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15 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in the US

Wishing all the best to everyone for this special time of the year in the United States of America where the heart of the country is filled with sparkling lights, festive celebrations, and happiness. This means that some many cities and towns decorate structures and buildings, put up incredible light displays, and hold Christmas markets and festivals that are great for getting into the spirit of the festivities. 

1. New York, United States of America

With businesses with window decorations along Fifth Avenue and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, New York City might be considered as enchanting during this season. In addition, Central Park, the Radio City Show, and a Christmas music hall include ice skating; other Christmas markets including Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, and Union Square Markets also abound.

2. Chicago, Illinois

Spectacular lighting decoration on the streets and buildings, the festive atmosphere, and different events in the Millennium Park and the Christkindlmarket – a traditional German Christmas market in Daley Plaza. You could also take advantage of the Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights, trains during the holidays, and holiday concerts.

3. San Antonio, Texas

The River Walk in San Antonio is bright any time of the year but it shines much more during Christmas. Boat rides are allowed to view the lights or get to taste Tex-Mex holiday food. Other celebrations include the float parade in the River Walk and the lighting ceremony of the Sights at Mission San Jose and in Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

4. Orlando, Florida

With more theme parks than any other city on the planet, Orlando loves Christmas and goes over the top in the decorations. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is found in Walt Disney World Resort as well as beautiful displays of Xmas ornaments. You will also be able to visit Universal Orlando Resort to enjoy the holiday festivities as well as SeaWorld parks.

5. Santa Claus, Indiana

The town of Topeka is, in fact, small and located in the Midwest, but it was founded as Santa Claus, so it is very Christmassy. They have a very popular place called Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari with attractions such as the Coney Island area, a big variety of water and roller coasters, live shows, and a fountain light spectacular. As for our trip, do not forget about visiting Santa’s Candy Castle and the museum.

6. Branson, Missouri

In the Ozark Mountains, the city of Branson alone has over 100 Christmas shows in November and December. Renowned for its theaters and the music scene, the town sure knows how to shine during the holiday season. There are also driving tours light displays, festivals, parades, and the Christmas tree trail, which are trees decorated in different country themes.

7. Nashville, Tennessee

Yes, several Christmas events happen in Nashville at its popular tourist destination such as Gaylord Opryland Resort, and Country Music Hall of Fame. It boasts millions of holiday lights and acres of decorations to amaze any visitor who steps into the resort. There is a very popular Christmas show at the Grand Ole Opry, do not miss it.

8. Solvang, California

Solvang was founded by Danes so it is the embodiment of the Danish ideology of Hygge and the festive feelings associated with it. The official Christmas festival has marvelous lights, Gløgg (mulled wine), sweets, and 150 Christmas trees decorated. It’s such a quintessential Danish setting that you could swear you are in a small Danish village.

9. Taos, New Mexico

Taos celebrates its holidays on such occasions as the annual Historic Downtown Holiday Lighting, Handcrafted Christmas, and Light Among the Ruins at a beautifully illuminated historic ranch. It also has a proliferation of shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants that glisten even more during the holiday season.

10. North Pole, Alaska

North Pole is a real town situated only 15 miles south of a now rather commercialized Fairbanks but its atmosphere is much more magical. Children will be delighted with the house of Santa Claus and reindeer while adults will be enjoying assorted shops and cafes offering spirited cocktails and food. They also conduct Christmas in Ice which includes ice carving of different structures.

11. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem has earned a reputation of being the Christmas City and can support the celebrations that go with the Christmas season. A historic part of the city comes alive during the festival tagged Christmas City Stroll Weekend, Christkindlmarkt, and Live Advent Calendar. You can also witness more than one million illuminations at the Christkindlmarkt and enjoy performances of the Nutcracker ballet.

12. Durango, Colorado

The festive season in Durango is enchanting as the town transforms into a winter wonderland with the Polar Express train and many other activities. Take a walk on Main Avenue in the evening with lights on to make it festive for the occasion and go for a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad with caroling.

13. Portland, Oregon

Some of the holiday traditions that are traditionally associated with Portland include the parades and festivities such as the Christmas Ship Parade which involves boats parading along the Willamette River. There also has the German style Christkindlmarkt, Holiday Ale Festival with focused winter beers, the Portland Winter Light Festival, and other impressive spectacles as the Peacock Lane neighborhood.

14. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Celebrations in Santa Fe are held throughout the whole month of Christmas and include Las Posadas where people go around with candle lights. Other notable destinations include the Santa Fe Christmas Market at the nearby Los Ranchos and the traditional Farolito Walk on Canyon Road, where thousands of paper lanterns glow in the dark.

15. Washington, D.C.

From the Capitol Christmas Tree to the National Menorah, the National Christmas Tree, and ornate holiday decorations at George Washington's Mount Vernon residence in D.C., the holiday season shines brilliantly. You may ice skate in the Sculpture Garden marvel at the Christmas lights and decorations at Union Station, or see a production by the Washington Ballet for winter amusement.

The holiday season in any state throughout the United States is filled with the brightness and enjoyment of Christmas with brilliant lights, Christmas songs, wonderful food and drinks, time spent with loved ones, and overall merriment regardless of the place you decide upon. Savour hot chocolate, gingerbread, and snow angels; learn about the local businesses and communities that help to make the holiday season so wonderful during this unique period.

FAQ

What makes these places the best for Christmas celebrations?

These places are chosen based on their festive atmosphere, decorations, holiday events, and unique traditions that make Christmas special.

Are these destinations family-friendly?

Yes, most of these places cater to families with various activities like parades, light displays, visits with Santa Claus, and more.

What are some must-see Christmas attractions in these locations?

Each destination has its iconic attractions, such as ice skating at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the holiday boat parade in Newport Beach, or the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.

Do these places have special events or festivals during Christmas?

Yes, many of them host special events like Christmas markets, tree lighting ceremonies, holiday concerts, and themed festivals throughout the season.

How early should I book accommodation for Christmas in these places?

It's recommended to book accommodation well in advance, as these popular destinations can fill up quickly during the holiday season.