Best Winter Wonderland Vacations in America

by Lauren Dana

Best Winter Wonderland Vacations in America

by Lauren Dana

From snow-covered winter wonderland mountain towns to waterfront retreats with reindeer galore, here are the 25 best US destinations worth visiting to ring in the holiday season.

From snow-covered winter wonderland mountain towns to waterfront retreats with reindeer galore, here are the 25 best US destinations worth visiting to ring in the holiday season.

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Lake Tahoe, CA

The popular winter destination – where there's ample skiing, tubing, and snowmobiling opportunities – is especially gorgeous around Christmastime. Embark on a beautiful horse-drawn sleigh ride tour and admire the towering trees as you make your way through the region. Afterwards, head into The Shops At Heavenly Village, the destination's main shopping plaza, where you can admire the dazzling tree, listen to Christmas carols, and dine with Santa.

The popular winter destination – where there's ample skiing, tubing, and snowmobiling opportunities – is especially gorgeous around Christmastime. Embark on a beautiful horse-drawn sleigh ride tour and admire the towering trees as you make your way through the region. Afterwards, head into The Shops At Heavenly Village, the destination's main shopping plaza, where you can admire the dazzling tree, listen to Christmas carols, and dine with Santa.

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Lake Tahoe, CA

Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is pulling out all the stops this season. Its festive holiday programming features daily fun-filled activities like extravagant feasts, live music, champagne brunches, and more. The on-site spa is also offering seasonal holiday-themed treatments such as Alpine Glow facials and Ponderosa Pines body treatments. 

Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is pulling out all the stops this season. Its festive holiday programming features daily fun-filled activities like extravagant feasts, live music, champagne brunches, and more. The on-site spa is also offering seasonal holiday-themed treatments such as Alpine Glow facials and Ponderosa Pines body treatments. 

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Highlands, NC

Located amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains, this quaint and charming town transforms into a true winter wonderland with twinkle-light-lined streets, snowcapped mountains, and plenty of festivities in which to partake. There are store-decorating contests, a drive-through light show and Christmas festival, and, of course, live Christmas carols. Highlands' vibrant Main Street is lined with shops and restaurants – all decked out for the holiday season. 

Located amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains, this quaint and charming town transforms into a true winter wonderland with twinkle-light-lined streets, snowcapped mountains, and plenty of festivities in which to partake. There are store-decorating contests, a drive-through light show and Christmas festival, and, of course, live Christmas carols. Highlands' vibrant Main Street is lined with shops and restaurants – all decked out for the holiday season. 

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Highlands, NC

Where to Stay: Escape to the luxurious Old Edwards Inn and Spa, where you can catch up on some much-needed R&R and take advantage of the booming culinary scene (there are seven on-site drinking and dining options to choose from). The property's Christmas Tree Package includes a room for two, a $50 dining credit, and a trip to the local Christmas tree farm to pick out your perfect tree. You'll also want to spend some time admiring the handmade gingerbread houses, crafted by the hotel's distinguished culinary team.

Where to Stay: Escape to the luxurious Old Edwards Inn and Spa, where you can catch up on some much-needed R&R and take advantage of the booming culinary scene (there are seven on-site drinking and dining options to choose from!). The property's Christmas Tree Package includes a room for two, a $50 dining credit, and a trip to the local Christmas tree farm to pick out your perfect tree. You'll also want to spend some time admiring the handmade gingerbread houses, crafted by the hotel's distinguished culinary team.

 

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Jackson Hole, WY

This popular winter destination is even more spectacular come Christmastime. Jackson Hole's historic Town Square is decked-out in sparkly lights – and, if you're lucky, you may even run into Santa Claus himself. Come Dec. 26, the town is expected to debut its annual ice skating rink in the Town Square. Afterward, enjoy a sleigh ride and admire the scenic mountain vistas. And, don't forget to hit the slopes while you're here.

Read more: What to See and Do in Jackson Hole

This popular winter destination is even more spectacular come Christmastime. Jackson Hole's historic Town Square is decked-out in sparkly lights – and, if you're lucky, you may even run into Santa Claus himself. Come Dec. 26, the town is expected to debut its annual ice skating rink in the Town Square. Afterward, enjoy a sleigh ride and admire the scenic mountain vistas. And, don't forget to hit the slopes while you're here.

 

Read more: What to See and Do in Jackson Hole

 

 

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Jackson Hole, WY

Where to Stay: The 203-room Snow King Resort is just blocks away from the lively Town Square and offers its own array of holiday-themed activities, including cookie decorating, snowman building, schmoozing with Santa, and listening to live Christmas carols in the lobby. More festive programming includes movie nights, s'mores, and hot cocoa. 

Where to Stay: The 203-room Snow King Resort is just blocks away from the lively Town Square and offers its own array of holiday-themed activities, including cookie decorating, snowman building, schmoozing with Santa, and listening to live Christmas carols in the lobby. More festive programming includes movie nights, s'mores, and hot cocoa. 

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Greenville, SC

With tree-lined sidewalks, bright Christmas lights, and an incredible selection of holiday attractions, this charming southern city is full of holiday cheer. Main Street even boasts its own open-air ice rink as well as "Santa's" motorized sleigh (a converted 1993 Ford Aerostar), which visitors can catch a glimpse of as they shop, eat, and stroll. Meanwhile, Greenville's 35th annual Festival of Trees highlights an array of stunning Christmas trees that are displayed in various locations throughout the city. You can also support local makers by checking out one of the outdoor mini markets or retail pop-ups (both organized by Makers Collective) – which offer locally produced gifts, art, and other trinkets. 

