For some, traveling to a favorite place is part of the holiday tradition. Here are five places that Family Travel Five readers find festive:
1. Telluride, Colo.
It's a neighborhood tradition. Each year, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Keeley family joins friends for a pilgrimage to their favorite ski resort. There, they gather on the slopes or in the spa by day. Later, it's time to soothe tired muscles in the hot tub before convening for pizza or burgers. "We look forward to this special time with our four children as well as with dear friends," explains Theresa Keeley. "These are memories we will share for a lifetime."
Contact: 1-888-605-2578; www.visittelluride.com
2. Portland, Ore.
The tony town dubbed the "best big city" in the U.S. is Ohio native Colleen Horan's favorite place to spend the holidays. It means extra time with her extended family, including her two nephews. Festive stops include zoo lights, the kid-friendly Portland Art Museum and a trip to Courthouse Square to see the holiday lights.
Contact: 1-800-962-3700; www.travelportland.com
3. Tamarindo, Costa Rica.
Spending time on the beach, surfing, fitting in a yoga class and spending relaxed family time together are activities the Cook family looks forward to each year when they gather in this colorful coastal village. A slower pace and warm sea breezes offer a welcome respite from life in Princeton, N.J., and Los Angeles. "It is our time together that is the greatest gift of all," says Susan Cook.
Contact: www.visittamarindo.com; www.visitcostarica.com
4. Vail Valley, Colo.
There is no place like home. That's the view of Coloradans Diana and Matt Scherr. Along with their two youngsters, Piper and Duncan, they enjoy the small-town flavor of their small Rocky Mountain community of Minturn. Yet, the foursome is always game to wander up the road to take in the extensive family-focused holiday happenings and world-class skiing offered by their nearby neighbors, Vail and Beaver Creek.
Contact: www.minturn.org; www.vail.com; www.beavercreek.com
5. Santa Fe, N.M.
"It is a very long way from our home in Miami in so many ways," explains Mike Randon. He and his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, Aimee and Peter, appreciate the sense of tradition and the reverent quality of the festivities that envelop this centuries-old city at holiday time. They enjoy visiting the historic Plaza where small white lights create an engaging glow, listening to music that often fills the night air, and strolling down Canyon Road where farolitos or luminarias line the narrow streets. Nearby, the snow-draped Sangre de Cristo mountains provide an opportunity for the family to pop on their skis and enjoy a day on the slopes.
Contact: 505-955-6200; www.santafe.org