You know the feeling — when the decorations appear on the light posts along the roads and the first flakes of snow begin to fall. The holidays are approaching and it’s almost time for winter vacation. From snow-blanketed mountains to lively waterfronts, these are the perfect places to stuff yourself, unwrap presents, or ring in the New Year.
1. Williamsburg, Virginia
What better place to spend Thanksgiving than the site of the first feast in 1619 at nearby Berkeley Plantation? Colonial Williamsburg’s historic taverns will take you back to the roots of this traditional holiday in quite a tasty way.
2. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Try out a high-rise holiday in this upbeat city. Your resort is situated along the famed Boardwalk, minutes from plenty of shopping and dining. Think gourmet restaurants with special turkey dinners and boutique Black Friday deals.
Stay Here: Club Wyndham Skyline Tower
3. Lake Tahoe, Nevada
You’re in for a treat if you visit Lake Tahoe for the holidays, with several family friendly celebrations highlighting the season such as the Heavenly Holidays Family Festival. Everyone will enjoy the ice sculptures, ice-skating performances, a symphony orchestra, and more. And as a popular skiing destination, you’ll hit the slopes in a true winter wonderland.
4. Branson, Missouri
There’s no town more festive than Branson when it comes to Christmas spirit. The buildings are dressed to the nines with garlands of light, and celebrations can be found everywhere. Plus, you can hop in the resort hot tubs to warm up after a day of fun.
5. Leavenworth, Washington
Celebrate the season in the charming Bavarian village of Leavenworth. Shop the open-air Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas Market, where you’ll find hand-crafted gifts and German hot, spiced wine. Join the entire town on any weekend in December for a stunning lighting ceremony that sets millions of twinkling lights aglow all over town. Then bring the magic of the holidays to life by piling into a horse-drawn sleigh for a snowy ride through town.
Stay Here: WorldMark Leavenworth
6. Park City, Utah
If you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, plan your vacation at this renowned ski area. Spend your days enjoying snow sports, snowmen, and perhaps a snowball fight, too. Plus, the kids will be delighted to learn that the suite has a fireplace — perfect for Santa to enter through the chimney.
Stay Here: Club Wyndham Park City
7. Newport, Rhode Island
Celebrate the arrival of the New Year at this bustling port city. Gaze toward a horizon bursting with fireworks and dine at one of many excellent establishments. Or, take a short ferry ride to Providence, which is ranked among the best cities in the U.S. to spend New Year’s Eve.