While we’ll never deny the appeal of Christmas in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, there’s something effortlessly quaint about Christmas in a small town. If you’ve ever imagined having a Christmas straight out of the pages of your favorite Christmas story, skip the crowds this year and take a trip to one of these lesser-known, Christmas-loving towns.
If you’ve ever wanted to live in a small town, Nantucket, MA is the place for you! Not only is the entire town decorated in evergreens and traditional Christmas decorations during the month of December, but residents open their homes to visitors and offer tours of their houses — many of which were built in the early 1900s.
Plenty of small towns can turn into “Christmas town” during the holidays, but only Durango can become a real-life Polar Express. Each year, this railroad town draws in thousands of families with its Christmas-themed train rides. Just don’t forget to bring your pajamas!
McAdenville, North Carolina
Don’t let their size fool you, this small town of less than 700 permanent residents knows how to throw a holiday festival. Since 1956, the town has welcomed thousands of people to “Christmas Town USA” — McAdenville’s unofficial name in December. Kicking off the holiday celebrations is a Christmas Town 5K race, followed by LED-light shows, and the annual Yule Log Parade.
If you’ve always imagined having a traditional Danish Christmas, but don’t exactly have the funds to travel across the globe, Solvang, California may just be the next best thing. With more than 150 boutiques all dressed in old-timey Christmas decorations, eager shoppers can find everything from traditional Danish clogs to toys. And while you’re walking the street, keep an eye out for their annual Christmas parade featuring a live nativity scene.
After you’ve experienced a Christmas in “Denmark,” why not take your travels a little south to “Germany?” Without ever having to cross the pond, you can experience a traditional German Christmas in Helen, Georgia. Known for their Christkindlmarkt, there’s no better place in America to experience the foods, sights, and songs of Germany at Christmas time.
Santa Claus, Indiana
You can’t live in a town called Santa Claus and not absolutely love Christmas. Naturally, this town of roughly 2,500 people goes all-out for the holiday, with a three-weekend celebration. Guests from all over the state travel to Santa Claus for their roasted chestnuts, fruit cake eating competition, and a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer light show.
Bernville, Pennsylvania is home to what many have called “the best outdoor Christmas display in the world” — need we say more? With well over one million lights, we think it’s safe to say that this display lives up to its name.