From Sunny to Snowy - The Best of U.S. Christmas Travel

From Sunny to Snowy - The Best of U.S. Christmas Travel

If your globe-trotting plans have changed course this holiday season, we know just where to jet-set in the U.S. instead - anywhere from Chicago to Sonoma Wine Country and all the snowy or sunny locations in between. Across these destinations, you will find a luxe lineup of holiday offerings and programming at standout hotels and resorts where you'll feel right at home for Christmas.

The Residences at Aspen Valley Ranch | Aspen, CO

Cherish home for the holidays in full seclusion at The Residences at Aspen Valley Ranch, a private ranch of luxurious mountain home rentals. New this winter season, The Residences at Aspen Valley Ranch boast expansive space for celebrating Christmas with friends and family, who also have access to the Ranch House to enjoy holiday feasts, s’mores under the stars, après ski and more. The allure of Aspen lies within its outdoor winter activities, which is literally in guest’s backyard (think snowmobiles, electric bikes, Polaris RZR and more, found in the ranch’s Toy Garage.)

HALCYON, a hotel in Cherry Creek | Denver, CO

This Christmas, HALCYON will bring the essence of Aspen and Vail to the rooftop with winterized cabanas equipped with a fireplace, plush seating and blankets with Après in the Clouds. Cozy up in a winter wonderland and enjoy a private Rocky Mountain-inspired dining experience from signature restaurant Local Jones and a special holiday cocktail menu. And, play a round of winterized Curling on the rooftop’s rink and check out the hotel’s Winter Gear Garage offering guests complimentary seasonally-inspired items to check out like Piaggio Motor Scooters, fly fishing rods and snow sleds. Capture the Christmas moment on the rooftop’s ski lift while sipping a warm cocktail in a winter wonderland.

Carmel Valley Ranch | Carmel, CA

Carmel Valley Ranch has always been an escape with plenty of room to roam, explore, and discover. The Ranch's 500-acre playground offers endless activities, dining experiences, relaxation opportunities, wellness programming and more for the entire family. Outdoor adventures abound among the gardens, beehives, trails, and the wonders of Carmel Valley –– with workshops and activities lead by the property’s artisans in residence and seasonal happenings this winter for the entire family, including:

  • Oak Tree Lighting: Welcome winter on Saturday, November 27 by lighting the majestic oak tree that reigns supreme in front of the Lodge. Stop by for hot cocoa, stocking decorating, candy canes, and holiday tunes plus an appearance from Santa! Tree lighting countdown begins at 5 p.m.
  • Gingerbread House Making: Get your hands sticky and build an enchanting gingerbread house with your family with provided candy, frosting, and gingerbread.
  • Holiday Happenings at The Market: Head to the market for activities and workshops like Chocolate Truffle Giftbox Building and Holiday Cupcake Decorating plus hot chocolate, cider and henhouse eggnog tastings for all ages.

Pendry San Diego | San Diego, CA

Celebrate Christmas at Downtown San Diego’s hip hotel, Pendry San Diego, filled with holiday spirit throughout the season, notably Deck the Halls at Nason’s Beer Hall with the jolliest, brightest, over-the-top holiday decor and frosty cocktails like ‘Rum and Cookies’ in a snowy white glass with a cookie cut-out for Santa. Across all Pendry Hotels, guests can decorate their own holiday ornament and pair with a custom designed Christmas tree by a local artist. Plus, LA Fashion Designer Heidi Merrick will create a fashion-minded holiday tree in the lobby of each property (Pendry San Diego, Pendry West Hollywood, Pendry Chicago, Pendry Manhattan West and Sagamore Pendry Baltimore).

MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa | Sonoma, CA (pictured)

Sought a holiday escape to the vineyards of Tuscany or Bordeaux but your plans changed course? Leave your passport at home and wander to California’s wine country. Discover an idyllic destination where you can slow down and celebrate the advent of the holidays with a 12-night series of marvel and wonderment-filled moments at Sonoma's iconic MacArthur Place, also home to six acres of winding gardens, a spa, farm-to-table culinary outlets and more.

