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20 Cheap and warm places to go over 2023 Christmas & New Years weeks

As of summer 2023, travel around the world is way up and it’s looking like the Christmas and New Years holiday seasons in 2023 are going to be the busiest in many years. If you are looking for a cheap place where you can relax in the sun or on the beach, we’ve got 20 great options for you below. The cheapest ones are all in Asia and near the bottom of the list. It could be worth the longer flight if you’ve got at least a week because you can often stay in an amazing 4-star beach resort in some Asian cities for less than the cost of a Motel 6 in Florida around Christmas.

We check hotel rates each year and some places are a bit higher this year while others are about the same and a few places on the list are actually looking a bit cheaper than they did in 2022. We checked prices for the week starting December 24 through 31 and used the nightly average including all taxes and fees for two people. Again, there are some amazing bargains down the list, and some really good bargains near the top as well.

If you want to save even more money you might consider checking our other list of cheap and warm places to go in December as it has some different options and all of them are much cheaper if you can travel earlier in the month.

New video of cheap places to go over Christmas

Here’s a new video showing most of the places on the list below. Please have a look!

Myth: Hotels are cheaper in countries that don't observe Christmas

warm places to visit over christmas

A huge majority of the people who are well off enough to fly internationally are those living in countries that have a Christmas holiday, and that’s no secret to hotel owners. In other words, hotels in Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, and India all raise prices for stays during those key holiday weeks because they know those are the most popular weeks of the year for their businesses. The good news though, is that those countries still offer great bargains compared to, say, Hawaii, which goes off the charts during Christmas week.

When to book a sunny Christmas or New Years holiday trip:

As soon as possible

There is all kinds of research showing the  cheapest time to book flights  and even research showing that hotel prices often drop a month or two out, but the key exception to both of those is around big holidays like Christmas. Suppliers do adjust prices as the months come and go, except for when they know they’ll have no trouble filling up even at the last minute. The  best December destinations in Asia  contains many great beach choices that are cheaper than most of the rest of the world.

When to book your flights:

The research shows that flights for key holiday periods start off at normal levels and then they just keep going up as seats are sold and the date approaches. There are no last-minute deals on flights just before or after Christmas, at least to and from  sunshine destinations .

The 2023 December holiday period is looking like it’s going to be the busiest and strongest since at least 2019 and probably before that as well. Booking hotels early should be wise advice this year again, and remember that most hotels offer free cancellation until shortly before the stay so there isn’t much risk.

When to book your hotels:

Bargains are possible at the last minute, but it’s risky

warm places to visit over christmas

The best and most popular beach resort hotels will usually only have a few rooms left by early December, and they will price those high enough that most people will look elsewhere. But some other hotels can be too optimistic in pricing so they have to cut rates in December just to fill up. In other words, you shouldn’t really count on an appealing rate at a specific hotel where you are going, but there’s a decent chance you could still get a decent rate if you are flexible enough to accept something nearby.

Once again in 2023 it could be good to look into Airbnbs and other short-term rentals. Some markets have far too many listings for the demand and you might find bargains as the holidays approach if some owners priced their listing too high and will want to at least book up at a lower rate rather than sit empty during the busiest week of the year.

Package deals:

Also buy early

Again, the airfare portion of a holiday trip is almost certain to get more expensive as the year goes on, so a hotel+flight package will generally just keep going up in price as well.

Particularly to places like the Caribbean, Mexico, and Thailand with huge numbers of package visitors, you’ll almost certainly get the best rates in addition to the widest choices the earlier you book.

Cheap and warm destinations for Christmas and New Year holidays

Obviously “cheap” is a relative term, but these are the cheapest holiday resort areas around the world that also have warm and sunny weather in late December and early January.

Hotel rates listed are current as of July, 2023.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

  • December average high: 86°F/30°C
  • December average low: 64°F/18°C

warm places to visit over christmas

The weather during Christmas time is pretty much perfect for anyone wanting to escape the cold, and the large international airport also has good deals on flights from many North American cities as well. Puerto Vallarta has grown more popular lately, especially with Americans and Canadians, so it’s not as cheap as it used to be, just like everywhere else.

Hotel rates in 2023 are looking much higher than in 2022, but still good value and many great places available. Booking as soon as possible is probably wise.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$143 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$278 per night for two people

>>> Check current Puerto Vallarta resort and package deals >>> Puerto Vallarta prices, weather, and travel tips

Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico

  • December average high: 80°F/27°C
  • December average low: 58°F/15°C

warm places to visit over christmas

If you want to take boat tours and such, or if you like to hop around between restaurants and bars, it’s best to stay somewhere close to the marina in Cabo San Lucas. But if you prefer a quiet place where you mainly stay at a resort with its own restaurants and bars, you are better off between the two towns or in San José del Cabo itself.

Hotel rates start at bargain prices considering how nice the area is. It can get a bit chilly at night around Christmas time, although plenty of people actually prefer that to the tropical climate where it’s hot day and night. And the slightly cooler weather will fit in more with the Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and holiday spirit than some of the Caribbean islands lower on this list.

The 2023 Christmas hotel rates are similar to 2022 in the Cabo area so there are some good bargains still available to those who book early.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$87 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$282 per night for two people

>>> Check current Los Cabos resort and package deals >>> Los Cabos prices, weather, and travel tips

Cancún/Cozumel/Riviera Maya, Mexico

  • December average high: 84°F/29°C
  • December average low: 69°F/21°C

warm places to visit over christmas

The area is getting more and more all-inclusive resorts and those range in quality from disgraceful to amazing, so it’s important to do your research and be careful about any beach hotel offering a suspiciously good deal. Cancun is home to some of the Caribbeans best all-inclusive resorts in general, but don’t expect very low prices on those.

The weather in late December is predictably perfect with barely a chance of a quick thunderstorm, much less anything worse. With so many hundreds of hotels competing for business, holiday room rates for well under US$100 per night are easy to find. Package deals to Cancún are very popular, and probably the best deal for those who book early. As you can see by the room rates below, there is a huge difference between 3-star and 4-star properties in this area. A 3-star can be just a normal hotel room in the city, while the 4-stars are all wonderful resorts with pools, usually on the beach. In other words, you will generally get what you pay for, so a hotel that charges twice is much is almost always MUCH nicer.

Hotel rates in 2023 look the same or a bit lower than they did in 2022, but that could change as December gets closer. As mentioned above, Cancun is a HUGE area and location is critical or at least it helps explain why some places are double or triple the price of others even though they look the same on the Expedia listings. I wrote a guide for choosing where to stay in Cancun , which should help you figure out the right area for you.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$135 per night for two people

>>> Check current Cancun resort and package deals >>> Cancun prices, weather, and travel tips

Punta Cana / Puerto Plata , Dominican Republic

  • December average high: 83°F/28°C
  • December average low: 72°F/22°C

warm places to visit over christmas

The weather and resort prices are similar in both places in late December, so either one would be a fine choice for someone looking for a cheap and warm place to spend a week. You’ll find that flight+hotel package prices are especially appealing to the DR, and those who book early will usually get the best deals.

The 2023 Christmas week rates are looking really good for those who book early. Room rates are similar to what we saw last year when we updated for 2022, while many other places have jumped in price this year. The best values in Puerto Plata are for 4-star all-inclusive resorts, which are often only a bit more expensive than those that only include breakfast.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$65 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$160 per night for two people

>>> Check current Puerto Plata resort and package deals >>> Punta Cana prices, weather, and travel tips

Montego Bay / Ocho Rios / Negril , Jamaica

  • December average low: 70°F/21°C

warm places to visit over christmas

All three towns have a different vibe, so it’s really only the weather and most prices that are similar. Along with the Cancun area and the Dominican Republic, these Jamaican resorts are also known for all-inclusive resorts and appealing package deals. Even during the peak holiday months, it’s possible to lock in an appealing deal if you book early enough.

The 2023 room rates for Christmas week are similar to the 2022 rates when we researched, which is good when so many other places have gone up in price. As always, it is probably wise to book early because rates usually go up as each month goes by.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$80 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$373 per night for two people (all inclusive)

>>> Check current Montego Bay resort and package deals >>> Montego Bay prices, weather, and travel tips

San Juan, Puerto Rico

warm places to visit over christmas

Especially if you are going to stay for more than a week, it pays to look into an apartment rental instead of a hotel. There is an abundance of nice apartments in the tourist area that are rented out most of the year. If you are staying for a month, you can get an amazing deal compared to a hotel. San Juan was famously hit hard by storms in 2017, but as of 2022 nearly everything is open and ready for you.

Room rates for San Juan in 2023 for the holiday week are looking similar to the 2022 rates. You’ll notice that rates for 3-star places and 4-star places are very different in this market because 4-star places are almost all large resort hotels on the beach while 3-star places are often family run and can be a few blocks away.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$119 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$312 per night for two people

>>> Check current San Juan resort and package deals >>> San Juan prices, weather, and travel tips

Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker, Belize

  • December average high: 81°F/27°C
  • December average low: 68°F/20°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Belize is (more or less) an English-speaking country, and these islands both have a bit of a Rastafarian feel in places, so it’s an interesting mix of culture and convenience. Nearly all 4-star hotels here start over US$200 per night for the holiday weeks, but there are 3-star bargains nearby in addition to holiday villas for rent for those with higher budgets.

Belize room rates in 2023 are looking similar to last year for 3 star hotels but a bit higher for 4-star hotels. If you enjoy staying in smaller family-run hotels you can save quite a bit of money and maybe make some new friends in the process.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$125 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$224 per night for two people

>>> Check current San Pedro hotel and package deals >>> San Pedro prices, weather, and travel tips

Roatán Island, Honduras

  • December average low: 75°F/24°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Honduras is a Spanish-speaking country, though especially with the recent influx of cruise-ship crowds here, it’s very easy to get by in English only. There are only about 60 hotels on the island at this point, and holiday rates are still surprisingly reasonable considering what is on offer. Still, booking early is probably wise.

This is another destination where there is a huge gap between the 3-star hotels and the 4-star resorts on the beach, which means you can save a lot of money if you don’t require an actual ocean view from your bed. The 2023 room rates are up from last year so if you see a place you like it’s probably worth booking it early.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$107 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$338 per night for two people

>>> Check current Roatan Island hotel and package deals >>> Roatan prices, weather, and travel tips

Tamarindo/Guanacaste, Costa Rica

  • December average high: 90°F/32°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Most of this northwestern area is new and quite luxurious, so 4-star resorts and rental properties aren’t much cheaper than in Hawaii, but there are still some really good 3-star bargains. Nosara is another small town in the area that doesn’t feel quite so mass-market compared to Tamarindo.

It’s important to note that the smaller and cheaper hotels here with reasonable prices will feel like you are visiting a somewhat exotic part of the world, while the 4-star chain resorts on the beach will feel much more like home for most guests coming from the US and Canada. The 2023 room rates are showing an even larger split between cheap 3-star places and the posh and more expensive 4-star beach resorts.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$59 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$286 per night for two people

>>> Check current Tamarindo hotel and package deals >>> Guanacaste prices, weather, and travel tips

Panama City, Panama

warm places to visit over christmas

It helps if you know at least a bit of Spanish, but even those who don’t can find plenty to do here to keep them busy. The city has a few large shopping malls in the tourist area, so it could be a good place to do some Christmas shopping or just hanging around. The restaurant scene here is notoriously good as well.

The 2023 room rates for Panama City are looking similar to last year and very appealing. In fact, if you would like to stay in a very nice resort hotel with at least a pool if not a beach, Panama City is one of the cheapest places to do that. The most interesting resorts are in the San Blas Islands in the Caribbean, so that’s another place to consider.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$44 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$85 per night for two people

>>> Check current Panama City hotel and package deals >>> Panama City prices, weather, and travel tips

Cartagena, Colombia

  • December average low: 76°F/24°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Not only is Cartagena popular with international tourists in the winter months, but domestic Colombian tourists taking their holidays as well. So you won’t be avoiding the crowds here, but at least it’s one of the more affordable sunshine destinations in the region. The 4-star hotels along the beach just west of the historic center are some of the best Christmas season bargains going. Speaking at least a bit of Spanish is helpful.

The 2023 rates look really appealing for those who can book early. It’s important to note that this is one of the very few places in the western hemisphere (along with San Juan, Puerto Rico) where you can stay in a gorgeous, historic city with great restaurants and entertainment, and also be on a nice tropical beach in less than a 10-minute taxi ride. The beaches aren’t white sand, so not quite as photogenic as most of the others on this list.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$62 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$114 per night for two people

>>> Check current Cartagena hotel and package deals >>> Cartagena prices, weather, and travel tips

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • December average high: 71°F/22°C
  • December average low: 61°F/16°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Partly because it’s not really a great beach season, hotels in Tenerife are still quite cheap during the Christmas holiday period. Most everything else is quite affordable as well, at least compared to where you live now. Especially if you are looking for a place with reasonable airfares from elsewhere in Europe, this could be a good choice. The area around Los Cristianos and Playa de la Americas is the easiest for English speakers, and it has the most consistent warm weather as well.

The 2023 room rates for Tenerife are actually a bit down compared to 2022, so if you are able to book in July or August you can lock in a great rate. Expect to see a lot of northern Europeans all winter here.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$76 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$122 per night for two people

>>> Check current Tenerife hotel and package deals >>> Tenerife prices, weather, and travel tips

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

  • December average high: 74°F/23°C
  • December average low: 59°F/15°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Egypt had some security issues a few years ago and they kept almost everyone away for a while to the point that beach resorts were literally charging under US$30 per night for two people. The country has not had any such issues in several years now and the European visitors are coming back.

Sharm el-Sheikh room rates in 2023 are down a bit compared to what we saw in 2022. It’s hard to say whether they’ll stay down, but if you can book something early you can lock in an amazing deal for a beach resort with a great climate.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$43 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$92 per night for two people

>>> Check current Sharm el-Sheikh hotel and package deals >>> Sharm el-Sheikh prices, weather, and travel tips

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  • December average high: 79°F/26°C

warm places to visit over christmas

It’s worth noting, however, that the nicer and better located hotels in Dubai will cost at least two or three times the minimums mentioned below. Those on lower budgets can get by pretty well here, but that’s not to be confused with the luxury market and beach hotels that rival top room rates anywhere on earth.

The 2023 hotel scene is very encouraging once again. Rates for this December are looking fairly cheap, but again, the fancy places and those in the prime locations will cost at least double these rates.

  • 4-star hotels from: US$141 per night for two people

>>> Check current Dubai hotel and package deals >>> Dubai prices, weather, and travel tips

  • December average high: 91°F/33°C

warm places to visit over christmas

In other words, it pays to do some research before choosing a beach hotel here because most of them won’t be suited to you. Room rates are quite reasonable even during this busiest time of year, although it’s important to note that the cheapest hotels in Goa (and all over India) tend to be disappointing and rarely worth the savings. Still, the 4-star hotels in Goa are mostly quite good, and excellent value at Christmas time.

The 2023 hotel situation in Goa looks kind of a mixed bag, but rates are still very cheap compared to almost anywhere else in the world. Again, choosing the right hotel in India can be a challenge because there are hundreds of cheaper places that get very few reviews on the main hotel-booking sites like Expedia or even Agoda. If you can find a nice one you can save a lot of money, and they do exist (I’ve stayed in quite a few in Goa myself), but if you want to play it safe you’ll be paying a bit more.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$73 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$157 per night for two people

>>> Check current hotel and package deals for Goa >>> Goa prices, weather, and travel tips

George Town, Penang, Malaysia

  • December average high: 88°F/31°C
  • December average low: 74°F/23°C

warm places to visit over christmas

The cheaper hotels in the area are those in the historic center of Georgetown, while the beachfront resorts are going to cost quite a bit more. Avoid the cheapest hotels here and pay close attention because most of the cheapest rooms have no windows at all. Still, there is great value here, particularly in the food scene. Penang is known as the culinary capital of Malaysia, with an abundance of cheap and cheerful food courts in addition to some notable fine dining.

The 2023 hotel rates over Christmas look really cheap for those who can book early. Rates are even down a bit on 2022, which is a relief. If you can only stay a week it’s probably worth booking a nicer place with lots of great reviews, but if you are staying a few weeks you might try to experiment with a more affordable place, knowing you can switch easily if you aren’t happy.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$26 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$50 per night for two people

>>> Check current hotel and package deals in Penang

Phuket, Thailand

warm places to visit over christmas

Karon and Kata are nearby beach areas that are at least a little more serene, and there are several other enclaves of upmarket luxury hotels and resorts. This has been a very popular Christmas destination for northern Europeans for decades, and yet it’s still quite affordable even during its peak season. Hotels on or near the beach are going to cost quite a bit more than the prices listed below, but those who don’t mind walking a bit can get great value even at Christmas here.

The 2023 Christmas hotel rates are once again, shockingly low, at least for the simple places. There are so many independent hotels on this island that competition is fierce for guests. Room rates for international chains such as Hilton and Marriott are going to be MUCH higher, although still cheap by international standards.

  • 4-star hotels from: US$41 per night for two people

>>> Check for the best Phuket resort deals >>> Phuket prices, weather, and travel tips

Hoi An/Da Nang, Vietnam

  • December average high: 77°F/25°C
  • December average low: 67°F/19°C

warm places to visit over christmas

Hoi An has been a favorite among visitors to Vietnam for decades, while Da Nang is more of a newcomer after it’s built a string of large beachfront hotels meant for foreign guests. Vietnamese food has a large cult following around the world, and both of these towns have an abundance of great and affordable restaurants serving several varieties. This is one to think about if it feels like you’ve been everywhere else.

The 2023 hotel rates continue to be insanely cheap, at least for the smaller places in and near Hoi An itself. You can still book a beach hotel with an ocean view along the Da Nang beaches for cheap, but it’ll be more than for the family-run places.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$16 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$24 per night for two people

>>> Check current hotel and package deals in Hoi An >>> Hoi An prices, weather, and travel tips

Bali, Indonesia

  • December average low: 76°F/26°C

warm places to visit over christmas

The most crowded and popular area is the famous surf beach along Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak on the west coast, but there are many lower-key beach areas in addition to Ubud a bit up in the central hills. Well-heeled visitors might also consider the tourist zone of Nusa Dua in the south, which is filled with large chain hotels that are often loaded with honeymoon couples.

The room rates for 2023 are up a bit from 2022, but still ridiculously cheap considering how nice most of these places are. Bali has so many hotels that you can probably get a good deal even close to the last minute, but it still might be worth locking in a great place if you find one you like.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$19 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$34 per night for two people

>>> Check current Bali hotel and resort deals >>> Bali prices, weather, and travel tips

Boracay Island, Philippines

  • December average high: 82°F/28°C

warm places to visit over christmas

There are no super-cheap hotels on Boracay Island, but that’s mainly because every hotel is within 100 meters or less of the sandy beach. There are many choices of international cuisine here, including many chain restaurants. The most obvious choices are the great number of affordable all-you-can-eat buffets that set up every evening right on the beach. There’s also plenty of live music, as you’d expect in the Philippines.

The hotel rates in 2023 for Christmas season are looking pretty typical for Boracay Island, which means they are cheap, although not nearly as cheap as some others on this list. Still, this is a very special place and many people come back year after year. I wish I lived closer myself.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$41 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$80 per night for two people

>>> Check Boracay resort deals >>> Boracay prices, weather, and travel tips

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20 Cheap and warm places to go over 2023 Christmas & New Years weeks " --> All Comments

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I’m looking into an inexpensive place for my boyfriend and I to travel to for the weekend of Christmas, preferably warm .

We are open to the US but loveee to travel and would love to find a Caribbean place or other island.

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The article above contains all of my best suggestions for this. To summarize, if you are in the US and you would like to go to an all-inclusive resort I’d recommend Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for the best value. If you want to stay in a normal hotel or an Airbnb sort of thing I’d recommend Mexico for the best value. I prefer Playa del Carmen if you are in the eastern US or Puerto Vallarta if you are in the western part. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Surely, with the danger of visiting Mexico now and advice to stay on a resort, and that even being risky, making it a pointless destination, an AirBNB in Mexico would surely be madness.

It’s true that there have been some issues in Mexico lately, but it’s nothing that should keep tourists away. I only recommend the places where disturbances are extremely rare. For example, Acapulco apparently is not a safe places for foreign tourists for some time, so I don’t recommend that anyone go there.

