Florida is home to one of the best Christmas towns in America – Fernandina Beach.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and to celebrate the season, the dating reviews website MyDatingAdviser.com has ranked the 152 best Christmas towns in the USA.
The 33rd place spot goes to Fernandina Beach which has been a popular Christmas town for decades with warming hot cocoa, shopping, and Christmas lights. If you’re in the mood for cozy, wintry towns to get into the Christmas spirit, Fernandina Beach is a great place to visit for some serious holiday cheer.
To determine the best Christmas towns in the USA, MyDatingAdviser compared 152 well-known Christmas towns across the country on 21 key metrics. They looked into festive activities, weather, dining, hotels, transport, among other indicators of a joyful Christmas break.
Using the data points, each town has been given a ‘Christmas Town Index Score’. This represents the quality of the Christmas break you could have there.
Here are the top Christmas towns in Florida:
1. Fernandina Beach, FL
Rank: #33, Index Score: 61
Description: For those who don’t need snow to have the perfect Christmas, there’s Fernandina on Amelia Island. While the holidays have been a bit different because of the pandemic, the town is still promising “plenty of holiday cheer and merriment with reimagined events.” The Christmas activities include an annual holiday home tour Dec. 4-5 during which historic downtown homes are decorated for the season and opened to the public, a St. Nick Meet & Greet, and horse and carriage rides.
2. St. Augustine, FL
Rank: #40, Index Score: 59
Description: We’re guessing you didn’t expect our list to open with a warm-weather locale. But St. Augustine won a spot here because it’s downright festive. Lights, candles, and Christmas decor are sprinkled throughout the town throughout the entire holiday season—and best of all, you don’t have to wear a coat to get out and enjoy it all.
3. Naples, FL
Rank: #50, Index Score: 56
Description: Heading to the beach for your not-so-winter getaway? Naples, Florida has sun and sand for days, with a handful of must-do annual holiday traditions. Victoria Park and Third Street offer free entertainment from local parades to live music or check out the Naples Botanical Gardens for some luscious wandering. Illuminated with Christmas lights, the sculptures and plants have a holiday overlay, and you can round out your night by grabbing themed cocktails.
4. Key West, FL
Rank: #52, Index Score: 56
Description: You might think a snow-covered chalet and a roaring fire is the ultimate Christmas destination, but a tropical destination can be just as fun. Why not put the greenery back in your Christmas tree – as in green palm trees, azure warm water, and an umbrella Christmas cocktail – and head to Key West, Florida for Christmas?
Located at the southernmost point in the USA, Key West is the last stop on US Highway 1 and 90 miles before you reach Cuba. Its laid-back island vibe is the reason so many revelers flock here to escape the harsh winter up north and enjoy the holidays in paradise. The holidays are the perfect time to get in, on, or under the water, and you can snorkel, sail, dive, parasail, kayak, fish, or just hang out by the water with a cocktail during the day. Then watch the sunset from Mallory Square and the fun begins.
5. Delray Beach, FL
Rank: #94, Index Score: 45
Description: A 100-foot-tall Christmas tree is just the thing to shift the mood from beach to holiday. At the center of the aptly named Old School Square (a historic district revived as a cultural center), the tree magically opens to reveal a wonderland inside, with toy trains running around miniature scenes depicting holiday traditions.
6. Seaside, FL
Rank: #122, Index Score: 37
Description: Take your Christmas celebrations to the beach for a visit full of coastal festivities and seafood galore. Seaside, Florida is the perfect coastal holiday destination because there is so much to do on 30A in December. There’s plenty of holiday decorations to enjoy and so many shops and restaurants to browse. We’re dreaming of a coastal Christmas.
7. Orlando, FL
Rank: #126, Index Score: 36
Description: Few places compare to Disney World during the holidays. Once Halloween passes, Disney World slowly starts to transform into a Christmas wonderland. Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas every year, which celebrates the season with countless lights, festive decor, (fake) snow, unparalleled holiday entertainment, and so much more.
8. Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Rank: #138, Index Score: 30
Description: Head down to the beach for a mild-weather Christmas celebration of lights, festivals and holiday magic that spans the length of 30A and then further down both ways via Highway 98 to Destin and Panama City Beach. No need to do your shopping beforehand, because Santa Rosa Beach and its neighboring beach towns are filled with sweet shops and fantastic restaurants that will spark some December indulgence.