10 Christmas Spectacular Places to Visit in America

rain of snow in town painting

by Troop Atomic Mommy

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When it’s Christmas time, there is a sense of joy and cheer that fills the streets. From gorgeous Christmas lights to festive markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy. All across the United States there are cities and small towns that go all out for Christmas. These are the top 10 places to visit in America that are spectacular for Christmas.

Need help finding these festive spots? Check out this awesome map by Wanderlog:

Map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android

#1 New York City

Most of us have seen New York City portrayed in famous Christmas movies like “Elf,” but it is even more magical when seen in person. All the small shops are filled with unique Christmas decorations that create an eclectic, but fun sight to see. The famous ice rink at the Rockefeller Center is a must-go activity, but the huge Christmas tree is a local must-see favorite. 

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree located in New York City's Rockefeller Center.
Photo Credit: Rockefeller Center

#2 Lake Tahoe Area

Lake Tahoe is not just a spot for skiing and snowboarding. You can visit either the North, South, or both and that’s because both areas offer the ultimate winter wonderland experience. From the snowy mountains to glistening lights, it feels like you are in a Christmas story. There are many activities for the family to enjoy like having breakfast with Santa, watching fireworks, or visiting the studios of local ice carvers.

#3 Aspen, Colorado

Christmas in Aspen is much more than a one-off holiday. During December 20th to the 31st, Aspen holds “12 Days of Aspen,” where the town holds daily winter and Christmas-themed events. Better yet, most of these events are free. One of the local favorites during these 12 days is “Aspen Meadow Celebration of Lights.” A walking tour full of different holiday lights for families and friends to enjoy.  

#4 Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Art enthusiasts rejoice! Every year for Christmas, the town of Stockbridge recreates the famous Rockwell painting, “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas).” Visitors can take pictures along the cars on main street that were specifically picked to match the painting, or tour the historic homes. There are also live music shows, holiday markets, and sparkling outdoor lights at the Naumkeag Museum to enjoy.  

#5 Duluth, Minnesota

Families love visiting Duluth on Christmas for the many wonderful holiday events there. This small town has a hugelight display that is free to the public to visit at the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. This walking lights tour is one of the biggest in the country. Along Lake Superior, visitors can enjoy a scenic train ride, and visit the lovely Christmas village set up outside of the Glensheen Mansion. 

#6 St. Augustine, Florida

When people think of Christmas, they usually don’t think of warm weather. But St. Augustine is the perfect spot for those who love Christmas, but hate the cold. There are shimmering lights and candles placed throughout the picturesque town during the Winter season. It’s spectacular to see at night, and all without having to wear a million layers!

#7 North Pole, Alaska

With a name like North Pole, it would be awkward to not love Christmas, right? In this small town you can find Santa Claus’ house, with actual reindeers living there! The street lamps are shaped like candy canes, and the Mayor even goes by Santa. It’s the full North Pole experience without traveling all the way to the actual North Pole. 

#8 McAdenville, North Carolina

This small town is known as McAdenville for 11 months out of the year. But during the month of December they become known as Christmas Town, USA. There are over 1.3 miles of stunning holiday displays, and over 370 decorated trees along the downtown area. 600,000 plus people visit Christmas Town every year, so you know you’re in for a treat! 

#9 Ogden, Utah

In the middle of Ogden, you will find 59 themed mini cottages that make up Santa’s North Pole Village. Each cottage is styled based on a different Christmas theme. Explore Santa’s house, or even the Grinch’s house for some wonderful pictures and holiday fun. There’s also a Polar Express Train that families can ride for free, and ride through tunnels that have glow in the dark paintings.

#10 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Traveling to Europe isn’t exactly cheap, but when you visit Bethlehem it’s almost as if you went to Germany for the holidays. The town becomes a German-themed Christmas village and has artisan markets for visitors to enjoy. Buy some gorgeous handmade decorations, or snack on some warm pretzels while you look at all the bright lights.

The Takeaway

There are so many more spectacular places to visit in the U.S. to experience the Christmas spirit. Try something different this holiday season, and explore some of these spectacular towns!

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