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Hi I’m looking to go away with my 14yrs daughter for a warm and very cheap holiday around 27th December 2022 to 2nd January 2023 . It would be great if you could advise me on any places that would be ideal for us. We live in Hertfordshire England Thank you

If you are looking for a ‘very cheap’ holiday over New Years week leaving from England, you don’t have too many warm-weather options. I’d say your best cheap option would be the Canary Islands. That is a busy time there, but if you book and plan well in advance, it should be very affordable. As you may know, Tenerife is the largest of the islands and is probably easiest for those who are not fluent in Spanish. Let me know if you have any other questions about it. -Roger

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Roger, This is an awesome place I accidentally stumbled up on, thanks for helping fellow folks with your great knowledge of the travel destinations. I am recently heart broken 47 years old male from the midwest of the US that is wanting to get away solo on christmas day to a warmer climate that doesn’t take 2-3 days to travel to. Looks like San Juan may be a great place but just wondering if there are other exotic places you may suggest. Appreciate your attention and time in helping me! Thank you!

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I’m happy to help and I understand the heart break thing. My favorite two places for solo travel in the Caribbean are San Juan and the Playa del Carmen area. In fact, I think Playa del Carmen would be even better because the tourist district is so much more compact and right near the beach. The town of Tulum is another one to consider, as it’s really up and coming and it’s a bit more artsy. Playa del Carmen is really fun and there are loads of little bars and restaurants and so forth that will be easy to meet other tourists (and locals) if you choose, or just hang out and watch the crowds if you choose. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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I’m thinking of going to Panama next month. Have you been? Where do you recommend people eat, hang out, etc? I’m a woman in my late 20s.

I’ve only been to Panama City so far and I was very impressed. It’s much larger and more modern than other Central American capital cities, although the historic district is disappointing compared to most others. You might stop in to Panama City for a couple days and the city center area with all of the hotels seems very safe, but I’d probably focus on the beaches. I’ve heard and read great things about the San Blas Islands and that is where I plan on going on my next Panama visit. Sorry I wasn’t of more help, but I’m happy to answer other questions if you have any. -Roger

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Considering the devastation that has occurred recently to Puerto Rico, is it equipped for tourism now? I hear there are still areas where there is no power or infrastructure. Please advise.

The hurricanes were in 2017 and things were really bad for a couple months, but the San Juan area was mostly back to normal a few months later. I was there in late 2018 and it seemed like everything was fine. In fact, I’m flying into San Juan tomorrow to start a cruise the following day. My understanding is that there are still some rural areas that are not back to normal, and definitely at least some hotels that were damaged and never reopened. But as far as I know the island is very welcoming of tourists and that helps them in many ways.

The easiest way to check on the outer areas is to check hotel availability there. So if you search for hotels in, say, El Rincon, you’ll see how many of them are open and ready for visitors. To be even more sure it’s wise to check recent reviews to make sure that recent guests say that things are good. I hope this helps. -Roger

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Hi Roger, Veery impressed with your knowledge and insight about travel. I wrote a book, titled “The Greatest Road Trip Ever Taken.” It’s U.S. based and is travel, but also history, geography, trivia, etc. Just wanted to send you a shout-out one writer to another. You know your stuff!

Thank you for the kind words and I’ll look into your book. It sounds like my kind of thing. -Roger

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Yes, were starting from Pittsburgh PA. It’s their first time on the plane and I don’t want it to be too long for them, you know.

Based on what you’ve said I’d focus on the area around Cancun. Cancun itself is mostly a long stretch of beach hotels and timeshare properties, but south of that you’ve got Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and across the water you’ve got Cozumel. All of those are interesting towns filled with activities and shopping and restaurants and bars and such. There are many resorts and hotels all around Playa del Carmen that are family oriented, and you can spend most of your time at the resort, and also take a shuttle ride into the town center for a bit more culture. That would be my top pick based on what you’ve said, and the airfares into Cancun are usually reasonable. Playa del Carmen is about an hour south of Cancun airport by road. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

I’m planning to travel with my 3 children age ranging from 6, 7, & 23 the week of Christmas. We all have our passports. This will be there first time traveling. I want an international travel (warm weather) that’s not going to require a long plane ride and the resort ought to be kids friendly.

Any suggestions please?

The list above should provide some interesting places to consider and it’s already my best recommendations for warm and cheap places to go over Christmas. But I’ll be happy to give you some customized advice if you let me know your starting point. I’m assuming you are starting in the US since you didn’t mention a country, but flight times to most places are quite different if you are starting in, say, Seattle compared to, say, Philadelphia. -Roger

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Roger, Thanks for the info.

I have been to Dubai but not Cape Verde or Sharm el-Sheikh. Willl have a look at them.

Thanks a lot.

? Dear Roger, Came across your article and responses and would like to pick your brain if possible. I am looking for more ideas for warm family beach holidays (with swimming pool) from London. We are mixed race couple that started less adventurous travelling now with a just turn 2. Just back from Phuket, Malaysia and Singapore in September and hoping to find something closer like 5-7 hours flight for under a week holiday. We have been to Tenerife earlier this year with Sicily, Majorca and other Canary Island on our lists. Am thinking Turkey but we have been to Marmaris before we have a plus one but feel a bit weird when we venture around by ourselves may be because we are mixed race couple. Any suggestion will be most helpful. Thanks in advance. Yihyi

I’ll try to help. This is an interesting query because I’ve not thought much about it. I lived for over a year in a small Turkish town near Marmaris, and now that you mention it I didn’t see many non-European visitors at all. There were a few and I never heard about any outright racism, but I’d imagine with such small numbers that it could still feel uncomfortable.

Of the places on the list, Sharm el-Sheikh and Dubai should both be closer to the flight times you mention, and I’d think that both would feel welcoming. I’ve yet to make it to Sharm and many people are still avoiding Egypt at this point, but it’s now been years since there have been any problems that have made the news. Dubai is totally filled with people from all over the world, and it does have family beaches along with swimming pools at most hotels. I’m not sure if you’ve been there before, of course. Dubai isn’t a classic beach destination because it feels much more like a big city that happens to have a few nice, sandy beaches, but it is something to consider and you can usually get apartments there for good prices. Since it’s a Muslim country, it’s a very family-friendly place.

The challenge, as you certainly know, is that in December there are almost no good warm-weather destinations near Europe so you usually have to go all the way to at least India, or to the Caribbean. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are rare exceptions in that closer area. One more to consider is Cape Verde. I haven’t been there myself, but it’s about 6 hours flight from London and has fairly warm Decembers. It’s #17 on this list of cheapest all-inclusive destinations from Europe . There is more information there that might be interesting even if you don’t want to stay at an all inclusive. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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15 Warm Christmas Destinations for Your Next Holiday

15 Warm Christmas Destinations for Your Next Holiday

Are you tired of shivering in the cold during Christmas? Do you want to escape to a warmer destination this holiday season? Look no further! We have compiled a list of 15 warm Christmas destinations that will make your holiday season unforgettable.

From exploring the coastline of Naples, Florida to experiencing the magic of Everglades National Park, there’s something for everyone on this list. But that’s not all. We’ll also give you tips on how to make the most of your warm Christmas holiday, including things to do, the best foods to try, and where to stay.

Plus, we’ll share with you unique Christmas traditions in these destinations and tips for traveling there. And if you’re worried about the cost, we’ve got you covered too! Join us as we explore why choosing a warm Christmas destination is beneficial and how to plan the perfect getaway.

Table of Contents

Unveiling Warm Christmas Destinations

Escape the cold and experience the joy of a warm Christmas getaway in these unique tropical locations. Celebrate the holiday season in a warm and sunny paradise, creating unforgettable memories. From Florida to the Caribbean, there are plenty of warm places to explore during Christmas time. In the United States, you can enjoy the festive vibes in Orlando, experience the magic of Everglades National Park in Florida, or bask in the sun in San Diego, California.

For a tropical Christmas, Puerto Rico offers a unique Christmas experience in San Juan’s old town. If you’re looking for a small-town charm, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, are great places to visit.

With average high temperatures in late December, Arizona and Maui in Hawaii are also perfect destinations. Don’t miss out on a road trip through the Southwest Florida coastline or a visit to the mesmerizing Waikiki Beach in Oahu. Whether you prefer a beach holiday or exploring the enchanting Christmas trees of Europe, these warm destinations offer a merry Christmas away from the cold.

1. Discovering the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Islands

Embrace the Aloha spirit by celebrating Christmas in Hawaii , one of the best warm Christmas destinations. With its white sand beaches and warm weather during the holiday season, Hawaii offers a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience.

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian traditions and festivities, and indulge in delicious local cuisine while surrounded by stunning landscapes. Make the most of your Hawaiian Christmas vacation by taking part in outdoor activities like surfing and hiking. Whether you’re on Oahu, Maui, or any other island, there’s no shortage of things to see and do.

Discover the beauty of Waikiki or explore the historic charm of Old San Juan. Hawaii is a great place to spend Christmas with the whole family, as it offers something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for a merry Christmas in paradise!

2. Soaking in the Sun at Key West, Florida

Sun at Key West, Florida

Escape to the picturesque Key West, Florida for a sunny Christmas vacation. Relax on the beautiful beaches and soak up the sunshine while enjoying the festive atmosphere and holiday decorations. Explore the vibrant art scene and indulge in fresh seafood, experiencing the charm of this laid-back island paradise during the holiday season.

Key West is a great place to unwind and enjoy the warm weather during the Christmas time of year. With its small-town charm and vibrant culture, Key West offers a unique Christmas experience for the whole family.

Whether you’re taking a road trip or flying in, Key West is the perfect destination to celebrate the holidays. With its average high temperatures in late December, it’s no wonder why Key West has become a popular warm Christmas destination in recent years. So pack your bags and make your way to Key West, Florida for a merry Christmas in the sun.

3. Experience the Magic of Everglades National Park, Florida

Everglades National Park, Florida

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Everglades National Park , Florida during the Christmas season. Discover the diverse wildlife and unique ecosystems of this national park, which is one of the most iconic in the United States. Take a thrilling airboat ride through the marshes and swamps, allowing you to get up close and personal with the enchanting flora and fauna.

The park offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and birdwatching for those looking to make the most of their time in nature.

Experience the tranquility and serenity of the Everglades during the holidays, making it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the festive season. Whether you’re visiting in early December or late December, Everglades National Park is the perfect time of year to visit this stunning and captivating destination.

4. Exploring the Coastline of Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida is the perfect warm Christmas destination for those seeking a relaxing beach vacation . With pristine beaches, you can unwind under the sun and soak in the coastal beauty. As you explore Fifth Avenue South, you’ll find upscale shops and restaurants where you can indulge in a shopping spree or savor delicious cuisine.

For breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, make sure to visit Naples Pier. This iconic landmark offers a picturesque setting to enjoy the sunset or take a leisurely stroll along the coastline. If you’re an adventure seeker, hop on a boat tour to spot dolphins and marvel at the stunning coastal scenery.

Naples offers the ideal blend of luxury and relaxation, making it a top choice for a warm Christmas getaway. Whether you’re looking to pamper yourself at a luxurious resort or simply enjoy the laid-back ambiance of this charming small town, Naples has it all. So why not celebrate the holiday season in style while basking in the warm coastal vibes of Naples, Florida?

5. Celebrating Christmas in Tampa, Florida

Christmas in Tampa, Florida

Experience the magic of Christmas in the vibrant city of Tampa. Enjoy festive lights and decorations throughout the city, creating a joyous atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Tampa truly comes alive during the holiday season, with various attractions and activities to make your Christmas memorable.

Visit the popular Busch Gardens theme park, where you can immerse yourself in holiday festivities and enjoy thrilling rides.

While in Tampa, don’t miss the chance to explore the historic Ybor City, known for its rich heritage and delicious Cuban cuisine. You can also attend live music performances and holiday events happening all around the city, adding an extra touch of merriment to your Christmas celebrations in Tampa.

6. Luxurious Holidays in Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida

Celebrate Christmas in style with a luxurious holiday in Miami , Florida. Indulge in the city’s vibrant nightlife and relax on its beautiful beaches. Immerse yourself in the world-class shopping and dining options found in Miami’s trendy neighborhoods. Explore the iconic Art Deco architecture of South Beach, a true feast for the eyes.

Take the opportunity to pamper yourself with indulgent spa treatments during your Miami Christmas getaway. Miami’s warm climate and festive atmosphere make it a perfect destination for a luxurious Christmas experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Miami has it all.

From the bustling streets to the tranquil beaches, there is something for everyone in this lively city. Don’t miss out on the chance to create unforgettable memories in one of the United States’ most glamorous destinations.

7. Festive Vibes in Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Experience the ultimate holiday magic in Orlando’s theme parks, where you can celebrate with Mickey and friends at Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy thrilling rides and festive shows at Universal Orlando Resort, or step into the magical world of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Create unforgettable memories with your family during a Christmas vacation in Orlando. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, Orlando offers a great place to soak up the festive vibes.

From early December to late December, the city is adorned with Christmas trees and decorations, making it the perfect time to visit.

Whether you’re exploring the small-town charm of Old San Juan or embarking on a road trip to Southwest Florida, Orlando has something for the whole family. So, why not make this Christmas a truly merry one by experiencing the festive spirit in Orlando, Florida?

8. Texas Christmas: San Antonio and South Padre Island

San Antonio and South Padre Island

Experience the charm of a Texas Christmas in San Antonio and South Padre Island. Discover the historic landmarks and vibrant River Walk of San Antonio, where you can immerse yourself in the rich Texan culture.

Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque riverbanks, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. In South Padre Island, relax on the beautiful beaches and enjoy water activities like swimming, surfing, and kayaking.

The island offers a unique blend of Texan and Mexican cultures, adding a special touch to your Christmas getaway. Indulge in delicious Tex-Mex cuisine and savor the flavors of the region. Live music fills the air, creating a festive atmosphere that will make your visit truly memorable. Celebrate Christmas in Texas and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

9. Basking in the Sun: San Diego, California

San Diego, California

Escape to sunny San Diego for a delightful warm Christmas vacation. Immerse yourself in the beautiful beaches and bask in the glorious California sunshine. Embark on a journey of exploration as you visit world-class attractions like the renowned San Diego Zoo and the picturesque Balboa Park.

Indulge in exhilarating outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and even surfing along the stunning coastline. San Diego’s laid-back vibe and perfect weather during the holiday season provide a serene escape from the typical hustle and bustle.

Whether you’re visiting early or late December, you’re guaranteed a merry Christmas in this vibrant city. Experience the charm of charming small towns or venture into the heart of old San Juan. San Diego offers a perfect time for a road trip with the whole family, where every moment becomes a cherished memory.

10. Relishing the Christmas Spirit in Disneyland, Anaheim, California

Disneyland, Anaheim, California

Relish the Christmas spirit in Disneyland, Anaheim, California , for a warm and festive holiday experience. Immerse yourself in themed decorations, holiday parades, and special events that make this park truly magical during the holiday season.

Encounter your favorite Disney characters dressed in their holiday outfits, adding a touch of enchantment to the atmosphere. Indulge in holiday-themed treats and drinks available at various restaurants throughout the park.

Disneyland in Anaheim, California, offers the perfect setting to create unforgettable memories with family and friends. Celebrate the joy of Christmas in the company of beloved characters and revel in the magic that fills the air. Explore the wonders of Disneyland, where dreams come true, and experience the warmth and merriment of a Christmas celebration like no other.

11. Starlit Nights in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California offers a warm and comfortable holiday destination with mild winter temperatures. The city is known for its stunning Christmas light displays, such as the Beverly Hills Holiday Light Festival and Downtown LA Art Walk. One can take a leisurely stroll through the iconic Grove shopping center, which is beautifully decorated for the festive season. Another attraction is the LA Zoo Lights at the LA Zoo, featuring animal-themed light displays.

Visitors can also catch a Christmas concert or show at renowned venues like the Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Pantages Theatre. And for those with a sweet tooth, local bakeries and cafes offer hot chocolate and seasonal treats. Los Angeles truly shines with starlit nights and a variety of festive activities for the whole family to enjoy.

12. Desert Christmas in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona offers a unique Christmas experience with its warm and dry climate. Instead of snow, you can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and golfing during the winter months. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit with events like Las Noches de las Luminarias, where you can experience a cactus-themed Christmas. For an enchanting light display, visit the Desert Botanical Garden.

Explore the city’s holiday markets and shopping centers for unique gifts. Phoenix provides a delightful alternative to traditional Christmas celebrations, allowing you to embrace the warm weather and create cherished memories with your loved ones.

13. Southern Charm: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia exudes southern charm and is famous for its stunning historic district with beautiful and charming architecture. The city offers a mild winter climate in December, with temperatures ranging from the mid-40s to the low-60s, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a warm Christmas getaway.

Savannah hosts numerous holiday events and activities, including a delightful Christmas parade and enchanting light displays that add to the festive atmosphere.

In addition to the holiday festivities, visitors can explore the city’s museums, indulge in shopping, and dine at delicious restaurants. With its coastal location, Savannah also provides opportunities for beach excursions and outdoor adventures like kayaking and hiking. In Savannah, you can experience the perfect blend of history, warmth, and holiday cheer.

14. Unique Christmas Experience in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

The historic French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana undergoes a stunning transformation during the Christmas season, becoming a true winter wonderland adorned with festive decorations and twinkling lights. Immerse yourself in the unique holiday spirit as you stroll through its charming streets.

Indulge in the rich flavors of traditional Creole dishes and sip on festive cocktails while enjoying the soulful sounds of jazz music in one of the city’s many renowned restaurants and bars. Experience the extraordinary Cajun Christmas Eve tradition of bonfires on the levees, where towering structures are set ablaze to light the way for Papa Noël. Make sure to catch a magical performance of the Nutcracker by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Explore the vibrant holiday markets and fairs, such as the annual French Market Creole Christmas and the St. Louis Cathedral’s Christmas concert series. And be sure not to miss the whimsical floats of the Krewe of Jingle during their one-of-a-kind Christmas parade. New Orleans offers a truly unique and enchanting Christmas experience that will leave you with lasting memories.

15. Tropical Christmas in Puerto Rico

Christmas in Puerto Rico

Consider Puerto Rico for a tropical Christmas getaway. This warm Christmas destination offers a unique holiday experience. With its beautiful beaches , rich culture, and vibrant festivities, Puerto Rico is a great place to spend the holiday season. You can enjoy activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and exploring the historic city of Old San Juan.

The island offers a variety of hotels and resorts that cater to the festive spirit. From luxury beachfront resorts to charming boutique hotels, there are accommodations to suit every taste.

If you’re looking for other warm Christmas destinations, consider Florida with its sunny beaches and theme parks, or the Caribbean islands like Maui in Hawaii. Celebrating Christmas in Puerto Rico is a merry experience, whether you visit in early or late December. Plan a trip to this tropical paradise and create memories with your whole family.

Making the Most of Your Warm Christmas Holiday

When planning your warm Christmas holiday, it’s important to make the most of your experience. Choosing a destination with unique holiday traditions allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and create lasting memories. Look for accommodations that embrace the festive season with decor and activities to enhance your holiday spirit.

Researching local events and activities, such as Christmas markets or light displays, will ensure you don’t miss out on any festive happenings.

Don’t forget to pack appropriately for warm weather, including lightweight clothing and sunscreen. Consider staying in a location with access to beaches or outdoor activities, such as Florida or the Caribbean, for a unique holiday experience. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a warm Christmas getaway that is both relaxing and full of holiday cheer.

Things to do in warm places during Christmas

While enjoying a warm Christmas destination, there are plenty of activities to engage in. Take advantage of the beautiful beaches by participating in beach volleyball matches, trying your hand at surfing, or simply indulging in some sunbathing and swimming. Explore the local festive events, such as Christmas markets, parades, and festivals, to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.

If you’re up for an adventure, embark on outdoor activities like hiking along scenic trails, rock climbing, or even zip-lining through the breathtaking landscapes. Immerse yourself in different cultures by attending local events and savoring new foods, learning about unique traditions along the way. After all the excitement, treat yourself to some relaxation with a massage, a spa day, or even a rejuvenating yoga retreat.

Best foods to try in these warm destinations

When exploring warm Christmas destinations, it’s essential to indulge in the local cuisine for an immersive cultural experience. In Mexico, tantalize your taste buds with traditional tamales and warm poncho, a flavorful fruit punch. Down under in Australia, savor a classic BBQ featuring fresh seafood, and end your meal with a luscious pavlova dessert.

In Thailand, ignite your palate with a spicy hot pot and satisfy your sweet tooth with sticky mango rice. South Africa offers a treat for meat lovers with their succulent braai (grilled meat) accompanied by the heavenly malva pudding. And in Brazil, feast on feijoada, a hearty black bean stew, and savor the decadent brigadeiro, chocolate truffles that are simply irresistible.

These delicious culinary delights add a touch of local flavor to your warm Christmas getaway, allowing you to immerse yourself in the gastronomic traditions of each destination. So, pack your bags and embark on a mouthwatering journey as you explore these incredible warm holiday destinations.

Where to stay for the best experience

For the best experience, consider staying in Lapland, Finland. Experience the magic of Christmas in Santa’s hometown. Another great place to stay is New York City, USA. Explore the city’s holiday markets and ice skating rinks. If you’re looking for a unique experience, Reykjavik, Iceland is the perfect destination.

