20 Best Christmas Towns In North Carolina To Celebrate – Updated

There’s no need to be sorry about the end of fall in North Carolina. It’s not until December that the Christmas season really begins, and by then, cities and towns are decked up in lights and holiday cheer for parades and visits from Santa.

Beautiful winter scenes may be seen in many North Carolina communities, particularly those located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

North Carolina’s Blue Ridge and Piedmont areas, as well as several coastal cities, are home to some of the state’s most stunning and colorful Christmas villages.

Whether you’re interested in going skiing or tubing, spending a weekend in luxury at the Biltmore, doing some Christmas shopping in the downtown area, or watching a festive parade, here are some of the best places to enjoy Christmas in North Carolina.

The Biltmore Company generously provided the cover photo for Christmas Towns in North Carolina.

Best Christmas Towns In North Carolina

1. McAdenville

  • Location: Christmastown- 212 Wesleyan Dr, McAdenville (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas Tree Lighting, Christmas Parade,
    Yule Log Ceremony
  • Website

Christmas Town USA is a fitting moniker for McAdenville. It’s all dressed up in its holiday best at this time of year.

The town’s magnificent light show has over 500,000 lights and spans more than a mile, sparkling against other grandiose displays to the beat of Christmas music.

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

Visitors from all over North Carolina flock here every year for the Yule Log Ceremony and annual Christmas Parade, to name just two of the many festive activities that draw them to this community every December.

2. Saluda

  • Location: Hometown Christmas- McCreery Park, Saluda (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas carol sing-along, donating goodies to elf stations, light shows in Saluda Shoals Park.
  • Website

Even though there are just around 700 people living in Saluda, the town really goes all out for the holidays.

The shopping is reason enough to visit, with historic boutiques going back a century and elf stations giving out free goodies. In the middle of the month, the annual Hometown Christmas festival takes place.

The highlights of this yearly event include roasting S’mores over an open fire, listening to carolers, and a visit from Santa Claus.

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3. Benson

  • Location: Main Street, Benson (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas craft show, gospel choirs, Santa Claus gift distribution, Christmas parade.
  • Website

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

Everyone loves Christmas lights, but in Benson, one family really goes all out. As the biggest and longest-running light display of its type in eastern North Carolina, the family’s endeavor covers a whopping 10 acres.

To judge them just by their appearance from the street is unfair. You may either take a rail ride around the area or explore it on foot.

A classic carousel, a country shop stocked with an abundance of treats, and maybe even Santa Claus himself will all be there. The town of Benson celebrates the holiday season with an annual festival called Christmas on Main.

4. Forest City

  • Location: W Main St, Forest City(GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Lighting ceremony, Christmas parade, carriage rides,
    hay rides, ice skating. Santa Claus shows.
  • Website

The North Carolina city of Forest City is a favorite vacation spot for visitors during the winter holidays.

With its small-town appeal and Christmas celebrations like a tree-lighting ceremony, parade, and main street decked with one million lights, this mountain hamlet makes it easy to get into the holiday mood.

During the month of December, it is not uncommon to see carolers, concerts, or even Santa himself. Tours in horse-drawn carriages and showings of seasonal films are also available every day this month.

However, the ascent of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock Park by Santa Claus is one of the most anticipated events of the year.

5. Blowing Rock

  • Location: 1125 Main St, Blowing Rock (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas parade, Lighting of the town festival, Saturday with Santa and festival of trees.
  • Website

Even though it’s located in the northern part of the state, the town of Blowing Rock is known for going all out for the holiday season.

The town’s biggest holiday festival, Christmas in the Park and Lighting of the Town Festival, is so significant that it has been designated as a legal holiday.

Winter in this town is like something out of a fairytale, thanks to the abundance of magical events and activities like the Festival of Trees, carriage rides, and gorgeous hikes along the Glenbury Trail. A ride on the Tweetsie Railroad at night will take you by some beautiful Christmas scenery.

6. Brevard

  • Location:175 E Main St, Brevard (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas parade
  • Website

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

Many people in Brevard like the winter season. Shoppers on Main Street can be seen and heard from all directions as they search for the best holiday gifts.

Over the years, O. P. Taylor Toy Store has become a staple in the neighborhood, and its toys are favorites with locals and visitors alike.

It is suggested that you visit the fascinating Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum before to dining at one of Brevard’s finest restaurants.

