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The Best Christmas Getaways In The US


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Jan Friday



The holiday season is a time for celebration, joy, and creating cherished memories with loved ones. What better way to embrace the festive spirit than by embarking on a magical Christmas getaway? While there are countless destinations around the world that offer enchanting experiences during this time of year, the United States is home to some of the most spectacular and memorable Christmas destinations.


From bustling cities adorned with twinkling lights to charming towns nestled in snow-capped mountains, there is something for everyone seeking an extraordinary holiday experience. Whether you are looking to visit iconic landmarks, indulge in winter sports, explore historical sites, or simply soak up the festive ambiance, the US offers a variety of options to suit different preferences.


In this article, we will explore the top ten Christmas getaways in the US, each with its unique charm, activities, and attractions. Whether you prefer an urban adventure or a tranquil escape, these destinations promise to create lasting memories and fill your heart with holiday cheer. So, get ready to discover the best places to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas and experience the holiday spirit like never before.


New York City, New York

New York City is a magical destination during the Christmas season, with its streets adorned with shimmering lights and iconic landmarks transforming into winter wonderlands. One of the highlights is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a towering and dazzling spectacle that draws visitors from all over the world. Ice skating at the Rockefeller Center rink adds to the festive fun.


Another must-see attraction is the world-famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the high-kicking Rockettes and a lively holiday production that will leave you in awe. From the enchanting displays at department store windows, such as Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, to the annual Winter Village at Bryant Park, New York City offers a plethora of Christmas experiences.


For a quintessential New York experience, take a carriage ride through Central Park, adorned with twinkling lights and a dusting of snow. The city’s diverse neighborhoods also play their part in spreading holiday cheer, with Dyker Heights in Brooklyn becoming a renowned destination for its extravagant Christmas light displays.


Visiting New York during Christmas also allows you to catch the festive atmosphere and holiday shopping on Fifth Avenue. The city’s vibrant cultural scene comes alive with holiday performances, such as the Nutcracker Ballet at the renowned Lincoln Center, adding a touch of elegance to your Christmas getaway.


To indulge in some winter fun, head to the Winter Village at Bryant Park, where you can skate on the ice rink or browse the holiday markets for unique gifts and crafts. Warming up with a cup of hot chocolate or a festive treat from one of the many food stalls is a must-do experience.


Whether you take a stroll through the enchanting streets of New York City or take in the breathtaking view from atop the Empire State Building, this vibrant and bustling city is sure to deliver a Christmas experience you’ll never forget.


Aspen, Colorado

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas and love winter sports, Aspen, Colorado is the perfect Christmas getaway. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen offers breathtaking scenery and world-class skiing opportunities.


During the holiday season, Aspen transforms into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a joyful atmosphere. The town’s main streets, such as Cooper Avenue and Mill Street, are adorned with garlands and colorful lights, creating a picturesque scene straight out of a holiday postcard.


Aspen’s four incredible ski resorts, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass, offer a wide range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. You can hit the slopes during the day and then enjoy a cozy après-ski experience in one of the charming mountain lodges or restaurants.


For a truly magical experience, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered landscape, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. You can also explore the stunning Maroon Bells, two majestic peaks that offer stunning photo opportunities and peaceful hikes.


In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Aspen also offers a variety of winter activities, such as ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The town hosts various holiday events, including the Aspen Carolers singing classic Christmas songs and the annual torchlight parade down the slopes on Christmas Eve.


Aspen’s charming downtown area also offers boutique shopping, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. You can warm up with a hot drink or indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many cozy cafés or restaurants, which often feature seasonal menus and festive decorations.


With its snowy landscapes, thrilling winter sports, and festive atmosphere, Aspen, Colorado is the ideal destination to create unforgettable Christmas memories with family and friends.


Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Christmas getaways, but this charming southern city offers a unique and delightful holiday experience. Known for its historic architecture and moss-draped oak trees, Savannah takes on a magical atmosphere during the Christmas season.


The city’s historic squares and streets are adorned with festive decorations, including twinkling lights, wreaths, and garlands, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. The annual Savannah Harbor Holiday Series is a highlight, featuring an enchanting lighted boat parade and festive concerts.


One of the highlights of a Savannah Christmas is the annual Holiday Tour of Homes, where you can explore stunning historic houses adorned with beautiful holiday décor. The tour offers a glimpse into Savannah’s rich history and displays the unique Southern charm.


A visit to Savannah during Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a stroll along River Street, which boasts cobblestone streets and scenic views of the Savannah River. The area is decked out in Christmas lights and offers unique shops, galleries, and restaurants.


The city also hosts various holiday events, including the Savannah Harbor Holiday Series and the City Market Holiday Open House, where you can enjoy live music, festive performances, and delightful food and drinks.


