Come December, Old Quebec transforms into a real life Christmas village with enough lights, snow and festive trappings to charm your socks off. Christmas markets throughout the city offer last-minute shopping opportunities, while the Quebec City Lights Festival sets the whole city aglow.
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Christmas in Santa Fe looks a bit different than in the rest of the country. In this southwest state capital, twinkling lights are joined by rows of luminarias, brown paper bags that glow from the flame of a tea light set on a bed of sand within. These traditional holiday lights, sometimes called farolitos, line Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road come Christmas Eve.
Zermatt, a car-free alpine town at the base of Matterhorn Mountain, seems made for Christmas. When you're not strolling or sledding through the snow-covered town, you can hit the mountain for some spectacular holiday skiing or snowboarding.
There's something magical about Christmas in the Canadian Rockies, nowhere more so than in the charming town of Banff. Besides being visually stunning during the winter season, Banff keeps a full calender of holiday-themed events designed with the whole family in mind.
Edinburgh, one of Scotland's most beautiful cities, is even more eye-popping when decked out in lights for the holiday season. Christmas markets dot the city, and the downtown area is filled with seasonal rides and attractions, like the Big Wheel that offers bird's eye views of all the city's Christmas splendor.
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New York City, New York
What's not to love about the Big Apple at Christmas? There's iconic skating at Rockefeller Center, shopping at Christmas markets, seasonal window displays on Fifth Avenue, carriage rides through snowy Central Park, Santaland at Macy's and the high-kicking Rockettes performing their always-anticipated Christmas Spectacular.
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Whistler, British Columbia
If you're looking for a near guaranteed white Christmas, head to Whistler. This Canadian winter sports paradise offers skiing and boarding on Christmas day, as well as a full menu of family-friendly holiday activities, like ice skating, tubing, caroling and festive sleigh rides.
In Prague, some of Europe's best Christmas markets sit beneath the shadows of snow-dusted Gothic and baroque architectural wonders, lending the city the feel of a true winter wonderland. Sample sweets and spiced wine as you shop in Old Town or Wenceslas Square.
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For the Bavarian Christmas experience without flying to Europe, try Leavenworth, Washington. Over half a million twinkling lights go up all over the postcard-perfect German-style village. Even after Christmas has come and gone, Leavenworth continues to celebrate with its annual Bavarian Icefest in January.
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The snow-centric town of Aspen takes the holiday season very seriously, hosting a variety of free events, like ice skating, caroling and visits with Santa as part of its annual 12 Days of Aspen celebration. With some of Colorado's best snow conditions, you can be sure of a white Christmas as well.