures in the high 30Cs, Cape Town offers a totally different Chrimbo vibe. Festive picnic atop Table Mountain or in the lush Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, anyone?


18.  Singapore

Best for: light display fanatics

With main thoroughfare Orchard Road hosting a celebration on Xmas Eve complete with countdown and fireworks, Christmas in Singapore has a unique New Year’s Eve feel about it. Most legendary, however, are the city’s light displays. From the Christmas Wonderland in the Gardens by the Bay to the light shows at Vivocity, Singapore sure knows how to put on a mesmerising electrical show.  

Guatemala City, Guatemala

19.  Guatemala City, Guatemala

Best for: demon banishers

There’s something very purifying about burning stuff – and Guatemalans know that so well that they’ve made a tradition out of it. Every year on December 7, Guatemala celebrates the ‘Día del Diablo’ (or ‘Day of the Devil’), kicking off the Christmas period by burning an effigy of the devil. The act is intended to symbolise the cleansing of bad spirits.

Colmar, France

20.  Colmar, France

Best for: Christmas dreamers

Even in the height of summer, Colmar, a thirteenth-century town in the eastern French region of Alsace, looks rather a lot like it’s made out of gingerbread. Add a dusting of snow, some tasteful Christmas lights and a characterful festive market? You’ve got one of the world’s most picture-perfect Xmas destinations.

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best christmas getaways montage big sky

These 17 Christmas Getaways Feel Like a Home Away From Home

From New England ski towns to charming European manors, these festive getaways are perfect for enjoying the holidays away from home this year.

Asheville, North Carolina

vertical shot of a biltmore and garden at night with lights during christmas

The Biltmore Estate comes alive at Christmastime with thousands of twinkling lights, trees and decorations throughout the stately home. There's also an evening candlelight experience with a crackling fire, wine tastings and live music. Stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn to take full advantage of their iconic spa and admire their yearly holiday gingerbread displays.

Charleston, South Carolina

dewberry hotel lewis miller

Charleston is a special place to visit any time of year, but it's even more magical at Christmastime. The Holy City takes the holiday season seriously, with its annual Holiday Festival of Lights, the Sound of Charleston concert, Parade of Boats, and our personal favorite: holiday walking tours of swoon-worthy historic homes. Plus, it's one of America's great food destinations, so you can feel good about outsourcing holiday meals this year.

This year, Charleston's iconic Dewberry Hotel partnered with floral and event designer Lewis Miller to deck out its lobby bar and Christmas tree. The gemstone-colored arrangements were inspired by Majolica ceramics, and you can spot hidden treasures like butterflies and coral among the branches.

Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda

cambridge beaches bermuda

The 86 cottages at Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda were recently redesigned by Kellyann Hee (formerly of Soho House). They are all positioned along the coastline, offering privacy and unparalleled ocean views. This holiday season, Cambridge Beaches will be offering two festive packages: "Family Winter Wonderland" and "Romantic Winter Wonderland." Both experiences include suite accommodations, Christmas Day brunch, a photo session, and dinner at the Sunken Harbor Club. The Family Winter Wonderland package also includes a cottage filled with holiday decorations and special gifts under the Christmas tree, while the Romantic Winter Wonderland package includes a couples massage at the spa.

Paris, France

le chalet du plaza athénée

Paris is always a dream during the holiday season, and this year is no exception. Le Chalet du Plaza Athénée recently unveiled a new ice skating rink and Alpine-inspired fondue experience in partnership with Veuve Clicquot.

Soufrière, St. Lucia

sugar beach viceroy st lucia

December is the perfect time to escape from the frigid winter weather and migrate to the Eastern Caribbean. Temperatures in St. Lucia average between the high 70's and low 80's in December, so swimming, snorkeling, and boating are all still on the docket. Take in the breathtaking scenery and diverse landscape of St. Lucia—including volcano-fed sulphur springs, lush rainforests, and verdant pitons emerging from crystal-clear Caribbean waters.

Stay at Sugar Beach to strike the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. This Viceroy resort is situated in an ideal spot on the island that's convenient to local attractions (such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed pitons) and boasts incredible amenities such as a private white-sand beach, delectable on-site restaurants, and a luxe spa. Pro tip: There's also a fantastic snorkeling spot full of tropical fish a few yards off the hotel's private beach. Whether you crave an action-packed trip or simply want to sit by the pool with a cold rum cocktail in hand, there's something for everyone at this beautiful property.

Adare, Ireland

adare manor ireland

Ireland is a magical destination any time of year, but the holiday season adds an extra layer of charm that simply can't be replicated. Make your way to Adare, a charming village in County Limerick situated about 2.5 hours outside of Dublin. This quaint village was founded in the 13th century and is filled with history and heritage. There, you'll find charming thatched cottages with red doors that also function as boutiques, coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants. Take a tour of Adare's Desmond Castle, a 13th-century splendor, or the nearby Bunratty Castle, which is considered the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland.

For the ultimate holiday getaway, stay at Adare Manor . This beautiful estate is surrounded by 840 acres of pristine parkland where you can take leisurely winter walks in the countryside or opt for an experience like falconry or archery. Afterwards, wind down at the hotel's on-property spa with their signature treatment, Coladh Samh (pronounced "culla sauv"), which is named after the Gaelic phrase to wish someone a good night's sleep. It includes a relaxation massage and cooling Irish Ogham stone treatment to help you snooze like a baby (perfect for sleep-deprived travelers). At night, snuggle up with a cocktail by the crackling fireplace or visit the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, The Oak Room, for a culinary experience you won't soon forget.

Budapest, Hungary

view of city during christmas period at night

If you're looking for a truly special European getaway, head to Budapest this holiday season. At Christmastime, the Hungarian capital is filled with twinkling lights, festive trees, and beautiful holiday decor. Budapest also boasts two Christmas markets where you can experience food vendors and craftspeople selling traditional Hungarian goods, take a twirl on the ice rink, and attend local holiday shows.

To properly take in all of the holiday festivities, stay at the Matild Palace which is conveniently located near city center. The hotel was built in 1902 during the Belle Epoque era and is an architectural dream. Stay in beautifully appointed rooms, indulge in luxurious on-site spa treatments, or check out a contemporary cabaret show. While you're there, don't miss the opportunity to dine at the hotels' restaurants, which were conceptualized by Michelin-starred chef Wolfgang Puck. The hotel's Matild Cafe and Cabaret also recently underwent a meticulous five-year renovation to help restore it to its original grandeur from 1901.

Woodstock, Vermont

best christmas getaways vermont twin farms

Woodstock is a charming ski village that served as a passion project for Laurance Rockefeller, the businessman, philanthropist, and conservationist who helped restore the town after falling in love with it and one of Woodstock's citizens. Rockefeller and his wife, Mary French, helped bring small businesses to the crumbling downtown area and restored the rows of buildings to their former glory. Today, Woodstock is a top destination in New England and an idyllic place to spend a cozy holiday either exploring the white-blanketed beauty for yourself or from inside with a cup of coffee by the fireplace.

Just outside of Woodstock lies Barnard, a 260-year-old mountain town that houses the state's most luxurious destination: Twin Farms . The adults-only, all-inclusive resort offers something for everyone: skiing and other outdoor winter activities, a fabulous spa, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, and a variety of seasonal programming that is sure to delight enthusiasts of all kinds. The 300-acre property is also beautifully adorned for Christmas, putting guests into the holiday spirit as soon as they arrive.

The Bahamas

rosewood baha mar six bedroom villa with pool

Dreaming of warmer weather, sky-high palm trees, and living on island time? Nassau is easy to get to from most major airports these days and certainly worth any effort to spend a long weekend or more savoring its endless miles of pristine beaches. Set sail or just soak up the sun this holiday season for a welcomed change of pace.

Rosewood Baha Mar is a perfect place to unwind, get inspired, and find adventure this season. The resort's two villas (Oceanside Six-Bedroom Villa, shown here) are a great option if you still want to feel at home while also having a stunning change of scenery. Guests never have to leave the property with all the dining options (including a new Daniel Boulud restaurant), activities, wellness programming, and seasonal events going on all December long.

Washington, Connecticut

cece barfield home at the mayflower inn spa

Enjoy a quintessential New England Christmas in the charming Litchfield Hills located in central Connecticut. The whole town lights up for the holiday season and is full of activities, from snowy carriage rides at Wood Acres Farm to West Cornwall's Twelve Days of Christmas, which is a village-wide holiday art display put on by local creatives. Plus, you can't miss all the amazing antiques shopping here.

Cozy up at the editor-adored Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection , which transforms into a whimsical winter wonderland every year.

Aspen, Colorado

cable car moving up over forested snow covered mountains, aspen, colorado, usa

Aspen is a haven for ski bunnies, art aficionados, and wellness enthusiasts to pursue their passions amid a stunning landscape. It's also a fabulous place to enjoy even a small part of the holiday season. The 12 Days of Aspen festival leading up to Christmas offers ice skating, concerts, and family events galore, while Ullr Nights offers nighttime alpine roller coasters and s'mores by the bonfire. And you won't want to miss the town's impressive food and beverage scene.

If you're looking for a place to gather the whole family for the holidays, consider Cloud Manor , a luxury vacation rental from onefinestay . This spectacular chalet is a private, gated home at the base of Aspen Mountain that boasts spectacular views, close proximity to the best ski runs, a stunning balcony and hot tub, wine cellar, and plenty of common areas to unite the family over meals, games, or just sweet conversation.

Hot Springs, Virginia

us lifestyle resort

The quaint town of Hot Springs lies in the idyllic Shenandoah Valley and makes an excellent refuge from Christmas crowds. The town has recently opened a new winery and brewery, and the idyllic Main Street is the gathering spot for the annual Hot Springs Christmas Parade.

At the center of it all is the historic Homestead resort, which is a lovely place for the whole family to spend Christmas. The 18th-century property is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with Christmas spirit, from the jaw-dropping feasts to artisan craft classes and the beloved Homestead Holiday S'mores Express.

Salzburg, Austria

salzburg covered in snow, austria

Home to the world's most resplendent Christmas markets, Salzburg is an excellent destination for getting in the holiday spirit and reveling in the old-world glamour this historic city has to offer. UNESCO World Heritage Mirabell Palace hosts fabulous Christmas concerts while local chocolatiers offer out-of-this-world holiday goodies and artisans sell their crafts based on medieval traditions.

There's no better place to stay in Salzburg than Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel , housed in a charming building that dates back to the 15th century. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this luxurious property manages to feel like a second home, even if it's your first time visiting. An exceptional representation of Continental European hospitality, cuisine, and Christmas spirit, are all sure to cement a place in your heart for this beautiful place.

Palm Beach, Florida

the breakers palm beach

One of our favorite seaside escapes is a delightful place to enjoy Christmas this year. Giant Christmas-tree-shaped sand sculptures, boat parades, and holiday shopping in a historic lighthouse are just a few of the unique experiences offered in Palm Beach during the holidays. Plus, you can't beat the fabulous shopping and perfect weather during December in South Florida.

The Breakers Palm Beach is the perfect place to wake up Christmas morning, as it is consistently voted one of the best hotels to enjoy holiday decor. The breathtaking views, coastal-inspired suites, and wide variety of family-friendly activities will have the whole clan jonesing to spend every holiday here, Plus, The Breakers offers a famously fabulous Christmas morning brunch in The Circle ballroom to start the day off right.

Big Sky, Montana

best christmas getaways montage big sky

This famous ski destination near Yellowstone National Park makes for an idyllic escape at the end of the year. From snowmobiling to sleigh rides, there's always something to do outdoors in this winter wonderland. Plus, Big Sky is home to a charming downtown area that's full of local shops, restaurants, and breweries to enjoy on your rest days. It gets all decked out for Christmas and serves as a main destination for many of the town's holiday events from art walks to film festivals.

Enjoy your snow-capped stay at the new Montage Big Sky . This addition to the Montage portfolio is sure to dazzle with sumptuously appointed interiors that reflect the surroundings, ski-in/ski-out access, a 10,000 square foot spa, and six dining experiences. Nearly 6,000 acres of prime, ski-able land is all yours for the taking for a lovely White Christmas.

St. Vincent & The Grenadines

best christmas getaways st vincent the grenadines mandarin oriental canouan beachfront

If the see-and-be-seen vibe of St. Barths that permeates during this time of year isn't speaking to you, venture farther south this holiday season to enjoy the laidback yet lavish getaway St. Vincent & The Grenadines offers. Immortalized by Princess Margaret, this gorgeous Caribbean island offers an idyllic escape and a rum punch-laded Christmas celebration.

Spend your holiday at one of Mandarin Oriental Canouan 's spectacular villa properties that offer indoor-outdoor living at its finest. These two- to four- bedroom homes are perfect for spending a week with family by a private infinity pool overlooking the pink sand beach with the assistance of a dedicated butler service. Now that's our kind of way to spend the holidays.

Leatherhead, England

best christmas getaways surrey england beaverbrook estate

Just 20 miles from London lies the lush, rolling hills and laid-back lifestyle of Surrey, which offers all the bucolic beauty of the Cotswolds with close proximity to one of our favorite cities. All of the villages in the county adorn their historic buildings for the holidays and host all kinds of events from festive markets to ceremonial tree lightings.

Make the historic town of Leatherhead at the base of Surrey Hills your home base with a fabulous stay at Beaverbrook Estate . The 1866 mansion has a rich history and that can be felt throughout the 470-acre property. Guests can stay in the main house or in one of the two sumptuously appointed homes off the original estate for more seclusion. An ice rink with spectacular views, dining experiences inspired by age-old Christmas traditions, and plenty of thoughtful touches will make this sprawling estate feel like home this holiday season.

Lauren Wicks is a freelance writer and editor based in Birmingham, Alabama. Before going on her own, Lauren worked for brands such as VERANDA, EatingWell, and Cooking Light , and she covers all things lifestyle from interior design and luxury travel to wine and wellness.

Headshot of Jaime Milan

Jaime Milan (she/her) is the deputy digital editor for VERANDA, where she writes about design, architecture, gardens, jewelry, fashion, travel, wine, news and trends. In her spare time, she can be found shopping at the antique store, cooking, gardening, or teaching her mini Australian Shepherd, Gumbo, new tricks. Follow her on Instagram at @jaimemmilan. 

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23 Best Christmas Getaways That You Have to Visit This Holiday Season

It'll be a family trip you'll remember forever!

christmas getaway

To help you decide where to go for your 2023 Christmas vacation, we've compiled a list of dream destinations that are sure to earn a high spot on your holiday bucket list. Whether you're traveling with friends and family or flying solo, there are plenty of fun options here, including sandy and snowy getaways. If you don't want to travel far, you could take a family road trip to a traditional Christmas town or two (you know, the ones that look like they belong in a Hallmark Christmas movie ). Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you could easily hop a holiday flight to a charming European village, a snowy ski resort, or the sandy beaches of your dreams.

Whatever vibe you're feeling for your next holiday vacation, this list has got you covered. Take a look through these exciting ideas, and let us know in the comments where you and your loved ones are headed next!

Salt Lake City, Utah

best christmas getaway locations salt lake city

Salt Lake City is quite the entertaining city during the holidays! You can get a nice view of their extravagant Christmas display at the Grand America, get tickets to an annual viewing of The Nutcracker, and experience the Zoolights at Utah's Hogle Zoo!

WHERE TO STAY: You'll want to stay at The Grand America Hotel for a comforting experience as well as a beautiful view of the town's lights on Christmas! The hotel itself has many events planned on a weekly basis for your entertainment!

Key West, Florida

best christmas getaway locations key west

If you hate the cold, but absolutely love getting into the Christmas spirit—Key West is the place to go! The warm Florida city decks out its popular tourist areas with some festive decor, and hosts an annual holiday tour, a holiday car show, and a holiday light show!

WHERE TO STAY: Casa Mariana has its own private beach! So, when you've spent the day out and about, you know you can come back to a relaxing stay at a nice and comfy hotel.

Rovaniemi, Finland

best christmas getaway locations rovaniemi finland

If you think about it, Rovaniemi is literally Santa's hometown! Okay, we're joking, but this is exactly where you'll find Santa Claus Village and SantaPark, where a Santa lookalike puts on a show for all the townspeople, reindeer and all! It also helps that Rovaniemi is built just like a Christmas village! (Also, you'll probably be able to see the northern lights if you plan it right.)

WHERE TO STAY: Get this—you can actually stay at the Santa Claus Village ! You'll get all sorts of accommodations, like rooms with specialized windows that allow you to see the northern lights in full view, and services that give you the full holiday treatment (like hot chocolate making!).

Vail, Colorado

vail colorado

The Drummond family has spent countless vacations in Vail, Colorado. They celebrated Christmas there last year. It's home to Ree's favorite chapel , along with plenty of skiing and a beautiful ski village. Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Vail is perfect for adventure seekers or those just looking to sip on hot cocoa.

WHERE TO STAY: The Lodge at Vail was the first hotel built in the quaint winter village. It remains a staple for shopping, dining, and riding on Vail Mountain’s Gondola One. The lodge also houses a relaxing spa for those who want to unwind after hitting the slopes.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

best christmas getaway locations jackson hole wyoming

Love to ski or snowboard in stunning locations? Well, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is calling your name! The area has tons of holiday events for the whole family, including fireworks to ring in the new year! Plus, the downtown area is always beautifully decorated for the holidays.

WHERE TO STAY: The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has all the slopes, lodges, and snow you need for your perfect mountain escape! Whether you're planning a trip for two or your entire entourage, the resort has plenty of options for lodging.

Woodstock, Vermont

best christmas getaway locations woodstock vermont

If there's one place that just *screams* Christmas, it's Woodstock, Vermont! The town's festive horse rides, colorful street lighting, and charming Christmas shops make Woodstock look like it came right out of a Hallmark movie. It's perfect for families looking for a laidback mini escape.

WHERE TO STAY: Woodstock Inn & Resort is the most obvious answer. "Vermont's most beautiful address" is located right off the town's main street, making it easy for you to explore the heart of Woodstock.

Adare, Ireland

best christmas getaway locations adare

Adare is known as "Ireland's prettiest village" and it's easy to see why. The thatched cottages alone will charm you to no end! And if you want to visit Dublin while you're there, it's only about a two hour commute to the popular city.

WHERE TO STAY: The five-star hotel Adare Manor will make you feel like European royalty. It's situated on hundreds of acres and right by a river and a picture-perfect village.

Beaver Creek, Colorado

best christmas getaway locations beaver creek colorado

Beaver Creek is home to some of the country's best mountains for skiing. It's also known for its fine dining and family-friendly activities. In other words, this ski town has it all!

WHERE TO STAY: The Osprey offers all the peace and quiet you need for a low-key holiday. The views will make you want to return year after year.

Savannah, Georgia

best christmas getaway locations savannah

You probably think of this popular Southern city as a summer destination. But it can be just as lovely for a Christmas getaway. The mild winter temperatures mean you can comfortably explore the area's architecture, historical sites, and nature.

WHERE TO STAY: Unlimited champagne? Yes, please! Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah offers just that and a beautiful rustic location for its guests.

Budapest, Hungary

best christmas getaway locations budapest

Love looking at holiday lights? No one does them like Budapest! This beautiful European city is also known for its many Christmas markets, holiday shows, and traditional food vendors.

WHERE TO STAY: The Matlid Palace is one of those places that doesn't seem real but is. Offering a beautiful view of the city, it will make your stay one to remember.

Washington, D.C.

best christmas getaway locations washington dc

America's capital has it all. There's so much history to be explored, plus plenty of shopping and fantastic restaurants.

WHERE TO STAY: The Ritz-Carlton , of course! It offers easy access to Washington, D.C.'s charm and plenty more luxurious perks.

Cape May, New Jersey

cape may, nj, usa april 22, 2006 christmas lights and decorations adorn a small boutique shop in cape may, new jersey

Couples and families alike will absolutely love a holiday trip down in Cape May! The town holds a Christmas parade December 1 and many of the historic homes and hotels around town are beautifully decorated for the holidays.

WHERE TO STAY: A trip to Cape May calls for a stay in Congress Hall . The beloved hotel has its own Christmas tree lighting, and hosts plenty of fun holiday activities like gingerbread house making!

Charleston, South Carolina

best christmas getaway locations charleston south carolina

Whatever you think you know about Charleston, erase that from your mind when it comes to Christmastime. The gorgeous city hosts an annual Festival of Lights, completely transforming the area into a winter wonderland (minus the freezing temperatures!) You can also explore the beautiful nearby beaches Charleston has to offer.

WHERE TO STAY: Zero George hotel is the perfect combination of historic and sophisticated. Plus, it's conveniently located near most of the town's Christmastime activities.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

best christmas getaway locations santa fe new mexico

Santa Fe's multicultural heritage shines even more brightly during the holidays. Come for the stunning Christmas lights, stay for the annual holiday party at the Palace of the Governors.

WHERE TO STAY: We love a hotel that knows how to celebrate Christmas. The lighting of the tree at the historic La Fonda on the Plaza hotel is a beautiful sight to behold.

Nashville, Tennessee

best christmas getaway locations nashiville tennessee

Music City for Christmas? We think yes! The Tennessee favorite goes *all* out for the holiday, just like you'd expect. There's no better place to have a honky-tonk holiday!

WHERE TO STAY: Say hello to this beauty! The Omni Nashville Hotel offers a perfect view of the city's tree lighting.

New York City

best christmas getaway locations new york city

Christmastime in the Big Apple sounds like an obvious choice. And it is for good reason! The city that never sleeps has endless options for commemorating the holiday, including ice skating, window shopping at Bloomingdales, and attending the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Plus, the annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting is easily the most famous in the country.

WHERE TO STAY: There are so many great options, but The Peninsula is hard to beat! The hotel gets all decked out for the season, adding to the already magical experience.

Las Vegas, Nevada

best christmas getaway locations las vegas nevada

Las Vegas, simply put, can be anything you want it to be if you have a big enough imagination. That's why it's the perfect spot for those looking for a fun escape.

WHERE TO STAY: ARIA Resort and Casino takes Christmas very seriously. Just look at this festive display!

Big Sky, Montana

best christmas getaway locations big sky

Big Sky is a dream come true for anyone who wants to feel like they're on top of the world. Enjoy the beauty of the Rockies while you ski, hike, snowshoe, and sled.

WHERE TO STAY: If you're looking for a snowy Christmas, you'll find just that at the Montage Big Sky . Your view will be the wondrous white mountains, where you'll probably end up skiing the next day.

Quebec City, Canada

best christmas getaway locations quebec canada

The magic that this city produces happens year-round. But come Christmastime, a little more flair is felt. Plan a visit where you'll learn about Quebec City's fascinating history, take in the European architecture, and enjoy the delicious delicacies.

WHERE TO STAY: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has it all. Even if you didn't leave the resort, you'd still have access to a warming pool, ski lifts, and plenty of restaurants.

Edinburgh, Scotland

best christmas getaway locations edinburgh scotland

Edinburgh hosts a six-week Christmas festival, so of course it made this list! This trip would be great for a family or a group of friends, as there is an amusement park, loads of food, and many different events that show off the culture of Scotland.

WHERE TO STAY: The Scotsman Hotel will give you easy access to all of the fun and excitement Edinburgh has to offer.

Headshot of Josiah Soto

Josiah Soto is the assistant editor of news and social for The Pioneer Woman. He helps manage the website’s social channels, in addition to writing high-performing news and entertainment content daily. 

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Let's Roam Explorer

20 Christmas Vacation Ideas for Your Winter Getaway

We’ve put together a list of Christmas vacation ideas to help you start your planning. Whether you want to escape the cold weather or embrace it, we’ve got options!

trip ideas for christmas

The winter holidays are a perfect time to escape for a little while and take a vacation. There are plenty of incredible Christmas vacation ideas if you are looking to do something special this year for the holiday. Most people receive a little time off of work and kids get time off of school. Big family gatherings might be tough this year, so taking a vacation could be exactly what you need to celebrate the holidays.

