Unique traditions and festivals bring America’s holiday season to life
NORFOLK, Va. (December 10, 2013) – From evergreen trees to palms, homeowners across the country trim their trees and deck the halls for the winter holidays. Homes.com sought out the top 10 exciting cities with the most notable winter flair and has announced its Top 10 Winter Wonderlands. Homes.com is showcasing the towns best known for their yuletide observances and winter festivities. From the fierce winter winds nicknamed “The Hawk” in Chicago, Ill., to the hot natural pools of Lava Springs, Idaho, America’s seasonal spirit spans coast to coast with distinct holiday style in each corner.
Each city in the Homes.com list of Top 10 Winter Wonderlands has its own unique traditions, making each winter experience an unforgettable one for locals and visitors alike. Check out the list of Top 10 Winter Wonderlands that have America buckling up their snow boots for a jolly ride this season.
Homes.com Top 10 Winter Wonderlands
1. Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta sparkles with traditional and thrilling holiday events, filling the air with anticipation and excitement for the season. Residents and visitors can enjoy the magical lighting of Macy’s Great Tree at Lenox Square or take a ride on the store’s “Pink Pig” train. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra delights with a series of holiday concerts, and the annual Children’s Christmas Parade makes its way through downtown Atlanta on famed Peachtree Street. Tour festive homes, especially one at Peachtree & Dunwoody that takes an over-the-top approach to lawn décor with more than fifty inflatables, including a giant spinning dreidel.
2. Saranac Lake, N.Y.
When you live in the woodsy timberlands of New York’s Adirondacks, you don’t have to venture far to be inspired by the season’s magic and allure. Besides the abundant natural beauty, this former logging town just up the road from Lake Placid plays host to an annual winter carnival dating back to 1897. Crowning the town is the massive Ice Palace, made from ice bricks cut from local Lake Flower and lighted at night. This beautiful icy facade sets the scene for a snowy paradise, picture-perfect for winter enthusiasts.
3. Chicago, Ill.
Even with temperatures dropping well below freezing, Chicagoans know how to shake off the winter blues. From gift shopping on swanky Michigan Avenue to checking out the twinkling lights of Lincoln Park Zoo, there’s something for everyone. Experience a German holiday celebration at the Christkindlmarket by enjoying authentic German foods, shopping and entertainment. The holiday spirit abounds as residents enjoy bundling up and taking in everything that makes living in the Windy City so fantastic.
4. Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
If living near hot springs and only two hours north of Salt Lake City’s ski slopes is not thrilling enough…Lava Springs offers a jaw-dropping winter tradition. Each year, locals run the snowy streets stripped down to bikinis and boots during the annual Fire & Ice Festival on Main Street. The race ends at the Idaho State Hot Springs, which stay toasty year-round at 112 degrees.
5. Boston, Mass.
With more than 58 colleges in the area, this city is renowned for its plethora of higher education options. Bostonians can take advantage of their proximity to these college campuses and enjoy many university choral concerts and holiday showcases throughout the season. Residents can also hop on down to Frog Pond in Boston Commons, the nation’s oldest public park, to ice skate or pick up a sled and ride down the snowy banks.
6. Nashville, Tenn.
The holiday season in cultured Nashville is filled with lots of carol crooning and jingle bell rockin’. The city’s southern belle homes of yesteryear get decked out in grandiose style. These wonderful old homes are decorated with authentic holiday antiques and showcase everything from trees trimmed antebellum style to historic holiday dress. To see some modern-day homes really put on a show, take a joy ride down Sunnyside Drive in the Brentwood community, known for its opulent light displays. As part of this annual tradition, the neighborhood collects donations from holiday lights spectators to raise money for local charities.
7. Baltimore, Md.
For 66 years in Baltimore’s Hampden section, the neighborhood light display has been a holiday spectacle that now garners national recognition. Every year, residents of 34th Street adorn their homes with lights in every nook and cranny for a sensational display. This fantastic showcase coincidentally shares its name with the iconic New York City street in the holiday film, Miracle on 34th Street. The out-of-this-world exhibition in one of the best cities to celebrate this holiday season has become so big that many residents argue it can be seen from space.
8. Grapevine, Texas
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the holiday fun. Branded the Christmas Capital of Texas®, Grapevine has a wide range of excitement to offer every member of the family. With more than 1,400 events taking place over a span of 40 days, even Scrooge would get into the holiday spirit in this city. Music lovers can check out performances at the Grapevine Opry, take a break from the traditional celebrations at the indoor water park, or visit the International Christmas Market to purchase unique holiday gifts.
9. Denver, Co.
There is no need to search high and low for unique inspiration in the Mile High City. Locals head to historic lower downtown Denver, nicknamed LoDo, for holiday fun with artistic flair. Each year, art students compete in the LoDo Aglow Window design contest, decorating store windows for the season. A walking tour of the district gives residents an up-close and personal look at the designs before they are judged by city officials, business owners and art enthusiasts.
10. Park City, Utah
With neighbors including U.S. Ski Team Olympians, Park City residents know how to take advantage of all the fun that comes with cold weather. Park City is a winter sports enthusiast’s heaven, receiving more than 500 inches of powdery snow each winter. Adventure abounds on over 100 slopes and trails. The historic Park City District also hosts a number of events, including a gingerbread house competition and the number one rated winter sports special, the Deer Valley Celebrity Ski Fest. The premiere network celebrity ski weekend takes place each December and draws stars from the Olympic Games, film and television, all participating to raise funds for a good cause.
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