Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The holidays are quickly approaching and lots of folks are in a festive mood! A few of my friends are already decorating for Christmas! For many of us, Christmas and holiday decor makes us happy. If you’re looking for a fun holiday road trip for the weekend or just for the day, Only in Your State has a list of the seven best Christmas towns to visit this year. Two of them is just down the road from Charlotte!

If you want to see an array of holiday lights, enjoy some tasty holiday treats, and check out some Christmas themed performances, these are the towns you need to hit for 2023.

  • Asheville, North Carolina

    Not surprising that this town is first on the list. Folks love Asheville! It’s a great town to visit during the holidays as there are lots of restaurants, shops, and lights to see. And in Asheville you can get some winter weather! One of the most popular attractions in the city is the Biltmore House. Two events have started there: the Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration and Candlelight Christmas Evenings. Since it’s so large, seeing the lights at the Biltmore Estate is a true treat. Details about their holiday events can be found here.

    And if you’re looking for an upscale place to stay, check out The Omni Grove Park Inn. It’s gorgeous this time of year! Every year they hold an array of holiday events including The National Gingerbread House Competition, which is stunning to see!

  • Belmont, North Carolina

    Belmont has grown considerably in the last few years, and the downtown area is too cute! There are lots of shops and eateries to check out. Usually, Stowe Park in downtown is decorated for the holidays, and it’s adorable! Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is also in Belmont, and it is stunning during the holiday season! Holidays at the Garden is beginning Nov. 24, and you can see the sparkling lights and fountains, open fires, and lavish holiday decorations. The Festival of Trees starts on Nov. 27, Christmas in the Park takes place on Dec. 16, and a s’more-making activity is scheduled for Dec. 23.  There’s something for everyone in the family in cute Belmont. Find out more info here. 

  • Forest City, North Carolina

    Just over an hour or so away from Charlotte, Forest City is a quaint town! You can easily take a day trip to enjoy the Hometown Holiday Festivities beginning Nov. 23 and going through Jan. 1, 2024. There’s a Christmas tree lighting, a parade, and cute businesses to check out. You can also take a carriage or hayride, visit Santa, and go ice skating. Fun! Find out more about the holiday events here. 

  • Halifax, North Carolina

    Halifax is a historic town, about 3 and 1/2 hours from Charlotte. Step back in time and enjoy clothing and life from 200 years ago. The town’s second annual Yuletide by Lanternlight will be Dec. 1. It’s a candlelight tour that starts with a horse-drawn wagon ride. So cool! All the historical buildings in the town will be draped in lights for the holidays. If you’d like to head down that way just after Thanksgiving, Enfield, about 10 miles from Halifax is holding their Oyster Roast Nov. 25. Get details on Halifax and their historical Christmas activities here.

  • Hendersonville, North Carolina

    Hendersonville is a cute mountain town close to two hours from Charlotte. Beginning in mid-November through New Year’s Day, the town celebrates Home for the Holidays. You can take in all of the decorated shops and homes, enjoy carriage rides, a Christmas parade, and holiday-themed performances at the Flat Rock Playhouse.  Their big event is the downtown tree lighting, the day after Thanksgiving. Santa will be there to light up the 20-foot Christmas tree.  You can also purchase a live Christmas tree and wreaths to take home. It’s a cute town to see! Find out more here. 

  • Kernersville, North Carolina

    This is a town I’ve been to many times! Kernersville is a suburb of Winston-Salem, and all of my aunts on my mother’s side of the family live here. It’s grown lots since I’ve been there last, but it’s really a cute place. Christmas is fun there, and lots of folks really get into decorating. One of my aunt’s has one of the largest Christmas mouse collections in the state, not kidding! It’s a trip!

    This town has lots of history, and you can go back in time and celebrate the holidays with their Victorian Christmas at Körner’s Folly. It begins Nov. 21 and goes through Jan. 6, so you have lots of time to check it out. See other events happening here. 

  • McAdenville, North Carolina

    We’re all familiar with McAdenville, aka, Christmas Town USA! McAdenville is adorable and it’s only 30 minutes from Charlotte. Christmas in this town is gorgeous, and you can walk through the town to see all the lights or drive thru. I have a few friends that live in McAdenville, and they start decorating early since it takes a while to get all their decor up!

    The holiday fun begins in McAdenville on Nov. 25 with a 5K holiday run. The town’s tree lighting is Dec. 1, and the lights begin that night and run through Dec. 2.6. There are a few different spots in town to grab some holiday treats while seeing the lights. Just a heads up, the lights run from 5:30 p.m. til 10 p.m. and traffic can get a bit crazy. If you want to see the lights, go early as you’ll probably be waiting a bit. Find out more about Christmas Town USA here. 

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