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America’s Most Festive Holiday Destinations

America’s Most Festive Holiday Destinations

The holiday season is upon us, and there are so many incredibly festive destinations, it can be hard to pick just one.

The Best Holiday Destinations in the U.S.

No matter what part of the country you live in or what type of holiday vibe you’re searching for, there’s a perfect destination not too far away.

New York City

Christmas in New York City is nothing short of spectacular. With the endless miles of glittering lights, the most ornate Christmas trees (make sure to stop by Rockefeller Center to see their famous fir), European-style Christmas markets (like the Winter Village at Bryant Park) and stunning department store holiday displays, it’s no wonder NYC is on everyone’s holiday bucket list. In addition to the wondrous sights and sounds of the holiday season, you’ll find numerous seasonal flavors and unique dining options specifically designed for winter, like The Lodge at Gallow Green and the transparent heated igloos at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree New York |
Rockefeller Center Christmas (©Elias Andres Jose)

Las Vegas

If you think Las Vegas doesn’t do holidays, think again. Las Vegas is a fantastic destination for the holiday season with the nonstop neon lights and year-round festive vibes. Here, you’ll find stunning floral displays on and off the Las Vegas Strip—the Christmas display at Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a favorite for locals and tourists. There are also numerous winter activities and activations like the Nightmare Before X-Màs pop-up at Màs Por Favor Taqueria y Tequila and Enchant Christmas at the Las Vegas Ballpark that will make you forget you’re in the desert.

Reindeer at Enchant Christmas Las Vegas |
Reindeer (Courtesy Enchant Christmas)

San Francisco

The holiday season in San Francisco is a sight to behold. The massive tree in Union Square is a perfect anchor for all of your festive activities (and holiday shopping). The giant gingerbread house at The Fairmont San Francisco and the stunning display at Ghirardelli Square are always crowd-pleasers, and seasonal decor and specials can be found all around the city. Make sure to catch some of the special holiday performances by the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet.

Union Square Christmas Tree San Francisco |
Union Square Christmas Tree (©Cedric Letsch)


For some nonstop holiday family fun, Orlando is calling your name. With two of the most famous theme parks in the world, you’re guaranteed a great time. Visit Walt Disney World and marvel at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom wholly decked out for the holidays (the characters even have their own festive seasonal costumes). Make sure to try out all of the unique Disney holidays sweets and treats while you’re at it. It’s always winter at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside Universal Studios Orlando, where you can visit Hogsmeade in all of its snowy wonder.

Walt Disney World Holiday Topiaries Orlando |
Walt Disney World Holiday Topiaries (©Dylan)


Celebrate the holiday season in one of America’s oldest cities. Enjoy the historical landmarks in all their winter glory. Make sure to visit Franklin Square for all of your holiday fun, where you can enjoy Chilly Philly Mini Golf during the day and marvel at the “Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle Light Show” presented by PECO at night. There’s more than just Christmas fun in Philadelphia, too—the Old City Jewish Arts Center hosts a Hanukkah Dreidel Giveaway, and the African American Museum hosts a Kwanzaa Celebration.

Electrical Spectacle in Franklin Square Philadelphia |
Electrical Spectacle in Franklin Square (Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.)