It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is a big deal in the USA. However, while Christmas has become increasingly commercialized over the years, the true spirit of Christmas is still found in community bonding and sharing special moments with your neighbors. Sure, Christmas is massive in major towns, but the true Christmas spirit in the USA is often found in small towns across the country. Here, we search for the most Christmassy towns in America.
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When visiting Leavenworth, you’d be forgiven for feeling like you are walking down the street in downtown Bavaria. Many of the town’s major buildings, and residential properties, boast Bavarian architecture which is all the more special with the generous sprinkling of snow that the town receives during winter. Wanting to capitalize on a unique opportunity, the town set out to become one of the best Christmas towns in the USA. Now, it is a major tourist attraction during the Festive Season.
Area: 3.81 km2 (1.47 mi2).
Population: 2 263.
Tourist attractions: Icicle Gorge, Leavenworth Sleigh Rides, and the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm.
Places to stay: the Obertal Inn, the Blue Elk Inn, and the Bavarian Lodge.
Restaurants: Andreas Keller Restaurant, Pavz Creperie, and Watershed Café.
ZIP code: 98826
Time zone: UTC-8 (PST), and UTC-7 (PDT).
Many believe that Leavenworth is the epitome of the most Christmassy towns in America.
If the frightening weather in Washington state scares you, then why not pay a visit to Helen, Georgia where you will find another Bavarian styled town. Tourism is a major economic activity for the town as it is a popular weekend vacation spot for residents of Atlanta and local motor cycle clubs that frequent the town on their weekend outrides. In winter, the snow fall and German community makes Helen a special place to spend Christmas. Be sure to be on the lookout for houses that compete with each other to see who has the best Christmas lights.
Area: 5.43 km2 (2.09 mi2).
Tourist attractions: the Georgia Mountain Coaster, the Dukes Creek Falls Trail, and the Anna Ruby Falls.
Places to stay: the Hampton Inn Helen, the Alpine Village Inn, and the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.
Restaurants: Mully’s Nacoochee Grill, Spice 55 Thai And Sushi Restaurant, and Cowboys & Angels Restaurant and Bar.
ZIP code: 30545
Time zone: UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST)), UTC−04:00 (EDT).
Did you know you can actually safely visit the North Pole. Residents of North Pole Alaska have taken advantage of the fact that you are guaranteed a white Christmas and have transformed the town into one of the best Christmas towns to visit in the USA. All of the letters that children write every year arrive at North Pole where you will find Santa’s Workshop.
Area: 10.62 km2 (4.10 mi2).
Population: 2 243.
Tourist attractions: Firewalker Alaskan Malamute, the Chena Lake Recreation Area, and Santa Claus House.
Places to stay: Hyatt Place Fairbanks, Aurora Villa, Hotel North Pole.
Restaurants: Little Richard’s Family Diner, Outlaw Tamales, and the Pagoda Restaurant.
ZIP code: 99705
Time zone: UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST)), UTC-8 (AKDT).
Surely North Pole Alaska is a serious contender for one of the most Christmassy towns in America?
One of the biggest features of Newport is that there are a number of opulent mansions that used to house wealthy families. If you think that they are impressive in the summer, you should see them over Christmas time. Each mansion competes with the other to see who has the best Christmas decorations and lights. There is also a two-week Christmas festival which is held in Newport where activities include tree lighting ceremonies, concerts, train rides, and other events.
Area: 29.47 km2 (11.38 mi2).
Population: 25 163.
State: Rhode Island.
Tourist attractions: Fort Adams State Park, Marble House, The Breakers.
Places to stay: the Jailhouse Inn, the Bouchard Restaurant & Inn, and America’s Cup Inn Newport.
Restaurants: Mamma Luisa Restaurant, The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn, and Restaurant Bouchard.
ZIP code: 02840-02841
Time zone: UTC−5 (EST), UTC−4 (EDT).
Let’s be honest, everybody wants to see what the Rockerfeller center looks like over Christmas. After you’ve seen that, and had a Ruben at Katz Deli, why not make your way to Skaneateles? Located on the shores of Skaneateles Lake, Skaneateles has got all of the old world charm that one wants to experience over Christmas. There is also the month long Dickens Christmas Festival which is a celebration of one of Dickens’ most famous works (A Christmas Carol). Characters from the story walk around the town posing for pictures.
Area: 126.46 km2 (48.83 mi2).
Population: 7 112.
State: New York.
Tourist attractions: the Charlie Major Nature Trail, Anyela’s Vineyards, and Skaneateles Lake.
Places to stay: The Bond 1835, Skaneateles Suites Boutique Hotel, and Skaneateles Suites.
Restaurants: the Bluewater Grill, Gilda’s, and the Sherwood Inn.
ZIP code: 13152.
Time zone: UTC-5 (Eastern (EST)), UTC-4 (EDT).
