Tuesday, November 4, 2014

10 top holiday destinations? You decide

Retailers' early holiday merchandise has been on shelves for weeks, and travel promoters are now following suit. The Travel Channel has released its list of top 10 holiday attractions of 2014.

Most are too obscure or distant or expensive for the average family, but Manhattan/Brooklyn is a viable option -- and by December, San Diego may be looking more desirable than ever.

Here's their list, in alphabetic order:

Dyker Heights Lights, Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Brooklyn neighborhood that appeared in "Saturday Night Fever" sports elaborate light displays, including life-size ice skating figurines and 70-foot toy soldiers that move. Suggested times: 5 to 9 p.m. in mid-December.

12 Pubs of Christmas, Dublin, Ireland
Revelers make their rounds to 12 pubs in the Irish capital and guzzle a pint of a little more than just eggnog at each.

Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik, Croatia
The 1,000-year-old city on the Adriatic Sea  becomes a scene right out of a storybook starting on St. Lucy’s Day (Dec. 13). The Sponza Palace at the edge of Old Town’s walls hosts local artisans, musical performances, a cappella singers and traditional dance.

"George Balanchine’s 'The Nutcracker,' " Manhattan
A holiday traditions in the Big Apple is seeing the New York City perform the ate choreographer George Balanchine's version of "The Nutcracker," at Lincoln Center, from the day after Thanksgiving to Jan. 2.

North Pole, Alaska
This biggest attraction in this  actual hamlet in Alaska  is  Santa Claus House, a Christmas-themed gift shop with tons of ornaments, a 42-foot-tall Santa Claus statue and real reindeer you can visit.

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany
At the world-famous Christmas market, more than 180 decorated wooden stalls sell decorations and such treats Nuremberg bratwurst, gingerbread and mulled wine. The trademark souvenir: Nuremberg "plum people" ‑- miniature figures made from prunes.

Reykjavik, Iceland (shown at the top of this post... but in a warmer season)
Visit the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjordur or Reykjavik's main Christmas market in Ing√≥lfstorg Square for traditional Nordic holiday gifts, mulled wine and yuletide music. Don’t miss the northern lights that illuminate the sky this time of year.

Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi, Finland
Rovaniemi, is a popular place in December where you can meet Santa Claus in his office, visit his post office and take a sleigh ride with traditional Sami reindeer.

Skating by the Sea, San Diego
Ice-skate by the Pacific Ocean at  on the lawn rink of San Diego’s landmark Hotel del Coronado. Skating sessions are offered daily from Thanksgiving through Jan. 4San Diego’s mild weather makes it easy for families to pair holiday festivities with the area’s kid-friendly attractions and activities.

Santa Claus, Ind.
The town's family-owned  amusement park, Holiday World, gets more than one million patrons annually and boasts three impressive wooden roller coasters.


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Anonymous said...

A bit closer to home is Williamsburg, VA, which also features Busch Gardens ChristmasTowne. Makes for a great Christmas getaway that can easily be done in an extended weekend.