Top 5 Christmas Vacation Destinations
Why to take a Christmas Vacation
I love Christmas time. It is easily my favorite time of the year, but it seems like each year is the same. Gifts are exchanged, less and less family members are present due to expanding families, and it just doesn't feel like it used to. Why not try something new and take a Christmas vacation? Whether you are a snowbird or despise the cold weather, there are several great places you go during the Christmas holiday that will suit your preference. Most tropical places have Christmas discounts and feature many celebratory festivities.
Christmas vacation doesn't have to be a long vacation. It can last only a mere 2 or 3 days - just enough time for you to attend a Christmas celebration, exchange gifts and enjoy the activities around you. It is definitely a refreshing change of pace.
If you're a warmed nature person, Aruba is the place for you for this Christmas. Since Christmas is not the peak season for hotels and tourism in Aruba, you will be able to enjoy less crowded beaches and take in the natural beauty of the scenery. Palm Beach is the premier location in Aruba because it offers great restaurants, water sports, several shops, and a boardwalk. You can also visit the north shore to see where the old Natural Bridge used to be. Sadly, the bridge made of coral collapsed five years ago, but there is still a nice gift shop there.
There are far too many hotels in Aruba to mention, but you can find great deals for this time a year on Bookit.com or RenaissanceAruba.com. You may also want to look into renting a timeshare room. So many people own timeshares there and offer great rates for this time of year. Vrbo.com is a great site to visit to see what individual owners charge to rent their properties.
If you are a night owl like me, don't fear. There are many things to do in Aruba after daylight. Most of the high rise hotels have built in Casinos that offer free bingo or specials to get you started. Be aware of your money though, as it can disappear fast.
New York is a great place to visit if you are a shop-a-holic. You can literally spend every minute of the day shopping if you want, of course you may want to bring a thick wallet. Even if you are not that into shopping, you can spend the holidays walking the streets of New York or visiting Time Square and taking in the scenery. Rockefeller Center is another place to visit during your stay. An enormous Christmas Tree is lit each year, usually the week after Thanksgiving. Also be sure to check out the Christmas Boat Parade which has been ranked one of the top ten National Christmas events. While New York is a great place to spend the Holidays, you must remember to bring a coat and scarf. It probably would be a good idea to purchase a travel guide as well.
If you are a warm nature person like me, you will love everything St. Thomas has to offer. St. Thomas is located in the U.S. Virgin Islands about 40 miles from Puerto Rico. It is a property under the jurisdiction of the United States, but do remember to drive on the left side of the road when you are there. St.Thomas is famous for it's beaches and boat charters. The number one charter you can rent is Morningstar Charters. You can choose to sail with a group or rent your own 42' yacht which accommodates 6 people. You can choose to steer or just lie back, relax, and take in the views of the cays and uninhabited islands during the tour. The top three restaurants in St. Thomas are the Old Stone Farmhouse, Big Kahuna Rum Shack, and The Giggling Gecko Bar and Grill. You WILL NOT run out of things to do during your St. Thomas Christmas Vacation, guaranteed.
There are many places in Florida you may want to take your Christmas vacatio, but Orlando is the destination that stands out most. There are so many things to do in Orland like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. Orlando also features several attractions such as Ripley's Believe it or not, WonderWorks and Kennedy Space Center. Orlando also features great restaurants, the premier ones being Emeril's and the Hard Rock Cafe. Going to Orlando is also convenient if you are a beach lover. The commute to the eastern shoreline is only 60 minutes and features great beaches, including Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach is known for it's great block parties and surfer waves. There are several great surf shops there as well.
If you are planning a trip to Orlando, Disney resort packages are a great option. There are many packages ranging from a 1 day stay to a 10 day stay. Disney World also features a Christmas Parade and many activities during the Holiday season. And if theme parks aren't enough for you, there are several great malls in Orlando. You will not run out of things to do here.
Tennessee is another place to travel if you don't mind the cold weather. And trust me, the Smoky Mountains is a cold place to be during the winter months. However, the beauty of these great mountains is hard to match. You can choose to have an old fashioned country Christmas by renting one of the secluded cabins in the ridges of the mountains or you can choose to go celebrate in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg and enjoy some of the many shows they offer. Dollywood is also a great place to go. Their water park may not be open, but the other attractions in the main park are well worth the visit.
While there are many attractions surrounding the Smoky Mountains, there are also some great restaurants and shopping malls. The most hyped restaurant of Gatlinburg has to be The Peddler Steakhouse. A peddler actually rolls around a cart with different cuts of steak and you get to choose your own. There is also a great salad bar for the vegetarians.