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I absolutely love this time of year. When the Christmas lights are all aglow, people seem merrier, Christmas cheer is in the air, and just the simple magic of the holiday season gets me all warm and fuzzy. Add to that some of these magical Christmas towns in America and my bags are packed.
Thanks to My Dating Advisor for compiling some of the best Christmas towns in America, I’ve pulled a few of my favorites that we’ve visited over the years, or we have had friends who’ve traveled to these darling small towns and cities throughout the United States.
St. Augustine, Florida
The oldest city in the US has certainly seen its share of Christmases. The Night of Lights is the big event in St. Augustine with millions of lights decorating the entire town. It runs from November 20th to January 31st, so plenty of time to see them even after the holidays.
The Christmas season is one of the most wonderful times to visit St. Augustine, Florida. There are so many fun things to do and see with your family that will make lasting memories!
St. Augustine’s historic district is decorated in a nautical theme with lights strung from palm trees and decks on all the shops and restaurants lining the streets. The smell of fresh baked goods fills the air as you walk down St George Street looking at all the beautiful holiday window displays. And every evening throughout December there are live music performances by local musicians or school children singing carols for visitors who stroll along enjoying this magical time of year in America’s oldest city!
The best way to see all the lights is by booking a Trolley Tour. Prices start at $67 and that’s for an entire row for your family.
Where to Stay
Our choice for where to stay in any number of the Bed and Breakfasts dotted through the streets of St. Augustine.
You may also like nearby Fernandina Beach or these other Christmas activities to do in Florida.
The mountain town of Helen, Georgia is a popular Christmas town. It oozes holiday spirit thanks to its Alpine Christmas Village appearance. Helen is modeled after many bavarian towns and takes advantage of Christmas celebrations throughout the month of December. While you can’t guarantee a white Christmas here, you can guarantee plenty of Christmas decorations to make up for the lack of snow.
Read more on the top 7 things to do in Helen at Christmas time here.
Where to Stay in Helen
When in the mountains, choosing a mountain cabin seems like the perfect accommodation.
New York City
Christmas time in New York City is unlike any other Christmas you will ever experience. From the Rockettes to the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, it’s an amazing time of year!
You’ll see famous buildings covered in light displays and have a chance to see the Radio City Rockettes’ incredible holiday show.
Add in Christmas Markets, window shopping, ice skating and sleigh rides in Central Park, New York City is the home to many Christmas movies that you can live out for yourself this holiday season.
I have yet to visit New York City during early December, but I absolutely love the feeling I get exploring the Big Apple. I’m sure a visit during the holidays is even more magical.
Where to Stay
If you’re visiting in time for the Macy’s Day Parade, stay along the parade route and ask for 7th avenue facing rooms. If you’re not vising during the parade, just about any midtown hotel would do. I prefer Priceline for hotels, especially when you can use their Price Breaker offers to get a good deal.
Search New York City Hotels here.
Have you heard of Frankenmuth, Michigan? This is another of the authentically Bavarian Christmas towns in America. In fact, it’s also nicknamed Little Bavaria. Plus, it’s home to the world’s largest Christmas Store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.
This year, give Frankenmuth Michigan Christmas a visit. The beautifully decorated tiny town of Frankenmuth will have you feeling festive in no time! All of the lights, Christmas trees, and decorations make it one of the best places to get that authentic Bavarian feel.
There are over 100 different shops ranging from antiques to candy stores and everything in between. You can find anything you want or need when it comes to holiday shopping! The town itself has a great small-town feel with a Bavarian twist which makes for an amazing experience walking around the downtown area of Frankenmuth at Christmastime.
Where to Stay
I would totally stay at the Bavarian Inn of Frankenmuth. The River Place Shops are an 8-minute walk and Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland is less than 20 minutes by foot. You are in the heart of this small town and get to enjoy the charming German-style inn.
Book the Bararaian Inn here.
Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus, Indiana is a small town that has welcomed the Christmas holiday season for over 100 years. The locals are friendly and happy to show visitors around their community. They have many family-friendly activities for you to enjoy with your children, such as cooking demonstrations, live reindeer feedings at Santa’s North Pole Barnyard Petting Zoo, or even an old-fashioned hayride through the woods. Be sure not to miss out on all of this communal happiness!
Unfortunately, at Christmas time, the nearby Holiday World Theme Park is not open, but don’t let that dampen your Christmas spirit.
America’s Christmas hometown, Santa Claus, Indiana, still offers Santa’s Candy Castle for dining and shopping, the Land of Christmas Lights, a Santa Clause Flyer Train Ride, and more during the month of December.
Where to Stay
Santa’s Lodge is the perfect place to stay when in Santa Claus, Indiana of course!
Just imagine drinking hot cocoa during carriage rides through the winter wonderland that is Leavenworth, Washington. What is it with German Bavarian-style towns that just evoke the most wonderful time of the year? Perhaps it’s the warmth of candles and Christmas parades, carols, and holiday traditions that make it magical.
Leavenworth is a small town in the eastern part of Washington state and it’s most notable for its Christmas season. The town has been voted “Best Small Christmas Towns in America” 7 times by readers of USA Today and 10 years running on Rand McNally/USA Today Best of the Road. It’s also included in National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s list of “50 Places to go in 2018.” Leavenworth really knows how to decorate with over 1 million lights, 20 decorated blocks, and more than 100 events throughout December! If you’re looking for some last-minute winter getaways, this might be just what you need!
Leavenworth is decorated beautifully with holiday lights everywhere you look and there are tons of little shops that sell beautiful gifts for friends and family members alike. And if you’re lucky enough to be visiting during this season, don’t miss out on their traditional German Christmas market where they roast chestnuts over open fires all along the main street!
Want a first-hand review of the slight rides in Leavenworth? 2 Travel Dads have extensive articles on Leavenworth that you can start with here.
Where to stay
There are a few different Bavaraina lodge-style hotels in Leavenworth that you can check out here. My favorites of the bunch include Der Rittenhof Inn and the Hotel Pension Anna.
Park City, Utah
During the holiday season, nothing is more magical than seeing the lights and decorations of Christmas in the winter wonderland of Park City, Utah.
Christmas in Park City Utah is perfect for the whole family. The nightlife is lively and there are so many different things to do from shopping, skiing, snowboarding, tubing on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort, or even a visit to Olympic Park. You can also enjoy some time at one of the many restaurants where you’ll find all your favorite American dishes as well as international cuisine. And don’t forget about enjoying Christmas carols by going to any number of churches around town! Park City has something for everyone this holiday season!
Where to Stay
There are a lot of stunning hotels in downtown Park City, or with ski-in access to the slopes. For Park City, I would also go with a Priceline Price Breaker to get incredible deals with jaw-dropping views.
This holiday season, get into the spirit of things with a trip to Williamsburg Virginia. The beautiful historic town is located about an hour and forty minutes away from Richmond International Airport, making it easily accessible for visitors. The city has been named one of the top ten Christmas towns in America by Forbes magazine because of its dedication to preserving colonial history through themed events during this time of year. Williamsburg offers something for everyone so come enjoy all that it has to offer! If you are looking for some fun activities while here, consider taking part in the Candlelight Stroll or visiting Merchants Square where Santa will be waiting for your arrival!
You can’t get any more festive than at Colonial Williamsburg – If you want to experience the true meaning of Christmas then Colonial Williamsburg will not disappoint. From the beautifully lit outdoor trees that line Duke of Gloucester Street down to their famous Governor’s Palace Tree lighting ceremony on December 4th they have it all!
Where to Stay
For historic Williamsburg, I’d choose the Historic Powhatan Resort by Diamond Resorts, with furnished apartments on the grounds of a restored Manor House.
More Christmas Towns in America
Want even more Christmas towns in America, take a look a the map below to see all the towns that do it up right for the holiday season.
We want to hear from you! What are your favorite places to visit during the holidays? Comment below with a link to your website and let us know!