Savannah is also known for its delicious Southern cuisine, and during the Christmas season, you can savor traditional holiday dishes with a southern twist. From savory shrimp and grits to indulgent pecan pie, the city’s restaurants offer a true taste of Southern hospitality.


Additionally, a carriage ride through the historic district is a romantic and memorable way to experience the city’s charm and enjoy the festive decorations.


With its rich history, charming streets, and warm Southern hospitality, Savannah, Georgia is a unique and delightful destination for a Christmas getaway.


Santa Fe, New Mexico

For a Christmas getaway with a touch of southwestern charm, look no further than Santa Fe, New Mexico. Known for its vibrant art scene, rich cultural heritage, and adobe architecture, Santa Fe offers a unique and enchanting holiday experience.


During the Christmas season, Santa Fe is adorned with traditional farolitos, small paper lanterns that line the streets and rooftops, creating a magical and luminous atmosphere. The city’s historic Plaza is the heart of the festive celebrations, with a towering Christmas tree and holiday performances.


One of the highlights of a Santa Fe Christmas is the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, where the street is transformed into a pathway of luminarias (candle-lit lanterns). Stroll through the enchanting neighborhood, enjoy the festive decorations, and stop by the art galleries for special holiday events and exhibitions.


Christmas in Santa Fe also offers a chance to explore the local Pueblo communities, such as the nearby Tesuque Pueblo. Many of these communities have traditional dances and ceremonies during the holiday season, providing a glimpse into Native American culture and traditions.


The city also hosts the beloved Christmas at the Palace event, featuring music, dance, and storytelling that highlight the diverse cultures and traditions of Santa Fe. The event takes place at the historic Palace of the Governors, adding an extra layer of charm and historical significance.


For those seeking a unique shopping experience, Santa Fe’s vibrant art markets offer the perfect opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts and locally crafted treasures. From handmade jewelry and pottery to intricate textiles and paintings, you’ll discover the spirit of the Southwest in these artistic creations.


Indulging in the delicious flavors of New Mexican cuisine is a must during your visit. From traditional tamales to spicy green chili stew, Santa Fe’s restaurants serve up a tantalizing array of dishes that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds.


With its unique blend of cultures, stunning landscapes, and vibrant art scene, Santa Fe, New Mexico offers a Christmas getaway filled with warmth, creativity, and Southwestern charm.


Lake Tahoe, California

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, Lake Tahoe in California is the perfect destination. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe offers a picturesque and idyllic setting for a magical holiday getaway.


During the winter season, Lake Tahoe becomes a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with its world-class ski resorts and stunning alpine scenery. The area receives abundant snowfall, creating the perfect conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.


The ski resorts around Lake Tahoe, such as Heavenly Mountain and Squaw Valley, offer a variety of slopes for all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner hitting the slopes for the first time, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the winter wonderland.


Aside from the thrilling winter sports, Lake Tahoe also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-clear lake. Take a leisurely walk along the lake’s shoreline, embrace the tranquility of nature, and capture stunning photographs.


During the Christmas season, Lake Tahoe hosts various holiday events and festivities. The Heavenly Village transforms into a winter wonderland complete with twinkling lights, a large ice rink, and festive decorations. You can enjoy live music, holiday performances, and even meet Santa Claus himself.


If you’re in the mood for some unique shopping, the town of Tahoe City hosts an annual Christmas Market, featuring local artisans and vendors selling handmade crafts, artwork, and delicious treats.


After a day of snow-filled adventures, cozy up in a lakeside cabin or luxurious resort and enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire. Many accommodations offer special holiday packages and amenities, making your stay even more memorable.


Lake Tahoe also boasts a vibrant dining scene, with a range of restaurants offering everything from gourmet cuisine to casual comfort food. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, hearty mountain fare, or international flavors, you’ll find a variety of options to satisfy your palate.


With its stunning natural beauty, winter sports opportunities, and festive atmosphere, Lake Tahoe, California is the perfect destination for a magical Christmas getaway.


Chicago, Illinois

When it comes to Christmas getaways, Chicago, Illinois is a city that knows how to celebrate in grand style. Known for its impressive architecture, vibrant art scene, and bustling city life, Chicago offers a wide range of festive activities and attractions during the holiday season.


The Magnificent Mile, a stretch of Michigan Avenue, comes alive during Christmas with its dazzling display of lights and extravagant holiday decorations. The famous Christmas tree at Millennium Park is a must-see, towering above the ice-skating rink and creating a magical atmosphere.


Chicago is also home to the annual Christkindlmarket, inspired by the traditional German holiday markets. This open-air market offers a variety of unique gifts, crafts, and delicious festive treats like mulled wine and gingerbread cookies. Strolling through the market, you’ll feel transported to a charming European winter village.


