United States Road Trips

5 Must-See US Towns for a Christmas Road Trip

Taking a road trip for Christmas can be the perfect way for families or couples to soak in the holiday spirit, while also being exposed to some of the best activities that other places have to offer. After all, the odds are high that you have already exhausted all the seasonal options in your local area. Therefore, you can give the holiday new life by hitting the road and visiting at least one of the following destinations.

A note of caution, however, with icy temperatures and people in a hurry to get where they’re going, coupled with lots of holiday cheer and some overindulging, it is important to remember that some adults will no doubt be taking the celebration too far. Be sure to keep a close eye out for erratic drivers, don’t drive when you’re sleepy, and buckle those kids in so they won’t distract you from keeping your eyes on the road.

1. Christmas Town, North Carolina

Christmas Town, North Carolina

Children will love spending time in Christmas Town, USA, which is officially known as McAdenville, North Carolina. This popular holiday destination has been transforming itself into a Christmas Wonderland since 1956. Visitors can experience more than 375 decorated trees, and you will also be able to enjoy a wide variety of other seasonal decorations. One of the best spots to view this representation of the spirit of Christmas is at the lake that is adjacent to the heart of town.

It’s less than 2 hours to drive from Asheville to McAdenville, so it’s a great side trip if you’re visiting the western part of the state.

2. New York City

New York City at Christmas

A favorite with travelers, NYC is a great place to enjoy a wide variety of seasonal events and attractions such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular that takes place every year at the Radio City Music Hall. Lots of craft fairs and markets take place from Union Square to Grand Central. Romantic hotels, some with with spas and indoor pools, lend themselves to falling in love with just that special someone. Window displays in The City are famous for going all out to bring a smile to young and old. From A Christmas Story to The Nutcracker, performances celebrating the season pack in play goers on famous Broadway.

3. Cleveland, Ohio


If you want to enjoy a piece of holiday related cinema history, it is a good idea to head to Cleveland for the holidays. After all, “A Christmas Story” was partially filmed in Cleveland, and you can actually tour the house that Ralphie and his family lived in at 3159 W. 11th St. Cleveland, OH 44109, or catch the play at the Cleveland Playhouse. Additionally, at the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square, the production of A Christmas Carol lasts until December 22. Since 1925 Nela Park has featured a lighting display by GE along Noble Road through New Year’s Day in East Cleveland.

4. Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City offers a wide variety of shopping options, and you will also be able to enjoy the millions of lights that decorate the Magnificent Mile. There is Christkindlmarket Chicago, a German tradition located in Daley Plaza, offering German edibles, drinks, and a variety of entertainment from Thanksgiving through  December 25. Brookfield Zoo celebrates Holiday Magic with nearly 1 million lights, and there’s also ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo, with a Santa’s Safari.

5. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Bronner's Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, Michigan
Bronner’s Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, Michigan

Many people like the idea of spending Christmas in a small town. If this is what you and your family are looking for, you should definitely consider taking a road trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan. This town is the home of the world’s largest Christmas store at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, which is located at the appropriately named 25 Christmas Lane. Children can visit with Santa Claus every day until December 24, and your entire family will be able to enjoy the half-mile of decorations that light up the area every evening.

As you can see, there is a wide variety of holiday options available for people who prefer to hit the road during the holidays. In fact, you could make this an annual tradition to share unique experiences as a family – giving your children memories of a lifetime, while opening their eyes to the different ways people celebrate across the country.

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