Mexico is America’s destination of choice not only for its immaculate beaches and world-renowned resorts but also for the beautiful culture throughout the country.
Some travelers choose Thanksgiving for a fun fall getaway, but others wait until the next round of holidays in December.
There may be no better time to experience Mexico’s rich history and traditions than by immersing yourself in fun seasonal festivities come Christmas time.
Here are 5 destinations in Mexico perfect for a festive winter getaway:
Mexico City is wonderful any time of year, but December unleashes a new personality. The famous Zocalo transforms into a winter wonderland of neon lights, a massive ice skating rink, and of course, a huge Christmas tree as the centerpiece.
The always bustling city permeates even more energy full of Christmas spirit in some of the top neighborhoods, such as Polanco, Rome Norte, and Condesa.
For a holiday trip full of cultural experiences, this is the place. As many as 3 million people visit the Basilica of Guadalupe.
Mexico City takes holiday traditions very seriously, and tourists can witness authentic traditions most of December, such as Las Posadas.
Plus, the weather here will beat anywhere in the U.S. with frigid winters.
San Miguel De Allende
Another cultural gem full of holiday spirit is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Miguel de Allende. A smaller city located in the state of Guanajuato, this trendy city is used to welcoming Americans.
It’s no different during the holiday season, and they go all out, turning the city into Mexico’s version of a winter wonderland.
The already impressive architecture is the star of the show with new, vibrant decor reflecting the holiday season.
But the ground level is where all the action is, with locals dressing up in Christmasy costumes, theatrical displays of classic Christmas stories and of course, endless Christmas songs.
Not to mention, food stands with seasonal treats such as ponche, a mulled brandy and fruit drink served with and without alcohol for those wary of making the naughty list.
Perhaps the capital of culture in Mexico is none other than the lovely city of Oaxaca. The secret has been out on Oaxaca for quite some time now, but it packs a punch for the holiday season too.
This tourist hotspot is a joyous place to celebrate the season both religiously and socially. Streets are packed with patrons in the holiday spirit heading out to either a local watering hole or to partake in religious traditions.
Maybe even both. Hey, no judgment here! Oaxaca is one of the liveliest places in Mexico for holiday festivities, with vibrant streets lined with Christmas lights and decor.
Taking in the visual displays alone will have you booking your next Christmas trip to Oaxaca while you’re still here.
Those not a fan of winter weather at home should escape to sunny Los Cabos for the holidays. While it may not be a cultural hub like other festive Mexican destinations, that doesn’t mean it lacks fun festivities.
You may not easily find authentic traditions, but the luxe resorts are sure to deck the halls to put guests in the holiday spirit.
Cabo is wonderful in December, not only for the holiday vibes but the city is always buzzing. Whether in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo, you are sure to find fun ways to spend your time.
Resorts are likely to hold holiday-themed events specially catered for vacationers wanting to escape cold weather, all while celebrating the magic of the season.
Home to mega-popular destinations such as Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen, vacationers visit the state of Quintana Roo year-round.
Just like Cabo, this region is perfect for escaping the bitter cold. These cities are prepared for an influx of guests and offer parades, street fairs, and fireworks to celebrate not only Christmas but the new year.
No matter which city you decide to make your stay, you will be home to world-class beaches and resorts that will hold festive events to make lasting memories.
You really can’t go wrong with any of them, but December may be the perfect time to visit Tulum, as it is the trendiest city in Mexico this winter.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com