With tree-lined sidewalks, bright Christmas lights, and an incredible selection of holiday attractions, this charming southern city is full of holiday cheer. Main Street even boasts its own open-air ice rink as well as "Santa's" motorized sleigh (a converted 1993 Ford Aerostar), which visitors can catch a glimpse of as they shop, eat, and stroll. Meanwhile, Greenville's 35th annual Festival of Trees highlights an array of stunning Christmas trees that are displayed in various locations throughout the city. You can also support local makers by checking out one of the outdoor mini markets or retail pop-ups (both organized by Makers Collective) – which offer locally produced gifts, art, and other trinkets. 

 

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Greenville, SC

Where to Stay: Downtown Greenville's extravagant Westin Poinsett is especially jaw-dropping during the holidays. When you're not exploring the city or relaxing in your room, head downstairs to the lavish lobby, which is embellished with lights, garland, wreaths, and ribbon. The crown jewel is the towering Christmas tree, complete with bright ornaments and plenty of presents underneath. 

Where to Stay: Downtown Greenville's extravagant Westin Poinsett is especially jaw-dropping during the holidays. When you're not exploring the city or relaxing in your room, head downstairs to the lavish lobby, which is embellished with lights, garland, wreaths, and ribbon. The crown jewel is the towering Christmas tree, complete with bright ornaments and plenty of presents underneath. 

 

 

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Kennebunkport, ME

While the annual Christmas Prelude will take place virtually this year, the coastal Maine town is still getting into the Christmas spirit. Shops and restaurants will be open and the town itself will boast incredible decorations that are sure to put a smile on your face. Socially distant in-person offerings include an outdoor Christmas market, specialty drinking and dining events, and tastings galore.

While the annual Christmas Prelude will take place virtually this year, the coastal Maine town is still getting into the Christmas spirit. Shops and restaurants will be open and the town itself will boast incredible decorations that are sure to put a smile on your face. Socially distant in-person offerings include an outdoor Christmas market, specialty drinking and dining events, and tastings galore.

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Kennebunkport, ME

Where to Stay: The historic Kennebunkport Inn is housed in a three-story Victorian-era mansion that dates back to the 1890s. Each year, the property transforms into its own winter wonderland, and this year is no different. Expect beautiful decorations, socially distant cocktail gatherings, private gondolas and igloos available for rent. Guests can even participate in a curling match right on-site before warming up with a cup of hot cocoa.

Where to Stay: The historic Kennebunkport Inn is housed in a three-story Victorian-era mansion that dates back to the 1890s. Each year, the property transforms into its own winter wonderland, and this year is no different. Expect beautiful decorations, socially distant cocktail gatherings, private gondolas and igloos available for rent. Guests can even participate in a curling match right on-site before warming up with a cup of hot cocoa.

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New York, NY

From the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree to the awe-inspiring window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Big Apple is chock-full of cheer. Don't miss the Bryant Park Winter Village, an outdoor holiday market full of food and fun (plus ice skating) that's also filled with local shops. Head to 230 Fifth and dine in an igloo, or travel downtown to Pier 17 and chill out in your very own tiny cabin. Venture outside of Manhattan and into Brooklyn's Dyker Heights neighborhood, where the homes are decked-out in over-the-top decorations. 

From the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree to the awe-inspiring window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Big Apple is chock-full of cheer. Don't miss the Bryant Park Winter Village, an outdoor holiday market full of food and fun (plus ice skating) that's also filled with local shops. Head to 230 Fifth and dine in an igloo, or travel downtown to Pier 17 and chill out in your very own tiny cabin. Venture outside of Manhattan and into Brooklyn's Dyker Heights neighborhood, where the homes are decked-out in over-the-top decorations. 

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New York, NY

Where to Stay: Located right on ritzy Fifth Avenue, The Langham, New York is among the city's most spectacular properties. Inside, be dazzled by the delightful decor (including a tall, colorful Christmas tree) and luxury accommodations. Enhance your stay by booking the "Festive On Fifth" package that includes suite accommodations (complete with a fully-decorated Christmas tree!), gifts for the entire family, and daily breakfast for two. 

Where to Stay: Located right on ritzy Fifth Avenue, The Langham, New York is among the city's most spectacular properties. Inside, be dazzled by the delightful decor (including a tall, colorful Christmas tree) and luxury accommodations. Enhance your stay by booking the "Festive On Fifth" package that includes suite accommodations (complete with a fully-decorated Christmas tree!), gifts for the entire family, and daily breakfast for two. 

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Park City, UT

Embrace winter and all the season has to offer with a trip to Park City, where you can go dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. After breaking a sweat on the slopes, head into town for the Historic Park City Snow Globe Stroll. Through Jan. 3, 2021, nine life-sized, motion-activated snow globes will line Main Street. Your little ones can also write letters to Santa, which can be dropped off in the city's bright-red Santa Mailbox. 

Read more: Here's What's Worth The Splurge in Park City

 

Embrace winter and all the season has to offer with a trip to Park City, where you can go dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. After breaking a sweat on the slopes, head into town for the Historic Park City Snow Globe Stroll. Through Jan. 3, 2021, nine life-sized, motion-activated snow globes will line Main Street. Your little ones can also write letters to Santa, which can be dropped off in the city's bright-red Santa Mailbox. 

