BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Dec 14, 2016) - For many of us, it just isn't Christmas until snow blankets the landscape, transforming the surroundings into a white wintry wonderland. Not only are the holidays made more beautiful by a snowfall, they're also a lot more fun when you can ski, sled, skate, tube, dogsled or just enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. The travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, have compiled a list of the 12 places where you can have a white Christmas, pulling data from the National Centers for Environmental Information's White Christmas map, to help you find the closest spot for a classic winter holiday.
We looked into the snowiest regions of the country, the Northeast, Midwest and West, and picked your best bets in each for a snow-filled celebration. Below are details on what to expect and how to get to top spots in each region, including one location where snow cover is said to be 100% guaranteed at Christmastime:
- BEST CHANCE: Aspen, Colorado (100% chance of snow) - Synonymous with skiing, Aspen, Colo., is a small town that's big on culture, offering seasonal fun on and off the slopes. During the 12 Days of Aspen (Dec. 20-31), the destination becomes a winter wonderland with free ice skating, visits with Santa, s'mores-making parties and cocoa. The event culminates in a torchlight parade down the slopes and fireworks on New Year's Eve.
Best way to get there: Flights to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport are plentiful this time of year. The only slope-side airport in the U.S. is a three-mile, 10-minute drive from Aspen. Locals advise having a plan B for flight options at the ready in case of snowy weather. Flights often get diverted to Grand Junction Regional Airport, and shuttles take guests to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport or Denver International Airport where they have the option of setting up their own transportation via Colorado Mountain Express, car rentals or private transportation. Travelers can also catch the local bus system Roaring Fork Transportation Authority outside Aspen/Pitkin County Airport and take the bus for free to Aspen or Snowmass. The bus comes every 10 minutes during Christmas time.
- NORTHEAST: Lake Placid, New York (87% chance of snow) - America's first winter resort, Lake Placid, N.Y., has been a popular winter sports destination since Melvil Dewey of Dewey Decimal System fame (and founder of the Lake Placid Club) put it on the map in 1914. Lake Placid and the Adirondacks are havens for outdoor recreational opportunities year round, but the area is even more enticing during the holidays. Mid's Park on Main Street hosts festive, family-friendly entertainment including music, bonfires and ice carving demonstrations daily in December. Don't miss the chance to skate on the Olympic Oval and take a dogsled run on Mirror Lake.
Best way to get there: The Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake, N.Y., is the closest airport to Lake Placid. Lake Placid is also an approximately two-hour drive from Albany International Airport, Burlington International Airport and Aéroports de Montréal. Railway access via Amtrak is available from New York, Albany and Montreal, with tickets that include a shuttle ride to Lake Placid direct from the Westport Station. Adirondack Trailways also offers service from New York City, Port Authority Terminal, with pick-ups along the route through the Catskills and past Lake George and drop-offs in the center of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.
- WEST: McCall, Idaho (98% chance of snow) - Downtown McCall, Idaho, is lined with locally owned shops, restaurants and hotels all decorated for Christmas, plus a community tree right in the center of town. Add a blanket of snow and some holiday cheer, and travelers have the perfect combination for an unforgettable Christmas getaway. More than 300 inches of snow means every day during the holiday season is perfect for alpine skiing and snowboarding at one of three resorts, or for Nordic skiing and fatbiking along 62 miles of groomed trails and snowshoeing through Payette National Forest. (Side note: the 80-foot Christmas tree adorning the U.S. Capitol this year came from Payette National Forest, a sure sign this is where the holidays happen on a large-scale.) Complete your festive Idaho experience with a horse-drawn sleigh ride along the Gold Fork River. For even more Christmas festivities, join in the Mountain Hollydays celebration, which includes Christmas concerts, cookie decorating at the Shore Lodge, visits with Santa, s'mores by the fire on the patio at Tamarack Resort, Supper Club at Jug Mountain Ranch and holiday bazaars.
Best way to get there: Most travelers fly into Boise Airport in Boise, Idaho, and then rent a car to drive the 100 miles north to McCall. There is currently no public transportation option between the Boise Airport and McCall.
- MIDWEST: Marquette, Michigan (96% chance of snow) - With an average annual snowfall of 200 inches, Marquette, Mich., and its picturesque shores along Lake Superior are often blanketed in snow. The area boasts 60 miles of groomed fatbike trails, nearly 75 miles of cross-country ski trails and 400 miles of snowmobile trails. Get into the spirit of the season by donning an ugly sweater at The Up North Lodge Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 17, and continue the merriment at Marquette's Winter Solstice Celebration, which features music, food and shopping, on Dec. 21. Ring in the New Year at the New Year's Eve Ball Drop in downtown Marquette, or on the slopes at the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks on Marquette Mountain. Take a detour 40 miles east to the village of Christmas, Mich., where the post office is a popular spot to get cards and letters postmarked.
Best way to get there: Sawyer International Airport is the closest airport to Marquette. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines run flights from Chicago and Detroit. While it can take a while to travel to Marquette, particularly in the winter, the drive from the airport is approximately 20 minutes. Public transportation is limited, but many of the lodging options offer courtesy transportation. Taxis and rental cars are also available.
More options in the Northeast include Ludlow, Vermont (85% chance of snow), where a 19th century Christmas awaits at Billings Farm & Museum; North Conway, New Hampshire (77% chance of snow), where you can hop on an antique train for a journey to the North Pole, with Santa along for the ride; and Farmington, Maine (75% chance of snow), where the first earmuffs were worn, and where you can find a classic holiday celebration in a historic downtown. In the Midwest, relive the childhood thrill of walking through the largest Christmas lights display in the country in Duluth, Minnesota (92% chance of snow); enjoy a scenic holiday on the shores of Lake Superior in the historic town of Bayfield, Wisconsin (91% chance of snow), where you can go dogsledding, enjoy a Victorian-era meal at the Rittenhouse Inn, and ski, tube or snowboard at Mt Ashwabay. Head West for a slew of great winter destinations, including Bozeman, Montana (91% chance of snow), nestled next to Yellowstone National Park and a mecca for dry powder; Tahoe City, California (86% chance of snow), with a stunning lakeside setting and the largest concentration of ski resorts in the country; and Bryce Canyon, Utah (85% chance of snow), with its trademark red sandstone formations, topped with snow. No matter which destination you choose, a joyful atmosphere is guaranteed. To find the white Christmas closest to you and tips on how to get there, visit Cheapflights.com's 12 places where you can have a white Christmas www.cheapflights.com/news/12-places-can-white-christmas.
About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses -- for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.
In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.
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