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The Best Christmas Towns In Florida


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Fenelia Pasquale



Welcome to the sunshine state of Florida, where the holiday season comes alive with festive cheer and delightful decorations. While Florida may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of traditional winter wonderlands, it is home to some of the best Christmas towns in the country. From charming coastal cities to historic towns and vibrant communities, Florida offers a unique blend of holiday spirit and warm weather celebrations.


During the holiday season, these towns transform into magical destinations, adorned with beautiful lights, festive decorations, and a myriad of events and activities for residents and visitors to enjoy. Whether you are a Florida local looking for a new holiday experience or a traveler seeking a sun-filled Christmas getaway, these towns have something special to offer.


In this article, we will explore the best Christmas towns in Florida, each with its own distinct charm and holiday traditions. From the historic streets of St. Augustine to the quaint charm of Mount Dora, the artistic vibe of Winter Park, and the Greek heritage of Tarpon Springs, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


So grab a cup of hot cocoa, put on your Santa hat, and let’s embark on a magical journey through the best Christmas towns in Florida!


St. Augustine

Step back in time and experience the enchanting holiday atmosphere in the historic city of St. Augustine. Known as the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine truly comes alive during the Christmas season, creating a nostalgic and charming ambiance.


The centerpiece of the festivities is the annual Nights of Lights event. Starting in late November and running through January, the city is illuminated with over three million twinkling lights. The dazzling display transforms the historic district into a magical wonderland, making it the perfect place to stroll hand in hand with loved ones and admire the festive decorations.


Aside from the stunning lights, St. Augustine offers a variety of holiday events and activities. Take a tour of the beautifully decorated historic homes, indulge in seasonal treats at the local bakeries, or explore the unique shops for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. Don’t miss the famous Holly Jolly Trolley, where you can sing along to Christmas carols while marveling at the lights.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Colonial Quarter is a must. Immerse yourself in the traditions of 18th-century holiday celebrations, with authentic reenactments and performances that bring the past to life. Explore the festive Christmas markets, where you can find handmade crafts, local delicacies, and traditional ornaments to add a touch of St. Augustine to your own holiday decor.


Visiting St. Augustine during Christmas also gives you the opportunity to attend the breathtaking Candlelight Procession at the Mission Nombre de Dios. Join the community in singing Christmas carols and witness the lighting of the Christmas tree, creating a truly magical and heartwarming experience.


Whether you spend your time exploring the historic landmarks, savoring delicious holiday treats, or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere, St. Augustine offers a Christmas celebration that is steeped in history and charm. It’s no wonder that this enchanting town is considered one of the best Christmas towns in Florida.


Mount Dora

Located in central Florida, Mount Dora is a picturesque town that exudes a quaint and cozy holiday charm. Known for its small-town atmosphere and its vibrant arts community, Mount Dora transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season, drawing visitors from near and far.


The highlight of Mount Dora’s holiday festivities is the annual Christmas Walk, a beloved tradition that takes place on the first Friday of December. The streets come alive with twinkling lights, as carolers fill the air with joyful melodies. Local shops stay open late, offering unique gifts, handcrafted items, and delicious treats. You can also catch a ride on the Polar Express Train, a children’s favorite, which takes passengers on a magical journey through the town.


For a truly enchanting experience, take a stroll around Lake Dora. The park along the lake is adorned with beautiful decorations, including a towering Christmas tree. It’s the perfect spot to snap some festive photos or simply enjoy the serene beauty of the surroundings.


In addition to the Christmas Walk, Mount Dora hosts various holiday events throughout the season. The Mount Dora Christmas Lighted Boat Parade, taking place on Lake Dora, is a sight to behold as boats sail by with dazzling lights and decorations. The Mount Dora Christmas Tour of Homes offers the opportunity to step into beautifully decorated residences, each with its unique holiday flair.


If you’re a fan of shopping, the Mount Dora Village Market holds a special Christmas market, featuring local vendors selling everything from handcrafted ornaments to homemade jams and jellies. It’s the perfect place to find that unique gift or souvenir to commemorate your visit to Mount Dora.


Wrapping up the holiday season in Mount Dora is the New Year’s Eve celebration. The town comes alive with live music, street parties, and a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Dora. It’s a festive way to bid farewell to the old year and welcome in the new.


With its charming atmosphere, holiday events, and a touch of artistic flair, Mount Dora truly earns its place as one of the best Christmas towns in Florida.


