While the Holiday season is always one that is super busy – between shopping, wrapping, card-sending, cooking, baking – for many folks it’s also the perfect time to take a break from the hustle and bustle and take a trip! With so many places in the U.S. that know how to make things truly festive, it’s not a question of “is there anyplace to go” but rather “how do we decide”?
If the idea of getting away from it all in the middle of the holidays to just enjoy the season sounds perfect to you, then read on for a sample of some favorite festive locations in the U.S. And while this year’s pandemic has meant that many of them have had to scale things back, next year’s season is looking a LOT merrier!
Here are a few places to put on your holiday season travel “must-do’s”.
Frankenmuth, Michigan – The world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, has it’s home in Frankenmuth, and the holiday megastore makes visiting this Christmas town worth it just for that. But the area has more to offer festive travelers than shopping. With light displays, a Christmas market, and meals with Santa and Mrs. Claus at a German-inspired restaurant, Frankenmuth has a richly deserved spot on anyone’s Christmas travel list.
Branson, Missouri – During the holiday season, Branson features more than 700 decorated trees, earning it the title of the “Christmas Tree Town.” But that’s not all. With 6.5 million Christmas lights throughout Branson’s Silver Dollar City theme park, the incredible light displays provide lots of holiday spirit to all who visit.
Boothbay, Maine – Nothing says Christmas better than Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on a boat, but in this lovely seaside town, that’s exactly what happens. The annual Harbor Lights Festival features a lighted boat parade, providing a coastal theme to their holiday festivities. And if you want Christmas lights, you’ll also find New England’s biggest light display, with over 650,000 lights, at Gardens Aglow.
Williamsburg, Virginia – For a more traditional, and truly historic way to celebrate the holiday season, Williamsburg is the place to be. In a tradition that dates back to colonial America, each home in Williamsburg’s historic area lights one candle in their windows. With cobblestone streets perfect for colonial holiday traditions like caroling by torchlight, festive decorations, traditional Christmas dishes served at the town’s authentic restaurants, Williamsburg is the perfect place for anyone who loves history to celebrate the season.
Asheville, North Carolina – If you’re looking for a historic location that goes all out for Christmas, then you’ll want to plan a trip to this town in the Blue Ridge Mountains where you’ll find The Biltmore, the historic Vanderbilt mansion that is beautiful any time of the year, but is magnificent at Christmas. The decorations, food, and festivities on-property are worth a visit alone but take some time to explore this lovely mountain town as well. Here you’ll find lots of great artsy shops and a main street decked out with a million lights.
The holiday season brings so much festive joy with all of the many traditions that we have to celebrate. And while adding a trip into the mix may seem overwhelming, in fact taking a few days off to – just relax and enjoy – can make your celebration even more special.