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24 Best Places to Visit During Christmas in the USA

Are you looking for the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA?

If yes, you’re in the right place because this article will highlight some of the best places to experience a fun Christmas in the USA.

Many people struggle to find the right destination to visit during Christmas that provides fun activities they will enjoy. 

That’s why in this article, we put together some of the best Christmas towns in the USA that are perfect for celebrating the holidays. 

Whether you’re exploring these places on your own, with your partner or family, we know you will find your Christmas trip to any of these destinations worth every minute.

24 Best Places to Visit During Christmas in the USA

Ready to experience places full of holiday cheer? Below are some of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA.

1. New York, New York

New York is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

New York is easily one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA. This city offers a magical experience! 

You can see light displays and decorated Christmas trees almost everywhere in the city.

Start your December vacation in the US by touring Midtown Manhattan and visiting Rockefeller Center, which features a large tree (one of the biggest in the world) topped with a Swarovski crystal star. 

Another popular activity in NYC during Christmas is going ice skating under the view of the iconic skyscrapers.

Go for a walk in Central Park, which looks like a winter wonderland when it is covered in snow. And for holiday lights, head over to Dyker Heights, where the houses come straight out of a Hallmark movie!

New York is also one of the best places to go at Christmas for gift shopping, so stop by at the holiday markets like Union Square and Bryant Park Holiday Village. 

If you end up at Bryant Park, don’t miss the taste of their hot chocolate for anything.

In short, NYC is a magical place to visit during Christmas time!

Where to Stay in New York

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2. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA
Asheville is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

From the holiday shopping offers to the holiday displays, art deco architecture, and exotic restaurants, one could argue that Asheville is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA. 

If you are here for Christmas, don’t miss the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned home in the US.

The estate is always decked out in Christmas décor and features about 55 hand-decorated trees and 7,500 feet of fresh garland.

You can also explore Asheville by checking out the national gingerbread house competition or the Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum. 

People celebrate Christmas by going through art galleries, taking a ride on the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley, and trying out beers at the mini-breweries.

Asheville has a mild temperature of about 30oF to 50oF so snowing is quite likely.

Where to Stay in Asheville

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3. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

Looking for a place to enjoy a splendid Christmas vacation in the USA? Add Bethlehem to your list! 

For a place known as Christmas City, you should expect nothing short of amazing in Bethlehem. This Pennsylvania town sits about one hour away from New York City and is one of the best Christmas towns in the USA.

Christmas lovers will have the time of their lives at the Hotel Bethlehem, where over 35,000 lights are displayed during the Christmas season. 

The Christmas markets are another major highlight in Bethlehem. One of the most popular markets is the Christmas Village, where merchants display European fares and other handmade crafts. 

A short mile downtown, you’d find the Christkindlmarkt, a German-styled market where you can shop, listen to live music, and enjoy magical demonstrations.

Where to Stay in Bethlehem

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4. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

Charleston is one of the most popular cities for Christmas vacation in the USA, especially on the east coast. 

The city is magnificent during Christmas, and you will find historic homes wrapped in splendid decorations. 

Charleston also hosts festive events, parades, plays, and concerts perfect for everyone, including kids, couples, and families.

While you are here, walk downtown to see the gorgeous Christmas decorations and visit the Citadel to see the bulldog monument in a Christmas outfit.

Also, drive around the Magnolia Plantation to see the beautiful plantation houses and gardens and to learn about its slavery past too.

Where to Stay in Charleston

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5. Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

There is no snow in Newport Beach, but Christmas is magical nonetheless. 

Newport Beach hosts a Christmas Boat Parade that gets everybody’s spirits up with the happy crowd, fireworks, and over one million lights on the participating boats.

Take a walk down Balboa Island, where you’ll see houses decorated for the holiday season. You can also shop at Fashion Island to shop for all the gifts on your Christmas list. 

The Fashion island, although not literally an island, features over 160 boutiques, beauty spas, and restaurants.

Many hotels and resorts are conveniently located around Newport, so you do not have to worry about where to stay.

Where to Stay in Newport Beach

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6. Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish is one of the best places to visit in the USA during Christmas

Christmas celebrations start in Whitefish as early as the first Friday in December with the Whitefish Christmas Stroll. 

There’s a lot of singing, bell ringing, and activities that ignite the Christmas feelings during this special event.

As a wonderful mountain town, Whitefish has a lot of snow during the winter months, so you will be getting a white Christmas; snow, Santa’s, and fairy lights. 

