Almost everything has changed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is every family’s desire to enjoy the holidays their own special way. For families who celebrate Christmas and are looking to capture some magic to wash away the woes of 2020, it can be hard to figure out where to travel safely. We’ve gathered a list of the 10 top Christmas destinations this year, with coronavirus safety in mind.
10. Charleston, South Carolina: A relic of southern history, old southern mansions are adorned in the same festive garlands and decorations they’ve worn for centuries. However, Charleston is anything but stuck in the past. With light displays, plays, walking tours, and several open air shopping experiences, Charleston can offer the COVID-wary celebrators a way to enjoy the mild southern winters at a safe distance from others.
9. Los Cabos, Mexico: A place that loves to welcome American tourists, Los Cabos was one of the first international destinations to welcome Americans back after quarantine lockdowns. Cabo offers luxury, spa vacations, outdoorsy destinations, and traditional Christmas celebrations all in an affordable package. In Cabo, they celebrate the 400-year-old traditional holiday of Las Posadas, which is the 9 days leading up to Christmas, culminating in Nochebuena, which marks the birth of Christ. The celebration follows the footsteps of Joseph and Mary as they searched for a safe inn for Mary to give birth in. Celebrants move from inn to inn and candlelit processions and dinners mark the occasions.
8. Branson, Missouri: Christmas celebrations in Branson begin on November 1st. Known as “America’s Christmas Tree City,” Branson offers outdoor spectacles like no other city. Per OprahMag, “Branson’s more than 6.5 million lights compete for wows with more than 1,000 Christmas trees. Other highlights include drive-through light displays at Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, the World’s Largest Toy Museum, and an epic Christmas festival at Silver Dollar City for their ‘An Old Time Christmas,’ with more than more than 680 miles of lights.”
7. Colorado Springs, Colorado: A traditional outdoor destination, Colorado Springs often offers the white Christmas everyone seeks. With outdoor options like skiing, ice skating, candlelit walks and holiday performances. A picturesque city built like a small town, Colorado Springs is a family friendly destination with plenty of socially distanced options for everyone.
6. Savannah, Georgia: Another warm southern winter destination, Savannah offers mild often mild temperatures with a traditionally Irish Christmas. A quaint town with a family vibe, Savannah offers multiple options for families celebrating; parents can enjoy the delectable drinks and kids can find thrills with an old city ghost tour. Savannah is one of those charming southern cities that offers the old holiday vibes while being welcoming and modern.
5. Solvang, California: Walking into Solvang, one might assume they had been transported halfway around the world to Denmark. Downtown has all the old world charm, with a Christmas wonderland lining the streets. A stroll through Solvang in the mild California winters will remind you of the spirit of Christmas and you will feel transported through time and space.
4. Taos, New Mexico: Taos is another town that makes visitors feels transported to another time and place. With a variety of outdoor options for families to enjoy, visitors to Taos can enjoy Las Posadas, arts and crafts bazaars, a torchlit parade, and parties and events across town. A month-long celebration called Yuletide stretches the festivities out for weeks, allowing people to visit during less-crowded times.
3. Sea Island, Georgia: Families looking for a celebration with a more beachy vibe can visit Sea Island. With outdoor options like the Reindeer Dash, a life-sized gingerbread cottage, a Polar Express celebration and drive-through light decorations, there are options galore. The name of the game in Sea Island is cuisine, and there’s something delicious for everyone.
2. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Dubbed “Christmas City USA,” Bethlehem offers everything traditional with a taste of technology. Christkindlmarkt is a German-inspired downtown shopping experience replete with lights, Christmas goodies, and an outdoor venue to lower coronavirus risk for visitors. The Lehigh Valley Zoo and Lehigh and Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum both offer light-adorned destinations for those looking to revel in the spirit of the season while exploring something a little different.
1.Cooperstown, New York: Called, “America’s Most Perfect Village,” Cooperstown looks like a greeting card. Per OprahMag, “baseball’s spiritual home is a wonderful place for Christmas vacations for families, with a variety of kid-friendly attractions and a quaint Main Street. Families will love Lakefront Park and its sledding hill, while the Cooperstown Winter Carnival features wagon and pony rides. Stop by The Farmers Museum to get a taste of what farm life was really like in the 1840’s, including their holiday tradition Candlelight Evening with horse-pulled wagon rides and wassail made with local cider in kettles over bonfires. And, of course, no visit to Cooperstown is complete without a visit to the iconic Baseball Hall of Fame.”
With all of the destinations offering options that allow for safe social distancing, families will have to decide for themselves if traveling is worth the risk. For most people, home will be the safest Christmas destination this year. However, for those looking for something a little farther afield, they can visit one of our top 10 destinations for some beautiful, affordable, soul-refreshing holiday fun.