If heading home for Christmas isn’t on your wish list this year, there are plenty of other fantastic places where you can get into the holiday spirit. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spots to visit for the holidays, and guarantee that all of them are on Santa’s route as his sleigh passes through North America. Ditch the ho hum and get into the Ho! Ho! Ho!
Quebec City, Canada
Just a few hours north of a dozen major American cities lies Quebec, a winter wonderland that goes all-out at Christmas. The old part of the city, behind its historic battlements, has a real European vibe that will charm you with cobbled streets, quaint marketplaces and boutique shops. There’s plenty of great skiing in the surrounding hills, and the best French food this side of the Atlantic. Joyeux Noel!
Actually, just about every small town in New England looks like a Christmas card at this time of year. The town of Woodstock, however, is one of the most picturesque in the state and there’s no shortage of good craft beer and hot toddies. Stay in a traditional B&B or at any one of the many inns and guest houses, all of them warmly dressed for the holidays. If you’re heading for Massachusetts, discover Norman Rockwell’s inspiration for “Christmas on Main Street” in Stockbridge, or make this the year you discover the charm of Newport, Rhode Island.
New York, New York
There’s no better time to visit the Big Apple than when she’s all decked out in her Christmas finery. Check out the tree at the Rockefeller Center, be blown away by the incredible storefront displays, or take a horse-and-buggy ride through Central Park. No matter what you like to do, see or savor, it’s all there for the taking in a city that elevates Christmas to a whole new level.
Everyone should pay a visit to Music City at least once in their lives and taking in a show at the Grand Ole Opry around Christmastime just can’t be beat. Main Street is wall-to-wall holiday cheer, and you can enjoy the best of country music (past, present and future) bathed in the glow of the Christmas lights. Cruise the Cumberland River, cruise the honkey tonks, and cruise through a holiday getaway unlike any other.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nobody does it bigger, better or tackier than Sin City. The entire Strip is one giant tribute to Christmas and the decorations are unbelievable. Every hotel and resort will try to outdo its neighbors with ice rinks, fake snow, Christmas-themed events, about a million poinsettias and twice as many fir trees. There’s a lot more than gaming going on this December, and Las Vegas is certainly the master at putting on a show.
It’s one of many picturesque towns in a famously beautiful state, but every Christmas Georgetown kicks it up a notch. If you want to experience a traditional white Christmas complete with roasted chestnuts, sleigh rides and carolers, this is where to come. Its also a great place to do any last-minute holiday shopping, with a Christmas market of art, ornaments and antiques that draws fans from across the country.
Just a few miles out of Dallas is a little city that prides itself on being the Christmas capital of the Lone Star State. Grapevine hosts over 1,400 events spread over 40 days, including an unforgettable ride on the vintage North Pole Express. The town imports over 2 million pounds of ice to create life-sized sculptures, slides and monuments, all lit with an awesome array of Christmas lights. Not to be missed if you’re heading south and looking for a little northern magic.
Whether your holiday traditions involve curling up by the fire or heading out to soak in the sights and sounds of the season, we wish you peace, joy and a grand adventure.