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Most Popular, Affordable, and Last-Minute Holiday Destinations

Holiday Destinations

Every year the holidays can sneak up on us and if you haven't made your getaway plans yet, you may want to start thinking of vacation ideas. The Halloween pumpkins have barely been thrown away before Thanksgiving dinner food prep begins and Christmas decorations start to appear while you’re crossing off your Turkey Day shopping list.

Planning an affordable and last-minute vacation over the holidays can seem like a challenge, but it’s not too late! Take a look at the top 10 spots for last-minute December holiday destinations, that are also wallet-friendly too!

1. Skagway, Alaska:

Skagway Alaska offers an array of outdoor activities for all types of travelers to enjoy, although what you’ll do can vary depending on when you visit. If you explore this particular city during the holidays, make sure you check out the beautiful winter landscape, take a ski lesson or view the Northern lights.

2. Sedona, Arizona:

If you’re looking for a place to get away with kids, this is the place to visit. Sedona is known for their red rocks and national forests. You can find trails for hiking and biking and there’s also plenty of opportunities to learn and explore the nature areas with your family, and not to mention the downtown area that is known for their restaurants and stores. Also, Sedona typically has mild weather in the winter months.

3. San Diego, California:

What’s not to love about San Diego? From the Gaslamp District, to the San Diego Zoo, this destination is perfect for everyone. Don’t forget to visit SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Little Italy, Coronado Island and Mission Bay while you’re there. According to, the average temperature in December and January is a comfortable 65 degrees.

4. Honolulu, Hawaii:

Honolulu offers a little bit of everything, including a city-like feel, beautiful beaches and lush tropical scenery. You can check out the Honolulu Museum of Art, hike Diamond Head, tour Pearl Harbor, or just relax on the beautiful shores at Sandy Beach. With hotels that range from 5-star resorts to family-friendly suites, there’s definitely not any shortage of places to stay either.

5. Chicago, Illinois:

The Windy City offers almost any type of activity that you can imagine. From the Magnificent Mile for shopping and sightseeing, to Millennium Park to get the famous “bean” photo, there’s plenty of activities. Make sure to book a river architecture tour as well! The city is decorated in its holiday finest so this is a great time to visit.

6. New Orleans, Louisiana:

While New Orleans is known for its nightlife, there's a lot more to this city than the views and noise found on Bourbon Street. You can explore the National WWII Museum, shop at the stores on Magazine Street, listen to jazz playing on Bourbon Street, which happens to play 365 days a year, or enjoy exquisite foods ranging from Beignets at Café Du Monde to Jambalaya at Gumbo Shop.

7. Las Vegas, Nevada:

With a nearly endless number of casino hotels and family-friendly resorts available, Las Vegas is an easy place to plan a last-minute trip. Plus, there's plenty to do other than gamble. You can explore the Shark Reed Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, book a Cirque du Soleil show, ride the Big Shot ride on the top of the Stratosphere, or visit the Adventuredome Theme Park at Circus Circus.

8. Niagara Falls, New York:

If you’ve considered rescheduling your trip until the temperatures start to rise, you’re not alone, which is exactly why you should head to Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls Adventure Park during the winter months. Most tourists prefer to visit during the warmer seasons, making winter reasonable and less packed. You can also visit Goat Island and Devil’s Hole State Park or take a Maid of the Mist boat tour.

9. Portland, Oregon:

It's hard to describe all the things there are to do in Portland, but it's easy to see why you'd want to visit. The city is home to a popular zoo, the Pearl District with boutiques, several museums, waterfalls, and beautiful gardens – including the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Tea Garden. Make sure to visit the famous Voodoo Doughnuts to get a delicious treat!

10. Nashville, Tennessee:

Nashville has been crowned Music City for good reason: Not only can you enjoy any genre of live music at the bars on Broadway, but you can also check out the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Symphony where you can enjoy classical, pop and jazz concerts. There’s also plenty of museums to visit such as the Patsy Cline Museum and the Tennessee Central Railway Museum.

There’s nothing like celebrating the holidays at home with your friends and family, but why not take your yearly tradition on the road for a change this year? Whether you are planning a holiday trip to a nearby resort or to a beach, there are many great holiday getaways to choose from. So, where do you want to travel to this holiday season?

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