If you're looking to get away, Christmas is one of the best times of the year to travel. Big cities and small towns across the country get into the holiday spirit and we found some of the most festive towns in America that take the holidays to another level.
People from around the world travel to Maine to see the Boothbay Festival of Lights. The entire Boothbay Harbor gets into the Christmas spirit, culminating with the annual Harbor Lights Festival, where all the local boat captains deck their ships out in Christmas lights and sail through the harbor. Santa and Mrs. Claus even make an appearance during the parade.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors while celebrating Christmas, Durango is the city to visit. You can go on sleigh-rides through the quiet forests or take the kids on a steam-engine Polar Express train ride. And if you are feeling really adventurous, you can ride the train to a Christmas tree farm where you get to cut down your own tree.
Woodstock is the perfect Christmas getaway if you want to relax and enjoy some small-town hospitality. The Woodstock Inn welcomes visitors with all the warmth and Christmas spirit you would expect in New England. You can enjoy horse and buggy rides through the town square while Christmas carolers serenade you with classic Christmas songs. If you can, you should go during their annual Wassail Weekend where you can enjoy the festive Christmas parade.
If you like to shop, you need to check out Frankenmuth's annual Christkindlmarkt, where local vendors sell everything from roasted chestnuts to handmade Christmas sweaters. While there, you can go on a tour of six Christmas houses in the city or watch Santa Claus perform some magic.
The annual Christmas Lighting Festival draws people from far and wide to Leavenworth. Every weekend after Thanksgiving, the entire town turns into a winter wonderland with music, a wide assortment of Christmas characters who joyfully walk the streets, and of course, Christmas lights.
Asheville, North Carolina
Do you like gingerbread houses? Then you have to go to Asheville, home of the National Gingerbread House Competition & Display. Even if you can't make the actual competition you can still check all the winners, which are on display until after the New Year. And while you are there, don't forget to check out the Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum, which features 500,000 Christmas lights.
Natchitoches is known as the "City of Lights" and every year thousands of people make their way down South to see brilliant Christmas displays that light up the town. The annual Christmas Festival kicks off just before Thanksgiving and runs through the first week of January.
North Pole, Alaska
It might be a long journey but you should try to travel to North Pole, where it is Christmas all year round. You can go check out Santa Claus' house, where letters sent to Santa get delivered and answered.
West Frankfort, Illinois
People in West Frankfort put Clark Griswold to shame with their all-out Christmas decorations. A five-block section of the town, dubbed Candy Cane Lane, features over 500 Christmas characters and nearly 30,000 lights. The best part is every home is decorated by the owners in their own unique way.
If you want a family-friendly Christmas vacation, then Branson is the place to go. The city goes to the extreme for Christmas, with parades, Christmas lights tours and their annual An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City festival.
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