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Travel

5 Magical American Cities for an Unforgettable Christmas 2023

December 6, 2023

According to a survey by Eagle Hill Consulting, nearly 38% of Americans have gone without a vacation over the past year. Americans need some time off, and the holiday season is a perfect chance to step back from the daily grind and enjoy some leisure.

The survey indicates the main reason Americans haven’t been taking vacations is cost. With the pinch of inflation, many people aren’t budgeting for any extra expenses and vacations are no exception. However, with employee burnout an issue in the workplace, vacations aren’t necessarily an “extra” expense.

Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, says, “It’s not just employees who benefit from taking time away from work. Employers also benefit. When employees have space away from their job, they often return more energized and focused. Ultimately, that benefits their employer and customers.”

The holidays can be a time to connect with loved ones, and be thankful. For those who struggle with work-related burnout, this season provides a welcome respite and an opportunity to recharge. Workers can go back to their jobs with renewed energy and focus.

Some of you may be lucky enough to already live in these locations, and can spend time with your family at home. But whether going with your loved ones or traveling solo, these five cities are worth spending some time at during the holiday season.

New York City, New York

New York City might be the place for those searching for a magical Christmas.

Main Attraction: This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be an 80-foot-tall Norway spruce adorned with 50,000 lights and a three-dimensional Swarovski crystal star. It is one of the most famous NYC Christmas traditions and dates back to 1931.

The tree lighting ceremony was November 29 and it will be up until January 13, 2024.

Other Things To Do

See the Cirque du Soleil Christmas show at Madison Square Garden from December 9 through 27.
Look at the holiday window displays in stores on Fifth Avenue.
Shop at Union Square Holiday Market and Bryant Park’s Winter Village under the lights.
Visit the Gingerbread Lane in Chelsea Market in Manhattan until January 7. More than 1,000 gingerbread houses, bakeries, ice cream parlors, etc. are on display, designed by artist Jon Lovitch.
McAdenville, North Carolina

Known as Christmas Town USA, this small town transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas. It hosts an annual Christmas Town 5K, allowing visitors to experience the magic of the lights while participating in a festive run or walk.

Main Attraction: Check out the tree lighting ceremony on December 1, at 102 Main Street. The light display illuminates the entire town, turning it into a magical holiday destination.

The lights are synchronized and often follow thematic displays, creating a captivating, coordinated visual spectacle that attracts visitors of all ages.

Other Things To Do

Enjoy the Yule Log Parade on December 14. This parade started in 1949.
Floating Christmas trees on the lake are a new highlight this year.
Shop and dine at Terra Mia Ristorante, Mona’s Boutique and Gifts, 115 Craft (Brewery), and Revolver Records.
New Orleans, Louisiana

During Christmas, New Orleans offers a distinctive and lively celebration, with concerts, ceremonies, and markets to explore in the city this season.

Main Attraction: The Celebration in the Oaks is the largest fundraiser and New Orleans family tradition that draws many visitors. The holiday lights festival is held in historic City Park, transforming it into a wonderland of lights, decorations, and festive displays.

Other Things To Do

Enjoy the Running Of The Santas Bar Crawl on December 10.
Attend the holiday concerts at St. Louis Cathedral.
Experience the LUNA Fête light show that will illuminate the Convention Center.
The fifth annual Christkindlmarkt market returns. Enjoy a German Christmas with festive music, food, and lights.
Branson, Missouri

The city offers a wide array of attractions during the Christmas season.

Main Attraction: Besides offering a diverse range of shows, theme park Silver Dollar City’s “ An Old-Time Christmas ” festival features Christmas celebrations and food. The park has about 6.5 million lights this year.

Explore indoor water parks, dinner cruises, campgrounds, and book lunch with Santa.

Other Things To Do

Branson Landing is a waterfront shopping and dining district. Visit for special events and massive tree lighting.
Trail of Lights is a drive-through experience through the Ozark Mountains countryside.
Enjoy snow tubing and Polar Express train rides in the city.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Known as the Christmas city of the country, Bethlehem is renowned for its one-of-a-kind Christmas celebrations. Explore the open-air market and go through the expanded winter experience at Lehigh Valley Zoo.

Main Attraction: The Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem is a traditional European-style Christmas market that captures the charm of old-world holiday festivities. The market features 150 vendors and artisans offering a range of handmade crafts and unique gifts. Visitors enjoy live performances by entertainers and musicians.

Kids can do a meet and greet with St. Nicholas, with a fun taste of traditional European holiday customs.

Other Things To Do

Christmas City Village is an open-air market featuring wooden stalls with unique gifts and seasonal treats.
Take tours and carriage rides to learn more about the city’s rich history.
Visit local markets for souvenirs.
Where Are You Going?

Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly adventure, a romantic getaway, or some quiet reflection, there’s a Christmas city or a light display perfect for you.


Chhavi Agarwal | Wealth of Geeks

This article was produced by Mrs Daaku Studio and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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