Many travelers flock to big cities at this time of year to view holiday decorations and light displays. But if you really want to get into the holiday spirit, you might try one of these towns with a holiday-related name. Don't forget to mail your greeting cards from the local post office for an extra-special postmark.
"It has always been our dream to stay at a log cabin -- this one has everything you need, even complimentary beer and brownies!" wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer who spent her honeymoon at Bear Mountain Lodge. Others had high praise for the Adair Country Inn & Restaurant. The Gallery at WREN offers handmade crafts by local artists.
The well-preserved buildings in the Colonial Industrial Quarter are a hit with history buffs. (If you're lucky, you can see a blacksmith at work.) Lodging options abound, ranging from brand-new hotels like the Hyatt Place ("Family friendly rooms are great!" raved one TripAdvisor traveler) to the historic Hotel Bethlehem ("a perfect location, in the middle of an enchanting Christmas city," according to another traveler). Details on whether any local hotels offer barn accommodation for overflow guests were not immediately available.
You won't find snow in Christmas, Fla., but you will find a number of companies offering fantastic air-boat tours of the local swamps. According to one TripAdvisor traveler, you'll see "beautiful sights and gators, gators, gators" on a tour from AirBoat Rides at Midway. Or take a step back into Florida history at the Fort Christmas Museum, which a TripAdvisor reviewer called "a fascinating look at the home life of the pioneers of central Florida."
Outdoor activities are big in Holiday, Fla., particularly at the town's two beautiful parks. Key Vista Park offers hiking trails and plenty of opportunities to view wildlife ("eagles, ospreys, owls, gophers, tortoises, etc.," according to one TripAdvisor traveler). Anclote River Park has "beautiful scenery, docks for boats, picnic areas and a beach swimming area," according to another reviewer. Foodies, don't miss the German Restaurant. The only non-authentic thing, said one reviewer, is that "they don't accept Euros."
The staff of Beaver Lake Resort Motel gets high praise from TripAdvisor travelers (e.g., "We were treated like family, not customers!"). And believe it or not, there is excellent Chinese and Thai food in North Pole. Pagoda Restaurant, according to TripAdvisor reviewers, is fantastic: "I don't think one could make a poor menu choice," wrote one happy diner. Thai Cuisine Restaurant was described by one reviewer as "a hole in the wall," with pad thai "to die for."
TripAdvisor travelers love the cabins at Santa's Lakeside Cottages in Santa Claus, Ind. Fittingly, they are truly in the Christmas spirit here. One TripAdvisor reviewer who stayed there in early December wrote, "They even put up a Christmas tree in the cabin and my family had a wonderful time decorating it." Thoughtful details for kids abound. In the words of one reviewer, "Even in the cold the kids loved the playground, sandbox and elf house." Treat the kids to some candy and take a "Naughty or Nice" questionnaire at Santa's Candy Castle (which also has "awesome frozen hot chocolate" according to one TripAdvisor reviewer).