We have put together a list of some of the best Christmas vacation ideas to help you start your planning. There are options if you want to escape the cold weather or if you want to embrace it and feel like you’re in the middle of the snowglobe. Browse the list and see what sticks out as the best option for you this year and Christmas getaways in the future as well.

Schedule a Stop for a Scavenger Hunt

While you’re traveling this holiday season, make a pitstop in one of our 400+ cities and go on a scavenger hunt ! Each participant is assigned a role and everyone can compete to top the leaderboard. Learn about local landmarks, take memorable pics, and race to make it from start to finish before anyone else. It’s a fantastic way to spend some time during a stop, and tickets can be redeemed anywhere!

Experience Christmas in New York City

One of the most magical places to celebrate Christmas is in the Big Apple. New York City goes all out for the holiday with intricate holiday window displays, festive light shows, and holiday markets in each city park. Christmas time in the city that never sleeps has enough to keep you busy for weeks.

Bryant Park is absolutely dreamy with an ice skating rink in the middle surrounded by lit trees and stands with handcrafted gifts and incredible food. Central Park will either have the last of the fall leaves or the first hints of snow for the winter. Enjoy the year-round lights of Times Square and catch a Broadway show or the famous Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. The Nutcracker is at the New York ballet every December. Get some shopping done on 5th Avenue and definitely make a plan to get to the tree at Rockefeller Center. If you want something a little more off the beaten path, check out the holiday train show at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.

The list goes on and on of the holiday celebrations in NYC. Don’t miss the nightly Empire State Building light shows throughout the holiday season. And don’t forget the big New Years’ Eve celebration if you’re feeling brave and ready to ring in the new year with thousands of strangers.

Play All Day at Disneyworld in Orlando

Disney holds nothing back when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Consider a trip to Orlando, Florida for your Christmas vacation this year. There are so many different resorts to choose from on the property. You can have your own safari at the Animal Kingdom Lodge or pretend you’re on a pacific island at the Polynesian Village Resort. 

With four theme parks to choose from within Disney, plus some other world-famous parks in the area, there is so much to do and fun for the whole family. Each Disney park has its own schedule of parades and activities that are Christmas-related. See Mickey Mouse dressed up as Santa and definitely plan to watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom at least one night. Epcot puts together the International Festival of the Holidays which showcases different celebrations from around the world. 

Outside of the parks, you can take a self-guided tour of the different resorts to see their holiday decorations. Play a round of two at the miniature golf course that is Christmas-themed. Check out the Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs. Even with the sunshine and palm trees, you’ll feel like you’re completely immersed in the holiday spirit.

Little Bavaria in Leavenworth, Washington

Ever heard of Leavenworth ? It’s a small town located in the Cascade Mountains in Washington state with a population of fewer than 2,500 people. It’s about two hours from Seattle and has an incredible backdrop of the mountains. It’s a perfect Christmas vacation idea because the entire town is designed with Bavarian-styled buildings. You will feel like you were transported to a German town in the Alps. 

From Thanksgiving until the end of December, they host the Festival of Lights – Christmastown. The tiny town will make you feel like you are inside of a snowglobe. Eat at one of the incredible restaurants in the downtown area and do some shopping at the small shops. Plan a trip to the Reindeer Farm or one of the nearby wineries with incredible views.

The Post Hotel is an adults’ only hotel with a famous spa located right downtown and walkable to everything. You can also rent one of the many cabins in the surrounding forests and head to town when you need a little action.

Hit the Slopes in Colorado

Colorado is home to more mountains over 14,000 feet high than any other state in the lower 48 states and there are 32 different ski resorts in the state. You can reach most of the big resorts by flying into Denver and renting a car or taking the shuttles that are provided by the different resorts right from the airport.

How do you decide which resort to try? It all depends on what kind of skiing you are looking for. Vail is the largest resort in the state with 5,317 skiable acres. The Aspen area has multiple ski hills and is known as a celebrity hot spot during the holiday season. It’s the perfect spot if you want to be seen and enjoy some of the swanky spots for apres-ski. Breckenridge and Keystone have terrain for all levels. You can find rentals for equipment everywhere if you don’t have your own.

Get a little further away by visiting one of the smaller towns like Crested Butte or Telluride. You’ll have more space on those ski hills because they are less busy than the resorts off of Interstate 70. And if you want something closer to Denver, Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are both easy day trips. 

It doesn’t matter which Colorado ski resort you choose, the scenery is incredible and you’ll have a blast skiing or snowboarding and playing in the snow.

See the Nostalgic Christmas Story House in Cleveland

This may seem like a strange suggestion for a family vacation in December, but there is a special house located in Cleveland that fits perfectly with the Christmas holiday. A Christmas Story is a popular film that is shown on repeat Christmas Day. In Cleveland, you can visit the iconic house used in the film as Ralphie’s house and tour the museum across the street that houses many of the props and costumes from the movie. They even offer overnight stays at the home. 

In addition to that popular movie set, Cleveland is home to some great attractions. Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and enjoy the beautiful lakefront area. There is a lot of German influence in Cleveland, so you can enjoy some incredible Christmas markets set up in the German-style as well as some incredible breweries. Go ice skating, see the Christmas lights and enjoy this friendly Ohio city for your Christmas vacation.

Experience the Flavors of Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico is famous for its flavors and food. If you’ve visited before, you’ve probably heard of ordering your enchiladas “Christmas-style” which means you’re getting both the red and the green sauce. It’s worth adding this to your list of Christmas vacation ideas for the food alone, but there are so many Christmas festivities to enjoy as well.

The historic churches are all decorated for the holiday and you can attend Midnight Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi. The art museums host different events like the annual Christmas open house at the New Mexico Museum of Art where you can see the Baumann Marionettes. The botanical garden puts on a holiday light show called Glow each year with thousands of lights installed throughout the park. 

The main event takes place on Christmas Eve. The Canyon Road Farolito Walk is attended by locals and visitors. They shut down the streets and line the sidewalks with Farolitos, which are paper bags filled with votive candles and sand. People sing Christmas carols and sip hot chocolate or cider and enjoy the festive spirit together as a community.

Take a Road Trip Through California

Sunny California is a great Christmas vacation destination. The state is giant and has so much to offer, so why not take a road trip to multiple places? Whether you have a long weekend or a few weeks, there are plenty of different itineraries to fit any schedule.

Southern California has San Diego with beautiful beaches just over the border from Mexico. You can visit the national parks with desert landscapes or lounge by the pool in Palm Springs. Los Angeles is a popular destination as well with all the Hollywood glamour and attractions to explore.

In Central California, enjoy the wine country around Santa Barbara. Visit the Danish town of Solvang which goes all out with holiday decorations. The coastline of Big Sur is breathtaking if you want to stay near the ocean, but the Sierra Nevada mountains are incredible as well. Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia national parks are great places to explore year-round even if not everything is open. 

Northern California is home to the Redwood forest, Tahoe and its famous ski resorts and beautiful blue lake, and San Francisco . You can even spend a day or two sipping wine in Napa or Sonoma Valley.

We have listed just a few of the many places you could visit on a California road trip. If you’re looking to cover a lot in a short amount of time, this might just be the best of the Christmas vacation ideas.

Chase the Northern Lights in Alaska

Around the winter solstice, Alaska sees just a few hours of daylight each day. But that doesn’t mean that the landscapes are any less beautiful. It’s a winter wonderland. When the sun is up, you can enjoy the mountains, glaciers, ocean, and scenery. Once the darkness settles in, you’ll be able to explore the towns with twinkling lights and incredible stars in the sky. 

One of the most popular winter activities in Alaska is spotting the northern lights in the sky. It’s best to see them on the outskirts of town because you want to stay away from the lights in town. Many hotels will even offer a wake-up call when requested if the lights are out to help you see them.

If you make your way to the middle of Alaska, near Fairbanks, in the winter, consider visiting the small town of Northpole. Christmas decorations are up there all year round. You can visit the Santa Claus House which is features aisles of Christmas decorations, a giant statue of Santa, and it’s home to the annual Winter Festival. Even in the darkest days, Alaska has plenty of holiday cheer to enjoy.

Escape the Cold on the Beaches of Hawaii

If Alaska sounds horrible to you right now, consider escaping the cold and darkness by planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands. You can enjoy an adventure trip with hiking and watersports on Kauai. For something more romantic, Maui is filled with top-class resorts that feature ocean views and top-notch spas where you can relax and rejuvenate.

Sunrises and sunsets are colorful and gorgeous in Hawaii. You can take surf lessons, fly through the trees on a zipline, or relax on a boat while exploring different parts of the coast. Hawaii can offer an exhilarating non-stop adventure or an entire week of complete relaxation poolside. 

The natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands is remarkable. Each island has a little different feel, but no matter which you pick, you’ll be greeted with tons of lush greenery, warm weather, and plenty to do.

Shop Until You Drop in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is the largest city in the middle of the country and has tons to offer visitors any time of year. If you want to do a little shopping, the Magnificant Mile is home to many of the top retailers in the world. You’ll find luxury clothing stores, huge toy stores, and tons of specialty spots.

When you need a break from shopping, you can stop in and try the famous Chicago deep-dish pizza or enjoy one of the hundreds of incredible restaurants located in downtown Chicago. Visit the Christmas market downtown, explore all the fun activities on Navy Pier, or head to the top of one of two huge skyscrapers with observation decks. 

If you are a huge fan of Christmas movies, you can even take a tour to see where Kevin McAllisters was famously left Home Alone in the Chicago suburbs. Usually, you’ll be lucky enough to get a white Christmas in this part of the country as well. What’s better than a hot chocolate, views of one of the great lakes, and snow falling over the beautiful city?

Play in the Outdoors in Bend, Oregon

Have you ever gone kayaking as part of a holiday parade? Every year, Bend puts on a parade on the Deschutes River with decorated kayaks and canoes for the holiday season. Some years, they have seen more than one thousand boats. Consider making Bend your Christmas destination this year.

In addition to the holiday paddle, you can experience the great outdoor activities in Oregon. You’ll be close to Mount Bachelor ski resort. There are some incredible hikes and places for rock climbing. Go sledding in the snowy hills.

Bend has really exploded in popularity during the last decade, so you’ll be able to find all kinds of different restaurants and breweries to explore in town when you’re done with your outdoor adventures. There are carriage rides through town and a Santa experience where he flies in via helicopter. Spend your Christmas in this high desert town and see what all the hype is about.

Visit the National Tree in Washington, DC

Since 1923, when Calvin Coolidge was president, there has been a giant tree out front of the White House in Washington DC. Each year, a tree is selected and brought to the nation’s capital to be decorated and lit for the holiday season. There is also a display of trees nearby called America Celebrates which honors each state. 

When you’re planning your holiday vacation, consider Washington DC as an option. Not only can you see the White House all lit up for the Christmas holiday season, but there is so much to do and explore in the city. Visit one of the eleven different Smithsonian museums, take a walking tour or hop on one of the tour buses that travel around the city to the major landmarks. 

There are so many different holiday experiences in the city to make your trip extra festive. The National Zoo pus together a holiday light special each year during December. Another great holiday activity is the skating rink at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden.

Step Back in Time at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg is a fun place to step back in history any time of the year. During Christmas, everything is decorated beautifully and it will make for a great Christmas vacation. There is an entire programming schedule with 18th-century music and decorations. You can enjoy sleigh rides, craft workshops, and the Fifes and Drum’s entertainment. 

Once you’ve had your fill of history, check out Busch Gardens Christmas Town . The theme park is covered with one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America. In addition, you can enjoy tons of food and drink options, entertainment, and lots of places to shop.

If you’ve never been to Colonial Williamsburg, consider making your first trip during the Christmas season.

Check Out America’s Castle in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The city is famous for its art scene and has a variety of different galleries and museums to visit. In addition to art, it is home to about 30 different breweries making it a great destination for beer lovers. 

During the holiday season, there are lots of different festivities to enjoy. Check out the National Gingerbread House Competition with their famous life-size creation you can tour or the Winter Lights at the Arboretum. But the highlight for many is the Biltmore Estate . This is the largest home in the United States and they decorate every room for the holidays. You’ll walk through displays of Christmas trees, ribbons, garlands, and so many lights. In the evenings, they do a Candlelight Christmas event with candles and fireplaces glowing. 

Enjoy the mountain scenery with some of the incredible hikes, or just relax and take in the views with a cup of hot chocolate in your pajamas. Asheville is a laidback and relaxing destination with enough to do or not do.

Have Yourself a Wild West Christmas in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Cowboy Christmas is a Wyoming tradition. Visit the small town of Jackson Hole just south of Grand Teton National Park to experience the incredible scenery and western hospitality. The town square is lit up with thousands of lights and Santa Claus hangs out each evening during the month of December. The town itself looks like a movie set even without the decorations, so during the holiday season, it’s idyllic.

You can hit the slopes at the Jackson Hole Resort or one of the smaller resorts nearby. If skiing isn’t your sport, you can still enjoy the outdoors with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the Elk Refuge outside of town. Rent a pair of snowshoes and follow one of the beautiful snow-covered trails and follow it up with a cup of eggnog at one of the cowboy bars downtown. Stay until New Year’s Eve and enjoy the annual tradition of the Torchlight Parade and fireworks.

Enjoy a Small Town Holiday in New England

New England is famous for the beautiful autumn colors, but during the Christmas season, many of the small towns will have you thinking you’ve stepped into a Hallmark Christmas movie. The historical buildings are decorated beautifully and it feels like a Norman Rockwell painting has come to life. 

Woodstock, Vermont puts on a Wassail Weekend event each year with bonfires, snowshoeing, gingerbread decorating, tree lighting ceremony, and more much. You can jump on the Elf Express which takes a scenic route through the Green Mountains. In the northern part of the state, Stowe is home to the Trapp Family Lodge. You can stay at this Austrian-inspired lodge and enjoy views of the snowy mountains.

In New Hampshire, visit Portsmouth and be part of the Candlelight Stroll. People dress up in period holiday dress and walk with candle lanterns and handmade wreaths. A little further north, you can visit Jackson and experience the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour that happens every weekend in December. 

It doesn’t matter which town you decide on, each community celebrates in its own way and you will be treated to a magical holiday.

Head North to Canada

Visit one of the beautiful Canadian cities to experience Christmas in a different country without crossing the ocean. Quebec sets up a Christmas Market in the heart of old town and offers a selection of mulled wine, gingerbread, and warm snacks. You can sign up for a walking tour and learn about holiday traditions throughout history with Cicerone Tours. The churches and historic buildings throughout the city are decorated beautifully during the holiday season. Montreal is another French-speaking city that gives off a European vibe, especially during the Christmas holiday. They have a festival in town called Merry Montreal which includes live musical performances, light installations, and cozy spots set up throughout the Nordic Square to hang out and take it all in.

Cruise the Caribbean Islands

If you want to escape the White Christmas this year, the Caribbean offers sandy beaches, turquoise water, and warm weather. Trade in the traditional holiday music for reggae and island jams this year. Many cruise companies offer special holiday cruises with special festive events on the ship. You can visit the Bahamas, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and more. You’ll be sipping fruity drinks on a beach and making sandmen instead of snowmen. 

There are cruises available for 3-days or a couple of weeks and every option in between. Sort through the incredible deals available through the different cruise lines. If you get overwhelmed by choices, consider using a travel agent for a trip like this because they have all the information and can find you the perfect match for what you’re looking for this holiday season.

Tour the Christmas Markets in Germany

We’ve mentioned Christmas markets a few times because cities around the world are embracing this beautiful holiday tradition, but Germany has the oldest and best Christmas markets in the world. 

Back in the Middle Ages, shopkeepers were allowed to set up market stalls for a few days in the winter to help everyone stock up on supplies for the remainder of winter. These markets eventually began selling toys, roasted nuts, and other things for Christmas. There is evidence of Christmas markets in Munich dating back to 1310.

Today, you can travel around Germany and experience the Christmas Markets in each city and town around the country. Many towns completely fill their city centers with decorated trees and stalls offering everything from hand-crafted ornaments to hot rum punch. You’ll enjoy traditional German holiday treats and live music. Larger cities, like Berlin, have multiple markets, so you can visit a different one each day. It’s an incredible experience and you won’t be able to escape the holiday spirit.

Visit the North Pole (Scandanavia)

Lapland is the northernmost region of Finland. During the winter, it sees very little daylight, but the locals help brighten up those long nights with holiday decorations. Santa Claus even has a village just north of the town of Rovaniemi. 

You can get to the region via train or airplane from other larger cities in Europe. Once you’re there, you’ll feel like you’ve reached the North Pole. Santa Park Arctic Park is an attraction that will help kick off your trip and get you in the spirit. You can visit Santa’s office, see where the elves make the toys that get delivered to children all over the world and take a magic sleigh ride. 

Levi is a city with lots of outdoor adventures and it’s located north of the Arctic Circle. Enjoy the ski hills, take snowmobile rides, watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky, and head out on reindeer safaris. You can even stay at an ice hotel called Luvatuumaa and enjoy their traditional Finnish foods and warm up in the sauna.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most popular U.S. Christmas vacation ideas feature lots of Christmas decorations and holiday festivals. If that’s what you’re looking for, try New York City, Chicago, or Asheville.

One of the best Christmas vacation ideas that is fun for the whole family is Disneyworld. They decorate all the resorts and all four theme parks for the holiday and there’s so much to see and do!

Wherever you roam on your Christmas vacation , make time for a scavenger hunt ! You’ll learn more about your destination city, take fun photos, and have a wonderful time!

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Best places to visit in december 2024.

Planning a vacation in December can feel overwhelming alongside holiday shopping and year-end festivities. But you'll thank yourself later if you squeeze in time for a trip before the new year. U.S. News considered prices, events, accessibility and seasonal crowds to decide the best places to visit in December. Whether you're seeking a warm-weather hideaway or want to experience the holiday spirit in a snow-covered town, you'll find it in these destinations. Vote for your favorite spot below to help decide next year's list.

London, England

U.s. virgin islands, french alps, torres del paine national park, hawaii - the big island, new york city, rio de janeiro, quebec city.

trip ideas for christmas

London is abuzz with holiday-themed activities in December. Holiday pop-ups transform attractions like Hyde Park and the London Zoo, while Christmas ballets and concerts take over the city's legendary entertainment scene. What's more, "Harry Potter" fans can opt for a festive tour during the Hogwarts in the Snow event at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Chilly temperatures in the 40s and rainy conditions mean it's the perfect time to don your coziest jumper. Plus, London's rainy day standbys like the Tower of London and the British Museum are typically less crowded at this time of year.

trip ideas for christmas

If you're seeking palm-fringed festivities without the need for a passport, look no further than the U.S. Virgin Islands. December is the start of the dry season in this Caribbean island chain, and average temperatures in the 70s and 80s are perfect for lounging on beautiful white sand beaches like Magens Bay or snorkeling in Virgin Islands National Park. Plus, you'll get a taste of the islands' vibrant culture during the Crucian Christmas Festival, which takes place on St. Croix at the end of the month. Partake in the merriment with parades, music competitions and more.

trip ideas for christmas

Snow-capped mountains, quaint villages and mouthwatering cuisine (much of which involves some form of melted cheese) make the French Alps a classic winter getaway. Most ski resorts open by early December, so you can get an early start on the slopes for the season, or just take part in the lively après-ski experience in iconic destinations like Val d'Isère and Chamonix. What's more, many villages like the châteaux-studded Annecy amp up the charm with cozy Christmas markets throughout the month. Winter in the Alps is never cheap, but try visiting earlier in the month before school holidays for the best room rates.

trip ideas for christmas

Make the trek to the Finnish Lapland for the ultimate Arctic experience. Finland's northernmost region promises a deep layer of snow all winter, perfect for skiing or sledding down the longest toboggan run in Europe. Most flights to this region land in Rovaniemi, home to Santa Claus Village, where you can meet the man in red, step across the Arctic Circle or embark on a reindeer sleigh ride. Though you'll only see about four hours of daylight, this makes for prime conditions to view the dazzling aurora borealis from the comfort of one of the glass hotels in the region.

trip ideas for christmas

December is one of the most popular months to visit the Bahamas – and for good reason. By the time this month rolls around, the threat of hurricanes has passed, making it terrific time to enjoy the outdoors. Spend your days lounging on one of the Bahamas' many beaches, snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear water or taking a boat tour to a private island . What's more, if you're visiting around the holidays, you'll catch the travel-worthy Junkanoo festival , which celebrates Bahamian culture with parades and festivities on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

trip ideas for christmas

Although Phuket, Thailand, offers a consistently warm climate year-round, its dry weather and calm water in December make this month a great time to visit. Plan on spending most of your time sunbathing, swimming, scuba diving and more at beautiful beaches like Nai Harn and Kata Noi. But remember, December falls within Phuket's peak tourist season, so you won't find many deals for flights and accommodations during this month. Avoid a holiday visit in late December for slightly better rates.

trip ideas for christmas

Located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is a backpacker's dream due to its breathtaking landscapes and unmatched preservation. The remote kingdom's focus on cultural and environmental sustainability means heritage sites like the cliff-clinging Paro Taktsang and the riverside Punakha Dzong are never overcrowded. But cooler winter temperatures (averages range from the 30s to the 60s, depending on elevation) mean you'll encounter even fewer tourists. While a trip to this intriguing destination won't be cheap, a low-season visit can drive down the price of lodging and tours.

trip ideas for christmas

Nestled in southern Chilean Patagonia, this national park offers travelers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hailed among hikers as one of the most scenic destinations in the world, the park is home to turquoise lakes and dense forests, plus massive Grey Glacier and the towering granite of Cuernos del Paine. December offers up to 17 hours of daylight, allowing plenty of time for extensive hikes. But even though December is part of Patagonia's peak summer season, temperatures drop dramatically after nightfall, so visitors will want to pack layers.

trip ideas for christmas

This Hawaiian paradise is the perfect place to escape winter's onset. Weary travelers can thaw on colorful beaches like Punalu'u Beach (which has beautiful black sand ) and Papakolea Beach (a unique green sand option), while more adventurous types can go for a hike in 'Akaka Falls State Park or catch a glimpse of the more than 4,000-foot-tall Kilauea volcano at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. You'll likely contend with other snowbirds in December, but you'll find that hotel prices on the Big Island are still consistently lower than those on neighboring isles.

trip ideas for christmas

If Old Man Winter has you dreaming of warming things up, consider a trip to the Spice Island. Grenada, a tiny island in the Caribbean known for its aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, boasts steady temps in the 80s. And since December sits just between the rainy season and high tourism season, it's the perfect time to catch some rays without the crowds (or cost) of the months to come. Spend your days lounging on Grand Anse Beach or sampling the island's rich flavors at local markets or the House of Chocolate.

trip ideas for christmas

It's not surprising that dozens of holiday movies are set in New York. Dazzling sights like the iconic Christmas tree and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, decked-out window displays at Macy's and horse-drawn carriages in Central Park conjure up holiday cheer throughout the city. And while this metropolis offers plenty to do throughout the year, festive shows, Christmas-themed pop-up experiences and even the nip in the air make December one of New York's most magical months. Just be prepared for a bit of sticker shock; the holiday season is also one of the most popular (and expensive) times of year to visit.

trip ideas for christmas

If you're willing to brave the cold, travel to Prague for a fun and festive winter vacation. The city turns into a winter wonderland in December, with snow-dusted buildings and Christmas markets selling everything from locally made jewelry to toys to Christmas ornaments. Those with little ones in tow should try to arrive in early December when the annual St. Nicholas Eve event takes place. During this traditional celebration, you'll see Czechia's version of St. Nick, along with his angel and devil guides, hand out candy and other treats as they walk around the city.

trip ideas for christmas

While the Northern Hemisphere transitions to winter in December, Rio de Janeiro enters its peak summer season. And although this is one of the wettest times of the year here, you'll still enjoy optimal warmth and mostly sunny conditions. As such, there will be plenty of opportunities to see must-visit sights like the Christ the Redeemer statue or Sugarloaf Mountain. If you're keen on experiencing Rio's lively party scene during your visit, be sure to time your trip around Réveillon. This popular New Year's Eve celebration on Copacabana Beach draws millions of people annually with its music, dancing and fireworks.

trip ideas for christmas

The holiday season in Germany's fourth largest city can only be described as magical. Cologne hosts a handful of Christmas markets, including the popular Advent village at Cologne Cathedral, which boasts 150 stalls. When you're not taking in the city's imposing architecture or getting into the jovial spirit with a glass of Kölsch beer (a Cologne original), pop into Museum Ludwig to view modern art or the Chocolate Museum for tasty samples. Combat the dreary weather – average highs are in the low 40s and rain is common – by soaking away the chill at a thermal spa such as Neptunbad or Claudius Therme.

trip ideas for christmas

It's easy to fall in love with this Canadian destination, especially when it's covered in fresh snow. You'll be enchanted by Old Québec's sights and sounds as it transforms into a Christmas village. Shop for gifts (or for yourself) in Quartier Petit-Champlain, home to one of the oldest shopping streets in North America. Plus, with its 17th- and 18th-century architecture, French-speaking Quebec City allows you to soak up European culture without dropping the cash for a flight across the pond. Just be sure to bundle up; temperatures can drop to the single digits in December.