Witness the stunning Northern Lights and enjoy cozy hot springs. Vienna, Austria is also a great option. Indulge in traditional Christmas treats and visit the famous Christmas market. For a charming European-style Christmas, Quebec City, Canada is ideal. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and ice hotels. Lastly, Tokyo, Japan offers unique Christmas traditions and vibrant light displays.

Why Choose a Warm Christmas Destination?

Escape the chilly weather and embrace a sunny holiday escape. Experience a unique twist on traditional Christmas celebrations while enjoying beach parties and water sports. Create lasting memories in beautiful warm locations, all while embracing a relaxed and laid-back holiday atmosphere.

Benefits of a warm Christmas holiday

Avoiding the winter blues and seasonal affective disorder is one of the benefits of opting for a warm Christmas holiday. Instead of enduring the cold and gloomy weather, you can relax in warm temperatures and soak up the much-needed vitamin D.

In these warm destinations, you have the opportunity to explore stunning beaches and tropical landscapes, providing a refreshing change from the traditional snow-covered scenery. Additionally, indulging in delicious local cuisine and tasty drinks adds to the overall experience.

Another advantage of a warm Christmas holiday is the chance to discover vibrant cultures and traditions that are unique to these destinations. So, if you’re looking for a break from the cold and want to create memorable experiences, a warm Christmas holiday is the perfect choice.

Warm Christmas vs. Traditional White Christmas

Swap the snowy landscapes and snowmen for sandy beaches and sandcastles. Experience a different kind of holiday magic as palm trees sway and sunshine warms your skin. Instead of hot cocoa, sip on refreshing cocktails by the pool.

Embrace a more casual and carefree holiday vibe as you trade in heavy winter coats for sun hats and flip-flops. And don’t worry, you won’t miss out on festive decorations, but they’ll have a tropical twist. Whether you’re in Florida, the Caribbean, or Maui, warm Christmas destinations offer a whole new way to celebrate the season.

So, if you’re tired of the cold and looking for a change of scenery, consider escaping to one of these best places to experience a warm and merry Christmas. Prepare to soak up the sun, enjoy outdoor activities, and create lasting memories with your loved ones in these beautiful warm destinations.

What are the unique Christmas traditions in these warm destinations?

Experience the joy of Christmas parades filled with floats and colorful costumes. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit at outdoor markets and bazaars. Delight in live music performances and concerts that set the holiday mood. Join in beachside bonfires and spectacular fireworks displays. Discover local holiday traditions and customs that make these warm destinations truly unique.

Tips for Travelling to Warm Christmas Destinations

When traveling to warm Christmas destinations, it’s important to pack lightweight and breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the warmer temperatures. Don’t forget to include essentials like sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong sunrays.

It’s also crucial to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially in the hotter climates. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to research and respect the local customs and traditions of the destination you’re visiting.

This will not only help you blend in with the locals but also show your appreciation for their culture. Lastly, make sure to check if there are any specific travel restrictions or entry requirements, as some destinations may have certain rules and regulations in place. Following these tips will ensure a smooth and enjoyable warm Christmas holiday.

Packing essentials for a warm Christmas holiday

When planning for a warm Christmas holiday, it’s important to pack the right essentials to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. First and foremost, don’t forget your swimwear, beach towels, and flip flops. These items are essential for soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful beaches of your chosen destination.

Since warm weather is expected, it’s crucial to pack lightweight and airy clothing that will keep you cool throughout the day. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen that allow air circulation and prevent overheating. Additionally, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

When traveling, it’s always a good idea to bring travel-sized toiletries and medications to ensure you have everything you need without carrying bulky bottles. This way, you’ll be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and won’t have to worry about finding specific products while on vacation.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. It’s essential to drink plenty of water, especially in warm climates, to avoid dehydration and maintain your energy levels.

By packing these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared for a warm Christmas holiday and can fully enjoy your time in your chosen destination.

Important travel tips and hacks

When planning a warm Christmas getaway, there are a few important travel tips and hacks to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s essential to book your accommodations and flights in advance. This ensures that you secure the best deals and availability for your chosen destination. Utilizing travel apps can also be incredibly helpful in finding discounts and special offers.

Another important tip is to pack a travel adapter for charging your devices. Different countries may have different electrical outlets, so having an adapter will ensure that you can easily charge your phone, camera, or any other electronics you bring along. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep your important documents and copies in a secure location. This includes your passport, travel insurance information, and any other necessary identification.

Staying connected while traveling is also essential, whether it’s through local Wi-Fi or by purchasing a local SIM card. Having internet access will make it easier to navigate unfamiliar places, communicate with loved ones, and stay updated on any travel alerts or changes. By following these travel tips and utilizing these hacks, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free warm Christmas holiday.

How to plan the perfect warm Christmas getaway?

Planning the perfect warm Christmas getaway involves careful research and decision-making. Consider your preferences, activities, and attractions available at each destination. Plan your itinerary to maximize your time and check the weather forecast for appropriate packing. Budget for accommodations, transportation, and meals.

Choosing the right destination

When planning a warm Christmas getaway, choosing the right destination is crucial. Consider the average temperature and weather conditions to ensure you’ll experience the warmth you desire.

Look for destinations that offer a variety of attractions and activities, such as Florida with its beautiful beaches and theme parks, or the Caribbean with its crystal-clear waters and vibrant culture. It’s also important to research the safety and security of the location you’re considering.

Find out if there are any special holiday events or festivals happening during your visit to make your Christmas even more memorable. Reading reviews and recommendations from other travelers can provide valuable insights into the best places to visit.

Tips on scheduling your itinerary

When planning your warm Christmas getaway, it’s important to schedule your itinerary wisely. Start by prioritizing the must-see attractions and activities at each destination. Whether it’s exploring the stunning beaches of Florida or experiencing the magic of Disneyland in California, make sure to include the highlights of each place on your list.

While it’s tempting to fill every minute of your trip with excitement, it’s essential to allow for some downtime and relaxation. After all, vacations are meant for rejuvenation. Leave room for spontaneous exploration and discovery, as some of the best experiences often happen when you least expect them.

Consider the travel time between destinations when scheduling your itinerary. Whether you’re road-tripping through the United States or hopping between the islands of Hawaii, factor in the time it takes to get from one place to another. This will help you allocate your days more effectively.

Lastly, be flexible and open to changes in your plans. While having an itinerary is important, sometimes unexpected opportunities arise that can enrich your trip. Whether it’s a recommendation from a local or a chance encounter with a unique event, embrace the spontaneity of your warm Christmas adventure.

Is it cost-effective to spend Christmas in a warm destination?

Escape the cold and enjoy a budget-friendly warm Christmas getaway. Explore affordable accommodations and activities in warm destinations, saving on heating bills. Take advantage of off-peak season discounts for a unique and memorable Christmas without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique christmas traditions in these warm destinations.

In warm destinations like Mexico, the tradition of Las Posadas involves reenacting Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn. In Australia, beach barbecues are a popular way to celebrate Christmas during the summer. Brazil has a “Secret Santa” gift exchange called Amigo Secreto, while in South Africa, carol services and braais (barbecues) are enjoyed on Christmas Day.

Are these destinations budget-friendly for travelers?

Some of the warm Christmas destinations on our list can be budget-friendly for travelers. Factors like travel time, accommodation costs, and local currency exchange rates will affect the overall cost. Researching and comparing prices for flights, accommodations, and activities can help you plan a budget-friendly trip. Set a budget before traveling to avoid overspending.

What are some popular activities and attractions in each destination during the holiday season?

Some popular activities and attractions in each warm Christmas destination include attending the Honolulu City Lights festival and enjoying beach activities in Hawaii, visiting Christmas markets and attending live performances in Barcelona, attending the famous New Year’s Eve celebration on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro , and watching the fireworks display over Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year’s Eve in Sydney.

What is the best time of year to visit each destination?

The ideal time to visit each destination varies depending on factors like weather and peak tourist season. For example, Cancun, Mexico is best visited from December to April when the weather is dry and sunny. On the other hand, Lapland, Finland offers the best experience in December with the Northern Lights and winter activities. Research the climate and events of your chosen destination to determine the best time to visit.

In conclusion, spending Christmas in a warm destination can be a unique and memorable experience. Whether you choose to enjoy the tropical beaches of Hawaii or explore the festive vibes of Florida, there are plenty of warm Christmas destinations to suit every traveler’s preferences.

From indulging in local cuisine to trying out exciting activities, you can make the most of your warm holiday getaway. While it may be different from the traditional white Christmas, a warm destination offers its own set of benefits and unique traditions.

By planning ahead and considering factors such as accommodation and packing essentials, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. So why not break away from tradition this year and celebrate Christmas in a warm and sunny destination?

Read Also: 

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Ferona Jose Travelistia Blogger & Writer

Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.

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23 US Cities That Go All Out for Christmas

By Caitlin Morton

23 of the Best Places to Spend Christmas in America

Think of the phrase “Christmas in America” and you’ll likely imagine the usual suspects: giant trees festooned in twinkling lights, people of all ages caroling and singing “Silent Night,” ubiquitous tributes to the jolly man in red named Santa Claus, and gingerbread. Lots of gingerbread. But take a closer look and you may be surprised: Christmas celebrations across the United States can look very different, depending on the environment, local history, and present-day cultures of the people who live there. Not everything is a winter wonderland—in fact, maybe a warm-weather destination for the holidays is exactly what you need. Regardless of temperature, these 23 destinations are some of the best places to spend Christmas this year.

These places below are known for the ways they come alive at Christmastime: from the glitzy and glam festivities of big cities like New York or Chicago to the Santa-hats-and-shorts vibes of Santa Fe and St. Augustine. Of course, your Christmas vacation ideas in the US are far from limited to just these places. Here's one idea: Head out on a multi-destination road trip to check out some fantastical drive-through Christmas lights displays . And while there are a great many places to celebrate Christmas around the world , experience one Christmas in America and you’ll be a person changed for the better.

Here are some of the best places to go for Christmas in the United States this year, ranging all types of atmosphere and styles: from Kennebunkport to Las Vegas , from Dallas to North Pole, Alaska (note the missing the ). No matter where you choose, there are plenty of activities to participate in, events to check out, and places to stay. Happy holidays, y’all.

This article has been updated since its original publish date. All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why we go Located about 20 minutes south of Washington DC Alexandria is a pictureperfect place to spend the holiday...

Alexandria, Virginia

Why we go: Located about 20 minutes south of Washington, DC, Alexandria is a picture-perfect place to spend the holiday season. The Old Town’s row houses and centuries-old brick streets look even more charming when adorned with snow and Christmas wreaths, and you can expect a ton of seasonal activities. The festivities kick off along the Potomac River shoreline with the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights (December 2 at 5:30 p.m.) and the annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade (December 3). Come Christmas Eve, try to spot Waterskiing Santa along the Potomac River.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Get a taste of the Christmases of yore at nearby Mount Vernon (George Washington’s former home), where you can take a candlelit guided tour, and enjoy some cider and cookies (with special events on November 24 and 25, December 1, 2, 8, 9, and 17).

Stay here: Book a stay at The Alexandrian, Autograph Collection , which is on King Street, in the heart of Alexandria’s shopping and entertainment area.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville during Christmas

Asheville, North Carolina

Why we go: Asheville is easily one of the country’s best places to spend Christmas, offering all the light displays and holiday shopping—not to mention the perfect tucked-away location in the Blue Ridge Mountains —any vacationer could wish for. Some of the city’s seasonal offerings include a lit-up wonderland at the North Carolina Arboretum , and the 29th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn (on display from November 27 to January 2).

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Christmas at Biltmore Estate is just as spectacular as it sounds, with 100 hand-decorated trees, 10,000 ornaments, and 100,000 holiday lights drawing visitors through the new year in January.

Stay here: Cozy up in The Foundry , a hotel that opened in 2018 with a James Beard-nominated chef running its in-house restaurant. It’s Asheville’s best boutique hotel, filled with authentic touches—from lots of exposed brick to the restaurant’s modern spins on comfort food.

Why we go This Christmas visit the little town of Bethlehem—in Pennsylvania that is. The citys Germaninspired Christmas...

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Why we go: This Christmas, visit the little town of Bethlehem—in Pennsylvania, that is. The city’s German-inspired Christmas City Village and Christkindlmarkt (November 17 to December 17) feature rotating displays by artisans, live music, and glass-blowing demonstrations. After stocking up on handmade ornaments and nutcrackers, take a carriage ride through Downtown Bethlehem to take in all the Christmas lights.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The Winter Light Spectacular (through December 31) at the Lehigh Valley Zoo, about 30 minutes northwest of Bethlehem, features more than a million lights and illuminated scenes throughout the zoo.

Stay here: The Sayre Mansion Inn has warm and comfortable rooms, private six-course dinners, and beautiful Christmas decorations. If you want to venture out into the town, Lehigh University, St. Luke’s Hospital, the Steel Stacks Performing Arts Center, and the Wind Creek Casino are all nearby.

The Reindeer Farm Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Why we go: Normally, you wouldn’t expect an Arctic experience in southern Kentucky, but Bowling Green is shaking up the holiday game this year. The Christmas spirit is definitely alive at the city’s Reindeer Farm , where families can feed reindeer, watch holiday movies, and drink cocoa while writing letters to Santa. (There's even wine tasting for the grown-ups.)

The one thing to get you in the spirit: End your festive vacation at the SoKY Marketplace Ice Rink , an outdoor rink where you can skate with Santa and the Grinch.

Stay here: Opened in mid-2019, the Lodge at Olde Stone offers 12 cozy, Kentucky-inspired suites and a restaurant serving up Southern dishes. And if you’re a golfer, be sure to pack your clubs: the property boasts 9- and 18-hole courses onsite.

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Branson Missouri

Branson, Missouri

Why we go: Sort of like a family-friendly little sister to Las Vegas, Branson pulls out all the stops every holiday season. The Ozark Mountain town transforms into a winter wonderland with 1,500 Christmas trees in and around town, ice skating under the Branson Ferris Wheel, and several drive-through light displays .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Head straight to the 1880s-themed amusement park Silver Dollar City for the annual An Old Time Christmas festival. The party lasts until December 30 and includes 6.5 million lights, 1,000 trees (including an eight-story one), outdoor shows, parades, and, of course, rides.

Stay here: Chateau on the Lake is one of the nicest hotels in town, with beautiful lake views, a full-service luxury spa, and the Chateau Marina, where activities include fishing, water skiing, and tubing (though you may want to wait for warmer weather—or not, if that’s your thing).

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Why we go: Charleston is the perfect destination for any fan of the holidays, but not of the frigid weather that often comes with the season. There are plenty of Christmas-oriented events and festivities in the city that are fit for every type of tourist. Check out the Festival of Trees at The Charleston Place , where 16 Christmas trees, each one decorated by a local Charleston business or organization, will be on display throughout the beautiful hotel’s second floor. For something that sounds (and is) magnificent, catch The Sound of Charleston , where you can hear the music that tells the city’s story: gospel spirituals, music by George Gershwin, Civil War songs, and jazz. For something pleasantly aquatic, head over to the South Carolina Aquarium, which presents the dazzling light show Aquarium Aglow after the sun goes down on select evenings this November and December (be sure to say hi to “Scuba Claus” in the Great Ocean Tank).

The one thing to get you in the spirit: As far as classically Christmassy merrymaking goes, it doesn’t get any more traditional (minus the freezing temperatures) than the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park featuring a spectacular light show that features over two million tiny light bulbs.

Stay here: There are plenty of options in South Carolina’s beautiful port city: There’s the perennial favorite French Quarter Inn , which welcomes guests with a glass of Champagne and is just a few steps away from the famous Charleston City Market. Meanwhile, The Vendue , the city’s first art hotel concept, offers an ever-evolving experience—the hotel has a full-time docent and rotating exhibits. And for something classic, there’s Hotel Bennett , voted the very best hotel in Charleston by Traveler readers in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2023 ; its old-world grandeur and good ol’ Southern charm make this Marion Square hotel irresistible. (The place also hosts a holiday tea on Thursdays and Fridays until Christmas.)

Chicago Christmas

Chicago, Illinois

Why we go: From its European-inspired Christkindlmarket (from November 17 to December 24) to light shows galore (there’s the Let It Shine drive-through Christmas lights display), Chicago knows a thing or two about embracing the Christmas spirit (and freezing temperatures). Can’t-miss activities include visiting the 51-foot Christmas tree in Millennium Park and cozying up in a heated igloo at The Godfrey Hotel .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Be dazzled by 2.5 million LEDs at ZooLights (from November 17 through January 7), an annual light festival held at Lincoln Park Zoo. Check out the event’s calendar for sensory-friendly visit times.

Stay here: As far as hotels go, travelers truly have their pick of the litter in the Windy City. One top choice is The Langham, Chicago , housed in a landmark Mies van der Rohe building along the Chicago River. It's just a Chicago hotdog’s throw away from Magnificent Mile, where you can get all your holiday shopping done. For the sportier among us, there’s the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel , which has a strong local following for its historic lobby, indoor bocce, foosball in its game room, and the gem-like Milk Room bar, among other things. On the rooftop, and mostly enclosed by an atrium, Cindy’s cranks it up with large format cocktails, shareable dishes, and some of the best views of Millennium Park.

Galleria Dallas

Dallas, Texas

Why we go: Proving you don’t need cold temperatures to get in the Christmas spirit, the holiday celebrations in Dallas put most northern cities to shame. Most notable is Holiday at the Arboretum (now through January 5), a Christmas village with millions of lights, a 50-foot tree with lights animated to music, and visits with Santa Claus. Elsewhere in town, you can drive through the Dallas Zoo Lights route (from November 17 to January 2) and skate next to the country’s tallest indoor Christmas tree at the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Throw a few back at Miracle , a Christmas-themed pop-up bar that returns to Dallas this year at the cocktail bar Royal 38 in Uptown Dallas.

Stay here: If you really want a festive experience, check in at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek , where the grounds are beautiful and the food is so tasty, you could dine on property every night.

Denver Colorado

Denver, Colorado 

Why we go: Unwrap the magic of the holidays in Denver this season with special events and millions of twinkling lights. Enjoy a family outing to the Denver Zoo Lights , or a fun day of shopping and ice skating downtown. Get a dose of culture with a viewing of A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker (see the full calendar here ), then visit the Mile High Tree at the 16th Street Mall (it’s actually 110 feet tall, but that’s still pretty impressive).

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The Denver Christkindlmarket (one of the best German markets in the country) returns to Civic Center Park this winter, open daily now through December 23.

Stay here: The Crawford Hotel , a boutique property in LoDo’s Union Station, boasts Art Deco rooms, and the city’s most beautiful lobby. Soaring ceilings and sky-high chandeliers hang overhead, while oversized sofas and leather chairs create a casual and bustling “living room” frequented by travelers and locals alike.

Kennebunkport Inn

Kennebunkport, Maine

Why we go: If you’re wondering where to go for Christmas celebrations unlike anywhere else, look no further. Every December, this tiny New England town bursts with holiday cheer during its annual Christmas Prelude ; check out the site and you’ll see a live countdown to the event’s start date—it’s that highly anticipated. It’s an 11-day bash that’s about as New England as it gets: one of the main attractions is a tree made of lobster traps. Speaking of, the legendary lobster rolls at hotspots like Scales , The Highroller Lobster Co. , and Miyake will make you forget about gingerbread and sugar plums altogether.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Santa Claus’s arrival at the Christmas Prelude on a lobster boat.

Stay here: According to this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Traveler readers love the 14-room Cape Arundel Inn & Resort for its oceanside location and restaurant serving up fresh seafood—and, unlike a lot of Maine resorts, it’s actually open during the winter months.

The LINQ Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Why we go: If you thought Las Vegas was dazzling before, just wait until you see it decked out for Christmas. Basically, the entire Strip transforms into a winter wonderland full of festive events for the entire family. This year's activities include rooftop ice skating at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (beginning December 2), colorful displays outside The LINQ promenade , a 6-foot-tall gingerbread man at ARIA , and a massive holiday display—complete with a 42-foot Christmas tree—at the Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Catch an iconic show at the Fountains of Bellagio to see performances set to “Santa Baby,” “Carol of the Bells,” and other holiday classics.

Stay here: It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to the hotels on the Strip in Las Vegas , especially as each property tries to outdo each other—whether for the holidays or just around the year. That said, for a classic experience, stay at The Venetian . The whole place is so marvelously over-the-top that it doesn’t matter that it looks nothing like the real Venice . That’s not the point. This is Vegas, baby.

Nashville Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Why we go: The Music City is all about the—wait for it—music during the holiday season. From November 10 through January 1, enjoy “Country Christmas” at Gaylord Opryland , with tons of Christmas shows, plus ice skating and acres of light displays. Or head to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and take the two-mile drive through Jingle Beat , a light show set to remixed versions of classic Christmas carols. And when in doubt, you can always catch a yuletide show at the Grand Ole Opry .

