Small Towns to Spend the Holidays

Posted by Olayinka Alawode on



Small towns across America have a special way of bringing you a massive load of holiday cheer. Small towns should be top on your list with some of the best Christmas decorations, family activities, and town holiday rituals when considering a holiday destination this Christmas. 


If you want to experience a movie kind of holiday, small towns are the way to go. You might even meet a rancher, fall in love, and live happily ever after! It sounds like something out of a movie—obviously, the recipe of every Christmas movie ever made. 


Okay, let's put your love life aside and focus on what made you click on this blog post. Here are ten small towns in America to spend the holiday. 


  • North Pole, Alaska;

Think of Alaska if you are in the mood for some heavy snowfall! And when you get there, pay a visit to Santa Claus himself. Oh, yes! There's a "Santa Claus House" with live reindeer and candy cane street lamps. I mean, what beats a real-life winter wonderland? There are also other activities you could enjoy with your family like; ice skating, sledding, snowboarding, and making an army of snowmen. They've even got a Christmas on Ice event that showcases ice sculpture artists worldwide.


  • St, Augustine Florida;

Although the weather in St. Augustine is warm, it is a perfect place to spend the holiday. This is because of the festivities you can enjoy there. The whole town is packed with beautiful lights, candles, and Christmas decorations for the entire holiday season. You can feel the breeze rushing on your skin in the cool of the evening as you take a walk or drive around your neighborhood. 


  • Essex, Connecticut;

There are many reasons to visit Essex during Christmas time. To ride the North Pole Express, attend the annual holiday train show, shop in the village, and enjoy a light show. Book a stay at the historic Griswold Inn for the perfect New England holiday. Yes, that Griswold Inn! You may remember it from the movie Christmas at Pemberley Manor. 


  • Newport, Rhode Island;

Newport is famous for its stunning Gilded Age mansions and gorgeous ocean views. So, if you are a lover of luxury houses, this might not be your place. With concerts, an annual tree lighting festival, craft fairs to shop from, and a tour in those majestic homes by candlelight, Newport is simply a dream. Did you know that in Newport, Christmas is a month-long holiday celebration? This makes it an excellent place to enjoy the holiday cheer. 


  • McAdenville, North Carolina;

McAdenville is a small town in North Carolina known to locals as Christmas Town, USA. The holiday spirit in this town is incomparable to anything you've ever seen. Every home is well prepared for the Christmas season—with over 160 decorated houses. For over 63 years, the locals have succeeded in organizing an impressive annual tree lighting ceremony with 265 evergreen trees covered in 500,000 lights. The best part? You can view everything for free. There's also the Yule Log Parade that's been around for over 70 years.


  • Branson, Missouri;

Each year, this small town hosts its famous Ozark Mountain Christmas festival—A month-long celebration. The festival features music, light shows, and plenty of parades. The Branson Scenic Railway's Polar Express Train Ride and lots of shopping! 


  • Mystic Connecticut;

In the mood for a coastal and charming New England Christmas? Visit this small town! You and your family can enjoy illuminated boat rides, annual Lantern Light Tours, a visit to Santa at the Mystic Aquarium's Winterfest, and a stroll through the historic Olde Mistick Village. You could also trip to 1720 and enjoy holiday bites, shopping, and seafood restaurants. 


  • Newport Beach, California; 

Looking for a warm and sunny place to spend the holiday? Think California! Boat owners and residents prepare for the biggest holiday celebration on the water: the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. More than 100 boats are decorated with beautiful lights and set to sail 14 miles around Newport Harbor for the five-night festival. What a view to behold! What's best? There are prizes to be won. Prizes are given to the best animation and originality. 


  • Santa Claus, Indiana;

Named after old St. Nicholas himself, Santa Claus, Indiana, is a perfect place to spend the holidays. The town holds the Santa Claus Christmas Celebration each year, featuring many festive events, foods, and holiday shopping. Festivities include:

  • A themed parade.
  • A candy castle (selling nostalgic hard-to-get favorite treats).
  • Santa's Land of Lights.
  • A 1.2-mile drive-through holiday light show.

You can also take a trip to the Santa Claus Museum & Village and drive through Santa's Land of Lights—and enjoy all the town offers. 


  • Durango, Colorado;

Want to do some skiing this holiday? All roads lead to Durango. This historic mining town uses the local steam-engine train to bring the holiday cheer. You can take snowy rides through the surrounding mountains along the Animas River. You can also hop on the Polar Express or ride on the Cascade Canyon Train that brings you to cut down your own Christmas tree.


Although there's no place like home, you can make an exception to spend the holidays away from home. There are many things to see and so many Christmas activities your small towns across America. Check out our list and book a trip if any of them speak to your curiosity and holiday spirit. Just ensure you check with travel agents or websites for the latest updates—As some of these towns might be affected or have travel bans due to coronavirus precautions.


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