The Top 25 Hallmark Christmas Towns Index
Known for their heart-warming cards, Hallmark has capitalized on finding those moments that inspire humility, gratitude and connection. Given that the holiday season is full of these kinds of moments, Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas movies have truly been able to capture the essence of the season in their seasonal lineup.
Featuring small towns with local cafes, friendly neighbors who call each other by first name, and a whole line up of Christmastime activities, these movies stir something in even the toughest Grinch. While you may not have the time to watch all of the 200+ films on their list, perhaps you would like to have your own Hallmark experience?
Guess what, it’s actually possible.
We did the work for you and ranked some of the nicest, coziest small towns in America perfect for a Hallmark movie.
Our process factored in scenery, friendliness, walkability, Christmas cheer, and small-town business representation. Our list of small towns can be sorted according to your preferences so you can uncover the perfect real-life Hallmark town in America for you.
1. Jackson, Wyoming
Don’t confuse this small town with the rather similarly named valley in which it is located. To clarify, Jackson Hole is the name of the full 50 mile-long stretch along the Teton Mountain Range. However, we are zooming in on the small, darling town of Jackson.
Here winter wonderland and holiday magic reign. It’s everything Hallmark and Christmas could dream. Just imagine walkable historic streets, western facades with twinkling lights and some of the friendliest smiling locals in all of America. That’s exactly what you will find in Jackson, Wyoming.
It’s no wonder it won the top spot on our list. Their annual 12 Days of Christmas is a sure-fire tradition that never fails to impress. The community celebrations include over 21 events including decorating Gingerbread houses, brunch with Santa and even an ugly sweater party.
2. Telluride, Colorado
Surrounded by towering white Rocky Mountain peaks during the winter and hidden in a box canyon, this quaint, picturesque city seems to have more holiday festivities than people.
Regardless of the population, the list of activities is long and includes aptly named events such as their very own Polar Express, Noel Night, and Holiday Prelude.
The Holiday Prelude is worth noting as the city becomes its very own version of the North Pole. To illustrate, here you can find Santa, his workshop and even live reindeer all making an appearance. It’s a perfect place to go for the entire family!
3. Park City, Utah
Located in the Wasatch Back of the Rockies, this mountain pass nearly faded into history after it’s shining days during the Silver boom. We aren’t sure how, because it’s one of the most beautiful places on our list.
More importantly, during the Christmas season, this treasured town with over 100 independent boutiques and 50 original restaurants transforms into a city of holiday riches that even Hallmark can’t replicate.
In fact, their Electric Parade is one of the most festive events we’ve heard of. Instead of everyone driving out to look at Christmas lights on houses, this city brings the lights to town. The incredible sparkling fire trucks, cars, trolleys, and floats parading down the street to Christmas is a sight to behold.
4. Ligonier, Pennsylvania
The classic bandstand sitting in the downtown square lets visitors know once they’ve made it to this quintessentially small town just an hour from Pittsburgh. Settled in the 1760s, it’s still known for its family spirit and old-school style.
Their Light Up Ligonier day is just one of their holiday events meant to preserve the childhood wonder of Christmas for everyone. With Christmas carols playing throughout the city, a good chance of fluffy snowfall and a mailbox for sending your Christmas list to Santa, it’s easy to let go of reality.
The best part of this particular day, the winner of a special raffle gives one lucky child the opportunity to push the button that transforms the entire town into a twinkling and glittering Christmas city.
5. Taos, New Mexico
Soft, glowing light beckons visitors to this New Mexican village emanating a certain kind of inexplicable warmth. The glow comes from the edges of rooftops and sides of the streets. Where does it come from?
It is the local tradition of lighting “farolitos” or paper lanterns. Characteristic of the region, the practice involves tucking small candles in sand and wrapping them in paper bags to decorate the entire city.
This is just one example of how fire marks the season for this cozy adobe town. Home to diversity, friendship and openness, their wintertime season is named Yuletide in Taos to encompass every type of religious and ethnic wintery festivity.
6. Williamsburg, Virginia
It’s like slipping back into colonial days in this historic town. Don’t be surprised if you run into a characteristic tricorne hat, especially during Christmastime.
A happy marriage of familial English traditions brought to the American colonies and new, original traditions, this town celebrates it all. Each year they continue to light cressets, an early form of street lighting which was made from a metal pole with a fire-safe bowl on top. Windows are decorated with a single candle in windows. Over 2,500 wreaths decorate the historic center and nearby Busch Gardens is home to the biggest Christmas light display in North America.
It’s the perfect destination for families, offering activities for kids of every age. We advise taking a look at the WilliamsburgFamlies daily calendar to make sure you don’t miss their lineup chock-full of festive events. From Christmas pudding to the old-English tradition of the Lord of Misrule, the cheery atmosphere and jovial townspeople will certainly transport you.