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Given the Christmas season, a hotel named Noelle seems as perfect a place as any to spend the season. Its Holiday Glow Package is a nice deal, but even cooler is its Ralphie’s Christmas experience, inspired by A Christmas Story, which features Oval-tinis and other seasonal bites (happening in the hotel’s Hidden Bar until January 8).

Stay here: Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Stay at the Noelle—officially Noelle, Nashville, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. It’s in the center of the downtown Nashville action, and its emphasis on art, design, and local artists and designers will help you get to know the city all the more.

New Orleans at Christmas

New Orleans, Louisiana

Why we go: It’s no surprise that New Orleans leans into the holiday season, but we still get all tingly thinking about Christmas in the city. NOLA lights up with events like LUNA Fête , where the Central Business District around Lafayette Square fills up with installations and animated graphics from December 7 to 10. City Park also becomes a wonderland for the entire month with Celebration in the Oaks (November 23 to December 30), a festival with vendors, food and drink stands, and decorations adorning the centuries-old oak trees.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The annual Christmas Eve lighting of the bonfires along the banks of the Mississippi River is a seasonal tradition that's as authentically “New Orleans” as they come.

Stay here: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans has lots of holiday offerings this year, including gingerbread house building and a four-course dinner on Christmas Eve.

New York City Skating

New York City

Why we go: There’s no shortage of ways to make your New York City Christmas magical, whether it’s ice skating at Central Park, window shopping along Fifth Avenue, visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center, seeing the Rockettes in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, or lurking around 34th Street hoping to witness a miracle.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Prepare to be incredibly and thoroughly overwhelmed (in a good way!) by the Christmas spirit in this Brooklyn neighborhood, which famously goes all out on the holiday decorations each year. Think candy cane lanes, giant snowmen, illuminated snowflakes, and too many glowing Santa Claus figures than the census can count. Lights go up after Thanksgiving and last through the New Year, so whether you’re driving through in a car or taking the pedestrian route, there’s plenty of time to take in the wall-to-wall displays of life-size nutcrackers, enormous twinkling trees, and lawn ornament reindeer. Big sleigh.

Stay here: Easy answer: The Plaza . If you've ever watched Home Alone 2 , you’ll recognize it as the hotel where young Kevin McCallister, while lost in New York, lived lavishly in a posh suite for the holidays. Fittingly, the hotel has a “Home Alone 2: Fun in New York” experience package, offered throughout the year, that lets guests mimic memorable moments from the movie. It includes a limousine ride all over the city to landmarks like Central Park and Radio City Music Hall, a large cheese pizza (to be eaten in the limo, naturally), and the Home Alone sundae, made to fit Kevin’s exacting taste (specifically: 16 scoops of assorted ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, M&M’s, brownie bits, chocolate, caramel, and raspberry sauce). If a more traditional Christmas is what you’re looking for, there’s also the “Suitest Season of All” package that comes with a seven-foot-tall decorated Balsam Hill tree placed directly in your suite.

Newport Beach California

Newport Beach, California

Why we go: The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the longest-running holiday festivals in the entire country, celebrating its 115th anniversary this year from December 13 to 17. (To compare, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting has been running for 90 years.) The “parade” takes place in the harbor of Newport Beach, where yachts, boats, and kayaks have been known to show off up to $50,000 worth of decorations to millions of visitors.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: View the parade from Balboa Island , where the decorated houses threaten to upstage the passing boats.

Stay here: The nautical, all-American feel at Lido House, Autograph Collection fits in perfectly with the theme of the holiday events—especially with the addition of bright, colorful Christmas decorations in the cottages.

North Pole Alaska

North Pole, Alaska

Why we go: Even though this North Pole is 1,700 miles south of the true North Pole, the quaint Alaskan town is 100 percent saturated with Christmas cheer. Most famous for the Santa Claus House (the self-proclaimed “official” home of St. Nick), the North Pole’s nominal spirit even extends to its street names: Snowman Lane, Saint Nicholas Drive, Holiday Road, and Santa Claus Lane, which has light poles shaped like candy canes. Just as adorable is the town’s post office, which gets flooded with tens of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus each year.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The annual tree-lighting ceremony has plenty of photo ops with Santa himself.

Stay here: The North Pole Cabins are comfortable and warm log cabin retreats, located just a mile from the Santa Claus House.

Snowfest at Park City Mountain

Park City, Utah

Why we go: As if the world-class skiing isn’t reason enough to visit Park City this winter, the town also happens to be a wonderful place to spend Christmas. The former Olympic city has ample opportunities for skiing, fly fishing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding—with no shortage of resorts to warm up in between runs.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Hop on a 90-minute train ride with the North Pole Express at Heber Valley Railroad, where you can sip hot cocoa and meet Mrs. Claus.

Stay here: The 12-room Washington School House is just a hop away from Park City’s lit-up Main Street, and its Christmas decorations are some of the prettiest ever seen. In nearby Deer Valley, there’s also the iconic Stein Eriksen Lodge , a luxurious chalet with easy ski-in/ski-out access. And just 25 minutes from downtown Park City Auberge Resorts’ The Lodge at Blue Sky is a perfect place to unwind in luxury.

Holiday Luminaria Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Why we go: Santa Fe’s already-beautiful plaza becomes downright magical with the addition of Christmas lights—but the holiday spirit doesn’t start and stop there. The city also offers midnight mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi , holiday exhibits at the New Mexico Museum of Art , holiday flamenco performances at El Flamenco Cabaret , and seasonal shopping at the Winter Indian Market. Even when Christmas is officially over, you can keep busy at Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe —both just an easy drive away.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Santa Fe’s annual Canyon Road Farolito Walk , a Christmas Eve event consisting of farolitos (paper bags filled with sand and topped with a votive candle) lining the streets and walls of adobe buildings, is sure to get you in a pleasant and festive mood for the occasion.

Stay here: Condé Nast Traveler ’s Readers’ Choice Award favorite Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi has a tangible warmth to it, with gaslit kiva fireplaces and hand-carved four-poster beds adorning the rooms.

Seattle at Christmas

Seattle, Washington

Why we go: Aside from the delightful sight of a Christmas tree atop the Space Needle, there are plenty of reasons to visit Seattle over the holidays. Your one-stop shop for holiday cheer is Winterfest at Seattle Center (November 24 to December 31), which has family-friendly activities like train rides and ice sculpting demonstrations. There’s also a huge celebration just eight miles east of Seattle in the town of Bellevue: Snowflake Lane (November 24 to December 24), a nightly light show with caroling and snow machines ensuring a white Christmas.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Sheraton Grand Seattle ’s annual Gingerbread Village is probably Seattle’s most beloved holiday tradition, in which the city’s top architecture firms and culinary teams get together to create next-level gingerbread houses. This year’s event runs from November 21 to New Year’s Day.

Stay here: With its mountain lodge interiors, The Edgewater Hotel is one of the best places to cozy up in the Pacific Northwest. If you like to fall asleep while staring out at gentle waves glistening in the moonlight, you won’t find a better spot in the city.

Seneca Falls at Christmas

Seneca Falls, New York

Why we go: It’s a Wonderful Life may have been shot on an RKO soundstage in Los Angeles, but the fine folks of Seneca Falls , New York, swear that their five-square-mile upstate hamlet is the inspiration for the real Bedford Falls . Each December, they host an array of old-timey activities to prove it. This year, the event runs from December 7 to 10 and will include special film screenings, gingerbread house contests, and museum exhibits.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: The “It's a Wonderful Bonfire” event on Friday, December 8, which includes caroling, a visit from Santa, and a tree-lighting ceremony.

Stay here: The Gould Hotel has elegant rooms and a restaurant serving hearty, local meals that will warm you from the inside out.

Why we go Christmas in St. Augustine is truly something to behold. The holiday season kicks off this year with the citys...

St. Augustine, Florida

Why we go: Christmas in St. Augustine is truly something to behold. The holiday season kicks off this year with the city’s annual Christmas Parade, then continues through January 28 with the famous Nights of Lights festival. During the celebration, St. Augustine glows with three million tiny white lights over the Bridge of Lions and through 20 city blocks in the historic district. Bonus: You can enjoy the whole show without wearing a coat and gloves, because, you know, Florida.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley’s Famous Nights of Lights Tour, which departs nightly from November 19 through January 28.

Stay here: The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens pairs all the charm of a bed and breakfast with all the amenities of a true luxury hotel. No little detail is overlooked, from interesting on-site activities (like watercolor painting in the courtyard) to immaculate turndown service. The hotel has an age minimum of 16, making this a great retreat for harried parents.

St. Louis at Christmas

St. Louis, Missouri

Why we go: It’s been almost 80 years since Judy Garland first graced the world with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” at the end of Meet Me in St Louis , and the Missouri city has embraced its role as one of America’s yuletide capitals ever since. Make sure you hit all the classics, like Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo, the poinsettia show at Jewel Box in Forest Park , and ice skating at Steinberg Rink . For the third year running, there's even a Polar Express -themed train ride at the Union Station development.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Walk among a million dazzling lights at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s annual Garden Glow , which runs from November 18 to January 6.

Stay here: You can’t beat the glittering, Gateway Arch-facing views at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis .

Washington DC

Washington, D.C.

Why we go: There are few holiday displays in the nation that compare with Washington, DC’s National Christmas Tree, but other seasonal perks include private igloos at the Watergate Hotel, the Downtown Holiday Market (now through December 23), and a glorious absence of field trip groups in the Smithsonian museums.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Make it a priority to amble over to the Ford’s Theatre, which puts on an annual run of A Christmas Carol for the holidays.

Stay here: The InterContinental The Willard Washington D.C., an IHG Hotel , is just a few blocks away from the White House and National Christmas Tree, and offers a holiday afternoon tea and tons of gorgeous decorations. You’ve heard it a thousand times: “There's no place like home for the holidays.”

Hotel Magdalena

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Hot Places to visit in December to Celebrate Christmas

Featured Multi Destination Winter Travel

Are you craving a change of scene (and a suntan ) for Christmas this year? How does skipping the cold winter blues, festive hot chocolates and ten layers of clothing sound? Instead, head to one of the many hot places in December!

In many countries Christmas takes place at the warmest time of the year, and some are a lot closer to home than you’d expect! To help you plan your sunny Christmas holiday, here are 15 of the hottest places on Earth in December .

1. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife is one of the few places in Europe that are hot in December. It’s a great time to go, as the average temperature of Tenerife in December sits between 20ºC and 25ºC.

2. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Rio de Janeiro is one of the top winter destinations to visit this year, as it’s summer is in full swing by December. It’s one of the hottest places on Earth in December, with temperatures of 30ºC- 34ºC. Perfect for a beach holiday!

3. Praia, Cape Verde

If you’re a sun seeker, Cape Verde is for you! Praia enjoys many sunny days in December, with average temperatures between 19ºC and 25ºC.

4. Phuket, Thailand

Thailand is one of the most popular hot places to go in December. Escape the cold, and bask in some winter sun! Phuket’s average temperature in December is 25ºC.

5. Puerto Rico, Caribbean

Puerto Rico, one of the hottest places to go in December

Puerto Rico enjoys average temperatures of  28ºC in December. Make the most of the sun!

6. Cape Town, South Africa

Average temperature of Cape Town in December: 25ºC

7. Sunshine Coast, Australia

If you can make it to the other side of the globe, you’re sure to get some hot weather in December. The Sunshine Coast of Australia has average temperatures of 26ºC in December.

8. Auckland, New Zealand

Aucklands average temperature in December: Between 14ºC and 20ºC

9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

One of the top destinations for a hot Christmas, Dubai has it all! it’s average temperature in December is 26ºC.

10. Hawaii, U.S.A.

Average temperature of Hawaii in December: 19ºC

Average temperature of Cyprus in December: Between 20ºC and 22ºC

12. Cairo, Egypt

If you fancy a bit of December sun but are not a fan of sweltering heat, you’ll enjoy Egypt’s weather in December! The average temperature of Cairo in December is 20ºC.

13. Bridgetown, Barbados

The average temperature of Barbados in December is between 24ºC and 30ºC.

14. Cancun, Mexico

Cancun beach - Mexico

Cancun’s average temperature in December is between 22ºC and 32ºC.

15. Inhambane, Mozambique

Mozambique is one of our favourite hot places in December. It enjoys average temperatures of 30ºC in December.

If you prefer a wintery Christmas, check out these European Christmas markets .

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The Best Places to Go for Christmas

These are 20 of the best places to spend Christmas this year.

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

warm places to visit over christmas

For some people, the perfect Christmas vacation involves fully leaning into winter on a snowy mountain somewhere, curled up next to a crackling fire. Others prefer to lounge on a beach as far away from cold weather as possible. Wherever you choose to spend "the most wonderful time of year," you're likely to find some version of holiday cheer.

From the sunny shores of Saint Lucia to the storybook town of Solvang, California, to Santa Claus' own hometown in Finnish Lapland, these are the best places to visit for Christmas this year.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is an idyllic ski destination perched in the beautiful Tetons of Wyoming. Late December here is packed with holiday programming that typically includes ice skating, skiing with Santa, and caroling. The festivities usually kick off with a Christmas tree lighting and end with fireworks on New Year's Eve.

There are several stunning slopeside lodges to choose from, including the luxurious Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa and the ski-in, ski-out Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole . Looking for gifts in downtown Jackson? The iconic elk antler arches that frame the Town Square are illuminated for the holidays, making it feel magical. For a unique adventure that embraces the hot and cold, plan a trip to the Granite Hot Springs Pool , which can be accessed only by snowmobile, fat bike, dog sled, or skis.

New York City

There's truly nothing like Christmas in New York City . The city lights shine brightly year-round, but holiday lights add to the magic. You'll hardly have to look for activities or entertainment with all the famous displays: the enormous tree at Rockefeller Center and the smaller but still dazzling tree at Washington Square Park, the LED-lit Saks Fifth Avenue facade, and the animated window displays at Macy's Herald Square, to name a few. You can sip hot chocolate while you shop for last-minute gifts at German-style Christmas markets and partake in the age-old tradition of watching the Radio City Rockettes perform their annual Christmas Spectacular on a holiday vacation in NYC.

Bruges, Belgium

KavalenkavaVolha/Getty Images

The Bruges Christmas Market is one of the best in Europe. This enchanting event takes over the Markt, the square at the heart of the city, with stands and wooden chalets selling everything from handmade Christmas ornaments to waffles and woolly socks. The colorful storefronts surrounding the square are adorably festooned with holiday decorations, and you'll find confectioneries serving Belgian hot chocolate — no doubt some of the best you'll ever taste. The festivities extend to a smaller market in nearby Simon Stevinplein square. Elevate your stay with a suite overlooking the picturesque canal at the luxurious and historic Hotel Van Cleef .

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Another place to experience the holidays on the ski slopes is Beaver Creek, Colorado, about 12 miles over the road from bustling Vail . This picturesque ski village typically sees festive activities for the whole family, from an annual Christmas tree lighting to changing events like holiday movie nights and cookie-baking competitions.

As for a cozy place to rest your head, The Osprey offers luxurious accommodations and a heated outdoor pool all mere feet from the chairlift. Otherwise, you can book one of just 60 rooms at The Pines Lodge . Both offer ski-in, ski-out access.

Saint Lucia

If your idea of a white Christmas involves soft, powdery sand, consider going to this beautiful Caribbean island. The luxurious Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort , typically offers a full lineup of holiday activities such as visits from Santa, a traditional family Christmas meal, and a New Year's Eve beach bash. Of course, you can also spend your days lounging on the stunning beach between St. Lucia's iconic peaks, the Pitons, or enjoying the resort's regular amenities and activities, including a pool, spa, dive facility, and kayak rentals.

Highlands, North Carolina

If you're looking for a charming, small-town Christmas experience that feels like it's straight out of a Hallmark movie, head to Highlands, North Carolina. This picturesque town is in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest. Throughout December, you'll find storefronts along and around Main Street decorated with wintry displays. The city runs a competition, so cast your vote on which you think is the best. Visit with Santa in Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on any Saturday in December leading up to the big day. Old Edwards Inn and Spa and Half-Mile Farm ( favorite hotels among Travel + Leisure readers) offer cozy accommodations with a side of holiday decorations and Christmas cheer.

Salzburg, Austria

Christmas markets, warm glühwein (mulled wine), medieval castles, and a museum wholly dedicated to Christmas will surely get you into the holiday spirit while visiting Salzburg. As you probably know, the city is the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of "The Sound of Music," a movie that seemingly plays on repeat over the holidays. Ice skate around a statue of the iconic composer at Mozartplatz and soak in stunning views of the snow-capped Alps on the south-facing terrace of the Hohensalzburg Fortress . The most luxurious place to stay? That would be Hotel Goldener Hirsch right in Old Town.

Solvang, California

If you won't have a chance to wander through a storybook town in Denmark this holiday season, you can get a similar feel in Solvang . The small city in Santa Ynez Valley was founded by a group of Danes in the early 1900s. They created this adorable community, now known for its Danish businesses and architecture. Solvang typically hosts Julefest , a month-long village celebration complete with outdoor gatherings and holiday decorations. Make the stay even more Christmassy with a stay at The Landsby or the Winston , two of Solvang's coziest boutique hotels.

Stowe, Vermont

A popular ski destination among East Coasters and one of the most picture-perfect places to go for Christmas, Stowe is within driving distance of several major northeastern cities (Boston, Albany, and Montreal, to name a few). The ski season typically starts in November, so this is an ideal place to hit the slopes if you're looking for a white, powder-filled Christmas. Stay at The Lodge at Spruce Peak for beautiful mountain views and ski-in, ski-out access.

Edinburgh Castle, arguably the city's most recognizable landmark, glows over the holiday season. The annual Castle of Light event began in 2019 and draws crowds with spectacular displays projected onto the exterior walls of the 12th-century stronghold. The projections typically get a refresh every year, and have included everything from fire-breathing dragons to flowers. Other holiday must-dos include the festive afternoon tea at Dome , where the stately Georgian Tea Room is enhanced with seasonal decorations. Sip mulled wine at one of the Christmas markets and ice skate on George Street for the full experience. If you're around on New Year's Eve, participate in Hogmanay, Scotland's own end-of-year celebration. Edinburgh puts on a Hogmanay festival that includes a torchlight procession, concerts, and a disco party.

Washington, D.C.

See the National Christmas Tree, ice skate at Washington Harbour, and sing along with a choral concert at the National Cathedral this December. Washington, D.C., hosts an array of holiday happenings throughout the season, and many of them are free, so go ahead and spend some extra money Christmas shopping. Head to one of the renowned Smithsonian museums to escape the cold weather, bundle up and admire the lights at the National Zoo, or walk along the National Mall with a hot cocoa in hand. When it comes to accommodations, The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown can hardly be beat.

Florida Keys

With pleasantly warm December weather, the Florida Keys are an ideal escape for those looking to spend the holidays in a U.S. beach destination. Kick off your Christmas vacation with a scenic road trip through the Florida Keys, stopping at islands en route to Key West. This is a popular time to visit, so consider staying away from the crowds at the secluded Sunset Key Cottages , a 27-acre private island resort accessible by ferry. Upon arriving, you'll find serenity just a short trip from the attractions of Key West.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe is a great place to visit any time of the year. Loved for its culture, food, and picturesque setting, the city typically hosts a number of holiday events throughout December. Annual highlights include the Santa Fe Botanical Garden's Glow light display and Christmas concerts inside the impressive Loretto Chapel leading up to December 25. You can even find winter sports at Ski Santa Fe , about 15 miles away. For a special hotel experience, book your stay at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe , which offers a range of festive amenities, or spend the night on the historic and holiday-lit Santa Fe Plaza at La Fonda .

Buenos Aires

Christmas is a summer holiday in the Southern Hemisphere, and Buenos Aires celebrates it with outdoor asado feasts and fireworks. High temperatures in December range from the upper 70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit, which means Papá Noel sometimes wears a tank top. The sunny weather is perfect for sipping cocktails and picnicking on the Plaza Intendente Alvear. While you're in the Argentine capital over the holidays, sample the pan dulce ("sweet bread"), admire the decorations that usually take over the Galerías Pacífico shopping center, or make like a local and escape the city to a nearby beach.

There's just something especially magical about London at Christmastime. Between the glittering lights, cider-slinging holiday markets, themed pop-up bars, and ice skating rinks from Hyde Park to the Queen's House in Greenwich, the city really comes alive for the holiday season. Stay at The Lanesborough for a truly festive experience — the luxurious hotel has beautiful holiday decorations, in-suite shopping from Harvey Nichols, and the option to have your room fully decorated with the hotel's Christmas in Residence program.

