You're probably not familiar with Santa Claus, Indiana, for instance—but believe it or not, the town has dubbed itself "America's Christmas Hometown." Guests are even given the option of choosing a real or artificial tree for their cabins, with ornaments provided. We recently found seats from Philly for $118 nonstop on Frontier for off-peak travel, and from Chicago for $385 nonstop for peak travel … Stay here: The 12-room Washington School House is just a hop away from Park City's lit-up Main Street, and we must say its Christmas decorations put a lot of other hotels' to shame. Known for being America’s Christmas Tree City, Branson is an inviting small town that celebrates Christmas in style. Christmas is, of course, one of the biggest holidays of the year in many places around the world.There are certain cities and regions that are the absolute best destinations for an extravagant Yuletide celebration, but sometimes extravagance isn’t what someone might want.Sometimes, all you want is some snow. Head to Cape Cod! Lights stay until Dec 26,... 3. Why we go: Sort of like a family-friendly little sister to Las Vegas, Branson pulls out all the stops every holiday season. No matter how you prefer to celebrate the holiday, Atlanta is one of the best places to visit for Christmas in the USA! Fares to New Orleans tend to be fairly inexpensive from most corners of the US. From wine country to Myrtle Beach, we bet there's a hidden gem somewhere in here you've never even heard of, let alone laid eyes on. A Christmas tree—decorated with glass ornaments, of course—stands in Centerway Square, the town's historic meeting place. But these towns are for real—and all you have to do to witness their Hallmark Christmas movie-worthy magic is book your trip. The town also holds an Ornament Auction, selling unique decorations made by local artists, to raise money for its arts council. These American towns are the best to visit during the Christmas season. The annual "Sing Along with Santa" event, presented by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, is a can't-miss spectacle. Lights, candles, and Christmas decor are sprinkled throughout the town throughout the entire holiday season—and best of all, you don't have to wear a coat to get out and enjoy it all. 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. Fredericksburg, a Hill Country town that still honors its original German settlers, kicks off its holiday with a Christkindlesmarkt in November and continues the celebration with a Texas-scale flurry of parades, tree lightings, choral concerts, Nutcracker performances, craft shows, cookie decorating events, charity balls, and—in a nod to its German heritage—locally brewed seasonal beers. We know what you're thinking, of course. makes it an excellent place to spend Christmas. How's that for a winter wonderland? A stroll along King Street, with its canopy of twinkling lights and historical buildings, boasts an impressive ambiance, along with a number of unique restaurants and shops. The one thing to get you in the spirit: The “It's a Wonderful Bonfire” event, which includes caroling and a tree-lighting ceremony. Just outside the city at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, there is a pop-up experience called “I Love Christmas Movies” that includes films like The Polar Express, A Christmas Story, Elf, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The well-established arts scene in town makes shopping for unique gifts easy at craft shows and studio visits in the River Arts District. That's why many agree that small towns across the country are some of the most charming places to visit at Christmas time—they offer all of these things and more. Traditions abound, such as caroling by torchlight, a gun-salute display, and every home in the historic area lighting a candle in their windows—dating back to the days of the Founding Fathers. Thousands flock to Duluth during the holidays to witness Bentleyville, a massive light display. The … The … 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. In the late 1920s, the local postmaster began to promote the town and pretty soon, children's letters to Santa began pouring in. The Ozark Mountain town transforms into a winter wonderland with 1,700 decorated Christmas trees in and around town, a ferris wheel with 144,000 individual lights, and dozens of seasonal concerts and shows along Route 76. Sierra Madre, a foothills town just a few miles east of Pasadena, imports snow from the San Bernadino Mountains every year to build a big snowman in the town's central square, Kersting Court, until the balmy local temperatures send him downstream. The one thing to get you in the spirit: Walk among a million dazzling lights at the Botanical Garden's annual Garden Glow. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. You're veritably obsessed with the holiday, from the Christmas cookies to the outdoor Christmas decorations to belting out classic Christmas songs; what could we possibly tell you here that you don't already know? At the town’s historic Hotel Settles, you can expect to find a beautifully decorated grand lobby lounge complete with traditional décor. The town is lavishly trimmed with evergreen garlands and, down on the City Dock, reflections of the holiday tree twinkle in the water off the harbor. While San Juan isn't among the cheapest places on this list for Christmas, it's still very good value and it's a great place for a longer stay during this period. Most famous for the Santa Claus House (the self-proclaimed “official” home of St. Nick), North Pole's nominal spirit even extends to its streets: Snowman Lane, Saint Nicholas Drive, Holiday Road, and Santa Claus Lane, which has light poles shaped like candy canes. (Also to be held virtually this year.). – (Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Green Global Travel) Photo: Green Global Travel If you ask me, Washington, DC is one of the best places to visit for Christmas in the USA! 