Don’t miss the chance to experience the iconic holiday traditions in Chicago, such as the festive window displays at department stores like Macy’s on State Street. The Lincoln Park Zoo also hosts a spectacular light display called ZooLights, where you can walk through a winter wonderland of illuminated animal figures.


For a breathtaking view of the city, head to the Skydeck at Willis Tower, where you can gaze out over the sparkling cityscape and enjoy the festive lights from above. The Navy Pier is another must-visit destination, offering holiday-themed attractions, including an ice-skating rink and a Ferris wheel.


Chicago is renowned for its world-class theater scene, and during the Christmas season, you can catch festive productions such as “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre or the iconic ballet performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Joffrey Ballet.


The city’s diverse dining scene is also a highlight, with numerous restaurants offering special holiday menus and festive drinks. From indulging in deep-dish pizza to savoring gourmet holiday cuisine, Chicago has a culinary experience to satisfy every palate.


With its stunning architecture, enchanting holiday displays, and vibrant energy, Chicago is an ideal destination for a Christmas getaway that combines culture, shopping, and festive fun.


Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina may not be the first place that comes to mind for a Christmas getaway, but this historic and charming city offers a unique and enchanting holiday experience. With its cobblestone streets, antebellum houses, and Southern hospitality, Charleston exudes warmth and charm during the Christmas season.


One of the highlights of a Charleston Christmas is the annual Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. Featuring over two million twinkling lights and animated displays, this drive-through festival is a magical experience for the whole family.


Stroll through the historic district of Charleston, and you’ll be greeted with beautifully decorated homes adorned with wreaths and garlands. The Battery, a waterfront promenade, offers stunning views of the Charleston harbor and is a popular spot for a leisurely walk during the holidays.


Charleston is known for its rich history, and during Christmas, you can explore the historic plantations decked out in festive decorations. Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place offer guided tours, holiday-themed events, and stunning gardens to explore.


The city also hosts the Charleston Christmas Parade, featuring festive floats, marching bands, and lively performances. The parade winds through the historic downtown area, adding an extra touch of holiday cheer.


Charleston’s culinary scene is renowned for its delicious Southern cuisine, and during the Christmas season, the city’s restaurants offer special holiday menus and events. From indulging in comfort foods like shrimp and grits to enjoying Lowcountry favorites such as she-crab soup, Charleston’s dining scene will leave you satisfied and craving for more.


While Charleston may not experience a white Christmas, the city brings its own unique charm to the holiday season with its mild climate. You can still enjoy outdoor activities like carriage rides, harbor cruises, and exploring the picturesque and historic neighborhoods.


With its rich history, picturesque architecture, and Southern charm, Charleston, South Carolina is a delightful destination for a Christmas getaway, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and holiday festivities.


Williamsburg, Virginia

Step back in time and experience the magic of a colonial Christmas in Williamsburg, Virginia. Known for its well-preserved historic buildings and immersive living history programs, Williamsburg offers a unique and enchanting holiday experience.


During the Christmas season, Colonial Williamsburg transforms into a winter wonderland. The historic area is adorned with fresh greenery, wreaths, and handcrafted decorations, creating a festive atmosphere reminiscent of the 18th century.


Experience the sights and sounds of a colonial Christmas as you wander the streets and interact with costumed interpreters. Learn about holiday traditions of the past, watch historic reenactments, and even partake in crafting your own decorations or holiday treats.


One of the highlights of a Williamsburg Christmas is the Grand Illumination, a spectacular event that marks the start of the holiday season. Historic buildings are illuminated by candlelight, and fireworks light up the sky, creating a magical ambiance you won’t soon forget.


Attend a celebratory concert or caroling event to experience traditional colonial music and festive performances. The Christmas Decorations Walking Tour is another popular activity, allowing you to admire the beautifully decorated homes and gardens of Williamsburg.


For a taste of colonial cuisine, indulge in a traditional Christmas feast at one of the historic taverns. Sample dishes like roast turkey, succulent ham, and spiced gingerbread, all prepared using authentic recipes from the 18th century.


Williamsburg is also home to the Busch Gardens Christmas Town, a holiday-themed amusement park that offers festive shows, dazzling lights, and thrilling rides. Enjoy ice skating, holiday-themed performances, and a visit to Santa’s workshop.


Don’t miss the opportunity to explore nearby Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown, which played significant roles in American history. These sites offer insight into early colonial life and provide additional opportunities to learn about the holiday traditions of the past.


Immerse yourself in the magic of a colonial Christmas and experience the rich history and traditions of Williamsburg, Virginia. The sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic city will transport you back in time and make your holiday season truly memorable.


