In the United States, Christmas is one of the largest shopping holidays of the year. In 2018, holiday retail sales reached over 700 billion, including Christmas trees, decorations, and gift-giving. However, recent surveys say that up to 61 percent of Americans received at least one unwanted gift during the holidays. While it may be the thought that counts, a gift of memories and experiences may be better received and more affordable.
Christmas road trips bring families together for sights that you won’t see at any other time of year. The Christmas decoration, the lights, the atmosphere — there’s nothing else like it during other seasons.
6 Christmas Road Trip Ideas for this Holiday Season
Are you searching for Christmas road trip ideas? This year, it’s been difficult for many Americans to get out of the house due to the safety concerns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, there are several Christmas road trip ideas that you can indulge in without putting yourself at risk.
These six Maryland and Virginia Christmas stops provide a unique experience that is perfect for this holiday season.
1. Norfolk Botanical Garden
The Norfolk Botanical Garden is hosting the Dominion Garden of Lights this year. Visitors will get to experience a beautiful drive through a two-mile stretch of the gardens. The Norfolk Botanical Garden has been ranked in the top two of the Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights by the Readers’ Choice Travel for two years. If you love Christmas lights and festive decorations, the Norfolk Botanical Garden is one stop you won’t want to miss.
2. Newport News Park Celebration in Lights
Visit the Newport News Park this year for the 18th annual Celebration in Lights. This year, the Celebration in Lights will be Virginia’s first-ever drive-through Christmas light event to keep everyone safe. This year, Celebration in Lights features over 350 individual seasonal light displays and over three miles of rope lights.
3. The Lewis Ginter GardenFest of Lights
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is no stranger to Christmas lights and holiday decorations. The annual GardenFest of Lights features outdoor decorations, model trains, and light displays with delicious hot chocolate available to help keep you warm. This year, the Lewis Botanical Garden is taking the safety of its visitors seriously. The capacity of the gardens is limited, and timed-arrival tickets must be purchased online in advance.
4. Merriweather Symphony of Lights
The Symphony of Lights has been a Columbia tradition for more than 25 years. This family-oriented holiday light show features animated and stationary decorations for a unique Christmas celebration. The light displays span about one mile and offer holiday music through a radio frequency that drivers can tune into. This year, the Symphony of Lights offers both drive-through and walk-through (with limited capacity) opportunities for visitors to enjoy.
5. Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park
2020 will mark the 26th annual Lights on the Bay holiday light show at Sandy Point State Park. Lights on the Bay features a two-mile scenic drive across the Chesapeake Bay that has been decorated with both animated and stationery decorative displays. Not only is the Lights on the Bay a unique and breathtaking experience, but the proceeds also benefit the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, the oldest and largest animal welfare organization in the county.
6. Winter Lights Festival in Gaithersburg
The Winter Lights Festival in Gaithersburg is no stranger to social distancing. They’ve been social distancing since 1995! The city’s Winter Lights Festival takes visitors through a 3.5-mile drive of beautifully and enchanting light display. With over 450 illuminations and lit trees, the Winter Lights Festival offers a memorable experience for you and your family to enjoy this holiday season.
Rent a Charter Bus to Explore All Your Christmas Road Trip Ideas
If you’re considering these Christmas road trip ideas or some of your own, there are several reasons why you should rent a charter bus. Charter buses provide a safe, comfortable trip for you and your family and friends. This year, enjoy a carefree way to travel.