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If you’re going on a holiday road trip—or just want to catch some incredible Christmas lights displays during the season—have we got a list for you! Everyone knows Disney World and Rockefeller Center—but what about Lights Under Louisville in Kentucky? Or Koziar's Christmas Village in Bernville, Pennsylvania?
You don’t have to go all the way to New York or Orlando to see the most impressive lights displays. No matter where you’ll be for the holiday season,
car insurance broker app Jerry has made a list of the coolest Christmas lights from east to west.
Before embarking on your yuletide journey, you’ll want to make sure you have the right car insurance and roadside assistance. There’s nothing that ruins Christmas cheer faster than a flat tire, but good insurance and Jerry’s roadside assistance will have you back on the road faster than you can say “jingle bells.”
Read on to learn more about the best Christmas light displays in the USA.
Annapolis, Maryland: Lights on the Bay
Twinkling lights along the Chesapeake Bay—what more could you ask for? The SPCA hosts this annual holiday display at Sandy Point State Park, featuring a two-mile scenic drive with nearly 70 displays along the roadway. Children can also take part in the nightly scavenger hunt to win prizes! Admission is $20 per car, and the display runs from November 21 to January 2.
Bernville, Pennsylvania: Koziar’s Christmas Village
Why go to a single light display when you can visit an entire Christmas village? Koziar's Christmas Village started as an immaculately decorated family house in 1948 and has since expanded to the nearby barns, lake, buildings, and landscape. The whole scene includes more than one million lights!
This fairyland isn’t only just a feast for your eyes—you can experience Christmas through all your senses. The village is host to a toy shop, old-fashioned bakery, and a Christmas post office—where you can write a letter to Santa, of course.
All tickets are under $20, and the village is open on all major holidays throughout the season.
Clifton, Ohio: Legendary Lights
Clifton, Ohio is home to the historic Clifton Mill, which happens to be the site of some Legendary Lights every Christmas season. Featured in multiple magazines and voted as one of USA Today’s Choice Travel Awards, Clifton Mill is decorated with over four million lights across the mill, gorge, riverbanks, trees, and bridges.
This winter wonderland includes a miniature village, a Santa Claus museum, a toy collection, and a synchronized lights and music show. Keep your eyes peeled—you may even see Santa in his workshop, checking his list, and going up the chimney!
Parking is free, and admission is $10 for every person over four years old.
Lisle, Illinois: Illumination
Of course, Chicago has its fair share of Christmas fun, but a quick 26-mile drive west takes you to Morton Arboretum for its mesmerizing Illumination experience. A paved one-mile trail, complete with festive music, takes you through 50 acres of the Arboretum’s trees, decked out in glowing lights that look downright magical.
The route even includes s’mores stops or concession tents for some wintery refreshments. This display pays homage to the natural beauty of the forest while celebrating the season.
Tickets for guests range from $13 to $24—and they go quickly, so buy in advance!
Louisville, Kentucky: Lights Under Louisville
There are tons of Christmas lights displays across the country, but how many of them are underground? Head to the Louisville Mega Cavern to experience Lights Under Louisville, the only underground holiday light show in the world.
Take a 30-minute driving tour through the winding passageways of the cavern—clad in over four million lights and over 900 lit characters.
Bring your whole family and stay in the comfort of your own vehicle, starting at $32.99 per car.
Nashville, Tennessee: Christmas at Gaylord Opryland
It wouldn’t be a country Christmas without stopping at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Resort. This indoor resort and mini-village have an expansive greenery display all year-round, but Christmas time is when it really shines—literally.
Not only does the inside look stunning draped in two million lights, but Opryland’s Christmas experience includes endless activities, shows, and events for the whole family.
Legendary performances, ice-tubing, ice bumper cars, carriage rides, breakfast with Rudolph, rides, nightly caroling, and more—you won’t need to go anywhere else for big Christmas fun.
Atlanta, Georgia: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Atlanta Botanical Gardens plays host to Georgia’s best lights display, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Explore 30 acres of whimsical, larger-than-life light displays of characters from familiar stories, such as Alice in Wonderland.
Tickets range from $24 to $44 and must be purchased in advance, so be sure to plan ahead!