From the streets, you will see the snow falling on the slopes of the Big Mountains; a perfect location for skiing. 

On Christmas Eve, there’s a Torchlight Parade at Whitefish Mountain Resort, where the crowd welcomes Santa Claus while their torchlights come together to make everything sparkle.

Where to Stay in Whitefish

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7. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is one of the places to visit in the USA during Christmas

Chicago is very enchanting during Christmas, it features lots of special events, and every restaurant and venue has something planned for the holiday season.

Christmas kicks off right before Thanksgiving in Chicago with the Annual Lights Festival that features parades and musical performances at Lincoln Park Zoo. 

The Museum of Science and Industry also hosts an event (Christmas Around The World) where about 60 trees showcase how other cultures celebrate the holidays.

Other popular activities include ice skating at Millennium Park, attending Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier, and visiting Christkindlmarket, a large outdoor German Christmas market filled with every kind of gift and souvenirs you can think of. 

Chicago gets quite cold during the winter season, so the chances of snowfall are high – so be sure to pack your warm jackets for this Christmas trip.

Where to Stay in Chicago

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8. Park City, Utah

Park City is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

Park City is very close to the airport, so that means you can start enjoying the activities as soon as you get off the plane. 

Nestled in the mountains, there are a lot of Christmas events in Park City, including the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, where skiers come down the mountain to lead Santa into town after his trip from the North Pole.

For shopping, Park City’s Main Street is people’s favorite, and here, you’ll find a variety of shops and boutiques. 

You could take in the view of the stunning streets, attend Snowfest, hit the slope, and watch out for Santa, who spends the day skiing the hill down the PayDay trail on Christmas Eve.

Where to Stay in Park City

Click here to find accommodation in Park City.

9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in the USA

If you are coming to Wisconsin, then get prepared for the cold temperature. Pack your warm jackets, sweaters, and gloves for this holiday getaway. 

While you are here, enjoy the beautiful winter lights by taking a walk around the city at nightfall, try to watch the classical Nutcracker ballet by the Milwaukee Ballet, and visit the Christkindlmarkt, a German-style market where you can shop for anything.

Other popular activities here include shopping in the Mayfair Mall and touring the Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market where you will find fresh local food and delicious homemade dishes. 

And if you don’t mind less-Christmassy activities, we recommend visiting the museums like the Milwaukee Art Museum or taking a tour around some of their famous breweries like the Miller Brewing Company.

Where to Stay in Milwaukee

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10. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

There are so many things to do during Christmas in Charlotte and one of our favorites is ice skating at the Whitewater Center. 

If you’re into shopping, don’t miss the massive Southern Christmas show, featuring over 450 merchants selling different kinds of goods and decor. 

You can also shop at the 2019 Vintage Charlotte Winter Market or experience the German Christmas market at OMB. 

There are also some jaw-dropping displays, especially the Panthers Tree Lighting which features music, performances, and a special appearance from Santa.

Other activities to enjoy here include riding through Sherwood Forest Drive in Olde Providence South or seeing the classical performances of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 

These fantastic holiday events make Charlotte one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA.

Where to Stay in Charlotte

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11. Key West, Florida

Key West is one of the best places to visit in December in the USA

Looking for someplace new and unique for Christmas celebrations? Try experiencing your US Christmas getaway at Key West.

The temperature in Key West warms up to 76°F in December, and the weather is perfect for swimming and diving.

At Key West, you will be trading the frosty snow weather with warm water and the traditional Christmas Tree with decorated palm trees. 

One must-see that should be part of anyone’s experience during Christmas is the Lighted Boat Parade held every year at Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley. 

You can also take a trip to Holiday Historic Inn Your, head to the Key West Bight where you’ll find 100 boats seeded with holiday lights, and don’t miss the Florida Seafood along Duval street.

Where to Stay in Key West

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12. Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Williamsburg is a historic city, and so is Christmas vacation here.

This historic center is always decorated for the holiday season, and there are so many special Christmas events, including the Grand Illumination, that is held on the first Sunday of December. 

There are also a lot of holiday concerts and presentations all around the city making Williamsburg one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA.

During Christmas, visit Jamestown to celebrate the colonists, check out the Christmas markets, and have cookies with Santa.

Also, the Busch Gardens Christmas Town is a must-see during your getaway at Christmas especially if you are here with kids.

