Mystic, CT In addition to summer, Mystic is a great site to spend "Christmas in Connecticut" (the original film is one of the most romantic Christmas movies). See the Mystic River Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, where boats are decorated for the holidays. Santa Paddle features paddleboarders and a tugboat.
Bardstown, KY Known as "the most beautiful small town in America," this old stagecoach stop celebrates Christmas with Southern friendliness. The season begins with Light Up Bardstown lighting Main Street and the town Christmas tree and "Christmas Corner," which offers hot cocoa, pastries, balloons, and face painting for kids.
Santa Claus, IN Santa Claus is a famous Christmas icon. Not surprisingly, this St. Nick-themed town's post office receives 400,000 pieces of mail (compared to 13,000 weekly) to cancel with a holiday picture postmark each December
In Andalusia, Alabama Who says Alabama can't enjoy a snowy Christmas? This fairytale-named city is perfect for a winter getaway. It turns its main square into "Christmas in Candyland," with snow-making machines creating daily blizzards.
Leavenworth, WA Originally, this Bavarian-inspired town was more Old West. After a long decline, the old logging town planned an alpine-inspired facelift in the 1960s. After the revamp, new festivals attracted people, making Leavenworth a must-see holiday destination.
Ogden, Utah A town is Christmas-worthy when one of the cutest Hallmark Christmas movies was made there. I shot part of My Christmas Love on Historic 25th Street in this ancient railway hub under the Wasatch Mountains.
Branson, MO In Meet Me in St. Louis, Judy Garland sang "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (which should be on your holiday playlist), but another Missouri town may outdo it during Christmastime.
Cape May, NJ Seasonal gaslights and garlands make this Victorian beach village more Dickensian. The National Historic Landmark city still looks like a Christmas snapshot from the past.