Rovaniemi, Finland

Why not spend the holidays in Santa Claus' hometown? Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, is home to Santa Claus Village and SantaPark , where you'll find the man himself and his reindeer sidekicks. During the winter, the arctic landscape is covered by a thick blanket of pretty snow. You'll also have the best chance of the year at spotting the northern lights. There are several hotels in the area with glass igloo accommodations, which provide stunning 360-degree views of the aurora borealis from inside.

The Maldives

If you'd rather wear sandals than snowshoes, the Maldives might be the ideal place for you to spend Christmas. Winter is the dry season, when the weather here is at its best. Daily highs average in the mid-80s Fahrenheit — perfect for a holiday beach getaway. At the end of the day, kick back in luxurious accommodations at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island or The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands .

Bavaria, Germany

Spend your Christmas holidays in this picturesque region in southern Germany. Start your adventure in Munich, where you can sip mulled wine as you stroll through a genuine German Christkindlmarkt. Then head out of the city to find Christmas spirit in small towns like medieval Rothenburg or go skiing in the Alps. Wherever you go, beware of the spooky Krampus, a frightening Christmas beast of local folklore.

Quebec City

Quebec City is about as European as it gets outside of Europe itself. The predominantly French-speaking Québécois celebrate the season with German-style markets, ice skating at Place D'Youville, and shopping in Old Quebec, transformed into a dreamy scene. For a truly Canadian experience, take a ride on Au 1884 (aka the Dufferin Terrace Toboggan Slide), one of Quebec City's oldest attractions. The slide runs right past Fairmont Le Château Frontenac , a castlelike hotel where you can stop for soup or coffee to escape the cold.

The Bahamas

Just a short flight south for East Coasters, The Bahamas is another popular choice for travelers seeking sun and sand during the holidays. Mid-December is the start of the high season here, probably because daily highs in the 80s are such a welcome change to chilly temperatures in much of the U.S. Thanks to a wide range of accommodation options — from resort complexes like Baha Mar with seemingly endless amenities to more intimate private island resorts like T+L reader favorite Kamalame Cay — there's a perfect Christmas vacation waiting for you in this sunny oasis.

warm places to visit over christmas

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Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

8 Great Warm Cities To Visit Around Christmas

warm places to visit over christmas

Orlando, Florida / ESB Professional / Shutterstock

  • Activities and Interests
  • Destinations
  • Holiday Travel
  • Seasonal Travel
  • Winter Travel

When you think of Christmas, you probably think of sleigh bells, snow flurries, and fleece coats. But for some travelers, the idea of a white Christmas is far less than holly jolly. These travelers seek warmer climes that still retain a festive spirit. Fortunately, there are plenty of destinations around the world that are both merry and mild.

Here are 8 warm cities to visit during the Christmas season.

Orlando, Florida.

aphotostory / Shutterstock

1. Orlando, Florida

Orlando is home to the Happiest Place on Earth , and the city sparkles with magic come Christmas. Every holiday season, both the city and its resident theme parks and hotels come alive with thousands of lights, glittering garlands, and the sound of Christmas carols. Add to that an average daytime temperature of 73 degrees all December long. Does it really get more wonderful than that?

Of course, Walt Disney World adds an extra sprinkling of glitter when it comes to the holidays. All four theme parks put on quite the holiday spectacle , which is always wonderful when spending Christmas with the entire family in tow . Start with the Magic Kingdom, where Cinderella Castle glows with white lights, snow falls on Main Street, and Mickey hosts his very own Very Merry Christmas Party . There are also fireworks and a holiday parade. Another highlight is the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays , included with regular admission, which features seasonal sweets from around the world, a nightly Candlelight Processional , fireworks, and live musical performances. The festival runs from November 18 to December 30.

Of course, you don’t have to have park access to celebrate the holidays in Orlando . Visit Lake Eola Park’s Walt Disney Amphitheater in downtown Orlando between December 1 and January 6 to gape at the 72-foot Christmas tree that dazzles crowds with a synchronized light, music, and fountain show. Then, explore a world of handcarved ice sculptures based on the Christmas classic A Christmas Story . The annual holiday celebration features more than 2 million pounds of carved ice.

Tybee Island in Georgia.

SFpAerial / Shutterstock

2. Tybee Island, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia , is one of America’s most beloved destinations, known for its Gothic Revival architecture, heavy-hanging willow trees, and alluring Southern charm. But just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah is Georgia’s best-kept secret , and one of the most charming (and warm) places to spend the holidays.

Tybee Island, a 5-mile beach full of history and hidden gems, is the perfect place to enjoy an under-the-radar beach holiday. While the rest of the country bundles up, Tybee Island’s mild winter temperatures provide a haven for travelers looking to trade the snow for some sand. And Christmas is one of the most magical times to explore this slice of the South.

Tybee Island’s small-town charm is on full display during the holidays. Don’t miss the town’s Christmas parade ! If you extend your stay through the New Year, you will be treated to one of the largest fireworks displays in the Southeast. Tybee Island slows down during the winter months, making travel there a quiet, more intimate experience, and the off-season hotel rates are a great value. Choose from beachfront hotels or historic bed and breakfasts at heavily discounted rates.

Gustavia in Saint Barthélemy.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

3. Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy

One of the more refined Caribbean island destinations, Saint Barthélemy, or St. Barts, makes an idyllic getaway for a warm-weather Christmas. This tropical haven is renowned for its beautiful beaches, A-list restaurants and hotels, and, of course, its delicious December weather, with temperatures ranging between 75 and 86 degrees .

For the past 10 years, the tourism committee on St. Barts has hosted the annual Christmas Village on the dock at the Port of Gustavia. Picture streets adorned with sparkling lights and sidewalks lined with local artisans debuting their newest lines just in time for holiday shopping. St. Barts also hosts spectacular holiday markets that include culinary treats native to the island. On December 9, a Santa Claus parade will take to the streets, with the man himself making a special appearance. The Christmas Village will be open on nine days in December (December 7-9, 14-16, and 21-23) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Extend your trip through the New Year to enjoy the New Year’s Eve Regatta , which departs from the capital, Gustavia, on December 31. A mesmerizing fireworks display will take place in the harbor at midnight, and there will be live music on the docks. Tip: The best place to see the fireworks show is up above Cour Vendôme or on the docks of the Port of Gustavia.

Willemstad in Curaçao.

emperorcosar / Shutterstock

4. Willemstad, Curaçao

We can’t deny that the Caribbean is a splendid option for travelers wanting a warm-weather Christmas. That’s why Curaçao , with its rich European heritage, is at the top of our list. This Dutch island is a December paradise, with year-round sunshine and 80-degree temperatures . Curacao has 35 cove-like beaches, electric blue water, and unique colonial architecture that transports travelers to Europe for a fraction of the price and sans jet lag.

Christmas is a wonderful time to explore Curaçao. The yearly holiday celebration begins when Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) arrives on November 18 in Willemstad on a boat that, legend has it, comes from Europe. A crowd greets him as he enters Sint Anna Bay on a tugboat decorated with flags, throwing candy and goodies to the children lined up on the shore. After passing the iconic Handelskade backdrop, he parades through the city on horseback, singing festive songs and doling out candy and gingerbread. The night before he leaves Curaçao, on December 6, children put their shoes by their fireplace or outside their home and fill them with hay and carrots for Sinterklaas’s horse to munch on as he delivers their presents.

Along with the holiday cheer that Sinterklaas brings, the Queen Emma Bridge in Willemstad is festively lit, while the streets and buildings of the capital are decorated with Christmas colors, making it the perfect winter wonderland in the warm, tropical Caribbean.

Barcelona in Spain.

Georgios Tsichlis / Shutterstock

5. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city rich in culture, which makes it a fabulous destination for a warm Christmas getaway on the Mediterranean. With temperatures hovering in the 60s , travelers can spend their days outdoors exploring the colorful Park Güell , basking in the glory of La Sagrada Família , and checking out the stunning Museu Picasso .

During Christmastime, Spain’s beloved city becomes even more spectacular. The festivities include Nativity scenes scattered throughout the city, a variety of Christmas markets, Christmas Eve Mass at almost every church, and, of course, the traditional Tió de Nadal , the Christmas log. The log is “fed” for days leading up to Christmas, and when it is ready, the locals sing to it and hit it with sticks so that the presents that are hiding inside fall out.

But the party doesn’t stop there. For 12 days following Christmas, Barcelona’s festivities continue, leading up to the feast of the Epiphany on January 6. The feast commemorates the day the Three Kings visited the child Jesus, presenting him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Vineyards in Paso Robles, California.

aspen rock / Shutterstock

6. Paso Robles, California

This December destination boasts zero inches of snow per year and an average of 286 days of sunshine. We’ll drink to that — literally. Paso Robles, California, is a beautiful getaway along the Central Coast wine trail, with December highs in the 60s and lots of sunshine.

Come Christmastime, the city celebrates with its annual Christmas Light Parade . This year, the parade will take place on December 7 in downtown Paso Robles. The Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase takes place on December 14. This annual community Christmas party attracts a cast of familiar characters, including Ebenezer Scrooge, the Snow Queen, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and more. Visitors enjoy caroling, floats, entertainment, open houses, cotton candy, cookies, and hot chocolate.

To celebrate the holidays with a glass of the native beverage, consider visiting the 46 East Holiday Open House hosted by the Wineries of 46 East . These wineries and hotels are located on California State Route 46 East, and at their annual holiday open house, locals and visitors alike are welcome to shop and sip at the member wineries. Each of the wineries opens its doors in holiday style, offering special sales along with seasonal treats. It’s the perfect place to slip into the holiday spirit — and get some Christmas shopping done in the process.

Tuscon, Arizona.

7. Tucson, Arizona

The stark, rugged desert of the American Southwest is alluring at any time of year, but Christmastime is without a doubt one of the best times to visit. Tucson, Arizona, in particular, makes an ideal warm-weather getaway in December and with plenty of things to do . With an average high of 66 degrees , the weather provides plenty of opportunities to get outside and be active over the holidays.

Start with Saguaro National Park . Rent a bike and enjoy the Loop, more than 130 miles of car-free paths that encircle the city, or hike one of the many trails that lead to the five mountain ranges rising up beyond Tucson.

Tucson’s downtown scene is the heart of the city, pulsing with culture, art, and culinary delights. In fact, Tucson was one of the first cities to be recognized as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in the United States. The distinction recognizes the city’s culinary and agricultural heritage; food has been grown in the region for more than 4,000 years.

This year marks the 70th Annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights , one of the longest-running festivals of its kind in the country and a Tucson Christmas tradition. As part of the event, homeowners in the Midtown neighborhood deck out their houses in flashy lights and Christmas decor. The two-week event attracts thousands of visitors each year. In fact, the neighborhood was developed in the 1940s with a Festival of Lights-style display in mind. Developer C.B. Richards visited a similar neighborhood in Beverly Hills in the 1930s and kept Christmastime in mind while designing Winterhaven. You’ll love the enormous pine trees and Christmas Avenue.

Charleston, South Carolina.

8. Charleston, South Carolina

There’s no better place to spend the holidays than the Holy City itself . Charleston, South Carolina , known for its comfortable winter temperatures, fantastic food scene , architecture, and art transforms into a real-life Charles Dickens scene every December. Travelers can relish the ambiance of Christmas circa 1828 with city-wide events like James Island’s 30th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights and the candlelight tours at the 19th-century Nathaniel Russell House.

The Holiday Festival of Lights runs from November 15 to January 1 at James Island County Park. Enjoy the brilliant holiday lights displays as well as treats from Santa’s Sweet Shop, special events, giant greeting cards created by area students, and more. The candlelight tours take guests back in time on a 45-minute visit to the historic Nathaniel Russell House, complete with a glass of wine following the tour.

Those looking to spend time in the heart of the Historic District can stay in the Southern Sleigh Bell Suite at French Quarter Inn , which goes all out with its holiday decor, including garlands, mistletoe, and a Christmas tree. Guests can enjoy freshly baked warm cookies and milk while cozying up to the fireplace. Another option is HarbourView Inn , where Christmas carolers appear with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Image of Meagan Drillinger

Meagan Drillinger is a freelance travel writer based in New York and Mexico. Since 2009 she has been traveling the world professionally looking for the next great adventure and story. Born and raised in New York, she became entranced by the Mexican landscape, people, and culture in 2013 and has since made it her second home.

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Best places to visit in december 2024.

Planning a vacation in December can feel overwhelming alongside holiday shopping and year-end festivities. But you'll thank yourself later if you squeeze in time for a trip before the new year. U.S. News considered prices, events, accessibility and seasonal crowds to decide the best places to visit in December. Whether you're seeking a warm-weather hideaway or want to experience the holiday spirit in a snow-covered town, you'll find it in these destinations. Vote for your favorite spot below to help decide next year's list.

London, England

U.s. virgin islands, french alps, torres del paine national park, hawaii - the big island, new york city, rio de janeiro, quebec city.

warm places to visit over christmas

London is abuzz with holiday-themed activities in December. Holiday pop-ups transform attractions like Hyde Park and the London Zoo, while Christmas ballets and concerts take over the city's legendary entertainment scene. What's more, "Harry Potter" fans can opt for a festive tour during the Hogwarts in the Snow event at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Chilly temperatures in the 40s and rainy conditions mean it's the perfect time to don your coziest jumper. Plus, London's rainy day standbys like the Tower of London and the British Museum are typically less crowded at this time of year.

warm places to visit over christmas

If you're seeking palm-fringed festivities without the need for a passport, look no further than the U.S. Virgin Islands. December is the start of the dry season in this Caribbean island chain, and average temperatures in the 70s and 80s are perfect for lounging on beautiful white sand beaches like Magens Bay or snorkeling in Virgin Islands National Park. Plus, you'll get a taste of the islands' vibrant culture during the Crucian Christmas Festival, which takes place on St. Croix at the end of the month. Partake in the merriment with parades, music competitions and more.

warm places to visit over christmas

Snow-capped mountains, quaint villages and mouthwatering cuisine (much of which involves some form of melted cheese) make the French Alps a classic winter getaway. Most ski resorts open by early December, so you can get an early start on the slopes for the season, or just take part in the lively après-ski experience in iconic destinations like Val d'Isère and Chamonix. What's more, many villages like the châteaux-studded Annecy amp up the charm with cozy Christmas markets throughout the month. Winter in the Alps is never cheap, but try visiting earlier in the month before school holidays for the best room rates.

warm places to visit over christmas

Make the trek to the Finnish Lapland for the ultimate Arctic experience. Finland's northernmost region promises a deep layer of snow all winter, perfect for skiing or sledding down the longest toboggan run in Europe. Most flights to this region land in Rovaniemi, home to Santa Claus Village, where you can meet the man in red, step across the Arctic Circle or embark on a reindeer sleigh ride. Though you'll only see about four hours of daylight, this makes for prime conditions to view the dazzling aurora borealis from the comfort of one of the glass hotels in the region.

warm places to visit over christmas

December is one of the most popular months to visit the Bahamas – and for good reason. By the time this month rolls around, the threat of hurricanes has passed, making it terrific time to enjoy the outdoors. Spend your days lounging on one of the Bahamas' many beaches, snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear water or taking a boat tour to a private island . What's more, if you're visiting around the holidays, you'll catch the travel-worthy Junkanoo festival , which celebrates Bahamian culture with parades and festivities on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

warm places to visit over christmas

Although Phuket, Thailand, offers a consistently warm climate year-round, its dry weather and calm water in December make this month a great time to visit. Plan on spending most of your time sunbathing, swimming, scuba diving and more at beautiful beaches like Nai Harn and Kata Noi. But remember, December falls within Phuket's peak tourist season, so you won't find many deals for flights and accommodations during this month. Avoid a holiday visit in late December for slightly better rates.

warm places to visit over christmas

Located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is a backpacker's dream due to its breathtaking landscapes and unmatched preservation. The remote kingdom's focus on cultural and environmental sustainability means heritage sites like the cliff-clinging Paro Taktsang and the riverside Punakha Dzong are never overcrowded. But cooler winter temperatures (averages range from the 30s to the 60s, depending on elevation) mean you'll encounter even fewer tourists. While a trip to this intriguing destination won't be cheap, a low-season visit can drive down the price of lodging and tours.

warm places to visit over christmas

Nestled in southern Chilean Patagonia, this national park offers travelers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hailed among hikers as one of the most scenic destinations in the world, the park is home to turquoise lakes and dense forests, plus massive Grey Glacier and the towering granite of Cuernos del Paine. December offers up to 17 hours of daylight, allowing plenty of time for extensive hikes. But even though December is part of Patagonia's peak summer season, temperatures drop dramatically after nightfall, so visitors will want to pack layers.

warm places to visit over christmas

This Hawaiian paradise is the perfect place to escape winter's onset. Weary travelers can thaw on colorful beaches like Punalu'u Beach (which has beautiful black sand ) and Papakolea Beach (a unique green sand option), while more adventurous types can go for a hike in 'Akaka Falls State Park or catch a glimpse of the more than 4,000-foot-tall Kilauea volcano at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. You'll likely contend with other snowbirds in December, but you'll find that hotel prices on the Big Island are still consistently lower than those on neighboring isles.

warm places to visit over christmas

If Old Man Winter has you dreaming of warming things up, consider a trip to the Spice Island. Grenada, a tiny island in the Caribbean known for its aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, boasts steady temps in the 80s. And since December sits just between the rainy season and high tourism season, it's the perfect time to catch some rays without the crowds (or cost) of the months to come. Spend your days lounging on Grand Anse Beach or sampling the island's rich flavors at local markets or the House of Chocolate.

warm places to visit over christmas

It's not surprising that dozens of holiday movies are set in New York. Dazzling sights like the iconic Christmas tree and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, decked-out window displays at Macy's and horse-drawn carriages in Central Park conjure up holiday cheer throughout the city. And while this metropolis offers plenty to do throughout the year, festive shows, Christmas-themed pop-up experiences and even the nip in the air make December one of New York's most magical months. Just be prepared for a bit of sticker shock; the holiday season is also one of the most popular (and expensive) times of year to visit.

warm places to visit over christmas

If you're willing to brave the cold, travel to Prague for a fun and festive winter vacation. The city turns into a winter wonderland in December, with snow-dusted buildings and Christmas markets selling everything from locally made jewelry to toys to Christmas ornaments. Those with little ones in tow should try to arrive in early December when the annual St. Nicholas Eve event takes place. During this traditional celebration, you'll see Czechia's version of St. Nick, along with his angel and devil guides, hand out candy and other treats as they walk around the city.

warm places to visit over christmas

While the Northern Hemisphere transitions to winter in December, Rio de Janeiro enters its peak summer season. And although this is one of the wettest times of the year here, you'll still enjoy optimal warmth and mostly sunny conditions. As such, there will be plenty of opportunities to see must-visit sights like the Christ the Redeemer statue or Sugarloaf Mountain. If you're keen on experiencing Rio's lively party scene during your visit, be sure to time your trip around Réveillon. This popular New Year's Eve celebration on Copacabana Beach draws millions of people annually with its music, dancing and fireworks.

warm places to visit over christmas

The holiday season in Germany's fourth largest city can only be described as magical. Cologne hosts a handful of Christmas markets, including the popular Advent village at Cologne Cathedral, which boasts 150 stalls. When you're not taking in the city's imposing architecture or getting into the jovial spirit with a glass of Kölsch beer (a Cologne original), pop into Museum Ludwig to view modern art or the Chocolate Museum for tasty samples. Combat the dreary weather – average highs are in the low 40s and rain is common – by soaking away the chill at a thermal spa such as Neptunbad or Claudius Therme.

warm places to visit over christmas

It's easy to fall in love with this Canadian destination, especially when it's covered in fresh snow. You'll be enchanted by Old Québec's sights and sounds as it transforms into a Christmas village. Shop for gifts (or for yourself) in Quartier Petit-Champlain, home to one of the oldest shopping streets in North America. Plus, with its 17th- and 18th-century architecture, French-speaking Quebec City allows you to soak up European culture without dropping the cash for a flight across the pond. Just be sure to bundle up; temperatures can drop to the single digits in December.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

warm places to visit over christmas

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13 Best Warm Places to Visit in December in the USA

Posted on Last updated: January 13, 2024

Home » Holidays » 13 Best Warm Places to Visit in December in the USA

13 Best Warm Places to Visit in December in the USA

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Looking for some sunshine this winter break? Find out the best warm places to visit in December in the USA  for families for a warm Christmas.

This top warm places to visit in december in the usa for a warm christmas post was written by family travel expert marcie cheung and contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, i may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog..

Are you tired of freezing your booty off while staying home for the Christmas holiday?

Perhaps you’re not looking forward to spending the winter months shoveling excessive amounts of dumped snow or locking up your brakes while sliding on black ice.

Sounds like you’re suffering from the winter blues, and we totally get you. How about heading somewhere warm for Christmas this year instead?

