Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.
The hallmark of any great holiday season involves binge-watching a feelgood, tissue-worthy made-for-TV holiday movie or two. Their familiar plot lines often include a successful city mouse returning to his/her hometown and learning the “true meaning of Christmas” with the help of virtuous locals, including one with whom they’ll inevitably fall in love. Naturally, it will snow on Christmas Eve. Corny? Yes. Irresistible entertainment for the entire family? Absolutely! If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to immerse yourself in one of these eggnog-filled fantasies, dream no more! Here are 9 hotels, set in the same towns and cities as actual made-for-TV holiday movies, where you too will experience the spirit of the season.
Big Cypress Lodge: Memphis, TN
Imagine a feel-good holiday movie set at Graceland that features none other than Priscilla herself. Such a film does indeed exist! With the soundtrack to Elvis’s Christmas Album playing on the car stereo, how about a road trip to the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and a stay at family-friendly Big Cypress Lodge? Housed within the Memphis Pyramid and offering stellar Mississippi River views, Big Cypress offers cozy cabins all decked out for the holidays, a winter wonderland as far as the eye can see, plus visits with Santa. Go ahead and hum White Christmas the entire time. We have a feeling the King would approve.
The Plaza Hotel: NYC
We don’t have to tell you that Tinseltown loves The Plaza Hotel. It’s not only made appearances in film classics like North by Northwest and The Way We Were, but it’s also where a cherub-faced left-behind youngster runs amok in the sequel to our favorite John Hughes holiday classic. If you’re visiting New York City and feeling festive, you’d be crazy not to stay here with your family. Not only is the hotel only a 10-minute walk from Rockefeller Center (itself a holiday icon thanks to its ice skating rink and famous tree), but the Plaza Hotel goes all in during the holidays, including an ornately decorated lobby, a giant tree, and lavish Christmas Day buffet.
The Grand America Hotel: Salt Lake City
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Salt Lake City gets nearly 54 inches of the powdered stuff annually, and in December is surrounded by the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains. No wonder holiday movies are made here. Bring the family to the Grand America Hotel. It’s famous for being over-the-top festive, so be sure to take the annual Holiday Stroll featuring window displays that this year will be decorated to tell the story of The Nutcracker. Other highlights include the life-size Grand Gingerbread House and Santa’s Magic Morning including breakfast, singing, and story time with the Clauses (already sold out for 2021).
Watson Boutique Bed & Breakfast: Woodstock, CT
Looking for a winter wonderland where the little ones can run around building snowmen and making angels? Try an elegant stay at the Watson Boutique Bed & Breakfast, a winsome charmer located in the New England hamlet of Woodstock about 90 minutes from Boston. Fun fact: Numerous feel-good fare has been filmed in the area, so if you’re looking for holiday warmth, you’ll find it here. The B&B itself is a restored mansion first built in 1767 and now oozing French Country charm and Old World elegance. We love the sleigh beds, complimentary continental breakfast, and the very affordable nightly rates.
National Hotel: Nevada City, CA
You won’t find palm trees wrapped in holiday lights in this California town, but you may find a winter wonderland. Located about 70 miles west of Lake Tahoe, this adorable NorCal hamlet receives around 15 inches of snow each winter and is famous for its Victorian Christmas. This annual family tradition happens in December and features holiday activities like carriage rides, live entertainment, savory and sweet yuletide goodies, festive decorations around town, and more. The National Hotel, which was built in 1856 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, offers Victorian elegance and is the stuff of TV movie dreams.
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa: Pigeon Forge, TN
Dollywood goes all in during the holidays. The theme park features a 50-foot Christmas tree, more than five million decorative lights, Christmas fireworks, holiday shows, and more. Perhaps that’s why Hollywood scoped it out for a 2019 made-for-TV movie featuring Parton herself. Meanwhile, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa places families just 6 minutes from the park’s entrance and offers all a holiday season to remember including a nightly Christmas Tree Show, spa treatments like the Tinsel Toes Pedicure, and activities for kids like wreath decorating, gingerbread house building, ornament painting, and letters to Santa.
Dreamers Welcome: Wilmington, NC
Snow in summer? It must mean Hollywood has descended upon downtown Wilmington for yet another made-for-TV holiday movie and is blanketing its filming locations with fake versions of the powdery good stuff. Several holiday films have been shot here and who can blame Tinseltown for choosing this lovely port city, what with its charming downtown and historic mansions. At Dreamers Welcome, a quartet of chic rooms housed within a historic home, you’ll be steps from downtown which means easy access to the lighting of the Christmas tree, browsing the Really Cool Stuff Holiday Market, carriage rides with Santa, and more.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Hollywood has long been in love with Vancouver, so it’s no wonder dozens of films, including a few holiday-themed gems, have been shot here. The city is awash in cheer during the holiday season, including events like the European-inspired Vancouver Christmas Market, Bright Nights in Stanley Park, Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain, the ice rink at Robson Square, and so much more. Stay in style at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, one of three Fairmont hotels located downtown. Enjoy the festive holiday decor, and don’t forget to introduce the kids to the hotel’s resident canine ambassadors Ella and Elly.
The Bee’s Knees of Big Canoe North GA Mountain Cabin: Dahlonega, GA
Ho ho holy holiday spirit! The lighting of the Christmas tree happens the day after Thanksgiving each year and marks the official beginning of Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas, an annual tradition happening in and around its 19th-century public square. Imagine carriage rides, dusk-til-dawn holiday lights, visits with Santa, caroling, live entertainment like a Holly Dolly Christmas (a Parton tribute), and more. No wonder numerous holiday movies have been filmed here! Head about 40 minutes outside of town and spread out at the The Bee’s Knees of Big Canoe! North GA Mountain Cabin, which is set on a gorgeous lake and offers a master suite, plus a second bedroom featuring two twin beds for the kids.
Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.