For most people, it is impossible to think about Christmas when you’re spending your days at the beach, picking pumpkins, or staying indoors to keep out of the springtime showers. However, there’s another portion of the population that sings “Jingle Bells” out loud and dreams of sugar plums no matter what time of year it may be.
For you festive few, worry not! There are enchanting towns around the country that share your passion for Santa, sugar cookies, snow, and presents. They don’t call it the most wonderful time of the year for no reason! And in these five destinations, it’s wonderful all year long.
Founded on Christmas Eve 1741, it makes sense that this Eastern Pennsylvania town would take its name from the town in which Jesus was born. Known as “Christmas City U.S.A.,” Bethlehem is easy for travelers to find: The town hosts its own northern star and LED lights downtown, and they are illuminated nightly year-round. When the holiday season actually approaches, visitors can see Christmas trees throughout the years and learn about the history of this 275-year-old town.
Michigan’s “Little Bavaria” is filled with German- and Austrian-inspired Christmas festivities. This charming town includes a replica of Austria’s Silent Night Chapel (where the song of the same name was written) and a German Christmas museum. Most importantly, Frankenmuth is the home of the “world’s largest Christmas store” — Bronner’s, which is essentially a warehouse lined with ornaments, Christmas trees, and other décor. Of course, the outside of Bronner’s is decorated with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights and other festive decorations.
North Pole, Alaska
It may be 1,500 miles away from the real North Pole, but visitors to this suburb of Fairbanks will be greeted by a 42-foot-tall Santa Claus statue. If that fact and the name of the town aren’t enough, Alaska’s North Pole host its own version of Santa’s workshop, where kids hoping to get on the nice list can stop by any day of the year to meet Kris Kringle and his reindeer. North Pole’s postal code, 99705, has the honor of being designated as “Santa’s ZIP code.”
North Pole, New York
Alaska isn’t the only state with its own North Pole; New York has one, too. In addition to being the home of Santa’s Eastern U.S. workshop, North Pole, New York, features its own year-round theme park that caters specifically to the young (and young at heart) with sled-themed roller coaster, a peppermint swing, holiday shows, and Tannenbaum the Talking Christmas Tree.
Santa Claus, Indiana
This town is the ho, ho, home of Holiday World, one of the world’s first theme parks. Fittingly, it pays homage to Christmas (as well as Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, and Halloween). In line with its name, Santa Claus has a festive post office where visitors can get letters postmarked with Santa’s own name. There’s also a supersized holiday store and a candy store, fittingly called Santa’s Candy Castle.