With the holiday season in full swing, right now is the perfect time to pull out the classic Black holiday movies. Whether new or old, these films have become a staple in Black culture. Families gather around each year to tune into these movies and embrace the holiday cheer, community vibes, and positive energy. 

Just as important as the characters and the plot, the setting of movies sets the tone for all the feel-good energy you need during the holidays. Showcasing the beauty of the holiday spirit in Black culture, here are four destinations that set the tone for your favorite Black holiday movies.

New York City – The Preacher’s Wife 

Released in 1996, The Preacher’s Wife has an all-star cast and a Christmas story worth checking out as a family this year. The movie stars Academy Award winner Denzel Washington alongside the late, iconic entertainer Whitney Houston. Set in magical New York City, the film was nominated for and won many awards. 

The Big Apple comes alive during the holidays and Christmas is no exception. The Rockefeller Center Christmas festivities illuminate the night every year. Travelers will find shops, food stands, and a lively ice skating rink at the Winter Village at Bryant Park. There’s also the return of the world’s largest Gingerbread Village in Manhattan, the elaborate lightscape at the Botanical Gardens, and the Grand Center Holiday Fair.

Los Angeles – This Christmas

After four years of being estranged, the Whitmore family reunites for the holidays in the movie This Christmas. The 2007 film featured some of everyone’s favorite Black superstars including Loretta Divine, Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, and singer Chris Brown. This Christmas was a hit film full of nostalgia with Los Angeles as the backdrop.

LA is full of California dreams during the holidays. If you’re in LA during the winter holiday season, be sure to visit the extensive light shows throughout the city including the Enchanted Forest of Light in Descanso Gardens and the LA Zoo Lights.

New Jersey – The Best Man Holiday

The Best Man Holiday was set in New Jersey and reunited all the beloved characters from the series in the saga’s final film installation. In this classic Black holiday movie, Lance and Mia invite all of their college friends to their New Jersey home to reunite and to reveal a life-changing revelation.

New Jersey is another East Coast destination worth visiting this holiday season, especially for families. There’s a magical holiday express running in Hammonton, free horse and carriage rides in Ocean City, and a special lighting of Santa’s Christmas tree at Cape May County Zoo.

Karlovy Vary – Last Holiday

Black holiday movies
Photo credit: @thedeathalchemist / Instagram

In the 2006 film Last Holiday, Queen Latifah reminded everyone to always live life to the fullest. When her character discovers she has a terminal illness, she packs up and heads to Europe to spend her remaining year living in a luxury hotel on holiday. That hotel was located in Karlovy Vary, a town in the Czech Republic known for its lavish resorts, thermal spas, and colorful streets. The town has been a popular tourist hub for years and is a great last-minute destination for a holiday getaway.