It’s that time of the year again, the season of joy and festivities is just around the corner. Discover best Christmas vacations, including Jackson Hole, New York City, Beaver Creek, Highlands, Solvang, Stowe, Washington, D.C., the Florida Keys, and Boston. These diverse locations offer unique holiday experiences, from snowy winter wonderlands to tropical beach getaways. Explore charming towns, take part in festive activities, and consider staying at luxurious hotels to make your holiday season truly special. Whether you’re into skiing, beach lounging, or city exploration, there’s a perfect Christmas destination for everyone.
Best Christmas Vacations Spots
When it comes to choosing the perfect place to spend Christmas, what you need are destinations that exude holiday spirit with dazzling decorations, fun-filled events, and, ideally, breathtaking scenery. Plus, many of these magical Christmas vacation spots are just a road trip away, making them the perfect choice for your December getaway.
Whether you’re dreaming of sunny beaches or a snowy winter wonderland, here are some of the top places to consider for your Christmas holiday this year.
Boston offers a delightful Old World Christmas experience, complete with gas lamp-lit streets on historic Beacon Hill and festive decorations, including impressive Christmas trees, in the charming Quincy Market.
One of the highlights of Christmas in Boston is exploring the city’s pubs. There are various bar events during this festive season, with SantaCon and Ugly Sweater gatherings being among the most popular. During SantaCon, participants don their favorite Santa Claus costumes and hop from one pub to another, spreading holiday cheer throughout the city. On the other hand, the Ugly Sweater crawl is exactly what it sounds like: you put on your tackiest holiday sweater and join fellow revelers in Boston’s pubs for a fun-filled evening.
As for accommodations in Boston, here are a couple of excellent options:
The Bostonian Boston: This luxury downtown Boston hotel offers a picturesque view of the historic Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. You can pamper yourself with on-site spa services and savor delicious meals at the contemporary American restaurant. Additionally, Boston Common is just a short 900 meters away, making it a convenient choice for exploring the city.
The Lenox: Situated in Boston’s historic Back Bay area, this boutique hotel boasts a state-of-the-art gym, award-winning dining options, and elegantly appointed rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi. The iconic John Hancock Tower is a mere 5-minute walk away, ensuring you’re close to many of the city’s attractions and holiday festivities.
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole, Wyoming offers a perfect blend of winter sports and festive cheer for your December escape. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a haven for skiing enthusiasts, and during the Holiday Roundup from December 23 to December 31, it’s packed with family-friendly activities, including a spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks show. To make your stay even more memorable, you can choose from a selection of stunning lodges right by the slopes. The Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa and the ski-in/ski-out Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole are excellent options.
As you explore downtown Jackson, be sure to look out for the captivating elk antler arches that adorn the Town Square. They are beautifully adorned with white lights during the holiday season, adding to the festive atmosphere. For a truly unique adventure that embraces both the hot and cold, consider planning a trip to the Granite Hot Springs Pool. Getting there is an adventure in itself, as it can only be accessed by snowmobile, fat bike, dog sled, or skiing. This one-of-a-kind experience will surely leave you with unforgettable memories of your Christmas getaway in Jackson Hole.
3. New York
Christmas in the Big Apple is nothing short of magical. The city transforms into a twinkling wonderland, with dazzling lights and towering Christmas trees adorning the streets. It’s an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list, whether you’re shopping for last-minute gifts or sipping hot cocoa while strolling through the festive streets. Don’t miss out on classic holiday traditions like the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes and exploring the enchanting holiday markets.
4. Beaver Creek, Colorado
For a quintessential winter wonderland getaway, Beaver Creek in Colorado is the place to be. The holiday season here is brimming with family-friendly activities that will delight all ages. Check the resort’s calendar for a complete lineup of holiday events. You can elevate your stay by choosing The Osprey at Beaver Creek, a RockResort, which boasts luxurious accommodations and an inviting outdoor heated pool. Alternatively, The Pines Lodge, another RockResort, offers just 60 rooms but provides breathtaking views and ski-in/ski-out access for an unforgettable experience on the slopes.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas really knows how to go all out for Christmas, with extravagant holiday decorations and even artificial snow if you want it. The weather in December is typically quite mild, making it one of the best places to enjoy the holiday season in the USA.
