A year ago I was laying on a cruise ship sailing around South America, however, now thanks to COVID-19, most of us have found ourselves cooped up inside our houses for over half a year. Now I dream about holiday getaways around the world to escape the harsh winters in the Midwest.
After months of maybe leaving the house a couple of times a week, many are wondering if they can get away for a little while safely. While it is impossible to stay 100% safe when not isolated in your own home, health experts have agrees that closer-to-home trips focusing on precautioned-filled excursions that focus on outdoor activities and social distancing are at a significantly lower risk.
As many may expect Colorado sits at the very top of this list. A magical spot to enjoy the Holidays, Colorado offers amazing affordable outdoor activities that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Before the pandemic, Colorado was a very popular Christmas travel destination. In preparation, their December calendar is already filled with events and activities. Ranging from ice skating in Acadia Park to skiing down some of the best mountains in the country to living out your Polar Express dreams on the Santa Express Train, Colorado truly offers a magical holiday experience.
One may not have our nations capital on top of their list when thinking of holiday escapes, however, this busy city is home to breathtaking celebrations and elaborate lights which are bound to amaze even the most stubborn Christmas scrooge.
Lined up across the capital, holiday trees spanning from the US Capital Tree, Library of Congress trees, Union Station, and the National Christmas Tree by the White House will light up the night creating a jaw-dropping spectacle. If you are more of a daytime explorer, do not fret, there are countless museums and even a Holiday Boat Parade which are subject to social distancing.
Los Cabos, Mexico
For those desiring to hop on a plane and say goodbye to the United States for a while, Los Cabos may be the perfect destination for you. With average temperatures in the 80s, Los Cabos is perfect for those trying to escape the arctic freeze.
December is filled with many traditional celebrations acknowledged in Mexico including the day of the Three Wise Men and the 12-day Virgin of Guadalupe, making it a no-brainer to visit for the holidays. Lined with picturesque beaches, Los Cabos is also there for those looking to unwind and take in the mere beauty of the country.
Charleston, South Carolina
A perfect exploration spot for those adventure-seeking travelers, Charleston is filled with lights and celebrations in December. As an added perk, Charleston is significantly less crowded during the winter months, making it easier to safely socially distant when out.
Having a calendar filled with holiday events, Charleston is a perfect town to grab a seat and head to Broad Street to witness the noteworthy Charleston Christmas Parade. If that is not what you are looking for, eat in one of their highly-rated restaurants and head over to Marion Park after to catch the famous tree lighting. Afterward, make sure the get in line for the stunning drive-through light display at the Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Believe it or not, Sin City becomes more sentimental and traditional during the holiday season. While it’s difficult for Los Vegas to become more sinful, this city transforms into a magical wonderland that singles, couples, and kids alike will enjoy.
Go big or go home. This phrase is frequently tossed around when discussing Los Vegas and it still holds through during December. Visual Extravaganzas including the amazing 12-foot x 7-foot x 13-foot edible Gingerbread House will leave you stunned.
For those looking for free activities in Las Vegas ensuring social distancing, Bellagio’s famous Holiday Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will also leave you jaw-dropped. The season’s roundup includes a 42-foot holiday tree, giant ornaments, and elves. Stay at one of the best airbnbs in Las Vegas to see the city truly come to life at an affordable price!
San Antonio, Texas
Famously known for the River Walk, San Antonio is especially gorgeous during the holiday season. For a temperate holiday with temperatures averaging in the low 60s, this destination is a perfect escape from your cold home.
The famous River Walk will continue to be the highlight of San Antonio as the river is lined with millions of lights. To continue this light spectacle, proceed to the San Antonio Zoo where over two million lights overlooking the animals, and finally, head over to SeaWorld where an additional 9 million lights are displayed beautifully.
If lights aren’t your thing, do not worry. San Antonio has plenty more activities to offer including the Ford Holiday River Parade, El Merkadito Puro Feliz Navidad on Historic Markey Square, authentic tamale making at the annual La Gran Tamalada, and many, many more.
Another great holiday destination for those looking to escape the United States this winter, London boasts a spectacular array of holiday activities. As a popular city finding itself in the center of countless holiday movies, London definitely lives up to the hype. There are plenty of free things to do in London that will keep you busy for the entire holiday season!
Starting your journey in Hyde Park, you will find yourself with numerous outdoor (socially-distant) activities perfect for the holidays. From ice skating with your loved-ones to attending a circus, Hyde Park holds up to couple and family expectations for the perfect Christmas holiday.
Newcomers to London will notice a large number of Christmas markets throughout the city. Any Harry Potter fan will fall in love with the Christmas-themed Harry Potter Studio Tour and Hogwarts in the Snow.
Hey, Disney fans! I know you were hoping for Orlando to be on this list, and while of course, Disney is amazing (especially during the holidays) Orlando offers so much more during Christmas.
With temperatures in Orlando sitting at a very comfortable 70 in December, this city is an ideal escape from the northern states. When it comes to holiday vacations, families will find Orlando hard to beat. With Disney World and Universal Studios, kids will not complain. Check into the nearby Legoland Hotel in Orlando for a unique and fun stay in Florida.
To get away from those crowds and lines, check out the ICE! Christmas attraction at Gaylord Palms Resort complete with a 54-feet tall tree. Orlando is also home to numerous nature parks for those wanting to explore with safer health-precautions.
Sugar Beach, St Lucia
Nestled between Saint Lucia’s Pitons, their famous Sugar Beach boasts a relaxing atmosphere favored by Hollywood’s stars and superyacht owners alike. As one of the safest places to travel right now, Saint Lucia’s borders are opened to all countries.
This holiday destination is perfect for a couples retreat. Enjoy a quiet beach-front villa fully relaxing with round the clock massages. Then, indulge in a private dinner on a beach while star gazing reflecting on this crazy year. This destination is perfect for those hoping to rewind for a while. Almost everyone you see here is trying to have a good time taking care of their personal health with their loved ones.
Palos Verdes, California
Last but definitely not least, Palos Verdes is another perfect Christmas escape in the United States. While not in the crazy Los Angeles, Palos Verdes overlooks the bustling town, only about a half an hour from downtown.
Filled with feelings of the Italian and French Riviera, Palos Verdes is the ideal cliffside escape. Their December calendar is jam-packed with events including the Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights in Torrance, the Wayfarer’s Chapel’s Candlelight Christmas Concert, the Holiday Parade of Lights, and finally the amazing “Glass Church” constructed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son.
Travel this season will undoubtedly come with restrictions. Still, with a little planning, you will find it is easier than initially thought to go on a memorable winter adventure this holiday season.
From exploring spectacular Christmas villages to Polar Express rides, these are the top 10 Christmas vacation ideas during the 2020 holiday season.