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trip ideas for christmas

St. Augustine

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Sanibel Island

trip ideas for christmas


trip ideas for christmas

Todos Santos

trip ideas for christmas

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Solo Traveler

Solo travel tips, destinations, stories... the source for those who travel alone.

trip ideas for christmas

45+ Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas and New Year’s


August 22, 2023 by Tracey Nesbitt

trip ideas for christmas

Solo travel destinations for Christmas can be difficult to choose and a puzzle to plan–but such a pleasure to enjoy!

Some people just want to get away. Others have time off built into their schedules, like Alison. “I worked in big corporate sales environments whose clients shut down over Christmas so taking leave then was sometimes mandatory. It was great to escape the commercialism, sympathetic looks, and the tricky family members and experience lots of different cultures' celebrations.”

Christmas and New Year's Eve can be tricky holidays for solo travelers. That's what makes the recommendations that follow so special: they are all from members of the Solo Traveler community who have personally spent the holidays alone in destinations around the world.

Over the last few years, we have compiled recommendations for over 45 solo travel destinations for the holidays. Please keep in mind that none of the recommendations below are endorsements from Solo Traveler, as we have not visited them all ourselves.

Let's start with an enthusiastic holiday travel reminiscence from Linda.

‪ I love being away for Christmas to escape the family festivities.‪ I can't remember when I was home last time over the Christmas holidays. I've been to Namibia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, India, Taiwan, Florida, Australia, China, and so on. I'm still looking for a travel destination for this year. I might not want to go that far, so I'm thinking Europe or the Middle East, or maybe a yoga holiday.

prague, old town square, solo travel destinations for christmas

Table of Contents

What To Do On the Actual Holiday Dates

Travel in the holiday season in countries that celebrate Christmas and New Year's can be festive and beautiful, with lights and other decorations, events, music, markets, parades and more. People are often especially friendly and chatty and the air is filled with the scents of baked goods, seasonal drinks, and evergreens.

But what about the actual days, December 24-26, And December 31-January 1? What does a solo traveler do when the destination shuts down? I have had a number of people tell me that nothing is open in their city, there is no transportation available, and nothing to do.

Here's the thing: that isn't entirely true. While it's true that many of the things we might make use of as locals will be unavailable, there are still options for travelers. We wouldn't necessarily know about them as locals, because we've never really needed to know. Here are a few options that may be available to you in a solo travel destination you choose for Christmas or New Year's.

  • Day Tours I once spent a week in London over Christmas. On Christmas day, I took a bus tour of Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge. There were lots of solo travelers on the tour, which included Christmas lunch by a roaring fire in a historical pub in the English countryside.
  • Volunteering What could be more in keeping with the season than to help serve dinner to people in need? Homeless shelters, churches, or community centers might welcome an extra pair of hands and in return, you will be fed both physically and spiritually.
  • Dine Out Hotel restaurants are a good bet for a Christmas dinner. Almost everyone staying there will also be away from home, so you'll have a natural conversation starter if you feel like meeting people. Plan ahead, though – these dinners can fill up quickly. Look for a list of restaurants that will be open on Christmas day in your destination, like this one for London .
  • Dine In Pick up your favorite foods – or try new ones – before the stores close, and treat yourself to whatever your heart desires on the holiday. With no pressure to engage in sightseeing, relax and indulge. Watch a movie, take a bath, cook yourself a meal if you're in an apartment, take a swim if you're in a hotel. Dive into that book you've been meaning to read. Take a nap. It's all up to you!
  • Take a Walk See the destination in a new light. With far fewer people and vehicles on the streets, get a good look at the architecture and scenery, not to mention the Christmas lights. Take photos, including selfies, if you're so inclined, with no pressure to be quick about it and fewer obstacles in your way.
  • Make It a Travel Day Flying on Christmas or New Year's Eve or Christmas Day has its benefits. Since most people want to be in their destination for those dates, fewer people will be in transit. That means more room, potentially lower prices, and possibly better moods or even a chance for an upgrade.
  • Enjoy a Choir Check to see if churches in the area are holding special Christmas services. Whether you observe the day or not, it can be a beautiful thing to be a part of someone else's traditions.
  • Take a Tour or Cruise If you just want to get away and don't want to have to do all the planning and organizing, leave it all to someone else! Just show up and enjoy. Participate in the things you like, forgo the rest.

Speaking of tours, here are a couple of options for the 2023 holiday season:

trip ideas for christmas

Christmas in London or Paris? A Difficult Choice.

Below are dozens of holiday season destinations for solo travelers listed by continent.

The two cities in this section could have been included there as well but they are worth some special attention. The charm of London and Paris can be experienced all year round, but during the December holidays, they each dress up in a special way and offer more magic than ever. Hence, they get some extra profile.

trip ideas for christmas

London Over Christmas and New Year's

Special London activities for Christmas and New Year's include:

  • Covent Garden . Covent Garden is a car-free area for shopping, dining, and entertainment located in London's West End. Learn more about Christmas in Covent Garden here .
  • Kew Gardens . Their annual after-dark festivities include sparkling tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections, and the fire garden. Learn more .
  • St. Paul's Cathedral . Whether you're Anglican or not, St. Paul's Cathedral is definitely worth a visit. They hold concerts throughout the year. Here's what they have going on over the holiday season .
  • Hyde Park Winter Wonderland . It starts mid-November and ends January 2nd and tickets must be purchased online , in advance. There are shows and rides.
  • Oxford Street to Carnaby Street . Oxford Street is always done up for Christmas. From there, wander down Argyle Street (you can take Regent Street, but on Argyle you'll pass the London Palladium) to Liberty London (their famous prints are making a nice comeback). Then head down Carnaby Street, which is for pedestrians only, for trendy, Soho shopping.
  • St. Martin-in-the-Fields. New Year's Eve Opera and Operetta Matinée by Candlelight with highlights from many operas. Tickets on sale here .
  • City cruises and tours . A quick google search will deliver open-top buses and cruises on the Thames to take you through London to soak in the Christmas spirit.

For more options, read Solo Travel London on a Budget .

Where to stay in London for Christmas? I suggest making it special. My top recommendation is Montague on the Gardens , located in Bloomsbury near the British Museum and walking distance to the West End and Covent Garden. It is cozy and very, very British. Have dinner there and you won't have to search for what is open on Christmas and New Year's in London. For more options read Best Places to Stay in London: Accommodation for Solo Travelers .

What our readers say:

Suzanne, who spent the holidays in London last year, says that the city  nicely celebrates the holidays with food festivals, carnivals, ice skating, and more. Tickets for the New Year's Eve fireworks, the largest annual fireworks display in the UK, go on sale in October, and Suzanne says it is an amazing experience to see in person.  

London also comes highly recommended as a solo travel destination for Christmas by Bev, who has  spent the holidays there five times. A little tip she shared with us is to “bring your own holiday music–the songs you really love to hear and that make you smile, not just what you think is traditional.”

Bella suggests that you “take a night tour of London and see it all lit up, especially the lovely tree at Buckingham Palace.”

We even have some insider tips from Ann, a very enthusiastic local!

I admit I live here, but one of the best times of the year to be in London is between Christmas and New Year as there are next to no tourists and lots of the locals leave the city to stay with relatives outside of the city or abroad. Last year I saw the Nutcracker ballet in the Coliseum on Christmas Eve and walking home afterwards was magical, so quiet and just a hint of frost in the air. Should we be lucky enough to get a white Christmas, it is even better as the snow muffles all the sounds and with all the old buildings and alleyways in the city, it truly feels like you are in Dickens' London in A Christmas Carol. You almost expect to run into Scrooge and Cratchit!  

trip ideas for christmas

Paris Over Christmas and New Year's

Special Paris activities for Christmas and New Year's include:

  • Champs Élysées . Naturally, this is a required stop as the boulevard is lit with millions of sparkling lights in celebration of the season.
  • Tuileries Garden Magie de Noël . This is Paris' largest Christmas market. It includes a Christmas-themed carnival–a continuation of the tradition of “fun fairs” in Paris since Medieval times–an “Artisan Village,” and, naturally, delicious food and drinks. Starting in November, Christmas markets pop up all over Paris.
  • Skating . While at the Tuileries Garden, participate or just watch the skating.
  • Holiday window displays . Paris' famous department stores put on the Christmas ritz in their window displays. Go to Printemps Haussmann or Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann for the displays. Go to their rooftops for great views of Paris.
  • The arts . This is a great list of concerts, operas and ballets in Paris over the holidays . The wonderful thing about music and ballet is that you don't need to understand French.
  • City cruises and tours . A quick google search will deliver open-top buses and cruises on the Seine to take you through Paris to soak in the Christmas spirit.

For more options, read Solo Travel Paris on a Budget: Now Is the Time .

Where to stay in Paris for Christmas? I suggest treating yourself for a night or two at the Parisienne boutique hotel Hotel Saint-Louis en l'Isle . It's in the exciting Marais district in the 4th Arrondissement and just 250 m from Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris and the Latin Quarter. Newly renovated, it's modern but with old world character. However, while it offers breakfast, it does not have a restaurant.

Another option is Hôtel l’Echiquier Opéra Paris . It's located on a side street in the 10th Arrondissement away from the crowds and noise but close to Paris' highlights. Built in the 1850's and decorated in a beautiful Belle Époque style, it has a full restaurant and bar.

For more options, read Best Hotels in Paris for Solo Travelers: Reader Recommendations .

Paris is recommended as a wonderful solo travel destination for Christmas by Micheline. “Paris is festive at Christmas. Try to arrive a day or two ahead, so you can get your bearings and figure out your plan for the holiday. Before Christmas, you can see the fascinating Buche de Noel displays in bakery windows. While many restaurants close for Christmas itself, hotel restaurants serve dinner and Paris has some wonderful ones. Be sure to take a stroll or a cab ride to see the lights.”

It's also recommended by Sonja. “I loved it. I spent the 24th in Versailles and the Louvre and had a lovely dinner. The 25th was for walking only. It's a bank holiday in Paris as well so everything was closed. But the Christmas service in Notre Dame was breathtaking. I left on the 26th so I don't know how it would have been over New Year's, but it's probably great.”

December Holiday Destinations Around the World

trip ideas for christmas

Antarctica and Arctic Regions

Reykjavik, Iceland at New Year’s is absolutely incredible, says Natalie. “There's a constant supply of fireworks, even in daylight. When I went, I headed to the top of the hill where the Hallgrimskirkja Church is, as there is a big gathering of locals where the fireworks are set off. When I left to walk back to the hotel at about 12:30 pm, the fireworks were still going off and it was just the best, happiest atmosphere. It has to be my favorite new year.”

Iceland is also recommended by Emily. “I did Christmas in Iceland solo a few years back. I would definitely recommend it. It was my first white Christmas – it actually snowed on Christmas Day. I was terrified before getting there but it turned out to be absolutely amazing!”

Solo Holiday Destinations in Africa

Cape Town, South Africa is recommended by Lize. “For the winelands, beaches, forest, and mountains.”

Djibouti and Ethiopia  are the destinations where Catherine spent last Christmas and New Year. “In Djibouti on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day I was on a two-day trip to Lakes Assal and Abbe, which was fantastic. I spent New Year’s Eve in Ethiopia climbing Dallol Volcano in the Danakil Depression as part of a 3-day tour. Both were excellent experiences and yielded great memories to mark the days.

Marrakech,  Morocco  is recommended by Riad. “You'll get to enjoy the wonders of the city, the monuments, the souks, the food, a camel ride, skiing in the Atlas Mountains, or a day trip to the surrounding villages. All that in one city–and it's sunny even in December.”

Tunisia is Rebekah's suggestion  “for a nice sunshine resort break and lots of relaxing in the sun.”

trip ideas for christmas

Asian Destination Recommendations

Japan  Aaron tells us that Christmas is not a public holiday in Japan, so everything is open, which is great for travelers. He says, “the Japanese do love celebrating it, so there are loads of Christmas decorations and festivals. I spent the last 2 Christmases in Tokyo and Hokkaido, and it was awesome.”

Says Joleen, “Japan is lovely during the New Year season as many families are out in full force in their beautiful kimonos visiting the temples. However, many eateries and attractions are closed during this period, so that’s something to look out for!”

Hiroshima and Kyoto  are recommended by Nancy for Christmas solo travel destinations. “It was wonderful. I ended up in Hiroshima on Christmas Day. The city was lit up with winter lights, and beautiful. New Year's in Kyoto was incredible, listening to all the many temple bells ringing in the year. I travel alone very often and always have great experiences.”

Brian says, “I enjoyed Kyōto on Christmas, as it felt like a regular Monday when I visited. Lots of places were open. (Do mind though that the first days of January are a Japanese national holiday where some attractions and most small businesses are closed from New Year's Eve until typically the fifth of January.)”

Tokyo  is recommended by T.C. “There are decorations everywhere, but everything is much more low key and uniquely Japanese.”

Korea is recommended by Wulan. “Last Christmas and New Year, going to South Korea, alone but feeling good, I went to Bosingak to count down the new year. It is full with people, so you can't easily move your body but it was a great experience.”

Singapore Victoria chose Singapore as one of her solo holiday destinations. “As it is a Buddhist country, they weren’t too bothered by December 25th. I was! The best places I found were actually 5* hotels as they were full of tourists celebrating Christmas. We had such fun as there were lots of other solo travelers there too.

Southeast Asia  is suggested by Jules. He spent “two weeks Eco Volunteering with Bamboo Young at Heart. Week one was in Surin province Thailand, working with elephants, then Siem Reap, Cambodia to work with Water Aid. Then I was on my own meandering through Cambodia and back to Thailand for 5 weeks. I'm 62, and it was my first solo backpacking experience. I didn't want to come home!”

Vietnam is Jennifer's recommendation. “I'd go just about anywhere in Vietnam solo, but specifically Hoi An & Hue are lovely.”

trip ideas for christmas

Solo Holiday Destinations in The Americas

Eleuthera, Bahamas is recommended by Eva. “Every year I used to rent a different beach house on the island of Eleuthera. Sometimes I still do. Often friends and family joined, but if they did not that was alright, too. Deserted beaches, a kayak, and I was in heaven. The aim was to miss all the Christmas and New Year’s hoopla.”

Quebec, Canada is recommended by Ron. “I went skiing around Quebec a few years back. It has relatively cheap skiing and it's not very crowded. You definitely will get a white Christmas to boot!”

Galapagos, Ecuador  is   recommended by Jasmine. “I’m going to the Galapagos for New Year’s. I will be solo, but with like-minded adventurers on a boat.”

Antigua, Guatemala is recommended by Casey. “I loved it. I never felt alone since my hosts included me. It's best to stay with a family here. They don't hype up Christmas but it is a spectacular Christmas Eve.”

Guadalajara, Mexico is recommended by Jenny who “spent Christmas at a homestay where they celebrate their Christmas dinner and opening of gifts on December 24th. It was an experience to remember.”

Cusco, Peru   A memorable Christmas for Carole was spent in Cusco. “They have an amazing market on the 24th where locals buy everything needed to create a nativity scene. On Christmas Day they are all on display on church steps or entryways, from miniatures to full size. And that's just the start of the festivities!”

new orleans is another of the wonderful solo travel destinations for christmas

United States

Disney World, Florida  is recommended by Tania, “for a magical experience – hands down.” Read Solo to Walt Disney World: A First Timer’s Complete Guide .

Hawaii is where Delma has spent the holidays for the last two years. “I love my aloha Christmas! When on Christmas Day people are having dinner and opening presents, I am swimming at the beach and drinking Mai Tais!”  

Chicago, Illinois delighted Rachel. “I went to Chicago for the first time for five days over Christmas last year. I was more than pleasantly surprised by the city and its people. I lucked out with the weather (the second warmest on record), was impressed with the architecture and with how much the city was decorated for the holidays, and I have to say, the people are some of the friendliest I've come across in the United States. I didn't have enough time to see everything I wanted to, but it felt so Christmassy I didn't mind. It was the first time I've gone on vacation for Christmas, and definitely won't be the last.”

New Orleans, Louisiana is the solo travel destination Jenny chose for Christmas on her last pre-pandemic international trip. “I loved the Christmas spirit all over this vibey City with most of the stores, buildings, hotels, etc. decked and all adorned with tree trimmings. The night markets and activities were interesting and entertaining. The brass bands with their variety of musical instruments strutted along the streets, and the nightclubs as well as the street corner buskers kept the spirit warm as nightfall was a bit on the cold side! I loved the Creole food and their beignets and coffee were a favorite of mine at Cafe du Mont!”

New Orleans is the place to be, according to Micheline. “Throughout the holidays, restaurants hold Reveillon Dinners, which are prix fixe, festive dinners with special dishes. The weather is mild, decorations are up and people are incredibly friendly. Because it’s a Catholic city, there are lots of services with great music. Bonus: if you can stay through Jan. 6, carnival season officially begins.  

Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona is recommended by Micheline. “I definitely recommend the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. The botanical garden and the zoo are decorated in festive lights. The winter sky is a beautiful color. The temperature is just right, usually in the 70s. Many restaurants have outdoor patios and it's great to watch the pretty sunsets.”

San Juan, Puerto Rico is recommended by  ‪ Suzanne. “I flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico a few days after Christmas. I stayed in the old city. I loved all the decorations that were up for Christmas! There was lots of activity going on and I always felt safe. I took a tour with Spoon Food Tours and loved it! After a few days in San Juan, I did a one week cruise (also solo) on Celebrity's Summit — also fabulous!”

San Diego, California is recommended by John for people looking for a solo travel destination for Christmas. “Last year, I did a quick trip to San Diego for a few days between Christmas & New Year's. I stayed in a boutique hotel in Little Italy. I used the trolley the whole time I was there. I took the Coaster up to Oceanside for the day to see the Surf Museum. The weather was phenomenal! There are very good restaurants on India Street in Little Italy and the Old Town area. I highly recommended this city.”

Sedona, Arizona  Trina says, “Christmas in Sedona: it's a lovely time of year to visit, not too cold, and you're still able to go hiking!”

Tucson, Arizona  Miraval Resort & Spa in the Santa Catalina Mountains in northern Tucson is recommended by René. “You can be as active or as chill as you want at this resort. The location is beautiful, and the food is fantastic!”

Washington, DC is recommended by Micheline. It's “wonderful at the holidays. The city is beautifully decorated, and the White House is gorgeous during Christmas. It's become a great restaurant town, too, and there are lots of holiday dishes on menus. Don't worry about cold weather, it's a temperate place.” Rebekah agrees, adding that during  the week between Christmas and New Year's, she found “bright sunshine and got to look around all the sights and museums with hardly any crowds. I loved it!”  

While it wasn't the week of Christmas, I visited DC in December one year, indulging in some of my favorite things: food, wine, and art.

Christmas markets in europe are great solo travel destinations

European Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas and New Year's

A Grand Tour Greta spent this past Christmas and New Year's in Europe on a month-long grand tour. “I visited 17 different countries and 36 different cities. I also experienced snow for the first time, and met so many new friends. I think I am going to start this as a new tradition for myself and pick a new country every holiday season.”

River Cruise Trina really enjoyed a European river cruise during the holiday season. “They stopped at all ports that had Christmas Markets. I highly recommend AMA Waterways, everything that was included was wonderful: the service, food, and tour offers. Plus, they offer to waive the single supplement fees.”

A Northern Tour is recommended by Cheri.

Last year, I did Germany (Triberg-the black forest, Frankfurt, and Hamburg for the Christmas markets). I had a lot of fun, and enjoyed good food and decor. I also went to Denmark, Copenhagen area at Christmas and enjoyed the food and markets there also. I took the train to “Hamlet's castle” and took the ferry to have lunch in Sweden. I finished up my trip in Holland, seeing the festival of lights from the canals, a country tour of windmills, and enjoying cheese and biscuits. I had a great time. The prices were lower than in the summer, the decorations were great, and there where fewer people–except maybe in Amsterdam.

Budapest, Hungary  is recommended by Arlene. “ I went to Budapest last year. It was fabulous. I got one of the last tickets for the Nutcracker ballet at the Opera House on Christmas Day. I recommend it for a solo trip.”

It's also recommended by Alison, along with Prague and Brussels. “I went to Prague, Budapest, and Brussels last year. It was beautiful. It was nice to spend the holiday time being productive and exploring rather than sitting around in a food coma.”

‪Christmas Markets in Germany are recommended by Karla. “I go every year to the Christmas Markets. I absolutely love them–and I'm never lonely.” See Exploring Christmas Markets in Germany and France .

Munich Janice visited six Christmas Markets in Munich alone. “Most run to December 23rd or 24th. The Tollwood Festival, which includes a Christmas Market, runs to December 31st and concludes with a big event on New Year’s Eve. I think that would be a perfect place for a solo traveler to celebrate the final night of the year.”

Nuremberg  is recommended by Shannon. “The traditional Christmas market is an amazing experience.”

ireland is one of my favorite solo travel destinations for christmas

Ireland I spent a week traveling around Dublin, Cork, and Galway just before Christmas last year. It was very festive and welcoming, and in spite of the fact that I am accustomed to snowy Canadian winters, the rain didn't bother me one bit. I attended Christmas concerts in churches in two different cities, admired the twinkling lights in the streets of Dublin, and enjoyed a pot of tea by the fire in the glow of the Christmas tree lights at my hotel. It was the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit! You can read about my trip in Dublin, Cork & Galway: Exploring Ireland Solo .

Prague, Czech Republic  is one of the most popular solo travel destinations for Christmas. I have only been away from home at Christmas twice in my life, and one of those years it was to spend  A Solo Christmas in Prague .

Gabriella also spent Christmas in Prague a few years ago. “I recommend the chimney cake stalls, short daytime classical concerts in churches, Charles Bridge at dawn on Christmas/Boxing Day, riverside walks, and if you want to brave the crowds, the Christmas Tree in the Old Town Square.”

Rudy also highly recommends Prague as a solo holiday destination.

I stayed in a hotel suite in the city center for comfort and short distances. On Christmas Eve, I enjoyed the Mozart dinner at the Grand Hotel, sharing a table for socializing. The food was little to write home about, but the red and white rococo cake surroundings were! On December 25 th , I took in a classical concert at the Rudolfinum. On the 26th, I went to the Baroque castle Zamek Liblice, 1 hour by train from Prague Central Station. Back in Prague again, another night was spent indulging in culture, though I don't remember if it was in the National Theatre or a cheesy pub crawl! Needless to say, I did visit the Christmas markets, and really felt the spirit of Christmas despite the lack of snow (normally a must for a Scandinavian). Prague is also loaded with events. There is hardly a day without palace concerts. Some things are closed during Christmas, but the city is full of internationals, and sites like Tripadvisor, MeetUp, InterNations, AirBnB (events) and Couchsurfing (events) offer a wide selection of things to do. Public transportation functions well, and I personally recommend the tram if you're not walking. Enjoy your trip – I surely did!

