You know it’s time to deck the halls when holiday lights start dazzling and people get into a festive mood. Modest streets magically transform into winter wonderlands and Santa Claus and his band of trusty elves appear just about everywhere.
But where do you catch a glimpse of the best light shows around the holiday season that could serve as inspiration for holiday decorating on a budget? We’ve rounded up the best places to live and see the lights for you.
1. Asheville, NC
Located west of North Carolina’s North Ridge Mountain, Asheville doesn’t just boast of historic architecture and a vibrant arts scene, it has breathtaking light-filled holidays to boot. In downtown Asheville, you will see awe-inspiring lights and colors grace Pritchard Park and Pack square.
And if you want to check out the amazing architecture, a French Renaissance castle is just within the neighborhood. Biltmore Estate is the epitome of elegance and it’s even made more glorious during the holidays with the help of 135,000 LED lights illuminating every corner of the property. Definitely not what you’ll have in mind when you think of holiday decorating on a budget. But, who cares? Everyone deserves to experience glamor and decadence once in a while.
2. McAdenville, NC
Every year during the holidays a small textile town sixteen miles outside of Charlotte morphs into a winter wonderland. McAdenville, also known as “Christmas Town USA,” lives up to its moniker using 500,000 lights that gleam across town.
The tradition started in 1956 when members of the McAdenville Men’s Club decided to decorate nine trees with lights during the holidays. Today, virtually every homeowner within town perpetuated this tradition by decorating their homes during the holidays, making this small town one of the most popular light display attractions in the country. So if you’d like to join in on the fun of holiday decorating, McAdenville is the neighborhood for you.
3. Smithville, NJ
With its cobblestone paths, manicured grounds, and eclectic shops, Historic Smithville is quite a tourist attraction. This historic town is such a hit with tourists especially when the holidays are just around the corner with its unique display of lights. Watch Lake Meone come alive as floating evergreen trees seemingly dance to holiday music.
Aside from the trees, watch out for the stained glass windows. You’ll catch Santa and the elves working overtime for everyone’s gifts. Kids will totally love the show and you’ll be mesmerized by the shimmering lights around you.
4. Jackson, NJ
What’s more magical than an amusement park? Answer: An amusement park decked out with glittering lights, that’s what. If you want the complete experience — rides, live shows, meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and a glimmering light display, Six Flags’ Holiday in the Park in Jackson, NJ is the place to be.
You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your car to behold the beauty of lights and enjoy the festive atmosphere. The Drive-Thru Experience is just as immersive. You can even say hello to your favorite holiday characters as you enjoy the ride around the park.
5. St. Augustine, FL
The Nation’s Oldest City shines ever brightly even during these modern times. In fact, its annual Night of Lights display makes it to National Geographic’s Top Ten Holiday Lights Display in the world. Starting November 20 of every year, downtown St. Augustine, with its collection of Spanish Colonial buildings, is lit up with millions of tiny white glittering lights. You can revel in the beauty all you want, and it’s totally free.
For Instagrammable pictures, check out the Plaza de la Constitución and snap a selfie with the ornate holiday tree in the background. You can also take a stroll at The Bridge of Lions, where the sparkling reflections of lights in the water are a sight to behold.
6. Miami, FL
If you’re easily drawn to dazzling displays of holiday lights, Miami is your playground. Aside from its pristine white-sand beaches and warm weather, this city gets draped with an array of lights. One of the must-visit places in Miami during the holidays is Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest holiday theme park. This amusement park is not just known for its numerous rides, live shows, delicious food, and carnival games, it’s also home to enchanting holiday light displays.
If you want to be more involved, the Enchanted Place of North Miami is the neighborhood for you. You can channel your inner Martha Stewart, get serious on holiday decorating on a budget, and be one of the many homeowners in this community to glam up their homes with twinkling lights.
7. Bernville, PA
If you’d like to be walking in Winter Wonderland, Koziar’s Christmas Village is the place to be this holiday season. With millions of shimmering lights everywhere you look, this attraction features a magical lake, glass building displays, shops, and animatronics adorning the walkways.
Aside from the dazzling lights, this Christmas Village also has on display Santa’s Headquarters, a miniature town complete with meandering mini train tracks, and holiday-themed dioramas such as Christmas in Other Lands, Christmas Under the Sea, and Christmas in the Jungle. This elaborate holiday attraction is perfect for the whole family.
8. Pittsburgh, PA
If you want an animated drive-thru experience, Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is the place to visit. Your journey begins as you drive through a 300-foot tunnel of glittering lights. Then, you’ll be taken to a field where an orchestra of lights will be your main entertainment for the evening. The choreographed light show syncs up to the music that you can play in your car’s audio.
The second half of the attraction is something that kids can easily relate to. The light display is reminiscent of popular nursery rhymes and fairytales. The drive-thru experience terminates at a Christmas Village where you can stop by for a while and say hello to Santa.
Want to live anywhere near these stunning light displays? Getting the services of a local real estate agent to do the grunt work from beginning to end of the transaction is the best way to go about it. From finding the your dream property, advising you on the right mortgage options, to taking care of corresponding title & escrow services, and saving you money on home insurance; LemonBrew will make the process seamless and worry-free.