Many love the amazements and wonders of the holiday season. With all of the festive lights and beautiful decorations, it is hard to hold back a smile. Unfortunately, there are just as many stressors in relation to all of the lights. The in-laws, costs and the loss of time can make a simple holiday season turn into a disaster.
Luckily there are a few places left to enjoy a quiet holiday season without missing out on the holiday spirits. Below are ten of the best holiday experiences around the United States, each with their own positives and negatives. At the end of the day, the destinations are filled with Christmas cheer.
DisneyWorld – Photo Credit: Steve Wise
Looking for the vacation to capture your dreams and desires for your entire family? Disney is the perfect place for that, especially for those who are looking to escape the winter chills. Disneyworld is located at the heart of Florida, where the sun shines all year, and the average temperature during your stay can easily stay in the sixties or seventies.
The parks are transformed into festive holiday spirit, while the infamous Disney Castle and surroundings are incredibly beautiful. In addition, Disney offers holiday packages that can surely take some of the Grinch out of everybody.
The parades and marches through the main streets of Magic Kingdom captivate the heart and imagination of everyone watching. With the meal plans and accommodations, the trip can easily become an all-inclusive trip, where the food, lodging and tickets can all be paid for up front.
The unfortunate downfall of the trip is the popularity as well as the price. As mentioned above there are many packages that can lower the price, but the costs can be quite staggering. If that was not enough, this is one of the most well-known Christmas decorations, and it is a hotspot. The lines may not be as bad as the middle of the summer, but in order to get a good seat for a parade or show, plan on showing up early to the events.
The crowds are much denser, and more people are interested in the activities instead of the rides, creating a new kind of beast within the amusement park. Contrary to the large crowds, the park has extended hours, opening as early as 7am, with many closings around 1am the next morning.
Blue Hawaii – Photo Credit: John Blacker
Hawaii is not the first destination that comes to mind when trying to decide on the perfect holiday destination, but it should be. Replace the pine trees with a more flattering palm trees, and Santa enjoys the surf rather than the jolly red suit. The exception is the fifty foot Norfolk pine Christmas tree that is highly decorated and the staple of Honolulu’s City Lights ceremony.
The winter months do not carry as many tourists as the summer months do, leaving more space to stretch and relax on the beaches. Many resorts and hotels are looking for ways to bring in more guests during the winter months, and there are typically better deals than the summer months.
The temperatures remain relatively similar throughout the year, with beautiful warm weather reigning supreme. The winter months generally carry the most rainfall which can dampen the Christmas barbeques, but will never dampen the spirits.
New York City
New York City – Photo Credit: John Ryan
This is arguably the most well-known Christmas destinations throughout the entire world. There are Broadway shows, shopping and activities around every corner. There is the world renowned Rockefeller Center Plaza, nicknamed the Capital of NYC Christmas that holds their towering, beautiful Christmas tree that will warm the grumpiest of souls.
FAO Schwartz is one of largest and most decorated toy stores in the history of all toy stores. The lines can stretch for blocks as everyone is trying to get into the indoor Ferris wheel.
The city holds its reputation highly, and the tourists flock from around the globe to enjoy the wonders of New York City. The prices for hotels skyrocket, parking is quite expensive, and traffic is unbelievable. You may drive into the city, but it is highly recommended to use public transportation. It is less traffic on the street than there needs to be, and walking may be just as fast as driving throughout the city.
Vail – Photo Credit: Jason Melville
Vail is the skier’s dream during the holiday season. Not only that, but it is an incredible town that truly cherishes a Christmas from the past. Do not worry, there are plenty of activities that do not involve the ski slopes, but does still incorporate the natural beauty of Colorado.
The Vail Family Holidaze is an annual event spanning over the few days leading up to Christmas, and each passing night brings a new set of activities. Some of the events hold music, movie nights, as well as ice skating shows, with a Candy Cane Patrol spreading holiday cheer through the streets.
Vail is a beautiful town with an incredible atmosphere. It removes all of the large stressors and replaces them with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Just waking up and looking at the raw beauty that surrounds the town is enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face. The unfortunate downside is the temperature. Many people do not mind cold weather, but the brisk Colorado air can be challenging to overcome. The mornings could easily drop to single digits or below, with brutal snow storms blowing in on a moment’s notice.
No matter what your ideal holiday vacation is, there is a choice for anyone looking to get away. Sometimes the best way to get away from all of the holiday stress is to be dropped right into the middle of the mix. Those should look into visiting the major cities such as New York City, a city that offers more activities than anyone could ask for.
Sometimes however, the best way to escape is to actually escape. Whether from the cold or the crowds, there is a destination for everyone. Hawaii is one of the most underrated Christmas destinations, while Vail offers an escape from the crowds while enjoying the Rocky Mountain amenities.
Julia Miles is a freelance writer who is passionate about traveling, vacation resorts, Connecticut vacations and travel guides. She also writes for Foxwoods Resort; follow them on Twitter and Facebook.