Many of the resorts in Las Vegas go all-in on Christmas decorations, so it’s a good idea to take some time to stroll along the famous Strip and soak in the festive atmosphere. It’s no wonder that Las Vegas is considered one of the best Christmas vacations in the USA.
One of the absolute highlights is the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. They transform it into a magical wonderland with poinsettias, candy canes, twinkling lights, and meticulously crafted holiday scenes. What’s even more exciting is that they change the display every year, so even if you visit Vegas regularly during the holidays, you’ll be treated to a new and enchanting experience each time.
Don’t miss out on the beautiful holiday decorations at The Venetian and The Wynn either. During our visit, we were particularly captivated by the elegant white-and-gold displays at The Wynn. It’s experiences like these that truly make Las Vegas one of the best Christmas vacations in the USA.
And here’s a great tip for a free, delightful holiday experience in Vegas: catch the Bellagio fountain show after dark. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, find a cozy spot around the lake, and watch in awe as water dances to holiday-themed music and lights. It’s another reason why Las Vegas is considered one of the best Christmas vacations in the USA.
If you head to the LINQ promenade, you’ll find a towering Christmas tree, plenty of shops, and seasonal food and drinks. Plus, don’t forget to take a ride on the High Roller, the massive observation wheel, to enjoy a spectacular light show set to holiday music. It’s definitely one of the most enjoyable activities on the Strip during this festive season and adds to the charm of spending one of the best Christmas vacations in the USA in Las Vegas.
6. Highlands, North Carolina
For a charming, small-town Christmas straight out of a Hallmark movie, consider visiting Highlands, North Carolina, this holiday season. This picturesque town nestled in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest, exudes coziness. The Old Edwards Inn and Spa and Half-Mile Farm, beloved by Travel + Leisure readers, are the perfect places to immerse yourself in holiday cheer. Expect festive decor, cozy accommodations, and the warm, welcoming spirit of a truly charming Christmas destination.
7. Solvang, California
If a European winter getaway isn’t in the cards this year, you can still experience a touch of European charm right here in the United States. Solvang, nestled in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, was founded by a group of Danes in the early 1900s, and they created this adorable Danish community. Today, it’s celebrated for its Danish businesses and European-style architecture. Solvang typically hosts Julefest each holiday season, complete with festive events and decor. Be sure to check their website for updates on this year’s celebrations. And when it comes to accommodations, you can opt for one of the city’s beautiful boutique hotels like The Landsby or the Winston.
8. Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont, is a beloved destination for East Coasters and is one of the most picturesque places to experience Christmas magic. It’s conveniently located within driving distance of several major northeastern cities. The ski season here kicks off in November, making it an ideal spot for those dreaming of a white Christmas and plenty of outdoor activities. If you want stunning mountain views and the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access, The Lodge at Spruce Peak is the place to stay.
9. Washington, D.C.
For a December filled with holiday cheer and fascinating family-friendly activities, head to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The city offers a plethora of incredible things to do, and many of them are free, allowing you to save for some last-minute Christmas shopping. You can explore one of the renowned Smithsonian museums, seek refuge from the cold at the National Zoo, or take a stroll along the National Mall and soak in the festive decorations (with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, of course). When it comes to accommodations, consider staying at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown for easy access to the city’s most charming neighborhood.
10. Florida Keys, Florida
If you’re seeking a sunny holiday escape in December, the Florida Keys offer the perfect beach destination right here in the U.S. With pleasantly warm weather, it’s an inviting option for those looking to celebrate the holidays in a coastal paradise. One of the best ways to experience the Keys is by taking a scenic road trip, exploring the islands along the way to the renowned Key West.
December is a prime time to visit these beautiful islands, so if you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, consider booking a stay at Sunset Key Cottages. To reach this charming resort, guests embark on a ferry journey from Key West to the 27-acre island. Once you arrive, you’ll discover a tranquil oasis just a short ride away from the vibrant attractions of Key West. It’s a slice of paradise that promises a serene and unforgettable holiday experience.