 

Read more: Here's What's Worth The Splurge in Park City 

 

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Park City, UT

Where to Stay: From cookie decorating and gingerbread displays to Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunts and ornament decorating, Montage Deer Valley offers an activity for everyone. The hotel also has its own tree-lighting ceremony – plus daily s'mores, an elaborate gingerbread house display, and family tubing nights. Meanwhile, adults should visit the stunning spa for an alpine massage after relaxing in the sauna, steam room, or whirlpool. 

Where to Stay: From cookie decorating and gingerbread displays to Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunts and ornament decorating, Montage Deer Valley offers an activity for everyone. The hotel also has its own tree-lighting ceremony – plus daily s'mores, an elaborate gingerbread house display, and family tubing nights. Meanwhile, adults should visit the stunning spa for an alpine massage after relaxing in the sauna, steam room, or whirlpool. 

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Chicago, IL

The Windy City gets a bad rap in the winter, but if you could look past the snowy, chilly weather, you'll find a treasure trove of fun activities to choose from. Lincoln Park Zoo's annual ZooLights event features intricate displays and hundreds of thousands of illuminating lights. Don't miss the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, either. This year, guests will be able to drive through Morton Arboretum's annual tree lights display. Meanwhile, the Chicago Botanic Garden's Lightscape exhibit spans one mile and provides plenty of photo-worthy moments, including the 110-foot-long illuminated tunnel comprised of 100,000 lights. 

The Windy City gets a bad rap in the winter, but if you could look past the snowy, chilly weather, you'll find a treasure trove of fun activities to choose from. Lincoln Park Zoo's annual ZooLights event features intricate displays and hundreds of thousands of illuminating lights. Don't miss the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, either. This year, guests will be able to drive through Morton Arboretum's annual tree lights display. Meanwhile, the Chicago Botanic Garden's Lightscape exhibit spans one mile and provides plenty of photo-worthy moments, including the 110-foot-long illuminated tunnel comprised of 100,000 lights. 

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Chicago, IL

Where to Stay: There's no better place to enjoy holiday festivities than the Peninsula Chicago. The property will debut a terrific tree and a digital storybook for children and their families to read. Splurge on the "Merry and Bright" package, which includes a holiday-themed welcome amenity, in-room Christmas decorations (plus a special gingerbread playhouse), a curated collection of festive flicks, dessert for four, and daily breakfast for two.

Where to Stay: There's no better place to enjoy holiday festivities than the Peninsula Chicago. The property will debut a terrific tree and a digital storybook for children and their families to read. Splurge on the "Merry and Bright" package, which includes a holiday-themed welcome amenity, in-room Christmas decorations (plus a special gingerbread playhouse), a curated collection of festive flicks, dessert for four, and daily breakfast for two.

Aspen, Colorado
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Aspen, CO

This holiday season, The Aspen Chamber of Commerce is organizing a special "12 Days of Aspen" initiative beginning Dec. 20 (think: Christmas caroling, cookie decorating, and crafting). The city's Wintersköl festival will kick off in Jan. 2021 and will feature snow sculptures, fireworks, and more fun-filled activities. For a true bucket-list experience, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride alongside a spectacular meal with Pine Creek Cookhouse

This holiday season, The Aspen Chamber of Commerce is organizing a special "12 Days of Aspen" initiative beginning Dec. 20 (think: Christmas caroling, cookie decorating, and crafting). The city's Wintersköl festival will kick off in Jan. 2021 and will feature snow sculptures, fireworks, and more fun-filled activities. For a true bucket-list experience, enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride alongside a spectacular meal with Pine Creek Cookhouse. 

 

 

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Aspen, CO

Where to Stay: The uber-luxe St. Regis Aspen offers extravagant Christmas programming, and its 30-foot-tall Christmas tree is just the tip of the iceberg. Guests here can enjoy live music, Champagne sabering (yes, really!), fireworks, s'mores, and gingerbread-cookie decorating. 

Where to Stay: The uber-luxe St. Regis Aspen offers extravagant Christmas programming, and its 30-foot-tall Christmas tree is just the tip of the iceberg. Guests here can enjoy live music, Champagne sabering (yes, really!), fireworks, s'mores, and gingerbread-cookie decorating. 

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Woodstock, VT

Woodstock's annual Wassail Weekend may look a little different this year, but travelers can still embrace the holiday spirit with visits from Santa Claus, a tree-lighting ceremony, and dozens of decked-out, quaint shops to peruse. Many of the town's historic homes will be decorated for Christmas, attracting locals and travelers alike. Main Street transforms into its very own winter wonderland with lights and a stunning backdrop of gorgeous snowfall. Visit Billings Farm to watch cooking demonstrations, go snowshoeing, and enjoy a cup of Wassail (mulled cider). End your day with a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride around the twinkling town.

Woodstock's annual Wassail Weekend may look a little different this year, but travelers can still embrace the holiday spirit with visits from Santa Claus, a tree-lighting ceremony, and dozens of decked-out, quaint shops to peruse. Many of the town's historic homes will be decorated for Christmas, attracting locals and travelers alike. Main Street transforms into its very own winter wonderland with lights and a stunning backdrop of gorgeous snowfall. Visit Billings Farm to watch cooking demonstrations, go snowshoeing, and enjoy a cup of Wassail (mulled cider). End your day with a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride around the twinkling town.

