Best Christmas Towns:

Top 152 Christmas Towns in the USA

best christmas towns in the USA

It’s the most beautiful time of the year, and to celebrate the season, we have ranked the best Christmas towns in the USA.

Our list of Christmas towns will get you in the holiday spirit. With the best light displays, markets, and festivals – these towns are worth a spot on your Christmas bucket list.

We compared 152 well-known Christmas towns on 21 key metrics. We looked into festive activities, weather, dining, hotels, transport, and other joyful Christmas break indicators.

Check out our ranking below, followed by some highlights and an overview of the top Christmas towns.

Whether you travel this Christmas, have a safe journey, and follow CDC guidelines and state and local recommendations.

Full Data Set: 152 Christmas Towns in the USA

A List of the Best Christmas Towns

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Highlights

chistmas town markets lights

Most Christmas Activities

  1. McAdenville, North Carolina
  2. Helen, Georgia
  3. Bernville, Pennsylvania
  4. Wyoming, Iowa
  5. Virginia City, Nevada
christmas cookies gingerbread men

Best for Food

  1. Bernville, Pennsylvania
  2. Angel Fire, New Mexico
  3. McAdenville, North Carolina
  4. Helen, Georgia
  5. Denton, North Carolina
christmas snow raindeer

Best Weather Forecast

  1. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
  2. Seaside, Florida
  3. Charleston, South Carolina
  4. Mystic, Connecticut
  5. Greenwich Connecticut
christmas time town lights

Best for Transport

  1. Alexandria, Virginia
  2. Denver, Colorado
  3. Cape May, New Jersey
  4. Atchinson, Kansas
  5. Denton, North Carolina

Best Lodging

  1. Valley Junction, Iowa
  2. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  3. Frankenmuth, Michigan
  4. Garrison, North Dakota
  5. Darby, Montana

Top 25 Christmas Towns in the USA

Best Christmas Villages: Where to Go to Celebrate Christmas!

1. Helen, Georgia

helen georgia christmas

You might not expect to find an Alpine village along Georgia’s Chattahoochee River banks. But, Helen, once a logging town located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, reinvented itself long ago as a Bavarian town.

In December, you can come to the town to enjoy wreaths and artist-decorated holiday trees at an auction at the Festival of Trees. Kinderfest, the Christkindlmarkt, and a tree lighting in tiny downtown Helen. Learn more about Christmas in Helen here.

helen georgia christmas tree
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 85
  • Christmas Events: 640
  • Christmas Temperature: 46.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 0.6%

2. Blue Ridge, Georgia

blue ridge scenic railway santa express
If you’re looking for bona fide Southern charm, come to Blue Ridge. You can enjoy a train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus – hop on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway’s Santa Express. Hear a Christmas story, sing Christmas carols, meet Christmas characters and visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. Your family can enjoy all that and more in this northern Georgia town.
blue ridge georgia best christmas towns
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 82
  • Christmas Events: 580
  • Christmas Temperature: 46°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 23.1%

3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

carmel by the sea christmas town

This gorgeous coastal town is a European-style village with a west coast vibe. The downtown historic district has fabulous boutiques, art galleries, clothing stores, foodie shops, bakeries, and excellent restaurants.


The town comes to life during the holidays with entertainment, musical performances, and celebrations like the annual Christmas tree lighting along Ocean Avenue. Enjoy pretty Christmas lights, dozens of wine tastings, and beach sunsets. There may not be snow, but we don’t think your family will be complaining. You can check the events calendar here.

