One of the most exciting aspects of travel is the thrill in seeing, exploring, and enjoying a new city’s unique traditions and offerings. At Christmas time, many cities pull out all the stops to create a stunning and wonderful display of lights, food, and wintertime fun. A city’s unique culture influences what these offerings are, making the holiday season the perfect time to travel. These are five cities are some of the best destinations in North America and are sure to offer you something special you may not be able to enjoy at home.
New York City
Few cities scream, “It’s Christmas time!” in the same way that New York City manages to do. The iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center beckons visitors to join into the Christmas spirit, while the famous ice skating rink insists that you relax and enjoy the vacation in the Big Apple. New York streets gain a magical air when blanketed in snow. Holiday markets begin at the end of November, so you can enjoy plenty of shopping and hot chocolate.
Without flying across the Atlantic, you can enjoy a French culture-influenced Christmas-time. Montreal is a food-lovers dream destination for the holidays. Markets are filled with savory meats, and pastry shops are oh-so tempting with displays of truffles and other sweets. If you can brave the cold, take the time to stroll through the city; it is known for going all out with its decorations.
Traveling South is always a bit different when the destination is New Orleans. Here, you can enjoy a unique holiday atmosphere that will be certain to be warmer than New York. Get into the spirit by joining carolers in the famous St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square for their weekend Christmas concerts. Stroll through the French Quarter to experience the European architecture bedecked in greenery and twinkling lights. For a truly unique experience, indulge in the Creole tradition of a Reveillon dinner!
For the ski enthusiast, Aspen, Colorado is the perfect holiday destination. The beautiful town, which welcomes outdoor lovers year round, shows off why the Let It Snow! mentality goes hand-in-hand with the holidays. When you are off the slopes, try on a pair of ice skates or check out the shows at the Wheeler Opera House, where you could catch a holiday-themed musical or watch a movie.
For a warm climate and a celebration that still focuses on the religious side of Christmas, head south into Mexico City. This capital city puts on an incredibly festive celebration. Paseo de la Reforma, always a destination street for shopping, becomes flooded with poinsettias, ready to be purchased for Christmas Eve. To celebrate like the residents, make this vacation a family affair and take part in your own posadosand cook a traditional meal, which ranges from turkey to tamales to codfish.
Terry Carter writes about holiday preparation for a Christmas Lights Installation NJ company.