The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

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1. Grapevine, Texas 

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

Of course you have to start with the Christmas Capital of Texas. This city has a 40-day celebration that kicks off with the annual Carol of Lights where in historic downtown Grapevine shines in the glow of millions of Christmas lights, including those on the live, more than 40-foot-tall Christmas tree at Peace Plaza.

For more lights, head to the Gaylord Texas Resort for its Merry & Bright light show featuring more than two million lights. And on Dec. 1, catch the Parade of Lights, a parade filled with more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands. On Dec. 3 and Dec. 17, head to Peace Plaza for the Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show, which features 160 drones showcasing their Christmas best.

2. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light DisplaysWhile known for amusement parks, themed entertainment, and lots of shopping, Pigeon Forge also celebrates the holiday season with quite the brilliant show. Each year, the city hosts Winterfest, a three-month-long event featuring more than six million lights as part of one of the largest free outdoor lights festivals in the country.

3.Phoenix, Arizona

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

No matter where you live in the Phoenix area, you'll find plenty of Christmas lights. For instance, World of Illumination is hosting Candy Rush, the world's largest animated drive-through light show, at Diablo Stadium. The mile-long journey features millions of sparking lights synced to Christmas music that transforms into a holiday spectacle. World of Illumination will also have light shows at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Desert Diamond Casino in Glendale.

Another popular show takes place at the Phoenix Zoo, which features animal lanterns, light displays, and a music and light show you won't forget. Another drive-through light show is the Arizona Lights in the Night at the Thompson Event Center in Mesa. More than a million lights will dance along to synchronized holiday music. Check the Visit Phoenix website for even more light shows.

4. Columbus, Ohio

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light DisplaysStart your Christmas light exploration in downtown Columbus, where you can see nearly 500,000 lights at the Columbus Commons. Then head over to the Scioto Mile, which will showcase more holiday lights along the riverfront. To continue the experience, you can purchase a Holiday Lights Pass that provides admission to Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and Conservatory Aglow at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

5. Gulfport, Mississippi

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

With more than 1.2 million lights covering 40 acres of Jones Park, it's no wonder Gulfport is home to the state's largest Christmas lights show. The Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival features everything from giant ornaments to elaborate festive scenes to a "dancing trees" show. In addition to the lights, visitors can watch the elves work at Santa's Village, ride carnival rides, take a train ride, or visit with the big man himself.

You can even hop on the heated CTA Trolley along Jones Park Drive for a ride from one side of the park to the other, offering a different perspective on the glowing lights.

6. Santa Claus, Indiana

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light DisplaysHow could you not experience the Christmas lights in a town named after Santa Claus? Start exploring at the Santa Claus Land of Lights, a 1.2-mile journey that tells the story of Rudolph the Reindeer using LED lights. Next, head to the Christmas in Dale Light Show, where you can watch a 48-minute music and light display. Simply tune in to 100.3 FM on your radio dial, and watch from the comfort of your car.

7. Branson, Missouri

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

Christmas in Branson is quite the spectacle, starting with the Lights of Joy drive-through experience that features animated displays in a variety of themes, such as Santa's Village, the 12 Days of Christmas, and Christmas Safari.

At Shepherd of the Hills, the Trail of Lights covers 2.5 miles illuminated by millions of lights on dozens of Christmas light displays. At Promised Land Zoo, visitors can travel a 2-mile drive—though Christmas display of LED lights among the animal habitats. For more holiday lights enjoyment, follow the Christmas Tree City Trail, with more than 700 colorfully lighted and decorated trees.

8. Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, Maine

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light DisplaysLocated an hour north of Portland, the towns of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor go big on Christmas lights! At the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, visitors can walk through Gardens Aglow, which features more than 750,000 LED lights strategically placed throughout 14 acres of the gardens.

9. Leavenworth, Wash.

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

For a taste of Bavaria, head to Leavenworth for a magical Christmastime experience. During the holidays, the town transforms into the Village of Lights with a half a million LED lights strung throughout Christmastown.

As you take in the lights, stop by the gazebo for live entertainment by choirs, carolers, bands, and other groups. Also keep an eye out for special holiday characters around town so you can snap a photo with them for next year's Christmas card. It's a magical scene you won't forget.

10. Newport Beach, Calif. 

The 10 U.S. Cities with the Best Christmas Light Displays

The city's most notable event is the Christmas Boat Parade & Ring of Lights. Vessels range from canoes and kayaks to boats and yachts of all sizes, each decorated with sparkling Christmas lights. At Sherman Library & Gardens, visitors can stroll through the Nights of 1000 Lights, which features dazzling displays along with entertainment at "Moulin Rouge," on Sherman's miniature railway and at Santa's workshop.

At Newport Dune's Lighting of the Bay, you can stroll along the Back Bay, which is aglow with festive floating holiday lights.

Keywords: CHRISTMAS | NEWS | TRAVEL | ADVICE

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