It’s never too early to start planning for Christmastime. What better way to celebrate the season than a visit to the best Christmas towns in the U.S.? Trust me, you’ll feel like the main character in a Hallmark movie in these festive cities. Pack your red and green and get ready to get jolly!
McAdenville, North Carolina
Known as Christmas Town USA, McAdenville lives up to its nickname. Located just outside of Charlotte, this twinkly town goes all out on their Christmas lights. McAdenville was listed among the 10 Best Public Holiday Lights Displays by USA Today. Basically, this town is definitely worth a visit! The official lighting event runs nightly from Dec 1-26 from 5:30-10:30pm.
Just 90 minutes north of Atlanta, Helen looks reminiscent of an old Bavarian village. When December hits, Helen transforms into one of the best Christmas towns in the U.S. You’ll feel transported from Georgia to Germany with the European architecture and traditions. Shop the Christkindlmarkt or tour the Hardman Farm. Most importantly, try Glühwein!
Go back in time with a traditional Christmas spent in Colonial Williamsburg. Explore the taverns along the streets of this revolutionary city as you watch the fife and drums parade by. Looking for something more modern? Head to Busch Gardens Amusement Park to see millions of lights from atop the rollercoasters. Above all, you must stay for the Grand Illumination fireworks show above the colonial capital, pictured above.
Next, head to Ozark Mountain Country to experience “America’s Christmas Tree City.” Branson’s Christmas Tree Tour showcases over 100 unique Christmas tree displays throughout town. Silver Dollar City is also known for legendary live Christmas shows and parades. Basically, Christmastime is a big party in Branson!
Leavenworth, Washington is one of the most highly regarded Christmas towns in the U.S. Similar to Helen, Leavenworth resembles a cozy Bavarian village. Moreover, half a million holiday lights adorn the town city with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Grab an ice cold beer at Icicle Brewing Company or meet Rudolph at Leavenworth Reindeer Farm.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has a rich history dating back to the 1700s. Today, downtown Bethlehem is full of Moravian charm that comes to life around Christmas. For instance, you’ll see candles in every historic Moravian building and the Moravian star in the church’s bell tower. Take a stroll through the German-inspired Christkindlmarkt for handmade gifts from a variety of vendors.
Frankenmuth is home to the world’s largest Christmas Store located on 25 Christmas Lane. In other words – Christmas lasts all year long here. A shopping trip to Bronner’s is a must-do, as is a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of downtown. Don’t trust me? Time Magazine named Frankenmuth among the 9 best Christmas towns in the U.S!
Annapolis is a unique port city perfect for a different kind of Christmas trip. Check out the festively decorated boats at the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade. After that, squeeze in some last-minute shopping at Midnight Madness. On Thursdays throughout December, select downtown stores stay open til midnight to accommodate procrastinating shoppers.
Park City, Utah
By the looks of it, Park City is basically the inside of a snow globe. With a 16-day winter festival, Park City is a must-visit in December. One of the city’s longest running traditions is the Torchlight Parade. Get this – hundreds of ski instructors descend down the slopes with flares for a one-of-a-kind light show. How cool is that?
To sum up, you certainly can’t go wrong with a charming change of scenery around Christmas. These Christmas towns are guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood. Save this list for the next time you’re planning a December getaway!