Cool finds, festive neighborhoods, cozy cafés, and artsy winter days
For a while, it seemed like all the boutiques along Ballard Avenue Northwest were closing, but once again this hip old hood
is full of good finds, making the Seattle neighborhood a goldmine for gift hunting. In between browsing, refuel at cozy cafes
or stick around for dinner.
Check out the best of Ballard
Avoid the holiday shopping masses and find hip boutiques and specialty stores in this San Francisco neighborhood.
More: To do in the Inner Richmond
The throwback town just 7 miles east of Pasadena makes an art of the old-fashioned folksy Christmas like nowhere else. Discover
this (sunnier) North Pole—snowman included—while you can. And if you can't make it over the holiday, don't fret. Gorgeous
hikes, great shops, and more are yours to discover at any time.
Explore Sierra Madre, CA
North Williams Avenue―with its bike lanes, yoga studios, and organic eateries―makes it easy to jump-start your New Year’s
resolutions. Warm up at a yoga class, followed by teatime at one of the local cafés.
More: Go green on Portland's North Williams Avenue
It's easy to fall in love with Santa Fe during the holidays. Streets glow from flickering farolitos, those luminous little
bags of candles and sand that are lit by hand, while snow dusts the tree branches and pueblos. Soak up the festive holiday
atmosphere, shop for creative Southwestern-style stocking stuffers, and spend the night in a cozy casita with a kiva fireplace.
More: Christmas in Santa Fe
Thanks to new cafes, boutiques, and the Metro Light Rail, Phoenix’s Willo District is on the rise. Check out the vintage homes,
postage-stamp gardens, and quirky one-off shops you won't find anywhere else.
More: Explore Phoenix Arizona's historic Willo district
Just an hour north of Denver, Colorado’s "best place to live" is also one of the best places to visit over the holidays. Old
Town is packed with shops, restaurants, and watering holes perfect for chasing off early-winter's chill. Order a pizza, sip
a locally brewed beer, catch an innovative play, and check out the town's pre-holiday celebrations, which continue into December.
More: Celebrate in Fort Collins
Here’s a little locals’ secret―winter is when the sun comes out in the famously foggy Outer Sunset. A bevy of new restaurants
and cafes have suddenly put the Avenues area on the map.
Where to go and what to do
December is high season for clams and Dungeness crab in this throwback fishing port, which has all the seaside charm (lighthouse,
saltwater taffy shop, jetty for coldwater surfing) you could want.
More: Day trip to Westport, WA
Bubbles of all sorts make this Napa Valley wine country town an ideal―and effervescent―winter getaway. It’s home to Old Faithful
Geyser of California and is a hot spot for hot-air ballooning. Plus you can slide into mud baths and sample our favorite kind
of bubbly delight, sparkling wine. You just might float away.
More: Perk up in Calistoga
Warm up with steaming tofu soups, pots of tea, and Korean day spas in this little slice of Asia in the Silicon Valley. Treat
yourself to a day of winter indulgence: gorge on authentic Korean BBQ, sip fragrant blends at the teahouse, and treat yourself
to a budget-friendly massage.
More: Things to do in Santa Clara's Koreatown
Get out of the cold and into Spokane’s Davenport District, where dozens of galleries and restored art deco gems have made
it a wonderful indoor town.
More: Spokane details
Get into the holiday spirit Southerwestern style with palms strung in white lights, gingerbread festivals in the park, and
fun seasonal shopping.
More: See all activities in downtown Glendale.