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Best Small Towns to Visit for Christmas

Some families prefer staying home for the holidays, but others are looking for a little more Christmas cheer this year. After all, not every town is brimming with twinkling lights, holiday parades, sleigh rides, and Christmas carolers. If your hometown isn’t super passionate about Santa, head to one of these best small towns to visit for Christmas.

From carriage rides, reindeer farms, colorful parades, and Christmas markets, to a gigantic 27-feet tall Christmas tree, these charming Christmas towns and villages will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.  

Magical Small Towns to Visit at Christmas-Kids Are A Trip

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**If you are considering one of these small towns to visit for Christmas, please be sure to check official websites and state guidelines before traveling and know the local regulations.**

Best Christmas Towns to Visit This Year

1. St. Augustine, Florida

Unlike most Christmas towns on this list, St. Augustine offers plenty of sunshine and mild winter weather, so you won’t need to pack layers of clothing if you’re planning on visiting this colorful Christmas town. 


St. Augustine has plenty of holiday cheer complete with an annual Nights of Lights Festival where 20 blocks of the Historic District are draped with sparkling Christmas lights and all the holiday cheer your inner child desires.

Best of all? The festival is free, so you won’t need to book tickets in advance. You can also view this adorable spectacle of lights by jumping on a horse-drawn carriage, taking a train ride tour, or hopping on a boat tour to see the sparkling lights show from the water. 

Where to stay in St. Augustine

It doesn’t get any cuter than the Anastasia Grand #3 located within walking distance of the Night of Lights. This fully renovated 1920s luxury apartment has stunning decor and is walking distance to the historic downtown area as well as the beach.

Photo: Airbnb

The property offers complimentary bikes can explore Anastasia Blvd and check out the local eateries, a craft brewery, and live music venues.

2. Solvang, California

Looking for a “Christmassy” town that goes all out for the holidays? Then visit the tiny village of Solvang. The streets are lined with authentic Danish architecture, thatched roofs, picturesque windmills, twinkling Christmas lights, candlelight tours, and the charming Julefest parade. 

Solvang at Christmas-Kids Are a Trip

Solvang is so magical, it feels festive all year long. Enjoy the northern European cuisine, and make sure to join in on a city-wide hunt where people will be keeping an eye for the elusive Solvang Nisse, which are elf-like Danish creatures. Find as many as you can and you’ll win incredible holiday prizes. 

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Where to stay in Solvang

Get blown away by this luxurious farmhouse-style retreat. The Anavo Farm’s Chic Sheep Retreat is nestled in the heart of wine country, in the peaceful and quiet village of Ballard. Wake up and have breakfast together while you listen to sheep, roosters, and horses, roaming free in acres of green land.

Anavo Farm Rental House Solvang-Kids Are A Trip
Photo: Airbnb

The hosts allow guests to feed the sheep so if your kids are major animal lovers, they might never want to go home! 

3. Blue Ridge, Georgia

From day to night, you’ll get to celebrate Christmas aboard the unbelievable Santa Express. It’s a one-hour-train ride where you’ll get to sing and listen to Christmas songs, read stories, and take thousands of photos. Oh, and every child will get a candy cane and their own sleigh bell to spread joy. Make sure to plan ahead and get your tickets in advance.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Photo: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Due to the current situation, Santa and Mrs. Claus may not ride the train along with everyone else, so if you miss your chance to meet them during the Santa Express ride, you might get another chance during the Light Up Blue Ridge Parade

Don’t forget to stick around for the lighting of the enormous 27-foot tall Christmas tree in the town square.

Where to stay in Blue Ridge

It doesn’t get any more paradisiacal and luxurious than the Toccoa Lookout Cottage on the River. This uber-spacious vacation rental accommodates 11 guests and is really close to Blue Ridge.

Toccoa Lookout Cottage
Photo credit: Expedia

You can go tubing, gem mining, hiking, or kayaking with the whole family, or relax after walking around town on the outside fire pit. Wake up with the sound of the river and have breakfast on the porch.

4. Park City, Utah

Park City is the ultimate winter wonderland. Surrounded by mountains and pine trees, this picturesque oasis looks like a picture-perfect Christmas postcard. 

Christmas in Park City-Kids Are A Trip

Aside from the outdoor Christmas lights and holiday markets you’ve come to expect, you’re in for a real treat during the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, where snowboarders and skiers lead Santa to town by coming down the mountain with their torches.

Where to stay in Park City

Grab the whole family and hide from the world in The Luxe Chalet At Old Town. This massive 3 bedroom 3.5 bath home is steps away from the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort and the dining and shopping on Historic Main Street.

The Luxe Chalet at Old Town-Kids Are A Trip
Photo: Airbnb

Nearby bus stops will take you to Deer Valley, Park City or Canyons ski Resorts. After a day at the slopes, come back and play games with the family, watch a movie, or spend some time in the Jacuzzi.

If you’re looking for a place in Park City that’s only a few steps away from the lifts, then the Crescent Ridge Ski Condo is perfect for you. This ski-in, ski-out vacation rental is 5 minutes from Main Street, or 5 minutes walking to the nearest free Park City bus stop. Talk about convenient.

Looking for other places to ski this winter? Don’t miss these best ski resorts to visit for Christmas!

5. Duluth, Minnesota

A Christmas village set up right in front of the fabulous Glensheen mansion is just one of the things that await you in Duluth. But the real reason why thousands of tourists come to this Christmassy city is to experience the Bentleyville “Tour of Lights,” a walk-through colorful tour of lights on the shores of Lake Superior that’s decorated with over 4 million lights. You truly have to see it to believe it. And it’s free!

Bentleyville is open November through December

Where to stay in Duluth

Stay in the magnificent condo in the same building as the Blacklist Brewing Co. and tap room. It is has stunning views of Lake Superior and Canal Park. Duluth’s Lake Walk is directly behind the building and a pedestrian bridge connects you to the park. Walk to nearby restaurants, or go for a hike along beautiful Lake Superior.

Condo near Lake Superior Duluth Minnesota-Kids Are A Trip
Photo: Airbnb

Check out some of these other places to celebrate Christmas in the Midwest!

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6. Leavenworth, Washington

Visit this mountain town known for its Bavarian-style architecture that will make you feel like you’re in Europe. Experience the usual lighting ceremonies and sleigh rides you’ve come to expect from a Christmas town.

Leavenworth Christmas town-Kids Are A Trip

But at Leavenworth, you’ll also get to visit a reindeer farm where you can take a photo with Santa and pet a few friendly reindeer. You also get some complimentary cocoa and cookies too, so double score! If you are planning a trip, don’t miss this Leavenworth Christmas guide!

Where to stay in Leavenworth

The Alley House is a charming guest house detached from the main residence. This quiet retreat just outside Leavenworth is surrounded by forest and is steps away from the Wenatchee River. Centrally located to downtown, it is perfect for enjoying holiday events, dining out, and shopping.

The Alley House Leavenworth-Kids Are A Trip
Photo: Airbnb

7. Bernville, Pennsylvania

Bernville’s population of under 1,000 may be small, but one family sure knows how to celebrate the holidays, and they want you to join in on the fun.

What started out as Christmas decorations for the Koziar family back in 1948 has turned into the Koziar’s Christmas Village, one of the best things to do in Pennsylvania. And as a visitor, you’ll get to enjoy the various displays of holiday lights throughout the 8-acre property.

Where to stay in Bernville

This charming farmhouse-style home is 15 minutes from Koziar’s and offers everything you need in a vacation rental. It is within walking distance of the local diner, sleeps 8, and has a backyard patio for relaxing in the evening.

Bernville Pennsylvania Christmas town-Kids Are A Trip
Photo: Airbnb

8. Franklin, Tennessee

Take a trip to Franklin, Tennessee this holiday season and enjoy Dickens of a Christmas, a fabulous two-day event that recreates the time of Charles Dickens. You’ll be able to see tons of people dressed as characters from various Charles Dickens stories, as well as dancers, and musicians. As long as you’re here, you might as well take advantage of the carriage rides and the Victorian Christmas Village.

Dickens of a Christmas in downtown Franklin Tennessee
Photo: Visit Franklin

Where to stay in Franklin

This updated 1930s bungalow in the heart of Franklin has everything you need for a holiday getaway. Just a few minutes from shopping and restaurants, you’ll find this perfect oasis. Relax on the covered porch and enjoy making s’mores around a rustic fire pit. It’s perfect after a day of exploring the town.

Don’t miss these other places in the US to celebrate Christmas!