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carmel by the sea christmas market
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 77
  • Christmas Events: 380
  • Christmas Temperature: 53.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 0.0%

4. Leavenworth, Washington

leavenworth washington village of lights

This Bavarian village gives off an Alpine holiday air on any day of the year. But during snowy December, you can find 21 miles of lights along with the homes and fences. There is a Christmas lighting festival, handbell concerts, a lively Christlkindmarkt, harp music, and a weekly festival with carolers, Gluhwein, and sledding gathered around the town’s tree.

leavenworth washington christmas
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 76
  • Christmas Events: 160
  • Christmas Temperature: 29°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 31.9%

5. New Hope, Pennsylvania

new hope pennsylvania north pole express train

This lovely East Coast locale is a great place to spend Christmas. But, of course, you’re also bound to have a “white Christmas” if you do. In New Hope, you can find the North Pole Express, where you will enjoy Christmas carols, hot cocoa, cookies, and even a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

peddlers village holiday lights new hope pa
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 76
  • Christmas Events: 1540
  • Christmas Temperature: 38°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 32%

6. Pine Mountain, Georgia

callaway fantasty in lights
In the small town of the Pine Mountains, you can find Christmas at Callaway. Callaway Gardens hosts the ultimate Christmas extravaganza. Here you can make merry in the Christmas Village, meet holiday characters and ride through the illuminated forest. Expect to find a sweater-swathed crowd enjoying musical concerts.
callaway fantasy in lights georgia
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 74
  • Christmas Events: 480
  • Christmas Temperature: 52°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 3.3%

7. Ligonier, Pennsylvania

ligonier pa christmas town

If you want a snowy Christmas getaway, visit Ligonier in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. Bring your kids to see Santa. You can shop at the Ligonier Country Christmas Market and enjoy the quaint town’s decorations.

You can experience Overly’s Country Christmas, a pop-up Christmas village with old-fashioned traditions and eats. Sing carols, ride in a horse-drawn sleigh and marvel at the lights.

ligonier pennsylvania christmas town
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 74
  • Christmas Events: 280
  • Christmas Temperature: 38 °F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 24.2%

8. Jacksonville, Oregon

jacksonville oregon victorian christmas

The gold rush town of Jacksonville enjoys the holiday season with a Victorian Christmas celebration. In December, Jacksonville’s National Historic District has greenery and twinkling lights. There are strolling carolers in vintage costumes singing songs while you can make your way among boutiques and antique shops.


Take in the seasonal beauty with Jolly Holly Trolley rides and complimentary hot cider. There are also holiday tours of the 1873 Beekman House, home of a wealthy pioneer family. In addition, there are tastings in the many wineries of southern Oregon’s wine country.

jacksonville oregon christmas town
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 73
  • Christmas Events: 14
  • Christmas Temperature: 39°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 4.3%

9. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

gatlinburg tn christmas

In Gatlinburg, you can enjoy a Great Smoky Mountain Christmas at the gateway to the famous peaks’ national park. Spend your days skiing and cuddling up in a cozy cabin. Then, explore the Parkway, Gatlinburg’s main street, where Winter Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales costumed characters and performers tell stories while playing an eclectic Appalachia, Bluegrass, and Country music.


You can also take the Trolley Ride of Lights to enjoy illuminations throughout the city and stop by the Great Smoky Christmas Arts and Crafts show for unique gifts. Find more here about celebrating Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.

gatlinburg tn winterfest
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 71
  • Christmas Events: 200
  • Christmas Temperature: 45.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 4.3%

10. McAdenville, North Carolina

mcadenville nc christmas town usa

This town might be called McAdenville, but it is known to the locals as Christmas Town, the USA. For the past 63 years, the Charlotte suburb has put on an impressive holiday display.


Here you can find 265 evergreen trees covered in 500,000 lights. There are also more than 160 decorated houses throughout the town. The best part about all of this is that you can view everything for free.

mcadenville nc lake lights christmas
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 71
  • Christmas Events: 420
  • Christmas Temperature: 46.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 2.3%

11. Dahlonega, Georgia

dahlonega georgia christmas town

Southerners from far and wide like to visit Dahlonega during Christmas. This North Georgia town is covered in twinkling lights and overrun with rambling horse-drawn carriages, a month-long celebration featuring everything from a hometown parade to charming tree lighting.

dahlonega georgia old fashioned christmas
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 71
  • Christmas Events: 600
  • Christmas Temperature: 46.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 0.9%

12. Bernville, Pennsylvania

bernville pa koziars christmas village
In 1948, William M. Koziar started decorating his home in Bernville for the viewing pleasure of his family. Now, Koziar’s Christmas Village is one of the main attractions in the state of Pennsylvania and boasts both indoor and outdoor displays.
bernville pa koziars christmas village barn
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 71
  • Christmas Events: 980
  • Christmas Temperature: 38.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 5.1%

13. Valley Junction, Iowa

valley junction iowa christmas lights

In Valley Junction, you can enjoy one of the best small-town Christmases that Iowa can offer. For three Thursday evenings during the season, the historic railroad in the town in the West Des Moines area celebrates with a Jingle in the Junction.