Norway is recommended by Sandra.

I do the Norwegian Coastal Ferry (Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen) on Hurtigruten. They normally do not charge a single supplement and it’s a beautiful cruise. Dining is excellent and excursions are offered. Just remember the coastal ferries are working ships and not cruise ships. Some stops are just for a few minutes while others are several hours. There’s plenty to do and everyone is friendly. And besides, if you do it over winter you will probably see the northern lights. I appreciated how Hurtigruten docks their ships on Christmas Eve so the crew and passengers can attend church. The other nice thing was all the passengers were told the crew would not be available for a few hours on Christmas Eve so that they could enjoy dinner together. I don’t know that I would want to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas in a hotel because everything would be closed. I have no problems being onboard ship even if all I do is watch the beautiful scenery pass by.

Annabel adds, “I flew to Norway to board the Hurtigruten coastal ferry (MS Lofoten) for a cruise up and down the west coast of Norway. Things didn't go according to plan due to high seas, but departure delays, cancelled excursions, etc. were not holiday dampers. I went to see the Northern Lights and I saw them and had an incredible experience and met some really amazing people.”

Seville  is the Christmas solo travel destination recommended by Sarah. “I went last year and loved it. So tapas Christmas for us!”

Barcelona is recommended by Amanda. “Barcelona was brilliant at Christmas. They don't make a big fuss and the local shops and the eateries remain open. I stayed in a lovely little B&B whose breakfast was enough to keep me going all day. The weather was mild and the sights not too crowded. It was my best solo Christmas ever!”

Vienna, Austria  is   recommended by   Grace. “I would definitely recommend Vienna as a Christmas destination. Aside from being solo-friendly with a phenomenally efficient and navigable transport system, the whole city has a wonderful traditional Christmas feel to it, especially after dark when the light displays come into their own! Throw in the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, and you've got yourself a magical Christmas experience.”

iceland is a popular solo travel destination for christmas

Christmas Travel in the Middle East

Jordan is   the Christmas solo travel destination recommended by   Catherine. “It's my favorite country and I had a fantastic tour there over Christmas a couple of years ago. There is so much to see and do, the food is amazing, the people are friendly, and Petra is absolutely fantastic. Sadly, due to the situation in the Middle East, tourist numbers have dropped drastically but I understand it's still perfectly safe. You may even get Petra almost to yourself.”

A Solo Christmas in Oceania

“I spent the holidays in Australia one year and New Zealand another,” says Meaghan. “If you are looking to escape the cold weather, those destinations are perfect during December!”

Alice Springs to Darwin by train is recommended by Joanne. “I did the Ghan train trip on Christmas from Alice Springs to Darwin-but it does go from Adelaide then to Alice Springs and up to Darwin.” To get a feel for this iconic train trip, read Solo Aboard the Ghan .

Melbourne is recommended by Sarah. “I went to Melbourne one year. It was awesome. I flew from Brisbane on Christmas Day, spent 6 days in my favorite Aussie city just wandering the streets and catching up with some friends down there. It was the longest I'd ever spent there and I went with no plans in mind.”

Sydney is recommended by Les for Christmas/New Year's. “The weather is a little different there that time of year than it is in the Upper Midwest.”

New Zealand is recommended by the bloggers at Indie Travel Podcast. “I'd have to recommend New Zealand for Christmas, it's summer and lovely! If you're traveling solo, you could hop on the Stray Backpacker bus for an instant group of friends but with the flexibility to hop on and hop off when you like.”

trip ideas for christmas

Will You Feel Lonely Being Alone for the Holidays?

It's a common and perfectly valid question: putting aside how wonderful all of these solo travel destinations for Christmas are, will you feel lonely traveling during the festive season?

Readers weigh in.

Emily  “At Christmas two years ago, I was pretty terrified about it and really not looking forward to spending Christmas alone–but it was awesome! Those Nordic countries really know how to keep Christmas festive!”

Panache  “Once you realize how peaceful and interesting it is to spend time with yourself, you are ready to go, no matter what the season, festive or not. I feel totally blessed.”

Catherine  “I never feel lonely traveling over Christmas but then I started doing it to escape my family! Maybe you'd feel less that way by doing a group tour. I've met some amazing people doing that who have become firm friends.”

Sherryl  “As a single, childless adult with family in far flung places in the world, it became quite normal to go off by myself on a diving vacation almost every year. I quite enjoy it and often pick out something spectacular to do on the 25th.”

Jill  “Traveling means being alone and not being judged and compared to others.”

Have a read of this post for more: How to Travel Alone Without Being Lonely: 10 Tips and 6 Short Stories .

The final word on solo travel destinations for Christmas goes to Carrolyn, who, after spending holiday seasons in China and New York, says, “ I think you can find the Christmas spirit nearly everywhere you travel. “

While you're contemplating solo travel destinations for the holidays, don't forget to browse our Tours Especially for Solo Travelers  page or narrow your search on our Trips for Solo Travelers page for no or very low single supplement options or click here to receive our new list by email each month.

One last thing: don't forget your travel insurance! The last think you want is to start 2024 with a hefty bill because you slipped on the ice or fell by the pool. Here's what you need to know: A Complete Guide to Travel Insurance for Solo Travelers .

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Publisher Janice: info @ solotravelerworld.com

Editor Tracey: tracey @ solotravelerworld.com

Sales Simon: simon @ solotravelerworld.com

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trip ideas for christmas

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  • Winter Travel Ideas

16 Best Destinations For A Classic Southern Christmas

Valerie Fraser Luesse has been affiliated with Southern Living and its parent company since 1988. She has written some 30 Southern Journal essays for the magazine and extensively covered the unique cultural pockets of the South, including Acadian Louisiana, the Mississippi Delta, South Florida, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She released her fourth Southern novel with Revell in 2021.

trip ideas for christmas

The best Christmas vacations can be found right here in the South. Forgo the big presents this year, and plan a family trip instead. The memories made are the gifts that keep on giving. Every year, you'll be able to look back on photos and reminisce on the quality time you spent together. Whether you set your sights on a big city or small town , there's a Southern destination that will love welcoming you for the holidays . From impressive light displays and tree decorating to visits with Santa, festive train rides, and lively all-day parades, the South has more than its fair share of holiday cheer. Celebrate a Southern Christmas somewhere familiar like San Antonio, Orlando, or Washington, D.C., or go a little off-the-beaten-path to smaller destinations like Dahlonega or Leesburg. No matter where you decide to spend the season, you'll get to explore a new place in the glow of holiday lights with heartwarming traditions aplenty.

Dahlonega, Georgia

Very few places do a Southern small-town Christmas as well as Dahlonega, Georgia , which is one of the South's favorite holiday towns. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more picturesque small town at Christmastime. Dahlonega combines small-town charm with a Christmas spirit and flare that will have you feeling like you're on the inside of a snowglobe. The town in North Georgia is decked out in glittering lights and thronged with rambling horse-drawn carriages as Southerners flock from far and wide to see this sight during the Christmas season. Its Old-Fashioned Christmas festival lasts all month long and includes everything from a Christmas parade to a lovely tree lighting ceremony. Dahlonega also is surrounded by wineries that make the perfect day destination for seasonal sipping. If you aren't looking to leave the quaint downtown, there are also a bevy of tasting rooms scattered around the town square. You can sip and shop at a varied collection of local shops and boutiques that are ideal for finding a unique Christmas gift for everyone on your list!

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio's most famous attraction, the San Antonio River Walk, really shines during the holidays, with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights hung in the trees. Start your Christmas vacation off right with Ford Holiday Boat Caroling , which takes place from November 30 to December 23. While drifting down the magnificently lit River Walk, floating carolers serenade revelers with holiday favorites. There's no better way spend your Christmas vacation than by roaming the River Walk alongside canopies of colorful Christmas lights. It's a must-see area in a city packed with festivities. In addition to all of this holiday splendor, there is also the San Antonio Botanical Garden's seasonal Lightscape show, which has been reimagined this year and is packed with garland, poinsettias, and ribbons galore. Then there is the Pearl's holiday night market, which is held at a former brewery constructed in 1883. If you want even more Christmas festivities to attend, there is the Ford Fiesta de Las Luminarias , a unique and culturally rich Mexican Christmas event.

Dallas, Texas

Whether you are in search of a fairytale Christmas celebration or you are looking to find a place to defrost from the cold December chill, Dallas is one of the best places to spend the holiday season . The shopping throughout the city is unmatched anywhere in the region, and there are holiday decorations and lights displays to be seen everywhere you turn. Two popular spectacular drive-thru light displays can be found at Prairie Lights and the Dallas Zoo . There are also Christmas light food tours led by Dallas by Chocolate , a German-themed holiday market, and Christmas-themed pop-up shops. With a slew of family-friendly festivals to attend, like the annual Holiday at the Arboretum , Dallas has a lot to offer for anyone ready to get into the holiday spirit.

Atlanta, Georgia

Find holiday festivities in abundance throughout December in Atlanta . In addition to historic Atlanta Christmas events , there are also events and activities which celebrate and honor Hanukkah and Kwanzaa traditions. See the Nutcracker ballet performed live at the Fox Theatre, watch the Polar Express in a special screening concert put on by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra , or visit the Eatonton Missletoe Market , which happens every November, giving you plenty of time to complete crucial Christmas shopping. There's also ice skating at Centennial Olympic Park, where the rink comes with a view of the city skyline. With so many things to do in Atlanta during Christmas and the holidays, the possibilities are boundless.

Richmond, Virginia

During the holidays, things are merry and bright in Richmond , a city with plenty of fun Christmas traditions, events, and appearances from none other than Santa Claus himself. King's Dominion, the local amusement park, celebrates with Winterfest , in which the theme park is transformed into a winter wonderland that includes a 300-foot Christmas tree. One can't-miss location is the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden , which puts on the exciting Dominion Energy Gardenfest of Lights throughout the season. Residential neighborhoods and storefronts also come alive with brilliant lights and holiday displays, and there are a plethora of holiday parties to attend. Even if you don't stay at the iconic Jefferson Hotel , you'll want to stop in during your visit to see their exquisitely decorated lobby and participate in their special Holiday Afternoon Teas .

Thomasville, Georgia

There's small-town Christmas charm aplenty in Thomasville, Georgia , where the cobblestone downtown streets are decorated for the holidays, and the locally owned shops warmly welcome visitors during the season. Journey to the past with Thomasville's annual Victorian Christmas, a two-night event with live reindeer, visits from Santa, carriage rides, and a live nativity scene. Performers, carolers, and musicians will also keep you entertained as you shop, eat, and celebrate the holiday season. Other seasonal activities include seeing a holiday movie at The Ritz Amphitheater, attending the annual tree lighting downtown, watching the Christmas parade, or taking a Victorian Sweets Tour of downtown's restaurants and shops.

Louisville, Kentucky

See the bright lights in Louisville during the holiday season. Twenty-five miles east of city center on U.S. 60, the Lake Forest area lights up with holiday cheer. At least 1,200 homeowners light lawns and houses beginning the first week of December. Go at dusk before the traffic turns snail-paced. If you're lucky, you might encounter a snow flurry or two while driving through the displays. For those who never tire of seeing the sparkling lights, direct your vehicle to Lights Under Louisville , a one-of-a-kind underground lights show that takes you on a 17-mile journey underground at Louisville's Mega Cavern. If it's a European Christmas you're dreaming of, spend time at the Paristown neighborhood's Fête De Noël celebration, which runs for six weeks every holiday season. The festival includes an outdoor ice skating rink, photos with Santa, the Brent Street Holiday Market, train rides, seasonal treats, and special movie nights.

Seaside, Florida

Forgo the skis, and fly south during the winter to celebrate Christmas in an unexpected but no-less-jolly way. For a coastal Christmas, few places are as charming as Seaside, Florida , the picturesque community that gets dressed up for the holidays. For those who don't love the crowds, or the glitz and sparkle, of a big-city Christmas, Seaside is the understated but still festive destination you've been looking for. Long-loved restaurants hung with garlands and lights offer up seafood and good times on 30A. The white sand beaches provide a different kind of white Christmas, but who could complain about spending December somewhere where it's sunny and 70 degrees? Events are sprinkled throughout the seasoning, starting with the Turn on the Town party in Central Square, where the town tree is lit and activities abound for adults and kids. Head back to the Seaside Amphitheater closer to the big day to see a Christmas concert courtesy of Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

Washington, D.C.

For a lively Christmas celebration, Washington, D.C. is unbeatable. The nation's capital always has a big season of holiday festivities, including lights displays, ice skating, the national Christmas tree lighting, menorah lighting, and many more celebrations that mark the highlights of the season. Both the National Christmas Tree and the US Capitol Christmas Tree are magnificent displays of lights and holiday cheer. Find more festivities and sights at the likes of the National Cathedral Christmas Concerts , The District's Holiday Boat Parade , Season's Greenings at the Botanic Gardens , Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre , and the Downtown Holiday Market where vendors gather to sell arts, crafts, jewelry, specialty items, and more. Consider this an excellent place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones. There really is no better time to be in D.C. than the holidays.

Bardstown, Kentucky

For a small-town Kentucky Christmas , set your sights on Bardstown , which is a charming small town at any time of year, but turns into a magical holiday oasis once the temperatures drop and winter begins. The town is strung with lights and filled with festivities throughout the season. Horse-drawn carriages run throughout town, whisking you through the twinkling, picturesque landscape in holiday style. There are also tree lightings, candlelight tours, and train rides. The entire town celebrates the season with Christmas 'Round Bardstown, which boasts more than 20 different activities and events throughout the holidays, beginning with the Downtown Holiday Preview and culminating with My Old Kentucky Dinner Train's New Year's Eve Excursion.

Orlando, Florida

For a warmer celebration, take a Christmas vacation to the place where dreams come true, yearlong–Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Disney World is filled with holiday cheer during the season and has schedules upon schedules full of festivities, from music and ice skating to fake snow, and caroling along with all of your favorite Disney characters. Beyond Disney, athletic events, festivals, concerts, cultural events, outdoor celebrations, and even virtual experiences can all be found in Orlando. The Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld transforms the theme park into a winter wonderland brimming with holiday cheer, thrills, and more than 3 million shimmering lights. Kids can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or pay a visit to Santa in the Wild Arctic. And the whole family can enjoy award-winning entertainment such as Winter Wonderland on Ice , a spectacular ice-skating extravaganza. At the Universal Orlando Resort, adults and children alike can have a very Hogwarts Christmas by celebrating at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogwarts Castle, the alleys of Hogsmeade, and Diagon Alley are all lit up and come alive with festive decorations. See the Frog Choir put a holiday spin on their performances, and even enjoy a hot butterbeer. It's like living inside the movies for the holidays.

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana , puts on a fun holiday celebration complete with horse-drawn carriage rides and community festivities throughout the historic district, which is filled with gift shops, antique stores, and art galleries. Christmas is a big deal in this small Louisiana community. The 40-day Festival of Lights draws tourists from all over the world who come with their families to witness the over 300,000 sparkling lights and seasonal decorations on display. The Christmas Festival, which includes a boat parade, pyrotechnics, and a holiday market, is also a big draw. A road trip to experience this small riverfront town's many Christmas festivities is well worth your time.

Grapevine, Texas

Christmas can't be officially trademarked, but historic Grapevine, Texas , just north of Dallas and Fort Worth , has given it a shot. The state senate issued a proclamation more than a decade ago declaring this town the Christmas Capital of Texas . Over the holiday season, Grapevine hosts 1,400 events in just 40 days, including the biggest Christmas parade in North Texas, that features more than 100 floats. You'll see enough string lights to outshine the runway at DFW Airport. To round out your Christmas getaway, visit the town's many shops and boutiques, as well as bustling bistros and wineries, that are all in on the festive fun.

Leesburg, Virginia

Given its proximity to Washington, D.C., and a busy international airport like Dulles, you'd expect Leesburg to feel like a modern suburb on the verge of sprawl, but just the opposite is true. Locals and travelers enjoy an authentic small-town experience as they stroll cobbled sidewalks of the historic district or jostle down dirt roads to an area vineyard. And at Christmastime, the whole town gets into the holiday spirit. Shop at stores decked out for the season like 27 South Interiors , Ketterman's Jewelers , and The Old Lucketts Store . You can also take part in a Holiday Tree Lighting, Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show, and the Christmas and Holiday Parade.

McAdenville, North Carolina

Many places worldwide claim to have the best Christmas celebrations, but no holiday location is quite like McAdenville, North Carolina . Brought to the public's attention in 1980, the Charles Kuralt Morning Show featured McAdenville and the town continues to be a popular place for visitors around the holidays. Dubbed Christmastown U.S.A., the town is famous for its glittering light displays, Yule Log Parade, and tree lighting ceremony. This area of the High Country is known as the Christmas Tree Capital of the U.S., so if you live within driving distance, McAdenville is a great place to pick a prize-winning fir to make the star of your seasonal decor.

Helen, Georgia

If you've dreamt of visiting a Bavarian winter wonderland, this North Georgia town will give you a taste. Helen packs a lot of Christmas charm into its tiny two square miles: Think everything from a traditional Christkindlmarkt (a German holiday market) to the annual downtown parade. Because you can't miss Santa on his Bavarian sleigh, now can you? Nothing puts you in a cozy December mood like an alpine village and every inch of this North Georgia town delivers those cheerful European vibes. You can shop until you drop at The Christmas Shoppe , then let your tired feet rest with a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown.

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61 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples (2023)

Are you looking for fun and LOW-STRESS romantic Christmas getaways this year? Here are the BEST Christmas vacation ideas for couples in 2023. You’ll find a ton of variety on this list, but all as low-stress as you can get.

So, what does your perfect Christmas getaway look like this year? Cuddling in a cozy cabin in front of a wood-burning fireplace, with ski runs nearby? Strolling hand-in-hand along snow-kissed European streets? Or maybe it’s the adventure of a lifetime, or a super-relaxing luxury beach vacation?

To make these Christmas getaways for couples as low-stress as possible, each one centers on a fantastic accommodation or a pre-planned tour. And all have flexible payment and cancellation, too (but be sure to check details before booking).

Best Christmas vacation ideas for couples, getaway trips for Christmas

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Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links to excellent travel-related products. This means that if you use the links below to make a purchase, we’ll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Best HOLIDAY VIBE Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in USA and CANADA

There’s something special about a traditional Christmas vibe when considering Christmas getaways for couples. Twinkling lights on a Christmas tree. Mistletoe. Wood-burning fireplace. Maybe even a little snow outside.

If this is important to you, here are 10 best Christmas vacations for couples where you can still enjoy that traditional holiday vibe. All of these romantic Christmas getaways are in the United States and Canada.

1. KEYSTONE, COLORADO | Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in USA

Keystone Resort, Colorado Christmas vacation ideas for couples

If you love the mountains or just some guarantee of snow over the holidays, Keystone, Colorado might be your perfect Christmas vacation idea in USA. Surrounded by three mountain peaks, each with a ski lift, the 4-star Keystone Lodge and Spa makes the perfect travel destination at Christmas. Keystone Resort embraces the magic of the season, with special Christmas meals featured at its restaurants and winter-wonderland activities, like skating and snow-tubing down a hilltop course.

Enjoy the upscale rustic vibes throughout the lodge and spa, with decent restaurants and bar, spa pools, hot tubs and saunas to warm you up after a day on the mountains. Take advantage of free shuttles to the lifts and early bypass lift passes. Wifi and parking are included.

trip ideas for christmas

2. WHITEFISH, MONTANA | Christmas Vacation Ideas in USA

Cozy lobby at Firebrand Hotel, Christmas vacation ideas for couples USA Montana Whitefish ski resort

You can’t get much more picturesque than Whitefish, Montana at Christmas. If you love skiing or snowshoeing in the mountains, warming up with craft beer and spirits, and strolling along snowy, festive streets, you’ll love Christmas in Whitefish!

A terrific place to stay for Christmas in Whitefish, Montana is Firebrand Hotel . Couples love the cozy, comfortable beds, elegant decor and easy walking access to downtown. Plus, a spa, rooftop hot tub, restaurant and bar. After your day on the ski hill, cozy up in your bathrobes and slippers. Price includes wifi and airport shuttle.

Want more ideas? Check out this MASSIVE list of hotels for romantic getaways in USA !

3. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA | Romantic Christmas Getaways in USA

Beverly Hills Hotel, Christmas vacation ideas for couples in USA

Now, if you’d like a little glitz and glamor for your romantic Christmas getaways in USA, head to the famous west-coast city of Los Angeles. Los Angeles will give you a glamorous the celebrity holiday vibe

While Los Angeles has SO many famous prestigious hotels, the best of the best take you right to the epicenter of glamor: Beverly Hills. If you’re looking for luxury, definitely check out The Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, which will almost guarantee you at least one celebrity sighting. Another fantastic luxury hotel is the Beverly Wilshire , at the foot of Rodeo Drive and featured in Pretty Women . Both options put you in a fantastic spot for excellent dining and shopping.

If you’d prefer a luxury beach Christmas getaway in Los Angeles, jump ahead !

You may also like: Best LUXURY Travel Gifts for Him and Her

4. NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK | Christmas Getaways for Couples in USA

NYC Rockefeller Christmas tree, Christmas vacation ideas for couples in USA

If you’re looking for the best holiday vibe Christmas getaways for couples in USA but want more activity, you can’t get much more epic than NYC. From gazing up at the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree to oooing at 5th Avenue window displays and The Nutcracker on Broadway, you’ll have an absolutely fabulous romantic Christmas getaway in New York City. As soon as you know your travel dates, book your tickets to see New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

The Whitby is a 5-star luxury NYC hotel with fantastic reviews, lovely decor with individually-designed rooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows in every room. Situated between Times Square, Central Park and Fifth Avenue, the best of Christmas in New York City is at your doorstep.

Park Terrace Hotel on Bryant Park is a less pricey but still gorgeous 4-star hotel, near Times Square, Empire State Building and Grand Central Station. Over Christmas, Bryant Park also decks the halls with a giant Christmas tree and ice skating.

Or, search Plum Guide for the top homestays in New York City. Their team of professionals vet the best of the best, so you can book with confidence. Find gorgeous apartments with the views you’re after.

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5. LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK | Christmas Vacation Ideas in USA

Mirror Lake Inn Resort Spa, Lake Placid, cozy Christmas vacation ideas for couples in USA

We’ll wrap up our best Christmas vacation ideas for couples in USA with another incredible spot with plenty of holiday charm: Lake Placid, New York. And since it’s only 300 miles north of New York City, you could  actually do both. (My husband would hate town-hopping at Christmas, but I’d LOVE it!)

Lake Placid is famous for hosting the Winter Olympics twice (1932 and 1980), one of only 10 cities that can make this claim. And even though Lake Placid is actually only a village, a big reason why it could host the Olympics twice is that they  love their cold weather sports. So you KNOW they’ll also do Christmas right!

From mid-December to early January, Lake Placid gives you the perfect excuse to go walking in a winter wonderland with the Holiday Village Stroll. Take in special village events, skating, cute shops and live entertainment late into the evening. And there’s plenty to do right on Mirror Lake. Tobogganing, dog sledding, sleigh rides, more skating and even pickup hockey games, too, of course. Can you choose a more romantic Christmas destination?!

You have a few fantastic hotel options in Lake Placid. One you should definitely check out is Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa . Couples love this 4-star resort, including private balconies overlooking the lake and mountains, full-service spa, indoor pool, sauna and proximity to local ski hills. There are multiple onsite restaurants, including one featuring live music on weekends. Price includes wifi and parking.

Find MORE ideas on this MASSIVE list of hotels for romantic getaways in USA !  Includes great spots in Upper New York State.