St. Augustine, Florida: Night of Lights
If warm weather and Spanish Colonial architecture sound like the perfect holiday backdrop, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights is right up your alley. The historic downtown area transforms 20 blocks into a magical promenade—and it’s free!
Named among the top ten holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic, Night of Lights features millions of glowing white lights in the nation’s oldest city. If the area covers too much ground for you to walk, there are plenty of ways to see the city. You can catch a ride on the Old Town Trolley, take a carriage ride, hop on Santa’s Red Express train, cruise on a golf cart, or even take a boat tour!
Theodore, Alabama: Magic Christmas in Lights
Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s Magic Christmas in Lights display captures all the whimsy and comfort of Christmas in a small, Southern town. Winning plenty of recognition and numerous awards over the years, Magic Christmas in Lights features more than 1,100 set pieces, three million lights, and 16 scenes over the 65-acre estate. If the walking tour leaves you feeling a bit peckish, you can purchase snacks and hot chocolate at the halfway point.
Adult tickets range from $16 to $25, but there are military and group discounts available.
Hot Springs, Arkansas: Wonderland
National park and resort city Hot Springs, Arkansas hosts a beautiful Trail of Holiday Lights in its quaint downtown area, but Garvan Woodland Garden's Wonderland adds even more Christmas magic.
The Gardens’ Wonderland display is an expansive art installation in nine main areas of the grounds, each with different themes. Wonderland features some local favorites—like a sea dragon, mushrooms, pavilion snow globe—but they add new displays each year.
The fun continues with weekly events, like concerts, tea parties, a daily scavenger hunt, a Reindeer Games party, and various holiday workshops throughout the season.
Adult tickets are $15, but admission is free for members or kids 3 and under.
Branson, Missouri: An Old Time Christmas
Branson is host to the popular Silver Dollar City, an 1880’s theme park with family fun all year—but it shines the brightest during Christmas time. The park is transformed into an incredible holiday destination, complete with 6.5 million lights, Santa’s cottage, a nightly parade, and daily live holiday shows, including A Dickens Christmas Carol.
Add all of this to Silver Dollar City’s thrilling rides, charming shops, and yummy treats, and it’s the ultimate holiday destination. No wonder it was voted America’s Best Holiday Event by USA Today for multiple years in a row.
Austin, Texas: Trail of Lights
With a city as hip and cool as Austin, of course it’s going to have the coolest lights in Texas. The Austin Trail of Lights takes you on a cruise through more than two million Christmas lights with 90 lighted trees, 70 festive displays, and several light tunnels.
That’s not all—this event also plays host to a holiday carnival, complete with a giant ferris wheel. Tickets are around $40 per vehicle, depending on when you go.
Denver, Colorado: Blossoms of Light
Denver Botanic Gardens transforms into a wonderland of twinkling colors during the Blossoms of Light event. With such a variety of colors and displays of all sizes, there’s something to keep every age entertained. The half-mile path through 24 acres features vivid and colorful displays that put even Dr. Seuss to shame.
Admission starts at $16 for adults and $13 for kids.
Riverside, California: Festival of Lights
The Mission Inn Hotel's Festival of Lights is one of the nation's largest holiday light collections, voted “Best Public Lights Display" by USA Today. Just outside of LA, the castle-like hotel is donned with over five million lights, attracting half a million visitors every year.
Portland, Oregon: Christmas Festival of Lights
The Grotto in Portland hosts a Christmas Festival of Lights each year, which includes a peaceful illuminated stroll through the garden. The Grotto also hosts nearly 200 Christmas concerts on its ground as part of the event—the largest Christmas choral festival in the world.
The festival also includes outdoor caroling, puppet shows, and musical guests, making it the perfect place to experience the holiday season for the whole family.
General admission for adults is $14, but buying in advance online can save you a few dollars.
Leavenworth, Washington: Christmastown
The Bavarian village of Leavenworth is already a destination with its Tudor revival architecture and picturesque downtown area, so you know its Christmastown event is sure to be a charming experience. Lights cover the trees, buildings, and downtown area throughout the season, turning it into the aptly named “Village of Lights.”
The activities last all season long, including music and entertainment, holiday character photo-ops, strolling carolers, kids’ activities, chestnut roasting, and Santa photos—just to name a few. Leavenworth also has a reindeer farm!
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