Although the holidays will be different this year, we still celebrate the occasion. And, fortunately, domestic travel remains a possibility for those of us who need a change of scene. This year, discover the spirit of Christmas right here in our northern states.
A note about winter sports
Good news for skiers! Despite the pandemic, our ski season is poised to go ahead this year. However, resorts are slated to operate at 50% capacity this season, and lift passes must be purchased in advance. So it’s important to book early if you do intend to hit the slopes - whether that’s for a day or a week-long stay.
White Mountains (New Hampshire) & Vermont
For some of our most enchanting winter wonderland landscapes, you need to take a road trip through the northeast. Journey into the snow-capped vistas of the White Mountains for winter sports, hiking, and snowshoeing. You could expand this by exploring the alpine forests and valleys of neighboring Vermont.
Leavenworth (Washington State)
While Germany’s Christmas markets aren’t an option this year, Leavenworth is the perfect alternative on our own soil. Within the cozy buildings of this quaint, Bavarian-themed village in the Cascade Mountains, you will find German beer and festive gastronomy.
Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
Cradled by the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, Jackson Hole is a firm favorite for a winter holiday. Besides the world-class skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing, you can also catch a glimpse of the thousands of elks who shelter in the local refuge. The town offers a mix of lodgings ranging from snug cabins to deluxe resorts.
For the past 16 years, the town of Duluth has lit up the shores of Lake Superior with its Tour of Lights extravaganza. And it turns out even a pandemic isn’t going to break this tradition; the organizers have adapted this year’s Bentleyville into a drive-thru experience.
Once in Vail, you’ll convince yourself you’re in the Swiss Alps. Besides from winter sports the region has to offer and flexing your photography skills, another major attraction is the Ice Castles in neighboring Dillon. The town council has approved the construction for 2020, and they should be constructed by December.
Santa Claus (Indiana)
Although the annual parade has been cancelled this year, America’s Christmas Hometown has still managed to curate a yuletide program. Packed with family-friendly events, children can write letters to Santa and pet reindeer while enjoying fireworks and light shows.
The Real Bedford Falls: Seneca Falls (New York)
Supposedly the inspiration of the fictional town in Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, Seneca Falls proudly shows off its heritage with its yearly festival. This year it will be an entirely virtual event, in light of the pandemic - which means we can all tune in.
Of course, if you’d rather escape from the snow, we have a handful of options. A number of Caribbean islands are currently welcoming USA citizens, providing you present a negative PCR test. Meanwhile, it is still possible to visit Mexico (by air) without taking a test. And don’t forget - you can even experience a slice of the tropics in our very own Hawaii!
If you plan to book a trip over the holidays, keep a close eye on the media for any changes, and don’t forget travel insurance. Contact me if you need any assistance booking your holiday getaway.
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