Here are some of the warm places to visit in December in the US and some amazing ways to relax this Christmas season.

Want a different Christmas? Try to these warm places to visit in December!

Best Warm Places to Visit in December in the USA for Your Winter Vacation

How about a magical beach getaway this Christmas season? The white sand beaches and the greenish-blue waters of Maui will be the most relaxing and tropical Christmas ever, and why we picked this as one of the best warm weather destinations!

Maui is one breathtaking location if you're looking for beautiful and warm places to visit in December.

Back at home, you don’t get sunsets like these around the holidays. How about snorkeling with sea creatures, sunbathing along the beach, or hiking some epic trails in Maui?

If you’re afraid that Maui won’t celebrate Christmas with decorations and lighting, you would be wrong. There are even holiday shops at Wailea for last-minute gift ideas.

If you have plenty to splurge, plan your pampering and stay at Honua Kai Resort & Spa or the Fairmont Kea Lani . Both offer a relaxing Christmas on the beach this year.

Find out the coolest holiday events in Hawaii .

Save Money with Points Here are the best credit card offers for families who travel and want to use points to pay for airfare and hotels.

Another gorgeous beach spot to crash in the winter months would be Honolulu. Christmas morning, you might walk along the beach and catch Santa surfing some mean waves.

You don’t need to worry about how to get there since there are multiple direct flights in a day from most states.

Hawaii is full of warm places to visit in December, and Honolulu City is one of my top choices.

It might be 75 degrees out during Christmas in Honolulu, but they find ways to make it snow inside Ala Moana Mall .

There are even parades and holiday lights that adorn the streets. Make sure you have the kids visit Santa at Ward Village for the best Santa on the island.

We’ve done Christmas in Honolulu, and it’s pretty fun to hang out at Waikiki with all the festivities that surely kicked out our winter blues.

And if you are there for New Year’s, be sure to head to Ala Moana Center for their Fukubukuro shopping event. It’s not to be missed!

Kaua’i, Hawaii

While you’re in Maui or Honolulu, consider visiting its nearby islands like Kaua’i, and you’ll be treated to a one-of-a-kind holiday experience !

Kauai's one of the warm places to visit in December, and it's a festive one, too!

Their Festival of Lights is one of the must-see events on the island. While the place has a warmer climate, all the sparkling Christmas lights will make you feel the holiday spirit without worrying about the cold.

You can go bike or hike during the daytime and visit parks like the Kokee State Park, Polihale State Park, down to the Na Pali Coast.

Then, on weekends, head to the Historic County Building to see their festive decor and some works of the Kaua’i artisan.

San Diego, California

San Diego has perfect weather no matter what season you visit.

Although it might not be a good time to go swimming, the warm weather in San Diego is around 65 degrees during Christmas, perfect for laying out on the beach. And there are SO many great San Diego beaches for families !

San Diego have many fun, warm places to visit in December like the Jungle Bells and LEGOLAND California.

Your family will enjoy Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo and December Nights at Balboa Park .

At the Hotel Del Coronado , you can plan on ice skating for a magical winter activity. It’s one of the best beach hotels in San Diego for families .

If you have younger kids, add a stop at LEGOLAND California . They offer festive shows and decor. Plus, you can marvel at their 30-foot LEGO ® Christmas tree trimmed with awesome LEGO ornaments!

Find out how to save money at LEGOLAND California .

Austin, Texas

Around Christmastime, Austin, Texas , glows with Christmas lights and fun festivities for the whole family. Austin throws the Trail of Lights , the best Christmas lights in all of Texas.

Texas is one go to warm places to visit in December. Enjoy the glorious weather at Christmas time here.

There are over 2 million lights with over 40 displays and a chance for you to grab a hot cocoa and meet Santa.

The average temperatures in Austin, Texas, are in the mid to lower 60s for a pleasant experience.

Phoenix, Arizona

How about stopping in and seeing lit-up Christmas cactus this holiday season? Or maybe you can improve your golf game this Christmas in Phoenix, Arizona ?

Bright lights in the desert? Add Arizona to your list of warm places to visit in December.

My husband and I spent our first Christmas together in Phoenix, and it was lovely!

While Phoenix might be a desert setting, they still know how to make the holiday bright. You can even catch Santa, Christmas lights, and snowfall every night at Rawhide Wild Horse Pass.

They also have ice skating at the Wigwam at Litchfield Park . 

And Phoenix is just a short drive away from Scottsdale, another amazing place to spend the holidays. Plus, there are tons of things to do in Scottsdale with kids .

Miami, Florida

When talking about warm places to visit in December, Miami would always be in our list.

Don’t worry; Santa will be sure to find you if you plan a stay along the beach on Christmas Eve. Plan your visit to the beach city of Miami, Florida , and hang out on its pristine beaches. There’s a lot to do in the area so you’ll have no problem filling your Miami itinerary !

It’s also one of the best Florida beaches for bachelorette parties !

Believe it or not, Miami actually has the biggest ski clubs (actual snow) in the country. The city even knows how to “deck the halls” in amazing holiday lights and entertainment.

Plan your stay at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Miami or at Miami Beach Edition , and these may just be perfect for your whole family.

Savannah, Georgia

The historic district of Savannah is full of beauty, history, and classical architecture. The Spanish Moss found on every square adds to its mystery. There are even many notable haunted places you can tour as well.

Warm places to visit in December, like Savannah Georgia, makes Christmas strolling so wonderful.

Imagine going for a leisurely stroll on a Christmas morning through Forsyth Park or Bonaventure Cemetery , making a beautiful start to your day.

While it might not be a hot destination, temperatures around Christmas time hang right around a comfortable 60 degrees.

If you’re seeking one of the best romantic getaways in USA , consider the Gastonian , an inn dating back to the late 1800s. The Kimpton Brice is another neat option, which was once a warehouse that was converted into a luxury hotel.

Walt Disney World

Last winter, my family headed to Walt Disney World the week before Christmas, and it was a blast!

I admit it was rainier and chillier than I originally expected, but that wasn’t a typical winter for them.

There are warm places to visit in December that's not too warm, like Walt Disney World. It's a pefect vacation with your family, too!

We stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Kidani Village , and it was decked out with a giant Christmas tree and gorgeous ornaments!

Actually, a bunch of Disney Hotels had major holiday displays, and we made a point to visit Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa just to see their Christmas trees.

Each of the Disney Parks has tons of holiday decor, plus the characters dress up in their festive wear!

And they hold special Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party events all season long with tons of treats, rare character meet and greets, parades, shows, and more!

Plus, there are tons of other fun things to do in Orlando, like hot air balloon rides, the ICON Orlando Observation Wheel, and so much more!

Las Vegas, Nevada

The Sin City may be famous for its vibrant nightlife, but Las Vegas is one great place for your winter escape. The city has a lot of Christmas activities in store for you .

You’ll be surprised how Christmasy it is out there with a variety of places to enjoy, especially in the city center.

Las Vegas can be merry and bright, too! So add this place as one of the warm places to visit in December.

Las Vegas is filled with establishments donned in Christmas lights, like the Bellagio Hotel Conservatory & Botanical Gardens , a place known to change its decor every season. Its holiday display is a must-see and is perfect for your Christmas family photo.

You must also drop by the Candy Cane House in Henderson, especially if you’re traveling with your children. Once you step in front of the house, it will spark a child-like wonder in you.

Grand Isle, Louisiana

Traveling to Louisiana for Christmas might not even be on your radar, but stop and consider it for money.

Thinking of warm places to visit in December? Head to Grand Isle, Louisiana for a fun family trip.

If you want to visit Louisiana this holiday season, make plans to head to Grand Isle , the only beachfront in Louisiana.

It’s a popular tourist spot, known for great fishing and a migratory bird spot. It has amazing seafood and stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

At Saint John Valley Catholics, you can catch a fantastic lights parade. Plus, you’re sure to have a grand time this Christmas while visiting Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Orange Beach, Alabama

How about giving up the white snow for beautiful, warm white sand beaches?

It’s also one of the go-to warm weather destinations around Christmas. Orange Beach is located along the Gulf of Mexico.

It isn't called "Sweet Home Alabama" for nothing because it's one of the best warm places to visit in December making your holiday season extra sweet.

There are several Christmas parades, breakfast with Santa, and amazing little shops to explore in Orange Beach.

Make sure you don’t miss the lighted-boat parade along the beach and ice skating at the Wharf .

Key West, Florida

What do you think about heading to the southernmost spot in the United States this Christmas? You’ll see that the Florida Keys are perfect warm weather destinations for your winter vacation.

Visit Key West, Florida if you're looking for warm places to visit in December.

Not only is Key West Florida , a great place to visit in the summer, but it is beautiful around Christmas as well.

The atmosphere is electric and festive for the season, with Christmas decorations and exciting events. Watch colored lights dazzle and dance off the water in the Lighted Boat Parade when you visit Key West.

While you’re there, be sure to check out the other towns in the Florida Keys to see what they have going on this holiday season.

Temperatures range around the mid-70s during Christmas for a nice change in the weather. December is also the perfect time to go snorkeling. There are tons of snorkeling spots in Key West that will blow your mind!

These are just a handful of the best warm places to visit in December in the USA that you need to consider this Christmas.

Looking for more places to visit this winter check out the best warm winter destinations in the u.s. , best national parks to visit this winter , snowy winter destinations in the united states , fun christmas getaways in the united states , and the best winter weekend getaways from seattle .

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21 of the best Christmas holiday destinations

warm places to visit over christmas

Friday December 22 2023, 15:00pm

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” declares Andy Williams each festive season. But while a roaring fire, presents under a bauble-laden tree and snow gently drifting outside might be the picture of Christmas sold by Hollywood, your reality can be a different kind of magical. How about a rum and coke on the sandy beaches of Barbados? Or meeting Santa Claus in Lapland? Or dialling up the tradition and visiting one of the thousands of Christmas markets in Germany? Here are the best Christmas holiday destinations — whatever kind of break you’re looking for.

Main photo: your reindeer carriage awaits in Finnish Lapland (Getty Images)

This article contains affiliate links, which may earn us revenue

1. The Rhine

The Rhine is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Spend the Christmas season afloat on the Rhine, accompanied by a glass of local wine as steep vineyards and historic castles slip by. You’ll find a Rhine cruise a soothing way to celebrate the festive season, as most journeys stop at Rhineland cities such as Cologne, Koblenz and Bonn. Here, amid the twinkling lights, yuletide lovers mingle in charming Christmas markets, while the swish of skates on an ice rink, shoppers’ voices and Christmas carols provide a lively soundtrack.

Book a cruise

  • Best Christmas markets in Europe
  • Best UK hotels to spend Christmas in

Germany is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Christmas holidays are celebrated with gusto in Germany as its famous Christmas markets overflow with copious helpings of mulled wine and shining Christmas lights. Hip Berlin offers up a huge funfair and you can get straight into the Christmas spirit with a ticket to the Alexanderplatz show. There’s a high chance of snow: temperatures can slip well below zero in December and the average low is minus 1C.

Book a stay

  • Best things to do in Berlin

3. Barbados

Barbados is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

The Caribbean is made for Christmas. Barbados , the go-to Caribbean favourite for Brits, is at its most relaxed between mid-September and mid-December, when hotel prices drop by up to a third and the air-kissing, winter-sun-seeking regulars haven’t yet jetted in. There’s a risk of rain, but it never lasts long and the temperature’s still a balmy 27C. Explore the wild east. The island’s Atlantic side is an exhilarating whirl of dramatic shores (particularly around the little town of Bathsheba), rolling surf, flapping coconut palms and topsy-turvy hills that seem a world away from the busy beach resorts lining the west and south coasts. Drive over to bask in the peace and fresh air; Bay Tavern in Martin’s Bay is a mellow spot where Bajans take a break on Thursday afternoons, shooting (and feeling) the breeze at a “lime” (informal hangout).

  • Best hotels in Barbados
  • Best things to do in Barbados

4. Courchevel, France

Courchevel in France is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Courchevel is still a gathering ground for the world’s superrich. Broad, easy-skiing pistes combine with Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star hotels to create the most luxurious of all ski resorts. Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve has the biggest social buzz: think champagne bars and perfect teeth, set against a razor-sharp mountain ridge. New Year in Courchevel isn’t cheap, so save where you can by booking a central self-catering apartment in the Forum. Brush up your skiing with New Generation Ski School, so you don’t take a tumble outside the key slopeside bars. And don’t wait until December 31 to start the celebrations.

  • Best ski resorts in France

5. Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman, is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Hop on an overnight flight, and wake up seven hours later in Muscat, then get straight to the beach — it’s only 15 minutes from the airport. For the rest of your stay, take a traditional dhow boat trip from Marina Bandar al Rowhda so the little ones can enjoy goggling at rare marine life, or absorb the Bedouin vibes of the Arabian desert with teens. Try stargazing and camel-riding at Wahiba Sands, or head to turquoise-hued Wadi Bani Khalid oasis. Alternatively hire a local driver through your hotel and day-trip around Muscat to explore its frankincense-scented Mutrah Souq. Nearby, the call to prayer echoes around the minarets at the opulent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, open most days for visits.

  • Best hotels in Oman

6. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

It’s not just gingerbread-scented markets and riotous Hogmanay parties that make wintry Edinburgh so appealing. Even under grey skies, you’ve got warm, world-class museums and restaurants and the icy North Sea winds are your excuse to duck into a snug watering hole for a soul-warming Scotch.

For bargains, go in early December when the Christmas markets are open, but the city is still relatively peaceful. Take a spin on the panoramic big wheel above Princes Street, bar crawl under the fairy lights of George Street and pop into the Scottish National Gallery to contemplate winter scenes. After dark, head to the Royal Botanic Garden to sip spiced cider and marvel at its Christmas illuminations.

  • Best hotels in Edinburgh
  • Best things to do in Edinburgh

7. Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria, is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Revel in the unabashed schmaltz — this is the fantasy festive break. Dressed to the nines in baroque finery and surrounded by snowcapped peaks, Salzburg is the staunchly traditional, chocolate-box city of Mozart and The Sound of Music , and will cocoon you in comfort. Walk around the Old Town streets, dive into vaulted beer cellars and shop for lederhosen. To warm up? Climb every mountain, of course.

Make your first wander an atmospheric browse along the narrow Getreidegasse, Salzburg’s glitzy shopping alley, where five-storey Renaissance houses provide a bulwark against winter weather. Explore its dimly lit arched passages and within a few paces, you might stumble upon Balkan Grill Walter, a kiosk selling Balkan beef sausages since 1950. After, make a prosecco pitstop at Seppo’s intimate wine bar, or cosy up with the crowds in the hidden Sternbräu beer garden.

  • Best ski resorts in Austria

8. Finnish Lapland

Finnish Lapland  is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

For the real deal and endless other wintry activities, such as snowmobiling, skiing and reindeer rides, head north to the smaller resorts of Levi, Yllas or Saariselka. Levi is just 20 minutes from the airport, making transfers with weary tots super speedy. Here, Santa’s village is way out in the wilderness: a huddle of twinkly log cabins hidden among snow-laden pines. Kids can decorate gingerbread cookies with Mother Claus, make decorations and visit Elf school to learn Finnish words such as Hyvaa Joulua (Happy Christmas), as well as having a private tête-à-tête with Santa himself. The focus is firmly on wholesome festive fun and, refreshingly, souvenir stops are sparse.

But don’t go too early — travel from the second or third weekend in December for a guaranteed snowscape. Ample time is crucial: do not book one of those 24-hour round-trips, your child will be so tired and cranky you’ll wonder why you bothered. Four nights is better, and even then you’ll wish you had more. Darkness reigns here: daylight falls between 10am and 2pm, when an eerie green and pink glow illuminates the sky.

  • Best hotels in Lapland
  • Best things to do in Lapland

9.  New York, US

New York is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

This city is the face of Christmas, especially in films. Don’t miss the magical displays at Macy’s ( Miracle on 34th Street ); the steps of the Plaza Hotel ( Home Alone 2 ); and the Rockefeller tree ( Elf ). The chance of snow isn’t as high as in the perma-dusted movies, but it’s always possible as temperatures can dip to a bracing -10C. New York’s stores turn charitable at Christmastime, with epic window displays resembling free galleries. Start with the glittering scene at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue, then pass Tiffany’s before nipping over to Saks. Next head to the Rockefeller Center for a mulled wine and a gawp at the tree. For Christmas shopping, Bryant Park is transformed into a Winter Village, with stalls selling affordable gifts such as handmade scarves and soaps. It’s free to hit the ice rink here, too.

  • Best affordable hotels in New York under £190
  • The best things to do in New York

10. Tenerife, Spain

 Tenerife is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

If you’re hoping to add some winter sun to your Christmas this is the place to be. Yes, tourism has made its mark on  Tenerife , but the resorts in the south-coast destinations of Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas take up only a fraction of the island. Beyond, unspoilt beauty awaits: seaside villages and picturesque coves, gracious colonial towns, a rainforest dripping with lichen, and ravishing ravines. And all beneath the awesome gaze of a 200,000-year-old volcano, Spain’s highest, Mount Teide.

  • Best hotels in Tenerife
  • Best villas in Tenerife

11. Cities along the Danube

The Danube is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Here is one of Europe’s great rivers, perfect for a Christmas cruise taking in cities along the Danube such as Budapest , Bratislava and Regensburg. Passing through the heart of central Europe, revellers can celebrate the festive season at Christmas markets garlanded with Christmas lights and spirit. A mulled wine here, a juicy, grilled sausage there — which Christmas market will be your favourite?

  • Best river cruises in Europe

12. The Ganges, India

The Ganges, India, is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Spend Christmas on a luxurious cruise along India’s holiest river where the warmth of the winter sun mixes well with the Christmas spirit. On these cruises, you’ll find a journey whose stand-outs include misty early mornings revealing ancient temples and small boats bumping along in the water, devotees by the edge, followed by the wake-up call of bazaars and the solemn fortresses of Jaipur and Varanasi.

Book a tour

  • Best places to visit in India

13. Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh, Morocco, is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

There’s a local saying that Morocco is “a cold country with a hot sun”, and while snow on the Atlas Mountains from mid-November to April shows you how bitterly cold it can be at night, there are also piercing blue skies and sunshine warm enough for you to hit the pool. This is the time to snag a bargain to Marrakesh , but pack layers and stay somewhere with heating. Only July and August are cheaper, but only worth it if you can handle temperatures in the high 40Cs.

  • Best hotels in Marrakesh
  • Best things to do in Marrakesh

14. Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

It’s the blossoming of flame trees rather than the dressing of firs that marks the start of the festive season in Mauritius . These trees, red as Santa’s suit, bloom between late November and early December. Shortly after, hotel lobby decorations and seasonal shop window displays appear across the island. Food is central to a Mauritian Christmas and hotels in beach resorts like Grand Baie and Flic-en-Flac offer gala dinners and festive brunches so you can tuck in with a cocktail or two.

  • Best hotels in Mauritius

15. The Maldives

The Maldives is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Trade in the traditional festive colour palette of red and green for a landscape that’s a centillion shades of blue. Fly to the capital, Male, then take a seaplane to a private island resort such as Medhufushi. Sleep in a villa suspended on stilts above the Jacuzzi-warm waters of the Indian Ocean, and snorkel and day-sail your way through the season. Many hotels in the Maldives offer traditional menus on Christmas day. However, if you boycott the sprouts, you’ll be rewarded with platters of fresh lobster, oysters and grouper — all washed down with a bottle of something sparkling.

  • Best hotels in the Maldives

16. Singapore

Singapore is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Singapore soups up the Christmas experience. Festivities start in mid-November when almost four kilometres of Christmas lights are switched on in the Orchard Road shopping area. Shortly after, restaurants debut their festive menus and Christmas Wonderland opens at Gardens by the Bay. The season’s crescendo is the extravagant countdown and fireworks party at Marina Bay. If you’re worried about it all feeling a little too merry and bright, stay at a beach hotel like Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island. With its infinity pools, 30-acre gardens and views of the South China Sea, it’s a sanctuary amid the festive flamboyance.

  • Best hotels in Singapore
  • Best things to do in Singapore

17. Antalya, Turkey

Antalya, Turkey, is one of the best Christmas holiday destinations

No jokes about eating turkey in Turkey please — here in Antalya, you can be as festive or not as you want. Many of the resorts in the region will have stonking good deals on all-inclusive breaks, with gala dinners put on for Christmas day. Even if you’re not set on a fly-and-flop, the fact that Christmas Day isn’t a public holiday here means you can shop, go to restaurants and visit attractions as normal. There’s a good chance of sun, but it’ll probably be too cold to hit the beaches. Instead, why not visit one of the ancient ruins for some light culture without the crowds? Termessos and Perge are particularly impressive.

