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Thinking of doing things a little bit differently this year? Even though there is nothing quite like cozying up at home during the holiday season, there’s something magical about spending Christmas elsewhere. Especially if you live in a warm climate and just want a snowy Christmas for once!
If you’re considering jetting off this holiday season, what better way to do so than by visiting destinations that dress up in twinkling lights and take their festive spirit to the next level?
From alpine towns that will make you feel as though you’re celebrating Christmas in the German Alps to an Alaskan town that’s literally called the North Pole, here are 7 destinations in the United States that are full of holiday cheer.
7 Fun Christmas Getaways in the United States
Dreaming of a Christmas in the German Alps but not quite sure you can make it this season?
Leavenworth is a tiny town in the captivating Cascade Mountains that’s famed for its Bavarian roots, which are still visible every step you take. Think half-timbered buildings lining the streets, restaurants serving German beer, and Christmas markets that will make you forget you’re in the United States at all!
Come December, Leavenworth puts on a light show (it’s dubbed the Village of Lights for all the right reasons) and becomes a haven for those in search of a truly magical Christmas season. Day and night, you’ll stumble across roasting chestnut stands, gingerbread house competitions, advent calendar contests, and oh-so-much more. All backdropped by millions of twinkling lights, of course!
Asheville, North Carolina
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville in North Carolina will give you major storybook vibes during the holiday season. Come Christmas, Biltmore, the historic Vanderbilt mansion, becomes the star of the show as it dresses up in garlands, ribbons, glimmering lights, and dozens of lavishly decorated trees.
Aside from the dumbfounding beauty of Biltmore, other Christmas musts in this extraordinary mountain town include watching Santa rappelling down Chimney Rock (yes, it’s a thing!), taking part in the gingerbread house competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn, and going in search of the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley that makes its way through Asheville’s downtown.
With Christmas markets bookmarked in every locals’ calendars and an endless array of fun seasonal events, Denver is the perfect city escape to unwrap the magic of the holiday season.
A must in your Denver Christmas bucket list is a visit to its major Christmas markets: The Denver Christkindl Market and the European Holiday Market, both of which will transport you into a town deep in Bavaria (or at least your mind will get tricked into it).
Another fun outing? The “I Love Christmas Movies” experience just outside the city at the Gaylord Rockies Resort, where you can binge-watching classics like Elf and the Polar Express to get your holiday vibes on in no time!
North Pole, Alaska
Yes – there’s a town called the North Pole in Alaska and it’s home to a fantastic Christmas shoppe!
While it’s not technically located in the real North Pole, this quaint Alaskan town is the perfect place to go if you want to get super extra this year. Yep, we’re talking light poles shaped like candy canes lining a street called Santa Claus Lane, a 42-foot-high statue towering over the village, walls covered with children’s letters to Santa from all over the world, and a sprawling store with endless aisles filled with ornaments and toys.
Put simply, it doesn’t get any more Christmas-y than it does in North Pole, and the town’s residents make sure the spirit stays on year-round.
You can even add a stay at Chena Hot Springs and catch the Northern Lights while there!
For more super fun ways to spend a winter vacation in Alaska, click here!
Yep, there’s a town in Pennsylvania called Bethlehem and while it’s far, far away from the real one, this quaint location sure does know how to celebrate Christmas. From its German-inspired Christmas City Village to its traditional Christmas market, there’s no shortage of ways to make a Christmas in Bethlehem the most magical yet.
New York, New York
A classic but one that absolutely needs to be on every Christmas destinations list for all the right reasons. Put in simple words, you haven’t really experienced a metropolitan Christmas until you’ve done it through New York City’s gleaming lens.
Explore snowy Central Park on a carriage ride, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and drink some festive-inspired cocktails at the Winter Village at Bryant Park to get a taste of what Christmas in New York is all about! A little cliché? Maybe, but who the hell cares!
Home to Bentleyville, the most magical light display in the entire world, Duluth in Minnesota becomes host to an enormous array of holiday offerings and events that will have you feeling as though you’re walking inside a real-life snow globe!
For the ultimate winter wonderland experience, hop on a scenic train journey along Lake Superior and check out the vibrant Christmas Village in front of the Glensheen Mansion, where you’ll find locally-made goodies to bring back home (or gorge on right on the spot!).
For even more holiday cheer, head over to the Fairlawn Mansion on a Tuesday, when the mansion opens its door and visitors can pop by to explore its halls – all while being surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights.
Have you ever celebrated Christmas away from home? What are some other dazzling Christmas destinations in the USA and beyond that you fell head over heels for? Let us know all about your favorite Christmas escapades in the comments section below!