Best Christmas Road Trips

Family loading Christmas tree into car

Everyone has different Christmas traditions that they like to adhere to, whether it’s heading out to see your local Christmas light display, going caroling with friends and family members, attending church, or having a family dinner. However, while it is important to recognize old traditions, it is equally as important to create new ones of your own that you can do with friends and family members, or even traditions that you can do for yourself at Christmas. If you’re looking for something a little different to do this Christmas, then why not try planning the perfect Christmas road trip so that you can do a little exploring during this festive season!

San Francisco to Lake Tahoe

There are a wide variety of things that you can do in San Francisco during the Christmas season, making it the perfect place to start any festive road trip. Towards the end of November, the festivities get underway, starting with the Union Square tree lighting event at the end of the month. There are events for the whole family during the winter period, from ice skating to visiting the giant gingerbread house that the Fairmont Hotel constructs every year. Even the San Francisco Zoo gets festive during the Christmas Season, allowing you to visit the attraction with the holiday lights on display.

You can then turn your holiday into one of the ultimate Christmas road trips by heading on an adventure to Lake Tahoe. Every winter, loads of people make the commute to Lake Tahoe on the border of Nevada and California to hit the world-class slopes. There are a wide variety of resorts that you can choose to stay in once you’re there, each with their own individual aesthetic. Even if you’re not a lover of skiing, just being able to witness the beauty of the lake will make it well worth the trip.

Miami to Key West

If you’re looking to escape the snows and cold chills of the Christmas weather, the East Coast offers you a perfect alternative. Why not rent a car from Miami and head down the coast in complete freedom, leaving you the opportunity to explore the East Coast at your own leisure? The tropical islands of the Florida Keys offer a wonderfully relaxing way to spend the Christmas season and provide the perfect destination for any road trip. Whether you’re learning to sail, going snorkeling or watching the Key West Sunsets, there is something for everyone along the East Coast at Christmas.

Portland to Salem

Portland’s Christmas Festival of Lights, which typically runs from Thanksgiving weekend until the week of Christmas, is a spectacle that you absolutely don’t want to miss during the winter season! Housed by The Grotto botanical garden, the walk-through event includes several family-friendly experiences that everyone can enjoy, such as music concerts, puppet shows, snacks and beverages, carolers, and even a petting zoo. Aside from the Festival of Lights, there are number of different events that you can check out, whether you’re traveling alone, with friends or with your whole family: from the lights at the Oregon Zoo to the Winter Wonderland event that offers fully animated scenes and more than 250 colorful light displays, it is definitely an event to remember.

Once you’re ready to take your trip onto the road, what better destination to aim for than Salem? This historic town has a lot to offer all year round, but there is one Christmas tradition that you definitely don’t want to miss: Salem is home to a wide variety of Christmas tree farms! This makes it the perfect place to stop and pick up a family Christmas tree if you don’t live too far away.

Asheville to Brevard

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers a perfect romantic getaway location for couples looking for an idyllic Christmas town. As you move on with your road trip, you can visit Chimney Rock which is about an hour’s drive from Asheville. The rock face might be hundreds of millions of years old, but each year on December 9th, you can see Santa tackle the giant Chimney to bring presents to all park visitors for Christmas! Finally, you could finish your road trip up in Brevard for the country’s only known display of Aluminum Christmas trees at ATOM (the Aluminum Tree and Ornament Museum). If you’re looking for the best Christmas road trips that offer something a little different to do during the holidays, this option could be perfect for you!