  • Best hotels in Antalya
  • Best things to do in Antalya

18.  Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is one of the best Christmas holiday destinations

Tokyo goes all in on the Christmas spirit, but with its own twist. Around the city are illuminations, where lights are strung up around buildings, trees and just about everything else from around mid-November. Look out, too, for festive fairs and Christmas markets where you can pick up kawaii (cute) handmade gifts. If you have kids, a visit to Tokyo Disneyland is essential. And no, you don’t have to adopt the tradition of eating KFC instead of a roast on Christmas Day — plenty of hotels will offer a more traditional festive meal.

  • Best things to do in Tokyo
  • Best hotels in Tokyo
  • Best cities to visit in winter

19. Christmas Island, Australia

Red crabs cross the road during their annual migration on Christmas Island, Australia

What could be more apt than spending the festive period on Christmas Island? This slice of paradise is actually closer to the tropical waters of Indonesia than the Australian mainland, making the weather here pretty much hot all year round. That said, December tends to be the rainy season in the region, with days often overcast — no matter, you’re likely to spend most of your time snorkelling its bath-warm waters anyway. Back on dry land, you’ll see one of the most spectacular annual migrations: it’s mating season for red land crabs and millions of them will be scuttling from the forest to the coast.

20. Iceland

Iceland is one of the best places to spend Christmas in 2022

Iceland is the perfect holiday destination for travellers in search of Christmas spirit. Here, the festive season pulsates with lively Christmas markets where wooden booths brim with food and drink, and gifts glitter as imposing Christmas trees stand guard. Expect a true winter wonderland made up of wild lava fields and craggy mountains topped with snow for added sparkle. Take a self-drive into the mountains and catch the northern lights glimmering in the dark sky, and don’t forget other seasonal sojourns such as trekking near the Snaefellsjokull glacier.

  • Best hotels in Iceland
  • Best things to do in Iceland

21. London, England

A gingerbread man outside Battersea Power Station at Christmas in London

London does a stonking good job of putting on a good Christmas display — as you would expect from any capital city — but what it’s particularly good at is the stunning array of settings where twinkling lights breathe magic into the air. There’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, where fairground rides, circus acts and Christmas market stalls selling mulled wine and bratwurst will make anyone giddy. Or Battersea Power Station, where the brightly lit facade overlooks a riverfront ice rink. And of course, who could forget the shopping streets around Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, where shops compete to put on the best displays. Fortnum & Mason’s is unmissable.

  • Best things to do in London at Christmas

Take me there

Inspired to go abroad this Christmas but yet to book your trip? Here are the best packages from Jet2 Holidays and Tui .

warm places to visit over christmas

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The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

By Laura Chubb , Anya Meyerowitz and Emma Love

The best Christmas holiday destinations for 2023

After years of Christmas travel being put on pause, 2022 saw avid travellers embrace the festive escape once more. Christmas holiday destinations are a contentious issues among large families, however. An amble around Europe's famous Christmas markets is on most people's bucket lists, but then there's the practicalities of finding a cosy bolthole in a new city – to tree, or not to tree? Winter sun spots like Australia and South Africa were out of bounds in recent years due to strict Covid entry requirements, but families are free to reunite on whichever side of the globe they wish – and doing so in droves. With plenty of options back on the agenda, we've listed the best holiday destinations for Christmas in 2023. To stay closer to home, see our pick of the best UK Airbnbs to book for Christmas .

white sand beach and crystal clear water with coconut palm tree Phuket Thailand.

Why? For ultimate beach bliss. Clear water laps against the sandy shores, palm trees sway, and the chill of the UK seems so far away. There’s also something for everyone; larger resorts and villas for families on the larger Thai islands , boutique and big-name hotels on some of the smaller ones, and hostels at every turn for a cost-effective, island-hopping festive experience. Every type of traveller is catered to somewhere, and the beaches are undeniably divine, making it ideal for intergenerational escapes.

Insider tip: Christmas in Thailand is delightful, but New Year’s Eve is another spectacle altogether. Stay on Koh Samui and head to the beaches for raucous parties and kaleidoscopic firework displays, or head to one of the many beach clubs and high-end hotels for a more civilised affair. Alternatively, a two-stop trip could be the bucket list adventure to beat them all. You’ll likely need to pass through Bangkok to reach the islands, so consider sticking around on the return leg to experience the celebrations in one of Asia’s largest metropolises, watching the colourful explosions illuminate the Chao Phraya River.

Where to stay: Splash out on a stay at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui for the most indulgent festive escape, and you’ll barely need to lift a finger. It’s a large resort, but it doesn’t feel that way, thanks to clever landscaping and guest rooms hidden among the towering trees and wild flora. Connor Sturges

Panorama of Las Palmas from the sea. Gran Canaria Canary Islands Spain.

Gran Canaria

Why? For (almost) guaranteed short-haul sun. The average temperature can hover around 20C on December afternoons, perfect for long sunny lunches along the harbour and walks along the coast – take a tip if you dare.

Insider tip: Hire a car to experience all Gran Canaria has to offer. December isn’t quite sunbathing season, but it’s ideal for exploring the charming towns, historic churches, markets and natural wonders dotted across the island.

Where to stay: Gran Canaria is an ideal Christmas holiday destination for families with broods in tow, but the island is no longer the reserve of those needing all-inclusive convenience. Adults-only Hotel Veintiuno is set in an 18th-century colonial house and offers cosy rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and a location ideal for exploring the capital Las Palmas. Connor Sturges

The Cotswold village of Broadway Worcestershire England.

The Cotswolds

Why? To experience a quintessentially English Christmas. Chocolate box villages dusted in snow, cosy evenings by pub fires, and the chime of churchbells ricocheting off period properties.

Insider tip: The Cotswolds has some of the cutest Christmas markets around. Broadway’s market is the perfect place to enjoy gooey raclette, a glass of mulled wine and a last-minute spot of shopping from craft stalls.

Where to stay: Cotswolds cottages don’t come cheap at Christmas, but make it a family affair, and it’ll be one to remember. Check out our guide to the best Airbnbs in the Cotswolds for some inspiration, or look to Luxury Cotswold Rentals for gargantuan homes designed to fit all the family… and some. Connor Sturges

Why The fairytale Christmas scene  snowy gabled houses and twinkly cobblestone streets  doesnt get much more...

Bruges, Belgium

Why: The fairy-tale Christmas scene – snowy, gabled houses and twinkly cobblestone streets – doesn’t get much more quintessential than in Belgium’s prettiest city. The medieval centre is known for its Gothic architecture, and the squares are strung with fairy lights and dotted with market stalls selling crafts and waffles wrapped in paper. Blow away the cobwebs on Christmas morning with a bracing walk alongside the icy canals, followed by a stint in one of the cosy pubs.

Insider tip: Belgian chocolatiers are famous for good reason – and Christmas is a great time to sample the wares of as many different stores as possible. We particularly like Spegelaere, a family-run chocolate shop just outside the city centre. Sarah James

Where to stay: Embrace the romance of the town with a B&B stay. The canal-side Bonifacius was famously used by Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as a green room during the filming of In Bruges . An immaculate breakfast here is served in the intimate Gothic Room. If you can brave the cold, wander up the winding staircase to the roof terrace where you'll find exceptional views over the Church of Our Lady and 13th-century belfry.

Why Sure everyone knows Christmas in New York is special  but do they know its romantic too From iceskating under the...

New York City, USA

Why : Sure, everyone knows Christmas in New York is special – but do they know it’s romantic, too? From ice-skating under the Rockefeller Center tree, to riding the gorgeously restored, vintage Jane’s Carousel on the East River-front, and strolling hand-in-hand across a twinkly Brooklyn Bridge, this is movie-grade amour .

Insider tip : Cuddle up on a Christmassy date at Williamsburg ’s Nitehawk Cinema . Even better, you can order food and cocktails right to your seat.

Where to stay: For the full New York at Christmas movie magic experience, nothing can beat The Plaza . A stay here is particularly magical for children, where little ones can call on the service of a family 'ambassador' and goodies on offer include a closet full of dressing-up gear, children's terrycloth bathrobes and a $100 gift card for nearby toy store FAO Schwartz. See our pick of the best hotels in New York for more.

Why The Caribbean has always been a favourite destination for cruisefans over the festive period with its honeyhued...

Barbados, Caribbean

Why? The Caribbean has always been a favourite destination for cruise-fans over the festive period, with its honey-hued beaches and cerulean waters, and Barbados is arguably its star attraction. The festive season is the island’s sweet spot, where it is at its most relaxed until mid-December and still enjoying balmy temperatures, however the hotel prices often drop and the UK fashion set has yet to jet in for New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to picture a Christmas spent among the coconut palms and rolling surf, doused in sunscreen, rather than curled up in a jumper, but we’re certain you’ll soon get used to it… 

Insider tip: If you can’t bear to miss out on your Christmas Cake fix, tuck into the Bajan version (known as a ‘Great Cake’), made with local rum. Really get the flavour of things by booking a day trip to the Mount Gay rum distillery – we defy you not to be singing carols at the top of your voice by the end of it. 

Where to stay: Swap the supersized resorts for Cobblers Cove , a 40 bedroom bolthole that's dressed delightfully – think millennial- pink accents and candy-cane-striped pool umbrellas – like a tropical country club. For more recommendations, see our edit of the best hotels in Barbados . 

Why Forget the 12 days of Christmas  the festive season in Iceland lasts a full 26. In fact most Icelandic traditions at...

Why: Forget the 12 days of Christmas – the festive season in Iceland lasts a full 26. In fact, most Icelandic traditions at this time of year are bigger and more elaborate than those in the UK – including the 13 Santa Clauses who bring presents to children across the country. The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in December are also pretty good, and experiencing a white Christmas here is all but a given. In the capital Reykjavík , the frozen central pond of Tjörnin is a brilliant spot for ice skating on Christmas Day, while the big celebration is on Christmas Eve, with a supper of smoked lamb and langoustine.

Insider tip: If you stay until New Year’s Eve , you can catch the city’s unique fireworks display – locals purchase their own and the sky is lit up with countless mini displays when midnight strikes.

Where to stay: Reykjavik Edition has a standout location plus a rooftop terrace for viewing the northern lights. Another option is Kvosin Downtown Hotel , a charismatic boutique property with fantastic apartment suites. See our pick of the best Iceland hotels for more. 

Why This Middle Eastern playground can make every generation feel like a kid again  whether thats riding the slides of...

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Why : This Middle Eastern playground can make every generation feel like a kid again – whether that’s riding the slides of its water parks, sledding down a ski slope in a shopping mall, or jumping around on its giant trampoline park, Bounce . And while Christmas isn’t a national holiday here, bling-bling Dubai can’t resist this twinkly time of year: the malls and hotels are all a-sparkle with lights and enormous trees. Add to that the weather (highs of 26˚C in December), plentiful beaches, and all-ages fun (such as ogling a giant dancing fountain or speeding up the world’s tallest building), and it’s not such an out-there idea.\

Insider tip : Don’t miss the surreal experience of shopping centre Souk Madinat Jumeirah at Christmas, when there’s a German market, a snowball zone, and Santa riding a gondola-sleigh around the mall’s canals.

Where to stay: All of the major players are here but for a change of pace, try the newly opened 25hours Hotel One Central , where 30-something hipsters and creatives move between the co-working spaces, pottery and podcast studios, and mixed-gender saunas. The rooms and suites here are equally un-Dubai, with hammocks, sheik-sized beds, and private bar areas with room for a DJ.

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Why It's been a while since we've had a bit of childlike magic at Christmas. Lapland neednt just be for kids either...

Finnish Lapland

Why : It's been a while since we've had a bit of child-like magic at Christmas. Lapland needn’t just be for kids either: throw over Santa and snowmen for cosy nights in glass igloos, and romantic husky-sled rides through forests glittering with frost. Head up to Ylläs and you can even get steamy in a sauna gondola: a cable car converted into a sauna, which takes guests on a 20-minute ride. An outdoor Jacuzzi session and traditional sauna are included in the (admittedly steep) price. Note that a typical Lappish Christmas dinner often involves reindeer, which seems like a truth only suitable for an adult.

Insider tip : If you’re looking to work off all that Christmas food, Ylläs National Park opens up its snowshoe tracks to fatbikers, so you can pedal your way around this wintry wonderland and work up a real sweat.

Where to stay: In one of the glass igloos at Apukka Resort near Rovaniemi, perfect for cosying up to watch the Northern Lights from bed. All igloos have sofa beds so they're great options for families, while self-catering apartments are also available.  

Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

Why: For a blast of winter sun with a sprinkling of festive spirit, all without the jet lag. In December , the top draw in Cape Town is usually carols by candlelight at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Children will also love the holiday activities at the V&A Waterfront, from magic shows on the croquet lawn, to puppet shows and face painting at the aquarium. If you're organised, book in to one of the best restaurants in Cape Town for an extra special Christmas or Boxing Day lunch. City centre restaurant FYN recently made it onto The World's 50 Best Restaurants list. 

Insider tip: The most obvious place to spend Christmas Day is at the beach – whether you fancy surfing at Llandudno or people-watching at Camps Bay. For a change of pace, book a table on the terrace at Grande Provence, a stellar wine estate in Franschhoek.

Where to stay: For the best poolside scene in the city, check in to Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel . The Wes-Anderson -style pink palace has clear views of Table Mountain from its main terrace, making it one of the best spots for a sundowner in Cape Town.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

Why: Boxing Day can sometimes feel a little flat – especially if you’ve over-indulged with too many helpings of trifle at Christmas lunch – but not in the Bahamas where the annual Junkanoo Parade brings a carnival party vibe to the streets. The biggest event takes place in Nassau where the sound of drums, horns and cow bells fill the air and musicians and dancers dressed in elaborate bejewelled costumes shimmy their way through the town. Afterwards, pick up a conch salad (try Dino’s, by Compass Point) and head to the beach.

Insider tip: For those wanting a quieter escape hop on the ferry to Eleuthera, known for its coral-pink sand and clusters of cays, and nab one of the chic safari-style tents at The Other Side.

Where to stay: If you're travelling with little ones, SLS Baha Mar is perfectly set up for families, most notably for their poolside cabanas, kitted out with couches, a mini fridge, a flat-screen TV, and waiter service. For couples, check in to the all-inclusive, adults-only Warwick Paradise Island .

St Moritz Switzerland

St Moritz, Switzerland

Why: What better way to kick off Christmas Day than with an exhilarating family toboggan run from Preda to Bergun? This glitzy Alpine ski resort comes up trumps with plenty of festive sporty fun on offer from ice skating (there are two rinks, at the Kulm Country Club and Lake St Moritz ) to snowshoe hikes and even snowkiting on the Bernina Pass. Those who prefer to slow the pace can wrap up warm for a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride or tap into centuries-old spa traditions – the Kulm Hotel has a heated open-air pool that looks out onto a winter wonderland.

Insider tip: After a morning spent swooshing down the slopes, refuel at an Alpine hut with panoramic mountain views, such as El Paradiso Mountain Club or the legendary Alpina Hutte. See our St Moritz insider tips for more. 

Where to stay: The obvious options are Badrutt’s Palace and the Kulm Hotel but for something cosier, book one of the seven rooms at the art-loving Villa Flor in nearby Zuoz. 

Why Caribbean islands dont come more romantic than St Lucia with its dreamy views of the Pitons incredible beaches and...

St Lucia, Caribbean

Why : Caribbean islands don’t come more romantic than St Lucia , with its dreamy views of the Pitons, incredible beaches and chocolate plantations (meaning you can expect chocolate-covered spa treatments, and couples’ chocolate-making classes). Thanks to a strong Catholic culture, Christmas is a big deal here, too: St Lucian twists include its traditional, deep-red sorrel drink (made with cinnamon, cloves and ginger), and black Christmas pudding (soaked in red wine). While roast turkey remains on the menu, expect sweet potatoes and plantains in place of parsnips and sprouts.

Insider tip : The island ’s most interesting restaurant for a romantic meal is undoubtedly The Rabot Hotel , at Hotel Chocolat’s cocoa-plantation-set boutique residence. Along with head-on views of Petit Piton, you’ll eat a cacao-infused menu, featuring dishes such as tuna-dorado tartare with cacao nibs and cacao beer pork tenderloin.

Where to stay: The Rabot Hotel was also voted the best hotel in the Caribbean in our Reader's Choice Awards. 

Why Mexico goes big on Christmas  elaborate nativity scenes street processions plazas decked with fairy lights festive...

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Why: Mexico goes big on Christmas – elaborate nativity scenes, street processions, plazas decked with fairy lights, festive piñatas – so it’s ideal for a taste of tradition with a side of sunshine. Forgo the rowdy Caribbean coast for the more laid-back Pacific side, where family-friendly town Puerto Vallarta excels at ‘something for everyone’: snorkelling trips around the Marietas Islands’ ‘Hidden Beach’; a sunset boat ride to Las Caletas cove for a traditional dance show; wandering around botanical gardens and eating at torch-lit waterfront restaurants.

Insider tip: The Malecón is Puerto Vallarta’s seafront promenade, the centre of community activity and a riot at Christmas, with craft markets, street-food vendors, palm trees hung with stockings and Santa-hat-wearing sand men.

Where to stay: At handmade hotel Verana , where 10 casas are embedded in the jungle with spellbinding views of the ocean. Families will love One&Only Mandarina where you can opt to stay in oversized treehouses or ocean-facing villas, and the fantastical kids’ club was designed by Academy Award-winning art director Brigitte Broch, whose wonderland sets have been seen in Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet .

Why A tropical Christmas in Hawaii still feels festive. On Oahu Honolulu City Hall is festooned with lights and has a...

Why : A tropical Christmas in Hawaii still feels festive. On Oahu, Honolulu City Hall is festooned with lights, and has a heavily decorated 50ft-tree out front; on Maui, Santa rocks up at Wailea Beach on Christmas Eve via outrigger canoe. Any one of these preternaturally gorgeous islands will appeal across the generations, with their mix of white-sand beaches, watersports, and family-friendly hijinks.

Insider tip : On Oahu’s North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center hosts a Christmas marketplace; on certain days, real snow is brought in for making snowmen. Check out Hukilau Marketplace for updates.

Where to stay: At Four Seasons Resort Hualãlai , fresh off a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renovation that saw a refresh of every guest room, the expansion of its family-friendly villa offerings, a sleek new pool and several updates to its world-class golf course. 

Why Dreaming of a white Christmas It doesnt get much merrier than North Americas favourite ski resort where snow is...

Whistler, Canada

Why : Dreaming of a white Christmas? It doesn’t get much merrier than North America ’s favourite ski resort, where snow is guaranteed, as are festively freezing temperatures. As well as a heap of family entertainment (the weekly Fire & Ice show sees skiers jumping through fiery hoops), there’s everything from ice skating to snowmobiling for the kids, and the slopes stay open on Christmas Day. Large, luxurious chalets are plentiful around Whistler Village: many with gorgeous views of Blackcomb Peak, patio heaters for outdoor evenings, and games rooms to keep all ages entertained.

Insider tip : Canadians are more likely to feast on pumpkin pie than Christmas pud on 25 December. Save the hassle of making your own and pick one up at local favourite Peaked Pies – it’s actually an Aussie bakery, but Whistler’s hungry skiers love it.

Where to stay: If it's your first time, opt to stay amongst the action of Whistler Village at Sundial , a boutique hotel with a rooftop hot tub, or nearby at Four Seasons Resort Whistler.

Why You dont have to look hard for the romance in Bali. Horseback rides on the beach Check. Gripping each other tightly...

Bali, Indonesia

Why: You don’t have to look hard for the romance in Bali . Horseback rides on the beach? Check. Gripping each other tightly on a scooter, zipping past 50-shades-of-green rice fields? But, of course. Glamping in the jungle, with your own private saltwater pool? Well hello, Capella Ubud. And then, when you’re hankering for a festive fix, there’s the Canggu Xmas Bazaar: a unique blend of traditional wooden Balinese architecture, festive crafts and Indonesian street food. Kitschy, yes – but it’s Christmas, after all.

Insider tip: Top off Christmas Day with a fireworks display: locals love setting them off once darkness falls, and if you head to the beach in Canggu you’ll catch one of Bali’s more fabulous sunsets, too.

Where to stay: For a private stay, takeover one of these villas in Bali . In Ubud, we like the look of Sharma Springs , a six-storey bamboo villa that sleeps up to ten (a fifth bedroom is located in a separate guest house) and has its own private pool and yoga pavilion.

Salvador Brazil

Salvador, Brazil

Why: Rio de Janeiro might be the kingpin Brazilian party capital on New Year’s Eve but for festive cheer, head north to the Bahia city of Salvador . With a fusion of African and Brazilian culture, this place crackles with energy all year round – but cranks it up several notches at Christmas. The pastel-hued houses of the UNESCO historic quarter make a colourful backdrop for impromptu marching band parades where the drummers dress up as Santa, and live music and dancing in the squares.

