Are you looking for some holiday magic? Here are Christmas destinations to visit in the U.S. Whether you’re planning a festive getaway or plan to spend quality family time. Do you want to experience the joy and wonder of the festive season in different places?
In this article, we unveil a collection of 10 magical places to visit during the Christmas season, ensuring memories that twinkle as brightly as the holiday lights. From classic winter wonderlands to sunny beach escapes, from cultural celebrations to exotic islands, here are some enchanting destinations that will make your holidays unforgettable.
Here is our list of Christmas destinations to visit in the U.S, especially if you are from out of state.
1. New York City, New York: Experience the Magic of Christmas in the Big Apple.
New York City is a classic destination for Christmas lovers, offering endless attractions and activities for the festive season. Whether you want to marvel at the iconic Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, glide across the ice rink, witness the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, or stroll along Fifth Avenue to soak in dazzling window displays, there’s something for everyone in the Big Apple.
One of the most popular attractions in New York City during Christmas is the Rockefeller Centre, where you can admire the towering tree adorned with thousands of lights and ornaments, watch the Empire State Building light show, and skate at the famous rink. You can also catch a performance of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes and their dazzling dance routines.
If you’re looking for more shopping and entertainment options, head to Bryant Park Winter Village, a haven for holiday lovers. Here you can find over 170 vendors selling unique gifts, food, and drinks, as well as a free ice skating rink, a carousel, and live music. You can also visit Central Park, where you can skate at the Wollman Rink, take a carriage ride, or enjoy the snow.
For a cultural experience, you can watch a Broadway show or a ballet performance of The Nutcracker, or visit one of the many museums and galleries in the city. You can also explore the different neighbourhood and their festive decorations, such as the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn, or the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
No matter what you choose to do, you’ll be sure to have a memorable and magical Christmas in New York City, the ultimate holiday destination.
2. Aspen, Colorado: A Snowy and Festive Christmas Destination.
Aspen, Colorado is a dream destination for anyone who loves winter sports and festive celebrations. This charming mountain town transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season, with snow-covered peaks, twinkling lights, and cozy chalets. Whether you want to hit the slopes, enjoy the scenery, or join the festivities, there’s something for everyone in Aspen.
Aspen is renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding facilities, with four ski resorts to choose from: Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. You can access all four resorts with the same snow pass ticket, which also includes ground transportation between the mountains. No matter what your skill level is, you’ll find a slope that suits you, from beginner-friendly runs to challenging terrains. You can also take lessons, rent equipment, or join guided tours.
If you’re looking for other ways to enjoy the snow, you can try ice skating, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, or dog sledding. There are several ice rinks in and around Aspen, such as the Lewis Ice Arena, the Aspen Ice Garden, and the Silver Circle Ice Rink. You can also explore the trails and forests on foot or by sled, and admire the stunning views of the mountains and valleys.
Aspen is not only a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, but also a cultural and historical hub. You can learn more about the town’s rich past by joining a walking tour, visiting a museum, or exploring the historic landmarks. You can also watch a Broadway show, a ballet performance, or a live music concert at one of the many venues in town. Some of the highlights include the Wheeler Opera House, the Aspen Art Museum, and the Aspen Historical Society.
One of the most magical aspects of spending Christmas in Aspen is the festive atmosphere and the events that take place throughout the season. The town hosts the 12 Days of Aspen, a series of free activities and entertainment for all ages. You can meet Santa and his reindeer, listen to carolers, make crafts, and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. You can also attend a tree lighting ceremony, a menorah lighting ceremony, or a holiday market.
The highlight of the Christmas season in Aspen is the Torchlight Parade, a spectacular display of skiers and snowboarders carrying torches down the slopes of Aspen Mountain on Christmas Eve. The parade is followed by a fireworks show that lights up the sky. You can watch the parade from the base of the mountain or join the participants if you’re an intermediate or advanced skier or snowboarder.
Aspen is a perfect place to celebrate Christmas with your family or friends, as it offers a variety of activities, attractions, and events that cater to different tastes and preferences. You’ll be sure to have a memorable and enjoyable holiday in this snowy and festive destination.
3. Orlando, Florida: A Magical Theme Park Adventure.
If you’re looking for a Christmas destination to visit in the U.S, Orlando is the place to be. The city is home to some of the most popular theme parks in the world, where you can celebrate with your favourite characters and enjoy thrilling rides and shows. Whether you choose Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld, you’ll be amazed by the festive decorations and events that transform the parks into wonderlands.
At Walt Disney World, you can join Mickey and friends for a merry celebration, witness Cinderella’s Castle aglow with millions of lights, and watch the spectacular fireworks show. You can also experience the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, where you can sample delicious food and drinks from around the world, and enjoy live entertainment and cultural performances.
At Universal Studios, you can explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can see the Hogwarts Castle covered in snow, and experience the Christmas magic in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. You can also enjoy the Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, where you can see floats and balloons of your favourite characters, and the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, where you can meet the Grinch and his friends.
At SeaWorld, you can enjoy the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration, where you can see dazzling light displays, live shows, and animal encounters. You can also visit the Christmas Market, where you can shop for unique gifts and treats, and the Winter Wonderland on Ice, where you can watch a stunning ice skating show.
Orlando is not only about theme parks, though. You can also explore the International Drive area, which offers a variety of attractions, restaurants, and entertainment options. You can visit the ICON Park, where you can ride the giant Ferris wheel, the Orlando StarFlyer, where you can swing at 450 feet in the air, and the Madame Tussauds, where you can pose with wax figures of celebrities and icons. You can also enjoy the nightlife at the Pointe Orlando, where you can find bars, clubs, and live music venues.
