The Best Christmas Vacations in the US
Christmas often brings warm visions of home and family, but it can also bring headaches. Decorating can be an expensive nightmare, and the traditional family dinner usually means more work. All of the preparation can actually cut into precious family time instead of adding to it. If the thought of a warm beach
or a fun-filled ski holiday fills you with guilt, don't let it. More people are choosing a family Christmas vacation to avoid the hassles at home. And with so many options available within the United States
, the trip needn't be expensive or time consuming. With a little planning, you can create a Christmas vacation of a lifetime that will let the whole family relax and have fun.
If you're reluctant to break with tradition too much, consider an area that offers a cozy holiday atmosphere. Connecticut's Christmas Village in Torrington offers traditional events with a quaint backdrop. For a trip of a lifetime for younger children, head to Santa Claus, Indiana, where Christmas is celebrated all year round, complete with a theme park and a candy castle. Older kids might enjoy a ski trip to Colorado or Utah or, for a more budget-friendly trip, look for resorts close to home. Most will create artificial snow even if the weather doesn't cooperate.
If you can't stand one more minute of cold and snow, try a beach resort Christmas. For the warmest weather, head as far south as you can. The Florida Keys offer events for the whole family, and San Diego, California, has an array of holiday fun including whale watching. Amusement parks in warm destinations will often offer special package deals for the holidays too. Be sure to ask about seasonal discounts and deals.
The more adventurous might want to book a holiday adventure vacation. Most outdoor activities can be tailored for the winter months including biking, boating and hiking. West Virginia resorts offer canopy tours and horseback riding all year round, and many have seasonal packages. New Mexico's mild climate and diverse climate makes it the perfect place for early winter adventures. Consider renting a cabin in or near a state or national park, and put together your own adventure tour.
Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh has been a writer and college writing professor since 1992. She has written for international companies, published numerous feature articles in the "Wilmington News-Journal," and won writing contests for her poetry and fiction. Rayburn-Trobaugh earned a Master of Arts in English from Wright State University.