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5 Fun Whole Family Christmas Break Destinations to Visit

By Bus Travel, California, Leavenworth, McAdenville, New York, New York City, Solvang, Washington

’Tis the season to spend some extra quality time with your family. If you tend to hunker down at home for the holidays, you may want to consider doing something a little different this year. With these fun whole family Christmas break destinations in mind, you can break tradition and establish new ones while making memories that will last a lifetime. Before you book your bus ticket, consider these five spots.

New York City

This one’s a no brainer if you love the magic of the season and want your children to experience it, too. Christmas in New York is truly a wonderful time. The kids will be wowed by the spectacular light displays that illuminate Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, while you’ll be dazzled by the beautiful window display at the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store. This is also a great time to explore some other parts of the city and take advantage of their epic holiday events and offerings. Union Square Holiday Market is a longtime favorite that’s worth braving the chill in the air. There are hundreds of vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to artwork here, along with tasty treats and gifts for the kids. Another must-visit is The Rooftop at Pier 17, where you can do everything from sip festive cocktails to learn skating.

Alexandria

People flock to Washington, DC, during the holiday season, but if you want to escape the crazy crowds, you might consider visiting nearby Alexandria instead. Situated in Northern Virginia just minutes from the District, the small city packs a ton of festive activity within its confines. This is the place to be if you treasure the feel of a charming old town that transports you to another world. Wander along King Street and pop into the dozens of boutiques to find one-of-a-kind gifts for your nearest and dearest, then stop by one of the independent bakeries or coffee shops for a mug of hot cocoa and a bite to eat. Don’t miss the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, which brings the festivities to the water and provides absolutely awe-inspiring views. Naturally, you can also pose for photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Solvang

The California town of Solvang is truly special, with its old-world Danish charm and eclectic landmarks. The most well-known by far are its windmills and Danish bakeries, which set the tone for a truly European Christmas. Throughout the season, you can experience everything from operas to live animal displays to boutique shopping. Each year, locals celebrate Julefest, a month-long extravaganza that brings the true spirit of the season to town. Here, kids can visit Santa’s Village, and everyone can enjoy a lively candlelight tour and watch the parade. There’s even a beer and wine “stein stroll” perfect for parents to enjoy.

McAdenville

Also known as “Christmas Town USA,” McAdenville is easily one of the most fun whole family Christmas break destinations in the country. This is a small North Carolina town — there are just shy of 700 residents in total — but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in festivities! Each year, some 500,000 lights go up and transform the city into a complete winter wonderland. There are also over 160 houses impressively decorated for the season. It’s hard to resist such beauty, especially when you can partake in all this plus a tree lighting ceremony entirely for no charge.

Leavenworth

No list would be complete without a mention of Leavenworth, which earns high marks year-round for its exquisite beauty and European charm. During the holiday season, the Washington city transforms into a truly fun whole family Christmas break destination. What else would you expect of an authentic Bavarian village that’s known for its “Christkindlmarkt,” along with beautiful caroling, a town tree, and melodic harp concerts? Stay a little while longer and you can also enjoy the Bavarian Ice Festival in January.

Book Your Fun Whole Family Christmas Break Destination Trip Today

Whether you’re traveling with your kids or your significant other, you’re sure to have a great time at these fun whole family Christmas break destinations. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable trip today.

References

https://theplanetd.com/new-york-city-christmas/

https://www.visitalexandriava.com/holidays/

https://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/

https://www.mcadenville-christmastown.com/

https://leavenworth.org/news/2017-11-16/leavenworth-village-lights/

Helen, GA is a beautiful American town that looks like a European City.

5 American Towns That Look Like European Cities

By Bus Travel, California, Georgia, Helen, Iowa, Leavenworth, New Glarus, Pella, Solvang, Washington, Wisconsin

You may harbor fantasies about traveling to Europe someday. But if “someday” has been in the cards for years, then it’s time to make those Euro-travel dreams a reality! You can do just that by visiting a few American towns that look European. You might be surprised by their authenticity and charm. Here are five that you should add to your must-visit list.