Winter Park

Tucked away just north of Orlando, Winter Park is a hidden gem that shines brightly during the Christmas season. Known for its cultural attractions, including art galleries, museums, and the prestigious Rollins College, Winter Park offers a unique blend of holiday festivities and artistic charm.


The centerpiece of Winter Park’s Christmas celebration is the annual Winter on the Avenue event. Park Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, is transformed into a winter wonderland, with twinkling lights illuminating the trees and storefronts. This magical setting sets the stage for live entertainment, local vendors selling holiday treats and crafts, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself.


Winter Park also hosts the popular Holiday Boat Parade. Taking place at Lake Virginia, decorated boats make their way through the water, showcasing imaginative displays and festive lights. It’s a truly unique way to experience the holiday spirit in Florida’s warm climate.


Art enthusiasts will find a haven in Winter Park during the Christmas season. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum houses the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work, and during the holidays, it becomes even more magical with the exhibit “Christmas in the Park”. The museum showcases exquisite Tiffany glass pieces and ornaments, creating a dazzling display that captures the essence of the season.


For those looking to lace up their skates, Winter Park’s Central Park is transformed into an outdoor ice skating rink during the holidays. Enjoy gliding on the ice while surrounded by the beauty of the park and festive decorations.


If you’re in the mood for a holiday performance, the Winter Park Playhouse presents special Christmas-themed shows, featuring talented local performers. From classic holiday tunes to heartwarming stories, these performances bring joy and laughter to audiences of all ages.


Winter Park’s charming brick streets, cultural attractions, and festive events make it a distinctive Christmas town in Florida. Whether you’re exploring the elegant Park Avenue, admiring the holiday lights, or immersing yourself in the art and culture of the season, Winter Park offers a truly enchanting holiday experience.


Tarpon Springs

Immerse yourself in Greek culture and holiday traditions in the charming town of Tarpon Springs. Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Tarpon Springs is renowned for its rich Greek heritage and vibrant community, making it a unique and delightful Christmas destination.


During the Christmas season, Tarpon Springs hosts the annual Christmas on the Sponge Docks event. The Sponge Docks, a historic district along the Anclote River, are adorned with festive lights, creating a picturesque backdrop for the celebrations. Explore the waterfront shops, indulge in delicious Greek cuisine, and experience the warm hospitality of the local Greek community.


A must-see attraction during the holiday season is the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. This stunning church hosts the annual Epiphany celebration on January 6th, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ. Witness the unveiling of the annual Epiphany cross and watch as young men dive into the chilly waters of Spring Bayou to retrieve it, symbolizing the blessings and prosperity for the year ahead.


For a unique shopping experience, the Tarpon Springs Sponge Exchange offers a wide variety of Greek-themed gifts, including traditional holiday ornaments, handmade crafts, and specialty food items. Take home a piece of Greek culture as a souvenir or gift for loved ones.


No visit to Tarpon Springs would be complete without indulging in the famous Greek pastries. Stop by one of the local bakeries to savor delicious treats like baklava, kourabiedes, and melomakarona, which are traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas season.


During your visit, don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat tour of the area’s natural beauty, including the Anclote River and the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy the scenic views and learn about the area’s rich history and wildlife.


With its Greek heritage, lively festivities, and charming waterfront location, Tarpon Springs offers a unique and culturally rich Christmas experience that is truly one of a kind. Experience the warmth of the Greek community and create lasting memories in this enchanting Christmas town.


Delray Beach

Located on the southeast coast of Florida, Delray Beach is a vibrant and lively town that knows how to celebrate Christmas in style. With its beautiful beaches, bustling downtown area, and festive atmosphere, Delray Beach offers a unique holiday experience.


The centerpiece of Delray Beach’s Christmas festivities is the annual 100-foot Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. This towering tree, adorned with thousands of lights and ornaments, stands as a symbol of holiday cheer and community spirit. The lighting ceremony kicks off a month-long celebration filled with live entertainment, holiday markets, and special events for the whole family to enjoy.


Stroll down Atlantic Avenue, the main street of Delray Beach, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the holiday spirit. The street is decorated with twinkling lights, and the shops showcase festive displays and unique holiday gifts. It’s the perfect place to find that special something for your loved ones.


Delray Beach also hosts the annual Boat Parade, where beautifully adorned boats cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway, showcasing creative and festive decorations. Watching the parade from one of the waterfront restaurants or parks is a magical experience that adds a splash of nautical charm to the holiday season.