  • 12 Nights of Marvel: Launching November 26 with a Christmas tree lighting and stollen cooking class with MacArthur’s general manager, activations will take place every Friday through Sunday and will include a meet-and-greet with Santa, candle-lit sculpture tour with AERENA Galleries, wreath making class with Marion Moss Floral and a creative workshop led by MacArthur's December artist-in-residence Lisa Hunt.

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego | San Diego, CA

Delight in a true California Christmas while staying seaside at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the West Coast’s tallest waterfront hotel. Holiday travelers can spend a cozy night in with the ‘A Merry Night In’ holiday package, including an assortment of holiday cookies upon arrival, a s’mores kit to roast on the rooftop fire pit overlooking the San Diego Bay and choice of a holiday movie to enjoy in-room. Gather around the fire pits at Sally’s Fish House & Bar and indulge in truly fresh, coastal-inspired fare, gourmet s’mores and seasonal craft cocktails such as the Winter Rose, Rudolph with local You & Yours Gin and more or  sip and savor holiday specials like the S’more-Tini and Carajillo 40 stories up at the Top of the Hyatt or at signature lobby bar and lounge, The Landing.

Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa | Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

This holiday season, delight in the celebratory splendor with a magical, yet intimate getaway to Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa. Tucked among 45 sprawling acres, this hidden oasis is offering guests a variety of holiday packages to best suit their festive events and seasonal travels. The property will be adorned with sophisticated decor, sparkling lights, thoughtful amenities and cheer of the season, while specialty room packages include: 

  • Fall in Love with the Holidays: From November 29 to December 20, guests can pamper themselves with a pre-holiday getaway courtesy of the Fall in Love with the Holidays package at Rancho Valencia. Receive a complimentary room upgrade with delightful breakfast, late check-out and a curated amenity for the entire group to get in the holiday spirit.
  • Deck Your Casita with Holiday Cheer: Available December 1 to January 2, Rancho Valencia is offering the Deck Your Casita add on to any rooms package, transforming guestrooms to enchanting, welcoming spaces with a twinkling Christmas tree and delectable treats for all ages (and Santa’s reindeer, too!) - making guests truly feel at home for the holidays.

Home for the Holidays at Hotel del Coronado (November 22, 2021 - January 2, 2022): One of the most magical times of year at this historic grande dame, The Del is known among locals and travelers alike for welcoming the holidays with splendid fanfare, bringing wintertime fun to sunny Southern California. Thousands of white sparkling lights, magnificent Christmas trees, ornament-trimmed evergreens and garlands will make for the most charming setting for an outdoor stroll, photo opportunities with loved ones and a unique experience that is totally Southern California to get into the holiday spirit. Guests can enjoy Holiday Movies on the Beach, Photos with Santa, Elf Deliveries to guest rooms with holiday goodies and other specialty programming such as:

  • Skating by the Sea®: As a benefit to Make-A-Wish® San Diego, Windsor Lawn transforms into a beautiful beachfront ice rink where skaters, young and old, can glide across the ice with the ocean and The Del’s iconic turret as striking backdrops.
  • Jingle Roast: Gather round a private beach bonfire to ring in the holidays with warm santa hats, specialty holiday s’mores and an a la carte menu of fireside treats.
  • Victorian Tea: Take a step back in time with a classic Victorian Tea for the holidays in the beautiful Coronet Room. Enjoy a variety of teas, finger sandwiches and sweets while beautiful music sets the atmosphere for this charming tradition.
  • Gingerbread Houses: Celebrate the season by decorating a festive Gingerbread House for kid of all ages with a Candy Bar full of festive decorations and holiday treats. Best of all, to make your Gingerbread House an instant success, our culinary team will be pre-assembling the Gingerbread Houses for more time to adding colorful candy décor and creating timeless holiday memories.

Cavallo Point | Sausalito, CA

Nestled at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge within the iconic Golden Gate National Recreation area, begin the countdown to Christmas with An Afternoon With Santa, on Sunday, December 5, where the whole family is invited to step into Santa’s Workshop for an afternoon of gingerbread, ornament and stocking decorating, crafting letters to Santa, and more. Guests are encouraged to stick around that night for the property’s signature Holiday Tree Lighting Festival, which will transport visitors into a true winter wonderland, complete with carriage rides, an appearance by Santa Claus, and the ceremonial lighting of Cavallo Point’s massive holiday tree. What’s more, the lodge is activating its signature dining destination, Murray Circle, to continue the holiday cheer with special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, where renowned Executive Chef Michael Garcia will serve up a Yuletide feast to be remembered.

