Is there anything better than drive-through Christmas lights? All you need to do is pack some snacks, turn up the seat warmers, queue up your favorite seasonal songs, and—well, sit back, relax, and cruise. Whether you don’t like crowds or simply want to get in the holiday spirit from the comfort of your toasty car, drive-through holiday lights are a hassle-free and cozy way to enjoy some of the greatest outdoor sights the season has to offer.
Below, we’ve selected some of the best drive-through Christmas lights lights to see by car this season. From classic roadway lightscapes to out-of-the-way gems, these drive-through holiday lights from across the country are worth the road trip.
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The Rotary Lights at Riverside Park in La Crosse, Wisconsin
Why you’ll love it: You can drive, walk, or carriage through this annual holiday event at Riverside Park in western Wisconsin. After taking in over 3 million shimmering lights, you can keep up the holiday spirit out of the car for a live nativity scene, free s’mores at the firepit, a few laps around the skating rink, and more.
When to go: Enjoy the La Crosse Rotary Holiday Lights between November 24 and December 31. Most days, it’s open from 5–10 p.m., but see here for full holiday hours and dates.
What else to do: End the night at the historic Charmant Hotel. You might even make it in time for a holiday pop-up shop or score a room with a view of the Rotary Lights show itself.
Why you’ll love it: Every year, the racetracks at Portland International Raceway are decked out in whimsical displays synchronized to classic holiday music. You won’t have to worry about the city’s ever-present rain from inside your cozy car as you experience over 250 colorful displays from beginning to end.
When to go: Open daily from November 24 until December 31; find hours here.
What else to do: Book a stay at the Benson Hotel, known for its annual Gingerbread Display. Come for the grand unveiling on November 29 or check it out any time until December 30.
The Winterfest Driving Tour Of Lights in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Why you’ll love it: Drive-through lights are only one part of the epic Pigeon Forge Winterfest in the Smoky Mountains. The mountain town pulls out all the stops to create an unforgettable getaway for Christmas lovers with elaborate displays and plenty to do.
When to go: Winterfest kicks off on November 9 and has a whopping run through the middle of February. Check out their full calendar of events here.
What else to do: Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood, which will also delight with more than 5 million
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French writer Julien Marsault recently enjoyed an off-season adventure on the Brittany coast in northwestern France. Here he shows you what you can see and do on a gentle road trip filled with wildlife spotting, excellent seafood and rejuvenating coastal walks.
Clustered on the east coast of Scotland are seven tidal pools. These seawater swimming holes are the perfect harnessing of nature, and show how communities have found ways to immerse themselves in their environment for generations. St Monans, for example, sits where the North Sea beats ferociously against the cliffs and much of the coastline is inaccessible—this rectangular body of water, however, offers a safe swim. Traveling between these tidal pools on a road trip is about so much more though. It's an adventure connecting witch folklore, dolphin spotting, forest bathing, rock ‘n’ roll legends, fly fishing, and the most delicious smoked haddock soup you’ve ever eaten.
Over the past few years, Chase has continuously adapted its bonus categories and introduced innovative methods for redeeming points, especially with travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
“Asi Wind’s Inner Circle” is one of the most engaging shows I’ve been to in the last several years. Playing at the Judson Theater in downtown Manhattan through January 14th, it’s an intimate and interactive performance starring the magician Asi Wind. His specialty is card tricks, and his acts can’t help but draw audiences in. As Penn & Teller say, “We love him. Go see him.”
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