Leavenworth, Washington

Tucked away in the snowy Cascade Mountains, the picturesque town of Leavenworth, Washington transforms into a Bavarian-inspired Christmas village during the holiday season. Known for its charming architecture, festive decorations, and lively events, Leavenworth offers a magical Christmas experience.


When you arrive in Leavenworth, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a European winter wonderland. The entire town is adorned with twinkling lights, elaborate window displays, and traditional Bavarian-style ornaments, creating a captivating and enchanting atmosphere.


One of the highlights of a Leavenworth Christmas is the annual Christmas Lighting Festival. Held over three weekends in December, the town’s streets come alive with live music, carolers, sledding, and visits from Santa Claus. As evening falls, the switch is flipped, and the town illuminates in a dazzling display of over half a million Christmas lights.


As you wander through the streets, stop by the many charming shops and boutiques that offer a variety of unique gifts, handcrafted ornaments, and delicious holiday treats. From local artisan products to traditional German specialties, you’ll find something for everyone on your Christmas list.


You can also enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered landscapes, immersing yourself in the serene beauty of the surrounding mountains. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine as you take in the breathtaking scenery.


Leavenworth is surrounded by incredible natural beauty, and during the winter season, you can partake in various outdoor activities. From skiing and snowboarding at the nearby Stevens Pass Ski Resort to snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the surrounding forests, there’s no shortage of winter adventures to enjoy.


Enjoy traditional Bavarian cuisine at the town’s many restaurants and breweries, where you can indulge in hearty German dishes like bratwurst, schnitzel, and sauerkraut. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a local craft beer or a warm mug of glühwein.


Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets, attending festive events, or enjoying winter activities, Leavenworth, Washington promises a Christmas experience straight out of a storybook, making it a must-visit destination for holiday enthusiasts.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Experience the vibrant and unique holiday spirit of New Orleans, Louisiana, as this lively city embraces the Christmas season with its own twist of music, food, and festive celebrations. Known for its rich culture, historic architecture, and jazz music, New Orleans offers an unforgettable Christmas getaway.


During the holiday season, the city’s famous French Quarter comes alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas. Stroll through the streets adorned with colorful lights and wreaths, and indulge in the delicious scents of Cajun and Creole cuisine wafting from the local restaurants.


One of the highlights of a New Orleans Christmas is the annual Celebration in the Oaks at City Park. This dazzling holiday light display features intricate light sculptures, a massive Christmas tree, and festive entertainment, creating a magical experience for visitors of all ages.


New Orleans is also renowned for its music, and during the Christmas season, you can immerse yourself in the sounds of jazz, gospel, and brass bands. Attend a holiday concert or catch a festive performance at Preservation Hall or the famous Tipitina’s.


When it comes to holiday dining, New Orleans knows how to create a feast. Indulge in traditional Creole dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish étouffée, or savor a plate of beignets dusted with powdered sugar from the iconic Café du Monde.


The city also hosts a variety of special holiday events and parades. The Krewe of Jingle Parade, for example, features festive floats, marching bands, and Santa Claus himself, spreading holiday cheer throughout the streets of downtown New Orleans.


For a unique New Orleans holiday tradition, attend a Reveillon dinner. This Creole dining experience showcases a festive multi-course meal that dates back to the 19th century, offering a taste of New Orleans history and holiday spirit.


Explore the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans, such as the Garden District and the French Quarter, where you’ll find picturesque streets lined with stunning architecture, beautiful courtyard gardens, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered.


With its vibrant music scene, delectable cuisine, and lively street celebrations, New Orleans offers a Christmas getaway like no other. Embrace the festive spirit of this city and create memories that will last a lifetime.



A Christmas getaway is the perfect way to create lasting memories and experience the holiday spirit in a new and enchanting setting. The United States offers a diverse range of destinations, each with its own charm and attractions during the Christmas season.


From the dazzling lights of New York City and the snowy slopes of Aspen to the historic charm of Williamsburg and the musical celebrations of New Orleans, these Christmas getaways provide unique experiences that cater to a variety of interests.


Whether you’re seeking a bustling city atmosphere, a tranquil winter wonderland, or a blend of history and culture, these destinations have something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the holiday ambiance, from visiting iconic landmarks and enjoying festive events to indulging in local cuisine and partaking in outdoor activities.


As you plan your Christmas getaway, consider the unique attributes of each destination and find the one that resonates with your preferences and desires. Whether you prefer the grandeur of the big city or the charm of a small town, these ten destinations offer captivating experiences that will make your Christmas holiday truly special.


So, pack your bags, embrace the holiday spirit, and embark on a Christmas getaway that promises to create cherished memories and fill your heart with warmth and joy. Whether you choose the glitz and glamour of New York City or the serene beauty of Lake Tahoe, your Christmas getaway in the United States will be an adventure of a lifetime.