7. Dillsboro

  • Location: 42 Front St, Dillsboro (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Festival of Lights and luminaries
  • Website

During the rest of the year, Dillsboro has the feel of an artistic mountain town, but when the snow starts to fall, it becomes a magical winter paradise.

To accommodate holiday customers, shops and galleries in Dillsboro remain open longer than usual during the annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries, which features the stringing of more than 2,500 candles in white bags throughout the city’s streets.

 8. Asheville

  • Location: 1 Approach Rd, Asheville (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas parade, Gingerbread competition, Christmas at Biltmore
    Winter Lights at the N.C. Arboretum.
  • Website

While the whole city of Asheville gets into the Christmas spirit, the Biltmore Estate, the city’s most famous landmark, is where most of the festivities take place.

Here you could see the most lavishly constructed gingerbread houses and the most amazing light displays you’ve ever seen.

You may take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the grounds, and there are both white and red festive wines available for tasting.

There is the annual Asheville Christmas Parade, the National Gingerbread Competition, and s’mores roasting over fire pits in the Botanical Gardens of Asheville.

9. Banner Elk

  • Location: Tate-Evans Park- 210 Park Ave, Banner Elk, NC (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas tree lighting and musical variety show, breakfast and story time with Santa, Christmas light show.
  • Website

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

Banner Elk, a small town in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is a wonderful place to spend the holiday season if you appreciate snow sports like skiing, ice skating, and snow tubing, as well as warm and fuzzy holiday traditions like tree-trimming parties and gift-giving.

In this little town, Christmas is celebrated in full splendor. Events like the annual Christmas Tree Lighting and the live performances at A Banner Elk Christmas make it impossible to not get into the spirit of the season.

Apple Hill Farm also gets in on the Christmas spirit by hosting tours that include encounters with the farm’s animal residents and a gift shop loaded with handmade treasures of the highest quality.

10. Waynesville

  • Location: 9 S Main St, Waynesville, NC (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas Parade
  • Website

It’s the evening before Christmas in Waynesville, and Main Street is alive with the sounds of carolers and the clatter of horse-drawn carts carrying visitors.

It’s a celebration of the most delightful time of the year, and it’s celebrated annually. After feasting at one of the town’s premier restaurants, you can watch the birth of Jesus and the events leading up to Christmas come to life at the Living Nativity.

11. Winston-Salem

  • Location: Tanglewood Park- 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Festival of lights at Tanglewood Park, Running of the lights
  • Website

Historic Winston-Salem is the place to go if you want to see a Christmas celebration that has remained mostly unchanged for almost 260 years.

Walking over the picturesque Old Salem Bridge or through Old Town will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time; many of the city’s customs can be traced back to Moravian culture. Admire the festive decorations that decorate the old buildings and wind their way down the cobblestone streets.

Seeing a performance of The Nutcracker and seeing the interiors of some of Winston Salem’s ancient buildings by candlelight are two of the best things to do in the city during the month of December. Traditional Moravian Christmas goodies will abound.

12. Rutherfordton

  • Holiday Events: Winter’s farmers market
  • Website

The largest Christmas tree in North Carolina may be found in Rutherfordton, where its 75 feet of glory tower above Main Street.

The first full week of December is dedicated to the Historic Small Town Christmas Celebration, which includes a parade, a snowman decorating contest, and a market featuring handmade items from the area. Take a stroll around town and detour to check out the displays of moving art in a few local shops’ windows.

13. Morganton

  • Location: Christmas Parade-110 E Meeting St, Morganton (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas Parade, Christmas in the barn, Christmas Market.
  • Website

If you’re looking for a spot to spend the holidays where you can feel the warmth and community of a small town, Morganton is the place to go. Stop by the local courthouse or the Christmas Charm Market to see some holiday decorations.

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

The Christmas Parade through Downtown Morganton’s Historic District is a must-see! And the best way to say “we’re going to take a trip down memory lane to recapture the old-time Christmas mood” is by taking a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

14. Black Mountain

  • Location: Circle Of Lights Event- 304 Black Mountain Avenue, Black Mountain (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas parade, Circle of lights at Lake Tomahawk,
    Santaland diaries
  • Website

Black Mountain has the kind of small-town vibe that makes the holiday season seem especially cozy and welcoming.

