Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
For many people, spending time at home for Christmas is a holiday tradition. But an alternative way to celebrate the winter holidays is to plan a trip to a festive destination in the United States that truly embraces the season. There are Christmas towns scattered around the country that host festivals, parades, and other events to make you merry, but make sure to check official websites for any event cancellations amid COVID-19. To help you plan your stay, here are some Airbnb recommendations in America’s cutest Christmas towns.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
One of the best Christmas towns in Texas, Georgetown comes alive each Christmas in its lovely town square that’s all decorated for the season. There are lots of Christmas lights displays here, as well as Christmas Eve candlelight services, theater performances, Santa appearances and live Christmas tree lots during most years. When you visit Georgetown for Christmas, you can stay in this cottage guesthouse for up to four people that’s on a 10-acre property. It’s just a couple miles from downtown Georgetown and comes with a fully equipped kitchen, full-size appliances, Wi-Fi, and cable TV. The home isn’t child-proofed, however, so it’s best for families with older children.
This Airbnb is near McAdenville, North Carolina, which is known as Christmas Town U.S.A. and attracts visitors from across the country. In most years, the town hosts a tree-lighting ceremony, yule log parade, holiday lights downtown, and a 5K race. In 2020, the celebration continues with more virtual and socially distanced versions of these beloved events. This is a tiny town with very few accommodation options, so consider staying in nearby Belmont in this private cottage apartment. It is ideal for two guests, is accessed by stairs on the second floor, has a yard area, and comes with all the comforts of home to cook meals and have some privacy.
Considered one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in New England, Taunton is a magical town that has earned the nickname “The Christmas City.” In normal times, this community has a Lighting of the Green and Lights On Festival, as well as a parade, art displays, holiday treats, and family-friendly musical performances. To spend time here over Christmas, stay in this loft that’s on six acres of land and centrally located to attractions. You’ll have the whole guesthouse to yourself and enjoy the walking trails and pond here. It’s a quiet getaway after enjoying all the excitement of Christmas.
Prescott is the premier Christmas city in the Southwest because of its annual holiday light parade, tour of indoor lights at the Prescott Gateway Mall, huge gingerbread village display, musical showcases, and so much more. There are usually events scheduled all throughout the month of December here to get in the holiday spirit. A fun place to stay when you come here is this downtown cottage for up to three guests that you can have all to yourselves. It’s within walking distance to downtown where many Christmas events take place and also less than a mile from historic Whisky Row. The cottage is behind the host’s main house and has a patio hammock and seating to enjoy.
Portsmouth really gets all decked out for the holidays, so you can simply walk through the streets to get filled with festive cheer. This New Hampshire town typically hosts a parade, musical performances, a decorated holiday houses tour, vintage Christmas trolley, and plenty of tax-free shopping opportunities. You can walk to downtown from this cozy private room in a house that’s listed on Airbnb. It’s on a quiet street and has a queen-sized bed, a shared kitchen, and 1.5 shared baths.
Who says you can’t get in the Christmas spirit in the Sunshine State? One of the best cities to celebrate Christmas in Florida, St. Augustine has an award-winning holiday lights display that runs from mid-November until the end of January. There are trains, trolleys, and horse-drawn carriages that take you on tours to see them. Add a little romance to your holidays here with a stay at this romantic cabin that is a six-minute walk to the beach and tennis courts. There’s a screened-in porch here, as well as a kitchen, and location that’s within three miles to the Old City attractions.
One of the best small towns to visit for Christmas, Lancaster displays a million Christmas lights at Koziar’s Christmas Village. It’s one of the best outdoor displays in the country and also has unique shops, train displays, and Santa. Get the full Lancaster experience by staying at this cottage farm stay that’s three miles south of Lancaster. It’s on a 20-acre 1700s farmstead and features a 480-square-foot cozy cottage, as well as a large deck, wooded trails, and farm animals on site.
Leavenworth is a festive place to visit at any time of the year, but it really gets special around Christmas. In most years, the Christmas Lighting Festival takes place here with lots of fun festivities on Saturdays and Sundays. Lights will still be on every day from Thanksgiving until Valentine’s Day this year! For your visit, you’ll love this cabin with a private hot tub that’s two miles from Leavenworth. It’s ideal for a couple or small family, allows two dogs up to 25 pounds, has a full kitchen, and may require 4WD to access during the winter snowfall.
Like Leavenworth, Helen is a Bavarian-themed town that really gets into the Christmas spirit. Decemberfest is Helen’s annual tradition that usually celebrates with a German Christmas market, lanterns parade, breakfast with Santa, and Victorian-era activities at Hardman Farm. A lovely rustic cabin to stay in is this one hosted on Airbnb. It’s within walking distance of downtown, and it also has a full kitchen, mountain setting, back porch, and sleeping accommodations for three guests.
Much of Vermont is magical during the Christmas season, including the town of Woodstock that is charming and has perfect wintertime weather to enjoy. Come here for quaint shops, to see the twinkling lights on the iconic homes, and take a walk down the old-fashioned Main Street. For a couple’s trip to Vermont, consider this cottage that has a Jacuzzi and exercise room. It has a Scandinavian design, generates all its electricity from the sun and earth, has a fully equipped kitchen, and is a half-mile walk to South Woodstock Village.
Natchitoches has been hosting a Christmas festival for almost 100 years and involves a six-week Christmas celebration with light displays and lots of family fun. Events in past years include open houses, fireworks, kids’ fests, craft shows, galas, and DJ music. This cabin is a popular place to stay in the area with up to five guests. It offers views of the Cane River Lake on the wrap-around porch, has a fully stocked kitchen, and is close to town while still giving you a private place to stay during the Christmas season.
How can you not be merry in a town called Santa Claus? This Indiana destination is known as America’s Christmas Hometown and is home to the Santa Claus Museum & Village, Santa Claus Christmas Stores, and Holly Tree Christmas Shop. The Santa Claus Christmas Celebration takes place at Santa’s Lodge. Accommodations in this small town are limited, so stay at this Airbnb in nearby Lamar. It’s just eight miles away, has a hot tub, and is tucked away in a private country setting.
We also love Fredericksburg, Texas for a Christmas town destination because of all the German-themed festivities at the Marketplatz, holiday wine tours, a 30-foot Christmas tree, decked-out Main Street, and ice skating. You can have a unique stay here in this treehouse that’s heated and has a private candlelit outdoor bathtub to use as a hot tub. It’s a perfect spot for a couple celebrating together and is seven minutes from the center of town. The space has a kitchenette, living room area, king-size bed in the bedroom, and bathroom with a double-headed shower.
Christmas is a beloved tradition in Solvang, California as well, thanks to the annual Julefest in December. Solvang is a festive Danish village that gets beautifully decorated for the season around the first week of December. Popular activities that often happen here are candlelight tours, Santa visits, nativity pageants, and beer and wine walks. One of the most popular Airbnbs here is this guest suite with a private entrance and that’s a three-minute drive to downtown Solvang. It has a kitchenette, queen-size bed, and is separate from the main house but connected to the garage. This farm studio is baby-friendly but does not allow pets.
During most years, there is lots to do in Branson over Christmas, including a visit to Silver Dollar City for the Christmas festival, Christmas light tours you can drive through, festive live performances, and plenty of places to shop for Christmas gifts. To be within 10 minutes of the Branson strip, stay in this cozy two-bedroom condo. It has a full kitchen, laundry machines, and is close to all the action but without all the traffic.