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Got That Ho-Ho-Holiday Fever? These Are the Best Places to Visit this Holiday Season in the U.S.

As the weather gets colder, the drinks hotter, and the blankets softer, we’re starting to hear merry jingles and feel the magic of the holiday season. So, if you’re looking for the best places to go this holiday season, we’ve got you covered!

Of course, nothing says Christmas more than a visit to Santa’s house. As such, the city of North Pole, AK, is basically the Christmas city. It has events (including Santa!) all year long, as well as a special festival during the month of December. However, if a trip to Alaska is too far for you, don’t fret. We have some great alternatives, as well. Keep reading to discover the most popular places in the U.S. to visit this holiday season.

We’ve ranked 50 Christmas markets and holiday attractions according to their online ratings, as well as their popularity as determined by the number of Google searches and social media followers. Here’s what we found:

Top 10 places to visit during this holiday season

10. Union Square Holiday Market

  • Total points: 69
  • When: Nov. 17 – Dec. 24, 2022
  • Where: New York City, NY
  • Website: usqholiday.nyc

 

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Christmas in New York is already on many people’s bucket lists, and the holiday market in Union Square is a must-see. With more than 150 vendors supplying food and drinks, as well as showcasing their crafts, this festival is the place to hit for perfect, local gifts for Christmas. A list of events and performances is also available for your visit to this market to ensure you enjoy Christmas to the max.

9. ChristmasVille

ChristmasVille in Rock Hill is a four-day event full of festivities that you’re sure to enjoy with friends or family. Ice skating, tasty treats, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday décor and family activities are all waiting for you at this celebration. Walk the beautifully decorated pathways and enjoy the atmosphere of a picture-perfect Christmas.

8. Carmel Christkindlmarkt

The Christkindlmarkt in Carmel is a celebration of Christmas traditions and customs inspired by authentic German markets. Besides the food and drinks, the event also brings together famous woodworkers who showcase their crafts through exhibitions and demonstrations. Here, small, wooden booths surround the main attraction of the market — an outdoor ice-skating rink, which is definitely one of the must-do activities at this market.

7. Tomball German Fest

A three-day festival dedicated to the Christmas spirit, the Tomball German Fest is an event filled with celebration, including three stages with live music; family-friendly activities; and an open-air market in the old town that showcases antiques and unique items that could make for that perfect Christmas gift you’ve been looking for. Catch the free shuttle to see the entire event; delight in the live music and performances; enjoy the parade and the traditional German food; and check out the contests and events put together especially for the participants.

6. Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude

The Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude began as a way of giving thanks to the residents of this city. Now, it’s a beloved event filled with both Christmas customs and local traditions. In addition to the tree-lighting ceremonies, the Christmas Prelude features parades; meetings with Santa (who rides in on a lobster boat); and the famous Lobster Bake — an event that serves hundreds of people and is also a fundraiser for the town.

5. Christkindlmarket

 

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The Christkindlmarket is one of the most popular markets in the U.S., starting out in Chicago and spreading to several other locations, as well. It’s a celebration that pays tribute to German Christmas markets, bringing together local and international artisans and vendors, as well as an already-famous specialty — the imported mulled wine from Germany. Explore the outdoor market and enjoy the family-friendly events, as well as the intercultural activities planned specifically for the visitors of Christkindlmarket.

4. Cambria Christmas Market

Inspired by traditional German markets, the Cambria Christmas market is a celebration that brings together everything Christmas to the public. Here, artisan vendors sell traditional food and drinks, including gingerbread, roasted nuts and mulled wine. Meanwhile, fire pits and live music create an enchanting atmosphere, and the fun train ride is sure to be an attraction for the many kids visiting. Speaking of kids, what could be more exciting than a visit from Santa, who frequently makes an appearance here during the celebrations.

3. Christmas Village in Philadelphia

  • Total points: 86
  • When: Nov. 19 – Dec. 24, 2022
  • Where: Philadelphia, PA
  • Website: philachristmas.com

The Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outdoor Christmas market that’s modeled after traditional German markets. During the celebrations, vendors set up wooden booths from which they serve cozy Christmas food, sweets and drinks that fill the air with delicious aromas. As is tradition, they also sell handcrafted trinkets, holiday gifts, ornaments, and various arts and crafts — perfect gifts for those friends who are filled with the Christmas spirit.

2. Natchitoches Christmas Festival

What started out as a one-day event has grown throughout the years and is now a six-week celebration full of events and shows to enjoy. Notably, the Natchitoches Christmas festival is a feat of strength, bringing the public a wide array of festive cuisine; fireworks; a parade; a gala; Santa Claus’ house; a contest for Christmas Queens; and thousands of Christmas lights forming unique displays and showcasing famous set pieces built to represent the spirit of Christmas.

1. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

The Dyker Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn is home to some of the most complex and intricate home Christmas decorations, and residents here have created a company to take tourists on special tours to spread the Christmas cheer. View the amazing Christmas lights, delight in the Christmas spirit, and make sure to enjoy some delicious hot chocolate while walking through the neighborhood.

Where are you going this holiday season? If you’re checking out our recommendations, be sure to tag us in your pictures so we can see all the Christmas-filled fun you’re having!

Methodology

RentCafe.com is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.

This ranking was based on the research of winter holiday attractions across the U.S. We only considered attractions with ratings on either Google or Facebook and a minimum of 10 reviews and selected the top 50. We then ranked them based on:

  • Average rating on Google and Facebook – 35%
  • Google search volume – 30%
  • Number of hashtags on Instagram – 20%
  • Number of Facebook followers – 15%

Fair Use & Redistribution

We encourage and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the research, graphics and images presented in this article. When doing so, we ask that you credit our research by linking to RentCafe.com or this page so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology. For more in-depth, customized data, please contact us at media@rentcafe.com.

Mihaela Buzec
Mihaela Buzec
Mihaela Buzec is a writer and online content developer for RentCafe. She covers topics about everything related to the renting lifestyle, from decorating and interior design to finding the right apartment, frugal living, money saving advice, and more. She dives deep into topics of interest, writing well-researched comprehensive guides on subjects such as renting with pets, saving on utilities, or avoiding rental scams to help renters stay informed and live smart. Mihaela holds a BA in English and German Language and Literature, an MA in Current Linguistics, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in neurolinguistics. You can get in touch with Mihaela at mihaela.buzec@yardi.com.

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