Every year boat owners and residents prepare for the biggest holiday celebration on the water: the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New York Travel Guide. Carolers serenade townsfolk and everyone gathers for the lighting of the tree and Yule log. Known as the Ozark Mountain Christmas, Branson, Missouri, doesn’t mess around when it comes to Christmas spirit. Mark your calendars for December 6, 7, and 8 for this year's festivities. The annual "Sing Along with Santa" event, presented by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, is a can't-miss spectacle. Insider Tip: Christmas Town USA hands out free hot chocolate and kettle corn for the first 1,000 in attendance each night. We're guessing you didn't expect our list to open with a warm weather locale. The best part? It's almost too good to be true. —Zachary Laks. From coast to coast, these communities go to great lengths to make the season bright by decking out their streets with twinkling lights by the thousands—or even millions. PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Wisconsin Travel Guide. Tucked within Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains, this gorgeous town is the perfect place to enjoy a true cowboy Christmas. decorating. Rides on the free Polar Express Train are a favorite, as the locomotive passes through a glow-in-the-dark tunnel painted with holiday flourishes. You can enjoy skiing and other outdoor activities, and you must check out Santa's Village. You can also take a Winter Wonderland tour, which takes you to Santa's Post Office, a toy shop, and an old-fashioned bakery (to name a few). Fredericksburg, a Hill Country town that still honors its original German settlers, kicks off its holiday with a Christkindlesmarkt in November and continues the celebration with a Texas-scale flurry of parades, tree lightings, choral concerts, Nutcracker performances, craft shows, cookie decorating events, charity balls, and—in a nod to its German heritage—locally brewed seasonal beers. RELATED: How to Tell Your Kids About Santa Without Breaking Their Hearts. Who wouldn't want to spend their Christmas in this lovely East Coast locale? This gorgeous coastal town offers pretty Christmas lights, dozens of wine tastings, and beach sunsets. Where do Southern Californians go to get the Christmas spirit? One of the best places to spend Christmas this year is this Indiana town, which is nicknamed "America's Christmas Hometown." And please, please don't forget to hit up the nearest Christkindlmarkt (more on that later!). Jackson Hole is breathtaking year-round, but we're partial to the city's Christmas celebrations and decorations. Featuring 90 local vendors of holiday crafts and goods, this is a prime place to pick up unique gifts for loved ones on your list. In fact, it's been dubbed the "Lighted Poinsettia Capital of Texas." Visitors will be wowed by more than 4,500 hand-lit candles while they listen to Christmas carolers. This Pennsylvania town boasts horse-drawn carriage rides and a "Christmas City Stroll" that'll have your entire family smiling and laughing. The town hosts Julefest, which lasts all December long. Just be sure to check websites for the latest updates on 2020 events, as some may be effected or cancelled due to coronavirus precautions. You can witness the 375+ trees glowing with red, white, and green lights, and sporty celebrators can also run in the Christmas Town 5K on November 30. From resorts and towns named after Christmas to special events held just for the Christmas season, we know exactly where your family needs to go — and what to do when you get there. Live music, dancing, and tree lighting are part of the experience as you join your guide in visiting the homes of the residents to inform them of the news that Christmas has just been declared an official holiday. A tradition that started in the early '70s, the Christmas Stroll involves shopping at local stores, witnessing the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, and simply strolling to your heart's content. Bring your family to this holiday-centric locale and be among the more than 600,000 visitors who visit each year. PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Sacramento Travel Guide. Be sure to try the hearth-fired pizzas, notably the Exotic Mushroom Pizza with porcinis, shitakes, and oyster fungi, fontina cheese, and truffle oil. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. There's even a miniature outdoor skating rink on Main Street, a "Festival of Trees" competition, tree lighting ceremonies, and more. There might not be any snow, but trust that this California destination offers plenty of holiday spirit at the annual Christmas Boat Parade. It's just what is sounds like: A carol sing-along featuring Santa himself, plus plenty of cookies and cider. This countryside town boasts a Christmas Village unlike any other, and it's opening on November 2 this year. There's no better place to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas than in New England! The best part? You may not expect to find an Alpine village along the banks of Georgia's Chattahoochee River, but Helen, a former logging town at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, reinvented itself long ago as a Bavarian town. Stop for a chat with Jacob Marley or Ebenezer Scrooge before visiting Father Christmas. There's simply no place quite like New York City at Christmastime. Each year, you can stop by the bay to witness a series of boats decked out in holiday decor. A regional hotspot for families, this popular Christmas town packs crowds in to gaze at the million-plus light displays, visit the small cottage dioramas and shops, as well as meet face to face with Mr. Claus. New Hope is also home to the North Pole Express, where you and your family will be treated to Christmas carols, hot cocoa, cookies, and even a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves. Admission is free! Guests can go on go on a Holiday Lights Tour, take part in the Santa Sprint, listen to live holiday music, and much more. During the holidays, though, they have even more special events, like the Santa Claus Christmas Parade and Festival of Lights. Insider Tip: Make sure you stop by My Favorite Things in downtown Nevada City, where gorgeous Christmas décor and artisan local crafts fill a cozy boutique space. Every year, thousands of letters are answered by volunteer Santa's Elves. Colonial holiday traditions like caroling by torchlight, fife and drum performances, and interpretive programs (care to celebrate with the Madisons and Jeffersons?!) If … 21 Pumpkin Faces to Carve or Design This Halloween, 75 Creative Couple Halloween Costumes for Any Duo, 40+ Seriously Cute Halloween Cupcake Ideas, 32 Epic '80s Costumes to Try This Halloween, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. We encourage you to have the most bold, adventurous, and loving holiday season. While cost is a barrier for any family getaway, it's an especially large barrier for many when it comes … There are few things more picturesque than lighthouses decked to their nines in Christmas garlands, wreaths, and lights. PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Georgetown Travel Guide. Michael Culbertson/Flickr Creative Commons. Each year, the town re-creates the 1967 Rockwell painting, "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas (Home for Christmas)" during their annual festival. Have dinner or even stay at the historic Griswold Inn for the perfect New England holiday. Okay, okay. The activities culminate in a Grand Illumination, a celebratory fireworks and historic gun-salute display, best viewed from the town green. Rental homes in these top Christmas getaways range from $89 – $149 per night for the holiday break (December 22-26). There, you'll see live reindeer, holiday gifts galore, and the world's largest Santa statue. A month-long holiday celebration (yes, you read that right!) Don't forget the hot chocolate! The town is lavishly trimmed with evergreen garlands and, down on the City Dock, reflections of the holiday tree twinkle in the water off the harbor. The Durango & Silverton narrow gauge train operates year-round but in December, its runs include a Polar Express-inspired trip for kids as well as weekend Christmas Tree runs on which passengers can cut their own tree and get it transported back to town. The station has been retrofitted into three museums featuring trains, firearms, and automobiles.