How to Plan a Romantic Getaway, trip planning printable templates

6. EAST HAMPTON, NEW YORK | Christmas Getaways for Couples USA

Meet Me In Montauk home rental in Long Island, Christmas getaways for couples USA

Pair those classic festive lights with the ocean and you have fabulous Christmas getaways for couples in Long Island, New York. East Hampton is an upscale seaside resort village on the South Shore, just under 3 hours from New York City. Residents have preserved its 1648 past, becoming “America’s Most Beautiful Village,” with a Main Street that’s even more exquisite during the holidays.

And lucky you, you can find some beautiful homestays in East Hampton NY . Meet Me in Montauk gives you those spectacular ocean views. And The 1968 is possibly the coziest place ever to spend a romantic Christmas getaway!

7. NORTH FORK, NEW YORK | Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples USA

Salty Kiss home rental in Long Island, romantic Christmas getaway USA

While East Hampton gets a lot of the spotlight, you can find plenty of other gorgeous private homes on Long Island for your perfectly romantic Christmas getaway. These two of my favorites are both in North Fork .

For a minimalist and relaxed Christmas getaway for couples, check out Salty Kiss. Those wispy grasses beckon you to dip your toes in those perfect waters! Or, ring in the New Year where celebrities once lingered, at The Old Life-Saving Station. This 1800s coastguard station was featured on HBO, Lena Dunham’s Girls and The Undoing, starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman.

8. CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA | Romantic Christmas Getaway USA

Francis Marion Hotel in South Carolina, trips with mom in USA weekend getaways

Charleston, South Carolina is as romantic and dreamy as any city can be. Pastel antebellum houses line cobblestone streets, crowded with horse-drawn carriages clickity-clackiting on their way. Imagine how magical Charleston is at Christmas!

A great place to stay in Charleston, South Carolina is the historic Francis Marion Hotel . It features a spa, onsite dining and bar with live jazz. You’re right across from Marion Square, too. Price includes wifi.

Or, find your perfect home-away-from-home on Plum Guide . The jazz-inspired Magnolia Blossom flat features gorgeous shuttered windows, high ceilings and front porch. Can’t you just imagine hanging your stockings on that mantle?!

9. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA | Christmas Getaways for Couples USA

The Roosevelt Waldorf in New Orleans hotel, romantic Christmas getaway USA

New Orleans is a fun place to spend any day of the year, but it shines even brighter during the holidays. Every Christmas season, bonfires don the levee to guide Santa on his way. Twenty-five acres of oaks are wrapped in twinkle lights at City Park, as a train glides you through them. And candlelight caroling rings through Jackson Square, in front of America’s oldest cathedral.

Spend your romantic Christmas getaway in New Orleans at the ultra-elegant The Roosevelt . Features a rooftop bar, full-service spa, plush lounge with live jazz. After strolling Bourbon Street nearby, retire to your gourmet Italian restaurant. Take a dip in the outdoor pool. Or cozy up in your bathrobes with your favorite festive drink.

Or, book a beautiful home in New Orleans through Plum Guide . Like the quintessential New Orleans Lucky Lou near the famous French Quarter.

10. QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC | Christmas Getaways for Couples in Canada

Quebec City, Canada Christmas vacation ideas for couples

Now we’ll head north of the USA border to my homeland of Canada. Quebec City is the perfect place to start our Christmas getaways for couples in Canada, with both the charm of traditions past and modern luxuries for couples. As one of the oldest European cities in North America, Canada’s Quebec City has the only fortified city walls in the Americas north of Mexico. And Quebec City’s cobblestone streets and European architecture will give you that little taste of Europe.

At Christmas, Quebec City takes on a magical ambience. Old Quebec transforms into a real-life Christmas village, with a German Christmas Market that runs from late November to December 23. Stroll Terrasse Dufferin for incredible views of the St. Lawrence River and the beautifully-decorated Rue du Petit-Champlain, with cobblestone streets and pretty little shops. Take a Christmas culinary class at the Grand Marché de Québec and enjoy the Christmas choir at Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-De-Québec that dates back to 1771. CNN ranked Quebec City as one of the world’s top 15 destinations for Christmas.

For romantic Christmas getaways in Quebec City, book yourself in for the warm and elegant hospitality of Hotel Le Germain . Set inside two historical buildings, this 4-star boutique-style hotel embraces the charm of the past with the comforts of today. Enjoy in-room massages, an espresso bar in the lounge and free wifi. It’s a 5-minute walk to historic Old Quebec. 

If you time it right, you can also spend a night or two at the famous Hotel de Glace . It’s the only ice hotel in North America and opens January 2.

For a Quebec City Virtual Tour, visit 17 Best City Virtual Tours .

Find more Quebec City getaways at QUEBEC Getaways for Couples .  

11. NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO | Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in Canada

Niagara Falls, Canada Christmas vacation ideas for couples

The lovely Niagara Falls along the USA-Canada border is definitely on my travel bucket list . And at Christmas, it just gets  better !

From mid November to late December, Niagara Falls will really up their holiday vibes with the Winter Festival of Lights. This might actually be the perfect year to finally take it in, since they likely won’t be getting their typical one million visitors from around the world. Fireworks, holiday activities, and more than 3 million lights along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and the majestic Niagara Falls. SO FUN!

As you’d expect, there are plenty of big-name hotels near the falls. But for a cozier holiday feel on your romantic Christmas getaway, check out the 4-star Sterling Inn & Spa . Couples love this unassuming hotel, that oozes class as you enter. It features a full-service spa, onsite restaurant and bar, and either a 2-person spa bath or steam shower in every room. Many rooms also have a fireplace. It’s two blocks away from the pretty Queen Victoria Park with views of Niagara Falls, and about a 25-minute walk to Horseshoe Falls. This fantastic price includes wifi and breakfast.

Take a virtual tour of Niagara Falls from both the USA and Canada sides! Check out Best Virtual Tours of Waterfalls .

You may also like Romantic Getaways in USA or ONTARIO Canada ! Includes romantic hotels near Niagara Falls. 

12. CANADIAN ROCKY MOUNTAINS | Romantic Christmas Getaway Destinations 

Winter in Banff Canada Christmas vacation ideas for couples

The majestic Rocky Mountains is one of the most romantic Christmas destinations in North America. It’s easy to get cozy and romantic while cuddling in front of a wood-burning fireplace, sipping your favorite wine after a day of exploring a quaint mountain village or hitting the slopes. And guaranteed, these mountain villages and resorts will be decked out in holiday spirit.

We loved our romantic getaway to The Hidden Ridge Resort in Banff, Alberta Canada. Enjoy the gorgeous view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains from the shared outdoor hot tubs. Spacious private apartment with balcony and wood-burning fireplace. It takes a little more planning, as there’s no restaurant onsite. But you have a full kitchen, free shuttle into town, and as much wood for your fireplace as you want!

For more luxury, book immediately to spend your romantic Christmas getaway at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel or Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ! These gorgeous hotels ooze romance, and they fill up quickly.

  • 9 Romantic Getaways Near Calgary
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trip ideas for christmas

13. WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA | Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in Canada

Whistler, Canada Christmas vacation ideas for couples

More Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Canada’s mountains is Whistler, British Columbia. Whistler is a beautiful 2-hour drive north of Vancouver. But be prepared for wintery driving conditions at Christmas.

Once you arrive, cozy up next to a fireplace and settle in for a festive and romantic Christmas getaway! Known for its skiing and warming hospitality, Whistler only ups its game over the holidays. Think: serious twinkle lights, tubing, and of course the famous Fire & Ice Show at Skier’s Plaza. Every Sunday night in winter, Whistler’s Fire & Ice Show features the best local skiers and riders flipping through a blazing ring of fire, complete with fire spinners, a DJ and fireworks. Awesome!

You have plenty of big-name and independent hotel and apartment options, including the gorgeous 5-star Fairmont Chateau Whistler . Every room features a sitting area with mountain or village views, with access to hot tubs, saunas, and Eucalyptus steam rooms. Plus, multiple restaurants, live entertainment in the lounge, indoor pool, full-service spa, and ski-in/ski-out access at Blackcomb Mountain. Price includes wifi.

14. VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA | Romantic Christmas Getaways in Canada

Vancouver, Canada Christmas vacation ideas for couples

While I love Vancouver, British Columbia at any season, it’s especially magical over Christmas. Stanley Park lights up with more than one million lights, along with a miniature train ride to enjoy the views. And every night in December, you can head down to False Creek, Deep Cove or Port Moody for Vancouver’s Carol Ships Parade of Lights. They’ve been spreading holiday cheer since the 1960s!

There are so many beautiful, high-class hotels to choose from in Downtown Vancouver and along the waterfront. If you’re quick, you might still snag a room in my favorite hotel in Downtown Vancouver, the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver .

Another epic place to stay in Vancouver for romantic Christmas getaways is the Fairmont Waterfront . Couples love it, particularly for comfort, service, location and views. Features an onsite restaurant, hot tub, steam rooms, and heated outdoor pool with harbour and mountain views. If possible, request a corner room overlooking Stanley Park and the port for the best views of Vancouver at Christmas!  

Best LUXURY BEACH Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

If you love the idea of beach time with your romantic Christmas getaway, you’ll love this section! These BEST luxury beach Christmas vacation ideas for couples treat you to the best of the best for exquisite views, gourmet meals and plenty of pampering. 

All of the hotels below have excellent customer ratings on Google, Trip Advisor and Booking.com. As you can imagine, these amazing spots book up quickly, so book soon.

You may also like: Best LUXURY Travel Gifts for Him and Her and Romantic GIFTS for HER

15. SANTA MONICA Beach Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in USA

Casa del Mar, Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles beach Christmas vacation ideas for couples in USA

How does Christmas in Santa Monica sound? Casa Del Mar is a 5-star luxury resort and spa right on Santa Monica Beach. Every room has a hydrotherapy spa tub and floor-to-ceiling windows, some with an ocean view.

You’ll have plenty to keep you busy and in the festive spirit! Casa Del Mar has a comfortable pool area, two on-site restaurants, and live music on Sunday afternoons. It’s a five minute walk from Santa Monica Pier, with easy access to Venice Beach and more along The Strand cycle path . Plus, you don’t even need to fly overseas for this luxury beach Christmas getaway for couples!

You may also like: Guide to Cycling The Strand

16. FLORIDA KEYS Luxury Beach Christmas Getaways for Couples in USA

Private patio at H2O Suites, Christmas vacation ideas for couples USA Florida Key West

If you’d prefer a luxury beach vacation off the east coast of USA, Florida Keys is a fabulous Christmas vacation idea for couples. H2O Suites is a chic, adults-only 4-star hotel with a year-round outdoor rooftop pool and terrace. All rooms have a sitting area and some have a private pool.

Rent a bike to explore nearby Duval Street, Southernmost Point and, of course, beaches! Guests love Key West at Christmas.

Find MORE romantic getaways in FLORIDA and best stops for your Miami to Key West DRIVE !

17. MEXICO Luxury Beach Resorts for Romantic Christmas Getaways

Luxury beach vacation ideas for couples, romantic beach getaways, Mexico resorts for couples

Palace Resorts are recognized as the elite in all-inclusive luxury beach resorts in Mexico. Their high-end resorts grace the shores of Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa Del Carmen and Los Cabos. Looking for all of the amenities that come with massive 5-star beach resorts? Or maybe a more intimate island experience? Palace Resorts has a place you’ll fall in love with. Some are adults only, perfect for romantic Christmas getaways.

Wondering what sets Palace Resorts apart? All resorts are all-inclusive, including 24-hour room service, in-room double whirlpool tubs, wifi and unlimited calls to the Continental USA, Canada and Mexico. Indulge in rooftop pools, poolside dining, and swim-up bars. Exotic tours. World-class beaches, dining and entertainment.

Enjoy at Palace Restorts Spas and more.

18. ARUBA Luxury Beach Christmas Vacations for Couples

Luxury beach vacation ideas for couples at Christmas, romantic beach getaways, Caribbean resorts, Barcelo Aruba resorts

“Aruba. Jamaica. Oo I wanna take ya …” The Beach Boys started their famous Kokomo with the gorgeous beaches of Aruba. So, how can I not include them in the best Christmas vacations for couples in 2021?!

Among the most romantic luxury beach resorts in Aruba is the gorgeous 5-star Barceló Aruba . Barceló Aruba has fantastic reviews, and is an all-inclusive resort featuring everything you could want. Luxury spa and in-room massages. Direct access to a perfect white-sand beach with bar services, equipment rentals and monitors. Seven restaurants and three bars to try out. Lush gardens. Tennis courts, diving classes and live entertainment.

Rooms are a great mix of cozy and vibrant, all with a balcony. Some have ocean views and whirlpool tubs. Price includes wifi and parking.

Book through Barcelo.com for 40% off! Barcelo members save up to 50%.

trip ideas for christmas

19. SANDALS Resort in JAMAICA | Couples All-Inclusive Christmas Vacations

Sandals Jamaica, couples all-inclusive Christmas vacations

For the ultimate in luxurious all-inclusive Christmas vacations for couples, we have to include Sandals Resorts. Sandals has seven all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica , all with visiting privileges if you want to explore them all. Each one has a unique vibe and energy.

A classic choice is Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay. It features swim-up suites and over-the-water suites at its private island. Plus, nine restaurants, six bars, manicured gardens with roaming peacocks, and afternoon tea. Unlimited alcohol, water sports and land sports. And your wedding is included with at least three nights’ stay.

SANDALS Resorts (728 x 90)

20. ST. LUCIA Luxury Beach Romantic Christmas Getaways

Ladera Resort at St. Lucia, Christmas vacation ideas for couples

Swing with your toes in your private pool, overlooking the gorgeous World Heritage Piton Mountains and Caribbean Sea! Ladera Resort is a 5-star resort in St. Lucia featuring open-air suites with natural stonework, cut tile, hardwood floors and furniture crafted at the resort. The on-site restaurant serves authentic Caribbean cuisine from fresh local ingredients, and the bar offers live evening entertainment with its exquisite views. 

Enjoy on-site wine tastings in the wine cellar, in-room massages, cooking demonstrations, and Saturday morning market tours. Plus, concierge services to up the thrill on your romantic Christmas getaway, like sailing and ziplining! Price includes shuttle to Sugar Beach, wifi and parking.

21. Exotic COSTA RICA Christmas Vacations for Couples

Costa Rica resort, romantic beach Christmas vacation ideas for couples, best international trips

Pristine beaches. Unsettled volcanoes. Luscious jungle and cloud forest, bursting with incredible biodiversity. Costa Rica is on many of our bucket lists, so why not cross it off this Christmas as your couples romantic getaway?

Costa Rica’s 5-star Tulemar Resort makes Trip Advisor’s list of the Top 25 hotels in the WORLD (2022), and reviews on Booking.com definitely agree. The private cabins overlook the jungle and water, with hammocks on private verandas to enjoy the view. Its private beach, restaurant and service get excellent reviews, too.

Enjoy onsite water sports, gift shop and car hire for exploring nearby Esterillos and Santa Maria. Price includes wifi and parking.

22. TURKS AND CAICOS Luxury Beach Christmas Vacations for Couples

Sailrock Resort at Turks and Caicos, Christmas vacation ideas for couples

Turks and Caicos is another spot guaranteed for luxury beach Christmas vacations for couples. One of the best-rated 5-star hotels in Turks and Caicos is Sailrock Resort , located in South Caicos. Enjoy the incredible view from the hot tub and terrace, restaurant or bar. All rooms are air-conditioned and some have a sitting area. For some activity, use the free bikes to explore the area, which is known for excellent snorkeling, or book a massage, explore the island by jeep or go fishing.

Price includes breakfast, wifi, parking, island-hop flight and airport transportation. It looks like you must book four nights.

23. SANDALS Resort in NASSAU | Couples All-Inclusive Christmas Vacations

Sandals Nassau, couples all-inclusive Christmas vacations

Now open in the heart of the Bahamas, the elegant Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau is easy to get to and promises an incredible couples all-inclusive Christmas vacation. An award-winning spa. A Royal Village with hidden pools and villas, tucked inside beautiful gardens. Swim-up suites with butler service and two soft white-sand beaches. Plus, a private offshore island adventure, too.

This Sandals Resort features 10 restaurants, eight bars including a British-style pub, and seven pools. Unlimited alcohol, water sports and land sports. And your wedding is included with a minimum three night stay!

Sandals also has a resort on one of the quieter Bahamian islands of Great Exuma. We loved our couples getaway to Eleuthera, but do keep in mind that these “out-islands” are really quiet compared to Nassau.

24. TAHITI Luxury Beach Christmas Getaways for Couples

InterContinental Tahiti Resort, Christmas vacation ideas for couples

How about a romantic Christmas getaway in beautiful Tahiti? InterContinental Tahiti Resort is an excellent 4-star resort, with overwater bungalows for direct access to the perfectly turquoise lagoon. On-land rooms have a private balcony with lagoon or tropical garden views. You’ll have access to a diving center with free snorkeling gear and canoes, open-air aquarium, tennis courts and spa. The on-site overwater restaurant is near the sand-bottomed pool, with gourmet meals and fine French wines. 

Five minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from Papeete center museums, shops and nightclubs. Price includes wifi and parking.

25. FIJI Luxury Beach Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

Likuliku Lagoon Resort in Fiji, Christmas vacation ideas for couples

Fiji is another famous luxury beach Christmas vacation idea for couples wanting to retreat. For an all-inclusive luxury retreat, book your stay at the 5-star adults-only Likuliku Lagoon Resort . It’s everything you imagine, with overwater bungalows and gorgeous on-land bures with a private pool. Enjoy the private sandy beach, pool and bar, plus activities in the area, like snorkeling and windsurfing. Price includes all meals and wifi. It sells out quickly, so book soon!

If you’d rather not have an all-inclusive, another exceptionally-rated luxury adults-only resort in Fiji is Tokoriki Island Resort . Tokoriki Island Resort has a private sandy beach, two restaurants, open-air bar, pool, tennis court and spa. Villas have a private outdoor shower, hammocks and private pool with an incredible view. 

26. MALDIVES Luxurious Beach Christmas Vacations for Couples

Maldives resort, romantic beach Christmas vacation ideas for couples

Want a tropical paradise for your couples Christmas vacation? Here are TWO 5-star beach resorts that make Trip Advisor’s list of the Top 25 hotels in the world (2022). Both have the water villas you want, surrounded by clear turquoise water, with white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. They also have plenty to keep you busy or relaxed this Christmas.

First up is Six Senses Laamu , a sustainable luxury resort on Olhuveli Island. Enjoy the incredible spa, diving center, yoga pavilion, four restaurants and wine bar. Villas feature an outdoor rainshower, private sun loungers and slippers. It’s accessible by a half-hour inter-island flight from the main Male International Airport and short speedboat ride.

Next up is COMO Cocoa Island , located on the private Kaafu Island in South Male Atoll. Indulge in the onsite spa, two private diving reefs and an infinity pool. This resort also features Ayurvedic treatment programs, yoga classes, a library and two restaurants with all-day dining. It’s accessible by a 40-minute speedboat ride from Male International Airport.

27. SANDALS Resort in GRENADA | Couples All-Inclusive Christmas Vacations

Sandals Grenada, couples all-inclusive Christmas vacations

Experience a luxurious all-inclusive Christmas vacation for couples in beautiful Grenada. Sandals Grenada is remarkable, even for Sandals Resorts. Pools in the sky. Living rooms in swimming pools. Private plunge pools, cascading waterfalls and flowing river pools through lush exotic gardens.

Plus, 10 restaurants, six bars, and unlimited alcohol, water sports and land sports. Wanna get married? Weddings are included with stays of three nights or longer.

This is my favorite of the Sandals resorts. Not only is the resort itself exquisite, it’s on a lesser-traveled island.

28. HAWAII Luxury Beach Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in USA

Kukui'ula Resort Kauai, Hawaii beach Christmas vacation ideas for couples in USA

We’ll wrap up this section of luxury beach Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Hawaii, a personal favorite! The toughest part might be deciding on the island and the experience you want. Hawaiian islands each have their own character:

  • Kauai, the “Garden Isle,” is rugged and dramatic.
  • Oahu, the “Heart of Hawaii,” has the famous Waikiki beach of Honolulu, legendary surf towns and Pearl Harbor.
  • Maui has a small-town vibe, with the famous Road to Hana and Haleakala volcano.
  • And Hawaii, nearly twice as big as all other Hawaiian islands together, is home to massive volcanoes and the incredible Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

If you dream of living on a golf course, you’ll love The Lodge at Kukui’ula on Kauai. It’s a beautiful 5-star golf resort with private cottages overlooking the course, with outdoor showers and comfortable sitting areas. While not out on the course, enjoy two pools, a restaurant, bar, spa and a very sophisticated shared space with a fireplace and sauna. Price includes wifi and parking. It books quickly! 

Now, here’s a personal recommendation for Maui: the luxurious Hotel Wailea . It’s a gorgeous 5-star adults-only resort nestled among a lush tropical garden on the hills above Wailea. All suites have comfortable sitting areas, deck views of the garden or ocean, and deep soaking tubs. Enjoy the quiet pool area, beautiful spa and bar. Two high-end restaurants are on-site, that also provide a picnic basket to enjoy with beach services at Wailea Beach. Price includes wifi and parking.

You may also like Best LUXURY TRAVEL GIFTS for Him and Her and Hotels for ROMANTIC GETAWAYS in USA .

Best LUXURY EUROPEAN Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples 

For the perfect blend of a traditional holiday experience with the elegance and charm of Europe, here are seven luxury European Christmas vacation ideas for couples. Each of these romantic Christmas getaways focus on exceptional accommodations. They’re either European travel destinations on their own merit or put you close to top tourist sights. All surround you in luxury, and all have excellent guest ratings.

29. PRAGUE Luxury Christmas Getaways for Couples in Europe

Corinthia Prague, luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

If you’re looking for the ultimate in romantic Christmas getaways in Europe, Prague is it. The City of a Hundred Spires winds along the shores of Vltava River, rich in history, elegance and beauty.

During the Christmas season, you’ll find arguably the prettiest Christmas market in Europe at Old Town Square, with a giant Christmas tree, nativity, live music and carol concerts setting the festive vibe. For New Year’s fireworks, head down to Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square or the banks of the Vltava River for the best views.

Corinthia Prague offers breathtaking views above the spires and a modern luxury experience for romantic Christmas getaways. Chandeliers, marble and art deco greet you, and all rooms grace you with incredible panoramic views over this beautiful city. Executive rooms and suites enjoy exclusive access to the Executive Lounge, with breakfast, meals, complimentary drinks and snacks. What makes the Corinthia Prague extra luxurious is its grand spa on the 26th floor, with incredible views over the Vltava River, Prague Castle and Old Town Square.

You may also like: One Day in Prague

30. SWISS Luxury Romantic Christmas Getaways in Europe

Burgenstock Resort Lucerne, Switzerland luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Lucerne, Switzerland might just be my #1 favorite place in ALL of Europe. Incredible architecture nestled along gorgeous mountain ranges and overlooking pristine lakes. Delicious chocolate and friendly locals. It’s the perfect Christmas getaway for couples.

For the ultimate in luxury resort and alpine spa, book your stay at Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa . Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa is a five-star resort hotel on the Bürgenberg mountain, 450 meters above Lake Lucerne and with picturesque lake and mountain views. Take advantage of the resort’s incredible facilities, including spa with multiple pools, several restaurants with terraces, nearby golf course, hikes and the Hammetschwand lift, Europe’s highest outdoor lift that takes you to the mountain peak. The Bürgenstock shuttle boat to Lucerne and funicular lift are included with your stay.

