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25 best Christmas towns in the US for a winter getaway

These towns bring all of the magic and wonder of the holiday season.
/ Source: TODAY

It's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year!

With the holiday season fast approaching, you may be looking for extra magical places to travel to. From California to Connecticut and everywhere in between, TODAY has compiled a list of 25 Christmas towns to put on your travel list this holiday season.

Park City, Utah

Park City Utah
Jason Cameron / Getty Images

Park City, located in the mountains of Utah, is bound to bring you a white Christmas this year. From sleigh rides in the picture-perfect town to holiday markets for your festive needs, Park City has everything you need to make a Hallmark holiday.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Nobska Lighthouse in Winter
capecodphoto / Getty Images

Cape Cod puts a classic New England twist on the Christmas town concept, from lighthouses dressed up with garlands to lights lining the streets. The seaside town is perfect for a bit of Christmas and a bit of the ocean, complete with parades and theater productions.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

The home of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a quaint town with tons of holiday-themed events, from German food markets to live music to a carol sing-along. Plus, the town has the potential to be a winter wonderland just in time for Christmas.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Sergio Parisi / Getty Images

If you want to ditch the cold weather and opt for a warmer, more coastal holiday, check out Carmel-by-the-Sea in sunny California. Trade out the chilly outdoor markets for dinner on the beach, complete with holiday lights.

Woodstock, Vermont

Woodstock is the picture-perfect Hallmark town, with plenty of charm to go around. From horses pulling buggies to carolers serenading the lighting of a Christmas tree, this town might look like it's fresh off a holiday postcard.

Annapolis, Maryland

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This quaint capital city of Maryland, located on the Chesapeake Bay, puts a nautical twist on classic holiday traditions. From grand Victorian homes to a gorgeous holiday tree on the dock, Annapolis tops off its holiday celebrations with an annual lighted boat parade each December.

Duluth, Minnesota

Every year, the city of Duluth puts on Bentleyville, a massive light display that's free to the public. The city also sets up a Christmas village and has a scenic train ride along Lake Superior to tie the bow on top!

Newport, Rhode Island

Sunset in Newport Rhode Island
Enzo Figueres / Getty Images

A seaside town, Newport boasts a monthlong holiday celebration complete with an annual tree lighting, concerts, tours of its grand mansions and more.

St. Augustine, Florida

Festive doesn't mean it needs to be snowy and cold all the time! Head to St. Augustine for some holiday spirit in the sun with Christmas lights, quaint décor and other holiday activities. Plus, the beach is right there if you want a tropical holiday!

But coming off of the heels of hurricane season (and the damage from Hurricane Ian, in particular), be sure to check the status of the town before making your plans.

Sheridan, Wyoming

Landscape in the Bighorn Mountains
DC_Colombia / Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you want that small-town, Hallmark holiday movie feel, check out Sheridan in the Equality State. The town hosts an annual "Christmas Stroll," coupled with snowy weather and the charm of a small town during Christmas.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket also has an annual Christmas stroll, but this one has that classic New England charm to it. Plus, winter is the off-season for the Massachusetts town, so you likely won't be running into big crowds during the holidays.

Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial carriage
vgoodrich / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Williamsburg is home to colonial holiday traditions like caroling with torches, historical programs and other performances. The holiday season is topped off with a grand display of fireworks and a historic gun salute. For a quieter holiday celebration, you can also check out Busch Gardens' Christmas Town.

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is another one of those towns reminiscent of a Hallmark movie. With lights lining the streets, a miniature ice skating rink and tree-lighting ceremonies, Greenville will bring all of the Christmas magic (and maybe some warm weather, too!).

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Fog at sunrise in Blue Ridge Mountains
Dermot Conlan / Getty Images/Tetra images

If you're looking for some Southern charm this holiday season, add Blue Ridge to your holiday destination list. The town has a train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the gorgeous natural scenery of the northern Georgia destination is perfect for holiday pictures.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
Marc Shandro / Getty Images

Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, honors its Indigenous culture by hosting a religious procession every Christmas Eve in the Indigenous community with bonfires, lights and a historic gun salute. Taos also hosts tree-lighting ceremonies, concerts and fairs.

Branson, Missouri

Night Summer Aerial View of Hwy 76 Strip in Branson, Missouri
Getty Images

Head to the Midwest to experience Branson's Ozark Mountain Christmas festival, a monthlong celebration with music, shows and lights. The city also has a Polar Express Train Ride reminiscent of the classic holiday movie.

North Pole, Alaska

This town just might be the closest you'll ever get to the real North Pole — and it's festive all year round! There's a Santa Claus house, a mayor whose name is Santa and plenty of festive decorations to make it feel like the real thing.

Santa Claus, Indiana

For another year-round holiday treat, head to Indiana's Santa Claus, which calls itself "America's Christmas Hometown." In this town, Santa's elves send replies to children's letters, and holiday celebrations include parades, a light show and a candy castle.

Franklin, Tennessee

Franklin Square ,Tennessee
Dan Reynolds Photography / Getty Images

Franklin is perfect for any Charles Dickens fans. The town hosts an annual Dickens of a Christmas festival for a weekend full of Dickens-related festivities. Franklin also puts on a Victorian Village complete with Victorian-era treats.

Big Spring, Texas

Located in the heart of West Texas, this charming town was dubbed the "Lighted Poinsettia Capital of Texas." Big Spring goes big on holiday spirit, including Hotel Settles, which has a beautifully decorated lobby and massive Christmas tree (and some presents underneath!).

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The historic Biltmore mansion in Asheville gets dressed to the nines during the holiday season with garlands, lights, ribbons and more. The city also hosts festive craft shows in the River Arts District and boasts beautiful mountains to complete the picture.

Durango, Colorado

A historic mining town, Durango puts its local steam engine to festive use with wintery rides through the scenic mountains. In December, the train operates on a special "Polar Express"-inspired trip for children along with rides to find and cut down Christmas trees to bring back home.

Darby, Montana

Nestled in Montana's gorgeous Bitterroot Mountains, Darby brings some Western twang to the perfect holiday trip. The city hosts all sorts of festive events from horseback riding to ice fishing and more, with plenty of holiday décor to complete the experience.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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A modest Pennsylvania town, Bethlehem brings the small-town charm to Christmas without breaking the bank. Take part in the town's horse-drawn carriage rides to enjoy the lights or go on the Christmas City Stroll to get in the holiday spirit.

New York, New York

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Kathy Willens / AP

It's not a small town, but it's undeniable that there's no place like the Big Apple for the holidays. You can go ice skating and enjoy the iconic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, or walk through one of the many holiday markets, like the one at Bryant Park. In this winter wonderland, the opportunities are endless.

CORRECTION (Nov. 10, 2022, 9:40 p.m.): An earlier version of this article mentioned a scenic train ride along Lake Michigan in Duluth, Minnesota. It is along Lake Superior, not lake Michigan.