The streets have over 150,000 twinkle lights. In addition, you can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa, and caroling. There are also 150 unique stores, antique shops, and businesses downtown for some holiday shopping.

valley junction jingle in the junction west des moines
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 70
  • Christmas Events: 60
  • Christmas Temperature: 33°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 43%

14. Breckenridge, Colorado

breckenridge colorado christmas

This renowned ski town transforms into a beautiful Victorian-style Christmas town during the holidays. The season begins with the Lighting of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December. Throughout the holidays, you can enjoy carriage rides, shopping, and the opportunity to feel like you’ve stepped into an old-fashioned holiday painting.

brekenridge colorado lighting of breckenridge
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 70
  • Christmas Events: 340
  • Christmas Temperature: 19°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 35.1%

15. Williamsburg, Virginia

Want to celebrate the holidays with the Madisons and the Jeffersons? Colonial holiday traditions like caroling by torchlight, fife and drum performances and interpretive programs set the stage for Christmas in charming Williamsburg.


The activities culminate in a Grand Illumination, celebratory fires works, and a historic gun-salute display, best viewed from the town green. For those less historic-minded, the nearby Busch Gardens opens for the holiday season with a Christmas Town where you can take a stroll through European holiday traditions.

  • Christmas Town Index Score: 69
  • Christmas Events: 260
  • Christmas Temperature: 46.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 1.2%

16. Ogunquit, Maine

ogunquit maine christmas by the sea

The quiet fishing village of Ogunquit becomes lively during the holidays with its annual Christmas by the Sea festival. The downtown boutiques are festive, and residents head to the beach to celebrate with a polar bear plunge, bonfire, caroling, and fireworks at Perkins Cove.


All visitors should sample the chowder at the Taste the Season event in true Maine fashion. You can also enjoy wagon rides, tree lighting, musical performances, and a pajama party.

ogunquit maine december christmas by the sea
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 68
  • Christmas Temperature: 33°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 10.2%

17. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

lake geneva wisconsin christmas lights

Lake Geneva is popular with people from Wisconsin and Illinois during the summer months, but Christmas is also a great time to go there. Visit the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, where you can find lights, music, daily holiday teas, and gingerbread houses.

The Christmas celebrations in Lake Geneva go on until the end of December. Restaurants offer holiday specials, and there are shops to find the perfect gifts for the holidays.

lake geneva wisconsin grand geneva lights
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 67
  • Christmas Events: 660
  • Christmas Temperature: 32°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 29.9%

18. Hershey, Pennsylvania

There’s no better way to celebrate Christmas than with a lot of chocolate. The whole family will enjoy spending the holidays at Hersheypark’s Christmas Candylane. Here you can enjoy holiday rides, visit Santa and his reindeer and take in more than 5 million lights decorating the fun-filled chocolate theme park.
hershey pa christmas holidays
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 67
  • Christmas Events: 980
  • Christmas Temperature: 37.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 5.1%

19. Galena, Illionois

galena illinois christmas snow

Galena is a slice of pure Americana, particularly around the Christmas season. Here you can find an idyllic, garland-lined Maine Street and charming bed and breakfasts. The season starts with a tree-lighting ceremony (Nov. 28th).


