“Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches…”
It’s no surprise that the beauty of a tree adorned with shimmering lights and sparkling ornaments inspired one of the most beloved Christmas carols ever. Did you know that the tradition of decorating and transforming trees into holiday works of art dates back to 16th-century Germany?
And while every Christmas tree is beautiful in its own right, there are certain places across the U.S. where the Christmas trees are beyond spectacular in both size and brilliance. If you’re vacationing at a Bluegreen resort near one of these amazing trees, be sure to stop by and behold its wonder–you’re sure to catch the holiday spirit, too!
Rockefeller Center/New York City
This iconic location in the heart of midtown Manhattan features an immense plaza that transforms into a popular ice-skating arena during the winter months, and is presided over by the iconic golden statue of a reclining Prometheus. But since 1933, the star attraction that transforms this tourist favorite into a wintery wonderland is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. It was just lit in a live nationwide broadcast shortly after Thanksgiving. This year’s tree, a Norway spruce brought in from the Northern Catskills, stands at an impressive 94 feet and features 50,000 multicolored lights. For the record, the tallest stood at 100 feet!
The official Christmas tree of the “Windy City” commandeers downtown Chicago’s Daley Plaza in the heart of the famed Chicago Loop. It’s a holiday tradition that goes back over 100 years. Tree heights have varied over the years, from a modest 35 feet to over 85 feet. Since 2010, the tree must stand at a minimum of 55 feet. An interesting former tradition was the use of multiple trees to form one giant tree; the last one was created in 2008, and used 113 trees to created one that stood 85 feet in the air!
Outlets at Anthem/Anthem, AZ
In 2014, the nation’s tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree was erected at the Outlets at Anthem, a massive outlet mall located on the north side of Phoenix, Arizona. The mammoth white fir came from the California-Oregon border, and required over three miles of Christmas lights to illuminate! Of course, such a brilliant spectacle attracts visitors form across the region, and this year promises no less, as the next “Tallest Tree in the Nation” made its way to the mall in late October 2016, followed by a celebrated tree-lighting in mid-November!
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens/Las Vegas
While it may come in a bit shorter than the other trees mentioned, the annual Christmas tree at the Bellagio Las Vegas Conservatory & Botanical Gardens epitomizes beauty, elegance and holiday splendor, which is why it’s a must-see if you find yourself on the Vegas Strip over the holiday season. The breathtaking sky-lit conservatory and botanical gardens are a big attraction all year long, with visitors admiring the essence of every season recreated with gorgeous plants, flowers and trees lovingly cared for by over 140 expert horticulturalists throughout the 13,573 square-foot space. Holidays at the gardens are an especially big draw, with a magnificent Christmas tree surrounded by massive hanging ornaments, a giant Bellagio snow globe, penguins, igloos and more. The Conservatory is open 24/7, and admission is free.