The end of the year always serves as a wonderful time to visit with loved ones in a calming environment to look around, take stock, and cherish the experiences from the past year while setting your sights on the new dawn right around the corner. So when it comes to the ideal Christmas vacation setting, who says you have to open gifts at home? Thanks to this article from Travel + Leisure that suggests the fifteen most cheerful destinations to spend Christmas this year, it’s never been more tempting to spend the happiest time of year in these winter destinations.
As always, recent COVID-19 surges may have caused new government restrictions, rules, and safety measures to have been set. Because of this, it’s always suggested that those who wish to travel check local guidelines, consult CDC recommendations, and take personal health conditions into account before traveling. This way you’re more prepared to enjoy your trip while remaining as safe and responsible as possible in these unprecedented times.
Highlands, North Carolina
Consider spending your Christmas morning in Appalachian amazement in the charming town of Highlands, North Carolina. This idyllic winter destination, modern-day setting is so humble and quaint that residents and visitors alike compare its environment to a Nancy Meyers film or Lifetime Christmas special. For over a century, Highlands has been suggested to visitors as being the perfect setting for a “break from it all,” as it’s colloquially known as a mountain respite. Located in one of the few temperate rain forests of North America, the mountain resort town is located only ten miles from Cashiers, North Carolina, and is surrounded by the main attraction that is Nantahala National Forest. Spend your Christmas in a mountain cabin on the outskirts of this forest or nestled deep within, either way you’re sure to enjoy your time spent among nature.
Inside the town proper, you’ll find many shops, experiences, and community-laden amenities to keep you entertained in between the holiday’s festivities. Downtown Highlands is often called a “postcard” for just how perfectly situated and pictured its various buildings and features are laid out, such as the historic building that houses a full European-style spa. Other spots nearby that are worth a dedicated visit are the Bridal Veil Falls, located on the Waterfall Byway, the historic High Hampton Resort, and the unforgettable American Museum of Cut and Engraved Glass. No matter where you go in this comfortably charming little hamlet, you’re sure to be delighted by it’s size and attention to detail this holiday season.
For those who were raised on Christmas movies and other similar media, it’s hard to make it through the holiday season with an abundant absence of snow in the background. So, if you’re looking to celebrate a snowy white Christmas, then look no further than the East Coast ski paradise of Stowe, Vermont for your winter destination. Located at the foot of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, Stowe is quite literally a winter wonderland that is known not only for its world-renowned trails and ski slopes, but it’s also famous for its accompanying town as well. Once you make your way to Stowe, it’s hard to believe that you’re not literally stepping foot into a snowglobe, as the buildings, trees, and grounds are often blanketed with thick layers of smooth snowfall.
Be sure to spend Christmas in the style of a storybook by reserving a horse-drawn carriage ride for you and your loved ones to see the sprinkled pine trees. Alternatively, take a trip down Main Street for nightly winter activities that are sure to make ever-lasting memories. If you’re in the mood for adventure, you can host your holiday celebrations and then cap it off by planning an unforgettable day on the slopes, or you can simply spend the time quietly around the fire of the Stowe Mountain Ski Resort. No matter the reason, there’s no question that Winter is the perfect season to see all of the wonders that Stowe, Virginia has to offer.
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