Whether you're looking for someplace to dig your toes into the sand or to sip steaming cocoa while watching the snowflakes fall, these North American destinations bring the holiday cheer—each in its own unique style.
Charleston, South Carolina
Celebrate Christmas in the lowcountry, where candlelight twinkles from stately plantations decked in holiday finery. King Street buzzes with holiday markets, parties and special events. Sing along to favorite holiday carols aboard a Carolina Queen dinner cruise.
Storefront holiday displays on Boston's Newbury Street are some of the most charming in the nation. The multitude of sparkling lit trees adorning Boston Common and skaters gliding along the Frog Pond will make visitors feel they've stepped into a Currier & Ives print. The Boston Pops' holiday tunes will provide the merriest of holidays.
Have yourself a boot-scootin' Christmas at Gaylord Opryland's "A Country Christmas," featuring more than two million lights, The Nutcracker, The Grinch and Christmas music shows featuring country music mainstays.
Key West, Florida
The combination of Key West's laid-back vibe and another reason to celebrate makes for a Christmas atmosphere that's more Jimmy Buffett than Bing Crosby. A lighted boat parade, Holly Jolly Trolley and Historic Inns Holiday Tour make for plenty of Yuletide fun.
Enjoy the European charm of Christkindlmarket, experience the mind-bending light show at Morton Arboretum, get your fitness (and style) on at the Ugly Sweater Run, explore the Lincoln Park Zoo by Christmas light and choose from a multitude of holiday-themed performance options.
Québec City, Québec, Canada
Québec City's iconic Christmas Markets, elaborate holiday décor and breathtaking New Year's Eve fireworks display make for a magical destination.
New York, New York
What could be more quintessentially Christmas than skating in Central Park, seeing the giant tree at Rockefeller Center Plaza and watching the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™?
Written by Jennifer Reynolds, contributing writer for West Michigan Woman.
Photo courtesy of Yves Tessier, Tessima.