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Mocha’s Top Four Picks For Holiday Travel

The holiday season is approaching very quickly. What used to be a time of reflection on the past year and planning for the upcoming year has turned into of time of enormous gift-giving and other extravagances. The holiday season can be a stressful time of the year.  Some would say that the holidays are the most stressful.  We are planning and looking for the perfect gift to give our special loved ones; so that their holiday can be special.   

Planning the perfect holiday vacation or bae(cation) is the perfect thing to do and will take your mind off the very complicated holiday season.   You are looking for the perfect location that will allow you to unwind, sit back, relax and prepare for the great year to come.  There is no need to surf the internet for the perfect location for your holiday get-a-way because we have done it for you.  “A Taste of Mocha” has chosen four locations that are not only beautiful this time of year, but they are all wallet-friendly and you will be able to take the entire family. 

Anchorage, Alaska

If a white Christmas is what your heart desires, then a white Christmas is what you shall get in Anchorage, Alaska.   Anchorage offers immense mountains, twinkling glaciers, and incredible wildlife; holiday travelers can find the best of what Alaska has to offer in one place.   Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, so you will find plenty to do around the holiday.  Winter in Alaska is a different and fun time of year full of festivals, performances, and limitless outdoor opportunities. As soon as the first snowflakes start to fall, Alaskans become more anxious to get outside and play!

Although the temperatures in Southcentral Alaska are no more exciting than other chilly states in America, averaging a very cold 20 degrees.  If you plan a trip to Fairbanks where the conditions can drop to 20 degrees below zero you will be able to see the Northern lights.  You would think that cold or shorter days would keep you confined to doing things inside.  This is the furthest from the truth.  Winter in Anchorage brings festivals, ski races, dog sledding tours, northern lights viewing, Nordic skiing, downhill skiing, winter biking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, gorgeous scenery, ice skating, bonfires, ice fishing, dining, and shopping. Because the days are shorter the nights are longer which will allow you to take advantage of skiing by moonlight, bonfires on the beach, or watch for the mysterious auroras.

Since you are traveling during the winter months you may be able to secure accommodation for more than 50% off of the summer rates.  Also, you will be able to get great deals on many tours.  Not to mention activities such as Nordic skiing and ice skating are free if you don’t have to rent equipment.  Make your dream of a white Christmas a reality by visiting Anchorage, Alaska.

Townshend, Tennessee

Instead of dreaming of a white Christmas.  How about dreaming of a “Smoky Mountain Christmas” in Townshend, Tenn. Townshend, is snuggled just a short distance from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers an exceptional vacation get-a-way. Once there you will have a complete understanding of why it is called the “Peaceful Side” of the Great Smokies. Townsend is known for many things one of them being the “Gateway to Cades Cove” one of the most prevalent and significant natural possessions in the world. You have your choice to relax in the serenity of the National Park or delight in the laughter of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Townshend is situated seamlessly, and calmly, in the center of it all. The magnificent views, stunning accommodations, shopping, food, and entertainment are just minutes away from the entrance to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Which is exactly what you will need to unwind after the holiday hustle and bustle. 

Townshend is a wonderful place to visit any time of year, but the winter is extremely special.  Winter offers holiday enchantment and the chance to see snow on a mountain top. From November to February the weather is rather consistent.  Although the temperature normally stays in the mid-forties to the mid-fifties, there is usually a dip in the weather, and it will drop below freezing and you will be surprised with a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground.  Because it does not snow all the time and snow isn’t always on the ground in most cases, you will still be able to see a beautiful coating of snow on the mountain tops in the distance as the higher elevations get a ton of snow throughout the season.

When traveling to Townsend it is recommended that you pack a heavy coat and thick socks if you plan on hiking and exploring during your winter vacation/(bae)cation.  Start creating a new tradition instead of having a white Christmas have yourself a Smoky Mountain Christmas in Townshend, Tenn.  The average nightly rate for lodging is 135.00 for two beds.

Port Isabel, Texas

If you are not feeling a winter wonderland or a Smokey Mountain retreat, there are other options for your holiday travel.  Port Isabel, TX would be perfect for the holidays.  On Texas’s Gulf Coast just minutes north of the Mexican border is Port Isabel.  Founded by Spain in the early 1500s and is mostly known for a 165-year-old lighthouse that sits in the middle of town.  In most recent years Port Isabel has grown to be a lively intercoastal center of shops, restaurants, and marinas.

Port Isabel, TX is a city rich with traditions, and the holidays is where those traditions take center stage.  Guests to the Texas Gulf Coast during the holiday season will be delighted to see some holiday rituals and events going on. One type of event that is very popular along the coast is the lighted boat parade. Several Texas coastal communities including Port Isabel have annual lighted boat parades during the holiday season. The Gulf Coast is accessible throughout the winter months the further south you go like Port Isabel, the warmer the weather and is more popular among holiday season visitors. Although the weather generally stays warm throughout the winter months, not every day is a beach-going day, cooler temperatures may result in a day or two of bad weather. Temperatures are moderate during this time of year with the lowest reading in the low 70’s.

Port Isabel, TX is such a wonderful choice for vacationing during the cold winter months.  It is cool enough to remind you that you are in the holiday season and warm enough so that you can also forget about the fact that you came there to escape a colder climate.   You will be able to vacation in a mildly warm climate for the holidays and not break the bank with lodging as low as 140.00 for two beds, in some cases you might be able to find something cheaper if you plan ahead.

Hilo, Hawaii

To escape and forget about the winter months, with high temperatures are around 81°F, rarely falling below 77°F or exceeding 84°F. Hilo, Hawaii is nothing short of a tropical paradise.  Hilo is yet another city that has rich family traditions. This lovely resort city hosts an annual Christmas Light Parade. During the holiday season, you can also visit Hilo’s Big Island Arts, Crafts, and Food Fair where you will be able to shop for Tahitian pearls, Polynesian clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts, and also food.  Hilo is also home to Prince Kuhio Plaza, the largest mall on the Big Island, that house department stores, specialty shops, and a food court.

By the first day of winter when everyone is running to a warmer climate.  The high demand period in Hawaii is usually around Christmas and New Year’s.  Although the weather has high temperatures it is not the best weather for the islands.  The best weather in Hawaii is in April, May, September, and October.  Hurricanes are prevalent during June through November.  It’s very seldom that you will see any type of storms during this time of year. To be transparent as possible, winter months brings the best waves for surfing.  

Planning for your vacation is Hilo is very important.  Since this is one of the busiest times of the year prices for lodging in travel my also increase.  But with careful planning, the average lodging expense is a median nightly rate for a two-bedroom: $135

There you have it; my four Favorite Picks for Holiday Travel.  Although the list from the beginning was long.  I was able to narrow it down to four.  All of the places that were picked are very rich in history and tradition and something that you can do with the entire family.  Afterall the holidays are about spending time with the people that you love.  If you visit any of these places you will be able to do just that.  Relax and enjoy time with the people that you love the most.

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