Newport Beach, CA 

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in Newport Beach with signature holiday events, including the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, and the brightest twinkling lights on the West Coast.

Festive Holiday Happenings:

  • Get into the holiday spirit and watch nearly 100 beautifully decorated yachts and boats of all sizes sail along the harbor during the 113th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Dec. 15-19.
  • Stroll the bay and savor the sights and sounds of the holidays during Newport Dune’s 31st annual Lighting of the Bay.
  • Boogie through the Disco Inferno, strut down the technicolor light tunnel, add your wish to the wishing tree and discover surprises throughout Sherman Gardens during Nights of 1000 Lights.
  • Take in the sights and smells during Fashion Island’s annual Christmas tree lighting

Lido House, an Autograph Collection | Newport Beach, CA

Lido House is spreading holiday cheer this season by transforming two of its residential-style Cottages into festive getaways (with a SoCal twist) for families and groups to enjoy. Curated by Newport Beach designers Grace Blu & Blackband Design, the Balboa and Collin’s Cottages are taking on the holidays by decking out each three-story, 1,500+ sq. ft. space with over-the-top holiday decor. Launching Nov. 1, the festive cottages will be perfect for families and friends to reconnect during the winter season as each cottage features full kitchens, expansive rooftop decks with a fireplace, and barbeque, multiple bedrooms, a living room, and more.

Rancho Bernardo Inn | San Diego, CA

Located in North County San Diego, Rancho Bernardo Inn is full of Christmas cheer and welcomes guests to enjoy their winter wonderland of celebrations, holiday dining and festive decorations. Each year, the property creates a life-size gingerbread house built and baked in-house during the holidays. The outstanding life-size gingerbread house is on display in the hotel lobby after months of baking and building with over 4,000 pounds of delicious ingredients including 1 ton of powdered sugar, 750lbs. of granulated sugar, 750lbs. of cake flour, 2,160 eggs and more.

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club | Dana Point, CA

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club brings the SoCal magic of the holidays to guest, offering seasonally-inspired Christmas dinners at AVEO Table + Bar, Bourbon Steak Orange County and Monarch Bay Beach Club, in addition to a Private Christmas Dinner Celebration to indulge in a multi-course holiday meal with friends and family. Cruise around the Dana Point Harbor on a Holiday E-Bike Tour and see festive light displays, and ride back to the Beach Club for an exclusive Veuve Clicquot Tasting Experience. Guests and locals can fill their homes with whifs of the holiday spirit thanks to the pastry team’s custom-order holiday desserts, available for pick-up at Part + Parcel.  Plus, can’t miss the festive Christmas tree that lights up the lawn!

Bobby Hotel | Nashville, TN

The iconic Rooftop Lounge at Bobby Hotel, known for its retrofitted 1956 Scenicruiser, will be the place to be this holiday season, as it transforms into Camp Bobby — a 70’s camp-inspired theme including a rooftop ice skating rink made to look like a frozen pond, “campfire sites” in each heated igloo, and a decked out 70’s inspired design in the Scenicruiser bus. Guests and locals alike can enjoy a cocktail or get that perfect Instagram shot, in addition to soaking up the spectacular views of music city from high in the sky.

Chalet 27 at The Westin Nashville | Nashville, TN (November 12, 2021 – February 28, 2022)

Taking place 27 stories above Music City, The Westin Nashville’s ‘Chalet 27’ activation will kick-off the holiday season with a new luxury winter experience. Chalet 27 will feature a monochromatic winter white oasis with alpine accents inspired by the Swiss Alps. Guests will feel as if they were completely transformed to the Alps with white design elements everywhere they turn and of course, live music offerings to enjoy as they dine on festive bites and cocktails on Nashville’s highest rooftop.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island | Amelia Island, FL

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island welcomes guests of all ages to reconnect and commemorate time-honored traditions this holiday season. From festive decor, a large-scale Gingerbread Pirate Ship, gingerbread house building with the pastry chef, Santa's Storybook Tea, a magical tree lighting celebration that supports the Boys & Girls Club followed by a magical dinner in Santa’s Workshop, breakfast with Santa and other holiday-themed dining experiences, families can enjoy all kinds of cheerful fun.

