Holiday Cheer

Bauhaus1000, Getty images

The Most Festive Christmas Towns In The USA

From Polar Express rides to millions of lights, these towns go big for the holidays.

You’ll find over four million Christmas lights in Clifton Mill, Ohio illuminating the mill, gorge, riverbanks, trees and bridges. There’s also a Santa Claus Museum, a workshop with a live Santa, a Toy Collection and a synchronized lights and music show.Clifton Mill/ Facebook
It doesn’t get much more festive than Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style village in the mountains of Washington. There’s over half a million lights, Christmas characters, roasting chestnuts, Santa, and very likely snow.@visitleavenworthwa
All aboard the Mt. Hood Christmas Train. You’ll board in quaint Hood River, Oregon and the train takes you to a magical, undisclosed “Christmas Town” — though you’ll remain on the festive train (with elves, hot chocolate, and candy canes) for the whole ride.Mt. Hood Railroad
Be dazzled by lights in McAdenville, NC (AKA Christmas Town, USA). You’ll find beautifully decorated homes plus trees that are decked out in colorful lights. The town is also home to an annual Yule Log parade featuring a log pulled on a vintage sleigh.bauhaus1000, Getty Images
As the boat parade in Newport Beach, CA shows, even beach towns can get incredibly festive. Watch decked-out yachts, kayaks, canoes, and boats cruise along in the fun and spirited parade held Dec. 15-19.@newportchristmasparade
You can count on a snowy Northeast town to be a beacon of Christmas cheer. Manchester, VT hosts all sorts of events in December including a lighted tractor parade, an “Elf Express” train, and a menorah lighting celebration.Manchester, VT
You’ll feel transported by this light display at the Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. Known as Nights Of A Thousand Candles, you’ll see 2800 hand-lit candles plus tons of sparkling lights while you sip on a wine or a hot chocolate and listen to carolers sing.@brookgreen_garden
A must-see for Christmas lovers, Stockbridge, MA is the town Norman Rockwell (who was a resident) based his iconic ‘67 painting, Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on. You’ll be transported in time by vintage cars, lights, and carolers.Rick Berkowitz, Getty Images
The winter lights in Asheville, NC are simply stunning. Located in the North Carolina Arboretum, you’ll walk through the open-air grounds and you can’t miss the 50-foot lighted tree. Check out the Biltmore Hotel in Asheville for more festive cheer.NC Arboretum