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Best Small Towns for Christmas Lights Gallery

Best Small Towns for Christmas Lights Gallery

Enjoy the festive light displays of these small towns across America

iStock

Christmas season is a time when people and their families come together to celebrate, to be merry, and to be full of light — literally. It’s around this time of year when people go all out to spread joy and Christmas spirit through parades, events, and extravagant decorations. What better way to show holiday spirit than with bright, artistically displayed lights?

There are, of course, flashy Christmas displays across the United States. New York, Orlando, and Miami are illuminated from top to bottom in festive, twinkling displays. But you don’t have to go to a booming metropolis to find stunning Christmas lights. Small towns make the most of this joyous holiday and take the opportunity to truly shine as a community.

Best Small Towns for Christmas Lights

iStock

Christmas season is a time when people and their families come together to celebrate, to be merry, and to be full of light — literally. Small towns make the most of this joyous holiday and take the opportunity to truly shine as a community.

Bernville, Pennsylvania

The Koziar Christmas Village of Bernville, Pennsylvania, showcases a magnificent display of lights that are further enhanced by the reflective glow of the lake in the town. Over the years, this small Christmas village has grown in notoriety as word of their lights has spread, drawing attention from visitors near and far.

Boothbay, Maine

This town’s botanical gardens puts on the largest (and growing!) Christmas light display in Maine, called Gardens Aglow. This year, there will be a lighting contest for residents in the area.

Branson, Missouri

This year, Branson, Missouri, will have three “immersive” light displays that visitors can drive through: Let There Be Lights at Promised Land Zoo; Branson’s Gift of Lights off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway; and The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills. Their mining city theme park, Silver Dollar City, is also decked out in Christmas lights, with over 6.5 million bulbs illuminating the property.

Callaway Gardens, Georgia

Not a small town per se, Callaway Gardens is a resort in Pine Mountain, Georgia, that puts on such a fantastic light show, called Fantasy in Lights, that it made National Geographic’s Top 10 list for holiday lights alongside major cities. Needless to say, it’s a big deal for this Southern resort.

Carver, Massachusetts

Edaville Family Theme Park in Carver, Massachusetts, is 50 miles south of Boston, but it’s beyond worth a wintertime day trip. Their Christmas Festival of Lights features over 17 million lights in their Christmas City. Take the train ride around the park to get a truly festive feel for this holiday display.

Hampden, Maryland

Hampden is a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, that has an entire street dedicated to homes covered in tons of Christmas lights and decorations. What started as a few teens decorating their home for the holidays has now grown into a festival production that all neighbors take part in.

Jackson, Wyoming

istockphoto

Jackson, Wyoming, always has a festive feel to it, but the town square’s decorations are taken to a whole new level for the holidays. When you’re not spending time at a ski resort, check out the famous elk antler arches, which are wrapped in thousands upon thousands of bright LED Christmas lights.

Leavenworth, Washington

Shutterstock/ poemnisteavens

A Village of Lights is what people call this Bavarian town during Christmastime. They celebrate this time of year with three weeks of Christmas lighting festivals during which they light up Leavenworth.

McAdenville, North Carolina

Known as “Christmas Town USA,” the name says it all for this small town in North Carolina. The official Christmas lighting ceremony is December 1, but the lights stay on to be seen by all who visit through the holiday season.

Natchitoches, Louisiana

The Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, Louisiana, runs all holiday season long, from November 18 till January 6, and for good reason. With over 300,000 twinkling lights and 100 set pieces, the town’s riverbank turns into a true winter wonderland.

North Pole, Alaska

The North Pole — the Alaska version, at least — goes all out for Christmas, as it should with such an iconic name. Their Christmas in Ice takes the lighting to the next level by creating a stunningly lit Christmas art display made of ice that lasts for six weeks. It’s perfectly located next to Santa Claus’ house.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Of course a town named after ol’ Saint Nick is a winter wonderland year round, but Santa Claus, Indiana, truly takes things to the next level during the holiday season. In addition to festivities at Holiday World, the annual Land of Lights in Santa Claus tells the endeering story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in a bright, 1.2-mile stretch.

Solvang, California

This little Danish town in California certainly does Christmas right. The annual tree lighting ceremony takes place on December 1, transforming the town square into a true spectacle of warm white tones. The storefronts in the town also deck their halls, giving the main street a truly charming small town Christmas feel.

