Ready to get into the Christmas spirit? Viewing Christmas light displays is a popular pastime throughout the United States. Whether it is a few simple strands or thousands of bulbs twinkling in the night, Christmas lights are a dazzling display of love for a time-honored holiday. Some displays, however, are much more zealous and have become attractions that bring hordes of people from all over to see the brilliance. Here are the 10 most dazzling holiday light displays in the United States.
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Christmas in paradise? St. Augustine is a historic city in Florida that also makes waves around Christmas time.
There are lit palm trees, shimmering mansions, and shining gardens. In fact, the Night of Light features over 3 million all-white lights in total.
Businesses stay open late, too, meaning you can do some shopping while perusing the streets full of illuminations.
The best part? It is free – and there is parking, horse buggies and shuttles available on the busiest evenings!
Address: 29 Old Mission Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084
A Christmas event like no other – that would be Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.
Over 8 million lights are aglow at the biggest Christmas light display in all of North America.
Many amusement park rides are also still open during this time, so you can move from Rudolph's Winter Wonderland to some thrills before casting your gaze up at the vibrantly coloring wreaths and stars.
While in Williamsburg, don't forget to check out the colonial townscape, where more Christmas events are taking place all month long.
Address: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg
Ready for a sparkling holiday in the heart of the South? In order to complete the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park, it takes over 15,000 hours and 1,500 volunteers.
This increasingly popular Christmas light display in the US has been growing bigger and bigger for the past 50 years.
Aside from food trucks and live music performances, the star of the show is the 1.25-mile walking circuit.
People meander the circuit, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the 50 light displays and 100 lighted trees. At the center is the tallest man-made free-standing Christmas tree in the world.
Address: 2400 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Austin
Hosted at ABQ BioPark, the River of Lights has become something of a tradition since its launch in 1998.
The botanical garden comes alive in a different way during the holidays with the state's grandest walk-through light show.
There are over 400 sculptures, animated displays, and eight miles of extension cords used to bring over 2 million bulbs to life.
You can also see traditional southwest luminarias—paper bag lanterns. Don't forget to hop aboard the Polar Bear Express!
Address: ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, 2601 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Albuquerque
New York City is a place unlike any other in the United States, so it should be no surprise that the holiday light displays are out of this world.
One such place would be the Dyker Heights Christmas lights in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
The locals deck out their homes with lights, decorations, animatronics and world, transforming the area into a veritable winter wonderland.
Over 100,000 people come every year to see the sight – which is around for a limited time. The cheer begins after Thanksgiving and lasts until New Year's.
Address: Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY
The holidays are taken seriously in Branson, Missouri.
The local theme park, Silver Dollar City, has a celebration every year that features 5 million Christmas lights and 1,000 Christmas trees.
Aside from the scintillating illuminations, there are holiday-themed rides to enjoy. However, Silver Dollar City isn't the only way Branson celebrates the holidays.
There is a long, long list of Christmas events happening for you to check out.
Address: 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy, Branson, MO 65616
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Branson
If you are willing to plan ahead for some Christmas fun, Orlando has something for everyone to enjoy around Christmas time.
Disney World pulls out miraculous events like “Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party” that goes on from November 9-December 22 every year, as well as caroling concerts, candlelit parades, and much more.
Then there's Universal Studios, where you can enjoy lights and magic throughout the park, especially within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
It is undoubtedly one of the best places to see Christmas light displays in the USA.
Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830
Though you might assume that the glitz and glam of the Las Vegas strip are all the Christmas lights you would need, there are bigger, better lights elsewhere.
When you say Christmas in Las Vegas, people will point you to the racetrack.
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts Glittering Lights, a 2.5-mile circuit that allows visitors (and their cars) to cruise the grounds while checking out more than 400 animated holiday lights. More than 30,000 vehicles are expected every year.
Address: 7000 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89115
Located at Warm Beach Camp is a wonderful annual Christmas event with over one million lights stretched over 15 acres of waterfront campgrounds.
The Lights of Christmas is one of the largest holiday light displays in the US, comes with 7 different light zones all themed differently.
There is also live entertainment, shopping, children's activities, and on-site food concessions. It is quite the wintry festival, engaging children from 1 to 99 years young.
Address: 20800 Marine Dr, Stanwood, WA 98292
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Washington State
Often called the Sweetest Place on Earth, Hersheypark in Pennsylvania is absolutely one of the best places to see dazzling holiday lights in the United States.
The theme park gets revamped to spread Christmas cheer during the season.
There are Sweet Lights abound, as well as a unique way to enjoy the display even if you don't feel like braving the cold.
That's right: there's a drive-thru display! Just be there before January 1st.
Address: 100 West Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033
The Night of a Thousand Candles is a beautiful place to visit, offering more than 27000 hand-lit candles and a myriad of beautiful Christmas lights.
They’re open from 4-9 p.m. and offer an opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with music and merriment.
The most anticipated event of the season, the night of a thousand candles, has been named "the best Christmas lights in South Carolina." It opens on the 5th of December and is available until the 21st of December.
It’s held regardless of the weather and boasts a live entertainment venue every night to keep you entertained, with over 2 million lights scattered around the gardens.
You’ll need to purchase your tickets ahead of time, and the price is $20 for adult members. Non-member tickets are $25 per person.
Address: 1931 Brookgreen Garden Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
This after-dark illuminated trail runs from November 11th to January 8th and is one of the most highly anticipated events during the holidays.