1. Pella, IA

It’s no wonder that Pella, Iowa, bears such a resemblance to a quaint European town. It was founded in the mid-19th century by 800 Dutch immigrants. Their mission was to escape the religious persecution and famine they suffered in the Netherlands. As they left, they committed to naming the new city “Pella,” a reference to the Jordanian city that was a refuge for Christians during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The city’s highlight is the Vermeer Windmill, which was built in Holland, dismantled, and brought to America in the early 2000s. It’s now the largest working windmill in the country. Another landmark is the Tulip Tower, another iconic representative of Dutch culture and a key element of the Tulip Time parades that occur in May. Be sure to stop into Jaarsma Bakery, a family-owned area institution that opened in 1898. It’s renowned for its homemade Dutch pastries! There are also compact specialty boutiques carrying everything from gifts to antiques.

2. Leavenworth, WA

Expect magic when you arrive in Leavenworth, Washington. Against the backdrop of the magnificent Cascade Mountains, the city is about 120 miles from Seattle. It offers quintessential mountain living at its very best which is so true to the Bavarian culture that you’ll almost forget for a moment that you’re actually in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a very small town with a population of approximately 2,000 but is packed with curious tourists who want to experience a little taste of Germany in America. The architecture is characteristic of the country, the roads are dusted with snow throughout winter, and wildflowers coat the ground during spring. Festival life is definitely a thing in Leavenworth so you won’t be able to leave without experiencing at least one. There’s Oktoberfest in the fall, of course, along with the Autumn Leaf Festival, the Christmas Lighting Festival, and the Bavarian Bike & Brew during summer.

3. New Glarus, WI

Affectionately known as “America’s Little Switzerland,” New Glarus is among the most beloved small towns in Wisconsin. Founded in 1845 as a Swiss colony, the area became a village in the early 20th century. Since then, it has remained a beacon of Swiss-style heritage and culture in America. You’ll find traditional Alpine architecture at every turn, along with plenty of delicious regional delicacies to whet your appetite. Among the city’s highlights is the delightful Swiss Historical Village & Museum, where you can enjoy a self-guided tour of the area’s most noteworthy Swiss landmarks. Many are replicas, but the 19th-century settler cabin is well worth a glance if you want to get an idea of how the earliest residents lived. Stop into Puempel’s Olde Tavern, founded in 1893, for a pint and a hearty sandwich. Need a place to stay? Pop into the Chalet Landhaus Inn, immediately notable for its traditional, wide, low-pitched roof and classic Swiss décor.

4. Helen, GA

People flock to Helen, Georgia, for its small-town appeal. Home to just a few hundred people, the city enjoys a privileged position in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It replicates a traditional Bavarian village, complete with cobbled pathways and native meals. The city was originally a logging destination for Native Americans before Europeans settled the area during the 19th century. The timber industry dwindled through the years, and as business declined, town leaders decided to transform it into an ersatz German attraction. In 1968, Helen as a Bavarian village was born. Warm colors flooded the streets, dramatic architecture recalled old-world Germany, and imposing towers cast shadows on the cobblestone roads. There are festivals aplenty year-round, from the Bavarian Nights of Summer to the WineFest held every spring.

5. Solvang, CA

Solvang is an actual Danish village founded in 1911. It was during this period that the Danish-American Colony Corporation purchased some 10,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. The new owners named the colony Solvang, or “sunny field.” Settlers quickly made their home here and swiftly transformed it into a vibrant farming town. It was so renowned that it even drew members of the Danish royal family over the decades. Authentic foods and beverages are a tourist highlight here and among the many reasons why people consider it one of the most impressive American towns that look European. Be sure to stop into the Hans Christian Andersen Museum to learn more about the beloved author. If you’re visiting in September, prepare for the Danish Heritage Festival and celebrate the holiday in style, complete with dancing, music, food, and parades.

Book Your Domestic Euro Getaway Today

Why book a flight when you can enjoy the creature comforts of Europe in North America? These American towns that look European are easily worth a bus journey! Head to BusTickets.com to book your trip today.

References:

http://www.cityofpella.com/

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-places/pella-a-window-on-survival/

https://www.pellahistorical.org/

https://leavenworth.org/

https://leavenworth.org/festivals-events/

https://www.swisstown.com/

https://newglarusvillage.com/

http://www.helenga.org/

https://www.solvangusa.com/

http://www.elverhoj.org/history.html