Holidays are in full swing in these dazzling Christmas cities in the USA
Whatever makes you love Christmas, the best places to get your holiday fix aren’t big cities like New York and Washington, DC (though we like the holiday vibe in those cities as well). Smaller communities are the ones that really go all out for the holidays, the ‘Christmas Cities’.
Check out our guides to the best holiday markets in New York and London. Discover our favorite ski towns and snowboarding resorts if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous. We’ve got a list of the best beaches in the country if you want to escape the snow for a warmer climate for your Christmas. And yes don’t forget to pick up a Christmas blanket for the Christmas holiday celebration, here you will find the best Christmas blankets
1. Bethlehem, PA
The quaint Pennsylvania town is known for dressing up to the nines every holiday season, not just because of its name Bethlehem. Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem’s annual holiday event, features live Christmas music and artisan vendors. Check out the Lehigh Valley Zoo’s Winter Light Spectacular, featuring over 1.2 million brightly shining bulbs, while you’re in town. The 75th anniversary of Koziar’s Christmas Village will give you even more holiday spirit.
2. North Pole, AK
There isn’t much distance between you and the North Pole! Christmas spirit is all year round in this Alaskan town, where you can see the world’s largest Santa (standing nearly 50ft high), live reindeer, candy cane-striped lampposts, and fun street names like Kris Kringle Drive and Snowman Lane. Send holiday cards or letters with a real North Pole postmark after shopping for gifts and posing with Santa. A Northern Lights sighting would be an added bonus.
3. Franklin, TN
Here’s where you’ll find any mention of Charles Dickens on this list. This annual Dickens of a Christmas uses Franklin’s Victorian architecture to showcase characters from A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist (you can shout ‘bah humbug’ at Ebenezer Scrooge) as well as dancers and musicians making merry. A Christmas parade, a tree-lighting ceremony, and a festival of lights are also held in Franklin.
4. Newport Beach, CA
This Christmas, you can enjoy an at-sea holiday celebration in Newport Beach, the largest at-sea boat parade in the country, and the Ring of Lights, a waterfront light show. Each night, more than 100 boats ranging in size from yachts to canoes sail 14 miles around Newport Harbor. Prizes are awarded for categories such as the best animation and the most original. The cost of making a boat sail past the competition can reach 50,000 for some boat owners. At Sherman Library and Gardens, there are also Nights of 1000 Lights. The theme this year is ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ (literally putting the tinsel in Tinseltown). Make sure you visit Santa’s ‘Miracle on PCH’ workshop.
5. Natchitoches, LA
In this small Louisiana city, which is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory, you can enjoy more than 300,000 lights and 100 set pieces during Christmas. Taking place from mid-November to early January, the 96th Natchitoches Christmas festival features live music, parades, fireworks over Cane River Lake, and good food, such as BBQ shrimp and cornbread dressing.
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