Travel destinations

20 magical travel destinations for Christmas – Brit + Co


We really like Xmas (and Christmas trips), and there’s nothing that fills us with holiday cheer like crazy lights, huge christmas trees, and festive garlands. Old houses decorated for the season at the holiday windows of our favorite boutiques, we love to see places absolutely decked out for Christmas. If you do too, keep reading for our destination recommendations for Christmas cheer! (Try saying this five times faster.)


Decorated hotels and resorts

Aurora Hostels, Aurora, NY

The Inns of Aurora, which are all gathered in one village, were founded in New York’s Finger Lakes region in 1789. As well as giving you a break from the busy world, along with the Christmas decorations and the feeling of the old school you’ll find inside, they’ve made three of their five hostels available for private rental this season. Take your family holidays to the next level!

The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Located right next to the UNC Chapel Hill campus, this quaint hotel is ideal for anyone looking for a chic getaway. Although it is beautiful all year round, the garlands, festive lights and Christmas trees give it a truly heartwarming touch. With the festive decor, the outdoor fireplace and the joy of living cocktails, you can also register for a Christmas tea with the plum fairy. If it’s not magic, we don’t know what it is.

Gaylord Texan, Grapevine, Texas

Christmas at Gaylord Texan is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Stay in a room that overlooks their unique atriums and gardens, and experience their acres of lights, tons of activities and shows. You can also go on an adventure with Buddy the Elf as part of their Mission: Save Christmas featuring Elf adventure experience.

Mohonk Mountain House, Hudson Valley, NY

This stay, founded in 1869, gives us the perfect excuse to * finally * spend Christmas in a Victorian Chateau. What a dream! Located deep in the forests of New York’s Hudson Valley, the resort is 90 miles north of New York City and is the perfect escape from reality. Eat their food from farm to table, relax at spa, go ice skating and make yourself comfortable by the fireplace while you dream of falling in love with a European king.

Willard InterContinental, Washington DC

Apart from the giant Christmas tree in the lobby, Christmas carols and holiday tea are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. The Willard was originally a townhouse in 1816 and has grown into one of Washington DC’s largest hotels that has hosted celebrities, presidents and foreign dignitaries for over 200 years.

The Plaza, New York City

With a variety of dining and experiences to choose from inside this iconic hotel, you can experience what a Christmas in New York is like. Meet your family at the Palm Court, have holiday tea with your best friends or sip your favorite champagne at the Champagne Bar. Also, if there is anything we have learned from Eloise at Christmasis that frolicking in the snow outside the Plaza is definitely on our to-do list.

Charming Christmas villages

Williamsburg, Virginia

A trip to this War of Independence city will thrill many history buffs, but even if you haven’t read all of the american girl books as a child, you are bound to find something you like. Sip a delicious hot chocolate, take a dance class and dine at the local tavern. Historical performers dressed in 1700s attire will teach you history, answer questions, and give you an appreciation for the simpler things in life.

Frankenmuth, MI

This city, called Michigan’s “Little Bavaria”, has been named one of America’s “9 Party Towns” by TIME and home to the world’s largest Christmas store. You may be able to see these Christmas decorations any time of year, but the half-mile-long display of lights and Main Street carriage rides are so much more magical in the winter!

Park City, Utah

When you visit this Utah town you have to take the North Pole Express train, with its hot chocolate and biscuits, and watch the tree-lighting ceremony, live music and fireworks. The electric parade, holiday movie and skiing are just the icing on the cake of this mountain town.

Newport, RI

With several events happening almost every day in December, Newport is never boring! Discover the city’s golden age mansions, which are adorned with evergreen leaves, crowns, flowers and more. The illuminated boat parade is a fun way to spend a night on the harbor, and you can see the city’s tree lighting at Bowen’s Wharf.

Antler Hill Village, North Carolina

You may have heard of Asheville’s Biltmore Estate, especially if you are a Downton abbey fan, but many people don’t know that just outside the historic property is a charming village that takes Christmas as seriously as the mansion. Christmas lights, local shops and historic buildings are sure to get you in the spirit of the season.

Vail, CO

This seaside resort is a great place if you love to ski, but even if you’re not a big fan of the outdoors, we’re still a fan of snuggling up by the fireside with a delivered. During the holiday season, you can also make paper lanterns or catch a show at the Winterfest Ice Theater. With its cobbled streets and snowfall, you’ll forget the rest of the world exists.

North Pole, AK

We couldn’t leave a place called North Pole off the list! The most famous attraction in the city is the House of Santa Claus where you can see “Dear Santa Claus” letters children around the world, chat with a live Santa Claus and walk the aisles of ornaments and toys. Your inner child will come to life! Filled with ice sculptures, fireworks, activities, and even a group of community volunteers who respond to the letters “Dear Santa”, this place is like no other.

Festive Christmas markets

Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco, California

Step back in time with the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, which takes you back to the Victorian era London with its shops and pubs. Although this year is a drive-in, you will still be able to feel the magic of the season and imagine what Christmas would really look like in the famous A Christmas Carol.

Christkindlmarket, Chicago, Illinois

This German-style Windy City market features international and local vendors during the holiday season. It also offers live entertainment, locally sourced and locally sourced food and drink. Germany. People love the market so much that it earned a spot on this year’s USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice list.

Georgetown Christmas Market, Georgetown, CO

Located near Griffith Mountain, this market lets you experience Christmas as it was celebrated 100 years ago, with roasts chestnuts, horse-drawn cart rides, singers and more. Historic storefronts and giant Christmas trees will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Hallmark movie.

Christmas Village, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly Christmas Village is inspired by traditional German holiday markets and is full of vendors in wooden stalls, gifts, ornaments and our favorite part – European food and drink! With thousands of lights, the more the waffles and mulled wine, you’ll get a taste of what a European Christmas market really looks like.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market, New York City

Located at 59th Street and Central Park West, prepare for the abundance of art, jewelry, food and more in the heart of Manhattan. Forget the hustle and bustle of the city while you’re indoors, but once you’re done shopping, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, see the Rockettes, or peek through the store windows of the Fifth Avenue.

Old World Christmas Market, Elkhart Lake, WI

This market, located inside a giant heated tent, will make you feel warm and cozy with its Old World German traditions. Beautiful handmade products and delicious food make this a unique experience that will put you in the mood for the holidays. Make ornaments, decorate cookies and have brunch with Saint Nicholas and his reindeer!

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Featured Image Via Roberto Nickson /Unsplash

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