Cities and towns across the globe transform into wonderlands of festivity and cheer during the holiday season. For those who are looking for the best places to visit in the USA during Christmas, we have listed here the best places to visit in the USA at christmas. The US offers a variety of destinations that embody the holiday spirit in unique ways due to its diverse landscapes and cultural heritage.
From snowy mountain towns to cities draped in twinkling lights, this guide will unveil the best places to visit at Christmas in the USA, ensuring your festive season is truly unforgettable. No matter what kind of holiday experience you seek, these top destinations will give you a memorable holiday adventure. Embark on a journey of discovery and discover the charm that awaits!
1. New York, New York
Overview: New York City is synonymous with Christmas magic. The city is adorned with lights, decorations, and holiday cheer.
- Rockefeller Center: Visit the massive tree, one of the world’s largest, glowing under a Swarovski crystal star.
- Ice Skating: Glide under the magnificent skyline and enjoy winter’s joy.
- Dyker Heights: Experience houses that look like they’ve been pulled straight out of a Christmas movie.
- Shopping: Explore holiday markets like Union Square and Bryant Park Holiday Village.
What to Eat: Warm up with a bowl of ramen at Ippudo, enjoy classic New York pizza at Joe’s, or have a festive meal at Rolf’s German Restaurant.
Must-try: Bryant Park’s hot chocolate.
Where to Stay: Whether its luxury suites in The Plaza or charming Brooklyn rentals, New York has something for every traveler.
2. Christmas Town USA, North Carolina
Can’t-Miss Spots: Experience the festive lights at McAdenville, the heart of Christmas Town USA. Explore the US National White Water Center in Charlotte for a more adventurous outing.
What to Eat: For Southern comfort, try dishes at Haberdish. For a blend of American and global cuisine, try Cellar at Ducksworth’s or for a modern twist, don’t miss out on Soul Gastrolounge.
Where to Stay: For the authentic experience, book a cozy inn or B&B in McAdenville itself.
3. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Overview: Aptly named the “Christmas City”, Bethlehem is brimming with festive vibes.
- Hotel Bethlehem: Experience a grand display of over 35,000 Christmas lights.
- Christmas Village & Christkindlmarkt: Immerse yourself in European and German-styled Christmas markets.
Where to Stay: Experience historic charm at Hotel Bethlehem or go contemporary at the Hyatt Place.
4. Charleston, South Carolina
Overview: Experience Southern Christmas charm in this historic city.
- Historic Homes: Admire historic homes adorned with festive decorations.
- Citadel: The iconic bulldog monument is dressed for the occasion.
- Magnolia Plantation: Dive deep into history with beautifully decorated plantation houses and gardens.
What to Eat: Try southern comfort at Husk or get fresh seafood at Fleet Landing.
Where to Stay: Rest in historic luxury at the Belmond Charleston Place or opt for boutique charm at The Vendue.
5. Newport Beach, California
Overview: The lack of snow doesn’t dampen Newport Beach’s Christmas spirit.
- Christmas Boat Parade: A delightful aquatic parade adorned with lights and festive decor.
- Balboa Island: Houses here are beautifully decorated, exuding holiday vibes.
What to Eat: Enjoy the harbor view at The Cannery or savor Italian dishes at Pirozzi.
Where to Stay: Opt for coastal luxury at The Resort at Pelican Hill or enjoy the boutique Lido House.
6. Whitefish, Montana
Overview: Whitefish ensures a snowy Christmas filled with festivities.
- Whitefish Christmas Stroll: Early December celebrations with songs and bell ringing.
- Torchlight Parade at Whitefish Mountain Resort: A luminous celebration welcoming Santa Claus.
What to Eat: Get hearty meals at The Buffalo Cafe or indulge in upscale dining at Tupelo Grille.
Where to Stay: Experience rustic luxury at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake or go cozy with Good Medicine Lodge.
7. Orlando, Florida
Can’t Miss Spots: Revel in the magic of the Lake Eola Park Tree Lighting Ceremony. For those Disney aficionados, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays are a must-visit.
What to Eat: Explore the culinary delights of Cork & Fork or indulge in BBQ at Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa. If sushi is on your mind, Seito Sushi will not disappoint.
Where to Stay: From luxury resorts to budget stays, there’s a plethora of Orlando Hotel Deals waiting for you.
8. Chicago, Illinois
Overview: The Windy City offers enchanting experiences with a variety of festive events.
- Annual Lights Festival: Pre-Thanksgiving celebrations that light up the city.
- Christmas Around The World: An event at the Museum of Science and Industry showcasing global festive traditions.
What to Eat: Try Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza or Alinea’s gourmet dishes.
Where to Stay: Choose city luxury at The Langham or historic charm at The Drake.
9. Asheville, North Carolina
Overview: Asheville offers a fusion of art deco architecture, unique restaurants, and Christmas displays.
- Biltmore Estate: Experience the grandeur of the USA’s largest privately-owned home decked in festive decor.
- National Gingerbread House Competition: Witness creativity at its festive best.
- Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum: A true visual delight.
What to Eat: Relish farm-to-table dishes at Cúrate, or savor southern delights at Tupelo Honey.
Where to Stay: Enjoy luxury downtown at Hotel Indigo or cozy cabins in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
10. Park City, Utah
Overview: Set against a mountain backdrop, Park City guarantees memorable Christmas celebrations.
- Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade: Skiers lead Santa into town in a parade illuminated by torchlights.
- Main Street: A shopping haven with numerous boutiques and shops.
What to Eat: Savor mountain cuisine at Handle or get warm with comfort food at The Eating Establishment.
Where to Stay: Bask in mountain luxury at Montage Deer Valley or get cozy at Washington School House.