 

 

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Woodstock, VT

Where to Stay: The Woodstock Inn & Resort has amped up its already-incredible programming in honor of Wassail Weekend and Christmas. There are sleigh rides, snowshoeing, candle-dipping, holiday movie marathons, and gingerbread house decorating. Foodies will appreciate the property's annual, three-course Wassail Dinner and the equally extravagant Christmas Dinner spread. 

Where to Stay: The Woodstock Inn & Resort has amped up its already-incredible programming in honor of Wassail Weekend and Christmas. There are sleigh rides, snowshoeing, candle-dipping, holiday movie marathons, and gingerbread house decorating. Foodies will appreciate the property's annual, three-course Wassail Dinner and the equally extravagant Christmas Dinner spread. 

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Stockbridge, MA

This picturesque Massachusetts town looks straight out of a storybook any time of year – but it's especially magical in the wintertime. Norman Rockwell's hometown is considered one of the best Christmas towns in New England. This year, Stockbridge is offering revamped in-person activities, including holiday light shows, live theater performances, and a special holiday marketplace. Stop by the Norman Rockwell Museum to admire the artist's famous "Home for Christmas" painting (1967), featuring Stockbridge's iconic Main Street. Be sure to snag tickets to Winterlights at Naumkeag (a 19th-century-era mansion), which is decorated in thousands of colorful holiday lights.

This picturesque Massachusetts town looks straight out of a storybook any time of year – but it's especially magical in the wintertime. Norman Rockwell's hometown is considered one of the best Christmas towns in New England. This year, Stockbridge is offering revamped in-person activities, including holiday light shows, live theater performances, and a special holiday marketplace. Stop by the Norman Rockwell Museum to admire the artist's famous "Home for Christmas" painting (1967), featuring Stockbridge's iconic Main Street. Be sure to snag tickets to Winterlights at Naumkeag (a 19th-century-era mansion), which is decorated in thousands of colorful holiday lights.

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Stockbridge, MA

Where to Stay: The historic Red Lion Inn, which dates back to 1773, boasts a central Main Street location – putting you at the center of all the holiday magic. The property itself will be offering live music and brunch with Santa through December. Guests can opt to book the "Rudolph Rocks" package, which includes overnight accommodations, a bottle of wine, a jar of house-made jam, and a plate of Santa's cookies.

Where to Stay: The historic Red Lion Inn, which dates back to 1773, boasts a central Main Street location – putting you at the center of all the holiday magic. The property itself will be offering live music and brunch with Santa through December. Guests can opt to book the "Rudolph Rocks" package, which includes overnight accommodations, a bottle of wine, a jar of house-made jam, and a plate of Santa's cookies.

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Portland, OR

This Pacific Northwestern city is best known for its beer scene – and it's even better during Christmas. Head to the Portland International Raceway, where you'll experience an extraordinary drive-through holiday light show. The Oregon Zoo will also host its annual ZooLights, which features a whopping one-and-a-half million lights. The city's annual Christmas Ships Parade, which features 70 festive vessels and lasts 15 nights, will still be taking place. 

Read more: What to See and Do in Portland

This Pacific Northwestern city is best known for its beer scene – and it's even better during Christmas. Head to the Portland International Raceway, where you'll experience an extraordinary drive-through holiday light show. The Oregon Zoo will also host its annual ZooLights, which features a whopping one-and-a-half million lights. The city's annual Christmas Ships Parade, which features 70 festive vessels and lasts 15 nights, will still be taking place. 

 

Read more: What to See and Do in Portland

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Portland, OR

Where to Stay: The design-forward Kimpton Hotel Vintage is housed in a historical, 1894-era building in Portland's booming downtown neighborhood. Highlights include an urban tasting room, a made-for-adults game lounge, industrial-inspired furnishings, and other edgy touches. Stay, play, and book one of the property's three holiday packages. Depending on the promotion you choose, enjoy evening tea service, hot cocoa, champagne, gingerbread-making kits, and other fun touches.

Where to Stay: The design-forward Kimpton Hotel Vintage is housed in a historical, 1894-era building in Portland's booming downtown neighborhood. Highlights include an urban tasting room, a made-for-adults game lounge, industrial-inspired furnishings, and other edgy touches. Stay, play, and book one of the property's three holiday packages. Depending on the promotion you choose, enjoy evening tea service, hot cocoa, champagne, gingerbread-making kits, and other fun touches.

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Alexandria, VA

Just seven miles outside of Washington, D.C., the charming city of Alexandria feels worlds away from the hustle-and-bustle of our nation's capital. Old Town Alexandria, perhaps the city's most popular place amongst travelers, has cobblestone streets (King Street is the most famous – and the most Insta-worthy), 18th-century era townhomes, and plenty of eclectic boutiques and foodie-approved dining spots to choose from. During the holiday season, enjoy festive attractions like Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run to admire over a dozen intricate light displays and head to George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, which puts on an annual holiday display accompanied by Christmas carols. 

Just seven miles outside of Washington, D.C., the charming city of Alexandria feels worlds away from the hustle-and-bustle of our nation's capital. Old Town Alexandria, perhaps the city's most popular place amongst travelers, has cobblestone streets (King Street is the most famous – and the most Insta-worthy), 18th-century era townhomes, and plenty of eclectic boutiques and foodie-approved dining spots to choose from. During the holiday season, enjoy festive attractions like Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run to admire over a dozen intricate light displays and head to George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, which puts on an annual holiday display accompanied by Christmas carols. 

