Unusual Christmas Destinations
Collected by Bryan Kitch , AFAR Contributor
Off-the-beaten-path, unusual, and beautiful places to spend a Christmas holiday.
7011 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Tis the season to be jolly! If you’re feeling festive around the holidays or perhaps you want to keep Christmas going all year long, then a visit to the Coach House should be on your holiday wish list. When the holiday season approaches, ...
Budapest, 1051 Hungary
There's no better way to connect with a culture than through food. It's a universal language, tangible and immediate. Street/market food is particularly insightful. I recently spent time in eastern Europe and was pleasantly surprised by the...
Hverfisgata, Reykjavík, Iceland
There's an old tale they tell the children in Iceland about these little elf-like creatures called the Jule Lads who live in the volcanic lands outside of Reykjavik. Traditionally, around Christmas time, they come down and cause all sorts of...
Pedestrian Bridge Melbourne, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
This is a fun place to relax, have some beers, and shoot the breeze with friends on a sunny day. It's just south of the Finders St. Station and north of Southgate. We happened to discover it on Christmas Day and enjoyed ourselves immensely with...
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
Part of the North Shore mountain range, this 4,039-foot peak offers jaw-dropping views of the city. It’s busiest in the winter, when four chairlifts service 33 ski runs, but remains popular in the summer thanks to the steep, 1.8-mile Grouse...
andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, Timbavati, 1380, South Africa
The &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge is located on the Ngala Private Game Reserve, an unfenced private concession wedged between the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and Kruger National Park. &Beyond leases the land from World Wildlife Fund...
North University, Austin, TX 78705, USA
The massive display of Christmas light pageantry on 37th Street draws thousands of spectators to this north campus neighborhood on an annual basis in December, but you won't find any nativity scenes here! The theme of this display every year is...
30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996
Chijmes is a pretty complex in downtown Singapore that used to be a Catholic convent but has been converted into a dining and entertainment complex. In December, the entrance gates to the area are festooned with lights, ribbons, and stars. There...
San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
I took the long way home from Palm Springs yesterday. The winter holidays in California are strange to those used to snow and ice. But the over-the-top Madonna Inn, a pink palace of kitsch, goes all out this time of year. Step inside and you...
Olney MK46 4AJ, UK
In the town of Olney, on 09 December, during the Christmas Market as the sun was setting -- I witnessed one of the most well known of British traditions: a Punch and Judy show. It's a day of cheer, merriment, celebration and costumed citizens....
104 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
This museum does so much more than tell you about Walt Disney's life—it reminds you of the struggles that all creatives face throughout their careers. The experience is unexpected, interactive, and current for kids and adults alike. The view onto...
4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065, USA
Voted the #1 zoo in the country, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's latest addition is a 1.3-acre yard specially designed to be the ultimate polar bear habitat called Polar Frontier. The exhibit is home to two polar bears, two Alaskan brown bears and...