Where Can Americans go for the Holidays?

Now that we’re stepping into fall, Americans are wondering where they can go for the holiday season. According to a poll from luxury travel network, Virtuoso, 40 percent of respondents are considering traveling for the festive season. While some have already planned their vacation, others are waiting to see how conditions evolve. Of those hoping to travel, 59 percent of are willing to take an international flight. We gathered suggestions of where, as of now, Americans can visit.  




White Elephant Palm Beach, Florida 

Why: Florida is often accused of having only one season – summer – and while the state is warmer than most, there are periods when you can avoid the humidity and higher temperatures. The sunshine remains, the heat index drops, and travelers can continue to enjoy all the outdoor activities: walks on the beach, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and fishing. Stay at the White Elephant Palm Beach, opening November 4, 2020. The brand new 32-room hotel is housed in the former Bradley Park Hotel – originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first resorts on Palm Beach’s Main Street. Given it’s listed with the Landmark Preservation Commission, the footprint of the structure and the facade remained, while the interiors have been stripped to the bones and rebuilt by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects. The property has an exclusive partnership with members-only Barton & Gray, allowing guests access to the Hinckley yachts to explore the intracoastal.  

How: There are flights into Palm Beach and Miami from several U.S. cities including New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles. United Airlines is also launching new nonstop routes from Boston, Cleveland and New York LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale starting November 6, 2020.   

Rules: Florida is open to travelers with no quarantine regulations upon arrival.  

photo credit: Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects 


White Elephant, Nantucket, Massachusetts 

Why: The 47th annual Christmas Stroll, November 28 – December 6, 2020 feels like you’re stepping into a Charles Dickens backdrop with every corner of Nantucket’s historic downtown transformed into a winter wonderland. As an ode to its original roots, the theme of this year’s event will be centered around shopping local for the holidays. Stroll originally started over 40 years ago as an effort to keep residents from leaving Nantucket to buy gifts on the mainland. Today, boutiques remain open through early December and have elaborately designed storefronts outfitted with twinkling lights. Downtown is also dotted with hundreds of seven-foot fit lit trees decorated by locals that line the cobblestone streets. Festive attire and ugly sweaters are encouraged. Spend the holidays at the White Elephant with multi-bedroom accommodations large enough for the whole family.  

How: Cape Air flights connecting from Boston are available to the island year-round, as is the ferry service from Hyannis, MA.   

Rules: All visitors and returning residents are required to complete a Massachusetts Traveler Form unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state. The new travel order notes that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test. The current list of lower risk states who are exempt from this travel order: Connecticut; Hawaii; Maine, New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Rhode Island and Vermont. 



The Dupont Circle Hotel, Washington, DC 

Why: Opening in October after a top-to-bottom renovation including a new bar and restaurant by Martin Brudnizki and a new penthouse suite and lobby by Clodagh, the Dupont Circle is in the perfect spot within Washington. Directly on Dupont Circle, it’s the perfect jumping off point for exploring the neighborhood or walking to the National Mall and the monuments. For big family groups, the entire penthouse level (12 rooms) can be booked out privately including a private elevator and personal attaché who can assist in any meal plans or last-minute shopping help.   

How: D.C. is driving distance from many East Coast cities and reachable by Amtrak trains or flights int o Regan or Dulles airports.   

Rules: Anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District. Individuals traveling from high-risk states after essential travel or arriving in the District for essential travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and, if they show signs or experience symptoms of COVID-19, they are to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing. 



Belmond Charleston Place, Charleston, South Carolina 

Why: Only a two-hour flight from New York, travelers can make the most of a quick getaway to the Holy City this winter. The weather is mild and the blooms are plentiful. Located in the heart of the historic district, Belmond Charleston Place’s festive lobby display is a must-see where a replica of the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train plays a starring role. Situated underneath the hotel’s signature Georgian open-arm staircase, which will be wrapped in garland, the fully operational display features miniature European alpine homes, realistic stables and a blacksmith shop that guests can spy through little open doors. After taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas village, guests can then enjoy The Conductor cocktail at The Thoroughbred Club, which is located just next to the decked-out lobby.  

How: Nonstop flights to Charleston are available from New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Miami, Houston and Dallas.  

Rules:  Charleston is open to travelers with no quarantine regulations upon arrival. 



Napa Valley, California  

Why: For those in the know, winter is the best time to visit Napa Valley. Following autumn’s harvest season, the crowds have dwindled, the pace slows down and the region’s famed Cabernet Sauvignons are released. Foliage is at eye level as the vines become dormant along Silverado Trail. Brilliant yellow wild mustard flowers are scattered through the vineyards and along country lanes. During this time of year, visitors can easily nab reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants. Greater access to wineries is another bonus with more opportunities to meet winemakers and receive impromptu glimpses behind the scenes. Full list of accommodations can be accessed here. 

