10 U.S. Destinations You’d Never Think To Visit For Christmas

The holidays are one of the most chaotic times to travel, but also one of the most special. Most cities and towns come alive in December with festive décor and joyful energy. Many people choose to travel over the holidays not only to see loved ones, but to experience the magic of Christmas in different parts of the world.


It can be extra pricey to go abroad over the holidays since it’s a peak travel time. But there are plenty of places within the U.S. that offer a magical holiday experience but don’t require Americans to travel internationally. And, some of the best places are the most underrated.

For a truly unique experience, travelers should consider going to a less popular destination over the holidays. Not only is it likely to be lower in price, but it can help travelers avoid the big crowds, which can hinder the traveling experience.

Below, we look at 10 underrated places to visit in the U.S. over the holidays. Most people’s minds wouldn’t automatically jump to one of these places when considering where to go for Christmas. But there’s good reason to consider one of these options for a holiday getaway.

10/10 Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville screams country music in the summer months, but it’s a different experience visiting this touristy town over the holidays. Visitors can get down country style on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Don’t miss out on the “Music Note Drop,” the city’s own version of NYC’s ball drop.

The city is known for its live music and tasty food, so visitors are bound to have a memorable holiday getaway in Nashville.

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9/10 Fredericksburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg gives visitors the chance to experience the holidays colonial-style. Guests can enjoy a carriage tour, take a candlelight stroll through Kenmore Plantation and Mary Washington’s home, and enjoy the 18th-century homes decked out for the season.

Don’t miss out on Fredericksburg’s official Christmas tree, which is a sight that can only be seen over the holidays.

8/10 San Juan, Puerto Rico

Many Americans looking for a domestic tropical destination over the holidays choose Hawaii. But travelers shouldn’t overlook Puerto Rico. It’s an ideal escape from the cold and relatively easy to fly to from most locations in the U.S.

Plus, despite it being a warm climate, most places in Puerto Rico go big with the Christmas decorations and festivities. Visitors should make sure to try local specialties.

7/10 Solvang, California

Solvang is California’s own Leavenworth. Every year, this dreamy town gets turned into a European wonderland. The assortment of Christmas lights and décor will put even the grumpiest tourist in the holiday spirit, making it a great destination.

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6/10 Washington, Connecticut

For a Gilmore Girls-inspired Christmas, this is the place to go. Washington is a rural town in Connecticut that inspired the cult classic show.

Guests can expect small-town charm, including traditional decorations during the holidays. There’s also a lot of natural beauty, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor lovers.

RELATED: 10 Of The Best Places To Visit In December In The U.S.

5/10 Pine Island, Florida

Florida is a popular spot for tourism during the holidays, largely due to its warm climate. But Pine Island is an underrated gem that lets visitors avoid the big crowds but still enjoy a classic Florida getaway.

Visitors can expect holiday decorations set against blue waters and palm trees.

4/10 Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is often seen as a summer destination, and it’s not exactly known for its warm and cozy vibes. But it offers a variety of fun things to do over the holidays, making it an underrated place to spend Christmas.

Visitors should check out the Enchanted Forest of Light in Descanso Gardens, which puts on a magical Christmas light display in the botanical gardens.

3/10 Helen, Georgia

Another way to get a taste of Europe without leaving the U.S. over the holidays is to visit Helen, Georgia. This Bavarian-inspired own is set against the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a ton of charm, especially when it’s dressed up for the holidays.

Every year it hosts Christkindlmarkt, a Christmas market, filled with a variety of handcrafted items. There’s also an annual Christmas parade in downtown, perfect for visitors of all ages.

2/10 Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha is a surprisingly fun place to spend the holidays, especially for guests who stay for New Year’s. It offers family-friendly activities, like the “Beach-Ball Drop” held at noon.

With a vibrant nightlife, there’s plenty to do until midnight and longer, too. Omaha also offers other fun attractions, like its zoo featuring the world’s largest indoor waterfall and an aquarium tunnel.

1/10 Corning, New York

New York City is spectacular over the holidays, but it’s not the only place in the state to offer festive charm. For a small-town feel, travelers should consider Corning. It’s tastefully decorated over the holidays and usually covered in snow.

But it offers plenty of attractions, from its world-famous Corning Museum of Glass to a variety of dining options to keep visitors well entertained.


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