The Best Christmas Towns in America You Should Visit at Least Once

Mystic, Connecticut

See the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, in which vessels get decked out for the holidays and parade down the Mystic River. There's also a Santa Paddle, with Santas on paddle boards, and Santa arriving via tugboat. 

Bardstown, Kentucky

Light Up Bardstown starts the season with the illumination of Main Street and the town Christmas tree, along with "Christmas Corner," which has hot cocoa, cookies, balloons and face painting for kids.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus is one of the most well-known symbols of Christmas. So it's no wonder that each December, the post office of this St. Nick–themed town receives 400,000 pieces of mail (compared with the usual 13,000 monthly) to be canceled with a special holiday picture postmark. 

Andalusia, Alabama

It transforms its main square to "Christmas in Candyland," complete with snow-making machines to create a blizzard-like show of flurries each day.

Branson, Missouri

The tourist hot spot of Branson, "America's Christmas Tree City," celebrates all season long with the live music shows the town is known for, plus light displays, parades and Branson Scenic Railway's Polar Express Train Ride through the Ozark Mountains, departing from the town's 1905 train depot. 

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

At the town's famous Christkindlmarkt, which features unique artisans, music, crafts, food and handmade gifts from Germany, you'll find the best Christmas gifts for everyone on your list. 

Solvang, California

In December, Solvang goes all out for its Julefest, featuring downtown candlelit caroling tours, Santa's village, a parade and tree lighting. The festival also takes visitors on a "Nisser adventure" scavenger hunt to find these Danish gnome-like creatures throughout the downtown. 

Canton, Mississippi

This sleepy southern town comes alive during the holidays, when thousands of twinkling lights illuminate the town's historic Courthouse Square during the Canton Christmas Festival.