Can you feel the shift in the air? We can. The air is getting crisper and starting to resonate with a very merry feel. It always happens during this time of year, when the spooky atmosphere fades away and the merry feels take over as soon as November knocks on our doors. The cities around the country are beginning to snap into holiday mode, decking themselves in the holiday décor. From festive lights, that are hung with the utmost care, to skating rinks, the cities in the U.S. go all out to welcome the festive months. The air is filled with the melodious voices of carolers as they sing happy songs in honor of the coming festivities.
If you are the kind of person who comes to life when the festive season draws near, then this article is for you. In this article, we will talk about the 8 best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit. From immersing yourself in the holiday spirit by watching Hollywood’s Holiday classics in LA to skating on the frozen waters of Chicago, the very merry place called the United States of America is an ideal destination for the lovers of jolly months.
8 Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit – A Quick Glance
8 Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
1. New York City – The Most Ideal Holiday Destination among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
America’s Big Apple is an old hand when it comes to getting in the holiday feels and is one of the best U.S cities to get in the holiday spirit. Maybe it’s the jolly combination of flurries of snow, excessive decoration, a world-famous ice rink at Rockefeller Center, and a network of Christmas markets, but New York City resonates with the kind of holiday spirit that makes even the Grinchiest of people sing in merry joy. Of course, George Balanchine who revolutionized the American holiday season with the debut of his staging of The Nutcracker in 1954 is also responsible for the merry cheer NYC resonates with.
Every winter like clockwork the New York City Ballet comes alive with the performance of George Balanchine’s original work. But of course, as the Big Apple has to add a little twist of its own to everything, the city also holds performances of newer versions of the classic ballet during the festive season. To witness the more twisty versions of the classic ballet head on to the New York City center which is a Moorish Revival-style venue, the very place where George Balanchine first premiered the show. Here you will be able to witness the jazzier rendition of The Nutcracker called Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker from November 17 to 26.
Also, this year, the Kings Theater which is a gorgeously resorted 1929 movie palace that lies deep in Brooklyn, is hosting both the touring Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet on December 6 and The Brooklyn Nutcracker on December 16. Moreover, don’t forget to visit the beaming and brilliant symbol of NYC, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree which will light up during a special ceremony on November 29. The lovers of outdoors, food, and shopping will appreciate the holiday extravaganza that is being held at Bryant Park. With more than 180 shopping and food kiosks as well as a 17,000 square-foot ice-skating rink, fire up your holiday spirit and skate into the merry season with joy.
Where to Stay?
To match the festivities of the Big Apple, stay at The Plaza which goes all out to celebrate the jolly season. The decorations at the Plaza alone make it worth your stay, not to mention that you can even ask the staff to decorate your suite with a seven-foot-tall Christmas tree.
2. San Antonio – Top Destination to Celebrate Feliz Navidad among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
San Antonio is a vibrant city in Taxes and is known for its rich cultural heritage and lively community. During the holiday season, the city comes alive, with holiday events, and family-friendly activities as it decks itself in festive lights and decor. The gorgeous San Antonio Riverwalk that runs through the heart of the Alamo City, becomes even more spectacular around the holiday season as it gets decorated with 100,000 lights. This year the holiday festivities in San Antonio will kick off from 23rd November with the Ford Holiday River Parade. The onlookers of the parade will get to feast their eyes as the 28 floats decked out with Mexican folk dancers and themed décor, glide through the water.
San Antonio is one of the best U.S cities to get in the holiday spirit as it beckons people with its alluring décor that is equal parts vibrant and creative. The cities south of the border-inspired festivities, that act as a bacon for the lovers of vibrance and culture, continue throughout the festive season.
A vibrant event, Ford Fiesta de La Luminaries, in which the banks of the river get lined with traditional lanterns that are made up of candles in paper bags, will take place this year on December 1st. Another event, the Las Nuevas Tamaleras, which is a holiday comedy about three women who throw their first tamalada, or tamal-making gathering will commence on 30 November and will conclude on 3rd December. At the Ballet San Antonio, you will be able to witness the breathtaking performance of The Nutcracker around Christmas time from December 3rd to December 12th.
Where to Stay?
When in San Antonio for the vibrant festive season, you can opt for a stay at the Hotel Havana. Hotel Havana is one of the coolest places to stay in the city. The hotel occupies a 1914 Mediterranean Revival building that lies on a quieter section of the Riverwalk. The hotel also houses a boutique from you can do your last-minute holiday shopping.
