No offense to Perry Como, but with so many great places to go for Christmas, we're going to have to respectfully disagree. The festive weeks of December make for one of the best times to travel to a new destination, with city squares and charming towns pulling out all the stops to make visitors feel extra merry and bright. Lights hang from every storefront and lamppost, hotel lobbies get decked out with perfectly trimmed trees, and parks turn into makeshift ice skating rinks—all set to the backdrop of snowy mountains and iconic skylines. So you could stay home for the holidays, why would you?
Having said that, winter travel does look a little different this year due to lingering COVID restrictions and the emergence of the Omicron variant. We usually have our sights set on Europe in December (those Christmas markets are pretty epic, after all), but there are plenty of places to visit in the U.S. that have just as much holiday cheer—minus the hassle of crossing international borders during a pandemic. Whether they're New England towns with major storybook vibes, or some of the biggest and brightest metropolises in the country, celebrating in these cities is well worth the price of a domestic airline ticket or road trip. And let's face it: You haven't really experienced true Christmas spirit until you see it through the shiny lens of Las Vegas.
Here are the best places to go for Christmas in the U.S., from Charleston, South Carolina, to Alaska. As always, remember to read up on local travel restrictions and vaccination requirements before hitting the road this year.