Preparations for Christmas in Durango begin the day after Thanksgiving. During this time, it is not uncommon to see Santa and Mrs Clause walking down Main Street greeting everyone they come across. Shopping is also a major part of Christmas celebrations in Durango with a crafters market available throughout the month leading up to Christmas. It snows a lot in Colorado, so you better get the ski’s out. End your visit off with a ride on the Polar Express Steam Train.
Area: 44.296 km2 (17.103 mi2).
Population: 19 071.
Tourist attractions: Pinkerton Hot Springs, San Juan National Forest, Historic Downtown Durango.
Places to stay: the General Palmer Hotel, The Strater Hotel, the Sleep Inn.
Restaurants: Ore House, Rice Monkeys, James Ranch Grill.
ZIP code: 81301-81303
Time zone: UTC−07:00 (MST), UTC−06:00 (MDT).
A trip on a Christmas train sounds like it comes from a town that is serious about being one of the most Christmassy towns in America.
If you are looking for a Winter Wonderland, then you need to visit Mystic, Connecticut. The town begins its Christmas celebrations with the opening of the Yetter Tree Fram where it is tradition for locals to purchase a tree. Most locals then visit the Mystic Seaport Museaum to visit the Lantern Light Village which is a recreation of a 19th Century village. Finally, take a stroll downtown and be serenaded by live choirs singing Christmas Carols.
Area: 9.8 km2 (3.8 mi2).
Population: 4 205
Tourist attractions: the Charles W. Morgan, the Mystic Aquarium, and the Mystic Seaport Museum.
Places to stay: the Hyatt Place Mystic, the Hampton Inn & Suites Mystic, and the Taber Inn.
Restaurants: the Oyster Club, The Mariner, and Via Emilia.
ZIP code: 06355, 06372, 06388
Time zone: UTC−5 (Eastern (EST)), UTC−4 (EDT).
Snow may not grace Ashville North Carolina; however, this does not stop the town from going all-out when it comes to embracing the spirit of the season. If you do find yourself in Asheville, you will be greeted by one of the most spectacular Christmas lights displays that you will ever see. All of the town’s main tourist attractions get a light makeover, particularly the Biltmore Estate. The estate boasts over 100 Christmas trees, including a 35-ft tree in the front. Asheville also hosts the annual National Gingerbread House Competition where you will see everything from conventional houses to very creative ones.
Area: 118.76 km2 (45.86 mi2).
Population: 94 589.
State: North Carolina.
Tourist attractions: the Biltmore Estate, the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, and The North Carolina Arboretum.
Places to stay: The Asheville Inn, The Residences at Biltmore, and Best Western Asheville Tunnel Road.
Restaurants: Jargon, Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian South Asheville, Isa’s French Bistro.
ZIP code: 28801–28806, 28810, 28813–28816.
Time zone: UTC−5 (Eastern), UTC−4 (EDT).
Where do you think Asheville ranks in the most Christmassy towns in America?
If there was an ultimate Christmas town that was judged on activities alone, then Kennebunkport would be the most Christmassy town in the USA. Your countdown to Christmas begins in November when the Christmas Prelude festival begins. You will enjoy many traditional activities such as the lighting of the Christmas tree in Dock Square, singing Christmas carols and participating in a Christmas parade. Finally, you can see Santa Claus try out his new sleigh after arriving in Kennebunkport via a lobster boat. There are also a number of Christmas crafters markets during Prelude.
Area: 48 km2 (18.6 mi2).
Population: 3 629.
Tourist attractions: Walker’s Point, St. Anthony’s Monastery, and Saint Ann’s Church.
Places to stay: AWOL Kennebunkport, Mabel’s House, and King’s Port Inn.
Restaurants: Mabel’s Lobster Claw, Nunan’s Lobster Hut, and the White Barn Inn Restaurant.
ZIP code: 04046
Time zone: UTC-5 (Eastern (EST)), UTC-4 (EDT).
Being the second oldest settlement in Kentucky, you will feel as if you are in the middle of A Christmas Carol with the old-world architecture surrounding you. The Light Up Bardstown Festival begins just after Thanksgiving with a parade and you can tour some of the homes that have the best Christmas decorations. Like Durango, Bardstown also has a train which you can ride on during your stay. Don’t forget to make a stop at one of the many distilleries surrounding the town for a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon.
Tourist attractions: the Rusty Rooster, the Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum, and the Willett Distilling Company.
Places to stay: the Jailer’s Inn, the Hampton Inn Bardstown, and the Distill-Inn.
Restaurants: Kreso’s Restaurant, Pat’s Place, and The Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge.
ZIP code: 40004
Time zone: UTC-5 (EST), UTC-4 (EDT).
Visting the most Christmassy towns in America will definitely get you in the mood for the Festive Season. Spending time with friends and loved ones while discovering these small towns brings families closer together and creates lasting memories.