Where to Stay in Williamsburg

Click here to find accommodation in Williamsburg.

13. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

San Francisco knows how to put on a show during Christmas, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA. 

There are lights, food, festivals, markets, just name it. If you are in San Francisco for Christmas, start by waking the neighborhoods to explore their cultural food, lighting and participate in their fun holiday celebrations. 

Also, enjoy the Chinese Christmas shows in Chinatown and explore the gingerbread houses on displays in the hotels.

People love visiting the bakery in Little Italy for the traditional Italian Christmas cookies, attending the Christan Dickens fair, and the Italian Christmas market. 

You will come across plenty of gift ideas and souvenirs so get ready to have your shopping bags full.

Where to Stay in San Francisco

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14. Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA
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Best place to spend Christmas in the USA? Leavenworth, a magical white Christmas destination!

While Leavenworth is a small city, its Christmas charm draws many, many people to experience the holiday season here. 

Leavenworth is decorated with lights all around and about 20,000 people come to see the lighting ceremonies that happen every weekend during the first three weeks of December.

You can go to the Town Square to see the Christmas tree, drink mulled wine, hot cocoa, and savor the splendid decorations.

Whatever you do, be sure not to miss the Nutcracker Museum and Hat Shop. 

The average temperature is 34oF, so be dressed appropriately for this Christmas getaway. In case there is snow, take a sleigh ride through the evergreen trees, and don’t forget to make a reservation ahead of time.

In short, Leavenworth is one of the best Christmas vacations for families in America!

Where to Stay in Leavenworth

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15. Washington DC

Washington DC is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA
Washington DC is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

Monuments and museums aren’t the only things to see in the capital. During your Christmas vacation in Washington, expect to see over-the-top decorations, mind-blowing performances, and unique food and drinks.

There are two breathtaking Christmas trees here, the National Christmas Tree and the tree inside the Library of Congress.

Both are spectacular and the former gets nationwide TV coverage. If you can, try and visit the Downtown Holiday Market to shop for unique souvenirs or take one of the National Catedral’s Christmas Concerts.

There are also a lot of bars and restaurants to excite your taste buds in Washington DC, so it’s a place worth visiting.

Where to Stay in Washington DC

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16. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City is one of the best Chrsitmas destinations in the USA

There are a lot of activities that go on in Oklahoma City, especially during the holidays. If you want beautiful Christmas lights, check out Downtown in December, one of the most popular festivals in Oklahoma. 

The event features fun outdoor activities like snow tubing, ice skating, and a tree lighting ceremony.

If you love art and films, then you’d love the Nutcracker performance at the Civic Center Music Hall. 

And if you stay till New Year, don’t miss the most popular New Year’s Eve party, the Bricktown’s Opening Night Festival.

Where to Stay in Oklahoma

Click here to find accommodation in Oklahoma.

17. Carmel by the Sea, California

Carmel by the Sea is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA
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Wine lovers, this is the perfect place for dozens of wine tastings. 

When you are here, stop at any of the wine spots for wine tasting, experience the beach sunsets, and enjoy the lights at the Holiday Tree Lighting. 

One of the best places to visit in Carmel by the Sea is the Carmel Plaza which hosts regular small concerts and offers lots of shops and restaurants. 

There is also the annual lighting event at Devendorf Park which features a performance of The Nutcracker. Also, the owners of Hofsas house serve cookies and apple cider every evening throughout the holidays. 

These unique events make Camel by the Sea one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA.

Where to Stay in Carmel by the Sea

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18. Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

One of the best places for Christmas vacation in the USA is Oahu, Hawaii. If you want to enjoy tropical Christmas with traditional Christmas themes, and low humid weather, then here is the right place. 

Here, you won’t find snow. Instead, you’ll find beaches with breezy weather ranging from 77oF and 81oF.

The best place to start your Christmas family vacation here is the Dole pineapple plantation, a popular spot for pineapple ice cream. 

From here, visit the surfing village of Haleiwa, where you’ll find little shops and the famous Haleiwa’s Joe’s lunch spot. 

Also, enjoy the firework displays at the Hilton resort and if you’re staying till New Year, check out the Eve event at Aloha Tower or the upscale Night Circus Party at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Where to Stay in Oahu

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19. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

Not sure where to go for Christmas? Well, Jackson Hole is a real Christmas wonderland. There are a lot of winter activities here; skiing, sleigh rides, and snow play. 

