Today let’s stay a bit closer to home and focus on the Americas…as most people are searching out places a bit warmer for the holidays, I have put extra emphasis on places with mild weather in December.
I always recommend Charleston to clients as an alternative to Florida. Sure, there are never any guarantees with weather, but Decembers tend to be mild in South Carolina. You may not get to swim in the ocean or tan by the pool, but it is more than likely you can see the gorgeous sights of the historic Southern gem in just your shirtsleeves or a light sweater. Whether listening to spirituals sung by a choir at the antebellum Drayton Hall plantation or digging in to a classic Southern Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at The Peninsula Grill, the holiday spirit will be in full swing at every turn. Add a stay on the nearby Kiawah Island and you can be riding a bike on the beach or playing the links of the famous Ocean Course on Christmas or New Year’s Day.
Another iconic Southern city which knows how to dress up for the holidays, New Orleans is filled with holiday traditions. From caroling in Jackson Square to the customary Réveillon dinners on Christmas Eve, featuring course after course of Creole dishes, often lasting until dawn on Christmas morning, New Orleans knows how to celebrate. It isn’t surprising in the least that the inimitable Louis Armstrong immortalized it in his song, “Christmas in New Orleans”.
Another inviting alternative destination, I have had several clients enjoy the bright lights of LA, laid back surfer vibe of Orange County or the family oriented sights of San Diego (or a combination of the three) for their holiday vacations. The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego puts on quite a display with lights, decorations and a skating rink right on the beach. Where else can you ice skate and surf on the same day?
Going a bit further away and into the Southern Hemisphere will almost guarantee summer weather. Combine that with the multitude of cultural offerings in Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America”, and you score a home run. Tango, steaks and wine – the trifecta of local passions – will make any holiday celebration memorable.
San Miguel de Allende
Located in the heart of Mexico, it may not offer the beaches and umbrella drinks found in other Mexican destinations, but San Miguel de Allende is arguably the most authentic of Mexican destinations filled with Spanish Colonial architecture and a vibrant art and cultural scene. At the holidays it sparkles…with daily festivals filled with piñatas, lights, music and girls riding donkeys in the street (representing Mary on her journey to Bethlehem). And, it is one of the few places in Mexico where the hotels do not charge triple the normal rate during the festive season.
I apologize for posting holiday photos in mid-September, but, to be honest, if you haven’t planned your holiday travel yet, it actually is getting a bit late. However, any of the above options or the European ideas I shared last week can still work for this year. Have you planned your holiday travel yet??