The annual Christmas parade always provides a thrilling show, and this year was no exception, with over a hundred participants.

In the days preceding up to Christmas, many people visit the Holly Jolly Downtown Christmas Market, see the Circle of Lights display around Lake Tomahawk, or attend the Dinner with Dickens dinner theater performance at the Red Rocker Inn.

Shops and galleries remain open late on the weekends leading up to Christmas so that shoppers can get their holiday errands out of the way, while carolers and storytellers spread seasonal cheer as they perform throughout the retail district.

15. Charlotte

  • Location: 324 S Mint St, Charlotte (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas village, Christmas caroling
  • Website

You have undoubtedly contemplated traveling to Germany only to see the country’s famous Christmas markets.

There’s no need to book a trip to Europe when you can enjoy Christmas markets just as nice as the ones in Europe all across the Charlotte region.

Charlotte’s Christmas Village’s market is a perfect illustration of how to get into the holiday mood without feeling like you’ve left the present.

A live German band will play as you peruse the stalls offering strudels, bratwurst, mulled spice wine, toys, and arts & crafts.

Charlotte has several Christmas-themed events, including movie screenings, visits with Santa, dinner theaters, and the beautiful WinterFest celebration, which features thousands of lights, a 70-foot tree, and attractions.

16. Sylva

  • Location: Downtown Sylva, 773 W. Main Street Sylva, NC (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas parade, Tree lighting
  • Website

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

An enormous Christmas parade, a winter market with local crafters, live entertainment, visits from Santa, extended shop hours, and a gorgeous courthouse on a hill of Christmas trees are just a few of the highlights of a North Carolina Christmas in Sylva.

There are a number of breweries in the area, and you’re sure to like the seasonal range of craft beers they provide.

17. Beaufort

  • Location: Beaufort Waterfront (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas in Peachtree Bluff Double-Decker Bus Tours
    annual Christmas candlelight tour, Christmas Parade
  • Website

Beaufort’s downtown is one of the best adorned in North Carolina, and the city has many spectacular holiday events, such as a Christmas parade and a Holiday Art Walk, which contribute to the town’s reputation as one of the best places to visit during the winter holidays in the state.

The Christmas Candlelight Tour attracts a large crowd each year because people want to view the finestly decorated homes, churches, and hotels in town.

18. Beech Mountain

  • Location: 403 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Holiday Market, Annual Christmas Parade and Festivities
  • Website

Beech Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the most likely place in North Carolina to see snow on Christmas Day. The town of Beech Mountain sits atop North Carolina’s highest peak, making it the state’s snowiest metro area.

There are several winter activities to partake in at the ski resort, including skiing, ice skating, sledding, and snowshoeing.

Anyone trying to get into the spirit of the season might do worse than a visit to Creekside Falls, a beautiful spot that seems like it was plucked straight from a fairy tale.

Events like the Beech Mountain Holiday Market, the Beech Mountain Christmas Parade & Festival, and Santa Comes to Beech Mountain fill the community of Beech Mountain with holiday cheer in the days leading up to Christmas.

After all the holiday merriment, why not unwind with a cold one at Beech Mountain Brewery, one of the best in North Carolina?

19. Concord

  • Location: Union St N, Concord, NC (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Christmas Tree Lighting and parade, annual Christmas tree
  • Website

Christmas Towns In North Carolina

One of the largest Christmas light displays in the United States is held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord throughout the month of December.

More than four million lights and hundreds of displays take over the four-mile circuit in the days leading up to Christmas.

There is also an annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade featuring pyrotechnics and other family-friendly activities.

20. Bryson City

  • Location: Polar Express train-45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City (GPS)
  • Holiday Events: Polar Express train ride, Letters to Santa, Holiday market, Christmas wonderful hayride, Christmas Parade.
  • Website

The Polar Express is Bryson City’s most popular attraction throughout the holiday season. If you want to go on an adventure to the North Pole that you won’t soon forget, go to the Depot.

Children will be overjoyed to see Santa, and their parents will love the chance to relive their own youth. Passengers enjoy the views of the season as they sip hot chocolate, listen to tales, and sing holiday songs aboard the train.

After taking in Bryson City’s dazzling light displays and 50-foot Christmas tree in the town center, take a tour through Darnell Farms and shop for unique holiday gifts made by local artisans.

Take the youngsters to the visitor center so they may write a letter to Santa.

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