Planning a getaway this holiday season? The best holiday destinations bring out the kid in all of us, and provide plenty of adult-friendly festivities as well. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, a family vacation, or a winter break with your best buds, these destinations are drenched in the holiday spirit.
Northeast Holiday Destinations
Hershey, Pennsylvania – Christmas and chocolate are made for each other. Discover sweet activities, from hot chocolate immersion spa treatments to vintage train rides into Amish country with Santa. The star attraction is Hersheypark Christmas Candylane, with four million holiday lights, live reindeer, ice skating and roller coasters.
New York, New York
New York City – With iconic attractions and world-famous celebrations, the Big Apple is dusted with holiday magic this season. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center by the giant tree, and catch a jaw-dropping performance by the Rockettes. You won’t find better Christmas shopping anywhere else on earth – and stay for New Year’s Eve to experience the massive party in Times Square.
Southeast Holiday Destinations
Natchitoches, Louisiana – Established in 1714 by French explorers, this historic town goes all out for the holidays with a huge Christmas Festival – and one of the best light shows in the nation. Stroll past wrought-iron balconies, enjoy the “Old World” feel, and watch the fireworks from the riverbank.
Charleston, South Carolina – Friendly hospitality, gourmet comfort food and a rich history make this Southern city a top winter destination. Don’t miss the Parade of Boats or the Holiday Festival of Lights, which features more than 700 illuminated displays, a gingerbread house village, and Victorian carousel. Ride through the historic district’s decorated streets while you sip hot chocolate in a horse-drawn carriage.
Holiday Destinations in the Midwest
St. Charles, MO
St. Charles, Missouri – Lewis and Clark embarked on their expedition from this riverside burg, now a historic travel destination with an old-fashioned holiday celebration. Carolers in period costume roam the brick-lined streets, Santas from around the world ho-ho-ho, and candy lovers gawk at the Gingerbread Village – no nibbling allowed.
Clifton, Ohio – Be dazzled at The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill, which is consistently ranked as one of the top illuminated holiday displays in the country. Four million blinking bulbs blanket the historic mill as well as nearby trees, riverbanks, gorge and covered bridge – all synchronized to holiday music. You’ll also find a miniature holiday village, toy collection, and Santa Claus Museum.
Southwest Holiday Destinations
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, Texas – A colorful destination any time of year, San Antonio’s River Walk gets decked out during December with 120,000 sparkling lights. Carolers on boats serenade the sidewalk strollers, and thousands of candlelit brown bags provide a glowing pathway to explore. Go shopping for unique gifts nearby at El Mercado, the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico.
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, New Mexico –Sparkling against the starry sky, this desert city features a captivating blend of Latino culture and classic Christmas celebrations. Shimmering lights, fake snow, and farolitos (luminaries) shine against the warm pink glow of the pueblos. On Christmas Eve, join a crowd of revelers as they stroll from Canyon Road to the historic Plaza, sipping cider and admiring the holiday lights.
Holiday Destinations in the West
Leavenworth, Washington – Discover a snowy little slice of Bavaria in the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in the epic Cascades Mountain Range, this charming getaway features half-timber buildings, German bakeries, and frothy steins of beer. Savor the smell of roasted chestnuts, shop for wooden nutcrackers, and surround yourself with a billion twinkling lights.
Solvang, California – Situated in the heart of California’s Santa Ynez Valley wine and olive country, this Danish settlement celebrates Julefest every December. Sample local wines and craft beers at special tasting events, and indulge in melt-in-your-mouth pastries that bring a tear to your eye. Holiday lights, sights, parades and parties abound all month long.
Once you’ve booked your dream holiday getaway, add your trip to TripCase so we can keep you organized and ready for a relaxing adventure.