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Best Places to Celebrate the Holidays in the United States


Source: Cincinnati Zoo

USA Today readers all agree – there is no place like home when it comes to celebrating the holidays!

Readers voted their favorite places in America to celebrate the festive season with USA Today compiling the top favorites into categories such as ‘Best Historic Home Tour’ and ‘Best Public Lights Display.’

According to USA Today these fabulous locations made their “Best Places to Celebrate the Holidays” list:


Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights – A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania snagged this top spot. USA Today readers voted Longwood Gardens at the top of their botanical gardens holiday light category thanks to the more than half a million lights gracing Longwood. Complete with carolers and firepits, the celebration continues inside with “elegantly adorned spaces and towering trees inspired by the contours of ribbons to confectionery to snowflakes.”


Best Historic Holiday Home Tour – Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee is a must-see at Christmas. More than 600,000 people visit each December to view the traditional lights, live Nativity scene – and of course, a visit from Santa. Elvis fans will love the extra Presley family holiday memorabilia placed on display during December.


Best Holiday Market – Carmel Christkindlemarkt in Carmel, Indiana. USA Today readers love the German Christmas spirit present at Carmel’s annual Christkindlemarkt, which houses the only Glühwein Pyramid in the United States.


Best Hotel for the Holidays – obviously choices abound in this category, however, the top spot went to The Roosevelt New Orleans. According to USA Today, “during the holidays, the lobby at The Roosevelt New Orleans gets adorned with 135,572 lights, 1,004 feet of garland, 698 hand-tied bows and 2,200 glass ornaments decorating 44 Christmas trees and 3,328 feet of winter white branches.”


Best Public Holiday Lights DisplayUSA Today readers voted Bentleyville ‘Tour of Lights’ in Duluth, Minnesota the best place to enjoy a public lights display – and with more than 5 million lights spread over a 20-acre park on the banks of Lake Superior, it’s no wonder! Readers love to spend time there drinking cocoa, meeting with Santa, getting their photos taken with Rudolph, and roasting marshmallows.


Best Zoo Lights – Cincinnati Zoo is a wonderful place to visit at any time during the year, but in December the zoo comes alight with over 3 million lights as part of their PNC Festival of Lights. According to USA Today, “Visitors can meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, watch a lights show on Swan Lake, drool over a gingerbread village, munch on s’mores or ride the Toyland Express train.”


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