Another incredibly luxurious romantic Christmas getaway near Lucerne is Park Hotel Vitznau . With its own private beach right on Lake Lucerne, two restaurants and spa, Park Hotel Vitznau transports you to a world of exquisite elegance. Bask in the indoor and outdoor pools, sip on fine wines from around the world, and rest in the comforts of your luxuriously-appointed room. All with incredible lake and mountain views.

trip ideas for christmas

31. VENICE Luxury Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in Europe

The Gritti Palace Venice, Italy luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Spend your Christmas getaway floating on the Grand Canal in Venice! Admire elegant decorations shimmering above the water. Browse Christmas markets. And enjoy a traditional 4-course fish dinner before midnight mass at Saint Mark’s Basilica.

A top-rated luxury hotel in Venice is The Gritti Palace . Set in a former noble residence on Venice’s Grand Canal, The Gritti Palace features luxurious rooms with antiques, Murano glass and views of the Santa Maria delle Salute Church, Grand Canal or city of Venice. Enjoy your breakfast under crystal chandeliers and meals from fresh local ingredients. The location is excellent, near La Fenice Opera House and St. Mark’s Square. 

Another luxurious option on the Grand Canal is Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel . Refined elegant decor, 2-Michelin-starred restaurant, and views of the Grand Canal make this a perfect stay for couples.

32. MALTA Luxury Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in Europe

Corinthia Malta, luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Just south of Sicily, Italy lies the 3-island nation of Malta. Spend your romantic Christmas getaway in Europe watching the waves while sipping on afternoon tea. Explore temple ruins and villages, and then relax over famous Malta wine.

During the Christmas season, Malta comes alive with candlelit carol concerts, feasts and choirs. And New Year’s celebrations include an evening of food, drinks and live entertainment at Valletta waterfront, culminating in an impressive fireworks display over the harbour.

Choose from the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa Malta right in San Anton for a grand palace experience. Or, the Corinthia St. George’s Bay Malta for a luxury resort experience.

Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa Malta is across from the famous San Anton Palace and gardens, and surrounded by lush gardens of its own. With grand marble halls and spa, you’ll feel like you’re in your very own palace on your magical Maltese Christmas vacation. The Villa Corinthia serves all-day brunch, afternoon tea, cocktails and Far Eastern-inspired dinner on the terrace. Rooms are elegant and spacious, most with a private balcony.

At Corinthia St. George’s Bay Malta , every room comes with a private balcony and a view. The Grand Suite comes with three balconies and two bathrooms! While at Corinthia St. George, you can indulge in total relaxation by the pool, in the spa, or at sea. Enjoy plenty of restaurant options from casual bistros and sports diner to the ultimate in gourmet, afternoon tea and cocktails. You can order directly from your lounger. Perfect!

33. BARCELONA Luxury Christmas Getaways for Couples in Europe

Hotel Serras Barcelona, luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Oh, romantic Barcelona. Graceful architecture and Spanish culture will sweep you away on the perfect Christmas getaway for couples. Barcelona has more than its share of gorgeous, 5-star luxury hotels with excellent ratings. Here are my two favorites.

Hotel The Serras is a five-star luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, right across from the sea. Its location is perfect, being steps away from Picasso Museum, Santa María del Mar Cathedral, and Plaça Reial Square. Modern elegance characterizes this historic hotel, where the famous painter Pablo Picasso got his start in 1896. Take in pretty city views from your private balcony and relax in luxurious comforts of your soundproofed room. Guests LOVE the 1-Michelin-starred restaurant, cozy library bar, and stylish lounge and infinity pool on the rooftop terrace. Enjoy airport pick-up, limousine, concierge and valet parking services.

Another gorgeous five-star luxury hotel in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is Monument Hotel . Rooms are warm and elegant, with soundproofing and most with a balcony with city views. It’s also in a fantastic location, located on the fashionable Paseo de Gracia and steps away from Gaudi’s masterpieces Casa Battló and La Pedrera, Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas. Enjoy the 3-Michelin-starred restaurant and spa. Monument Hotel is set in a 19-century architectural jewel with Specialty Monument status, as the former house of wealthy industrialist Enric Batllo.

34. CANARY ISLANDS Luxury European Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

Luxury beach vacation ideas for couples at Christmas, romantic beach getaways, Canary Islands resorts, Barcelo resorts

Spain’s Canary Islands are famous for their white- and black-sand beaches, courtesy of their rugged volcanic legacy. They’re off the northwest coast of Africa, and the largest of the eight main islands is Tenerife. With 300 days of sunshine a year, lush vegetation and quaint traditional fishing villages, it’s a perfectly relaxing Christmas vacation idea for couples.

A seriously luxurious, 5-star couples-only getaway in Tenerife is Royal Hideaway Corales Beach . It’s chic and elegant, with fantastic reviews. And if you appreciate architecture, you’ll especially love it. Royal Hideaway Corales Beach was recognized in the 2020 World Luxury Hotel Awards, Luxury Architecture Design Hotel category.

Relax in a hammock, Balinese bed or right on the beach while listening to the waves. Stroll lush gardens. Enjoy the views from the heated rooftop infinity pool and poolside bar. Indulge at the spa and two onsite restaurants. Couples can enjoy the spa, onsite yoga and pilates, dance classes, culinary and cultural workshops, and eco and cultural activities. Plus, rent a bike, go golfing and visit the island’s volcano.

All rooms have a balcony with spectacular views over the ocean, some with an outdoor hot tub.

Price includes wifi and breakfast. You can also get a rate that includes dinner. Note: It looks like you have to book a full week over Christmas.

Book through Barcelo.com for the lowest rates!

35. PARIS Luxury Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples in Europe

Hotel Splendid Royal Paris, luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

This list can’t be complete without a luxury Christmas vacation idea for couples in Paris. Festive lights adorn some of the most iconic tourist attractions in the world, including Galeries Lafayette’s massive Christmas tree. Sip on mulled wine as you watch the river flow by. Go ice skating. Indulge in French delicacies and chocolate. Paris is possibly THE most romantic Christmas destination.

For the ultimate in cozy luxury, book your romantic Christmas getaway in Paris at the Hotel Splendide Royal Paris – Relais & Châteaux . Hotel Splendide Royal Paris – Relais & Châteaux is tastefully decorated, with comfortable beds and a sitting area in all rooms. Enjoy a variety of breakfast options at its refined and inventive onsite restaurant. It’s near the Champs-Elysées, Opéra Garnier, Tuileries Garden and Orsay Museum. For a real balcony and Eiffel tower view, book the Suite Elysée.

Hôtel Maison Souquet is certainly a character boutique hotel, and is like stepping into a luxurious historical Parisian novel. Set in an exclusive Parisian townhouse, Hôtel Maison Souquet is decorated in a Belle Époque theme with rich cordova leather furnishings and intricate wood paneling. Enjoy cocktails in the lounge, a stroll through the winter garden, and a private swim in the pool and Turkish bath. Spa services are also available. Hôtel Maison Souquet is located in the Montmartre district, right by Moulin Rouge and easy walking distance to Montmartre.

36. Exotic TURKEY Couples Christmas Vacation Ideas

Romantic Istanbul Boutique, European Christmas vacations for couples

There’s something incredibly romantic about Turkey. Exotic beaches along the Mediterranean. Colorful hot air balloons, floating above intriguing rock formations. Caves, full of history and wonder.

And we have two incredibly romantic hotels that are bucket list worthy. Both are featured on Trip Advisor’s list of Top 25 hotels in the world.

First up is Romance Istanbul Hotel Boutique Class , located in the historic center of Istanbul. Walk to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque. When you get back, enjoy the onsite spa, restaurant, bar and pool. Price includes wifi.

Then, spend at least a few nights in restored historic caves at the elegant Kayakapi Premium Caves Cappadocia . Book a suite with a fireplace and private terrace to enjoy exquisite views. Enjoy the onsite spa, excellent restaurant and pool. Price includes wifi, parking and shuttle to Urgup center.

Doesn’t that sound AMAZING?

37. ST. PETERSBURG Luxury Christmas Vacation Idea for Couples in Europe

Corinthia St. Petersburg, Russia luxury Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Whisk yourselves away to the magical winter wonderland of St. Petersburg, Russia at Christmas. Indulge in a food tour of culinary delights, a tasting tour of local craft beer, and incredible palaces, cathedrals and museums. And warm, elegant accommodations.

Step into the grand luxury of the Corinthia St. Petersburg on your romantic Christmas getaway. Enjoy a welcome drink and relax in the plush surroundings of your room. Vast windows of the Imperial Restaurant overlook Nevsky Prospect as you’re charmed with its fresh, modern take on celebrated dishes and ingredients. Or, relax at the elegant Cafe Vienna or Lobby Bar. Executive rooms and suites include access to the Executive Club Lounge, with breakfast, snacks and drinks throughout the day.

Book at Corinthia.com for exclusive offers.

Best EUROPEAN HOMESTAY Christmas Getaways for Couples

There’s no question that Europe is an amazing destination for Christmas getaways for couples. But it’s also expensive. 

If you’d like to save some cash without sacrificing your romantic Christmas getaway in Europe, choose among Plum Guide’s elite homestays. Plum Guide is like AirBnB, but only the best-of-the-best home rentals are listed and all are vetted by professionals. And they’re gorgeous , many surprisingly affordable.

38. HOMESTAY Christmas Getaways for Couples in ITALY

Hen of the Wood home rental in Rome, Christmas getaways for couples

Christmas in Italy … Could anything be dreamier?! Cathedral choirs. Strolling cobblestone streets under festive decorations, past fountains, cafes and ruins. And sipping the best cappuccinos in the world!

Spend your romantic Christmas getaway taking in these spectacular views in Rome . There’s no compromising your views with a private homestay this Christmas! Find them at the gorgeous Hen of the Wood or Trajan’s Chambers homestays. 

Or, stay in exquisite and romantic homes as you tour Italy’s countryside. Sip away your perfect Christmas getaway for couples in Tuscany’s Grande A’more. After strolling through beautiful Florence , retire to your very own oasis of Imagine Me & You. And bask in the views of romantic Cinque Terre , with As the Poets Once Said as your home-base.

Grande Amore home rental in Tuscany Italy, romantic Christmas getaways for couples

39. GREEK ISLANDS Beach Christmas Getaways for Couples

Sunrise Skies home rental in Greek Islands, Christmas getaways for couples

The majestic Greek islands are soft and romantic during the holidays, with glittering lights and warm festive cooking adding to the ambience. And for a luxurious beach getaway in the Greek Islands, look to prestigious home rentals from Plum Guide!

Here are three fabulous Greek island romantic homestays for Christmas getaways for couples. Sunrise Skies in Mykonos. Sandalwood Stone in Naxos. Everyday Beauty in Halkidiki.

40. HOMESTAY Christmas Getaways for Couples in LISBON

Braque home rental in Lisbon, romantic Christmas getaways for couples

Lisbon is one of the most popular European tourist destinations, and for good reason. As the capital of Portugal located right on the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is a wonderful mixture of history, culture, scenery and food. Explore timeless neighborhoods, fabulous museums, grand squares and parks. Stroll waterfront promenades and colorful tiled and cobbled streets.

For your romantic Christmas getaway in Lisbon, book a fabulous homestay through Plum Guide . Like a room with a city view at Braque or ocean view at Classical Fadista.

41. HOMESTAY Romantic Christmas Getaway in LONDON

Noble Circle home rental in London, Christmas getaways for couples

One of the world’s most elegant cities, London beckons as a prime Christmas getaway for couples. The city lights up with festivity around every corner, from the Tower of London, to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Take them in from the London Eye above!

Find incredible homes to rent in London, England . Like the gorgeous Noble Circle and Anna Scott. Can’t you just imagine cozying up with your spiced eggnog, after decking the halls?

42. ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE HOMESTAY Christmas Getaways for Couples

Peppercorn Cottage home rental in England, romantic Christmas getaways

Or, take your romantic Christmas getaway into the English countryside . Find your secluded romantic homestay in a lovely Cotswolds cottage, like Peppercorn Cottage. An elegant lakefront cabin in the Lake District. Your private hot tub overlooking The Mendip Hills.

Or something completely unique, like your Hunters Moon retreat in Somerset.

You may also like: CABIN Packing List for Romantic Getaways

43. SCOTTISH HOMESTAY Romantic Christmas Getaway

Saints Go Marching home rental in Scotland, unique Christmas getaways for couples Europe

Find incredibly romantic house rentals in Scotland to spend your couples Christmas trip! Spend your holidays like royalty in Saints Go Marching, the former St Andrew’s Chapel on the shores of Loch Ness. Or keep it super cozy in Bothy Bliss near The Trossachs National Park and Loch Lamond. 

And then there’s Edinburgh. Christmas getaways for couples in Edinburgh Scotland would be incredible . Check out these best of the best home rentals in Edinburgh . Can’t you just imagine cozying up in A Sandstone Stay, after spending the day strolling through Edinburgh Castle?

Also check out the Best Stops from LONDON to EDINBURGH DRIVE

Best EUROPEAN TOURS Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

Interested in seeing Europe this Christmas but don’t want the hassle of planning the trip? Lucky you! Here are five of my favorite group tours from Trafalgar for incredibly romantic Christmas getaways. 

The world’s most awarded travel brand, Trafalgar has been creating incredible group travel experiences since 1947. Trafalgar tours include dedicated travel directors, passionate local specialists and hosts, and comfortable accommodations. My favorite thing about Trafalgar is its impressive customer reviews, both for the quantity of reviewers and quality of experiences. You can be confident your European Christmas getaway will be just as magical as you imagine.

44. EUROPEAN TOUR Christmas Vacation Idea for Couples

Paris Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Take a 9-night group tour from London to Rome , stopping at other major European travel destinations on your way. Experience highlights of Paris, Lucerne, Venice and Florence, including plenty of free time for exploring on your own or taking advantage of optional excursions. For example, while staying in Florence you can take a dinner, wine and music tour through the Tuscan hills. Your tour cost includes all breakfasts and three dinners, as well as all accommodation and on-trip transportation.

45. WONDERS OF ITALY TOUR Christmas Getaways for Couples in Europe

Venice Italy Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Make your romantic Christmas getaway perfect, with this 10-night Wonders of Italy tour from Rome. See the gorgeous Cinque Terre’s rugged and colorful coastline. Explore the old streets of Lucca, Florence and San Gimignano, and the canals of Venice. Tour includes the wonders of the Vatican, Ancient Rome and vineyard lunch in the rolling Chianti Hills. Add-ons include a gondola ride through Venice and dinner in Tuscany. Your tour cost includes all breakfasts, one lunch and four dinners, as well as all accommodation and on-trip transportation.

46. SPAIN, MOROCCO + PORTUGAL Romantic Christmas Getaways in Europe

Luxury European vacation ideas for couples at Christmas, romantic getaways Europe, Spain at Christmas

Experience the best of Spain, Morocco and Portugal on this 15-night round-trip from Madrid for your romantic European Christmas getaway. Visit must-see spots like Madrid, Toledo, Lisbon, Casablanca and Seville. Stroll famous markets and marvel at incredible architecture. Includes local cultural activities, like visiting a horse ranch and monastery. Add-on activities include the 13th-century castle of Segovia, traditional Arabian food and entertainment, Spanish Civil War memorial, and elegant 14th-century Moorish Alcazar gardens featured in Game of Thrones. Your tour cost includes all breakfasts, seven dinners, all accommodation and on-trip transportation.

47. BOHEMIAN HIGHLIGHTS TOUR Christmas Vacation Idea for Couples in Europe

Berlin Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Spend your Christmas strolling the streets of the most beautiful and intriguing streets in Europe. This 13-night group tour takes you from Frankfurt to Berlin , wrapping east to see Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Learn about this area’s WWII and Cold War past. Explore pretty castles, old churches and old streets. Add-ons include a farmhouse polka party and Danube dinner cruise. Your tour cost includes all breakfasts and seven dinners, as well as all accommodation and on-trip transportation.

48. FESTIVE ST. PETERSBURG AND MOSCOW Christmas Getaways for Couples in Europe

Moscow Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Europe

Walk in a winter wonderland on this 6-night group tour from St. Petersburg to Moscow . Visit famous fortresses, museums and Christmas markets on your romantic Christmas getaway. Optional add-ons include more in-depth historical tours, palace tours and a Russian ballet. Your tour cost includes all breakfasts and two dinners, as well as all accommodation and on-trip transportation.

trip ideas for christmas

Best ADVENTURE Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

If your perfect Christmas getaway for couples is a little more rustic and adventurous than those listed above, this section is for you! 

Intrepid Group focuses on small group tours (anywhere from one traveler to 12) and authentic local experiences. Choose from their standard tour packages through Intrepid Travel, with basic transportation and accommodations typically including a homestay. Or, go for their luxury small group experiences through Peregrine , with minimum 4-star accommodations and private transportation. 

I traveled with Intrepid Travel through SE Asia and absolutely loved my experience. Everyone is welcome on Intrepid tours, including couples, singles, older and younger (minimum 15 years). If you’re interested in why I love Intrepid, and particularly the Intrepid Foundation, read more in my post, 5 Charities in SE Asia Tourists Should Visit .

All of the tours below are with Intrepid Travel and have excellent reviews.

49. THAILAND FOOD TOUR Christmas Vacations for Couples

Thai cooking tour, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

If you love Thai food, then check out the Thailand Real Food Adventure cooking tour for your Christmas vacation for couples. It’s a 7-night small group tour from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, taking you to bustling and colorful markets on land and water, indulging in exotic fruits and aromatic dishes. Includes a village homestay and home-cooking with a family in Chiang Mai. Accommodation is simple but comfortable.

Price includes 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners, plus transportation, accommodation, and tons of activities.

Real Food Adventures

50. CYCLE VIETNAM TOUR Christmas Getaways for Couples

Cycling Vietnam countryside, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

Want more activity on your Christmas getaway for couples? How about cycling through the beautiful countryside of Vietnam?! Intrepid Travel’s Cycle Vietnam tour is a 14-night coastal trip from Hanoi in North Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam. Accommodation is basic but comfortable, including one homestay and an overnight sleeper train. You have the option of renting an electric bike, to help with the 70-kilometers per day and mountain pass.

Price includes 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 2 dinners, plus transportation, accommodation and lots of activities.

51. CENTRAL AMERICA ADVENTURE TOUR Romantic Christmas Getaway

Central America hike, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

For your romantic Christmas getaway, take an incredible 17-day journey through Central America !  This small group tour from Intrepid Travel takes you through Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Experience the cloud forests, active volcanoes and shaggy palms on dark-sand beaches. There are lots of ways to take your experience up a few notches, like surfing in El Cuco and ziplining through the cloud forests of Monteverde.

Price includes 1 lunch, transportation, accommodation, and lots of activities.

52. BEST AFRICA ADVENTURE TOURS Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

African elephant up-close, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

It’s pretty tough to pick only one of Intrepid Travel’s small group tours through Africa, but here are my two favorites happening over Christmas. 

First, Explore Southern Africa is a 17-night excursion through South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It starts and ends in Johannesburg, and takes you to incredible places like Kruger and Matobo National Parks, Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Victoria Falls, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and Blyde River Canyon. Includes camping on a remote island and a 2-night village homestay in South Africa.

Price includes all breakfasts, 11 lunches and 14 dinners, plus transportation, simple (and memorable!) accommodation, and tons of activities.

And second, Gorillas & Game Parks is 15 nights through “staggeringly beautiful” East African landscapes in search of unforgettable wildlife sightings. Start and end in Nairobi, and venture through national parks and reserves of Kenya and Uganda like Queen Elizabeth National Park and Masai Mara Reserve. Watch for lions, rhinos, chimps, antelopes, hippos and leopards. Help set up camp, and be ready for early starts to get those unforgettable wildlife interactions.

Price includes all breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners, plus transportation, accommodation (13 camping, with facilities), and lots of activities.

Other posts you may like:

  • 13 Best WATERFALL Virtual Tours , including Victoria Falls
  • 15 Interactive Virtual Tours with Wildlife , including African elephants and cheeky meerkats

53. CYCLE TANZANIA TOURS Vacation Ideas for Christmas

Couple cycling in Tanzania, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

Okay, so I’m not quite done with Intrepid Travel tours in Africa! Cycle Tanzania is another fantastic, highly-rated option for couples over Christmas. It’s a 12-night round-trip bike ride from Arusha, Tanzania. Ride through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, down Great Rift Valley and through farm villages. Distances are mostly short but can be rough with hilly terrains. Stop to roast your own coffee and sleep among the stars. A support vehicle travels with you.

Price includes all breakfasts, 11 lunches and 10 dinners, plus transportation, accommodation (including 8 nights of camping), and lots of activities.

54. PERU ADVENTURE TOUR Christmas Getaways for Couples

Machu Picchu tour, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

What could be MORE epic than an 8-night adventure to Machu Picchu over Christmas? Intrepid Travel’s Classic Peru takes you through mountains, jungles, seasides and great plains to experience Peru’s ancient Inca sites. You’ll start and end in Lima, enjoy both a guided tour and free time at the incredible Machu Picchu site, and enjoy the gorgeous Cusco and floating reed islands of Uros.

Price includes all breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner, plus transportation, accommodation (including a homestay on Lake Titicaca) and lots of activities.

55. ANTARCTIC ADVENTURE TOUR Christmas Getaways for Couples

Penguin in Antarctic, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take the 10-night Antarctic Explorer to the end of the world! Starting and ending in Ushuaia, Argentina, you’ll travel through Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands, and set foot on plains, mountains and beaches on this frozen winter wonderland. Spot whales, seals, rare birds, and diverse species of penguins. Take the true polar plunge in Antarctic waters, and enjoy optional activities like sea kayaking and polar ice climbing.

Price includes all breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners, plus a warm parka, waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks while onboard. A doctor is on-board, should you need one.


Everest base camp flags, Christmas vacation ideas for couples, Intrepid Travel

We’ll wrap up the best adventure Christmas vacation ideas for couples with another cold but incredible experience: Mount Everest. Well, not that you’ll actually be climbing Mount Everest … that would be crazy ! But you will be trekking through the mighty Himalayan Mountains. 

Intrepid Travel’s 14-night Everest Base Camp Trek starts and ends in Kathmandu, Nepal. Ditch wifi (well, high-speed wifi) for tiny teahouses, alpine lakes and watching the sunrise over Everest. Price includes transportation and accommodation (including 12 nights in a tea house); no meals are included.

Best CRUISE Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples

Colorful lights on cruise ship deck, Christmas vacation ideas for couples

It’s pretty tough to beat a cruise when considering low-stress Christmas vacation ideas for couples. Cruises offer the benefits of an all-inclusive resort with incredible views, luxurious spas and unbeatable entertainment. Dine in an elegant dining room, one of their many gourmet restaurants or on your private terrace overlooking the ocean. 

The sky’s nearly the limit when choosing your perfect cruise getaway for Christmas! Cruise for 3 nights, or more than 15. Enjoy a river cruise, a Caribbean or Mediterranean cruise, or cross the ocean blue. 

Booking a cruise through CruiseDirect gets you the guaranteed best price, no booking fees, flexible payment plans AND access to a cruise expert to answer all your questions. This is especially helpful if you’ve never cruised before, and makes for a low-stress way to book that cruise Christmas vacation idea for couples. I can personally recommend the 5-star experience we had with Royal Caribbean, so I’ll highlight their options below.

Below are five fantastic cruise Christmas vacation ideas for couples, including more familiar travel destinations like the Caribbean to less familiar along European rivers. 


57. BAHAMA Christmas Cruise Getaway

Let’s start with a Bahama cruise Christmas vacation for couples. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful ?! Choose from short 3- and 4-night cruises immediately before, during and after Christmas, including New Year’s. Plus, Royal Caribbean has a 7- and 8-night cruise over Christmas. One leaves from Baltimore and the other from Newark.

58. CARIBBEAN Christmas Cruise for Couples

How does Christmas in the Caribbean sound? Choose from a variety of perfect island stops. Over Christmas, Royal Caribbean offers a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise, 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise and 8-night South Caribbean cruise. Plus, more options right after Christmas and over New Year’s, too.

Click here for Honeymoon Cruises!

