The Best Travel Destinations in December

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Kia Optima Hybrid get up to 44-40 MPG highway, so why not take a little road trip this holiday season. That’s why we’re bringing you the top 10 destinations to travel to this December (and maybe a few you cannot take a road trip to visit).

  1. Washington DC

December travel destinations

December is said to be one of the most cheerful times in Washington D.C. The city is buzzing with the holiday atmosphere embedded in garlands, lights, sparkles, and bows. Travelers can enjoy Christmas walking tours, Christmas carols, and visit the national Christmas tree.

  1. Chicago

Visitors from all over the world visit the Windy City during this time of year. They dine at the base of the great tree, walk through and view the animated Macy’s window display, take pictures at the decorated trees, and enjoy the city in its full glory. To make the most out of your Chicago trip, go to the northerly islands and see the featured ice sculptures!

  1. Boston

Boston is a snowy city in December, which is why most people enjoy indoor activities like visiting museums, dining, food festivals, and holiday celebrations. Enjoy a game of hockey, explore the history and cultural heritage, enjoy the night theater, watch the performing art at the ballet or opera house, and catch the various events occurring during the month of December…after you warm up with a bowl of clam chowder, that is.

  1. Buffalo

Buffalo is the second largest metropolis in New York and receives nearly four major snowstorms a year! The city is bustling with art and culture and many history buffs love to visit the city and admire its beauty. Buffalo hosts the downtown Buffalo Christmas tree lighting, which is the official opening for ice skating, and after the tree is lit, visitors can enjoy balloon art, free ice-skating, and horse and wagon rides.

  1. Stamford

Stamford, in New England, is one of the finest places to visit in the winter. This is a great family stop since there are tons of family attractions that can be visited, including fun events and holiday lights. The Latham Park Christmas tree lighting and Santa repelling down many floors of the Landmark Building are worth admiring.

  1. Manchester

Manchester is a winter wonderland in the month of December. Kaleidoscope Children’s Museum and the SSE Science Museum are the top attractions to visit. Also on the list of attractions are ice skating, attending a hockey game at the Verizon Wireless Arena, and visiting a symphony concert.

  1. Alaska

If you plan a trip to Alaska this December, be sure to bring heavy winter clothes! Winter is the best time in Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

  1. Florida

If you’re not into the cold state of Alaska, try taking a trip to the Sunshine State! Florida has mild temperatures in the winter, and visitors don’t have to wear a jacket 24/7. Since Florida is a beach state, many beach lovers tend to flock to this state. If you go to Florida for the holidays, Disney World is a must! It is lighted and gorgeously decorated. Throughout the state, you can see the twinkling lights and boat parades; the city is in a festive mood with decorations galore.

  1. Colorado

If you plan a trip to Colorado for the holiday season, you will be graced with the snowy slopes and cozy weather of the city. If skiing is your favorite past time, then Colorado is the perfect place for you. Colorado is home to the resort towns of Aspen and Vale, the best skiing centers. It is also home to NORAD, a government agency that tracks Santa on Christmas Eve.

  1. Puerto Rico

If you plan a trip to Puerto Rico this holiday season, leave the jacket behind! Visitors can get a break from the cold in Puerto Rico. From surfing waves to sunbathing on the beach, Puerto Rico is the perfect place for the holidays. The entire city is lit up with holiday decorations, and the best part is Christmas begins early and lasts longer in Puerto Rico.

So there you have it, the best places to visit this holiday season! Now, hit the road in your sleigh and have a happy holiday!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in Pittsburgh!

With the holiday season approaching, we’re already buzzing with excitement. We made our list and checked it twice of holiday happenings around the ‘Burgh!

holiday events in Pittsburgh, holiday activities Pittsburgh

The Sunken Garden at Phipps Conservatory, December 2013

Phipps Conservatory

Every holiday season, Phipps Conservatory has a wonderful Winder Light Garden that uses flowers and evergreens to bring in the holiday spirit. The theme this year is “Winter Wonderland,” based off the famous song written by our own Pennsylvania-native Dick Smith. The garden translates his lyrics into visuals using lights, decorations, and seasonal plants. The Winter Wonderland will be running every evening 5-11pm from November 28th through January 11th.

Carnegie Museum of Art

The Carnegie Museum of Art has a holiday tradition of displaying decorative Christmas trees in the Hall of Architecture. From handcrafted ornaments to incredible collections, the Carnegie Museum of Arts is a must!

Skating at the PPG Plaza

Located in the heart of Downtown, the PPG Plaza is a winter staple. The rink is lightened by a giant Christmas tree in the middle of the PPG Plaza. So grab a pal, lace up, and take a few laps around the ice.

The Nutcracker

There’s nothing that gets you in the holiday spirit quite like the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition that combines the magic of Christmas and the art of ballet. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater performs this magical story, while bringing a Pittsburgh element into the world of The Nutcracker. The performance will be at the Benedum Center throughout December.

Fifth Avenue Place

Throughout the holiday season, Fifth Avenue is one of Pittsburgh’s most festive destinations. They host various events and actives for the whole family. Activities range from craft shows, to musical performances, and even a chance to hop on the Holly Trolley on the weekends!

Spirits of Giving From Around the World

See the holidays come alive during PPG Place’s “Spirits of Giving From Around the World” exhibit. This holiday display of life-size Santas and original paintings captures a whole world of Christmas traditions. The exhibit comes alive with a collection of original paintings, each depicting holiday celebrations around the world.

Miniature Railroad & Village

The Miniature Railroad & Village features hundreds of wonderfully realistic animated scenes that illustrate how people lived, worked, and played in our region during an era spanning the 1880s to the late 1930s.

Highmark First Night

To ring in the New Year, stop by Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. First Night is a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. It is an arts-focused, family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. It’s the largest single-day celebration in the region, offering 150 events at nearly 50 indoor and outdoor locations within the 14-block Cultural District, attracting nearly 50,000 visitors each year.

What’s your favorite Pittsburgh holiday tradition?