Many consider this to be the most wonderful time of the year, but what if you’re looking for new ways to find that Christmas spirit?
Rest-assured, there are plenty of locations across the U.S. that offer our RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers the chance to find a little — or a lot — of Christmas.
To make it easy for you, I put together a compilation of nine of the best below:
Did you really think we wouldn’t list this Michigan destination first? Alas, we are not alone in this. VacationRenter.com lists it at the top destination for getting you in the Christmas spirit. Designated as one of the nine “Most Christmassy Towns in America” by TIME, this city of just over 5,000 people known for its German roots and Bavarian-style architecture. Be sure to visit Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, self-proclaimed as the world’s largest Christmas store. Bronner’s is the size of one and a half football fields, shines more than 50,000 lights in its Christmas Lane all 365 days of the year, and offers over 50,000 different items you can peruse and gift wrap for friends and family. (Check out the video we did below at Bronner’s about decorating an RV.)
Once you’ve done some shopping, stop by The Old Christmas Station Restaurant to fill up on festive holiday dishes and Christmas cookies, then explore their museum of antique tree ornaments. For a unique evening experience, consider hopping on a horse-drawn carriage ride along snow-covered streets (well, if you’re lucky) and wander through Michigan’s Little Bavaria’s outdoor European-style pop up holiday marketplace for one-of-a-kind trims and decorations handcrafted by local artisans. This time of year the whole town of Frankenmuth radiates with twinkling lights and star streamers, making it an ideal location to find those sought-after holiday vibes.
TravelTrivia.com has the Leavenworth Village of Lights atop its list. It’s also on VacationRenter.com’s list. The area already has a unique flair due to the Barvarian-style buildings and streets that make up the city. Factor in some snow and Christmas lights and the town looks like something out of the movies. Check out the downtown area’s spectacular lighting ceremony, which they repeat every Saturday and Sunday during the first few weeks of December so visitors can enjoy without being restricted to one date.
Another area attraction is the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm. You can bundle up and take a sleigh ride, with special theme rides for brunch and dinner available. And to top it all off, plan a visit to a Nutcracker Museum.
Asheville is located within western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and in an area known for its historic architecture and a vibrant arts scene that comes alive for the holidays. An endless array of holiday activities can found at Biltmore Estate, a mansion built for George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895, and known to be the largest privately owned house in the U.S. Check out some hard-to-beat holiday vibes across the home and estate during its two-month November and December celebration, complete with 360 fresh wreaths, 1,000 live poinsettias, 7,500 feet of fresh evergreen garland, and more than 55 hand-decorated Christmas trees.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Imagine all the things you love about Cape Cod, Massachusetts, only with Christmas lights on them. For example, lighthouses are decked with lights, garlands, and wreaths. And Santa arrives to town by boat. Of note, the tree lighting of the Lobster Pot Tree is a sight to see. If you’re not familiar with the Lobster Pot Tree, it’s simple. The city stacks a bunch of lobster pots (aka traps) in a pyramid shape to look a bit like a Christmas tree. Then the whole thing gets decorated with lights and bows.
St. Augustine, Florida
More known for Spanish architecture and sandy beaches, St. Augustine is rumored to be the oldest city in the U.S. During the holiday season, its brick-lined streets come to life for the Night of Lights celebration that traces back to the Spanish tradition of a white candle in the window to signify the holiday season. It all centers around light-strung oaks and a massive, glowing holiday tree live as the centerpiece in the Plaza de la Constitución. On top of of that, more than three million lights stretch out to illuminate all of St. Augustine’s historic district, shining on old restaurants, museums, and shops.
Perhaps the most popular attraction that brings people to Denton is the Country Christmas Train. The train takes visitors all over Denton Farmpark, which truly goes all out for the holidays. When you ride the train, you get to stop and get off at many endearing attractions such as the Gingerbread House, the General Store, and the Doll Museum. Not to mention, the story of the nativity plays while you ride the train, which also is decorated with Christmas lights. Other fun attractions might include a visit to the church and joining in with the caroling, or you can head to the Reid Plantation and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Denton is a small town with a population of fewer than 3,000 residents making it perfect if you’re looking for a homey place to spend Christmas.
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole, Alaska definitely has amazing holiday vibes, whether visiting in January, July, or December. The city is known for its year-round Christmas decorations that include candy-cane striped street lights and a giant 50-foot tall Santa statue. Travel down streets like Kris Kringle Drive and Mistletoe Land and stop by the Santa Claus House for one of the country’s largest Christmas stores and, of course, the “official home” of Santa Claus himself, complete with walls covered in children’s letters.
Before you leave, be sure to have Santa pen a letter to your friends and family back home, take a seat in his sleigh for festive photos, and get to know his reindeer team with a tour of Antler Academy. If you’re the active type, you can head to the Chena Lake Recreation Area for seasonal ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, skijoring, and dog mushing during the day. Nighttime, on the other hand, would be your best chance to try to catch a glimpse of the amazing Northern Lights.
Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville, Pennsylvania is worth a trip. Try imagining that local family that has every square inch of their house and yard covered in Christmas lights. Now imagine that house cranked up to 11. Koziar’s started as a family who just loved putting on a light show for their friends and neighbors, but it quickly grew to a massive light display that only gets bigger each year. Around for more than 70 years, and boasting more than one million lights on the home, several barns, a gift shop, and the property in general, people drive from miles around to see the site.
Check out our video below to see how we already know Disney World is already the happiest place on earth. It becomes even more magical at Christmastime. For starters, there’s a special holiday parade complete with Santa Claus and lots of holiday-themed entertainment with all of your favorite Disney characters. And it wouldn’t be Disney World without a spectacular fireworks show. There are also plenty of incredible holiday-themed food and treats.
If you have multiple days to experience the magic of Disney at Christmastime, Epcot gets decked out for the holidays. At the attraction, you can celebrate Christmas like they do all over the world, with an international focus featuring 11 nations. Be sure to listen to the biblical Christmas story told by a celebrity narrator and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra.