With the glow of Thanksgiving still in the air and Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about where to spend the holidays. The US is a fantastic place to enjoy Christmas as each state and city has its unique festive celebrations, meaning whether you want to chill out on the beach or visit Christmas markets in the snow, America has you covered! Read on to discover the best places to go for Christmas in the USA (both with kids and without) so that you can plan and get excited for the holiday period.
If you’re seeking an adult Christmas destination in the US that is full of festive cheer but without the children, look no further than cities like New York and Chicago or states like Colorado and Hawaii that offer something a little different to the character-filled Christmases at Disneyland.
New York has long been a favourite Christmas getaway for those who want a magical winter wonderland. The whole city springs into festivity, with Christmas lights and decorations adorning every shop and streetlight around.
Visitors can spend hours searching the shops in Manhattan for Christmas gifts, with many of the department stores having fully dedicated Christmas floors filled with festive goodies, not to mention spectacular holiday display windows that change each year.
Another annual classic that is a must for a Christmas break in New York is seeing the giant Christmas tree outside the Rockefeller Center. Travellers can take photos in front of the huge bejewelled tree before enjoying an afternoon of ice-skating on the famous Rockefeller Rink.
For those who want to escape the chill of winter, perhaps somewhere like Hawaii is better suited than NYC! This island state allows you to kick-back on beaches while still getting your Christmas fix of festive cheer with the likes of the Kaua’i Festival of Lights.
Hawaii’s towns, hotels, and restaurants feature holiday menus and events, so even though you’ll be walking around in shorts and t-shirts, you’ll still feel as though you’ve celebrated in style. Hawaii might also be one of the few places in the world where you can see Santa arriving on an island by boat, fully-clad in fur-lined festive shorts as opposed to his usual winter attire.
If you’d prefer to be on your skis over the Christmas period, why not head to the winter playground of Colorado? Staying in a stylish hotel or cosy chalet is a great way to relax over the holiday period, and you can ski, skate, and spa to your heart’s content.
There are loads of different destinations to choose from in Colorado, from the relaxed resorts of Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs to upmarket Vail and Aspen. You can even choose one of the fine dining restaurants at which to enjoy your Christmas meal, or stay until New Year’s Eve for a wild night of après ski fun.
If you’re travelling with little ones and want somewhere that will offer them a Christmas to remember, you’ll want to find places that feature fun, festive traditions, shows, and events that cater to children. Of course, Disney is the first place that springs to mind, but there are others too if you’re seeking something different.
Florida is a perfect family Christmas destination as you can combine great weather, beaches, shopping, and even Disney World for a once-in-a-lifetime festive vacation! Florida has loads of vacation villas and hotels that work well for family getaways, allowing you to spend quality time together over Christmas.
Not only can you enjoy the sun, sand, and sites of Florida, but you can also visit the town of Christmas near Orlando for a unique day out, posting gifts and cards to friends and family around the world with the postmark’ Christmas, Florida’.
Whether you opt for Orlando or Los Angeles, Disney is always a great shout for Christmas with kids. There’s no better time to visit ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ than December when the sites are filled with Christmas decorations, gifts and shows that centre around the festive period.
While you won’t receive a snowy Christmas, you will enjoy mild temperatures in which to explore the parks, with shows like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party being sure to keep the children entertained.
Another top spot in the US for Christmas with kids is Solvang, California. This Danish city celebrates Christmas in its unique way, with Julefest (pronounced Yule-Fest) activities running throughout December. These include a live nativity show, a Christmas market light show, Santa’s Village, a festive parade, and much more.
Solvang allows you to enjoy some of the more European Christmas traditions without having to travel all the way over the pond.
Another town in the US that goes all out for Christmas is New Hope, Pennsylvania. This town often offers visitors a White Christmas (with usual temperatures sitting around 30-40F/-1-4C), which will make even the most Scrooge-like travellers feel a bit more festive!
Children will love riding on the North Pole Express or the Santa’s Steam Spectacular journeys that provide a holiday day out on the New Hope Railroad, with Santa and Mrs. Claus coming along for the ride.
Families can sing along with on-board musicians playing Christmas carols, enjoy warming cups of hot chocolate and cookies and even receive gifts from Santa himself while en route. Children are encouraged to wear festive pyjamas to get them in the mood, and there’s even a bar on board for the adults too.
So, there you have it, some of the best destinations to spend Christmas in the USA. Whether you’re travelling with children or without, you’re sure to find somewhere that will be full of festive cheer, providing you with endless entertainment that will make it a Christmas to remember.
Where will you be spending the holidays this year? Happy holidays.