5 Holiday vacation spots in the Southwest U.S.

El Tovar Lodge decorated for Christmas - Grand Canyon

El Tovar Lodge decorated for Christmas - Grand Canyon

It’s not just the sunshine and laid back lifestyle that draws people to the Southwest during holiday time. There are places that are so special that families are drawn back to these places year after year for their holiday vacations.

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
When you go to the Grand Canyon, South Rim, for the holidays you may have a dusting of snow or not. Ideally you will stay at the historic El Tovar Lodge which will be decorated for Christmas. Even the stuffed  deer, elk and moose heads will have Santa caps!

Winter at the Grand Canyon is a very special time. There are fewer people and the pace is slower. The vistas, with the ever-changing weather, can be amazing. More on winter at the Grand Canyon.

Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe is magical at holiday time. You can experience the ritual of Las Posadas, enjoy Christmas Eve on Canyon Road with bonfires to warm you and head out to a local Pueblo for Native American celebrations and dances.

The city’s charm and tradition is vibrant during the holiday season with evergreens and lights draped throughout the city, adobe buildings frosted with snow, mountains gleaming white and the smell of local piñon wood filling the air. More on Santa Fe for the Holidays.

Fredericksburg, TX
Fredericksburg, Texas, in the beautiful Hill Country, is as close as you can get to Germany without flying to Europe. Fredericksburg, founded by German settlers, remains home to many with German last names and, as you wander the shops and art galleries of this quaint town, you’ll find restaurants with plenty of hearty German fare. More on Fredericksburg at Christmas.

La Tierra Restaurant in San Antonio Texas

La Tierra Restaurant in San Antonio Texas is always decorated for Christmas

San Antonio, TX
The Friday after Thanksgiving the River Walk is ablaze with lights. During the lighting ceremony, the switch is thrown and approximately 122,000 twinkling lights form a magical canopy over San Antonio’s River Walk. Visitors can enjoy the magic of the lights every evening through January 1. This is just the beginning of the Paseo Del Rio Holiday Festivities. More on San Antonio for the holidays.

Dude Ranch Vacations in Wickenburg, AZ
There is nothing like an old-fashioned Christmas with stockings hung by the fireplace and family celebrations. Arizona dude ranches go all out for families during the holidays. Hidden Meadow Guest Ranch in the White Mountains serves special holiday meals.  More on family-oriented guest ranches for the holidays.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose Photography

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