Holiday lights; festive sights. There are dozens of reasons to love the holidays, but we’ll add one more: winter trips! Exploring the holiday traditions, attractions, and celebrations of another city can be just what you need to go straight into holiday mode. Because who doesn’t love sipping hot cocoa while walking through a giant gingerbread house?
Here are our favorite destinations for making new holiday memories.
What’s better than winter trips? Ummmm, how about a winter trip to one of America’s most luxurious ski towns?
Aspen is the ideal destination for a snowy yet ultra-glam holiday trip. During the day, you can get your fill of winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more. Or skate under the open skies at Silver Circle, the town’s outdoor ice rink.
Off the slopes, the snowy mountains are the perfect backdrop for Aspen’s many holiday events, including tree lightings, holiday markets, and even visits with the man himself…Santa!
Christmas Pro Tip: Make your visit even merrier with a sleigh ride through the picturesque village. No reindeer, but a horse-drawn sleigh is a close second!
Winter trips without the winter weather? Sign us up!
Warm, sunny Orlando is an excellent destination, especially if you’re traveling with your kids (or if you’re still a kid at heart!). From Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to Universal’s Grinchmas, the theme parks’ magic and ageless appeal is undeniable.
But if you want the Disney Christmas experience without the costs, head over to Disney Springs, a lively mix of outdoor shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Check out the Tree Stroll, with its famously extravagant themed trees.
Christmas Pro Tip: It may not be the traditional “white Christmas,” but ICE! at Gaylord Palms is an immersive, ice-sculpted Winter Wonderland.
When it comes to a cozy, country Christmas, Nashville can’t be beat!
Take in the lights with a visit to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, featuring a mile-long path illuminated by over a million Christmas lights, s’mores stations, and a Holiday Marketplace. Or simply stroll along Broadway Street, lined with twinkling displays and Christmas magic.
And living up to its “Music City” nickname, Nashville gives live entertainment a holiday flair with seasonal concerts and joyous performances by local musicians as well as country music superstars.
Christmas Pro Tip: Snag tickets to one of the holiday-themed shows at the legendary Grand Ole Opry for an eclectic mix of classic Christmas tunes and country favorites.
New York City, NY
We can’t talk about winter trips without mentioning the most iconic Christmas destination!
New York City is famously festive, with classic holiday “bucket list” items such as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
If you’ve overindulged at one of the specialty holiday menus offered by local restaurants, burn off the extra calories ice skating in Rockefeller Center or window shopping along 5th Avenue.
Feeling romantic? Snuggle under a cozy blanket
Christmas Pro Tip: If you’re shopping for unique gifts, the holiday markets are the perfect place to pick up artisanal goods and seasonal treats.
Santa Fe, NM
The holiday season in Santa Fe is an enchanting blend of Christmas traditions and the city’s unique heritage.
One of Santa Fe’s most beloved holiday experiences is the Farolito Walk on Canyon Road. The farolitos (small bags filled with sand and candles) line the streets of this historic district, filling the night sky with their warm, soft glow. The cozy charm is heightened by carolers, musicians, and other performers.
The city’s artistry and rich culture are evident in its distinctive holiday markets. Local artists showcase their talents with stunning textiles, pottery, paintings, jewelry, and more. You’ll find enough gifts to fill your sleigh, guaranteed!
Christmas Pro Tip: Christmas with a Southwestern flavor? Santa Fe’s holiday cuisine incorporates delicious local flavors.
Ready to eat, drink, and be merry? Then pack your Santa hat and head to one of these festive destinations!
And to make your Christmas even brighter, ship your stuff to your holiday destination with LugLess. Breeze through the holiday crowds, skip baggage claim, and head straight to your hotel or Airbnb. And you can concentrate on what really matters: making sure you have the ugliest Christmas sweater in town!