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami | Miami, FL

Located on the tropical island of Key Biscayne, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami beckons the feelings of its own secluded getaway, while being just minutes away from Miami’s buzzy atmosphere. Getting into the holiday spirit, the property will offer a variety of celebratory options from culinary experiences to spa treatments. The Key Biscayne spa will offer specials for the spa-ladays including a champagne and peppermint pedicure (50M/$75), Winder Gold Facial (50M/$215), and Warm Stone Chocolate Peppermint Ritual (80M/$240). In addition, the spa will offer the Naughty or Nice Spa Menu featuring 25-minute treatments and cocktails. Guests are also welcome to a variety of events to get in the Christmas spirit and count down to the New Year. From cookies and eggnog in the lobby on Christmas Eve, to a pre-fixed menu on Christmas at Lightkeepers and finally a NYE gala followed by a recovery breakfast on New Year's Day, The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne will create a holiday vacation the whole family will enjoy.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

This holiday season guests are invited to venture on many gastronomical experiences. On Christmas Eve, December 24, guests are welcome to dine at the property’s restaurant, Burlock Coast, featuring executive chef Paula DaSilva. The meal will include a delectable dinner for two featuring a 16 oz prime rib served with brussel stompe, swank farm vegetables, horseradish cream, and a bottle of bubbly or house wine for the table. Post-entree, savory will meet sweet with the pistachio and strawberry bar with essences of white chocolate cream and strawberry fluid gel. On Christmas Day, guests can enjoy a three-course, family-style dinner with an array of land to sea options including sashimi with cranberry ponzu, seared bronzoni, and 6oz beef tenderloin. And those connoisseurs traveling for the New Year holiday can revel in Burlock Coast’s carefully curated 4-course dinner composed of fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Reservations are required by calling 945.302.6430 or via email at

The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner | McLean, VA

This holiday season, there is no shortage of festive family happenings taking place at the capital-to-countryside escape found at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. On December 5, families are invited to partake in a Gingerbread Decorating class together, complete with chef hats, aprons and gingerbread house kits. Guests can also indulge in a delicious brunch with Santa himself on December 12, with the beloved Rudolph movie playing during the meal and a portrait station set-up to capture these special holiday memories. For those who wish to enjoy their own private Gingerbread Decorating class (available to book December 3-19), can book this experience at the property, inclusive of four jumbo gingerbread houses with candy, holiday cookie treats, hot chocolate with toppings, and choice of holiday movie to play on the large screen.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk | Newport, RI

Newport, RI, with it’s decadent mansions and community Christmas events, is a cozy destination for winter retreats. The Chanler at Cliff Walk’s Great Gatsby-esque grandeur, as well as it’s stunning sea-side location, provide travelers with an intimate, yet elegant setting to escape the crowded city streets for the holidays. In the winter, The Chanler at Cliff Walk offers guests dining experiences like no other — a hot coco bar and luxury yurts. Three yurts tastefully blend Scandinavian decor with Rhode Island chicness. Available for private use, the Yurts can seat groups of 2 to 5 people, and guests will have their own dedicated servers, as they embark on a Scandinavian-inspired culinary Christmas curation by Michelin-trained Executive Chef, Jacob Jasinksi and his expert team inside the beautifully decorated yurt.

Chatham Inn, Relais & Châteaux  | Chatham, MA 

Located in Chatham, Cape Cod, the 18-room property is the only Relais & Châteaux in the Cape and is a true hidden gem. The historic and charming inn has undergone an extensive refurbishment and is redefining luxury in the Cape. Idyllically located in the heart of the town, the hotel is a quiet sanctuary that pays homage to the history of Chatham while mixing in modern aesthetic and design. And in addition to Chatham Inn being a charming and cozy Christmas getaway - the whole seaside town gets into the holiday spirit. Step out your door and see the lights and holiday decor of main street, join in the Chatham Christmas Stroll parade followed by carolers and a tree lighting, warm up with complimentary hot chocolate, or hop on the holly trolley. Marvel at the lights & the decorations as you stop to visit all the unique shops waiting to welcome you with warm refreshments, prizes, raffles and great gift ideas too!

