Which California Destination Is Considered the “Best Christmas Town?

You might want to pack your clogs with that kringle.

Most cities, big and small, turn up the charm for the holidays … and our California enclaves rarely disappoint. From pier lightings to mountain top carols, there’s no shortage of holiday spirit all month long. So is it even possible to single out just one community for its chosen merrymaking? Reader’s Digest thinks so, identifying a festive favorite for each of the 50 states. Taking the Christmas crown for the Golden State: Solvang.

“Visiting this captivating town north of Santa Barbara at holiday time will have you thinking you’ve been transported to the Old World. Founded by settlers from Denmark, the village features architecture (including a windmill!), restaurants, and goodies that are distinctively Danish. In December, Solvang goes all-out for its Julefest, featuring downtown candlelit caroling tours, nativity pageant, wine and beer tours, live music programs, parade, and tree lighting. The festival also takes visitors on a Holiday Lights Tour through the Santa Ynez Valley to see the best-illuminated homes and on a ‘Nisse adventure’ scavenger hunt to find these Danish gnome-like creatures throughout the downtown.”

Do you agree with their pick? You can read about all 50 Christmas towns here.

More Stories
Music + Culture

How a Norwegian Got the Blues in San Jose

He only moved to California in 2001, but Kid Andersen’s passion for West Coast blues is pure Americana.

Life Outside

Meet Chloe Kim, Our Newest Gold Medal Hopeful

This 17-year-old California snowboarder is ready to soar.