Walking in a winter wonderland.
Christmas is the one time of year we designate to spending quality time with friends and family, embracing warm and fuzzy traditions, and letting a little magic into our days. Each December, you may hope for an idealistic holiday season straight out of a Hallmark movie, complete with crackling fireplaces, candy canes, colorful lights, and a romantic stroll through a dimly lit Christmas village. There are so many quaint places to celebrate the season in small towns around the country, where locals come together to make the holidays extra special with festive community events that welcome visitors from all over. Grab your loved ones for a winter wonderland getaway at these 10 best Christmas towns in the USA.
These holiday destinations prove that Christmas magic isn’t just for the movies – it’s real and brighter than ever. From spectacular light displays, historic cultural traditions, North Pole-inspired trains, and fun winter activities like sleigh rides and dogsledding, these 10 Christmas towns will check everything off your December bucket list. There’s no shortage of hot cocoa, Christmas spirit, and exciting Santa sightings this year, with plenty of attractions the whole family will enjoy in each of these unique places. Keep reading to check out the most festive Christmas towns to experience during the holiday season for 2022.
New Hope, Pennsylvania
This small town will give you the cozy local feel from your favorite holiday movies. On the New Hope Railroad, you can ride on Santa’s North Pole Express Train through snowy Bucks County countryside. Kids can meet Mr and Mrs. Claus during the visit and check out the historic 1891 Victorian-style Passenger Station Christmas gift shop.
Park City, Utah
If you want to visit an IRL winter wonderland, Park City is the place to be, thanks to its snow-dusted Christmas festivals and sparkling lights that decorate Main Street. Visit the Park City Resort for the annual Snowfest that runs through Jan. 5, where you can see Santa ride the ski lift, watch New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade, and witness a magical fireworks show.
Aspen is known for its bright blanket of snow, but there’s a lot of fun to be had in town when you’re finished skiing, like the 12 days of festive Aspen events that kick off on Dec. 20 and lead up to New Year’s Eve. Check out Ullr Nights in Snowmass for nightly bonfires, hot cocoa, and a bobsled-themed roller coaster called the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster to fly on top of the snow.
Enjoy Christmas by the sea in this cozy town off of Cape Cod. Nantucket hosts an annual Christmas Stroll at the top of December to ring in the season with a Christmas market, live entertainment, and a visit from Santa Claus himself. Later in the month, you can see the Nantucket Festival of Trees at the Whaling Museum, go bird watching, or find the famous decorated lighthouses — Brant Point Light and Sankaty Head Light — for a Christmas card photo op.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Celebrate the season in lively Santa Fe, where you can visit the GLOW winter lights event at the Botanical Garden, experience historic cultural events with Pueblo Feast Days, and attend a special Midnight Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi.
Santa stops by the Town Square on a regular basis in Jackson, Wyoming to hit the ski slopes and celebrate with the locals. Besides playing in the snow at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, you and your Christmas crew can take a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge, stroll the the Holiday Art Bazaar at the Snow King Resort Hotel, and watch the Torchlight Parade and fireworks show from cozy mountain resorts on New Year’s Eve.
Big Spring, Texas
Celebrate Christmas in Texas in the town of Big Spring that’s known for its exciting holiday themed activities during December. Through Christmas Day, you can visit the Comanche Trail Festival of Lights with free admission and drive through light displays of over one million shimmering bulbs. The Heritage Museum of Big Spring hosts a Christmas Tree Forest that features exhibits specially decorated by residents, and there’s also the annual Big Spring Christmas Parade with marvelous parade floats, colorful lights, and warm holiday cheer.
Head to historic Williamsburg, Virginia for a magical Christmas town experience that takes you back in time. At Busch Gardens Williamsburg, explore the decorated European villages and listen to the carolers sing while you sip sweet hot cocoa. You can also view the 18th century tradition of the lighting of the cressets on Duke of Gloucester Street through Christmas Eve, shop around the Mistletoe Market, and stay at The Colonial Williamsburg Hotel.
If you love to ski as fast as Santa’s reindeer can fly, Durango’s powerdy snow makes it the perfect destination to enjoy some winter fun. It’s one of the best ski towns in the USA, and there’s plenty of dog sledding, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides down the slopes. You can climb aboard the Durango train to Cascade Canyon and see the picturesque San Juans landscape. Or, ride The Polar Express train that arrives at the Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, where the crew will perform a reading of The Polar Express as you drink hot chocolate and get ready to meet Santa.
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