Christmas is such a special holiday for so many reasons. It encourages you to love your family and friends a little harder and appreciate all of your blessings before the start of a new year. Obviously, the colder weather, carriage rides, Santa Claus, Christmas parades, carolers, ice skating rinks, Hallmark movies, and holiday lights just add to the magic of the season and boost your holiday spirit.
We've gathered up 10 of the best Christmas towns across the country that have an impressive Yuletide display each year, making them perfect getaways for the Christmas season to really experience the magic of the holiday.
1. North Pole, Alaska
While the name is certainly enough to entice travelers to stop by, this quaint Alpine village outside of Fairbanks features a Santa Claus House full of Christmas decorations and goodies. While the decorations and shop are out year-long, the Winter Festival and annual North Pole Christmas In Ice Contest really draw in the holiday shopping crowds each December. But Christmastime would be the perfect time to really embrace the Christmas spirit around the small town.
2. Leavenworth, Washington
This enchanting Bavarian-inspired village in Washington is filled with holiday traditions. It hosts four holiday festivals each year starting in November to really embrace their holiday cheer. They even have the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which features roughly 6,000 nutcrackers, some of which are over 500 years old.
3. Durango, Colorado
Take a ride on the Polar Express or the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Christmas Tree Train where you can cut your own Christmas tree and enjoy a hot chocolate with your family on the ride back.
4. Frankenmuth, Michigan
Bronner's Christmas Wonderland advertises itself as the biggest Christmas store in the world, spanning the size of 1 1/2 football fields. 50,000 strings of Christmas lights decorate this magical store year-round for visitors.
5. Bernsville, Pennsylvania
Koziar's Christmas Village is celebrating 71 holiday seasons in operation. Display World Magazine even dubbed it "Best Outdoor Christmas Display in the World". The village was originally a family home decorated for the holidays by William M. Koziar, whose elaborate decor each year brought visitors to marvel at his lights. Eventually, Koziar's Christmas Village was born, complete with a Post Office, visits with Santa, a bakery, and more.
6. Santa Claus, Indiana
In this small town in southern Indiana, it's a Christmas celebration year-round. They have multiple Santa themed gift shops and a Santa museum and village. And obviously Santa and Mrs. Claus.
7. Woodstock, Vermont
Woodstock's annual Wassail Weekend is the epitome of Christmas up in New England with this holiday event. The town transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with a holiday parade, twinkling lights, breakfast with Santa, and beautiful decorations at Billings Farm. Not to mention you're pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas.
8. Branson, Missouri
This little town in Missouri has it's own Polar Express each holiday season. Their Old Time Christmas festival covers the city in millions of lights, including over 1,000 decorated Christmas trees, and even offers live music.
9. Natchitoches, Louisiana
Celebrating over 90 annual Christmas Festivals, Natchitoches also offers a stunning Festival of Lights featuring over 300,000 Christmas lights.
10. Asheville, North Carolina
America's largest historic home, the Biltmore Estate, transforms into a beautiful Christmas display each holiday making it a can't miss attraction. Between the 500,000 light display at the North Carolina Arboretum and the National Gingerbread competition, this Christmas town is a must-visit for all of the caroling and Christmas cheer you could ask for.
This article was originally published on November 30, 2018.