St. Augustine of Hippo said “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. Even if you can’t afford to travel the whole globe, exploring a new place a couple of hours from where you live can be a thrilling experience. The holidays are a great time to travel and explore new places. Here are some of the best places to see during the holidays.
The Northern Lights are very beautiful and Tromso in Norway is one of the best places on the planet to see them. Look to the sky between 6pm till midnight. Aside from the Auroras, you can also go dog sledding, ride the mountain top cable car, and say that you’ve been to the North Pole (it’s actually the Arctic Circle) for Christmas.
You can’t build a snowman here, but the snow bird style winter in the city attracts many tourists during the holidays. The luxury stores, boutiques, and festive ambiance also does a good job of attracting visitors. If you’ve never been, head down to Third Street South for the traditional Christmas tree. There are also very beautiful window displays like the one at Marissa Collections, a department store located in the Old Naples Historic District. More shops can be found at Fifth Avenue South. When you get tired of shopping, don’t forget to check out Naples’ TUBA Christmas, a concert on Fifth Avenue South’s Sugden Plaza that features brass tubas, euphoniums, and baritones.
For a truly winter wonderland go to Lapland in Finland. The Urho Kekkonen National Park is just a 90-minute drive away from Helsinki and is a great place to visit. Experience a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer just like Santa, or you can go cross country skiing at the Saariselkä trails. For a unique experience, stay at the igloos at Hotel Kakslauttanen that are made from thermal glass so you can stay warm all night while watching the Northern Lights. You can also take 4-hour cruise on the Sampo, which served 26 years as an icebreaker.
Park City, Utah
If you want to see serious bling during the holidays, Park City in Utah is the place to go. The city holds the annual Electric Parade late November and locals light up their cars, bikes, trucks and crank up the holiday tunes as they parade down Main Street. Come during Christmas Eve to see St. Nick ski down the slopes to lead the torchlight parade. Check out the life sized gingerbread houses at Montage Deer Valley. January at Park City is the Sundance Festival which attracts the Hollywood crowd.
Listen to the bagpipes play Amazing Grace, watch fireworks illuminate the Palace of Holyroodhouse and take in a light show when you visit Edinburgh in Scotland during the holidays. If you can, stay at the Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh, which is Edinburgh’s answer to New York’s Times Square. For deliciously bewitching food, grab a bite at Witchery by the Castle and order the Loch Duart salmon and Gartmorn Farm duck – you won’t regret it.