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Top 10 Christmas Vacation Ideas In The USA

As the temperature drops here in California, all I can think about are all the beautiful places that are transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland. Sure, staying home for the holidays is nice and cozy… but sometimes a Christmas vacation getaway can really do the soul some good.

From a cozy cabin trip to the great outdoors of Big Bear in California to the warm sandy shores of beautiful Oahu in Hawaii, there’s just so much to do in the United States!

Here are the Top 10 Christmas Vacation Ideas in the USA!


Anyone in LA will tell you that if you want snow in Southern California, then Big Bear is the easiest and safest bet! There are two main ski resorts here – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. What I like most about Big Bear is that it’s very children and beginner friendly, so it doesn’t feel like the kind of ski town that leans only toward experts. There’s also some fun tubing options for the whole family, and you can also visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo (I highly recommend this one!).

All season long, Big Bear Village will also be decorated with beautiful twinkling lights along the carved bears and woodland creatures – great for cute family pictures! The Bavarian-style village is also filled with unique specialty shops, bakeries, candy stores, and you can even take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets. Whenever we visit Big Bear, we have to stop by our favorite restaurants – Peppercorn Grille (the Maui crab cakes are to die for!!) and Grizzly Manor Cafe for some delicious breakfast.

Image courtesy of Big Bear Mountain Resort

This is one of our favorite national parks in the US! When it comes to Mother Nature showing off in all her glory, it’s hard to beat Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The giant sequoia trees and granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome are magnificent sights to behold. Every time we’re there, its healing nature recharges me and makes me feel like all my worries and troubles are small and insignificant.

If you and your loved ones enjoy hiking, or are just itching for a nature retreat, Yosemite is a solid option. You can even get a cozy cabin with close friends and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


If you’re looking for a short and sweet getaway, here’s another great travel option if you’re looking to vacation on the West Coast. California gets little snow (if at all), but it doesn’t mean there’s any less holiday spirit! Solvang is a quaint little Danish-style town about 45 minutes by car from Santa Barbara.

Stroll through the village and admire old-world European architecture (you can’t miss the iconic windmill!), and visit charming boutiques for some gifts and souvenirs. Indulge in some authentic Danish pastries and check out the historic horse-drawn streetcar for a cool family experience. You can also enjoy Solvang’s annual Julefest celebration during the holiday season. Also don’t forget to check out Ostrichland USA near Solvang, where you can feed emus and ostriches – this is a unique experience and one of the highlights of our trip!


Looking for something a little more fun in the city? Vegas has a little bit of everything for everyone – the city is always buzzing with excitement! There’s always something to do here, you’ll never be bored. You can hit up the famous Bacchanal buffet, enjoy some gambling, watch a live show, shop till you drop, try all the celebrity restaurants… And if you’re into the party scene, then you’ll find all your favorite DJs in the hottest clubs.

The kiddos will love watching Mystère by Cirque du Soleil, David Copperfield magic show, or the Jabbawockeez dance choreography. There’s also the High Roller Observation Wheel and the Fly Linq Zipline for some fun and thrill!


Awhile back, we went on a nature retreat to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and we still talk about the beautiful ~9 mile hike that we did out there. It was a truly unforgettable experience climbing up a frozen waterfall! We just so happened to visit during the elk rutting season, and we saw many of them in the park and all around town. We even saw a moose from afar, and it was such a magnificent sight to behold!

If you love the great outdoors or enjoy hiking, there are many beautiful trails to discover here. There are also scenic easier hikes for the family, though that may change based on the season. Always make sure to wear the proper footwear and equipment for colder conditions.

This was our view while on the Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail Hike

Zion National Park in Utah was another fun one in our adventure books. We were there in the busy, hot summer month of August, and were able to experience walking chest deep in the waters of The Narrows. But if you’re wondering why this is on the recommended list for Christmas holiday travels, it’s because December is a beautiful and peaceful time of year to visit with low crowds.

Fewer crowds mean more wildlife that may be more willing to come out in the December month. And best of all, you have the option to drive your personal vehicles since the shuttles will not be running during most of this off-season period. Make sure to check out the shuttle service schedule here. At higher elevations, the formations are often dusted with snow and the contrast of the white against the red rocks is truly such a unique sight to see!


A few years ago, we spent our Christmas vacation here in Sedona, Arizona! It was my first time seeing the beautiful contrast of white snow against earthy red rocks. We went on one of the Pink Jeep Tours and I still laugh to myself thinking about how unprepared we were for the cold (so Californian of us!). The tour was super cool and the pink jeep made everything extra fun, but the open-air jeep was way too cold for what we packed on our trip. I still highly recommend this fun adventure if you’re in Sedona, but make sure to dress warm with the open-air winds!

One of the Pink Jeep tour guides recommended us the Fay Canyon hike and I have to say that this was the most “bang-for-your-buck” hike I have ever been on. It’s a relatively easy hike and involves a small scramble up some rock walls with sharp cacti here and there, but once you get to the top… it’s absolutely breathtaking! It was definitely a memorable Christmas trip for us. Highly recommend!


Hawaii is a super popular choice for Christmas vacation, and for very good reason. It’s one of our favorite places to travel to, and the perfect getaway for some quality R&R. If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, then Oahu has it all! Designer shopping (lower taxes and lower prices for some luxury brands like Dior and Celine), delicious foods, fun water activities, beautiful trails, and gorgeous weather all around. Great for couples, kids, families, and friend groups!

Our favorite memory here is renting a Jeep and just driving around Oahu to go on our own adventures. The flexibility you get with your own vehicle is, in my opinion, so worth the rental cost. We also like being active on vacation so we did private surfing lessons and went swimming with dolphins (the most amazing experience of my life). If you’re considering Oahu as your Christmas vacation, I recommend booking those tickets for the most magical holiday trip!


Here’s a fun one for your kids or the kid in you! Nobody does magic quite like Disney does, especially during the festive holiday season. In December, you can experience a whole different kind of sparkle and wonder with all the festive decor in all 4 parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios.

And when you’re done with the park for the day, don’t forget to make dinner reservations for The Boathouse in Disney Springs! The complimentary bread and butter is simply to die for… I’m drooling even thinking about them…


New York City is always bustling and buzzing, but especially during the holiday season. There’s so much to do here if you’re considering a Christmas vacation in NYC!

There’s ice-skating on the iconic rink beneath the beaming Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, watching the Christmas Spectacular by the Radio City Rockettes, and walking through the world’s largest gingerbread lane!

Where will you be visiting for your Christmas vacation? I’d love to know!

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