Insider tip: From here, it’s a two-hour (often choppy) boat trip to Morro de Sao Paulo, on the tip of Ilha de Tinharé. There are five numerically-named beaches: first beach is crowded and for watersports, by the time you reach fifth, you’re likely to have the sand to yourself.

Where to stay: The grand Hotel Fasano Salvador stands tall in a carefully restored 1930s building – once the former headquarters of the A Tarde newspaper – and has spectacular city views from its rooftop pool.

Why If youre looking to combine Yuletide cheer with a breathless party scene you wont go far wrong with Berlin. The...

Berlin, Germany

Why : If you’re looking to combine Yuletide cheer with a breathless party scene, you won’t go far wrong with Berlin . The Germans practically invented Christmas (we have them to thank for embellishments including decorated trees, baubles and tinsel), and they’re the undisputed world champions of the Christmas market (find a toboggan run and ice rink at Potsdamer Platz; Alexanderplatz packs a Ferris wheel and Christmas ‘pyramid’ with more than 5,000 lights). The city’s club scene hardly closes down as December comes to a close, however; on the contrary, it often ramps up, making it one of the best Christmas holiday destinations for those looking to party before spilling out into the snow.

Insider tip : Clubbing stints require planning: wear sturdy shoes and at least one T-shirt change. Dresses and heels aren’t simply impractical – they usually induce the bouncers to turn you away.

Where to stay: If you're here for the nightlife, Orania.Berlin — a luxury hotel in the edgy Kreuzberg district – is surrounded by some of the city’s best clubs. Radisson Collection Hotel , with its two-storey-high freestanding cylindrical aquarium, is an ideal option for families.

Why Morocco isnt exactly big on Christmas though youll still find traces of it in bigcity malls and hotels and there are...

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Why : Morocco isn’t exactly big on Christmas, though you’ll still find traces of it in big-city malls and hotels, and there are Catholic churches throughout the country (thanks to historic Spanish and French influences). Make a beeline for the remote Atlas Mountains just outside Marrakech . 

Insider tip : If you’re set on scaling Mount Toubkal, be aware that this time of year requires serious skills, crampons and ice axes. Alternatively, stay below the snow line with treks through Ouirgane National Park and Azzaden Valley, which are excellent in their own right, but also have great views of Toubkal.

Where to stay: Handily, some smart retreats have sprung up in this rugged region, so you can go off-grid in style. Berber Lodge – village-like and set inside an olive grove – is low-key, glam and gorgeous.

Why Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to climb the Roof of Africa. So if youre travelling solo but fancy...

Kilimanjardo, Tanzania

Why: Christmas is one of the busiest times of year to climb the Roof of Africa . So, if you’re travelling solo, but fancy meeting new people, this is a great way to tap in to some group spirit while also ticking off a life goal – pack your Santa hat for commemorative pictures at the top. As Christianity is a major religion in Tanzania , the holiday is very much celebrated: though it’s more low-key than the West’s commercial circus, you’ll see enough trees and baubles to feel suitably full of good cheer. Forget the turkey, though: Tanzanian families tend to go all out and buy a goat or a cow for the big dinner.

Where to stay: It’s practically mandatory that you follow up the Kili trek with a restorative break in Zanzibar. The village-style Zuri hotel has 56 standalone bungalows set amid dense bush and spice gardens, with Indian Ocean waves rolling just beyond your window.

Why This StTropezonsnow is the party ski resort and a Christmas cardworthy delight this time of year too. Here in the...

Val d'Isere, France

Why : This St-Tropez -on-snow is the party ski resort, and a Christmas card-worthy delight this time of year, too. Here in the powder-swept Alps , there’s no shortage of festive markets, steaming vin chaud , or decadent Christmas menus paired with Champagne . On Christmas Day, ski lifts are open as usual and Dick’s Tea Bar , the party place-to-be, brings the après with resident DJs. 

Insider tip : Luxury travel specialist Scott Dunn tells us you can’t beat L’Atelier d’Edmond for a decadent Christmas dinner. This double- Michelin-starred stunner typically rustles up a tasting menu that forgoes turkey for the more refined flavours of Arctic char and deer.

Where to stay: Val has been outdoing itself with ultra-luxe chalets lately: seven-room Chalet Husky has a climbing wall, infinity waterfall and space for rifle shooting and archery; at Arctic Townhouse , you’ll find a sauna, indoor hot tub and screening room. For more, see our where to stay in Val d'Isere guide. 

Why For a solo Christmas with just the right mix of adventure and home comforts playing cowboy  at a dude ranch in the...

Dude ranch, Colorado

Why : For a solo Christmas with just the right mix of adventure and home comforts, playing cowboy (or cowgirl) at a dude ranch in the Rocky Mountains could be ideal. You’ll spend your days getting active in that crisp mountain air – riding horses, learning to shoot and lasso – and evenings sharing hearty home-cooked meals, swapping stories around a campfire or square-dancing at the local saloon. Colorado’s little mountain towns come alive with holiday lights and festivities this time of year, and the region is stuffed with dude ranches offering seasonal packages, which typically include a snowy horseback ride and family-style feast on Christmas Day.

Where to stay: Dude ranches come in all styles and sizes, so do your research on the vibe. Sundance Trail Guest Ranch , for example, is small and low-key, with a real focus on a homestay-style experience, while C Lazy U Ranch is more like a hotel and goes all-out with sleigh rides and Santa PAs.

Why Christmas is a time for giving so if you feel like doling out some good cheer try a festive break with International...

Volunteering in Cusco, Peru

Why : Christmas is a time for giving, so if you feel like doling out some good cheer, try a festive break with International Volunteer HQ . You could even combine it with a pilgrimage – in Cusco, for example, IVHQ volunteers wrap presents and prep Christmas decorations for underprivileged local children; why not independently tack on the Inca Trail trek to nearby Machu Picchu , too?

Insider tip : Cusco’s Plaza de Armas is a brilliant spot for Christmas Eve, with its market and incense-filled churches. Stick around to see the whole city explode with fireworks at midnight.

Why Sometimes in order to escape Christmas you need to escape the world entirely. Even in Kathmandu a colourful clash of...

Himalayan Trekking, Nepal

Why : Sometimes, in order to escape Christmas, you need to escape the world entirely. Even in Kathmandu, a colourful clash of Hindu temples and Buddhist prayer flags, Christmas Day is a recognised holiday – with Santa hats, decorated trees and glittering lights to match. There’s never been a better time, then, to leapfrog the masses and head for the Roof of the World on an Annapurna trek. Though it can get cold up in the Himalayas this time of year, the trails are blissfully quiet. Even better, a proper trek should take at least a week, so if you head off on Christmas Eve, it’s all about New Year by the time you’re back – when Santa will be safely absent 'til next winter.

Insider tip : December’s daytime temperatures and clear skies make ideal hiking weather, but come nightfall, the mercury will usually dip below freezing. Be sure to bring a down sleeping bag and plenty of layers.

Why‘Partying in Colombia might once have been synonymous with cocaine but if theres one place that really shows how the...

Cartagena, Colombia

Why: ‘Partying’ in Colombia might once have been synonymous with cocaine, but if there’s one place that really shows how the country has changed, it’s Caribbean seaside city Cartagena : no longer a best-kept secret, but a bona fide tourism big-hitter. Crowds come for the buzz of the picturesque Old Town, livelier than ever at Christmas: where festivities spill into cobblestoned streets, public squares shimmer with over-the-top trees and giant baubles and the colonial mansions’ famous flower-filled balconies are strung with lights.

Insider tip: Formerly sketchy, now shabby-chic Getsemani isn’t just Cartagena’s hippest neighbourhood (with interactive pop-up dining and factories-turned-pizza-restaurants), it’s the best damn nightlife spot in the city, too. Bazurto Social Club is the place for sultry salsa dancing with locals, or touristy Café Havana – all retro 1930s style, Panama hats and lethal mojitos – pops five nights a week until 4am.

Where to stay: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena , a former 17th-century monastery located a short walk from the beach. 

Why This is where probably the worlds most famous Christmas Day beach party is held. On 25 December Santahatwearing...

Sydney, Australia

Why : This is where probably the world’s most famous Christmas Day beach party is held. On 25 December, Santa-hat-wearing crowds descend on Bondi ’s beloved crescent for barbecues and frolics. Lifeguards even plant a fir tree in the sand and, in the absence of snow, many folk build festive sandmen. However, anyone planning a rowdy booze-fest will be disappointed: the entire beach is an alcohol-free zone. Christmas just not Christmas without grog? Nearby, The Bavarian Bondi Beach will be a beery riot, and even does a Christmas roast .

Insider tip : For a less crowded experience, try Balmoral Beach, where the Bathers’ Pavilion usually puts on both a booze-included buffet and a three-course lunch. The restaurant’s wall of glass patio doors, which look out to sea, just might seal the deal.

Where to stay: Park Hyatt Sydney , beloved for its location tucked beneath the Harbour Bridge and it mosaic rooftop pool that is one of the city's great spots. 

Why Incidentally just voted one of the top 20 best cities to visit in the world in the Cond Nast Traveller Readers...

Salzburg, Austria

Why? Incidentally, just voted one of the top 20 best cities to visit in the world in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2021 , Salzburg really turns on the charm over the festive period. Decked out in its finest baroque regalia and surrounded by the Alps’ lofty peaks – smothered in snow – a December spent among the clock towers and chocolate box architecture of the Old Town begs a knitted jumper, rosy cheeks and a constant sense of occasion. The Salzburg Christmas Market on Cathedral Square conjures the sort of romantic, fairytale scene that might be plucked from a cheesy rom-com, and there’s no finer way to escape the cold than to take your seat for a Mozart concert in the composer’s own birthplace. 

Insider tip: In Austria , warming up chilly fingers over a hot chocolate is an unmitigated delight, and one that the city takes very, very seriously. You’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to stop, but for an extra special treat, head for Mozart’s favourite café, Café Tomaselli. 

Where to stay: For a spectacular view, we love the look of the large sun terrance at this penthouse apartment on Airbnb , located at the foot of Gaisberg and a 10-minute bus or car ride from  Salzburg city centre. 

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Christmas Holiday Destinations: The 13 Best Places To Go

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best holiday destinations to celebrate Christmas this year

Escaping to magical places for Christmas is a real festive treat. To help you discover where to go for Christmas, we’ve curated the top 13 Christmas getaways. From enchanting European markets to sun-soaked tropical paradises, each locale offers a unique way to celebrate the season.

Immerse yourself in local traditions, savour delicious seasonal treats, and relish the twinkling lights and joyful festivities. Let this handpicked selection of the best Christmas holiday destinations guide you in finding your very own festive favourite, where unforgettable holiday memories await…

So let’s take a look at the top Christmas holiday destinations in 2024

1. edinburgh, scotland.

Edinburgh, Scotland a best Christmas holiday destination

Enchanting Edinburgh is one of the best places for Christmas. Discover a world of warmth under grey winter skies as you immerse yourself in world-class museums, savour hearty cuisine in charming restaurants. Explore the Christmas markets, take a spin on the panoramic big wheel, enjoy a bar crawl under twinkling fairy lights, visit the Scottish National Gallery and use the brisk North Sea winds as the perfect excuse to snuggle up in snug watering holes with soul-warming Scotch.

2. Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic a best Christmas holiday destination

Bask in the warm embrace of 29°C and eight hours of daily sunshine in Dominican Republic. And this Caribbean gem offers more than just sun, sea, and sand – indulge in thrilling safari adventures and breathtaking whale watching. Worried about missing the Christmas cheer? Fear not! Dominicans are devoted to the festive season, celebrating from October to January with exquisite feasts, carolling, and mesmerising firework displays. Making it one of the best places to go at Christmas for sunshine and celebrations.

Read Also: Best time to visit Dominican Republic

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica a best Christmas holiday destination

Embrace a tropical Christmas in Costa Rica. With the dry season from December to April, it’s the perfect time for a sun-soaked holiday. Experience the magic of the festive season as everywhere becomes decked with tropical flowers, nativity scenes, and lush cypress branch wreaths. After the enchanting midnight mass on Christmas Eve, savour the taste of rum punch and let the fiestas and street parties transport you to a tropical paradise of celebration that continues well into January!

Read Also: Costa Rica in December | Best time to visit Costa Rica | Things to do in Costa Rica

4. Thailand

Thailand a best Christmas holiday destination

Celebrate the unique charm of Christmas in the land of smiles. As December unfolds, Thailand comes alive with its warm embrace, making it the perfect destination to escape the winter chill. Explore the diverse wonders of this tropical paradise, from the lush jungles of the north to the sun-soaked beaches of the south. In Thailand, vibrant decorations and the spirit of gift-giving grace the streets. And while there may be no turkey and trimmings, there’s delicious Thai cuisine to enjoy.

Read Also: Thailand in December | Best time to visit Thailand | Places to visit in Thailand

Cyprus a best Christmas holiday destination

Celebrate in Cyprus, one of the best places to go at Christmas. With a stunning 340 days of sunshine, December’s 20°C temperatures are delightful. The Christmas spirit lasts for 12 wonderful days, commencing on the 24th as local children spread joy with carols. The grand finale is a sumptuous feast on January 6th. And get ready for a delightful surprise – pomegranates abound! They’re not just for eating but also symbolise joy and good fortune, and adorn everyone’s homes.

6. New York, US

New York, US a best Christmas holiday destination

New York delivers the best Christmas holidays. It’s just as magical as the movies and your favourite Big Apple-based TV shows make it seem. There’s a plethora of enchanting activities but some must-sees include the Bergdorf Goodman and Macy’s holiday displays, the tree at Rockefeller Centre, ice-skating in Central Park and heading to Brooklyn to see the sparkling wonderland of the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights as houses compete to see who can create the most epic and enchanting displays!

7. Finnish Lapland

Finnish Lapland a best Christmas holiday destination

Step into a winter wonderland where dreams come true in one of the best Christmas holiday destinations for families – the home of Father Christmas himself! Here, a white Christmas is guaranteed, as you explore the enchanting resorts of Levi, Yllas, and Saariselka. In Santa’s village, hidden among snow-covered pines, children can decorate gingerbread cookies, craft decorations, attend Elf school, and enjoy a meeting with Santa and his reindeer!

8. Cape Verde

Cape Verde a best Christmas holiday destination

Get ready for Christmas festivities in Cape Verde. Celebrate the holiday season on these sun-soaked African islands, where temperatures hover in the delightful mid-20s. Whether you choose Sal’s eight kilometres of sandy shores or the vast 55-kilometre beach of Boa Vista, the beach parties are a festive highlight. Most hotels host Christmas and New Year feasts, followed by lively beach parties with traditional music. And because it’s still a fairly unknown getaway it’s one of the best uncrowded Christmas destinations.

Germany a best Christmas holiday destination

Experience the joy of Christmas in Germany, where festive celebrations reach their peak at enchanting Christmas markets. Savour the warmth of mulled wine, stroll amid twinkling lights, and revel in the holiday spirit. In lively Berlin, a grand funfair awaits at Alexanderplatz. Embrace the chance of a snowy wonderland – December temperatures often dip below freezing, setting a magical backdrop with an average low of -1°C. Celebrate the season with German cheer and the delightful winter magic that graces the country.

10. Barbados

Barbados a best Christmas holiday destination

Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas in Barbados, where the golden sun, azure seas, and powdery white sands create an idyllic holiday canvas. Picture yourself with a Santa hat, savouring the warmth of the beach and a unique festive ambiance. Barbados, renowned as the Caribbean’s food capital, offers a sumptuous Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and mulled rum amidst the lush palm trees and vibrant decorations.

Read Also: Best time to visit Barbados

11. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka a best Christmas holiday destination

Experience the magic of Christmas on the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, where temperatures linger around 30°C. Picture yourself basking in the warm sunshine, with the golden sands at your feet. Savour a slice of traditional Sri Lankan Christmas cake, rich in flavours and heritage. Dive into the sparkling waters for thrilling watersports, from surfing to kayaking. If you’re in the mood for cultural adventures, explore the lush tea plantations and ancient temples that adorn this island paradise.

Read Also: Best time to visit Sri Lanka | Why visit Sri Lanka?

12. Goa, India

Goa a best Christmas holiday destination

Celebrate a truly unique Christmas in Goa. Here, balmy beach temperatures harmonise with traditional yuletide merriment, drawing enthusiastic crowds during the Christmas-New Year period. Festivities kick off in mid-December with carol singing, concerts, vibrant street decorations, and illuminated village nativity scenes. Carol singers, often accompanied by Santa, roam the streets raising funds for the community. Colourful five-pointed paper stars adorn homes and businesses, adding to the festive splendour of this gorgeous Chrstmas get-away.

Read Also: Best time to visit Goa | Best time to visit India

13. Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife, Spain a best Christmas holiday destination

Experience a unique Christmas in Tenerife, where winter sun bathes the island in warmth. Beyond the bustling family-friendly resorts of Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas lies unspoiled beauty – seaside villages, picturesque coves, colonial towns, a lush rainforest and captivating ravines. All under the watchful gaze of the Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Celebrate the holidays in this unique and enchanting paradise!

Read Also: Best time to visit Spain

So, now you can escape the winter blues and embrace the festive season with these top Christmas holiday destinations. Each place offers a unique way to celebrate plus you get to leave the cooking (and the washing up) to the pros, and fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. Cheers to unforgettable Christmas getaways!

Read Also: Best holiday destinations in December | Best holiday destinations in January

FAQs for Best Christmas Holiday Destinations

One of the most Christmassy places in Europe is undoubtedly Strasbourg, France. Known as the ‘Capital of Christmas’ Strasbourg’s enchanting old town transforms into a winter wonderland, with its historic cathedral as the centrepiece. The city’s Christmas markets, dating back to 1570, offer festive delights like mulled wine, gingerbread, and handcrafted ornaments. And the streets glow with millions of twinkling lights and decorations.

You don’t have to break the bank to have an amazing Christmas getaway! Plan ahead and secure budget-friendly accommodation. Be flexible with travel dates and destinations, and use fare comparison websites to find great deals. Consider all-inclusive packages too for added savings.

Lucy Henshaw

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FORECAST: Clouds move back in tonight as a sprinkle chance arrives

Weather headlines.

  • Clouds tonight and Friday
  • Full sunshine on Saturday with somewhat mild air in place
  • Staying dry on Sunday despite clouds moving back in

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Clouds move back in tonight as a cold front approaches. There is a small chance for a rogue sprinkle or two, but most of us will stay dry as temperatures get down into the 30s in many areas by Friday morning.

The small sprinkle chance Friday morning will be long gone by the afternoon as the front presses south of our area. Clouds will stick around most of the day on Friday, keeping highs in the 40s for most of WAVE Country during the afternoon.

Clouds diminish Friday night as a Great Lakes high pressure system takes control of our region. The clearing sky will help send low temperatures down toward the freezing mark by early Saturday morning. We’ll watch for patchy fog early Saturday as well.

Full sunshine is expected on Saturday, our first completely sunny day since January 17th. Highs will only nudge into the lower 50s as cool winds out of the east will suppress the warming trend we’ll have despite the sunshine.

A system buzzing by to our south across the Gulf Coast states will increase our cloud cover but the rain from this looks to stay completely south of our region.

The next workweek looks calm and mild until a cold front late next week brings rain, thunder, and a transition to a more turbulent weather pattern that will take us back into winter by the middle of February. Be ready for colder air by then!

Copyright 2024 WAVE. All rights reserved.

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    1. San Diego, California Even during its coldest months, San Diego still has an average temperature that reaches the mid-60s. Not to mention it seldom rains and more often than not, the sun is shining. Not only can you escape the bitter cold during the winter, but you can also avoid the summer crowds by visiting in the winter.

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    1. West Palm Beach, Florida Florida is widely recognized as the ultimate hot winter beach destination. West Palm Beach is one of those spots where you can expect balmy weather, even at Christmas. The coldest month is usually January when temperatures drop to around 65°F.

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    Koh Samui, Thailand. Average December temperature: 27°C. Long the Shangri-La of feverish backpacker dreams, Koh Samui has grown up. Yes, its raison d'être remains pure pleasure - in the shade of three million coconut palms, and on its bone-white beaches - but the packaging is more Four Seasons, less ratty bungalow.

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    5. San Antonio, Texas The Riverwalk at Christmastime should be on everyone's bucket list. The city offers special attractions that only happen during the holidays. Because this is a popular time of the year to travel to San Antonio, be sure and book early. The average temperature in December is around 64 degrees. 6. New Orleans, Louisiana

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  24. FORECAST: Periods of sunshine and milder air return

    Clouds will gradually break up overnight Wednesday night into early Thursday, allowing lows to dip deeper into the 30s and even the 20s in some places by Thursday morning. Thursday will be the nicest day we've had in a while as we see a mix of sun and clouds with highs solidly in the 50s. The sun will feel good after so much gloomy weather!