St. Augustine, Florida

Florida’s historic small town of Saint Augustine puts on a lighting event every night from November 19 through the end of January called Nights of Lights. The district’s downtown businesses stay open a bit later during this time (a rarity) to allow guests to fully enjoy the night scenery of the lit-up buildings.

West Frankfort, Illinois

The city of West Frankfort, Illinois, is home to five blocks of neighborhood Christmas lighting called Candy Cane Lane. It’s not as large as some of the other ceremonies on this list, but if you’re in this general area of Illinois, it is an awe-inspiring sight to see, nonetheless.

If these lighting displays have you dreaming of snow, check out these 25 places where you’re guaranteed to have a White Christmas.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.


26 Charming Christmas Towns You Have to Visit in the U.S.

If you&rsquove ever watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and yearned to visit the fictional Christmas Town&mdasha magical place sprinkled with lights, laughter, and holiday cheer&mdashyou&rsquore in luck. Similar places exist in real life across the United States.

From snow-powdered mountains to towering pines to themed gift shops and fresh baked goods, you can plan a trip to one (or two, or three) of these destinations and expect to see it all. (As we all know, the pandemic is still ongoing. So, if you plan to make a holiday haul, do plenty of research on up-to-date travel restrictions and potential event cancellations.)

Unlike Santa&rsquos naughty and nice list, this one is full of good eggs&mdashbut you&rsquoll still want to check it twice to ensure you have all the info you need. Ahead, the best Christmas towns in the U.S.

How could it not take the No. 1 spot? Where the spirit of Christmas&mdashand Santa&mdashlive year &lsquoround, North Pole, Alaska looks like a Hallmark movie set. But over the holidays, visitors can meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus House, get personalized letters from him, and take photos with the largest Santa statue in the world, which towers at 50 feet. The area also hosts an annual Christmas in Ice exhibit that displays fabulous ice sculptures made by artists around the world&mdashincluding an ice maze and ice slide!

You&rsquoll step back in time upon visiting Colonial Williamsburg, where the history and holiday celebration are rich. Enjoy an 18th century-esque Christmastide tour of the city, the tradition of the Lighting of the Cressets, attend a colonial period wreath making workshop, listen to stories and carols in the valley, and more.

Another list given, Santa Claus lives up to its namesake. Visiting the Santa Claus Museum & Village, hunting down the (over 15!) Santa statues on its grounds, and delighting in a homemade confection from Santa&rsquos Candy Castle are just a few of many activities to indulge there. Drive through the Santa Claus Land of Lights for some extra (and safe!) festive fun.

Vail is a quintessential winter-kissed village. Its location in the mountains gives it an enamoring snow halo, and its quaint, low-lit shops and restaurants complete the storybook dream. If you&rsquore the outdoorsy type, you can also enjoy the slopes at the local ski resort or try a snowmobile tour.

Also referred to as Christmas Town, USA, McAdenville typically holds traditional tree lighting and yule log ceremonies, but the pandemic halted them. The town, however, will still be decorated in its festive, over-the-top lights and garb, and the local merchants will still be open for business. So we say it&rsquos worth a visit, especially if you live nearby.

Throughout the month of December, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish), the oldest settlement in Louisiana Purchase territory, hosts the Christmas Season with a myriad of events and, most notably, more than 300,000 lights and 100-plus set pieces displayed at dusk every night. The schedule of events has been altered slightly due to the pandemic&mdashlearn more here.

Like Vail, the city of Durango has winter wonderland charm, but its main attraction is its scenic railroad tours. Families with kids will love the Polar Express-themed ride, during which staff reenacts the beloved tale. If you&rsquore kidless, you might prefer the Cascade Canyon winter train route, most thoroughly enjoyed while sipping coffee or hot chocolate.

This Bavarian-inspired hidden gem celebrates Christmas year-round, which explains why it&rsquos home to the world&rsquos largest holiday store: Bronner&rsquos Christmas Wonderland. It&rsquos the size of one and a half football fields! While you&rsquore there, you can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and visit Christkindlmarkt, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures and goodies.

If you&rsquore looking to celebrate the holidays without bundling up, check out St. Augustine&rsquos Nights of Lights. Every year, the tropical city illuminates in an award-winning light display to be marveled by all who come and go.

People flock to Bernville to visit Koziar&rsquos Christmas Village, an eight-acre family property that&rsquos annually adorned with more than 1 million lights. According to their website, they&rsquore open for the 2020 season and some events will require ticket admission, which is limited.