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Alexandria, VA

Where to Stay: With private igloos, heat lamps, and holiday decor, The Alexandrian's annual Winter Wonderland is back and better than ever. Book the "Whiskey & Wonderland" package, which gets you VIP Winter Wonderland seating, a round of cocktails and festive bites, and cookie turndown service. Plus, the property is located right on King Street, which means you'll be in easy walking distance of some of the best shops and restaurants.

Where to Stay: With private igloos, heat lamps, and holiday decor, The Alexandrian's annual Winter Wonderland is back and better than ever. Book the "Whiskey & Wonderland" package, which gets you VIP Winter Wonderland seating, a round of cocktails and festive bites, and cookie turndown service. Plus, the property is located right on King Street, which means you'll be in easy walking distance of some of the best shops and restaurants.

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Newport, RI

The coastal city of Newport is even more majestic in the wintertime. The iconic Newport Mansions – including the world-famous The Breakers – are decking the halls and embracing the Christmas spirit with extravagant and eye-catching holiday decorations. Travelers can also embark on a guided holiday lantern tour organized by the Newport Historical Society. On Dec. 12, nearby Easton's Beach will be the sight of an incredible drive-through Christmas display. The annual Gingerbread House Competition is another fun festivity. Catch a glimpse of Santa himself throughout the month of December as he rides alongside Newport's first responders to greet and mingle with kiddos and grown-ups alike.

Read more: A Go-to Guide to Newport, RI

The coastal city of Newport is even more majestic in the wintertime. The iconic Newport Mansions – including the world-famous The Breakers – are decking the halls and embracing the Christmas spirit with extravagant and eye-catching holiday decorations. Travelers can also embark on a guided holiday lantern tour organized by the Newport Historical Society. On Dec. 12, nearby Easton's Beach will be the sight of an incredible drive-through Christmas display. The annual Gingerbread House Competition is another fun festivity. Catch a glimpse of Santa himself throughout the month of December as he rides alongside Newport's first responders to greet and mingle with kiddos and grown-ups alike.

Read more: A Go-to Guide to Newport, RI

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Newport, RI

Where to Stay: There's no better way to ring in the holiday season in Newport than with a stay at The Chanler at Cliff Walk. This 19th-century-era mansion-turned-boutique-hotel offers stunning architecture along with distinctively designed rooms (no two are the same). Some of the rooms, suites, and villas even boast private pools, Jacuzzi tubs, in-room fireplaces, and private courtyards. Consider splurging on "The Chanler Christmas Package," which includes daily breakfast for two, tickets to the Breakers' holiday light display, a custom handblown ornament, a cozy throw, and festive sweet treats.

Where to Stay: There's no better way to ring in the holiday season in Newport than with a stay at The Chanler at Cliff Walk. This 19th-century-era mansion-turned-boutique-hotel offers stunning architecture along with distinctively designed rooms (no two are the same). Some of the rooms, suites, and villas even boast private pools, Jacuzzi tubs, in-room fireplaces, and private courtyards. Consider splurging on "The Chanler Christmas Package," which includes daily breakfast for two, tickets to the Breakers' holiday light display, a custom handblown ornament, a cozy throw, and festive sweet treats.

Decorations
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Bethlehem, PA

You may not have had Bethlehem on your radar, but its nickname is Christmas City, after all. Expect dozens of holiday-themed events, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, outdoor holiday pop-up shops, guided tours, and live music. The city's Christmas in the Quarter and Live Advent Calendar programming offers fun for all – plus free gifts. Bethlehem's largest Christmas attraction, Christkindlmarkt, has been recognized as one of the country's best holiday markets; it will host dozens of artisans offering handmade trinkets.

You may not have had Bethlehem on your radar, but its nickname is Christmas City, after all. Expect dozens of holiday-themed events, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, outdoor holiday pop-up shops, guided tours, and live music. The city's Christmas in the Quarter and Live Advent Calendar programming offers fun for all – plus free gifts. Bethlehem's largest Christmas attraction, Christkindlmarkt, has been recognized as one of the country's best holiday markets; it will host dozens of artisans offering handmade trinkets.

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Bethlehem, PA

Where to Stay: Historic Hotel Bethlehem is offering several holiday packages to entice guests from all over. Depending on the package you choose, expect daily breakfast and admission to some of the city's best festivities. The hotel itself is decorated in wreaths, life-sized nutcrackers, a gingerbread modeled after the property, several seven-foot-tall toy soldiers, and over 35,000 lights. Self-guided Christmas tours of the hotel are also available. 

Where to Stay: Historic Hotel Bethlehem is offering several holiday packages to entice guests from all over. Depending on the package you choose, expect daily breakfast and admission to some of the city's best festivities. The hotel itself is decorated in wreaths, life-sized nutcrackers, a gingerbread modeled after the property, several seven-foot-tall toy soldiers, and over 35,000 lights. Self-guided Christmas tours of the hotel are also available. 

 

 

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St. Paul, MN

From drive-through light displays to animal art installations, Minnesota's capital city is the place to be this holiday season. Downtown St. Paul will be outfitted in holiday lights, trees, and decor, while the Cathedral of Saint Paul will be offering drive-by light shows projected onto the stunning structure accompanied with Christmas music. 

