Stuck in a warmer climate this winter? If you’re longing for a wintry, white Christmas to get you in the holiday spirit, there are several places you can jet to in the United States. If you just can’t abide by Santa hanging out by a palm tree, read on for five winter wonderland locations that will have you singing “Deck the Halls” in no time.
- Ludlow, Vermont
With over 85% chance of snow on Christmas, you’re practically guaranteed to enjoy a snowy holiday in Ludlow, Vermont. Although Ludlow is a tiny town (with a population of only 1,900!), there’s also a popular ski resort nearby called Okemo Mountain – in case you want to hit the slopes in between holiday festivities.
Want to fully appreciate Ludlow’s lovely small-town vibe and charming one-traffic-light locale? Take advantage of the many small businesses and shops that go all out with Christmas decorations or check out the Billings Farm and Museum. From Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, the farm will give you a taste of how the holidays would have looked back in the late 1800s. You can learn how to make historic ornaments, taste-test some delicious holiday treats, or take a horse-drawn sleigh or wagon ride (as long as weather permits!). The ski resort in Okemo also offers guided moonlight hikes. Even if you just want to relax and enjoy the frosty weather, Ludlow, and the surrounding villages, have plenty of snow for a truly white Christmas!
- Aspen, Colorado
Don’t want to take any chances of missing the snow? Head to the ski resort town of Aspen, Colorado (located in the Rocky Mountains), which usually has a 100% chance of snow on Christmas. Aspen is always a great spot year-round for adventurers, with its many opportunities for quality skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and other outdoor activities. But Christmas time offers even more stellar options to keep you busy. One of the most popular events is the 12 Days of Aspen (from December 20–31). With everything from concerts and film screenings to holiday crafts and storytime for the kids, there’s something for everyone. Plus, who doesn’t want to take part in a s’mores and hot cocoa party? If you’re still in town after Christmas, Aspen puts on several fun activities for New Year’s as well.
- New York City, New York
If you’re more of a city person, New York City is one of the best spots in the country for capturing the holiday spirit. Although there’s not always a super high chance of snow on Christmas Day in the city, the weather is frosty enough that you can still get a taste of the cold weather. Plus, there’s way too much to do that actual snowfall could get in the way of!
It’s hard not to get sucked into the holidays when you visit NYC. Walk down most streets and you’ll get a look at the festive displays in department store windows (like the gorgeous, all-out displays at Bergdorf Goodman’s, Barney’s, and Bloomingdale’s), or stroll by Rockefeller Center and take in the massive, lit-up Christmas tree. If you feel like ice skating, check out the rinks in Bryant Park or Central Park. After a busy day exploring the city, you might want to take in a show. Check out the Radio City Music Hall’s famous dancing Rockettes or the Broadway-style “Christmas Spectacular.” You can also see The Nutcracker performed by the New York City Ballet. And there’s one last thing: want to make sure you’ll get what you really want for Christmas? Head to Macy’s in Herald Square or the Plaza Hotel to speak to the jolly, fat man, Santa himself.
- Fairbanks, Alaska
Want to head somewhere a little more remote for the holidays? Fairbanks, Alaska is the perfect place if you’re envisioning a snowy, white Christmas. This is another location in the U.S. that has a 100% chance of snow on Christmas Day. If you want to experience one of nature’s true wonders, you can see the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis). The best recommendation is to check out a local tour, since you’re more likely to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights with an experienced guide.
After you’ve taken advantage of all the fun, exciting activities Fairbanks offers (from cross-country skiing to snowmobiling), you can get in a festive mood with some Christmas-themed events. If you have children traveling with you, a great stop is the Santa Clause House in North Pole, Alaska (about 18 minutes from Fairbanks). While you’re there, you have the option of getting some major shopping done, taking pictures of the World’s Largest Santa (at 50 feet tall!), or chowing down on some homemade fudge. Another great activity is the Christmas in Ice event at Winter Ice Park, where you can participate in an ice-sculpting competition, head through an ice maze, or shop at the holiday bazaar. As long as you don’t mind the cold, Fairbanks is a true winter wonderland!
- Yellowstone, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park (located mostly in Wyoming, but also in parts of Montana and Idaho) offers some of the most breathtaking scenery available in the US. The nearly 3,500 square mile park provides a gorgeous place to celebrate Christmas, with a 100% chance of at least three inches of snow on Christmas Day (and about a 91% chance of getting at least a foot!). Yellowstone offers rivers, forests, hot springs, and geysers (like the world-famous Old Faithful), and if you think your Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some wildlife, the park is home to tons of animals, like bears, wolves, and elk.
Since you’ll need a place to hunker down after you explore the park, one of the best options is The Old Faithful Snow Lodge because of their large Christmas tree, live music, and a big holiday dinner for guests. You can also take part in a memorable holiday tradition by attending the Christmas Eve candlelight services held in the Mammoth Chapel – built in 1912, the chapel’s services are one of the oldest traditions in Yellowstone Park. Just make sure to pack lots of warm clothing!
Want to get the most out of your Christmas? Check these places off your bucket list for a wintery holiday, and be sure to post your adventures with BUCKiTDREAM on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter!