These are the ten best Christmas towns in America

Joy to the world and to those quaint towns of the United States that truly go above and beyond in the Christmas spirit department. From over-the-top boat parades to European-inspired holiday markets, there’s something for everyone on this list of locals who decorate venues like you’ve never seen before. Read on and enjoy these jaw-dropping Christmas trees, musical extravagance and more.

Oxnard, California

This seaside town is bursting with Christmas excitement thanks to multiple tree lights – including Ventura County’s largest Christmas tree at the glittering Christmas Tree Lane, a decades-long tradition of festively lit homes along from several streets of the Oxnard National Historic District. Ride the Oxnard Holly Trolley down Christmas Tree Lane and to other local vacation attractions while sipping hot chocolate for an outing you won’t soon forget. There’s also a parade of lights with decorated boats in Channel Islands Harbor, tours of decorated Victorian homes in historic Heritage Square, a tamale festival and more.

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Long Grove, Illinois

This inviting Chicago suburb has an annual “Vintage Holidays” campaign, a seasonal tribute to the small-town vacation market experience with perfect shops, horse-drawn carriage rides, and traveling vacation singers in historical costume. From November 19 to December 19, you can expect all of this, plus appearances from Santa and Mrs. Claus, village merchants participating in a “Christmas Tree Parade” and more. The Long Grove Vintage Holidays event is hosted annually by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association.

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Branson, Missouri

Ready for a very Ozark Christmas? In this small town of some 11,500 people, visitors to the famous Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-inspired theme park a few miles from downtown Branson, will have a real vacation. Inside: An “An Old Time Christmas” event that features 6.5 million lights, an eight-story Christmas tree, several musicals and a beloved parade of lights. Need more conviction? He is the reigning quadruple champion of the best theme park vacation event in the United States in the USA Today Top 10 Readers poll. With 6.5 million lights around the city, there is also plenty to explore outside of the theme park, including around 100 shows in 37 theaters, such as Christmas shows by families like the Haygoods, Five Brothers and a sister who play 20 instruments with each other, mixing rock, country and high jinks, and the Celtic Dutton family playing orchestral versions of Christmas tunes.

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Nicknamed the Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri offers a huge range of 100 Christmas shows in 37 theaters, as well as an imposing eight-story Christmas tree.
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Kennebunkport, Maine

There’s just something about vacationing in New England. Named America’s Second Christmas Town by HGTV, Kennebunkport will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its annual Christmas prelude, an 11-day extravaganza from December 2-12. There, visitors will be dazzled by the 40 Trees Trail, hat parade, tree lights, Christmas carols, craft fairs, parades with Santa Claus and many other seasonal festivities. When it’s time to unwind, retreat to beautiful locations like the Kennebunkport Inn and the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort with perfect decorations and caring staff. Before you leave town, be sure to walk the guided “Festival Trail of Lights”. a feast for the eyes that benefits nonprofits.

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Lori Wears (left) and Mimi Magee sing Christmas carols during a candlelight ceremony in Kennebunkport, Maine, December 3, 2016.
Lori Wears (left) and Mimi Magee sing Christmas carols during a candlelight ceremony in Kennebunkport, Maine, December 3, 2016.
Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Dahlonega, Georgia

It’s hard to (literally) outshine this gold rush town in the mountains of northern Georgia. The backdrop to two recent Hallmark films and a recent Lifetime movie, this idyllic location hosts an old-fashioned Christmas every year, this year from November 26 to January 9. For the affair of over a month, witness thousands of twinkling lights, a two-story Christmas tree in the square, and the second annual Tree Festival with around a dozen brightly decorated Christmas trees on display outside in Hancock Park (note: the trees used in the festival are wild trees which will be planted at the end of the season). Other draws include horse-drawn carriage rides, socially distant tours with Santa Claus, old-time singers, a holiday performance at the historic Holly Theater, and the annual Christmas Market, hosted by the Dahlonega Women’s Club.

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Solvang, California

This city of 6000 inhabitants in Southern California is a winter wonderland with a unique atmosphere thanks to its Northern European architecture (the city was founded in 1911 by Danish immigrants). This year, from November 27, 2021 to early January 2022, is its annual Solvang Julefest, with events ranging from a parade and nightly candlelight tours to the digital ‘Nisse Adventure’ throughout the city. Christmas Elves) and the impressive tree-lighting ceremony in Solvang Park. On any day, you can also take a peaceful stroll through the beautiful twinkling lights of the village and the Christmas trees in the storefront. It all ends with Tree Burn, one of the largest fire safety demonstrations on the Central Coast (overseen by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department). Also whet your appetite: Solvang is famous for its five authentic Danish bakeries that sell pastries such as aebleskiver, a spherical Danish dessert. During Solvang Julefest, join the Holiday Food Tour to savor it all, plus dishes from the city’s most modern haunts, like a Michelin “chef” restaurant and tropical Tiki lounge.

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Carmel, Indiana

Hello Christkindlmarkt! In idyllic Hamilton County, teleport to a wintery European market with around 50 German vendors with a wide range of authentic German goods and gifts. After skating on ice skates at The Ice at Carter Green, pick up a hot cup of Glühwein (mulled wine) or hot chocolate to top off your day at this Christmas oasis.

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Fort Myers Beach, Florida

The Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a truly unique spectacle, voted USA Today’s 5th Best Holiday Parade 10Best, and featuring many illuminated and finely decorated ships. Learn more about the 33rd Annual Parade here. In neighboring Captiva Island, the tree-lighting celebration at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa on November 26 is also quite the scene, in which there are 200,000 Christmas lights added to a 9-meter Christmas tree, all sparkling in musical sync. Next, on nearby Sanibel de Captiva Island, known as “the Seashell Capital of the World”, discover the Santa’s Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise, a Christmas Eve experience that combines old Saint Nick with dolphin watching swimming in the Pine Island Strait and San Carlos Bay. .

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Minden, Nebraska

Welcome to Christmas City, Nebraska. This town of about 3,000 people has proudly displayed a beam of 12,000 bulbs of red and green lights on the Kearney County Courthouse and Town Square every year since 1915. Another star of the holidays? The Christmas spectacle “The light of the world” organized every year by the inhabitants on the sides of the square of the courthouse. The contest takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the first two Sundays in December. Check the calendar for dates.

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Natchez, Mississippi

Get more than your fair share of seasonal greetings from scenic Natchez along the Mississippi River, perhaps best known for its pre-war mansions. The fun begins on Thanksgiving weekend with the annual Christmas tree lighting event at Natchez on Main Street featuring musical fireworks, cameos from the famous Mr. Claus of the North Pole and plenty of mouthwatering food vendors proposed. Hallmark fans can enjoy the Visit Natchez self-guided tour brochure at the filming sites of “Every Time a Bell Rings,” a Christmas movie shot in Natchez which premiered on November 18. Close your eyes between festive events at Sunnyside, Bed & Breakfast, the home of the Do You See What I See? Christmas tours and over 30 decorated trees or The Towers Mansion, home to the splendid Jeweled Christmas Tours, featured as one of USA Today’s 10 most unusual Christmas presentations.

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