Hello December! And welcome to the most wonderful time of the year to pack up your van and hit the road. Whether you plan to travel to see family far away, or if you and your significant other need a roadtrip this season, the holidays are becoming prime travel time for Americans.
If you haven’t decided on your December van destinations, we’ve got you covered. Today we are highlighting our favorites van destinations you can’t miss over the holiday season. Some choices take advantage of an off-season vibe while others let you revel in the holiday spirit, so let’s see what’s out there for you as you jingle and jangle down the highway!
1. Chicago, Illinois
There’s something special about the Christmas season in the Windy City. And if you want to work up some serious holiday spirit, we recommend it to you. December is the best time to visit Chicago in your van because the most biting-cold temperatures haven’t struck yet—don’t wait until January to visit, or you’ll gain a to-the-bone understanding of the city’s famous nickname—and there is so much to do and see.
Here are a few of Chicago’s top December 2022 to put on your itinerary:
- Ice Skating at one of the many Chicago skating parks is a favorite activity for residents and visitors. The top choices are McCormick Tribute Ice Rink at Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park.
- Shop for unique gifts at the German-style Christkindlmarket outdoor market, where you’ll find handmade Christmas ornaments and plenty of delicious treats. If you’re looking for a spot to thrust you into the Christmas spirit, this is it!
- Cozy up to world-class art at the Art Institute of Chicago or immerse yourself in aquatic adventures wandering through the Shedd Aquarium.
The fun doesn’t end there. Be sure to browse the TimeOut event calendar so you don’t miss out on any of Chicago’s many December highlights.
2. Charleston, South Carolina
One of the best places to experience Christmas on the east coast, especially in the south, is South Carolina. The cozy southern city features events for singles, couples, or the whole family, thanks to the warm community atmosphere that lingers all year long but bursts at the seams during the holidays. Best of all, you can do all the holiday shopping, and sightseeing you want without having to bundle up.
Take at look at events in Charleston during December:
- Take a special holiday Harbor Cruise Tour called the Keep the Light Shinin’ Holiday Dinner Cruise aboard the Carolina Queen. Enjoy dinner, live entertainment, and a chance to see the beauty of Charleston at night.
- Charleston Strolls by Bulldog Tours offers you the best opportunity to see all the best of daily life in Charleston. You’ll see the historic homes and plantations, the 4 Corners of Law, White Point Garden, and much more. During the holiday edition, you’ll be sure to see all the decorations around the city.
- Experience the holiday magic at Marion Square, where you can see the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and stroll through the farmers’ market.
You don’t have to spend all your time in the city limits because there is so much to do in the area, especially with outdoor activities in a warm environment. But there are also art galleries, live music events, spas, and much more.
3. Whitefish, Montana
Did you expect to see Whitefish, Montana on this list? If not, get ready to find out how much this town loves the Christmas season and why it’s a great place to visit, whether you love the winter season or not. The city kicks off the Christmas season with its Whitefish Christmas Stroll on Friday, December 9. There, you’ll see Alpine bell ringers, vocal ensembles, dancers, Santa’s arrival and entrance, and much more. It’s a magical place to spend a magical season. If you like that kind of thing, of course.
Besides that, you’ll be in an open, wild winter wonderland. Here are some amazing winter activities you can experience in Whitefish in December:
- Downhill skiing and snowboarding
- Snowshoeing in Glacier National Park
- Taking a horsedrawn sleigh
- Riding fat tire bikes in the wild
4. Leavenworth, Washington
Nestled in the eastern Cascade Range is the charming German town of Leavenworth, Washington, where you’ll find Bavarian architecture and a month-long Christmas spirit that’s tough to beat. While Leavenworth is lovely at any time of year, it’s Christmas every day in December, especially with the Village of Lights Christmastown Festival. While there, you can see Gingerbread Houses, let your little ones participate in Christmas craft activities, visit Santa, and see choirs, carolers, and more.
Here are some other fun events in Leavenworth this December:
- Play in the snow and see fireworks during the Bavarian Ice Festival.
- Imbibe some tasty delights at the Blue Spirits Distilling, featuring vodkas made from local Lake Chelan Water.
- Visit the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, where you can pet, feed, and learn about reindeer.
5. Dallas, Texas
We didn’t want to leave out the Lone Star State. The only problem is that there are so many great destinations in December. We landed in Dallas because the Dallas Arboretum Christmas Village is a wonderland of its own, featuring many holiday attractions, such as adorable European Christmas markets, a post office where children can drop off their letters to Santa for guaranteed delivery, the candy shop, where you can see how the candy striper makes holiday favorites, and much more.
Here are some other things you can do in Dallas this December:
- Visit the Dallas Zoo to experience a wonderland of lights.
- Spend some time at Enchant Christmas, Dallas, Texas at Fair Park for ice skating and a trek through the Christmas light maze.
- Drive to Plano to see Heritage Farmstead Museum’s Lights on the Farm, where you’ll find family fun with lights, Santa, tasty holiday treats, and much more.
- Take your traveling companion out for a special dinner at one of Dallas’s many romantic restaurants to celebrate the adventure and season.
If you are still shopping for your dream campervan to visit these top destinations, we can help you find the right fit for you and your travel needs at RecVan.