How: There are direct flights from cities across the U.S. to San Francisco International Airport (70 miles from Napa) and Oakland International Airport (63 miles from Napa).  

Rules: Napa Valley is open to travelers with no quarantine regulations upon arrival.  





Strawberry Hill, Jamaica 

Why: The UNESCO World Heritage Site is located 3,100 feet above sea level in the Blue Mountains. A visit to the region will offer an unexpected, off-the-beaten path island experience. There’s no beach or blazing sun, instead expect misty cool air, hiking trails, and music history. The 12-cottage property is owned by Chris Blackwell, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and was a favorite respite for his music friends like Bob Marley, Mick Jagger and Willie Nelson in the 1970s. Today, travelers can hike to the family-run Old Tavern Coffee Estate for a tour/tasting; or opt for a walk on Settlement Trail, set among Jurassic Park-like scenery with 550 species of trees and flowers.  

How: There are direct flights to Kingston from several U.S. cities including New York, Atlanta, and Ft. Lauderdale/Miami. 

Rules: All residents of the US over the age of 12 must have proof of negative COVID test within 10 days of arrival in Jamaica. 



The Christopher, St. Barth 

Why: Opening November 25, The Christopher will open with its three new four-bedroom villas ready to welcome families and groups (along with its other 42 rooms/suites). Located on mostly residential Pointe Milou, The Christopher is the perfect spot to watch the sunset or have a massage in the open-air treatment rooms at the Sisley Spa. St. Barth is easy to navigate with beautiful beaches and fantastic food – it is part of France, after all.  

How: There are transfer flights from San Juan and St. Martin to St. Barth (and flights to both of those airports from many US cities).  

Rules: Visitors (age 11+) are required to show a negative Covid-19 test where the date the test was administered is within 72 hours of their arrival. Visitors staying longer than seven days will be required to take an additional RT-PCR Covid-19 test in St. Barth on the 8th day following their arrival. 



Further afield 


Nayara Tented Camp, Costa Rica 

Why: Just below the Arenal volcano in the tropical rainforest, Nayara Tented Camp(opened in December 2019) sits within a sloth sanctuary – currently 15 sloths live in the trees. Each accommodation is completely private. The sprawling luxury tents have large decks with naturally warm mineral-spring-fed plunge pools with views of the volcano. A must-do is room service breakfast of local coffee (roasted on property), fresh fruit, and eggs with beans, plantains, and rice.  

How: There are flights to San Jose and Liberia airports in Costa Rica from several US cities including New York, Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, and Houston.  

Rules: Costa Rica opened its borders on September 1st to US citizens who are residents of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., adding Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Colorado on September 15 (with driver’s licenses from those states). Additional requirements include a negative Covid test result within 48 hours of travel to Costa Rica, medical insurance, and a health pass form – full requirements listed on Visit Costa Rica’s website here.  



Dromoland Castle, Ireland 

Why: With its 450 acres, 18-hole golf course, and pedigree of being the seat of the O’Brien family since the 16th century, Dromoland Castle is an idyllic escape. The in-house genealogist is on hand to help trace Irish roots, the falconer leads guests out on the grounds in falconry experiences, and the cozy fireplaces beckon for an Irish coffee by the hearth. 

How: Americans can transfer at Heathrow to Shannon, or take a direct flight home to Boston, and Dromoland Caste is just 10 minutes from the Shannon Airport. Alternatively, there are direct flights to Dublin from NY and Boston then a two-hour-and-fifteen-minute drive to Shannon.  

Rules: Americans must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Ireland.  



Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Maldives  

Why: The property debuted in July 2019. Every single villa on the island – whether on the beach, reef, or stilted over the ocean – is equipped with a private infinity pool, dining gazebo, and an outdoor deck with a swinging daybed. Standout experiences at the property include dinner in a private treetop bamboo nest designed by Stickman Tribe; coral framing experience with the property’s resident marine biologist; and a spa treatment on a secluded sandbar in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  

How: There are flights to Velana International Airport in Malé via connection in many international cities including Doha (Qatar Airways) and Dubai (Emirates). Unlike most luxury properties in the Maldives that require a non-optional overnight in Malé due to daylight travel restrictions, Waldorf Astoria’s private fleet of seven yachts is available for a 40-minute boat ride to the property 24/7.  

Rules: Maldives is open to all tourists with proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. More information is available on Visit Maldives website here. 

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