Christmas Travel Destinations: EAST COAST EDITION
Season’s Greetings!! For many, the Christmas holiday season is usually a time to sit around the fireplace, drink hot chocolate, wrap gifts and watch Christmas movies. However, a lot of people have taken the tradition of traveling as their Christmas gift to self and/or family. A quick retreat to a new holiday destination every year can certainly put you in a holiday mood. From the cheerful new light shows to holiday parades and ice skating challenges, you are bound to feel the joy and spirit of the season.
1. New York, NY
What better place to visit during the Winter and holiday season then the big bright city of New York? You will certainly be one with the chaos and cold but it’s all worth it for the magical markets and holiday decorations the city boasts. Can’t forget all the additional holiday shopping and instagram worthy photo shoots around the city. Be sure to check out the Rockettes Radio City Christmas show and ‘the tree’ in the Rockefeller Center, it’s a giant, world-wide symbol for the holidays in New York!
2. Portsmouth, NH
‘Vintage Christmas’ in Portsmouth, NH is a great place to indulge in the season. They offer a month long calendar of events and festivities, including live holiday musicals at the music hall, candlelight strolls, gingerbread house contests, outdoor ice skating and symphony orchestra performances. Holiday tourists can have a taste of whatever cheerful activity they enjoy. Don’t forget, shopping is tax-free so be sure to stock-up!
3. Boston, MA
From the cold wintery European looking streets, to the festive events and ice skating rinks around the city, Boston is definitely a place to stop and celebrate the holiday season. Catch the Holiday lights trolley over to the Boston Holiday Public Market where you can eat and shop till you drop or wanderlust through the Cultural Survival Bazaar Market where you can buy several unique international gifts from international artists. Need more interactive enthusiasm? Head over to Quincy market for the light and sound show. Most market events are free to attend, just make sure you bring your walking shoes! Also, be sure to check out the Black Nativity show at Paramount Theatre, performing music, dance and storytelling from Hughes’s poetry. Tickets are $35+.
4. Washington, DC
I’m bias to holidays in DC as the DMV region is home for me. This was the first place I experienced a White Christmas and made cookies for the president (not the current president). You can see holiday light displays all over the city, Zoolights at DC Zoo and Festival of Lights are the best. Both free entry! The most lit Christmas tree is the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park, near the White House. This is thee best (bias opinion) tree to visit for the holidays. Over the years it has been decorated with different presidential ideas and energy efficient designs. This tree has been holiday history in DC for 95 years, since President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48 ft. tree with red, white and green electric bulbs. No better place to feel the spirit of American History and celebrate peace and joy!
5. Williamsburg, VA
This historical town kicks off the holiday season with their annual Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination, the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks. This was the 18th century traditional way to celebrate major events. Enjoy several live musical concerts, patriotic displays and daily fireworks shows. This event is Free to the public. You can also get out and visit Busch Gardens theme park celebrating Christmas Town with more than 10 million lights and festive drinks selections to compete with your holiday shopping.
6. Charleston, SC
From the 3-mile driving tour through the Annual Holiday Festival of Lights to the Festival train rides and enchanted walking trails, this city offers many attractions and activities for both families and couples escapes. Be sure to check out the handcrafted sculpture made with 50 tons of sand at Winter Wonderland! The driving tour is $15 per vehicle with the donation of a canned food item. Take this opportunity to save and give back.
7. Orlando, FL
Many people enjoy spending Christmas at Disney. Besides being decked out in holiday décor, you get good weather, nearby beaches and the freedom to dream. At Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Christmas Party is filled with fireworks, fake snow and the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Mickey style. This is a great event for the children. Epcot celebrates the holiday internationally, displaying sights and sounds celebrated by cultures across the globe. Chip & Dale ornament picking, storytelling, candlelight processionals and IllumiNations light and laser show make this a park of choice to learn while you celebrate. My recommendation: save a few stacks because this Christmas destination can get expensive.
Do you stay home or travel during the holidays? What place is Christmasy enough to get your visit?