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Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Best Places to Travel in the U.S. For a Christmas Getaway

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There’s no place like home for the holidays—unless you’re going somewhere insanely cool and happen to have some extra vacation days you want to use before the end of the year. Winter travel can be tough when you’re trying to decide on a spot where the weather won’t totally kill your vacation, but some of these places are even more magical in the snow than they are in the summer, and they’ve got some can’t-miss holiday festivities for the ultimate Christmas getaway. Craving a warm-weather vacay? We’ve got options for you, too. And, of course, everything looks different this year because of COVID-19, including holidays and travel. So make sure you’re still observing quarantine guidelines and traveling safely before you book a trip (or plan ahead and postpone the Christmas getaway to 2021).

1Aspen, Colorado
aspen colorado street lamp closeup with snow and holiday decorations

Aspen is a beautiful outdoor oasis no matter what time of year you visit, but winter feels particularly festive and. From upscale dining and shopping to world class skiing and a quaint downtown, there’s nothing not to love during the holiday season and beyond.

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2Los Angeles, California
usa, california, manhattan beach, illuminated pier at dusk during christmas time

If you’re more of a beachy kind of person, head to Los Angeles for Christmas. The holiday displays are extra festive (it is home to the Hollywood industry, after all) but you’ll be able to celebrate in shorts.

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3New Orleans, Louisiana
Plant, Tree, Christmas ornament, Flower, Festival, Christmas decoration, Interior design,

You know it’s going to be a good time if you’re heading to the Big Easy. Jazz it up with Cajun Kringle (buttery pastry rounds loaded with praline filling and topped with caramel icing and pecans), take in the festive holiday homes in the Garden District, and catch the Celebration in The Oaks, a massive holiday light display in City Park.

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4San Diego, California

Truth—it’ll likely be 70 degrees and sunny, which doesn’t necessarily scream Christmas, but if you’re coming from the snow, a California Christmas might be a dream. In addition to hitting the beach, check out all the holiday happenings at the iconic Hotel Del, including a seaside ice rink, themed dining, holiday movies on the beach, and a s’mores Jingle Roast.

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5Upstate New York
farm scene with snow

Escape to upstate New York for a White Christmas this holiday season and enjoy the snowy rolling hills and quiet, slower tempo. Whether you go to a tinier, remote town like Stoneridge, deep in the Catskills, or a buzzier town like Hudson or Kingston, it’ll be a nice change of pace from NYC.

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6San Francisco, California
exploring san francisco in winter

Fact: San Francisco is romantic any time of year, but seeing Nob Hill all lit up is something truly special. It may not snow there, but you’ll still get a little cooler weather and rolling fog in the winter months to put you in the holiday spirit.

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7New York City, New York

You’ve seen the Rockefeller Center tree on TV for years, and now it’s time to see it IRL. Go ice skating, see the decorations on Fifth Avenue, admire all the festive store windows, and if it happens to snow, you’ll get to see Central Park become a winter wonderland.

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8Quebec City, Canada
Snow, Winter, Town, Building, Tree, Architecture, Freezing, Blizzard, Winter storm, Street,

The cobblestone streets are even more quaint and charming with snow falling everywhere. The 400-year-old walled city feels like a European village, but it’s much more accessible from the U.S. (and likely more cost effective). There’s no end to good food, postcard-perfect sights, and festive decorations everywhere you turn.

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9Vail, Colorado
Winter, Sky, Tree, Blue, Snow, Night, Lighting, Light, Purple, Freezing,

If you want to have a white Christmas, head to Colorado. Snowdaze happens all throughout December, where the fresh powder is celebrated with live concerts every evening. The village is all lit up, and it’s peak time to hit the slopes. If snow sports aren’t your thing, we’re willing to bet the après-ski scene totally is.

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10Vermont
south royalton, vermont 5

It doesn’t get any more scenic than Vermont in winter (Except maybe in autumn when you can catch all the colorful foliage). Head to Woodstock or a little further north to Stowe for all the quaint New England vibes and all the syrup Buddy the Elf could dream of.

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11Jackson Hole, Wyoming
grand tetons, wyoming

As far as ski towns go, you can’t beat Jackson Hole. The town is charming and offers plenty of activity after a long day on the slopes.

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12Leavenworth, Washington
town, in snow,  decorated with holiday lights

This Bavarian-style town will make you feel like you’re traveling internationally—and it’s especially fun to visit during the holidays, when the whole town is lit up.

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