11 Must-See Holiday Sights Across the U.S.
Spending the holidays on the road? Here are some must-see holiday sights across the U.S. Get an idea of how cities around the country are celebrating the holidays, or take a holiday trip and hit them all!
1. New York CityIt’s not the holidays until the tree is lit at Rockefeller Center. After the lighting, lace up your skates and step onto the Rockefeller Center’s Ice Rink or take a walk through the Center’s Channel Gardens. If you’re planning a longer stay in the city, consider taking a tour of NBC Studios or Radio City Music Hall. Learn more about Rockefeller Center holidays.
2. Washington, D.C.Stop by the Lighting Ceremony of the National Chanukah Menorah. Get your fill of hot latkes and donuts as you enjoy some music. Tickets are required.
3. ChicagoGo shopping at the German Christkindl market, a traditional German holiday market in Daley Plaza. The market features vendors selling decorations, ornaments, toys and other items from Germany and around the world, as well as traditional German foods, such as sausages, schnitzel and sweets. When you’re finished shopping, stop by the ice skating rink at Millennium Park under Chicago’s famous Cloud Gate sculpture to complete your experience.
4. Galveston, TexasEver wanted to be a part of a holiday classic? Less than an hour from Houston, you can step into Charles Dickens’ Victorian London at “Dickens on the Strand” in Galveston, Texas. For one weekend, you can experience his classic story “A Christmas Carol,” come to life and what it was like to stroll around Victorian London, complete with costumed street musicians, carolers and peddlers selling holiday decorations, clothing and other items inspired by the era.Image courtesy of Ed Uthman via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.
5. PhoenixYou can get into the holiday spirit even without snow, as Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden celebrates Las Noches de las Luminarias. Stop by during the month of December to enjoy a unique holiday experience with hand-lit luminaries, thousands of twinkle lights, warm cider and carolers. Tickets are required.
6. Las VegasThe holidays are no time to slow down, especially for racing fans. Check out the Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The speedway uses more than 2.5 miles of holiday lights to create festive custom light displays in the shape of candy canes, snowmen and even race cars.
7. DenverHead to the Mile-High City to experience a Rocky Mountain tradition with Afternoon Tea at Denver’s elegant and historic Brown Palace, which has been open since 1892. Enjoy scones, tea, pastries and sandwiches as you and your family listen to music played by harpist and pianists.
8. HonoluluWorried it won’t feel like the holidays in Hawaii? Think again. Check out the Honolulu City Lights event and enjoy a tree lighting ceremony, as well as holiday food, parades and concerts.
9. BaltimoreBaltimore really becomes a city of lights during the holidays. The Annual Downtown Partnership Monument Lighting is the lighting of the city’s own Washington Monument, complete with musical performances, fireworks and a laser finale.
10. ClevelandDid you know the movie “A Christmas Story” was filmed in Cleveland? Celebrate by visiting the house featured in the movie and a museum dedicated to the holiday favorite. Enjoy tours and take plenty of photos as you visit filming locations and watch plays and musicals based on the movie.Image courtesy of Yvonne N via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
11. Santa Claus, IndianaVisit Santa Claus, Indiana, where the holidays keep going every day of the year! The town brings out its especially festive spirit during the first three weeks of December, when it holds the Santa Claus Christmas Celebration, featuring a variety of events such as chestnut-roasting, a parade, a 5K race, a pageant, an arts and crafts show and dinner with the man in red himself.Image courtesy of Traci Gardner via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.
With so many festive events across the country, it’s hard not to fill up the tank and hit the road! Enjoy your holiday season, and remember to drive safely.
Joe Campanella is the EVP of business development at CARCHEX. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Md., CARCHEX is the premier provider of Extended Auto Warranties and Mobile Vehicle Inspections. CARCHEX is the preferred partner to the most trusted names in the automotive industry, including Pat Goss of TV’s MotorWeek and Carfax. You can read their automotive blog here.
Originally published on November 25, 2013.