There is just something magical about traveling during the holidays. So many cities around the world are transformed around Christmas. I just returned from 4 days in New York City, which is probably the first destination that comes to mind when you think of traveling to a Christmassy destination. And while highlights such as the tree in Rockefeller Center, Christmas window displays, and stage shows like the Rockettes. But while not on as grand a scale, many other cities are full of Christmas charm. I’ve been told Walt Disney World and Orlando at Christmas (though incredibly crowded) is a wonderful experience. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to places like Williamsburg, VA, St. Augustine, Fl, and Nashville, TN around the Christmas season. Even here in Charlotte, there are some incredible lights and festive events to experience.

The Most Desirable Locations For Travel This Christmas

So when I was sent a study by about the places each state most desires to travel for Christmas I was intrigued. My mind immediately went to New York as being the most popular destination. Based on the number of people I experienced in NYC this weekend I can’t imagine it’s anywhere else. I truly have never seen that city as crowded as it was. And if you’ve ever been to New York, you know it’s ALWAYS crowded. This was almost to the point where you couldn’t move in multiple places. I even made the joke that they should not allow any more hotels to be opened. The city is full!

But spoiler alert, NC’s top domestic destination for the holidays wasn’t New York. It wasn’t even one of the major US cities that North Carolina residents are desiring to travel to this Christmas. It isn’t even in the state- I’d put Asheville near that top of the list as well. Thanks to places like Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. Cloudwards determined the most sought-after locations for each US state including an international and domestic destination. Keep reading to see both the international and domestic destinations for North and South Carolina. Thanks to our friends at Cloudwards for sharing their research with us. You can see the full study here.


  • North Carolina and South International Destination

    VIENNA, AUSTRIA - NOVEMBER 24: A tram passes the closed Christmas market on Town Hall square on the third day of a nationwide, temporary lockdown during the fourth wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic on November 24, 2021 in Vienna, Austria. The measure, in which people are only allowed to leave home for essentials and to go to school or work, is meant by authorities to rein in COVID-19 infections that have skyrocketed in recent weeks. The lockdown is currently scheduled to last until December 13.

    Vienna takes the crown for the most desirable international travel destination in both the Carolinas. Not only that but it topped the list in 25 states. I honestly don’t know what I would have bet on to take this crown, but it wouldn’t have been Austria. Perhaps the German Christmas Markets, or Paris? But according to Cloudwards Vienna is known as Europe’s “most livable city”. It also has plenty of it’s own Christmas markets, as well as stunning lights, and Christmas markets. Visitors to Vienna also have a good chance at experiencing those elusive White Christmases here in Charlotte we can only dream about!

  • North Carolina Domestic Destination

    North Carolina’s most desired Christmas destination? None other Myrtle Beach, SC. I guess North Carolinians don’t want to travel far. Listen I’ve been to Myrtle Beach countless times. There is plenty to do, and it’s conveniently located. But you can pick anywhere to travel for Christmas and you’re selecting Myrtle Beach? I don’t get that. But to each their own! The most common answer nationwide was Branson, MO. Another city I wouldn’t have thought of!

  • South Carolina Domestic Destination

    Long exposure of Christmas lights and car light streaking in Helen Georgia

    And South Carolina’s choice is also just a state away- it’s Helen, GA. The German town hosts Decemberfest each year featuring a Christmas Market, parade, and other events like a Victorian Christmas program and Breakfast with Santa.

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