Most Magical Christmas Markets in the U.S.
Though Christmas markets are usually associated with winter in Europe (particularly Germany and Austria), you don't have to take an international flight to enjoy one. European immigrants brought this wonderful tradition with them, so almost every major city in the U.S. boasts its own holiday market.
Which ones should you definitely plan on visiting during your winter travels? Start with these ten magical Christmas markets.
Bryant Park’s Winter Village — New York City, New York
New York City has several Christmas markets that shoppers can enjoy. We'd recommend hitting up as many as possible, but if you only have time for one, head to Bryant Park’s Winter Village. It's the oldest in the city and opens from the end of October to February. Also, it has a free ice rink in the middle of the city. That's the stuff of dreams.
Where to stay: Bryant Park Hotel
Christkindlmarket Chicago — Chicago, Illinois
Not one to let New York outshine it, Chicago offers its own Christmas market inspired by the famous one in Nuremberg, Germany. The Christkindlesmarkt is organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, so it'll transport you straight to Europe. Besides buying cute gifts, enjoy the food stands that serve German fare like mulled wine and sausages.
Where to stay: River Hotel
Yorktown's Christmas Market On Main — Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is already an ideal holiday destination. Virginia's famed historic town turns into a winter wonderland at the end of the year, with its colonial houses adorned with twinkling lights. Head to Yorktown's Christmas Market on Main. Taking place on the first weekend of December, it's announced by the Town Crier and offers live music, craft beer, numerous stands and even a visit from Santa.
Where to stay: Williamsburg Inn
Chattanooga Holiday Market — Chattanooga, Tennessee
If you love the idea of a market but don't want to deal with the cold, You'll love the Chattanooga Holiday Market. Set indoors, you'll get to peruse through hundreds of food and crafts stalls every weekend in December. Besides unique and handmade gifts, the market has live holiday music so you can truly get into the festive spirit. And when you're done shopping, do the Holiday Trail of Lights, where you'll get to see the city's main landmarks and participate in themed activities.
Where to stay: The Chattanoogan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Downtown Holiday Market — Washington, D.C.
Leave it to D.C. to have an open-air market right in front of the National Portrait Gallery. Visitors can get cultured at the museum and then head out for hot chocolate and some retail therapy. The best part? You'll be supporting local businesses and seeing performances by regional artists.
Where to stay: Riggs Washington DC
SoWa Winter Festival & Holiday Market — Boston, Massachusetts
Though you'll have to pay about $10 to come into this holiday market, the price of admission is definitely worth it. Over 100 vendors set up shop to sell handmade products, artwork or unique gifts. The market also has a beer garden and a fire pit where you can sit down and take a break from all the window (and actual) shopping.
Where to stay: Seaport Hotel Boston
Christmas Village — Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is often ignored as a Christmas destination. But those in the known head to its charming Christmas Village. Modeled after a German market, it has more than 50 vendors and is open from mid-November to Christmas Eve. The booths are wooden and food vendors emphasize traditional European treats. Go ahead and stuff yourself with gingerbread and bratwurst — that's what the holidays are for!
Where to stay: Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
Denver Christkindl Market — Denver, Colorado
As in Chicago, the Denver Christkindlmarket is organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce (Colorado Chapter). Because of this, it has an authentic European feel that makes it special. There is also an emphasis bringing in vendors from Europe and having food stands that sell German goods. Of course, there's a beer garden.
Where to stay: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
Winterfest and Christkindlmarkt — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Don't feel like vacationing in a city? Set your eyes on Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Known as Christmas City, the town received its name on Christmas Eve 1741 and takes the honor very seriously. There are numerous holiday events throughout the season, but one of the most popular ones is the Christkindlmarkt. The event emphasizes handmade goods, both from local and European vendors.
Where to stay: The Sayre Mansion
Old World Christmas Market — Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
You can also go to the tiny town of Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin, where the weather is rough but the Christmas spirit makes up for it. The town has a popular Christmas market held inside the beautiful Osthoff Resort. Expect goods from all over: from traditional Russian dolls to Turkish wraps and Czech wooden toys. You'll have to pay a price of admission, but it's under $10.
Where to stay: The Osthoff Resort
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