Thanksgiving came and went which means Christmas will be here before we know it. If you’re looking to really get into the Christmas spirit this holiday season, here’s a look at 12 of the most charming Christmas towns in America.
The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner and we can barely contain ourselves. Fairy lights and Christmas trees are popping up all over the place as festive cheer has descended over the US.
If you want to do something a little different with your Christmas this year, why not branch out from your own lounge and explore some of the USA’s most adorable towns and cities.
1. Ashville, North Carolina
Nestled within the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a beautiful city with a lot to offer at Christmas. The showstopper during the Christmas season is always the glamorous Biltmore house, which gets a full festive makeover. More than a hundred trees, thousands of poinsettias and endless reams of garlands and fairy lights decorate this astonishing mansion, while the sound of live music floats through the corridors.
2. Santa Claus, Indiana
In case you couldn’t tell by the name, Santa Claus is arguably the Christmas hometown of America. As such, there is no end to the activities on offer. Children can write Santa Claus a letter–and receive a reply!–in the Santa Claus Museum or spend time with the live reindeer at Santa’s Toys. There is also a Festival of Lights and a Christmas Parade for the whole family to enjoy.
3. Skaneateles, New York
New York City seems like an obvious place for Christmas celebrations, but there is a lot of charm to be found in the state’s lesser-known cities. Skaneateles is famous at Christmas for its Dickens Festival. It runs every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas and includes caroling, storytelling, a performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and, of course, a visit from Santa.
4. Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth, an entire town modeled on a Bavarian Christmas village, becomes a Village of Lights at Christmas time – and you have to see it to believe its splendor. On Saturday and Sunday nights, all of the lights are switched on during an impressive lighting ceremony. Combine this with musical performances and the aroma of roasted chestnuts and this town is about as Christmassy as it gets.
5. Natchitoches, Louisiana
From mid-November until the beginning of January, the whole city of Natchitoches is taken over by a dazzling Christmas festival complete with lights, concerts, galas and more every day throughout the festive period. There is also a special festival just for children, including arts and crafts and a healthy selection of treats.
6. Durango, Colorado
The highlight of a Christmas trip to Durango is the chance to ride its legendary Polar Express. Each passenger is treated to hot chocolate and a delicious treat as the conductors read aloud the story of the Polar Express. Santa then climbs on board and visits each carriage to complete the magical experience.
7. The North Pole, Alaska
It is always Christmas in the North Pole, but when it is actually Christmas, the tiny Alaskan town really comes to life. When you write a letter to Santa and address it to the North Pole, it ends up at Santa’s House in the middle of the town, which gets inundated with letters every year. Visitors can drop by Santa’s House in person and enjoy the Winter Festival and ‘Christmas in Ice’ ice sculpting competition.
8. Frankenmuth, Michigan
Your first stop in Frankenmuth should be Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland – officially the biggest Christmas store in the world. Pick up some ornaments and presents before wandering through the town and admiring the elaborate light installations. For something a little less traditional, be sure to check out the quirky Magic with Santa show.
9. Woodstock, Vermont
Christmas in Vermont is exactly what Christmas looks like in films. Crisp snow blankets the town and icicles hang from the branches of trees. Along Main Street, shopfronts are transformed with festive fanfare and from the horse-drawn carriages, visitors can admire everything the town has to offer.
10. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
If you’ve ever heard any Christmas carol, you’ll know that Bethlehem is a big deal. Admittedly, the “little town of Bethlehem” isn’t in Pennsylvania, but that’s a minor detail. During the Christmas period, this gorgeous little city comes alive with lights, activities and a renowned German-inspired Christmas market.
11. Newport, Rhode Island
A popular Christmas activity in Newport s exploring the city’s numerous Gilded Age mansions and admiring the opulent decorations. However, one mansion reigns supreme at Christmas. Rosecliff Mansion offers an experiential, interactive performance on the Nutcracker. Guests follow the protagonist from room to room within the mansion, watching her adventures as she goes.
12. Solvang, California
The city of Solvang exudes Danish charm at Christmas with its famous Julesfest celebrations. Santa hangs out in Solvang Park, while parades march through town. For something utterly magical, join one of the candlelit walking and caroling tours of the city and enjoy the cocoa and Christmas treats handed out