59. EUROPEAN River Cruise for Couples at Christmas 

How about a river cruise through Europe ? Find 7- to 11-night river cruises in Europe over Christmas with AmaWaterways, Crystal River Cruises and Viking River Cruises. Choose from a variety of itineraries to visit your favorite European destinations! 

How about a 7-day cruise from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary? Along the way, stop at Regensburg and Passau in Germany, and Melk, Wachau Valley and Vienna in Austria. Be sure to check out the gem of Stift Melk Abbey ! Or, make a loop from Paris, including sailing on the Seine River. And then there’s a sailing from Basel, Switzerland up to Amsterdam, Netherlands. SO many choices!

60. SOUTH PACIFIC Christmas Cruise Idea for Couples

Sail the Coral Sea, including island stops like New Caledonia and Mystery Island Vanuatu . Explore beautiful beaches along Australia’s northern coast and Fiji’s islands. Sailings right over Christmas include 8 and 13 nights, with other options before and after Christmas. Check out your options all leaving from Australia .  

61. SOUTH AMERICA Cruise Idea for Christmas Getaway

For Christmas vacation cruises in South America , we move over to Expedia to get a LOT of options! Azamara, Costa, MSC and Norweigan have 7-15 night Christmas cruises. You have lots of departure options, including Buenos Aires, Argentina and Itajai, Maceio, Santos and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Plus, you can also take 20-30 night cruises with Holland America (departs from Buenos Aires) and Oceania Cruises (departs from Lima). SO fun!!

  • Christmas GIFTS for COUPLES that Travel Together
  • Gifts for Travel Lovers to Enjoy at HOME, Too
  • Best LUXURY Travel Gifts for Him and Her
  • Gift Ideas for STUDENTS Studying Abroad

Wondering how to give experience gifts? Check out our 5-step gift giving guide . 

Enjoy this post? Please SHARE with your friends!

Best Christmas vacation ideas for couples, getaway trips for Christmas

Featured photo credit: Arthur Brognoli from Unsplash.

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  • Last Updated On
  • June 10, 2023

14 Best Christmas Vacations For Families – Kid Friendly Ideas!

Claire Allard

There’s no other way to spend the happiest time of the year than with family. 

If you’re looking to spend it outside of the home, there are many fun, family-friendly destinations that will get you in a joyful mood.

I’m talking about sleigh rides, ice skating, Christmas-themed events, and many more.

The least you can expect is getting stressed during the holidays, right?

I’m a travel writer and a parent. 

And I’ve been spending Christmas outside of my home yearly to review top holiday activities and destinations. 

I’ve curated a list of holiday ideas for you and your family because I know that the best Christmas vacations for families provide lively events and cheery décor.

These would enhance the holiday spirit.

I have ranked these based on family-friendly activities, safety, accommodation quality, affordability, accessibility, and weather.

Whatever fits your family’s needs, the perfect Christmas vacation will always be for you.

So, do yourself a favor and check out the list below. 

Best Christmas Vacations For Families Compared

There are many vacation options, whether you want to spend a white Christmas or relax on a sunny beach. Here’s a quick guide to them:

Editor’s Choice

The Sherry-Netherland

The Sherry-Netherland

Christmas is best spent here with its five-star service and high-end accommodations.

  • Family-friendly Activities: 4/5
  • Safety: 5/5
  • Accommodation Quality: 5/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 5/5
  • Festive Atmosphere: 4.5/5

#2nd Best Choice

Marriott's Willow Ridge Lodge

Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge

This is the best place to go if you want a quiet and relaxing Christmas.

  • Family-friendly Activities: 5/5
  • Accommodation Quality: 4/5
  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Accessibility: 3/5 
  • Festive Atmosphere: 4/5

#3rd Best Choice

Nimb Hotel

If you want to get to know the city, this is a great place to visit since it matches its history.

  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Festive Atmosphere: 5/5

Here are the top 14 Christmas vacations for families.

1. The Sherry-Netherland (Editor’s Choice)

781 5th Ave New York, NY 10022 (212) 355-2800 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ratings Criteria

  • Luxury amenities 
  • Convenient location
  •  Limited activities on-site

Nothing can beat the view of New York during Christmas. 

So stay at the Sherry-Netherland, a classic hotel that was built in 1927.

It’s among the best boutique hotels in New York City for a family-friendly stay. 

You’ll find this hotel on the corner of Fifth and 59th at the entrance to Central Park.

Plus, it’s just steps away from Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue shopping. 

While here, head to the Rockefeller Center with your family to see their famous Christmas tree. 

Or take a few steps outside to relax at Central Park.

One of the world’s most incredible parks is a magnet for kids and grownups.

Related: Places to Eat in NYC

Related: Best Winter Vacations for Families

Related: Best Hotels in NYC

2. Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge

2929 Green Mountain Dr Branson, MO 65616 (417) 348-3100 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Many activities on-site
  • Cozy accommodations 
  • Hard to locate

Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge will always be a family favorite.

The resort features villas with an array of family-friendly amenities to use.

Expect clean rooms and well-maintained facilities during your stay too. 

After a busy day at the Entertainment Capital of the World, relax by the indoor and outdoor pool.

Hang out by the campfire and make smores with kids. 

You can also play shuffleboard, basketball or spend some time in the activities area.

There’s a specific den for teens and a playroom for young children.

Each member of the family has tons to do in the accommodation.

Related: Best Family Resorts Near Branson

3. Nimb Hotel

trip ideas for christmas

Bernstorffsgade 5 1577 København, Denmark (458) 870-0000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Thrilling festivities
  • Rich in history and culture 

Nimb Hotel is considered a treasure in Copenhagen.

The 1909 castle will leave you in awe of its beauty.

Its restaurants and bars on-site are other reasons to book a trip here.

Celebrating Christmas with family would be magical here. 

Nimb Hotel’s Tivoli Garden comes to life during the holidays with a shimmering Christmas tree.

There are also vendor stalls where goodies are sold to share the Christmas spirit.

Young children can enjoy the rides on-site.

Then, the whole family can get together to listen to Christmas music.

4. Enzian Inn

Enzian Inn

590 US Hwy 2 Leavenworth, WA 98826 (800) 223-8511 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Enzian Inn is your home away from home during the holiday vacation.

Looking out the window, you’ll see magnificent mountains, rich green forests, and fresh, clear skies.

You might think you’re in the Alps during Christmas. 

The family-run alpine-themed lodge is a 5-minute walk from the city center of Leavenworth. 

Enzian Inn also offers free use of cross-country ski equipment or free passes at the Enzian Falls Championship Putting Course.

Kids can always enjoy their indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Other amenities for families include ping-pong tables, racquetball or basketball court, and a complimentary round of golf.

It’s an excellent alternative to Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge or Nimb Hotel.

Related: Best Places to Visit in December in the USA

5. Seneca Falls, NY

Seneca Falls, NY

Seneca Falls, NY Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Seneca Falls, NY is also one of the best vacation spots for Christmas with families.

If you have watched It’s a Wonderful Life (which you are likely to have done over Christmas some time), you will be excited to know that the fictional Bedford Falls is based on Seneca Falls.

The destination hosts a four-day-long It’s a Wonderful Life Festival which is an absolute treat for fans of the film, as well as others.

The kids will certainly enjoy frolicking around the gingerbread house and the mesmerizing light displays.

There are also exciting live concerts for you to enjoy, and if you are lucky, you may even be able to see some of the original cast members who visit the festival occasionally.

Of course, you can also enjoy the classic Christmas fantasy film playing in the town.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Seneca Falls

Related: Best Places to Visit During Christmas in the USA

6. Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole, WY Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Jackson Hole is an incredible family retreat to spend Christmas in, but fair warning, it gets booked out very early in the year.

If you are looking to spend a white Christmas, this is the place to be!

If your family likes to ski, you can enjoy the incredible slopes even on Christmas day.

There are several other winter sports you can enjoy at this incredible snowy destination, such as sledding, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, etc.

The town is decorated appropriately for the holiday season, and the main square, especially, is a place to enjoy the festivities completely.

Enjoy some roasted marshmallows with hot chocolate, and enjoy an incredible white Christmas with your loved ones.

Recommended Hotel: Rustic Inn Creekside

7. Disney World, FL

Orlando, FL Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Who hasn’t entertained some Disney-themed Christmas time getaway ideas at some point in their lives?

The good thing is that this does not have to remain a fantasy in your head.

It is actually incredibly easy to make your Disney Christmas come true, provided you book well in time (trust me, last-minute bookings will not work).

Disney World, Florida is one of the best places to spend Christmas with the family.

If you are traveling with the kids, it is a no-brainer that Disney World is among the great Christmas vacation destinations, not only in the United States but in the whole world.

The lighting display is incredible in every park, and you can even enjoy “snow” in sunny Florida.

Cinderella’s Castle is converted into an incredible Frozen-themed ice palace.

Be honest, this is not exciting only for the kids but even for you!

After all, who can resist some Disney magic around the holidays?

Recommended Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Related: Best Disney Resorts for Kids

8. Stowe, VT

Stowe, VT

Stowe, VT Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If you are a fan of The Sound of Music, Stowe, Vermont is the perfect place to spend the holidays.

The Trapp Family Lodge is the actual place where the von Trapp family eventually settled after escaping Austria and touring the United States as the Trapp Family Singers.

There are plenty of exciting things to do at this shrine to the von Trapp Family.

The lodge is homely and full of music.

You can also enjoy family activities like sugar maple tours, rock climbing, holiday wreath-making workshops, etc.

You can also enjoy classic films every night, including, of course, The Sound of Music .

The lodge is also incredibly close to the slopes and you can reach your skiing destination in only 15 minutes.

I think one of the most exciting things about this destination, however, is the fact that you can sing Christmas carols with the actual von Trapp family!

Who does not want the hills to come alive with the sound of music?

Recommended Hotel: Trapp Family Lodge

9. Oahu, HI

Oahu, HI Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Oahu in Hawaii is another incredible holiday destination.

This is one of the best options if you want to get away from frigid zones in December and enjoy a delightful, tropical Christmas.

Add a pina colada to your hands, and the picture is complete!

In place of snowmen, the kids can enjoy innovative sculptures made out of the beach sand.

Other than the difference in weather, you can enjoy all the other Christmas staples, like hot chocolate, caroling and opening presents under a beautifully decorated tree.

The incredible thing about Hawaii is that even if you find yourself missing a white Christmas, you can still go ice skating in man-made snow!

It may not sound exciting in theory but I assure you, it can be just as fun when you enjoy this activity with your family and loved ones.

Recommended Hotel: The Modern Honolulu By Diamond Resorts

Related: Oahu Restaurants

Related: Best Hotels in Oahu

10. Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Speaking of white Christmas, the windy city of Chicago is one of the best places to enjoy Christmas with the family.

If New York sounds like too much work or too crowded, Chicago is another great option to spend Christmas in a vibrant city, but far less hectic than NYC.

There is a massive Christmas tree which is the highlight of the city and draws crowds every year.

The parade and the fireworks are not to be missed if you are spending the Christmas break in Chicago.

The Christkindlmarket is an open-air fair that families are also likely to enjoy immensely.

If you are looking for the perfect, exciting and activity-filled Christmas holiday, Chicago is the place to be.

Recommended Hotel: The Peninsula Chicago

Related: Restaurants in Chicago, IL

Related: Best Hotels in Chicago

11. Lake Louise, Canada

Lake Louise, Canada

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Canada is the ideal place to spend a Canadian Christmas.

This is an incredibly beautiful destination in the Canadian Rockies.

This is a picture-perfect Christmas holiday destination.

So much so that I would highly recommend that you make use of this opportunity to take a family photo so you can also use it for your Christmas card.

And well, if Christmas cards are not your style, you can certainly get an exciting photograph for your Instagram—trust me, the likes will not stop!

At Lake Louise, you can go ice skating practically every day and also enjoy hot beverages at the Ice Bar.

There are also exciting board games to play the whole day if you do not feel like taking to the slopes and skiing or sledding.

Recommended Hotel: Fairmont Château Lake Louise

12. National Harbor, MD

National Harbor, MD

Fort Washington, MD 20745 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

National Harbor in Maryland is another great destination to spend Christmas with the family.

The Gaylord National Resort hosts the exciting ICE!

Exhibit that you are bound to enjoy with family.

There are incredible life-sized ice sculptures that are made every year keeping in mind the different themes.

But what I am certain the kids will enjoy the most are the multi-story ice slides.

In fact, let’s not pretend even the adults will not be enjoying these slides!

The kids can also enjoy an exciting Cirque du Soleil show and a Silent Disco at an indoor ice skating rink.

If it gets too cold for you inside, the harborfront is the perfect place for some warmth and rides.

Recommended Hotel: Gaylord National Resort

Related: Best Restaurants in National Harbor

13. Bahamas


The Bahamas Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Bahamas are an incredible place to enjoy a holiday with the family, period.

Now, add Christmas to this mix and it is the cherry on top of an incredible cake.

If you come from a cold place and want to get away from the December chills, this island is the best place to rejuvenate and get some precious vitamin D.

I think Melia Nassau Beach will be one of the favorites for the kids to frolic about in the water.

You can also take a boat ride or go snorkeling in the incredible waters.

The great thing about the Bahamas is that it is ready throughout the year for tourists from all walks of life.

This means that you can find hotels of all ranges and they are all likely to be extremely family friendly.

I would highly recommend paying a visit to Atlantis, even if you do not book your entire stay there.

Recommended Hotel: The Cove at Atlantis

Related: Best All Inclusive Family Resorts in The Bahamas

14. Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venezia, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Venice is beautiful at any time of the year, but it also makes for one of the most wonderful places to go for Christmas with family.

The canal city comes to life with even greater gusto around Christmas time.

There is the Island of Murano, which I would recommend as the best place to be in Venice during Christmas.

The glassworks are exquisite and are alive in their full, sparkling glory when they are lit up for Christmas.

If you have a longer vacation and plan to stay on till New Year’s Eve, the fireworks are not to be missed and will certainly be something the kids will enjoy.

Venice is known as a picturesque holiday destination, but few people think of it as a Christmas destination.

But I think that is the beauty of this destination as then you can truly enjoy the Christmas spirit without the regular tourists crowding the historic city.

Recommended Hotel: Ca’ Bonfadini Historic Experience

Vacationer’s Guide 

Comparing destinations: which one is right for you.

You must compare each destination before booking one for Christmas.

Consider your family’s preferences and your budget.

Then, compare the benefits of each attraction.

Spending Christmas at The Sherry-Netherland means you’ll get a luxurious vacation.

It’s located in the center of New York, so it’s easy to go around the city and admire the holiday vibes.

But within the location, you can do only a few activities.

Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge is an ideal place to spend quality time with the family with the number of activities in the resort.

You can be active, play sports, relax by the pool, and sit by the campfire.

It’s just that the hotel is hard to locate.

Though once you go through that, you’ll have the best time.

Staying at Nimb Hotel in Copenhagen surpasses expectations. 

There’s a beautiful garden filled with activities during Christmas.

Kids can go on rides, while adults can hang by the bar.

Unfortunately, the rates are too high compared to other accommodations.

Meanwhile, Enzian Inn is an excellent alternative to these attractions. 

You’ll never run out of things to do at this alpine-themed lodge.

Plus, every room is made comfortable for the guests.

The only downside is some facilities are old and may need maintenance. 

How I Picked The Destinations 

I am an experienced travel writer and a parent.

My family and I always search for the best yearly Christmas vacation attractions and activities.

Apart from that, I also interview locals and fellow parents traveling.

For the places I have yet to visit and activities I haven’t tried, I consult review sites and include these in my research. 

Our Rating Method 

I rate these properties based on the following criteria. 

  • Family-Friendly Activities: I use this criterion to evaluate the family-friendly appeal of every destination. Are the activities engaging for the entire family? Does it include Christmas-themed events, sledding, ice skating, or other fun pursuits? I consider these factors when assessing family-friendly activities.
  • Safety: This assesses the location’s safety measures. Is the vacation destination safe and secure? Are there appropriate safety measures in place? I ask myself these questions when evaluating safety.
  • Accommodation Quality: I use this to rate the quality of lodging at the vacation destination. Are the accommodations comfortable and clean? What amenities are on offer? I consider these factors when assessing accommodation quality.
  • Affordability: This rates the affordability of every trip. What expenses are included in the attraction rates? Are the activities worth the price? Will all family members be satisfied with the cost? I ask myself these questions when evaluating the budget-friendly value of the destination.
  • Accessibility: I use this criterion to evaluate the convenience of reaching the destination. Is it located near major cities or airports? Is it easily accessible by car? I consider these factors when assessing ease of access.
  • Festive Ambiance: This evaluates the holiday spirit of the activities, properties, or attractions. Are there Christmas decorations and lights in the area? Are holiday programs offered during the Christmas season? I ask myself these questions when assessing the festive ambiance of the vacation destination.
  • Festive Atmosphere: For the ideal Christmas vacation, families should assess the festive atmosphere of the activity or the attraction. Are there any Christmas decorations in the area? Are there Christmas lights hung on the attractions? Will there be holiday programs during Christmas? These are the questions I ask myself to evaluate the festive atmosphere.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where is the best place to go for the christmas holiday.

The Sherry-Netherland is the place to spend Christmas at. 

What Is The Best Vacation Destination For Teens?

Marriott’s Willow Ridge Lodge is perfect for teens because of the on-site activities, like shuffleboard, basketball, and the teens club.

best christmas vacations for families travel photo

All the destinations on this list offer a memorable vacation with your family.

I, myself, won’t ever forget my experience in each one.

I remember making s’mores by the campfire with the kids every night.

There wasn’t a day that we didn’t spend together.

Nimb Hotel’s Tivoli Garden had a giant Christmas tree, and we took family pictures there.

I can still hear the bells ringing and the Christmas songs’ melodies during our trip.

Enzian Inn was also very festive.

It truly felt like we were in the Alps during that holiday because of the elegant setting.

Nonetheless, The Sherry-Netherland was our favorite destination among the rest.

We already knew it was one of the places where you could get the best Christmas vacations for families.

But we were still surprised at how exciting it was to stay there.

The five-star service at the accommodation was unique.

We spent our holiday by the Rockefeller Center and Central Park.

If we could spend another Christmas here, my family would stay for a long time.

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Why Haven't You Visited These 15 European Wonders?

Posted: May 28, 2024 | Last updated: May 28, 2024

<p>Budget-friendly travel in Europe is within reach, with numerous destinations offering unforgettable experiences. From historic cities to charming seaside towns, Europe’s hidden gems await discovery by budget-conscious travelers. Affordable accommodations, cheap eats, and free or low-cost attractions make stretching your travel budget effortless.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/cheapest-travel-destinations-in-europe/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">10 Affordable European Destinations for Budget Travelers</a></p> <div class="remoji_bar">          <div class="remoji_error_bar">   Error happened.   </div>  </div> <p>The post <a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/european-locations-everyones-favorite/">Why these 15 European locations are everyone's favorite</a> appeared first on <a href="https://fooddrinklife.com">Food Drink Life</a>.</p>

Europe isn’t just about old buildings and cityscapes; it’s also home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the planet. Whether it’s the rugged coastline, towering mountains, or serene lakes, there’s something about Europe’s natural beauty that leaves a lasting impression. So, why not escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature’s wonders?

<p>Northern Germany boasts some of Europe’s most enchanting Christmas markets, promising festive cheer for all who visit. From historic towns to bustling city centers, these markets exude a magical atmosphere that’s irresistible. You’ll find unique gifts and handcrafted treasures aplenty. Once you’ve experienced the charm of these Christmas markets, you’ll understand why they’re beloved by all.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/german-christmas-markets/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">6 Unforgettable Christmas Markets in Northern Germany</a></p>

6 Unforgettable Christmas Markets in Northern Germany

Northern Germany is home to some of the most charming and enchanting Christmas markets in Europe. Browse artisanal crafts, savor regional delicacies, and enjoy live music performances against the backdrop of festive decorations. These magical destinations are sure to make your holiday season merry and bright. Read more: 6 Unforgettable Christmas Markets in Northern Germany

<p>Tuscany, renowned for its captivating vineyards and wine tours, attracts travelers worldwide. Just envision rolling hills adorned with vineyards as far as the eye can see, each hosting charming wineries awaiting exploration. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply love scenic beauty, Tuscany’s vineyards offer an unforgettable experience.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/tuscany-wine-tours/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">The Best Vineyards and Wine Tours in Tuscany</a></p>

The Best Vineyards and Wine Tours in Tuscany

Go on a wine tour through the rolling hills and vineyards of the Tuscan countryside to sample some of Italy’s finest vintages. Tuscany is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and, of course, its world-class wines. A visit to Tuscany’s best vineyards is sure to be a memorable experience. Read more: The Best Vineyards and Wine Tours in Tuscany

Ready to discover why these 15 European destinations are so beloved? We’re discovering what makes these places in Europe special and why they’ve become everyone’s favorite spots. Each location has its own unique charm that keeps visitors coming back again and again. With these places that are beloved by everyone, you’ll be itching to pack your bags and experience the wonder of these incredible places for yourself.

