Christmas is coming and it's the most wonderful time of the year to take a vacation!
While some people escape to the beach for the festive season, many more choose to embrace traditional holiday activities such as winter sports, shopping in holiday markets, and eating endless holiday snacks.
Though Europe is famous for its beautiful snow-covered Christmas markets, you can enjoy the same experience without leaving the States.
Here are the top 5 Christmas markets in the U.S. according to new research conducted by Yelp:
5. Cambria Christmas Market, Cambria, California
The Cambria Christmas market is best known for its incredible light displays, and the organizers have used over 2 million lights to make the spectacle this year.
Once you’ve enjoyed the light display you can enjoy the market. You’ll find plenty of vendors in the food market using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and a small craft market populated with local artisans.
To add to the party spirit of the market, there is a stage with live music performances and of course a special shack where children of all ages can meet Santa.
If you plan to visit this popular market then you will need to book your tickets online ahead of time because they sell out quickly.
4. Carmel Christkindlmarkt, Carmel, Indiana
The Carmel Christkindlmarkt has all the charm of a traditional European Christmas market.
This market is small but perfectly formed and has been the winner of USA Today's “Best Holiday Market” for the last three years running.
At the heart of the market is an ice-skating rink which is surrounded by delicious German food and beverage offerings from over 20 food vendors. You can also shop for authentic crafts and unique gifts and enjoy holiday music performed by artists from around the world.
There’s a huge range of events aimed specifically at children, such as craft making and cookie decorating.
Culture vultures will enjoy a small purpose-built museum, which is a fabulous space to explore Indiana's rich German-American history.
This is a wonderfully authentic German-inspired Christmas market with traditional wooden chalets and beautiful twinkling lights.
3. Downtown Holiday Market, Washington, DC
This is the 19th year that Washington has hosted a Downtown Holiday Market.
This market is so unique because it has a rotating cast of local vendors and performers. This means you can visit repeatedly, and no two experiences will be the same.
The Downtown Holiday Market is an open-air market with over 150 vendors, live music, and an incredible festive atmosphere.
The aim of the market is to support small businesses and entrepreneurs across the region and this is reflected in the high quality of the vendors available. Do your holiday shopping, grab a snack and then head straight to the stage.
The Market Stage presents a musical feast of more than 75 shows by some of the area’s best blues, rock, jazz, soul, country, world, and contemporary artists.
2. Christkindlmarket Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The Christkindlmarket Chicago is considered to be the most authentic traditional holiday market of its kind outside of Europe.
This market has a vibrant city atmosphere. You can savor traditional German, international, and local food, find unique handmade gifts, and take in the holiday magic.
The festival attracts more than 1 million visitors each year, and many visit specifically to buy the handmade traditional glass Christmas ornaments that this market is famous for.
This market is part of a trio of local festive fairs and deserves its reputation as the second-best Christmas market in the U.S.
1. Union Square Holiday Market, New York, New York
The Union Square holiday market is one of the most famous and internationally renowned Christmas markets in the United States. So it’s no wonder it was chosen as the best Christmas market in America.
This market has more than 150 outdoor vendors, making it the biggest in New York.
And its central location means it's easy to combine eating delicious locally sourced dishes and shopping for artisanal handicrafts in the market with exploring the city and hunting for the best Christmas trees.
This year the vendors at the market are selling items such as clothes, ornaments, bath and body works, art, condiments, jewelry, and way more.
This beautiful and well-presented market welcomes more than 2 million visitors every year. This means that it can get crowded at times so it's not for the claustrophobic but for most people that will only add to the holiday atmosphere.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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