McAdenville, a small town located in North Carolina, gets so into the Christmas spirit that they change the name of their village to Christmas Town USA. Each December, over 600,000 people visit this hamlet to gawk at the 450,000 decorating lights and enjoy a romantic winter stroll along a route perfectly illuminated by over 375 trees. It’s hard to miss the nearby lake, where 33 trees line its perimeter, reflecting peacefully in the water and the town’s fountain, featuring a jet of water propelled up 75 feet, lit with vibrant colors every 10 seconds.
Koziar’s Christmas Village, located in Bernville, Pennsylvania, is a true one-stop Christmas hotspot for families. This traditional Christmas town attracts crowds to gaze at the millions of displaying lights, visit small cottage dioramas and shops, and communicate face to face with Mr. Claus. Visitors can also be treated several scenes describing Christmas Beneath the Sea, Christmas in the Jungle, and Christmas in Other Lands.
Being one of the country’s great railway hubs, Ogden’s Christmas Village in Utah welcomes visitors from the whole country during each holiday season. Modeled after Santa’s North Pole Village, 59 elf-sized miniature cottages popped up in the middle of the town creating a winter wonderland, and each has its own theme such as The Elf Workshop, The Grinch, and Santa’s Castle. It’s hard to miss the free Polar Express Train through a glow-in-the-dark tunnel painted with holiday flourishes.
Nevada City, a former Gold Rush town in California, is a historic and quaint place, known now for its numerous historic buildings, mountainous surroundings, and bygone picturesque downtown. Described as “a genuine Christmas card come to life”, it takes great pride in their annual Victorian Christmas Festival when the whole city will transform into a winter wonderland complete with twinkling lights, authentic gas lamps, and carolers dressed in Victorian apparel.
Famous for the Ozark Mountain Christmas, Branson in Missouri transforms overnight putting on its best and brightest Christmas flare. Home to fan favorite events such as Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, Branson is also known as the Live Music Show Capital of the World. Be sure to visit the Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas festival for its 5 million holiday lights, over 1,000 decorated Christmas trees and its world-class roller coaster.
Washington D.C.’s oldest neighborhood comes to life each December with the yuletide decorations of the holiday lights dotting the streets as well as the historic buildings of Wisconsin Avenue NW. Known for over 450 stores, restaurants, and galleries, the area is certainly a one-stop hub of art and commerce for holidays. The annual Holiday Window Competition is a must-see during which local shops compete against each other to create the most inventive and fun window displays.
Zoar town in Ohio is a tiny village with a population of 169. It offers an old-fashioned Christmas with many historic landmarks and buildings, all artfully decorated for Christmas in 19th-century style. In fully operating blacksmith and tinsmith shops, you’ll be marvel at the local artisans’ producing crafts and goods the old fashioned way. You can also enjoy a walking tour to trace the history of the town until the Zoar United Church of Christ where Christmas carols are played on the chapel’s original organ.
The getaway town Elkhart Lake, known for its summertime racetrack, turns to focus on an all-out Christmas-time celebration in winter complete with its famous Old World Christmas Market, which features hundreds of vendors selling crafts, art, the traditional schnitzel, sauerbraten and potato pancakes. For something truly unique, head to the Wade House for mid-19th-century Christmas celebrations, particularly the horse-drawn carriage through the woods, which would draw you directly into “Jingle Bells.”
The Genesee Country Village, located in Mumford, New York, brings Christmas season to the hinterland with its annual Christmas celebrations. Traveling through the village streets, you’ll go back to 1849 when New York declared Christmas, Independence Day and New Years Day state holidays. Live music, dancing, and tree lighting will also be an unforgettable part of your travel.
Charlottesville, home of Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, delivers an incredible presentation of holiday lights and festivities throughout the historic town each December. Its walkway Historic Downtown Mall, a cultural hub as well as a winter scape of the city, features 90 local vendors of holiday crafts and goods and is a prime place to pick up unique gifts for loved ones.