From drive-through light displays to animal art installations, Minnesota's capital city is the place to be this holiday season. Downtown St. Paul will be outfitted in holiday lights, trees, and decor, while the Cathedral of Saint Paul will be offering drive-by light shows projected onto the stunning structure accompanied with Christmas music. 

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St. Paul, MN

Where to Stay: The 255-room St. Paul Hotel offers upscale accommodations and a central location. Spring on the property's "Holiday Package," which gets you suite accommodations (complete with an in-room Christmas tree and decor), wrapped gifts for each guest (up to four guests), nightly turndown service with milk and cookies, and daily breakfast credit. 

Where to Stay: The 255-room St. Paul Hotel offers upscale accommodations and a central location. Spring on the property's "Holiday Package," which gets you suite accommodations (complete with an in-room Christmas tree and decor), wrapped gifts for each guest (max. four guests), nightly turndown service with milk and cookies, and daily breakfast credit. 

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Seattle, WA

The Emerald City has no shortage of Christmas charm and surprises. Head to Spanaway Park for an eye-catching drive-through display. Woodland Park Zoo's Wildlights has incredible animal-themed light decorations. Other must-see attractions include Snowflake LaneDowntown Holiday Lights & Delights, and the Holiday Magic Drive-Thru.

Read more: What to See and Do in Seattle

The Emerald City has no shortage of Christmas charm and surprises. Head to Spanaway Park for an eye-catching drive-through display. Woodland Park Zoo's Wildlights has incredible animal-themed light decorations. Other must-see attractions include Snowflake Lane, Downtown Holiday Lights & Delights, and the Holiday Magic Drive-Thru.

Read more: What to See and Do in Seattle

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Seattle, WA

Where to Stay: In honor of this year's Seattle Festival of Trees (a fundraising event that promotes the sale of decorated Christmas trees to benefit the Seattle Children's Hospital), The Fairmont Olympic will offer a window display of extravagantly decorated Christmas trees for all to see. The property is just as spectacular on the inside, too: Picture sparkling chandeliers, a grand staircase, intricate woodworking, posh eateries (including afternoon tea!), and luxe accommodations.

Where to Stay: In honor of this year's Seattle Festival of Trees (a fundraising event that promotes the sale of decorated Christmas trees to benefit the Seattle Children's Hospital), The Fairmont Olympic will offer a window display of extravagantly decorated Christmas trees for all to see. The property is just as spectacular on the inside, too: Picture sparkling chandeliers, a grand staircase, intricate woodworking, posh eateries (including afternoon tea!), and luxe accommodations.

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Jackson, NH

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or your significant other, Jackson is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Here, visitors can choose from an array of holiday-themed activities. Highlights include Holidays at the Cog (where you can embark 3,900 feet up in the air to the top of iconic Mount Washington and mingle with Santa as you sip on hot cocoa by the fireplace), and the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour (which includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride through town, and, of course, homemade chocolate treats!). Nearby, Lincoln hosts the annual Ice Castles attraction, which – you guessed it – is home to stunning ice castles. Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, tubing, and ice skating are also popular.

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or your significant other, Jackson is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Here, visitors can choose from an array of holiday-themed activities. Highlights include Holidays at the Cog (where you can embark 3,900 feet up in the air to the top of iconic Mount Washington and mingle with Santa as you sip on hot cocoa by the fireplace), and the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour (which includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride through town, and, of course, homemade chocolate treats!). Nearby, Lincoln hosts the annual Ice Castles attraction, which – you guessed it – is home to stunning ice castles. Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, tubing, and ice skating are also popular.

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Jackson, NH

Where to Stay: The cozy Christmas Farm Inn & Spa is especially apropos, for, well, Christmastime – and yes, it’s just as charming as it sounds. The “Journey to the North Pole” promotion includes a two-night stay, daily breakfast, an invite to a special event in the festive on-site barn (where you’ll find a 15-foot Christmas tree), a three-course buffet dinner (gratuities included), story time with Mrs. Claus, and presents for the kiddos. 

Where to Stay: The cozy Christmas Farm Inn & Spa is especially apropos, for, well, Christmastime – and yes, it’s just as charming as it sounds. The “Journey to the North Pole” promotion includes a two-night stay, daily breakfast, an invite to a special event in the festive on-site barn (where you’ll find a 15-foot Christmas tree), a three-course buffet dinner (gratuities included), story time with Mrs. Claus, and presents for the kiddos. 

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Darby, MT

This picturesque Montana town is an adventure lover’s oasis. Choose from a wide selection of winter activities, from skiing to hinting, to wildlife spotting. After a day well spent outdoors (be sure to bundle up), enjoy some hot cocoa, curl up under the fireplace, and snap some shots of the serene snow-covered destination. 

This picturesque Montana town is an adventure lover’s oasis. Choose from a wide selection of winter activities, from skiing to hinting, to wildlife spotting. After a day well spent outdoors (be sure to bundle up), enjoy some hot cocoa, curl up under the fireplace, and snap some shots of the serene snow-covered destination. 

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Darby, MT

Where to Stay: Darby is best known as the home of Triple Creek Ranch. The luxe all-inclusive, adults-only property – which is comprised of several spacious cabins available for rent – offers horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and dog sledding. Guests can select a real or artificial tree for their cabin, which they can opt to decorate themselves or have the staff do it for them. 

Where to Stay: Darby is best known as the home of Triple Creek Ranch. The luxe all-inclusive, adults-only property – which is comprised of several spacious cabins available for rent – offers horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and dog sledding. Guests can select a real or artificial tree for their cabin, which they can opt to decorate themselves or have the staff do it for them. 