Explore the beautiful scenery of nature amidst the evening glow of Christmas lights and the sounds of music.
Featured artistic scenery returns year after year to make this event stand out, including the Winter Cathedral and the ever-popular fire garden.
Lightscape features a 360-degree view with lots of incredible sights to see from every angle. Explore beautiful scenery like the Spark Ballet, a graceful display of hanging lanterns, or Flynn, a luminous display with constantly changing colors.
These beautiful returning scenes make this the place to be for the best Christmas lights in the US.
Prices for adults are $30 for members and $32 for nonmembers. Child tickets cost $14 for a member and $16 for a nonmember.
Address: 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Chicago
Located in Theodore, AL, this is one of the best holiday lights in the US.
Celebrating their 27th year of Christmas magic, this beautiful scenery puts guests through a dazzling display of lights, with over 1100 set pieces bringing the gardens to life amid the evening glow.
With 3 million lights, 16 stunning scenes, and a 65-acre property, the Garden estate is certainly a great Christmas event for the whole family.
In addition to this wonderful display, the Bellingrath Home is decorated to match the holiday spirit, with lights and flowers galore to celebrate the joy of Christmas.
Address: 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd, Theodore, AL 36582
Nothing beats the soul of New Orleans, LA, and the Celebration in the Oaks is no exception. A holiday family tradition, this glorious display is one of the best Christmas light shows in the USA.
It’s a beautiful location to make memories with your loved ones and experience the 2.25-mile tour with over a million twinkling lights.
You can also access the beautiful Botanical Garden, and unlimited Amusement Park rides.
Beyond the pretty lights, Celebration in the Oaks is more of a tradition than anything else, featuring a ritual display of trees designed by students and nonprofit organizations, creating a rush of excitement around the holiday season.
Address: New Orleans City Park, 1 Palm Dr, New Orleans, LA
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New Orleans
In the heart of Arkansas lies the city of Fayetteville and its hidden gem, the Lights of the Ozarks. The Lights of the Ozarks is an annual light display that takes over the downtown square and transforms it into a winter haven.
With over 250,000 lights, the Lights of the Ozarks is one of the largest holiday light displays in the country. The display is put on by local volunteers and is completely free to enjoy.
Visitors can enjoy walking through the streets and taking in the festive atmosphere. The Lights of the Ozarks is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
The Enchanted Forest is a place of discovery and wonder, with the world illuminated by the glow of Christmas lights.
Each year, the botanical garden’s team mixes beautiful hand-crafted installations with atmospheric forest environments to create a one-of-a-kind experience for guests.
Amazing displays like kaleidoscope houses and a mist-filled forest beckoning visitors will have you coming back year after year to see one of the best Christmas light displays in USA. Tickets for this event range from $34 to $40.
Address: 1418 Descanso Dr, La Canada Flintridge, CA
In beautiful Atlanta, GA, this winter-wonderland experience is something you won’t soon forget.
Featuring unforgettable experiences like the gargantuan Tunnel of Light or the ever-popular Orchestral Orbs and Radiant Rainforest, this event isn’t something you want to miss if you’re looking for the best Christmas light displays near me.
Take the journey on the Glowing Grove across the Flower Walk that leads to the illuminated Ice Goddess.
This event runs from November 12th to January 14th and features many nearby attractions to enjoy while you're in the area.
Address: 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Atlanta
In the capital of Washington, D.C., a beloved national tradition continues to wow audiences—old and new—with its dazzling displays, gorgeous colors, and vibrant night lights. It’s available on certain days starting November 25th and spanning to December 30th.
The Smithsonian certainly knows how to kick off the holiday season with a bang with their mile-long walk that lines the path to the zoo. Best of all, this walk is entirely free, although you'll need to pay admission if you want to visit the zoo as well.
Befitting its unique position, ZooLights in D.C. features all of the animals that you’ll be able to discover in the zoo, making this light walk experience one of the best places to see Christmas lights in the US.
Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC
Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Washington, D.C.
What could be better than a hotel and spa during the holiday season? Why, a hotel and spa with a beautiful Christmas light display, of course!
In Riverside, California, the Mission Inn Festival of Lights tradition goes back to 119 as a gift to the community and continues to grow annually. This year, the Festival of Lights is running from November 25th to January 6th.
Each year, more than 500,000 visitors come to watch the display, which is voted the Best Public Lights Display, according to USA Today. As such, it's considered the biggest Christmas light display in America.
Address: 3700-3662 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
This experience in Lisle, IL, will make you see trees in a different light. The Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum are a one-of-a-kind sight to behold, featuring beautiful colors, sounds, and displays.
With lots of walk-through lights to experience, the night also features an incredible laser-show finale to close off the night.
For adults 18 and older, the Electric Illumination is a great experience, featuring a mixture of house and trance music synchronized to the fantastic light displays.
With a one-mile path featuring festive music, beautiful lights, and lots of places to grab a bite to eat, Illumination is truly a special experience.
Best of all, if you order ahead, you can take advantage of their early bird price and save on the cost of admission.
Address: 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532
If you're looking for amazing Christmas lights to get you in the holiday spirit, be sure to check out these holiday light displays from across the country. From the dazzling lights of New York City to the enchanting displays in small-town America, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So get out there and start exploring all the holiday cheer that these light displays have to offer.