Best Places to Visit During Christmas

Christmas is a magical time filled with festivity and hope. While there are many travel destinations that are special places during the holidays, there are places to visit during Christmas that are beyond extraordinary. Here are some of the best Christmas towns in the USA that are perfect for celebrating the holiday season. Your Christmas trip to any of these places will be worth every minute, whether you’re exploring them alone, with your partner, or with your family.

New York

Photo courtesy of, Christmas in New York

Experience this city’s magic! Christmas in New York is one of the best in the USA.  Christmas trees and light displays are everywhere in the city. You can start your December vacation by visiting Rockefeller Center, which features one of the world’s largest trees topped with Swarovski crystals. 

Iceskating is another well-loved Christmas activity under the iconic NYC skyscrapers. Check out Dyker Heights for holiday lights that are straight from a Hallmark movie! It looks like a winter wonderland when Central Park is covered in snow.

Christmas in NYC is magical! Stop by the holiday markets like Union Square and Bryant Park Holiday Village in New York at Christmas for gift shopping. The hot chocolate at Bryant Park is not to be missed.

Asheville, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of, Asheville, North Carolina Sparkles and Shines for the Holidays

There are many reasons to visit Asheville during Christmas in the USA, including holiday shopping opportunities, art deco architecture, and exotic restaurants. Make sure you visit the largest privately-owned house in the country, the Biltmore Estate if you are here for Christmas.

Around 55 hand-decorated trees and 7,500 feet of fresh garland decorate the estate every Christmas. Visiting the North Carolina Arboretum or the national gingerbread house competition are also great ways to explore Asheville. 

Christmas is celebrated by visiting art galleries, riding the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley, and tasting beer at the mini-breweries. The temperature in Asheville is usually between 30oF and 50oF, so there’s a good chance of snow.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – Best Places to Visit During Christmas

Photo courtesy of, Bethlehem, PA: Christmas City USA

Want to enjoy a wonderful Christmas vacation in the USA? Don’t miss Bethlehem! It’s only fitting that Bethlehem is known as Christmas City. An hour from New York City, this Pennsylvania town is one of the best Christmas towns in the country.

Hotel Bethlehem displays over 35,000 lights during the Christmas season, a truly magical experience. Bethlehem is also known for its Christmas markets. Markets such as the Christmas Village, which displays European fares and handmade crafts, are popular attractions. 

And Downtown, you can shop, listen to live music and watch magical demonstrations at the Christkindlmarkt, a German-style market.

Charleston, South Carolina

Photo courtesy of, Charleston Holidays

There is no doubt that Charleston is one of the most famous cities in the USA for Christmas vacations, especially on the east coast. It is a spectacular sight to see historical homes decorated with splendid decorations during the Christmas season. 

Charleston offers festive events, parades, plays, and concerts for everyone, including families, couples, and kids. Discover the history of enslavement at Magnolia Plantation and its beautiful plantation houses and gardens. Take a walk downtown to see the beautiful Christmas decorations and visit the Citadel to see the bulldog monument dressed in Christmas attire.

Newport Beach, California

Photo courtesy of, Newport Beach Holiday Lights Cruise

Newport Beach does not have snow, but Christmas is still magical. With over one million lights on the participating boats, Newport Beach hosts a Christmas Boat Parade that gets everyone’s spirits up. Visit Balboa Island to see holiday-decorated houses.

Shopping for all the Christmas gifts on your list can also be done at Fashion Island. Despite not being an island, Fashion Island has over 160 boutiques, beauty spas, and restaurants. You won’t have a problem finding a hotel or resort around Newport.

Chicago, Illinois – Best Places to Visit During Christmas

Photo courtesy of, CHICAGO Christmas Walk

Every restaurant and venue in Chicago has something planned for the holiday season, and Chicago is especially enchanting at Christmas. The Annual Lights Festival kicks off Christmas right before Thanksgiving at Lincoln Park Zoo. About 60 trees showcase how other cultures celebrate the holidays at the Museum of Science and Industry (Christmas Around The World).

You can also ice skate at Millennium Park, attend Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier, and browse Christkindlmarket, an outdoor German Christmas market filled with gifts and souvenirs. For this Christmas trip, pack your warm jackets in case of snowfall during the winter season.

Park City, Utah

Photo courtesy of, Insider’s Guide to Park City, Utah

You can start having fun as soon as you get off the plane in Park City because it’s very close to the airport. Skiers lead Santa down the mountain after his trip from the North Pole to Park City’s Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, one of many Christmas events in this mountain town.

Park City’s Main Street is a famous shopping street with various shops and boutiques. On Christmas Eve, Santa spends the day skiing the hill down the PayDay trail, so you can take in the stunning streets, attend Snowfest, and hit the slopes.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Photo courtesy of, Milwaukee Christmas tree lighting

Prepare yourself for Wisconsin’s cold weather. Bring warm jackets, sweaters, and gloves.  Take a stroll around the city at nightfall to enjoy the beautiful winter lights, watch the classical Nutcracker ballet by the Milwaukee Ballet, and visit the Christkindlmarkt, a German-style market.

You will also find fresh local food and delicious homemade dishes at the Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market. Visit a museum like the Milwaukee Art Museum or take a tour around some of the famous breweries like the Miller Brewing Company if you prefer less-Christmasy activities.

Charlotte, North Carolina – Best Places to Visit During Christmas

Photo courtesy of, Charlotte Christmas Walk

We love ice skating at the Whitewater Center during Christmas in Charlotte. You won’t want to miss the massive Southern Christmas show featuring over 450 merchants. Santa will make an appearance and some jaw-dropping displays, such as the Panthers Tree Lighting.

Vintage Charlotte Winter Market or OMB German Christmas Market are also great options. Olde Providence South offers Sherwood Forest Drive and classical performances by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. During Christmas in the USA, Charlotte is a fantastic place to visit.