White Sulphur Springs
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White Sulphur Springs, WV

Located in West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley region, the town of White Sulphur Springs has its own year-round Christmas shop, which dates back to the 1930s. Here, you’ll find hundreds of items (like ornaments, collectible Santas, snow globes, and nutcrackers). Enjoy a drive-through light display, embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride, admire the festive storefronts in nearby Lewisburg, and attend the annual (socially distant) Winterfest.

Located in West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley region, the town of White Sulphur Springs has its own year-round Christmas shop, which dates back to the 1930s. Here, you’ll find hundreds of items (like ornaments, collectible Santas, snow globes, and nutcrackers). Enjoy a drive-through light display, embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride, admire the festive storefronts in nearby Lewisburg, and attend the annual (socially distant) Winterfest.

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White Sulphur Springs, WV

Where to Stay: Spanning over 11,000 acres, the architecturally stunning Greenbrier Resort dates back to 1778 and remains timeless. The property offers dozens of daily activities all year long, but there are even more to choose from during the winter months. Special events include family tree decorating, gingerbread workshops, wreath making, mingling with Santa, ornament workshops, cookie decorating, live performances, and mixology classes – plus plenty of warm baked cookies and hot cocoa to go around. 

Where to Stay: Spanning over 11,000 acres, the architecturally stunning Greenbrier Resort dates back to 1778 and remains timeless. The property offers dozens of daily activities all year long, but there are even more to choose from during the winter months. Special events include family tree decorating, gingerbread workshops, wreath making, mingling with Santa, ornament workshops, cookie decorating, live performances, and mixology classes – plus plenty of warm baked cookies and hot cocoa to go around. 

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Cape May, NJ

The Jersey Shore is just as beautiful in the colder months as it is in its peak season (May-August). The seaside town of Cape May boasts beautiful Victorian-era homes, many of which are decorated in honor of the holiday season. Several museums here – including Emlen Physick Estate and the Physick House Museum – are decked out in Christmas decorations. Other festive activities include breakfast with Santa and festive-themed trolley rides through town. 

The Jersey Shore is just as beautiful in the colder months as it is in its peak season (May-August). The seaside town of Cape May boasts beautiful Victorian-era homes, many of which are decorated in honor of the holiday season. Several museums here – including Emlen Physick Estate and the Physick House Museum – are decked out in Christmas decorations. Other festive activities include breakfast with Santa and festive-themed trolley rides through town. 

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Cape May, NJ

Where to Stay: Congress Hall’s annual Winter Wonderland has Santa meet-and-greet opportunities, Congress Hall Express train rides around the property, private igloos, and Santa’s Workshop activities (elf hat-making, ornament decorating, and more). 

Where to Stay: Congress Hall’s annual Winter Wonderland has Santa meet-and-greet opportunities, Congress Hall Express train rides around the property, private igloos, and Santa’s Workshop activities (elf hat-making, ornament decorating, and more). 

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Manchester, VT

Each year, Manchester turns into a picture-perfect holiday destination, with mom-and-pop boutiques decorated to the nines, colorful storefronts, and lights galore. The town also offers a treasure trove of holiday activities to choose from. Don’t miss your chance to tour the grand Hildene Mansion, home of Robert Todd Lincoln (Honest Abe’s son), which has trees, wreaths, and ribbons, and more. The Chaffee Art Center’s annual Member Exhibit & Holiday Shoppe – which will feature gingerbread making contests and Christmas decorations – is also recommended.

Each year, Manchester turns into a picture-perfect holiday destination, with mom-and-pop boutiques decorated to the nines, colorful storefronts, and lights galore. The town also offers a treasure trove of holiday activities to choose from. Don’t miss your chance to tour the grand Hildene Mansion, home of Robert Todd Lincoln (Honest Abe’s son), which has trees, wreaths, and ribbons, and more. The Chaffee Art Center’s annual Member Exhibit & Holiday Shoppe – which will feature gingerbread making contests and Christmas decorations – is also recommended.

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Manchester, VT

Where to Stay: The 250-plus-year-old Equinox Resort remains incredibly popular amongst travelers of all ages, and it’s easy to see why. From the elegant guest rooms to the on-site eateries, to the central location, this dynamic property is among our favorites. Plan your stay around the holidays, when you can lounge out by the fire; enjoy s’mores; admire the life-sized gingerbread display; hang with Santa; enjoy cookies and cuddles with the “Chief Happiness Officer” (AKA adorable pup), Cooper; and treat yourself to a special holiday brunch. The “Manchester For The Holidays” package includes all of the above plus 25% off accommodations and a $25 daily resort credit. 

Where to Stay: The 250-plus-year-old Equinox Resort remains incredibly popular amongst travelers of all ages, and it’s easy to see why. From the elegant guest rooms to the on-site eateries, to the central location, this dynamic property is among our favorites. Plan your stay around the holidays, when you can lounge out by the fire; enjoy s’mores; admire the life-sized gingerbread display; hang with Santa; enjoy cookies and cuddles with the “Chief Happiness Officer” (AKA adorable pup), Cooper; and treat yourself to a special holiday brunch. The “Manchester For The Holidays” package includes all of the above plus 25% off accommodations and a $25 daily resort credit. 

