Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? If you haven’t made up your mind of where to go for the holidays, it’s still not too late to start planning. On the other hand, time is quickly running out. While it’s true that last minute accommodations will be noticeably higher, it’s the most magical time of the year. What’s more, there’s nothing quite like a spontaneous winter vacation. Even if it’s too late for a last minute trip, you’ll have a whole year to start planning for next year! Here then is a quick look at just five of the best places in America for a white Christmas.
One of the world’s most famous ski destinations, Aspen is one of just a dozen destinations with a 100 percent chance of snow on Christmas Day. While skiing and snowboarding at Aspen Snowmass are tops for activities, there will be plenty of other things to enjoy throughout the holidays. Of course, the Aspen-Snowmass area will also host a number of exceptional après-ski events, like Base Camp Bar & Grill, Belly Up Aspen and Limelight Lounge. Hotel rooms for a white Christmas may still be available, like Aspen Meadows, Hotel Aspen, W Aspen and Wildwood Snowmass.
Dining in Aspen
The Aspen/Snowmass area is a hotbed for outstanding restaurants. Leading the way in the fine dining category are acclaimed spots like Element 47, Matsuhisa-Aspen and Wild Fig. Of course, many more fall into this category, such as Steak House No. 316, Bosq and Prospect. On the other hand, there is also a bevy of more affordable restaurants to consider. For example, White House Tavern, J Bar at Hotel Jerome and French Alpine Bistro. Either way, you have several choices for dining during the holidays. However, the key may be the timing of your reservation due to high demand.
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At just 41 percent, Chicago doesn’t have a high probability of snow on Christmas. However, Christmas in Chicago is like no other, with many special events throughout the holiday season. Suggested things to see are Chicago Christmas Tree at Millennium Park, Christkindlmarkets and ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo. If that’s not enough there are also also the Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier and A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre. Hotels for white Christmas, include Langham Chicago, Four Seasons Chicago and Waldorf-Astoria Chicago. Check for other last minute lodging options through HotelTonight, Booking.com, Expedia and Kayak.
Dining In Chicago
It’s no surprise that Chicago is among the world’s leading foodie destinations. On the other hand, it is a surprise that there is just one three star Michelin restaurant – Alinea. Fortunately, there are endless choices for dining, whether it’s a Michelin restaurant or a spot for deep dish pizza. Just a step below with two stars are restaurants like Ever, Moody Tongue and Oriole. Among the other favorites are Girl & the Goat, Boka, Mako and Temporis. If that’s not enough, you have famous spots like the Berghoff, Manny’s Deli and Valois. As it is, Chicago is truly a foodie destination, with more than enough choices to fill your holiday itinerary.
New York City, New York
Major cities in Upstate New York like Buffalo or Rochester may have a better chance of snow on Christmas day. But none comes close to the magic that America’s largest city can offer. Take for instance the colorful holiday markets, Fifth Avenue storefront displays and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. In addition are many more attractions to take in, like Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nutcracker at Lincoln Centre and Winter Onederland at One World Observatory.
More New York Highlights
Even more special events are held at leading attractions the Hanukkah lighting at Empire State Building, Bank of America’s Winter Village in Bryant Park, Santaland at Macy’s and Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Gardens. Last minute hotel suggestions include 1 Hotel Central Park, Hotel Indigo Lowes, Arlo SoHo and the Pierre, all with rooms currently available. Additional lodging may be found through major travel sites like Expedia, Booking.com and Kayak.
New York Dining
Just as you have many attractions to consider, you have even more for dining. Indeed, whether your taste is low key or it’s high end, there are restaurants for you. Of course, there is an enormous collection of types of cuisine, from Afghan to Yuunan. Either way, you must make a reservation, either online or by calling. This is especially true for Michelin-star or rated restaurants, to which there are many. Among the favorites are restaurant Daniel, Per Se, Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernadin.
Related: Famous U.S. Ski Resorts For Your Bucket List
Park City, Utah
One of the country’s leading ski destinations, Park City is bustling with activities over a Utah white Christmas holiday. And with a better than 75 percent chance for a white Christmas, it’s all the better reason to visit this magnificent area just southeast of the Great Salt Lake. Many Park City Christmas events are held at Park City Mountain Resort, like Santa Comes Downtown Lift, Silver Sky Nights and Snowfest. Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley are well known for its high end resort hotels like Grand Summit Hotel, Montage Deer Valley and Stein Eriksen Lodge.
Related: America’s Most Unusual Christmas Trees
South Lake Tahoe, California
The southern section of Lake Tahoe has a lesser probability of Christmas snow than its neighbors on the northern side. Nevertheless, South Tahoe will host many more noteworthy events to celebrate an unforgettable white Christmas. Among Tahoe South’s signature events are the Holidays Family Festival and the daily Community Tree Lighting with Santa, both at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Other top lodging suggestions are Marriott’s Timber Lodge, Grand Residences by Marriott, Landing Tahoe and Edgewood Tahoe. Of course, the casinos will be having their own special holiday celebrations. However, if you are looking for a place to dine, make sure to book your reservation as soon as possible.
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About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.