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8 American Towns That Do Christmas Right SLIDESHOW

8 American Towns That Do Christmas Right SLIDESHOW

The absolute best towns to visit for a spirited Christmas trip

8 American Towns That Do Christmas Right

8 American Towns That Do Christmas Right

There is just something magical about celebrating the holidays. No matter where you are, what you are doing, or who you are with, spreading Christmas cheer tends to have this magnificent, enlightening effect on your environment and the people around you. This holiday season you will want to grab your loved ones and friends, and head to a town that embodies the Christmas spirit and celebrates the season like no other.

For anyone who loves Christmas to the extreme, these eight American towns are some of the best destinations during the holiday season. Attractions like beautiful displays of lights, masses of cheery Christmas carolers, good ol’ Saint Nick himself, and so much more are proof that these towns are where you can shamelessly immerse yourself in holiday cheer.

There are plenty of options depending whether you prefer Christmas in the sand or in the snow. But no matter where you go, these eight American towns know how to do Christmas right.

Bernville, Pennsylvania

Tis the season of Christmas lights, hot cocoa, and Santa Claus. Bernville is home to Christmas Village that’s brought Christmas tradition for more than 68 years. Visitors drive up and over to a hillside view of the entire village with lights reflecting on the lake. The winter wonderland offers a scenic walk-through route with displays all along the path. Pictures with Santa, a covered bridge with mistletoe, and plenty of quaint shops will bring you Christmas joy at the village. Christmas Village was even featured on the cover of Christmas in America.

Branson, Missouri

Ozark Mountain Christmas Village is a great way to make your Christmas merry and bright. In addition to the village, the town of Branson now has a drive-through display of Christmas lights. The best part about this town is you can celebrate Christmas all throughout November and December, starting Nov. 5.

For those hot chocolate-lovers out there, say hello to gourmet. Sip a cup of your hot chocolate while your kids take selfies with Santa. Oh, and they have Clydesdale horses you can take photos with, too! Take pictures of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year parade. There are so many scrapbook-worthy Christmas opportunities in this town.

Durango, Colorado

Durango loves Christmas so much that it even has its own guide on how to celebrate Christmas there. Colorado has so many winter activities to offer like hitting slopes and seeing the snow-covered mountains, but Durango has amazing Christmas activities, too. There’s craft festivals, caroling, Christmas decorating, and even a ballet of the “The Nutcracker.” You can even take a train ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express. It’s a great getaway town for Christmas festivities.

Hershey, Pennsylvania

In Hershey, you can start celebrating Christmas as early as Nov. 11. Christmas Candy Lane is the town’s best way to celebrate Christmas. Hershey Park is a major attraction all year round, but Christmas floods the park from Nov. 11 through Jan. 1. The trees are strung with lights that actually change color to the beat of Christmas music. They even bring in Santa’s reindeer for the kids.

Honolulu, Hawaii

There’s no better way to spend Christmas in the sun than with a little Mele Kalikimaka. Honolulu allows townies to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus celebrating in the sand at the town’s display. Yearly shirts and ornaments are available to purchase. The town happily celebrates Christmas, but doesn’t forget to honor Pearl Harbor and the heroes of World War II in the beginning of December.

Honolulu also has great restaurants to go where you can have Christmas with Santa. Oahu, the Big Island, is a fantastic place to celebrate Christmas for those who hate the cold. But seriously, who wouldn’t love a Hawaiian Christmas?

McAdenville, North Carolina

Of course a town better known as “Christmas Town USA” goes all out for Christmas. This town clearly loves Christmas and even has an official Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a festival. There’s a beautiful Christmas tree display reflecting lights around a pond. The town hosts an annual Yule log parade and ceremony, too. You can even order your own T-shirt to show your Christmas Town USA pride. They know how to make Christmas look cool.

Santa Claus, Indiana

How can a town named after Santa Claus himself not go all out for Christmas? Named “America’s Christmas Hometown,” this town knows how to make sure you get to celebrate the holidays all throughout December.

Enjoy a weekend away with your family at Lake Rudolf, or spend a few nights in Santa’s Lodge or even one of his cottages. This town has events every week in December, full of elves, Christmas lights, and roasting chestnuts. Santa Claus, Indiana has Christmas festivities galore.

Woodstock, Vermont

With brutally cold temperatures, you’re likely to have a “White Christmas” in Woodstock. An annual Wassail Weekend is one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas. Main Street is full of small town restaurants and plenty of shops to check items off of your Christmas list. In this town, historic features are covered in Christmas décor. Holiday lights, wreaths, and snow are all over. There’s nothing like taking a tour of the town on a horse-drawn carriage at Christmas time.


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo


America&rsquos Best Towns for the Holidays

Johnny Johnston has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but when he goes home for the holidays, he finds himself enchanted all over again by the winter wonderland where he grew up: Vail, CO.

&ldquoFrom the moment you drive into the valley, the streets and public spaces are all lit with Christmas lights, creating a Norman Rockwell moment,&rdquo says the broker for Sotheby&rsquos International Realty. Even if his mom still hassles him about what shirt he wears to his aunt&rsquos dinner party, &ldquoVail is the most beautiful place I&rsquove ever seen for the holiday season.&rdquo

Many Travel + Leisure readers agree, applauding the Colorado mountain for its seasonal cheer courtesy of high-end department-store shopping, notable restaurants, and Christmas lights.

Plenty of the top 25 holiday towns offer creative spins on holiday traditions, too, whether they look like winter wonderlands or not. In a South Carolina town, you can have your turkey dinner in barbecue sauce. In one mountain town, the annual tree lighting involves a faux pine made of recycled skis. And in places from Healdsburg, CA, to Charlottesville, VA, you can pick up holiday gifts&mdashlocal wines, French linens, or antique cookbooks&mdashthat you&rsquod never find at the mall back home.

Another kind of holiday magic (low-season rates and fewer crowds) can create a blissful version of Silent Night. That&rsquos why Far Hills, NJ, resident Gavin Macomber has spent a few Christmases by the beach in Nantucket, MA. &ldquoIt&rsquos fun to walk around town sipping hot chocolate and watching snow fall,&rdquo says the founder of Andegavia Cask Wines. &ldquoNantucket is particularly peaceful this time of year&mdashwhich makes it an ideal place to escape to during the holidays.&rdquo