12 Places to Travel to This Holiday Season

4. Goa

If you’re willing to spend half a day on a plane, then you should think about heading to western India for a vacation over Christmas. Goa is India’s most liberal state, and they celebrate Christmas in a big way, even though their temps in December usually hover around 80°.

People primarily come to Goa to party, and the year’s biggest party always happens on New Year’s Eve. The cities in Goa are always packed in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, as more tourists arrive and gear up for the main event. Spend your days wandering through a city strewn with tinsel and lights, and every evening, sample a new beach party locale, until you find the perfect one for New Year’s Eve.

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5. Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is a small town in central Washington State that doesn’t seem like much on a map, but when you arrive, you may be surprised by what you see. The town center is full of Bavarian-inspired chalets. Leavenworth prides itself on looking exactly like a German or Austrian mountain town.

If you want to live out your European Christmas fantasy without leaving the United States, book a night at the centrally-located Hotel Edelweiss, overlooking the surrounding mountains and pretend you’re in Bavaria. Each year, they host a massive Christmas market, and light up their downtown core in an amazing display of festive cheer.

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6. Sayulita, Mexico

The tiny village of Sayulita on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico is one of the last few hidden gems in a country that regularly sees its waterfront areas overrun by tourists. Sayulita is the perfect destination for people who want a bit of privacy on their vacation, and want to enjoy a landscape that’s remained unspoiled by development.

Sayulita is well-known for their incredible surfing, boating, and other water sports. Go whale watching with a local guide, then explore the jungle on an ATV or mountain bike- there’s no limit to what you can do in Sayulita!

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Most Interesting Small Towns to Visit in the United States

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