There are about three ski areas in this town and they all have incredible scenery. Asides from spending time on the slopes, you can also watch shows and concerts. 

Santa also always makes an appearance at the Townsquare starting from the 15th of December to Christmas Eve, so if you are here with kids, it’d be fun to take them there. 

The Jackson Town Square is also adorned with elk antlers and visitors often take a horse-drawn sleigh ride to see these magnificent creatures. 

Where to Stay in Jackson Hole

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20. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

The spectacular mountain scenery in the Rocky Mountain National Park is enough reason to visit this city during Christmas.

Visitors love to ski, snowboard at one of the dozens of ski resort spots, and snowshoe under the trees. 

On Christmas’ week, park rangers organize many activities, such as walks under the moonlight, storytelling, learn about the wildlife, and even movie sessions.

But that’s not all. There are many other activities to enjoy in the Rocky Mountain if you aren’t interested in the mountains.

You could take a dip in a hot spring, catch a Christmas parade at Estes Park, or enjoy a Colorado winter hike.

And if you are in for the lights, exploring the lights at the Mile High City will do the magic.

Where to Stay near Rocky Mountain

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21. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of the best Christmas destinations in the USA
Boston is one of the best Christmas destinations in the USA

We aren’t kidding. The best place to have your Christmas vacation in the USA is Boston! 

Whether you’re in Boston for the snowy landscape, the holiday shows, or the winter markets, you’d enjoy Christmas in Boston.

Residents and visitors enjoy Christmas through various activities like Holiday Cruises at the Boston Harbor, ice skating or skiing at City Hall Plaza, and watching the 50,000 lights at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. 

Quincy Markets is also a popular spot in the city, with giant trees wrapped with Christmas lights and live music for everyone. 

Remember that December in Boston is cold, so bring along your sweaters, coats, boots, and gloves on this Christmas trip.

Where to Stay in Boston

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22. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is one of the best places to visit in December in the USA

Looking for a festive place to visit for the Christmas season? You’ll love Alamo City!

There are many enjoyable things to do during Christmas in San Antonio; the holiday-themed events, the food, and the Riverwalk bridges decked with a million twinkling lights. 

San Antonio has a rich Spanish colonial heritage, and you’d find this reflected in their famous museums and beautiful Riverwalk. 

On top of that, the Riverwalk trees and bridges are decorated with a lot of lights and there is nothing more enjoyable than taking a stroll along its beautiful landscape. 

Restaurants at the Riverwalk offer great Mexican food, so get ready to indulge your taste buds. 

Kids can enjoy the holiday train, visit theme parks like Seaworld San Antonio or tour the San Antonio Zoo.

Where to Stay in San Antonio

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23. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA
Arthur Cauty / Shutterstock.com

The best Christmas getaway in California is definitely Los Angeles. The weather is very warm, making it perfect for visiting the beach, and Santa Monica and Venice have very nice beaches in California. 

For some festive experience, check out the Christmas decorations around the city like the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, or the LA Zoo Lights which feature beautiful animal-themed displays. 

On Venice Beach, there is a competition every Christmas for the best-decorated house, and everyone loves to outdo one another with beautiful decorations. 

If you love holiday music, there is a Christmas concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, or visit the Universal Studios for beautiful decorations and fun Christmas-themed snacks.

All in all, LA is one of the coolest places to visit for Christmas in the United States!

Where to Stay in Los Angeles

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24. McAdenville, North Carolina

McAdenville is one of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA

Known as Christmas Town USA, McAdenville becomes a winter wonderland every December.

McAdenville has fewer than 600 residents and is a suburb of Charlotte. Still, since the 1950s, the entire town has put on a Christmas show with impressive holiday displays and over 200 evergreen trees with a half-million dazzling lights.

On top of that, more than 160 houses are elaborately decked out in various Christmas decor. The town also holds an incredible annual Tree Lighting as well as a traditional Yule Log Parade and Ceremony.

Good to know: McAdenville only has three entrances when the lights are on, so check their website for more details.

Where to Stay near McAdenville

Click here to find hotels near McAdenville.

Wrapping Up on the Best Places to Visit During Christmas in the USA

When you spend your Christmas away from home, you want to make sure it’s perfect, that it’s worth it and has all the enjoyable activities you won’t forget. 

These Christmas destinations above are some of the best places to visit during Christmas in the USA for a fun, happy holiday. Besides, all these pleasant places are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable holiday season! We hope you have a wonderful time! Merry Christmas! 

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