5 of the Coolest Places to Visit for the Holidays—That Aren’t Your Mom’s House! Hannah Winsten November 11, 2015 Adventure Travel, Arts & History, Beach Vacations, Family Travel, Interests, Trending Stories The holiday travel season is right around the corner, folks! Do you know where you’re headed? Lots of us head home for the holidays—most Thanksgiving and December holiday travelers have already booked their trips back home. But not everyone is traveling back to their childhood nest! The holidays are also a great time for a real, legitimate vacation, since most offices will already be closed for at least a portion of the days you might be away. Use those vacation days efficiently, people! Whether you’re looking for a last minute Thanksgiving getaway or planning further head for the December holidays, we’ve got some awesome travel inspiration for you. Where should you go this holiday season? Here are a few of the most popular places to visit! 1.) Las Vegas somchaij / Shutterstock This is kind of genius, don’t you think? Instead of stressing about your drunk uncle on the other side of the dinner table, you can be living it up in Las Vegas! Hit the casinos, catch some shows, and spend a night with the Eiffel Tower. You may not find any turkey or eggnog, but you’re in Vegas, so who cares, right? If you’re looking for some more tame Vegas fun, check out this fun guide to the Las Vegas arcade scene. You can hit all the best ones in just about 24 hours—if you’re seriously motivated—so let your inner gamer out to play. No shame in your game, friend. 2.) Orlando Songquan Deng / Shutterstock Want some fun in the sun? Orlando is the place to be! While the Northern half of the US shivers with cold over the holidays, Orlando will be warm, sunny, and happy. If that’s not reason enough to fly south, we’re not sure what is! Once you land in the Sunshine State, take a trip over to Disneyworld, check out the Kennedy Space Station, or just lay outside in the sun for a while. Remember to slather on the sunscreen! If you’re not keen on Mickey and Minnie, check out this helpful rundown of fun things to do in Orlando that aren’t Disney-related. We won’t judge you for skipping out on the most magical place on Earth. (OK, maybe we’re judging you a little bit.) 3.) Denver bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock If Florida sunshine isn’t your thing, hitting the slopes in Denver might be more your style! Skiing season has just begun, and there’s no better time to test out the powder than a long holiday weekend. Some folks have even gotten a head start already! Denver’s not all about skiing though, so if you love the winter but not its seasonal sports, never fear. This town is filled with art galleries, fun shopping, and cultural corners to explore. Break out your best sweaters and dive headfirst into Denver! 4.) Chicago Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock The Windy City is a popular place to go for the holidays, and it’s no mystery as to why. This city is filled to the brim with cool things to do. Just make sure you pack a windbreaker! Check out the Willis Tower—the second tallest building in the US, recently surpassed by New York’s Freedom Tower—take an architecture cruise down the Chicago River, or take a self-guided Chicago movie tour down the streets of your favorite films. Bueller, anyone? If you’re an art buff, make sure to swing by the Art Institute of Chicago, which houses the largest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world. Who knew the US could be so fancy? 5.) New York City dibrova / Shutterstock We saved the best for last, folks. If you’re traveling this holiday season, New York City is kind of the most exciting place you could visit. Why? It’s home to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and more gallons of general holiday cheer than you can imagine! NYC is the hub of all things festive, and there’s no better place to kick off the holiday season. If you’re coming to the Big Apple, swing by Rockefeller Center and head to the top, where you’ll get a gorgeous view of the city. Save your ice skating for Bryant Park, which doesn’t charge a fee to enter the rink! (You do have to pay for skate rental, though.) After you’ve maxed out on excitement between parades, shopping, and the tree, finish the evening with a Broadway show. You’ll be in love with New York before you know it! Will you be traveling this holiday season? Let us know where you’re headed in the comments below, then pop over to our #HomeAwaits contest page to enter for a chance to win a roundtrip flight for two this season!