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Cape Cod, MA
Christmas crafts, caroling, and light displays: Find all this and more in Cape Cod this holiday season. Taylor Bay Farm will offer holiday-themed hayrides, while The Heritage Museums’ Gardens Aglow show will feature intricate light displays, festive music, marshmallow roasting, scavenger hunts, and Santa himself. You can also embark on a Polar Express train ride (inspired by the children’s book) complete with dancing chefs, Christmas carols, and elves. Head to Hyannis for the annual Holiday Stroll on Main Street, where you’ll find outdoor dining, incredible window displays, and ample shopping opportunities. 
Christmas crafts, caroling, and light displays: Find all this and more in Cape Cod this holiday season. Taylor Bay Farm will offer holiday-themed hayrides, while The Heritage Museums’ Gardens Aglow show will feature intricate light displays, festive music, marshmallow roasting, scavenger hunts, and Santa himself. You can also embark on a Polar Express train ride (inspired by the children’s book) complete with dancing chefs, Christmas carols, and elves. Head to Hyannis for the annual Holiday Stroll on Main Street, where you’ll find outdoor dining, incredible window displays, and ample shopping opportunities. 
 
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Cape Cod, MA

Where to Stay: Consider a stay at Chatham Bars Inn and take advantage of all the holiday happenings, including wreath decorating, gingerbread making, Santa’s workshop events (where you can bake, craft, and take pics with Saint Nick), and teddy bear tea parties. The property will also be offering events like “Carolers and Cocoa,” “Elf Cookie and Storybook Delivery.” Grown-ups can take advantage of adults-only offerings like gingerbread competitions and holiday-themed mixology classes (spiked hot cocoa, anyone?).

Where to Stay: Consider a stay at Chatham Bars Inn and take advantage of all the holiday happenings, including wreath decorating, gingerbread making, Santa’s workshop events (where you can bake, craft, and take pics with Saint Nick), and teddy bear tea parties. The property will also be offering events like “Carolers and Cocoa,” “Elf Cookie and Storybook Delivery.” Grown-ups can take advantage of adults-only offerings like gingerbread competitions and holiday-themed mixology classes (spiked hot cocoa, anyone?).

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Greenwich, CT

While the city’s annual Holiday Stroll is virtual this year, the Reindeer Festival is still slated to take place in person (with social-distancing precautions in place). The second annual Festival of the Trees features a beautiful display of locally designed and decorated trees. Don’t forget to stroll down Greenwich Avenue, where you can purchase holiday presents for everyone on your list before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many eateries that line the block. 

While the city’s annual Holiday Stroll is online-only this year, the Reindeer Festival is still slated to take place in-person (with social distancing precautions in place). The second-annual Festival of the Trees features a beautiful display of locally designed and decorated trees. Don’t forget to stroll down Greenwich Avenue, where you can purchase holiday presents for everyone on your list before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many eateries that line the block. 

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Greenwich, CT

Where to Stay: The dreamy Homestead Inn - Thomas Henkelmann has spacious and luxurious accommodations, plus an incredibly romantic on-site French restaurant helmed by acclaimed chef Thomas Henkelmann. The property is even more photogenic come holiday time when its already-charming facade is festively decorated. 

Where to Stay: The dreamy Homestead Inn - Thomas Henkelmann has spacious and luxurious accommodations, plus an incredibly romantic on-site French restaurant helmed by acclaimed chef Thomas Henkelmann. The property is even more photogenic come holiday time when its already-charming facade is festively decorated. 

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Pigeon Forge, TN

Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, the town of Pigeon Forge is a definite addition to any holiday bucket list. The destination’s annual Winterfest boasts over five million holiday lights. The 23-acre Island on Pigeon Forge has also received the Christmas treatment with fun displays and live music, while the Titanic Museum Attraction – a two-story museum inspired by the RMS Titanic – will be covered in decorations for visitors to gawk at. Dollywood offers an unforgettable Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, where guests will be treated to a fantastic display of dazzling lights. While you’re there, don’t miss Dolly’s Christmas Stampede show. 

Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, the town of Pigeon Forge is a definite addition to any holiday bucket list. The destination’s annual Winterfest boasts over five million holiday lights. The 23-acre Island on Pigeon Forge has also received the Christmas treatment with fun displays and live music, while the Titanic Museum Attraction – a two-story museum inspired by the RMS Titanic – will be covered in decorations for visitors to gawk at. Dollywood offers an unforgettable Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, where guests will be treated to a fantastic display of dazzling lights. While you’re there, don’t miss Dolly’s Christmas Stampede show. 

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Pigeon Forge, TN

Where to Stay: Book a room at the 145-room Inn at Christmas Place, which is housed in a distinct Bavarian-inspired building. Rooms here are – unsurprisingly – Christmas-themed. The festive property will host several events throughout December, including story time with Santa, cookie decorating, gingerbread house decorating. Character breakfasts are offered all year long, but they’re somehow even more magical during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the lobby features an eye-catching installation of bells (which, yes, play Christmas carols), ribbons, and greenery. 

Where to Stay: Book a room at the 145-room Inn at Christmas Place, which is housed in a distinct Bavarian-inspired building. Rooms here are – unsurprisingly – Christmas-themed. The festive property will host several events throughout December, including story time with Santa, cookie decorating, gingerbread house decorating. Character breakfasts are offered all year long, but they’re somehow even more magical during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the lobby features an eye-catching installation of bells (which, yes, play Christmas carols), ribbons, and greenery. 

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