Get in the spirit with these winter destinations.
If you want a memorable holiday weekend trip, look no further than these convenient getaways. Jam-packed with culture, history, and a festive atmosphere, they’ll make you feel like a kid again. Read on to discover our favorite destinations!
It’s a picture-perfect mountain village, nestled snugly in the Cascade Mountains — and starting at the end of November, it transforms into a winter wonderland. Arrive for the holidays and watch the Bavarian-style “Village of Lights” come alive before your eyes.
The days may be short, but they’re definitely not gloomy; the village sparkles with over half a million lights, which remain up from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. Town festivities include harp and handbell concerts, Christmas shows, a Celtic Yuletide, and a traditional Christmas Market.
Enjoy roasted chestnuts before you go sledding, hop on a sleigh ride, or enjoy a visit with Santa Claus. The festivities don’t end after the New Year either — January brings the Bavarian Ice Festival, where you can enjoy snow sculptures, live ice carving, and a fireworks show. It’s a family-friendly way to celebrate the holidays, and the whole time, you’ll feel like you walked into a storybook scene.
McAdenville, North Carolina
This town, which is located just outside Charlotte, is dedicated to embodying the holiday spirit. Want proof? Every year, it changes its name to Christmas Town.
The town’s 265 evergreen trees sport 500,000 Christmas lights, and the townspeople put up a nativity scene for everyone to admire — these traditions have been going strong for half a century.
The lake in the center of town, surrounded by decorated spruce trees, is a perfectly scenic spot to take pictures. Don’t forget to treat yourself to the free hot chocolate that’s awarded to the first 1,000 visitors!
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Over the winter, this cozy ski town is decked out in dazzling lights and offers an abundance of festive, holiday-themed activities. Hop in for a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh, which will take you across the expanse of the National Elk Refuge. Enjoy dog sledding and pick up some eggnog at the town square.
The Jackson Hole Playhouse holds an annual Christmas show from mid-December until January 5. You don’t have to worry about a lack of snow — the town receives, on average, 33 feet of snow each year!
New York, NY
If you want a fantastic winter holiday experience, nowhere is better than New York City. The city goes all-out at this time of year, offering festive experiences at every corner. The famed department stores Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, and Bergdorf Goodman all boast impressive holiday window displays. Saks also displays a light show on its 10-floor facade, and it runs daily from 5 pm to 11 pm, repeating every 10 minutes. After taking in the stunning show, visit the 100-foot-tall Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which is only steps away.
Bigger is better in the city: Don’t miss out on the Giant Red Ornaments, which are located nearby on 6th Avenue. Bryant Park is another highlight; here, you can experience the famed Winter Village — you’ll find an ice skating rink, hot chocolate, and dozens of Holiday Shops where you can hunt for the perfect gifts.
There’s also no better time to try one of the famed chocolate chip cookies from Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side. They come out hot from the oven, but be sure to get there early — the line is known to wrap around the block.
Take a festive weekend trip to one of these destinations and rediscover the true meaning of a getaway! Happy holidays!!