The tree-lighting ceremony is followed by the Festival of Trees on the 4th and 5th December, showcasing displays of one-of-a-kind holiday trees, wreaths, and other items created by local artists and organizations. You can check the Galena events calendar here.

galena illionois christmas lights
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 67
  • Christmas Events: 160
  • Christmas Temperature: 30.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 19.9%

20. Solvang, California

solvang ca julefest celebrations

You might not be able to go to London or Munich this winter, but you can still get that European feel in Solvang. A group of Danes founded this small city in California’s Santa Ynez Valley in the early 1900s. They built this charming Danish community, now famous for its Danish businesses and European architecture.


Solvang usually hosts Julefest each holiday season, complete with festive events and decor. You can check the city’s website for updates about the celebrations this year. In addition, you can stay in one of the city’s gorgeous boutique hotels, like the Landsby or the newly opened Winston.

solvang california danish village christmas
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 65
  • Christmas Events: 100
  • Christmas Temperature: 52°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 0%

21. Shepherdstown, West Virginia

shepherdstown west virginia christmas

Shepherdstown transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. You can experience the past and present during their Christmas in Historic Shepherdstown. There is also a Holiday Handmade Market held at the War Memorial Building on the weekends starting after Thanksgiving and through the 20th of December.


Expect some Civil War history, carriage rides, Christmas caroling around the community, a tree-lighting ceremony, and a big parade. The town is full of festive decorations and a touch of holiday magic.

  • Christmas Town Index Score: 64
  • Christmas Events: 940
  • Christmas Temperature: 39°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 42.1%

22. Virginia City, Nevada

virginia city nevada christmas on the comstock

The Old West mining town of Virginia City encourages you to return to frontier times with a month-long Christmas on the Comstock Victorian-inspired celebration. Stroll through the decorated history downtown, watch the parade and take your kids to see Father Christmas.


Adults can partake in the “Grinch Made Me Do It” saloon crawl. There’s also seasonal entertainment at Piper’s Opera House, including the Comstock Cowboys’ Christmas in the Sierra and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

virginia city nevada forever christmas
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 64
  • Christmas Events: 80
  • Christmas Temperature: 32.5°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 13.4%

23. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

pigeon forge tn the inn at christmas place

Pigeon Forge is the perfect backdrop to a Tennessee holiday at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. The town is decorated with 5 million lights to create a winter wonderland. You can see the lights by driving around or taking a ride in the town trolley.


If you like southern hospitality and great food, there are many restaurants. In addition, the town has lots of outlets and souvenir shops to buy holiday gifts. There are also many hotels within walking distance of dinner shows and attractions. And if you’re looking to stay with a big group, you can invite your entire family to stay in a chalet in the snow-covered mountains.


At the annual Christmas parade, Santa shares the spotlight with the famous singer and actress Dolly Parton. You can visit her Christmas-themed Dixie Stampede dinner show or have fun at her theme park, Dollywood. It has over 4 million lights, Christmas decorations, food, music, plays, and the opportunity for kids to visit Santa. You can find a guide to Pigeon Forge at Christmas here.

pigeon forge tennessee winterfest
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 64
  • Christmas Events: 180
  • Christmas Temperature: 46°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 2.6%

24. Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

wrightsville beach north carolina annual holiday flotilla

Wrightsville Beach hosts a North Carolina Holiday Flotilla where you can drop your anchor at a boat-filled parade on the water that culminates in a spectacular fireworks show. The flotilla lights up the night, and at weekends there is a tree-lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa, and a family-friendly festival with food and music.

wrightsville beach nc christmas celebrations
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 64
  • Christmas Events: 160
  • Christmas Temperature: 51°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 1.3%

25. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

eureka springs arkansas christmas santa

The Eureka Springs Christmas parade is held annually on the 4th of December. The entire town transforms into a Victorian Christmas village with a hint of new-school festiveness.


It is the best time of year to enjoy the town’s award-winning fudge, candy, and sweets. Eureka Springs is also a great place to go holiday window-shopping and buy holiday gifts for loved ones and friends. Find more about Christmas in Eureka Springs here.

eureka springs arkansas christmas lights
  • Christmas Town Index Score: 64
  • Christmas Temperature: 40°F
  • Chances of a White Christmas: 7.1%

Methodology

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