Old Edwards Inn & Spa | Highlands, North Carolina

Old Edwards Inn & Spa creates comfort and joy during the entire year, but during November and December, that takes on an even more magical meaning. Festivities and celebrations center around cozy fires with live music, delicious foods and beverages, holiday decorations around every corner and just enough sparkle to make your spirits soar. This year, enjoy the annual tree lighting celebration, holiday movies and game nights and with the Comfort +Joy package guests receive a three-course holiday dinner for two at any Old Edwards Food & Beverage outlet and two 50-minute spa treatments at The Spa at Old Edwards.

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee | Greensboro, GA

Celebrate the festive season lakeside at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. From delicious treats and train rides to family dinners to celebrate the season, the resort provides guests with a variety of experiences such as a playful Hansel and Gretel-themed gingerbread house curated by Pastry Chef Michael Gaddy displayed in the lobby; The Winter Forest, an ice skating rink with festive cocktails and activities for the whole family; caroling on the Linger Longer Express and reindeer games to create memories that last a lifetime. The festive season kicks off on Wednesday, November 24 with the Lighting of the Lake, where Santa arrives at the resort (in a fun surprising way each year!) and flips the switch on over 500,000 lights and a grand Christmas Tree. With chef-curated dining specials and themed spa treatments, there is truly something to cross off everyone in the family’s list this year. Surprises are in store for both children and adults as the resort decks the halls, ensuring each moment is merry and bright.

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans | New Orleans, LA

The spirit of the holiday season fills The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans for another year of dazzling decor and festive traditions in the heart of the French Quarter. Guests can enjoy activations throughout the season, such as:

  • Build Your Own Gingerbread House: Children of all ages are invited to build a festive Gingerbread House. Price includes one Gingerbread House with all of the decorations and holiday refreshments. Reservations can accommodate up to four guests. Adult supervision and reservations are required.
  • Papa Noel Tea: Join us in The French Quarter Balcony for a special holiday celebration featuring an  appearance by Papa Noel. Children will enjoy cookie decorating and other holiday  surprises.
  • Christmas Dinner: Celebrate the night before Christmas with a four-course Reveillion menu. Reserve a table and enjoy the spirit of the holiday season with friends, family and  The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.
  • Christmas Day Jubilee: Allow the culinary experts at The Ritz-Carlton,  New Orleans to remove the hassle from your holiday season. Enjoy an enhanced four course menu featuring a seafood starter and unlimited Champagne. Reserve your table  now and celebrate with us.

Edgewood Tahoe | Lake Tahoe

An unforgettable luxury retreat nestled on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Edgewood Tahoe a luxe winter haven, with the ideal scenery to spend Christmas this year with the mountain lodge set along the beautiful shoreline of South Lake Tahoe’s cobalt blue waters overlooking the Sierra Nevada mountain range. In addition to virtual storytime with Mrs. Claus, Letters to Santa, cookie decorating workshop, build your own snowman, in-room holiday happy hours, and more… guests can also enjoy specialty winter adventures of:

  • Edgewood on Ice: Take in the views of the snow-capped mountains while ice skating in a setting that's unsurpassable.
  • Snowshoe to the Champagne Chalet: Join us for a guided snowshoe experience to the Champagne Chalet featuring Veuve Clicquot.
  • Snowga: A fully immersive, outdoor yoga experience where instructors guide yogis from pose to pose as they take in the crisp mountain air and relax their minds on a peaceful, snowy beachfront.

ADERO Scottsdale, an Autograph Collection hotel | Scottsdale, AZ

Launching Nov. 15, ADERO Scottsdale will transform into a winter wonderland showcasing traditional decor with an elevated twist such as birch lit trees, custom table displays with tasteful ornaments, and dazzling garland and wreaths adorned throughout the exterior. On Dec. 3, The Village at ADERO will return with intimate dining globes outfitted with a minimalist design, cozy throw pillows + blankets, faux trees, and decadent lighting throughout. The lawn itself will be dressed with twinkling lights and guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the expansive Sonoran Desert. This year, ADERO Scottsdale will also be adding two additional globes, and each will be decorated by local designer Robyn's Nest.