If you want to escape the crowds and relax, you can also head to the nearby beaches or natural springs, where you can enjoy the warm weather and the natural beauty. You can visit Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, or Clearwater Beach, where you can sunbathe, swim, surf, or fish. You can also visit Blue Spring State Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, or Kelly Park, where you can see manatees, turtles, and other wildlife, and kayak, canoe, or snorkel in the crystal-clear water.
Orlando is a destination that offers something for everyone, especially during the Christmas season. You can have a magical theme park adventure, a fun-filled city exploration, or a relaxing nature getaway. No matter what you choose, you’ll have a memorable and enchanting holiday experience.
4. San Antonio, Texas: A Warm and Colourful Christmas.
If you’re looking for a warm and colourful Christmas, San Antonio is the place to go. The city is famous for its River Walk, a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River. During the holiday season, the River Walk is illuminated with over 100,000 lights becoming a dazzling display of lights, reflecting on the water and creating a magical atmosphere. You can stroll along the river, take a boat ride, or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes.
Another attraction that you can’t miss in San Antonio is the historic Market Square, the largest Mexican market in the US. Here you can find a variety of shops and stalls selling unique gifts, crafts, clothing, jewellery, and more. You can also enjoy live music and entertainment, from mariachi bands to folk dancers. And of course, you can savour some of the best Mexican food in the city, from tacos and burritos to enchiladas and tamales.
Another Christmas Destinations to Visit in the U.S that we love is in San Antonio. This destination offers a blend of culture, history, and fun, especially during the Christmas season. You can experience the festive spirit of the city, admire the stunning lights, and indulge in some shopping and dining. You’ll have a memorable and enchanting holiday experience.
5. Honolulu, Hawaii: A Tropical Christmas Getaway.
If you’re looking for a tropical Christmas getaway, Honolulu is the place to go. The city is the capital of Hawaii, and offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. You can enjoy the warm weather, the stunning scenery, and the unique holiday traditions that make Honolulu a special destination.
One of the main attractions of Honolulu is the beach, where you can relax, swim, sunbathe, or play. You can also try some water sports, such as surfing, snorkelling, or kayaking. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike the Diamond Head crater, an extinct volcano that offers panoramic views of the city and the ocean.
Another attraction of Honolulu is the Hawaiian culture, which is rich and diverse. You can experience some of the traditional customs and celebrations, such as attending a luau, a feast with music and dance, or watching a hula show, a graceful and expressive dance that tells a story. You can also learn some of the Hawaiian language, such as “Aloha”, which means hello, goodbye, and love, or “Mele Kalikimaka”, which means Merry Christmas.
One of the highlights of the holiday season in Honolulu is the annual Honolulu City Lights festival, which runs from December 1 to January 1. The festival features a dazzling display of holiday lights and decorations, including a giant Christmas tree, a gingerbread village, and a Hawaiian Santa Claus. You can also enjoy live entertainment, food vendors, and a parade.
Honolulu is a destination that offers a mix of relaxation, fun, and culture, especially during the Christmas season. You can escape the cold and enjoy a tropical paradise, with a touch of holiday magic. You’ll have a memorable and enchanting holiday experience.
6. Santa Fe, New Mexico: A Unique and Authentic Christmas.
For a unique and authentic Christmas, visit Santa Fe, where you can witness the beautiful luminaries, which are paper lanterns that line the streets and buildings. You can also shop for handmade Native American art and crafts at the Santa Fe Indian Market Winter Showcase, which features over 200 artists from different tribes and nations. The historic plaza is also a must-see, as it transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights and a giant Christmas tree.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana: A Vibrant and Festive Christmas Celebration.
For a vibrant and festive Christmas celebration, head to New Orleans. Known for its lively culture and rich traditions, the city comes alive during the holiday season. You can experience the Creole Christmas traditions like Réveillon dinners, which are elaborate feasts that last until midnight, bonfires on the levee, which are huge fires that light up the riverbank, and carolling in Jackson Square, which is a joyful sing-along in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. You can also enjoy the live music and nightlife on Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street, and watch the spectacular fireworks over the Mississippi River on New Year’s Eve.
8. Napa Valley, California: A Wine Lover’s Paradise.
If you’re a wine lover, Napa Valley is the perfect holiday destination. The region’s wineries offer special holiday tastings and events, where you can sample some of the finest wines in the world and learn about their production and history. You can also indulge in the delicious food that pairs perfectly with the wines, from gourmet restaurants to cozy bistros. Many hotels and resorts offer festive packages that include wine tours and tastings, as well as spa treatments and romantic dinners.
9. Newport Beach, California: A Sunny and Sparkling Christmas.
Newport Beach is a great place to enjoy a sunny Christmas. You can watch the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which features elaborately decorated boats sailing through the harbour, creating a dazzling display of lights and colours. You can also enjoy the beach, the surf, and the sun, and take advantage of the mild weather. For some shopping and dining, you can visit the Fashion Island or the Balboa Island, which offer a variety of options for every taste and budget.
10. Branson, Missouri: A Holiday Destination with Live Shows and Lights.
If you are looking for a holiday destination that offers live entertainment and festive lights, you might want to consider Branson, Missouri. Branson is known as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World,” and it has something for everyone. You can enjoy a variety of shows, from classic Christmas stories to modern musicals, featuring talented performers and dazzling costumes. You can also explore the Ozark Mountains and admire the stunning holiday light displays that illuminate the landscape. Branson is a place where you can experience the joy and magic of Christmas in a unique way.