11. North Pole, Alaska
Can’t Miss: Pose next to the iconic North Pole Sign, witness the artistry at the Christmas in Ice Contest, and join in on the Winter Festival celebrations.
What to Eat: Enjoy traditional American food at Little Richard’s Family Diner. For a mix of cuisines, Pagoda Restaurant is a must-visit. For a sweet treat, head over to North Pole Crepery.
Where to Stay: Get snug in a local hotel in the North Pole, ensuring a truly Christmassy feel.
12. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Overview: A festive city offering beautiful light displays and winter activities.
- Nutcracker Ballet by the Milwaukee Ballet: A classic performance to enjoy.
- Christkindlmarkt: A German-style market offering diverse shopping options.
What to Eat: Dive into traditional German fare at Mader’s or go contemporary at Third Coast Provisions.
Where to Stay: Experience historic elegance at The Pfister Hotel or opt for modern luxury at the Saint Kate Arts Hotel.
13. Washington DC
Overview: As the nation’s capital, Washington DC glows brighter during the festive season. The city is not just about politics; it’s a hub of culture, history, and now, spectacular Christmas celebrations.
- National Christmas Tree & Library of Congress Tree: These trees are not just Christmas decorations but symbols of unity and festivity. The National Christmas Tree even gets attention on national television.
- Downtown Holiday Market: A must-visit spot for souvenir hunters. With a plethora of unique gifts, it embodies the holiday spirit.
- National Cathedral’s Christmas Concerts: A spiritual and melodic journey that captures the essence of the festive season.
- Culinary Delights: The city is dotted with bars and restaurants to excite the palate, ensuring both your heart and stomach are full.
What to Eat: Try classic American dishes at Founding Farmers or opt for international flair at Rasika.
Where to Stay: Experience luxury at The Jefferson or go boutique with The Line DC.
14. Vail, Colorado
- Can’t Miss: Dive into the Christmas spirit at the Kris Kringle Market. Don’t miss the Vail Holidaze tree lighting. Stroll around the picturesque Vail Village draped in snow.
- What to Eat: Sample authentic Alpine cuisine at Almresi Vail, try French-American at Vintage, and savor farm-to-table dishes at Mountain Standard.
Where to Stay: From lavish resorts to snug chalets, Vail Hotels and Rentals have something for everyone.
15. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Overview: Oklahoma City shines brightly during the festive season, ensuring a plethora of activities that resonate with the Christmas spirit.
- Downtown in December: This festival is not just about beautiful lights but also the myriad of activities like snow tubing, ice skating, and a heartwarming tree lighting ceremony.
- Nutcracker performance at the Civic Center Music Hall: Art and festive season combine to give a breathtaking performance.
- Bricktown’s Opening Night Festival: Ring in the New Year in style with this popular celebration.
What to Eat: Experience farm-to-table at Ludivine or indulge in BBQ at Leo’s BBQ.
Where to Stay: Enjoy modern luxury at 21c Museum Hotel or stay central at The Skirvin Hilton.
16. Oahu, Hawaii
Can’t-Miss Spots: Join the Waikiki Holiday Lights Trolley tour and attend the Honolulu City Lights event.
What to Eat: Experience Hawaiian flavors at Helena’s Hawaiian Food or fresh seafood at Roy’s.
Where to Stay: Choose oceanfront views at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort or The Modern Honolulu
17. Carmel by the Sea, California
Overview: A coastal gem, Carmel by the Sea offers not just picturesque views but also a Christmas filled with wine, sunsets, and the music of waves.
- Wine Spots: Dive into the taste of the region with wine tastings dotted around the town.
- Holiday Tree Lighting: A serene view as the beach is illuminated with the festive glow of lights.
- Carmel Plaza: A hub for music, shopping, and dining, it’s the heart of the town’s festivities.
- Devendorf Park Lighting & The Nutcracker: Enchanting events that merge the traditional with the local.
- Hofsas House Treats: Embrace the warmth of the season with cookies and apple cider.
What to Eat: Indulge in fresh seafood at Flying Fish Grill or savor Mediterranean dishes at Dametra Cafe.
Where to Stay: Opt for romantic luxury at La Playa Carmel or enjoy boutique charm at Carriage House Inn.
18. Las Vegas, Nevada
- Can’t Miss Spots: The Bellagio Gardens always don a festive flair. Ethel M Gardens is another picturesque spot. For a cooler experience, try skating at the Cosmopolitan Ice Rink.
- What to Eat: Feast like royalty at Bacchanal Buffet. If fusion cuisine is your style, Best Friend by Roy Choi is the place. For a quick, delicious bite, head to Poke Express.
- Where to Stay: Luxurious suites or budget-friendly rooms, pick your style from the Best Vegas Hotels.
Tour of the best Christmas destinations in the United States comes to an end
Choosing to travel during the festive season is about blending memorable moments with distinctive holiday experiences. The destinations highlighted above are amongst the finest in the US for capturing the essence of Christmas. Immersing yourself in any of these charming locales promises to surround you with the heartwarming spirit of the holidays.
As you get ready to embark on your holiday journey, remember to pack not just your essentials, but also your festive spirit! We wish you a splendid holiday season and a Merry Christmas. If you’ve found value in this guide to the best places to visit in USA at christmas, do consider sharing it on your social media channels!
Which destination offers the most traditional Christmas experience?
Chicago, with its European-style Christmas markets and historic celebrations.
Can I experience snow in all these places?
Except for Orlando, all the other destinations offer a chance of snow.
Are these places child-friendly?
Absolutely! Each destination has attractions suitable for children and families.
When’s the best time to book for Christmas travels?
Booking by late summer or early fall can get you good deals.
Is public transportation operational during Christmas in these cities?
Yes, but it’s always good to check schedules as they might be modified for the holiday season.