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. While San Juan isn't among the cheapest places on this list for Christmas, it's still very good value and it's a great place for a longer stay during this period. The one thing to get you in the spirit: Christmas at Biltmore is just as spectacular as it sounds, with 55 hand-decorated trees, 1,000 live poinsettias, and 7,500 feet of fresh evergreen garland drawing visitors through January 10, 2021. The Best Places to Visit in the U.S. During Christmastime by Jessica Montevago / November 13, 2018 Filled with nostalgic charm, Woodstock, Vermont transforms into a Christmas card. Local festivities include a themed parade, a candy castle (selling nostalgic hard-to-get favorite treats), and Santa's Land of Lights, a 1.2-mile drive-through holiday light show. Who wouldn't want to spend their Christmas in this lovely East Coast locale? There's no better place to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas than in New England! The event is free to the public and runs through November and December. If you asked most Americans to think about some of the hallmarks of the holiday season, it's usually the twinkling lights, snow-lined streets, and yuletide markets that first come to mind. CST. Where do Southern Californians go to get the Christmas spirit? Now, Koziar's Christmas Village is one of the top attractions in the state of Pennsylvania, and boasts both indoor and outdoor displays. The wide and sandy beaches just next to the historic center are some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, and since it's part of the US… You’re in luck: The theater will air a radio version of the play on Christmas Day at noon EDT. Stop for a chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge before visiting Father Christmas. As a city that tends to be quite cold in the winter, the chances of snowfall or cold weather are pretty much guaranteed. Stay here: It doesn't get more authentically Texan—or festive—than The Driskill, with its Christmas dinner and decorated tree in the grand lobby. It doesn't get too cold in Andalusia, but that doesn't stop the town turning into a winter wonderland. Why we go: There are few holiday displays in the nation that compare with Washington, D.C.'s National Christmas Tree, but other seasonal perks include private igloos at the Watergate Hotel, the Downtown Holiday Market, and a glorious absence of field trip groups in the Smithsonian museums. 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. Everyone in the family will love the annual Christmas tree lighting and an appearance by Santa Claus himself. The 18th … Condé Nast Traveler does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Michael Culbertson/Flickr Creative Commons. When you plan your trip to Lewisburg, be sure to make a reservation to stay at The Greenbrier Resort. At the center of the aptly named Old School Square (a historic district revived as a cultural center), the tree magically opens to reveal a wonderland inside, with toy trains running around miniature scenes depicting holiday traditions. The best Christmas vacations combine holiday cheer and fun activities in a beautiful destination. Across the state, people are getting geared up for all the … The nation’s capital goes all out for the holidays, celebrating in a way only DC … All aboard! There, the mayor's actual name is Santa Claus and the streets are decorated in red and white all the way through to New Year's Eve (and sometimes all year) long. Every year, all of Red Wing turns out for the Holiday Stroll, an event that starts with a pancake breakfast and goes on all day to include parades, cookie decorating, live penguins and baby reindeer, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, sleigh rides, a live Nativity scene, and lots and lots of music. Residents of this walkable Italian-American enclave erect intricate and spectacular displays on and around their homes. 9 Best Christmas Vacation Destinations in the United States Woodstock, Vermont. The best part? On the day of the tree-lighting, Sharlott Hall Museum hosts a Frontier Christmas Open House where locals enjoy hot cider and cookies while listening to stories about pioneer holidays. Known as The Holy City, Charleston brings out the best in yuletide joy with its Southern charm. Because this is a popular time of the year to travel to San Antonio, be sure and book early. look forward to spending their Decembers in the village. Enjoy concerts, watch the annual tree lighting, shop at craft fairs, and even tour those majestic homes by candlelight. Why we go: This Christmas, visit the little town of Bethlehem—in Pennsylvania, that is. Last year I shared some of my favorite places to go for Christmas, and now I want to get a little more specific and offer up ideas for hotels that go above and beyond to create a magical Christmas experience for guests. There are plenty of reasons to visit Essex at Christmastime. There may be less than 15,000 people living in this town, but that doesn't mean they're short on holiday spirit. Best Christmas Vacations On A Budget. The one thing to get you in the spirit: This year, visitors can enjoy Park City's first-ever installation of huge, interactive snow globes located in the historic Main Street district. Stay here: ARIA Resort & Casino is particularly festive this year, with special holiday menus at six of its in-house restaurants. Stay here: The exceptional Hotel Maison de Ville, easily one of the best hotels in New Orleans, should be your home base. © 2020 Condé Nast. Historic homes and farms open to celebrate rural holiday heritage. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Courtesy Douglas Benedict Photography, LLC, Courtesy Yeah That Greenville/Michael Boyle, Courtesy New Orleans & Company/Zack Smith, Courtesy Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. The Crystal City, home of Corning Glass, is also home to a sparkling holiday season, beginning with a Parade of Lights through the Gaffer District (where the master glass blowers still ply their trade). Every year, thousands of letters are answered by volunteer Santa's Elves. Stay here: Book into The Gwen, where you can find a pop-up curling rink and cozy “après-ski” cabin on the hotel's outdoor terrace. What's better than an all-American Christmas right in the heart of West Texas? Seattle Stockbridge might look just like a Norman Rockwell painting—and that's because it is! It is close to Savannah and Charleston, and a short drive to the beaches of Hilton Head Island. For many of us, Christmas travel means heading to grandma’s house — you know, over the river and through the woods. (If it's good enough for Kevin McCallister...). In Old Town Alexandria during December, you will be plunged into the Christmas fairy tale. Snowy weather, an annual Christmas Stroll, and small town charm will have you pinching yourself all day. Stay here: The Crawford Hotel, a boutique property in LoDo’s Union Station, boasts Art Deco rooms, the city’s most beautiful lobby, and guest perks like free Tesla transportation within a two-mile radius. Here, you'll find Christmas markets, iconic celebrations and so much more. With a temperate California climate, vineyards, hiking trails galore, top-notch spa treatments, and a world-class golf course, the Carmel Valley Ranch, located in the chic Monterey area … The one thing to get you in the spirit: As a special treat this year, Nashville Ballet will air a free televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker for the first time in company history, on December 18 at 7p.m. If you asked most Americans to think about some of the hallmarks of the holiday season, it's usually the twinkling lights, snow-lined streets, and yuletide markets that first come to mind. Roam the Victorian Village and try Victorian era Christmas treats like sugar plums while listening to carolers. Enjoy a family outing to the Denver Zoo Lights, or a fun day of shopping and ice skating downtown. The Durango & Silverton narrow gauge train operates year-round but in December, its runs include a Polar Express-inspired trip for kids as well as weekend Christmas Tree runs on which passengers can cut their own tree and get it transported back to town. 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. (The festival will not take place this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but make a note of it for future trips.). This historic mining town uses the local steam-engine train to festive advantage with snowy rides through the surrounding mountains along the Animas River. Destinations to Visit for Christmas New York City. Just as adorable is the town's post office, which gets flooded with tens of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus each year. Why we go: The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the longest-running holiday festivals in the entire country, celebrating its 112th anniversary this year from December 16-20. The city also offers midnight mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi, holiday exhibits at the New Mexico Museum of Art, a spectacular lights display at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and seasonal shopping at the Winter Indian Market. The average temperature in December is around 64 degrees. We recently found seats from Philly for $118 nonstop on Frontier for off-peak travel, and from Chicago for $385 nonstop for peak travel (that's Economy, not Basic Economy, by the way! The party lasts until December 30, and includes millions of lights, 1,000 trees (including an eight-story one), outdoor shows, parades, and, of course, rides. But Woodstock Wassail Weekend is an actual annual event in picturesque Woodstock, Vermont. More than 600,000 people visit Christmas Town USA to gawk at the 450,000 lights that decorate this hamlet. There's still plenty to see, with the town's houses and businesses decorated for the season, a life-size nativity scene, and a 154-tree-long Christmas Tree Lane. Why we go: Christmas in St. Augustine is truly something to behold. Take a trip to gorgeous wine country this holiday season and visit Solvang, located in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Minnesota Historical Society also offers tons of workshops and tours of Victorian homes decked out for Christmas. This town may not be the real thing, but it's got the name—and it boasts year-round Christmas spirit. Fares to New Orleans tend to be fairly inexpensive from most corners of the US. This quaint Bavarian town is idyllically situated in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, just two hours east of Seattle. Pick for the perfect New England holiday may not be snow, heavy coats hot. 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