The smell of fire-roasted chestnuts and mulled wine fills the air. You feel a chill, but the blanket of fresh white flakes makes the cold bit not just bearable but enjoyable. Ice skating ends with a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows and whipped cream, of course). Mr. and Mrs. Claus are waiting to greet you with candy canes. Twinkling lights adorn every house, tree and lamp post down the street; as much as this sounds like a scene from a Hallmark holiday movie, it could be your ideal winter break, particularly if you book a stay at one of these charming areas—aka the best Christmas towns in the U.S.
It’s a bold claim, to be sure, but after scouring the country, we feel confident in saying these cities will fill you with holiday cheer.
America's Best Christmas Towns at a Glance:
- Best Christmas town overall: Even Scrooge couldn’t resist the seasonal splendor of Leavenworth (number one on our list below), which certainly lives up to its title of “America’s ultimate holiday town.”
- Best Christmas village: Historic and brimming with holiday spirit 24/7/365, Santa Claus Museum & Village in Santa Claus, Indiana (number two, below) earns our vote.
- Is there a real "Hallmark" Christmas town: Stowe, Vermont, has played the part of the setting and film location for countless Christmas movies.