Another destination for the easily frigid, Newport Beach offers a warm holiday getaway and a one-of-a-kind Christmas Boat Parade. Participants decorate their boats to the nines, coast along the beach, and compete for the honor of first prize.

Though the Bavarian village of Leavenworth typically hosts a lighting ceremony to mark the seasonal illumination of the town, plans have been adjusted this year due to the pandemic. There will be no crowd-drawing ceremony, however, the town will still be lit, and shops open for you to pass through and view.

The holiday season brings lots of light festivals, but not as many candle-lit celebrations. Myrtle Beach&rsquos Brookgreen Gardens displays over 2,700 hand-lit candles every year as part of the ever-popular Nights of a Thousand Candles. Crowd control accommodations are being made this year to meet social distancing guidelines.

Also known as America&rsquos Christmas Tree City, Branson is stacked with things to see and do during the holidays. Check out the town&rsquos event lineup (featuring concerts, a Christmas cruise, and more) and book a trip on the Branson Scenic Railway&rsquos Polar Express Train Ride, where you can take in the views and watch the classic film.

A picturesque Christmas town (think wreathed lampposts, festive store fronts, and a steady sprinkle of snow) with world-class ski slopes, Whitefish is where to go for a classic holiday celebration. The town&rsquos annual Christmas Stroll will still take place this year, complete with wagon rides, chestnut roasting, ornament decorating, and carols.

From Dec. 11 to 13, Woodstock will host Wassail Weekend, its annual holiday festival. With ticket admission, you can participate in all the festivities, including historic farmhouse tours, shopping for locally made foods and antiques, breakfast with Santa, and more.

This year, a socially distanced version of the yearly Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth will host a modified &ldquoCandlelight Stroll Under the Stars&rdquo at the historic Strawbery Banke outdoor museum. Costumed role-players will lead guests through a viewing of the museum&rsquos beautifully decorated buildings and recreate traditions of times past.

Known for being the backdrop of Norman Rockwell&rsquos famous painting, &ldquoStockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas),&rdquo the city lives up to the hype. Unfortunately, its annual holiday festivities have been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it&rsquos still a place worth putting on the bucket list.

This Danish-setteled town is marked by a giant windmill and dozens of quaint storefronts that are typically decked out for its annual Julefest (Yule Fest), where activities like holiday concerts and light shows take place. This year, plans for JuleFest are still underway, but the official website says it will be held in some capacity.

Bethlehem&rsquos historic SteelStacks host the area&rsquos ultimate holiday destination, the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt, where more than 50 of the nation&rsquos finest artisans&rsquo work is featured, along with live music and a virtual cooking class with St. Nick himself. Tickets are limited this year, so it&rsquos ideal to book them ASAP.

Christmas in Newport is a two-week long festival that celebrates the &ldquonon-commercial&rdquo elements of the holiday season, and 2020 would mark its 50th year, but festivities are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Usual activities include historic walking tours, live music, and local art displays.

If you&rsquore looking for small-town, Southern holiday cheer, Blue Ridge is where it&rsquos at. During the months of November and December, plenty of heartwarming events will take place&mdashregular showings of It&rsquos a Wonderful Life at the community theater, a Christmas parade and tree lighting, and Blue Ridge train rides with Santa are on the list.

Visitors go to Duluth specifically for Bentleyville, a massive lights display that thankfully, has adapted to become a drive thru event this year. Admission is $10 per car at the gate, and the show is open every day from Nov. 21 to Dec. 27. There&rsquos also the Duluth Winter Village, but its 2020 operation plans are currently unclear.

Have you ever wanted to chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge? How about try a Victorian-era Christmas treat like sugar plums? All of that and more is available at Franklin&rsquos annual Dickens of a Christmas festival, which is unfortunately cancelled this year. Hopefully, it can return in 2021.

Asheville is a great place to visit any time of year, but it&rsquos extra special during the holiday season. Indulge in holiday shopping, the Winter Lights display at the North Carolina Arboretum, and take a tour of the iconic Biltmore estate while it&rsquos decorated for Christmas&mdashthe 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees won&rsquot disappoint.

Though the much anticipated North Pole Express and Santa Special Elf Academy Train rides have been postponed to 2021, the cozy ambiance of Essex and the acclaimed Griswold Inn will still offer a relaxing and enjoyable New England holiday.