Neuschwanstein Castle: Tips for a Fairytale Visit

Nestled amidst the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle is the epitome of fairy tale romance and architectural splendor. Explore its interiors adorned with furnishings and intricate artwork, or take a leisurely stroll through the surrounding grounds and gardens. Whether you’re a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a bit of magic, a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle is an experience you won’t soon forget. Read more: Neuschwanstein Castle: Tips for a Fairytale Visit

<p>Exploring Tuscany without exceeding your budget is entirely achievable with some strategic planning and budget-friendly tips. Public transportation, such as trains and buses, offers budget-friendly travel options. Affordable accommodations and dining at local trattorias offering wallet-friendly meals are just a few options. <br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/tuscany-on-budget/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">Tuscany on a Budget: Tips for Affordable Travel</a></p>

Tuscany on a Budget: Tips for Affordable Travel

Dreaming of exploring the rolling hills and charming villages of Tuscany but worried about breaking the bank? Fear not – with a bit of planning and savvy budgeting, it’s entirely possible to experience the beauty of Tuscany without breaking the bank. From affordable accommodations to budget-friendly dining options, there are plenty of ways to make your Tuscan getaway both memorable and affordable. Read more: Tuscany on a Budget: Tips for Affordable Travel

<p>Have you ever thought about savoring global flavors along scenic European train routes? It’s an experience that combines the pleasures of travel with the delights of food. Imagine enjoying espresso in Italy, savoring croissants in France, and indulging in tapas in Spain—all while taking in breathtaking views from your train window.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/global-flavors-along-train-routes/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">Savoring Global Flavors Along Scenic European Train Routes</a></p>

Savoring Global Flavors Along Scenic European Train Routes

Go on a culinary journey through Europe’s diverse landscapes and cultures aboard its scenic train routes. Sample fresh seafood along the coast of Spain, indulge in hearty stews in the mountains of Austria, or savor delicate pastries in the cafes of France. With so many delicious options to choose from, it’s no wonder that train travel is a favorite among food-loving travelers in Europe. Read more: Savoring Global Flavors Along Scenic European Train Routes

<p>Tuscany is more than its famous vineyards and art cities. This guide unveils 15 spots where the charm of Tuscany shines through its lesser-known villages, rustic farmhouses, and tranquil hillsides. Each destination offers a taste of local life, from artisanal crafts to traditional foods. These hidden gems provide a peaceful retreat from the more crowded tourist centers.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://amazingtravellife.com/best-tuscany-destinations-to-visit/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">15 Best Tuscany Destinations To Visit</a></p>

15 Best Tuscany Destinations To Visit

From the iconic city of Florence to the medieval hilltop towns of Siena and San Gimignano, each destination offers its own unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Tuscany is a region of breathtaking beauty and timeless charm, with countless destinations just waiting to be explored. So pack your bags and go on a journey through one of Italy’s most enchanting regions. Read more: 15 Best Tuscany Destinations To Visit

<p>Europe is home to countless undiscovered locations beyond the typical tourist destinations. This guide includes 15 exceptional places where culture, history, and natural beauty converge in unexpected ways. Each offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in local traditions and landscapes. These spots are perfect for travelers looking to add depth to their European adventures.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://amazingtravellife.com/best-places-to-visit-in-europe/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">15 Best Places To Visit In Europe</a></p>

15 Best Places To Visit In Europe

Europe is a continent of unparalleled beauty and diversity, with countless destinations that are sure to capture your imagination. Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks, relaxing on sun-kissed beaches, or immersing yourself in vibrant cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Start planning your European adventure today and discover the best that this incredible continent has to offer. Read more: 15 Best Places To Visit In Europe

10 Affordable European Destinations for Budget Travelers

Europe is filled with stunning destinations just waiting to be explored – and the best part? Many of them are surprisingly affordable, even for budget-conscious travelers. From historic cities brimming with culture to breathtaking natural landscapes, there’s no shortage of budget-friendly options to choose from. These affordable European destinations offer unforgettable experiences without breaking the bank. Read more: 10 Affordable European Destinations for Budget Travelers

<p>Discover Vienna beyond the famous landmarks with ten compelling reasons to visit. Experience its lesser-known cafes where local life buzzes, hidden courtyards that tell tales of the past, and markets that offer a slice of Viennese life. Enjoy tranquil parks and innovative galleries that showcase the city’s thriving contemporary art scene. Vienna is a city that keeps on giving, beyond the grandeur of its palaces.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://amazingtravellife.com/reasons-to-visit-vienna-austria/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">10 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Vienna, Austria</a></p>

10 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria, is more than just a beautiful city – it’s a cultural treasure trove waiting to be discovered. From its rich history and stunning architecture to its vibrant arts scene and world-class cuisine, Vienna has something to offer every traveler. The city’s charm and elegance are sure to leave a lasting impression. Read more: 10 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Vienna, Austria

<p>Think about wandering through lush green parks, exploring world-class museums, and soaking in the rich history of iconic landmarks—all without spending a dime. It’s like uncovering hidden gems and experiencing the vibrant energy of the city. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s something magical about discovering London’s treasures without breaking the bank.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/free-things-to-do-in-london/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=15%20european%20spots%20where%20adventure%20meets%20history">Free Exciting Things To Do in London</a></p>

Free Exciting Things To Do in London

Did you know there’s a ton of stuff you can do in London without spending a dime? The city offers a wealth of budget-friendly activities. Take a leisurely walk along the Thames River or explore vibrant street markets bursting with local flavor. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, London has something free and exciting for everyone. Read more: Free Exciting Things To Do in London

<p>Vienna isn’t just a city; it’s an experience. With imperial palaces, world-renowned museums, and a thriving café culture, every day in Vienna is a new adventure. From watching a performance at the Vienna State Opera to savoring a slice of Sachertorte, the city offers a plethora of activities for every type of traveler.</p><p><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/exciting-things-to-do-in-vienna/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">25 Exciting Things To Do in Vienna, Austria</a></p>

25 Exciting Things To Do in Vienna, Austria

With countless attractions ranging from majestic palaces to charming cafes, there’s never a dull moment in this vibrant city. Vienna, Austria, is brimming with culture, history, and excitement waiting to be explored. Whether you’re interested in music, art, or simply soaking in the atmosphere, Vienna has something to offer every traveler. Read more: 25 Exciting Things To Do in Vienna, Austria

<p>Paris is enchanting, but the magic doesn’t stop at the city limits. Venture beyond and you’ll find historic castles, charming villages, and vineyards galore. Whether you’re exploring the Palace of Versailles or sipping Champagne in its namesake region, the areas around Paris offer diverse and delightful day trips.</p><p><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/day-trips-from-paris/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Beyond the City of Lights: 7 Day Trips from Paris</a></p>

Beyond the City of Lights: 7 Day Trips from Paris

While Paris itself is undeniably captivating, there’s so much more to explore beyond the city limits. Venture into the surrounding countryside to discover charming villages, majestic castles, and landscapes. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and go on an unforgettable adventure just a short distance from Paris. Read more: Beyond the City of Lights: 7 Day Trips from Paris

<p>Vienna, known as the crown jewel of Europe, is a destination that’s sure to capture your heart. Stroll through charming cobblestone streets, admire breathtaking architecture, and enjoy mouthwatering pastries at traditional cafes. Vienna’s rich cultural heritage is complemented by its vibrant arts scene, world-class cuisine, and welcoming atmosphere.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/where-is-vienna/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">Where Is Vienna and Why It’s the Best City In Europe</a></p>

Where Is Vienna and Why It’s the Best City In Europe

As the capital of Austria, it boasts a perfect blend of old-world elegance and modern sophistication. Nestled in the heart of Europe, Vienna captivates visitors with its timeless charm and rich cultural heritage. Vienna consistently ranks among the top destinations in Europe. Whether you’re exploring its historic streets or attending a classical concert, Vienna’s allure is undeniable. Read more: Where Is Vienna and Why It’s the Best City In Europe

<p>London, a city of history and modernity, offers a hotel scene that is as diverse as its cultural attractions. From historic establishments like The Ritz to contemporary spots like The Shard, these hotels offer a stylish and comfortable base to explore the British capital. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a shopaholic, London’s hotels are a gateway to diverse experiences.</p><p><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/7-hottest-hotels-in-london/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=msn">Stay In Style: 7 Hottest Hotels in London You Need To Know About</a></p>

Stay In Style: 7 Hottest Hotels in London You Need To Know About

Planning a trip to London and looking for the perfect place to stay? Look no further than these seven hottest hotels that offer a blend of luxury, comfort, and style. From chic boutique accommodations to elegant five-star resorts, each hotel promises a memorable stay in the heart of the city. Whether you prefer panoramic views of the skyline or personalized service, these hotels cater to every taste and budget. Read more: Stay In Style: 7 Hottest Hotels in London You Need To Know About

<p>Say hello to the magical world of European Christmas markets—a festive tradition that’s sure to ignite your holiday spirit. Picture wandering through charming stalls adorned with twinkling lights, sipping mulled wine, and sampling traditional treats. Europe’s best Christmas markets offer a festive atmosphere, unique gifts, and seasonal delicacies, making them the perfect destination for holiday shopping.<br><strong>Read more: </strong><a href="https://fooddrinklife.com/european-christmas-markets/?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=page&utm_campaign=Why%20these%2015%20european%20locations%20are%20everyone's%20favorite">A Guide to The Best European Christmas Markets</a></p>

A Guide to The Best European Christmas Markets

Nothing captures the magic of the holiday season quite like Europe’s enchanting Christmas markets. From the twinkling lights to the aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, these markets offer a festive atmosphere that’s truly unforgettable. So bundle up, grab a mug of hot cocoa, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit at one of Europe’s best Christmas markets. Read more: A Guide to The Best European Christmas Markets

The post Why haven't you visited these 15 European wonders? appeared first on Food Drink Life .

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General election latest: Diane Abbott claims Labour will block her from standing at election; Tories 'don't owe Angela Rayner an apology'

Diane Abbott tells Sky News that although she has been given the Labour whip back, the party doesn't want her to stand; a minister tells Sky News the Tories don't owe Angela Rayner an apology after police said they will take no further action against her over housing claims.

Wednesday 29 May 2024 11:22, UK

  • General Election 2024

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Election news

  • Abbott given back Labour whip - but claims party to bar her from standing
  • Labour extends lead over Tories in exclusive poll for Sky News
  • Minister says Tories don't owe Rayner apology after police drop investigation
  • Explained: What Starmer's deputy was being investigated for
  • Live reporting by  Ben Bloch

Expert analysis

  • Gurpreet Narwan: Farage already has eyes on elections to come
  • Adam Boulton: What makes this election particularly exciting
  • Sam Coates: Labour could have difficult decisions to make

Election essentials

  • Trackers: Who's leading polls? | Is PM keeping promises?
  • Campaign Heritage: Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts: Electoral Dysfunction | Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more: What happens next? | Which MPs are standing down? | Key seats to watch | How to register to vote | What counts as voter ID? | Check if your constituency's changing | Sky's coverage plans

Veteran MP Diane Abbott has told Sky News that reports she will be barred from standing as a Labour candidate at this election are true.

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was suspended by the party more than a year ago after suggesting Jewish people did not experience racism, but rather prejudice similar to red heads.

She swiftly apologised and withdrew her remarks.

While a Labour investigation into her comments is reported to have ended in December, she was made to wait for the outcome.

Although she had the party whip restored yesterday, a report in The Times yesterday suggested she'd been banned from standing for the party at the election on 4 July.

Ms Abbott has told Sky News this morning that the report is correct.

She added: "As of yesterday evening, I have not heard from the party directly."

It's not yet been confirmed whether she will stand for election again - Labour's deadline for picking candidates is 4 June.

The party has been contacted for comment.

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will go head-to-head in their first televised debate of the general election on 4 June.

The two leaders will appear on ITV at 9pm for an hour, the channel has announced.

"Sunak v Starmer: The ITV Debate" will be moderated by journalist Julie Etchingham and will take place live in front of a studio audience.

The programme is the first in a series of head-to-head debates set to be held by various broadcasters.

Sky News is planning its own leaders' event in the key battleground seat of Grimsby and Cleethorpes, where we have been regularly reporting on the issues facing local residents.

Voters will be given the opportunity to put questions directly to the leaders.

Labour leader Sir Keir has agreed to attend, while negotiations are ongoing with Mr Sunak's team.

Read more here:

Junior doctors in England will strike from 27 June to 2 July - just days before the general election.

They are striking as part of their long-running dispute over pay, the British Medical Association said.

BMA junior doctors committee co-chairmen Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said in a statement that they "made clear to the government that we would strike unless discussions ended in a credible pay offer".

They said they have been asking for proposals to resolve the dispute for over 18 months.

"When we entered mediation with government this month we did so under the impression that we had a functioning government that would soon be making an offer.

"Clearly no offer is now forthcoming. Junior doctors are fed up and out of patience."

They added that if the PM during the campaign the PM"makes such a public commitment that is acceptable to the BMA's junior doctors committee, then no strikes need go ahead."

A new edition of Sky's Electoral Dysfunction podcast will be in your podcast feeds later today - but we can bring you a sneak preview now.

Labour's Jess Phillips  was asked for her view on whether veteran MP Diane Abbott should be able to stand for the party at this general election.

You may recall that the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was suspended by the party more than a year ago after suggesting Jewish people did not experience racism, but rather prejudice similar to red heads.

The party whip was returned yesterday - but the Labour Party has still not clarified if she will be able to stand once again.

Ms Phillips told the Electoral Dysfunction podcast that the Labour leadership "should probably just let Diane run in Hackney - it should be for her to decide".

"I just think it's a fight not worth having at this stage."

She said, no matter the merits of this particular case, "Diane Abbott was the first black woman ever elected - she has served that constituency".

In terms of a timeframe for confirming when she will be able to stand, the influential Labour MP said nomination papers have to be submitted by 7 June.

To ensure all seats have candidates in, the National Executive Committee (NEC) is "probably having to meet every day".

"So I imagine - and I don't know - that this has got a bit confused, and maybe the NEC just hasn't made the decision yet."

👉 This latest episode of Electoral Dysfunction will land in your podcast feed later today - tap here to follow wherever you get your podcasts 👈

By Tomos Evans , Wales reporter

The Liberal Democrats have insisted it's a two-horse race in their main Welsh target seat as they launched their campaign in Wales.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey was visiting Knighton in Powys, where the party is hoping to make inroads in rural communities.

It has pledged £1bn of extra funding for agriculture.

He told Sky's Matthew Thompson that the Conservatives had "betrayed farmers" and that the Labour government, which has responsibility for farming in Wales, had "let rural communities down".

The party is hoping to win in the newly-formed constituency of Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe.

Brecon and Radnorshire is currently represented by a Conservative MP, but the Lib Dems held the seat from 1997 until 2015 and for four months in 2019. 

Sir Ed said recent local elections and by-elections showed the party were "back in [their] traditional homeland of the West Country".

A Sky News exclusive poll published this morning showed the Liberal Democrats have stayed at 9% of the popular vote.

But Sir Ed was insistent that the party’s recent electoral record showed former supporters were returning. 

"I don't really comment on individual polls to be honest because, in my experience, it's the elections that matter," he said.

"I really focus on real elections where voters actually vote."

Rishi Sunak was asked by broadcasters why he is visiting yet another Conservative-held seat, and if he is worried he is on track to lose them at the election.

The PM replied: "I don't take a single vote for granted. That's why I am travelling to every part of the country."

He reiterated that we "live in uncertain times and it's only the Conservatives that have a plan to take bold action", pointing to his national service plan and pledge to raise the tax threshold for pensioners.

"That's the choice at this election, because the Labour Party have got no ideas and no plan, and that is increasingly clear with every day that goes on."

The Tory party is today pledging to replace "rip-off degrees" with 100,000 apprenticeships each year by the end of the next parliament if they win the general election.

Speaking to broadcasters, Rishi Sunak said they would be taking "the bold action of closing down under-performing university degrees that are letting our young people down".

"That's the best way to transform people's lives and spread opportunity. The best way to deliver a secure future for our young people."

The PM did not respond when asked to name an underperforming degree course.

Asked what is wrong with university for many young people, he said it is a "fantastic option for many".

"But it's not the only option. I'm not someone who believes that you have to go to university, and all the apprentices I've been talking to this morning are proof of that, describing it as the best decision they ever made.

"And what we do know is that there are university degrees that are letting young people down."

To that end, he explained that "the regulator will be given the powers to look at underperforming degrees, looking at the progression rates, the dropout rates, the earnings of people on those degrees, and instead we will use that money to fund 100,000 new apprenticeships".

"And that's an example of the bold action that I'm prepared to take, because that's how we will deliver a secure future for everyone across our country."

Police said yesterday they will take no further action against Labour's Angela Rayner after accusations were made by Tory party deputy chair James Daly surrounding her living arrangements in 2010.

Reports suggested she may have lived primarily at her then husband's address in Stockport, despite registering to vote under her own nearby - which could be a breach of electoral rules.

Ms Rayner had repeatedly denied the claims ( read more here ).

Rishi Sunak was asked by broadcasters if the whole thing was just a waste of police time, but he replied that they are "independent of government" and it's "for them to decide who and what they're investigating".

"My understanding is that they've passed on a file to HMRC, the tax authorities, which again are independent of government."

It is understood that Ms Rayner asked HMRC to investigate and concluded she owes no taxes.

The PM then pivoted to policy, saying the Labour deputy leader "voted against our nuclear deterrent at a time when the world is more dangerous than it has been at any point since the end of the Cold War" and is "committed to introducing French style union laws".

"It's the same old Labour Party, union laws that will cost jobs and damage the recovery and putting up your taxes. That's what Angela Rayner represents."

Rishi Sunak has been speaking to broadcasters this morning, and he was asked if Diane Abbott should stand as a Labour candidate at this election.

It comes after Ms Abbott told Sky News that reports the party is set to bar her from standing are true.

But the prime minister said it is "a question for the Labour Party", saying he hasn't been following the issue.

"What I do seem to have picked up is that the Labour Party have been telling everybody that this investigation into Diane Abbott is ongoing.

"It now appears that it concluded months ago. So really, I guess it's a question for them to clear up."

He called on Labour to be "transparent with people about it".

The veteran MP, Diane Abbott, has just commented publicly after she told Sky News that the Labour Party is due to bar her from standing as their candidate at this election ( read more here ).

She said she is "delighted" to have had the party whip restored following her suspension over a year ago, and is now a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party once again.

"Thank you to all those who supported me along the way. I will be campaigning for a Labour victory."

But she went on: "I am very dismayed that numerous reports suggest I have been barred as a candidate."

Labour has been contacted for comment, but has not yet provided any clarity.

Labour is announcing a pledge to clear the backlog of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for NHS treatment within five years of government, if the party gets into power.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting explained to Sky News that they will deliver "40,000 more appointments every week, extra evening and weekend clinics - taking a reform we're seeing working spectacularly well in a small number of hospitals, rolling it out across the NHS".

Alongside "the investment needed" and new diagnostic scanners, Mr Streeting is confident he can "get more people through and start eating into the 1.6 million strong backlog".

He went on: "We're also going to use the spare capacity that exists in the independent sector because we're already seeing people who can afford paying to go private.

"And I'm not going to see working class people from backgrounds like mine left behind."

Asked how this will be paid for, he said cracking down on tax avoidance, along with closing non-dom loopholes, will raise £1.6bn.

"Labour's got a record - the shortest waiting times, the highest patient satisfaction in the history of the NHS.

"We did it before, we'll do it again if people choose change by voting Labour on  4 July."

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    trip ideas for christmas


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  1. 20 Best Places to Go for Christmas for Families or Solo Travelers

    Bruges, Belgium. The Bruges Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe. This enchanting event takes over the Markt, the square at the heart of the city, with stands and wooden chalets selling ...

  2. 23 of the Best Places to Spend Christmas in America

    Newport Beach, California. Why we go: The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the longest-running holiday festivals in the entire country, celebrating its 115th anniversary this year ...

  3. 25 Best Christmas Vacations in the USA

    From Jodie of Ala Jode. Combining beaches, city life, and fun for the whole family, Los Angeles is a great place to enjoy a Christmas holiday getaway. The weather in southern California in December is mild and sunny, making it a great time of year to visit, and LA boasts some of the best weather in the state.

  4. 41 Best Christmas Places to Visit in America 2023

    Christmas Ideas 2023. 41 Magical Places to Visit During Christmastime. ... If you're looking for more vacation ideas, check out our 2024 Family Travel Awards. Woodstock, Vermont.

  5. 17 Best Christmas Vacations

    Vienna. #10 in Best Christmas Vacations. This Austrian city teems with Christmas markets. For travelers, the most unforgettable market is the main one held in Rathausplatz square, which features ...

  6. 25 Best Christmas Getaways to Celebrate the Season

    Escape the cold and head to sunny Florida for a Christmas getaway that's sure please the whole crew. Best known for its theme parks — Universal Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld and ...

  7. 25 Best Christmas Vacations for Families for a Fun Getaway

    Amenities: Skiing, sleigh rides, ornament making, gingerbread house decorating. Related: The 15 Best Travel Destinations for December, According to a Travel Agent. 2. Disney World in Orlando ...

  8. 15 Best Christmas Vacation Destinations in the United States

    Branson, Missouri. Known for being America's Christmas Tree City, Branson is one of the best small towns in the U.S. for Christmas. It's here that you can experience a month-long holiday extravaganza with live music, festive displays of lights, and fun-filled parades.

  9. The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

    28 Christmas holiday destinations for 2023, whether you're seeking blissful winter sun with the family or a cosy fireplace and last-minute market shopping ... From romantic getaway ideas to family-friendly trips and solo excursions. By Laura Chubb, Anya Meyerowitz and Emma Love. 1 September 2023. ... Alternatively, a two-stop trip could be the ...

  10. 22 Best Christmas Getaways 2021

    Or, if you live in coastal California and yearn for something a little merrier, retreat to a snowy destination, complete with traditional European-style Christmas markets offering a panoply of lights, parades, and Polar Express rides. Just remember: Though travel is undoubtedly picking up and your memorable winter trip could be just around the ...

  11. 20 Best Places To Go For Christmas Around The World

    7. Nuremburg, Germany. Best for: Weihnachtsmarkt fanatics. Germany 's Weihnachtsmarkts (traditional Christmas markets) are famous the world over - and Nuremburg's is one of the country's ...

  12. Christmas Family Vacation: 10 Magical Ideas

    One of the best places to visit for Christmas with family, San Juan is at the heart of Puerto Rico's seasonal festivities. The city's waterfront amphitheater, Bahia Urbana, becomes Navitown, a Christmas-themed carnival with rides, whimsical decorations, and a special rendition of Santa's Workshop. 3. German Christmas Markets.

  13. The 30 Best Christmas Vacations in the USA (2024): Holiday Getaway Ideas!

    Park City is among the best Christmas vacations in the USA. Written by Quirky Travel Guy. Only 20 miles from Salt Lake City, Park City is one of the best ski towns in Utah, and it totally embraces the Christmas spirit. Snowfest at Park City Resort runs through January 5, offering parades, fireworks, and more.

  14. 17 Best Christmas Getaways

    Palm Beach, Florida. The Breakers. One of our favorite seaside escapes is a delightful place to enjoy Christmas this year. Giant Christmas-tree-shaped sand sculptures, boat parades, and holiday shopping in a historic lighthouse are just a few of the unique experiences offered in Palm Beach during the holidays.

  15. 25 Best Christmas Getaway Ideas

    Arrive in time for the Pietermaai Christmas Fair on Dec. 9, with gifts, food, drinks and live music, and be prepared to save money on this St. Maarten dupe. "Curaçao is a little less known ...

  16. 23 Best Christmas Getaways and Holiday Vacation Ideas 2023

    The town holds a Christmas parade December 1 and many of the historic homes and hotels around town are beautifully decorated for the holidays. WHERE TO STAY: A trip to Cape May calls for a stay in Congress Hall. The beloved hotel has its own Christmas tree lighting, and hosts plenty of fun holiday activities like gingerbread house making!

  17. 20 Christmas Vacation Ideas for Your Winter Getaway

    20 Christmas Vacation Ideas for Your Winter Getaway Experience Christmas in New York City. One of the most magical places to celebrate Christmas is in the Big Apple. New York City goes all out for the holiday with intricate holiday window displays, festive light shows, and holiday markets in each city park. Christmas time in the city that never ...

  18. 15 Best Places to Visit in December 2024

    Lapland. #4 in Best Places to Visit in December 2024. Make the trek to the Finnish Lapland for the ultimate Arctic experience. Finland's northernmost region promises a deep layer of snow all ...

  19. 45+ Solo Travel Destinations for Christmas and New Year's

    New Orleans, Louisiana is the solo travel destination Jenny chose for Christmas on her last pre-pandemic international trip. "I loved the Christmas spirit all over this vibey City with most of the stores, buildings, hotels, etc. decked and all adorned with tree trimmings. The night markets and activities were interesting and entertaining.

  20. 16 Best Destinations For A Classic Southern Christmas

    Photo Courtesy of San Antonio CVB. San Antonio's most famous attraction, the San Antonio River Walk, really shines during the holidays, with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights hung in the trees. Start your Christmas vacation off right with Ford Holiday Boat Caroling, which takes place from November 30 to December 23.While drifting down the magnificently lit River Walk, floating carolers ...

  21. 61 Best Christmas Vacation Ideas for Couples (2023)

    More Christmas vacation ideas for couples in Canada's mountains is Whistler, British Columbia. Whistler is a beautiful 2-hour drive north of Vancouver. But be prepared for wintery driving conditions at Christmas. Once you arrive, cozy up next to a fireplace and settle in for a festive and romantic Christmas getaway! Known for its skiing and ...

  22. 14 Best Christmas Vacations For Families (2024) You'll Love!

    So, do yourself a favor and check out the list below. Table of Contents. Best Christmas Vacations For Families Compared. 1. The Sherry-Netherland (Editor's Choice) 2. Marriott's Willow Ridge Lodge. 3. Nimb Hotel.

  23. Why Haven't You Visited These 15 European Wonders?

    Neuschwanstein Castle: Tips for a Fairytale Visit. Nestled amidst the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle is the epitome of fairy tale romance and architectural splendor. Explore its interiors ...

  24. New Jersey

    From skating and mini golf to painting and high tea, there's plenty to do when it's wet outside. Top Indoor Playgrounds and Play Spaces in Northern New Jersey. Kids of all ages can climb, bounce, and more at these North Jersey fun spots. Budget-Friendly Indoor Play Spaces in New Jersey: Drop-in Play for $25 or Less.

  25. General election latest: Starmer gives blunt response on potentially

    Greater Manchester Police will take no further action after an investigation into Labour's Angela Rayner. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak continues to sing the virtues of his national service policy proposal.