Top US Cities to Visit for the Holidays 2014

What is the top U.S. city for holiday attractions? This was a question posed to me by a long-time Smart Destinations customer. Easy, right? Not so fast. Without question, New York City is a magical place to be during the most wonderful time of the year. However, after doing some research and asking some of our tour partners, I discovered there are other cities that rank right up alongside the City That Never Sleeps in terms of top-notch U.S. holiday attractions. Here are a couple of other great places to be over the upcoming holidays – and the special events they’re holding in 2014.

BGAfrica_Baby BolingoOrlando

Beautiful, warm weather and endless attractions… how could you go wrong? Spending the holidays in Florida isn’t for everyone, and may even seem counterintuitive, particularly to those who prefer to cuddle by the fire with a glass of eggnog. But many prefer their White Christmases to feature sand rather than snow. Of course, if you’re looking for more than just warm weather and white-sand beaches, you’ll find plenty to do in the Orlando area over the holidays. In fact, if you’re there this year, you won’t want to miss Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town, which transforms Florida’s beloved attraction into a winter wonderland. From the chance to sit with Santa to a Sesame Street Christmas show, all the special holiday features on tap make it a great attraction for families with children.

Holiday lights illuminate the Magnificent Mile.

Holiday lights illuminate the Magnificent Mile.


Couples without children, don’t despair! Chicago has something for you, too, this holiday season. Despite the frosty temperatures, the Windy City has a great festive atmosphere to fill you with holiday cheer. The centerpiece of Chicago’s holiday decorations is The Magnificent Mile, the city’s iconic shopping district, which delivers romance and the Christmas spirit with more than one million lights adorning 200 trees. Also, if you’ve never had the opportunity to visit Europe at Christmas, you might want to check out Christkindlmarket, Chicago’s replica of a traditional German Christmas Market. You’ll discover the background of many Christmas traditions that eventually became our own.

So if you live in one of these cities or if you’re traveling there for the holidays, lucky you! If you care to explore and see more than just one attraction, consider a customizable Build Your Own Pass, or, for more intensive sightseeing, an all-inclusive Go City Card, both available in all three cities. You’ll save off the combined gate prices and recoup some of what you spent on gifts. Happy Holidays!

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