No. 2 Vail, CO: Ski season kicks into high gear during the holidays in this Colorado wonderland. December brings the festivities of Snowdaze—where the fresh powder is celebrated with live concerts every evening—and Holidaze, which includes the village’s tree lighting during the winter solstice and a New Year’s Eve torchlight parade down Golden Peak, followed by fireworks.
No. 3 Ogunquit, ME: Readers may be drawn to this former artists’ colony in Maine as a beach getaway, but the holiday season brings the perks of winter on the sand: lower prices and overall calm, with just enough festivity to keep things humming.
No. 6 Breckenridge, CO: Breckenridge gets revved up during the holidays, as ski season swings into high gear. Indeed, this resort town skates the fine line between thrills and low stress, ranking well in the survey for both adventure and safety.
Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV, United States
No. 7 Lewisburg, WV: Grande dame hotel The Greenbrier is the epicenter of the holidays in the Lewisburg area. The 18th-century resort trims the lobby with opulent decorations, holds ribbon-tying seminars in its Christmas Shop, and offers weekday discounts on treatments at its legendary mineral-springs spa.
No. 8 Beaufort, NC: Winter weather doesn’t really kick in until January in this Outer Banks town, so the holiday season is typically still a good time to paddle a kayak or take a boat tour along Taylor’s Creek.
No. 9 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA: This California town with a rocky coastline doesn’t experience much in the way of winter, but the chilly air makes the crashing waves and neighboring wine country seem all the more enticing.
No. 10 Park City, UT: The holiday season ushers in serious wattage—star-powered and otherwise—in this Utah mountain town. In late November, Park City holds its annual Electric Parade, in which locals light up their trucks, cars, and bicycles and crank up the holiday tunes as they parade down Main Street.