3. Los Angeles – The Most Fun among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
Theme parks in Sothern California, very effortlessly put a cinematic spin on the festive season celebrations. The renowned theme parks go all out for the celebrations busting out vibrant decors and fun activities. Universal Studios Hollywood sprinkles fake snow on its premises for the Grinchmas and Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. On the other hand, the happiest place on earth, Disneyland, lying farther afield in Anaheim, adds a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay to the Haunted Mansion.
During the merry season, you can immerse yourself in your favorite holiday films anywhere in Tinseltown. For instance, you can visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall during the festive months as it will mesmerize the lovers of film and movies, by hosting performances of John Williams’ whimsical Home Alone score as part of its Deck the Hall holiday concerts series. You can also watch your favorite films under the starry skyline of Los Angeles by visiting the Rooftop Cinema Club which will be screening films like Holiday, Elf, The Best Man, and Gremlins throughout November and December at its outdoor venues in El Segundo, the Arts District, and Downtown LA.
Where to Stay?
Just across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall, lies Conrad Los Angeles which opened its doors to the public last year. The accommodation offers stunning views of Frank Gehry’s architecture and comes with a cozy lobby fireplace where you can snuggle during the chilly California nights when the temperatures tend to drop below 60 Fahrenheit.
4. Nashville – Very Merry among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
Christmas is one of the best times to visit Nashville as the city brings out its finest decor along with some of its best performances and decks itself in the lots of Christmas lights. Nashville harbors fun activities for the merry celebrators of all age groups. However, one of the highlights of the Christmas season in Nashville is a visit to Cheekwood Lights. During the Christmas season, the 55-acre grounds of the botanical garden and its historic mansion are transformed into a shimmering display with the addition of more than a million colorful lights. The shimmering candy canes, glowing arches, and unique decorations will leave you gaping-mouthed and awe-struck.
When in Nashville, don’t forget to visit the Grand Ole Opry, a massive venue lying outside of town. The Grand Ole Opry hosts nine nights of holiday concerts every year with performances from big names such as Trace Adkins, Lady A, Lauren Alaina, and Scotty McCreery. Moreover, the institution’s original home, the historic Ryman Auditorium also welcomes the married country legends Vince Gill and Amy Grant for a 12-show residency, the Christmas at the Ryman.
A place that is not to be missed as you celebrate the merry season is Bobby Hotel’s rooftop lounge that lies ten stories above downtown. The rooftop lounge houses personal igloos that are full of rustic furnishings and cozy blankets. Moreover, the place also harbors campfires, ice skating, and lots of seasonal foods and drinks that you can enjoy in the beautiful igloos.
Where to Stay?
When in Nashville, the ideal place where you can spend the night is Graduate Nashville. Graduate Nashville lies near the Vanderbilt University campus and harbors a Dolly Parton-inspired rooftop bar that is known as White Limozeen. When Christmas comes around, Graduate Nashville decorates its halls with tinsel and garland, welcoming the festive season decked in merry décor.
5. Chicago – The Ideal Place for Skaters among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
Among the 8 best U.S cities to get in the holiday spirit, one that speaks the merry language with utter refinement is Chicago. Chicago is also a great city for lovers of ice skating, as even though many cities in the U.S. install seasonal ice-skating rinks come holiday season, none of them does it better than Chicago.
The as cool as ice Skating Ribbon in Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park is a vision to behold during winter and is every ice skater’s dream. If you want to picture it, think of it as a lazy river that has been subjected to Elsa’s (Frozen) icy touch. The Skating Ribbon is a quarter-mile loop that effortlessly meanders past the park’s climbing wall and is backed by impressive skyline views.
Apart from this magnificent ice rink, the Windy City also harbours various other ice rinks where you can glide to your wintery heart’s content. These include the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park, Winterland at Gallagher Way which also brings a European-style holiday market and Santa’s workshop to the area during the merry season, and the Midway Plaisance Ice Rink in Hyde Park.
Make sure to visit the authentic German Christmas market at the buzzing Christkindlmarket. This is an annual, free-admission extravaganza that takes place in the heart of Chicago downtown and features vendors selling wooden cuckoo clocks, beautiful ornaments, and other crafts and gifts. Also, make sure to try the traditional German treats while you are visiting the market.
Where to Stay?
The Peninsula Chicago is a five-start property that lies on Michigan Avenue and plays host to Chicago’s only hotel skating rink, the Sky Rink, sitting high above the bustle of the shopping street below. The Peninsula Chicago is an exquisite place that is known for the warmth of its hospitality and winter revelry.
