If you are low on holiday cheer, there’s no need to fear, for there is a magical place very near. From east to west, we have found the best of the best; seven Christmas towns guaranteed to put your gloomy attitude to rest. What we have before you are are the top Christmas towns in Tennessee that will change your “Bah humbug” to pure glee. Trust me (you will see), a trip to one of our towns is all it will be — but after your visit, your spirit will be set free. These Christmas towns in Tennessee will warm your heart and fill your soul with glee.
It might have something to do with The Grinch, but I am just inspired by the spirit of the season to introduce these places in Dr. Seuss-like rhymes. However, you may be pleased to hear that, as for my rhyming, I am now done, so let’s go to some Christmas towns for pure holiday fun!
Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
In order to have one of the best Christmas towns in Tennessee, you have to have the entire community deck the halls and come out for the celebration. Gatlinburg is known for being a town that knows how to celebrate.
When the holiday season comes, around the entire town is filled with sparkling Christmas lights. Not only is this mountain town transformed by the dazzling lights, but every business and attraction jumps on board with some of the best Christmas events in Tennessee. Catch the annual Christmas parade, walk one of
the longest pedestrian bridges in America
, immerse yourself with elaborate holiday displays at
, and so much more. And while you're at it, knock out some shopping -- Gatlinburg is filled with unique gifts to check off your "nice" list with one-of-a-kind items.
2. Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge is a lot like Gatlinburg when it comes to celebrations because they share the same spirit, finding inspiration from the Great Smoky Mountains. It truly is a magical place here in Tennessee, transforming into an even more enchanting place during Christmastime.
is a town-wide event that lasts for months, kicking off in November when the town decks the halls from every storefront to every attraction. There is one hotel in town that celebrates the holidays 365 days out of the year, however:
The Inn at Christmas Place
is a great place to spend the night if you come from out of town.
puts on a massive celebration with some of the best Christmas lights I have ever seen, and places like the Island put up dazzling displays. Even restaurants like the
offer unique Christmas-themed shows. Add it all up, and it's safe to say that when it comes to "things to do for Christmas in Tennessee," you can find plenty to keep you busy in Pigeon Forge.
is one of everyone’s favorite suburbs of Nashville and for good reason. The historical charm just lends itself to romantic hallmark movie-inspired Christmases.
Take a stroll downtown to see the glittering splendor of thousands of holiday lights along with a spectacular
. You will not want to miss the annual Christmas parade in Franklin, but just down the road in Leipers Fork, you can partake in one of the wackiest Christmas parades in Middle Tennessee!
For an old-fashioned holiday experience, check out the annual classic known as a
Dickens of a Christmas
where all of Charles Dickens' characters come to life. With live music, costumes, and activities for the whole family to enjoy, this is one of the most anticipated holiday celebrations all the year. When it comes to Christmas festivals In Tennessee, it's pretty tough to beat the lineup you can find each year in Franklin.
Jonesborough, TN 37659, USA
Jonesborough is one of those iconic Christmas towns that wins you over with its historic charm and fills you with joy the second you take a step on those brick sidewalks. When you are looking for places to go for Christmas in Tennessee, this little town should be near the top of your list.
Downtown Jonesborough is lined with decorated storefront windows, trees wrapped with lights, and delightful Christmas decor. The attention to detail is incredible and every time I have visited, I've been amazed by the beautiful decorations.
Not only does the town look good, but they set up a whole month of activities sure to lift your spirits. The adorable "Doggone Christmas" event centers around man’s best friends with a parade, costume contest, and much more. Themed holiday celebrations, annual parades, and Christmas markets are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this month-long celebration in
5. Union City
Union City, TN 38261, USA
is a little town in the northwestern corner of Tennessee that houses one of the best museums in the state.
The Discovery Park of America
hosts a drive-thru and walk-thru event called
Let It Glow
. Let It Glow features over a million lights illuminating a driving path filled with spectacular displays. The walk-thru portion is a sparkling wonderland through the gardens on the property.
Not only is Union City home to this incredible event, the town also hosts an annual tree lighting, parade, and open house market to encourage shopping local at the many small businesses in town.
It can be argued that no place quite embraces its history like
. In fact, this town is so fully immersed in its roots that they have made multiple museums, decree a rotating theme every year for the town, have a pioneer village, and more!
In terms of town spirit, you'll find it in spades in Granville, with the holidays having and the whole entire community coming together in their shared passion for all things merry and bright. The month-long celebration starts in November and continues through New Year's. The town's decorations are inspired by Hallmark Christmas movies, and they host a Christmas character parade, an antique toy show, and so much more. There is so much to love about a small town that embraces its roots and puts on a Christmas celebration this good.
Chattanooga is one of those cities that is about the perfect size to have big experiences, but never gets too busy. I love Chattanooga and had to include it on this list for the unique events that appear across the city during the holiday season.
North Pole Limited
is one of the biggest Christmas events all year. People flock for the magical experience of riding a train to the North Pole and opportunity to immerse themselves in the historic wonder you can only find on an authentic engine.
That's not all this Tennessee town has up its sleeve; on Lookout Mountain just over the border into Georgia, you can visit the enchanting Rock City which is completely covered in dazzling lights. The zoo is always fun to visit and watch the adorable animals, of course, but during the holidays the Chattanooga Zoo hosts its annual
Chinese Lantern Festival
with the most elaborate and enchanting lantern displays. There are so many events planned throughout November and December that you can easily just spend those two months within the city limits and still not see it all!
When the holy jolly season comes rolling around, these are some of the best Christmas towns in Tennessee to visit. So which one is your favorite? Which of these towns should get crowned the title of the Christmas Capital of Tennessee? Let us know — we would love to hear from you!
It is never too early, or too late, to get that perfect gift for your loved ones. Allow us to help spark some creativity with our gift guide for travelers.
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