If you're trying to figure out a beautiful, festive place to spend time in this Christmas season, you don't have to leave the Midwest.

To avoid having unused vacation days at the end of the year, I've been trying to figure out a fun, festive mini-trip to take with my man in December. So like any wealthy, creative mind, I googled stuff to the effect of 'inexpensive mini trips for Christmas'. Because no elves work harder than Mastercard and Visa this time of the year.


I know a lot of us want to go to the Hallmark-ian cutesy towns, covered in snow, and fall in love with a local barista who convinces us to leave the big city and move there. Conde Nast made a list of '23 Christmas Vacation Ideas For 2023' and the Midwest's representation on it made me lol. Of course it featured a lot of Western snow-covered towns or northeast areas, like:

  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • North Pole (both Alaska & New York)
  • Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
  • Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Devil's Thumb Ranch, Colorado
  • Villa Roma, Catskills, New York
  • The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
  • Nemacolin, Pennsylvania
  • Chicago
  • Mohonk Mountain House, New York
  • The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
  • Everline Resort & Spa, Olympic Valley, California
  • Denver
  • The Berkshires, Massachusetts
  • The Lodge at Woodloch, Pennsylvania
  • Sunriver Resort, Sunriver, Oregon
  • Woodstock, Vermont
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado
  • The Plaza Hotel, NYC
  • San Diego, California

While I haven't price-crunched on any of those vacay spots, I'm positive none of them are in my budget. But notice that there's specific towns and resorts listed with the states? There was only one entire state recommended to visit at Christmas. (And this one I think I could afford,)

Wisconsin is the best state to visit at Christmas.

Conde Nast just named 'Wisconsin' on it's list of best Christmas destinations, ranking it #13. It's the only state that had no town, nothing in particular, since it was recognized for multiple aspects and locations of festive fun. The description read:

In downtown Milwaukee, look out for the Holiday Lights Festival, which features thousands of colorful and animated displays. Then travelers can hop on the Jingle Bus to experience the scenes around town, including at Cathedral Square Park. In Lake Geneva, bundle up and experience the arrival of Lake Geneva’s giant ice castle, located at the Geneva National Resort: It’s a gigantic frozen funhouse, where visitors can explore tunnels, slides, and other interactive features, all made of ice. For a quintessential downtown experience, join the town of Lake Geneva’s annual holiday tree lighting; keep your eyes peeled for appearances from Santa and his reindeer roaming around the streets of Lake Geneva on weekends in November and December.

Follow-up question for me then: is there a discount on some of these resorts, festivals, and events for native Wisconsinites? My man is from Janesville and I'd happily take a $5 admission discount on some of this stuff. In the spirit of Christmas maybe?

Plus, Lake Geneva is only about an hour from Davenport, so not much time in the car with the kids and you don't have to go through the nightmare of flying.

Quad Cities' Favorite Bars & Restaurants With A Firepit

Gallery Credit: Various

Californians Moving To Wisconsin Are In For A Rude Awakening

Californians are leaving the Golden State for what they think is a better life. It probably is compared to the craziness that happens in Cali, but they will be shocked when they find out what Wisconsin has in store for them.

Gallery Credit: Connor Kenney/Townsquare Media Quad Cities

More From 97.7 KCRR