6. Seattle – The Most Enchanting among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
Seattle celebrates the festive season with numerous fun events that will evoke even the most zombified holiday spirit. The city offers festivities that cater to the palate of all kinds of merry celebrators. From delightful winter beer festivals to a charming Christmas ship with carolers, the place goes all out on celebrations for the festive season. The highlight of the season is of course the Seattle Christmas Boat Parade, which the city celebrates on December 16th. During the parade, decked-out vessels circle Lake Union, filling the freshwater lake with vibrant colours.
You can hit the water yourself with the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival which has been a Northwest tradition since 1949. Come aboard the official Christmas Ship, the Spirit of Seattle, that comes decked in strings of white light to welcome you on board. The ship sails to more than 40 coastal communities on Puget Sound and serenades the guests with its on-board choir. Revellers aged 21 and older can opt for the “Follow Boat” instead.
The Follow Boat hosts a rowdier ugly-seater party at sea that comes with a full-service bar, selfie station with ring light and props, broadcast choir performance from the Spirit of Seattle, and ugly sweater contest. This ship follows closely behind the Spirit of Seattle but has on board a more adult extravaganza.
Where to Stay?
The Edgewater, Seattle’s only over-water hotel sits on a pier over Elliot Bay. During the festive season in December, The Edgewater hosts various events that include a holiday-themed karaoke along with a Merry Little Christmas Bar that serves seasonal cocktails such as Mistletoe Martini.
7. Washington D.C. – The Loveliest among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
For all the patriots, the ideal destination where they can evoke their holiday spirit is the National Mall in Washington D.C which is possibly the loveliest destination among the 8 best U.S cities to get in the holiday spirit. Visit the United States Botanic Garden to witness the Conservatory filled with poinsettias and models of D.C. landmarks that are made out of plants. Step outside to see model trains zip through scenic displays, depicting this year, oversized pollinators and pants.
Every year the towering conifer used for the U.S Capitol Christmas Tree comes from a different national forest and this year the honor was bestowed on the Monongahela National Forest which resides in West Virginia. So, don’t forget to see the beautiful conifer in its full glory during the festive season. Lovers of ice skating should visit the National Gallery which lies just across the National Mall and hosts a rink its Sculpture Garden, which allows skaters to skate against the backdrop of Alexander Calder and Louise Bourgeois masterpieces.
To see the city in its full festive glory, opt for a holiday light tour. Stroll through D.C. as you bask in the beauty of light displays, spread across D.C. These include displays from the famous Old Ebbitt’s rill giant nutcrackers to the National Christmas tree.
Where to Stay?
The Willard InterContinental is one of the best places to stay in Washington D.C. during the festive time when it pulls out all stops as the winter season approaches. Those looking to evoke their holiday spirit will benefit greatly by staying at this accommodation as the hotel offers a roaster of activities that include tons of things from nightly caroling to holiday afternoon tea in the opulent Peacock Alley.
8. Boston – Ideal for the Lovers of History and Tradition among the Best U.S Cities to Get in the Holiday Spirit
When the festive season knocks at its door, Boston leans into its century-old history with colonial-tinged celebrations. Boston is one the best U.S cities to get in the holiday spirit for the lovers of all tradition and history. When in Boston book an hour-long Historic Holiday Stroll on the Freedom Trail, which will be led by a guide in Dickensian-era costume. Also, on December 9th visit the Omni Parker House, which is widely known as the first spot in the United States where Charles Dickens introduced A Christmas Carol to American audiences. Here you will be able to witness a live reading of the novella with musical accompaniments as well as a pre-reading discussion by the house historian.
To experience something magical during the enchanting season, snap a coveted ticket to the Candlelight Concert series. These happen all around the world, however, the venues harboured by Boston are truly magical and enchanting. These string quartet concerts will be held this year in the Gothic Revival Old Church in the Back Bay neighbourhood, Temple Ohabei Shalom in Beacon Street, and the First Church in Cambridge. These venues will be lit only by the flickering candles that will add to the ambiance of the whole experience.
Where to Stay?
For a historic lodging, opt for the Omni Parker House which opened its doors sot guests in 1855 and ranks as America’s longest continuously operating hotel. This Italianate-style gem with rich wood paneling and intricately carved moldings speaks a language of history and opulence and is also the place where Charles Dickens resided for five months.
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