The city also offers a variety of holiday concerts and performances. From live music in Old School Square to theatrical productions at the Delray Beach Playhouse, there’s no shortage of entertainment options to get you in the holiday spirit.


If you’re a food lover, Delray Beach has you covered with its diverse culinary scene. Indulge in a festive feast at one of the many local restaurants, where you can savor delicious holiday-inspired dishes and specialty cocktails.


For a unique holiday experience, head to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. During the holiday season, the museum hosts the annual Lantern Festival, where thousands of lanterns light up the gardens, creating a magical ambiance and celebrating the Japanese traditions surrounding the New Year.


With its vibrant atmosphere, beautiful decorations, and a wide range of holiday events and activities, Delray Beach offers a festive Christmas experience that perfectly blends sun, sand, and celebration.



Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota is a bustling city with a vibrant cultural scene and stunning natural beauty. During the Christmas season, Sarasota transforms into a magical destination, offering a wide range of festive activities and events for residents and visitors to enjoy.


One of the highlights of Christmas in Sarasota is the Annual Poinsettia Parade. This festive parade, featuring beautifully decorated floats, marching bands, and community organizations, winds its way through the streets of downtown Sarasota. Thousands of spectators line the route, cheering and reveling in the holiday spirit.


For a unique holiday experience, head to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where you can marvel at their annual Lights in Bloom event. The gardens are adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, creating a whimsical atmosphere as you wander through the stunning displays of holiday-themed botanicals.


Another must-visit destination during the Christmas season is Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the festive decorations, including beautifully lit pathways and holiday-themed exhibits. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Santa Claus and his animal friends for a memorable holiday photo.


If you’re a fan of the performing arts, Sarasota has you covered. The Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Ballet present special holiday performances, bringing the magic of the season to the stage. You can also catch musical concerts and holiday-themed plays at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and local theaters around the city.


If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts, the downtown area of Sarasota is a shopper’s paradise. From boutiques offering one-of-a-kind items to local markets and art galleries showcasing the works of talented artists, there’s something for everyone on your gift list.


For a more active holiday experience, head to Siesta Key Beach, known for its powdery white sand. Spend the day building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or simply relaxing under the warm Florida sun. Don’t forget to catch the breathtaking sunset, a spectacular sight to behold.


With its mix of cultural attractions, beautiful beaches, and festive events, Sarasota offers a delightful Christmas experience that combines art, nature, and holiday cheer.



Nestled in the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola is a charming coastal city that knows how to celebrate Christmas with a touch of Southern hospitality. From festive parades and events to beautiful holiday decorations, Pensacola offers a warm and welcoming holiday experience for locals and visitors alike.


One of the highlights of the Christmas season in Pensacola is the Winterfest Downtown Tour. Hop aboard a trolley and embark on a journey through the historic streets of downtown Pensacola, as costumed characters bring to life enchanting holiday tales. The tour includes stops at various historic sites, showcasing the city’s rich history and holiday traditions.


For those who love a good parade, Pensacola doesn’t disappoint. The Winterfest Elf Parade, complete with marching bands, local organizations, and, of course, Santa’s elves, is a sight to behold. The Pensacola Christmas Parade, one of the largest in the region, features beautifully decorated floats, festive music, and vibrant displays, spreading holiday cheer throughout the city.


If you’re in the mood for some holiday shopping, the Pensacola Winter Market is the place to be. Held in downtown Pensacola, this local market offers a wide array of handmade crafts, artisanal goods, and delicious treats. It’s the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts for your loved ones while supporting local businesses.


Pensacola’s historic district, known as Seville Square, comes alive during the holiday season. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully decorated streets, adorned with twinkling lights and festive décor. The shops and restaurants in Seville Square offer holiday delights and warm hospitality, making it a cozy destination to enjoy the Christmas spirit.


If you’re looking to experience a different kind of holiday celebration, don’t miss Pensacola’s “Christmas in the Park” event at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. This charming outdoor shopping center transforms into a winter wonderland, featuring a sparkling Christmas tree, an ice skating rink, holiday concerts, and even a visit from Santa Claus.


Pensacola’s stunning beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a unique Christmas experience. Take a stroll along the sandy shores, enjoy the mild temperatures, or participate in a beach-themed holiday event. The combination of sun, sand, and holiday festivities makes Pensacola a special place to celebrate Christmas.


With its parades, markets, holiday decorations, and beachfront beauty, Pensacola offers a delightful Christmas experience that showcases the city’s rich history, vibrant community, and picturesque coastal charm.



Welcome to Celebration, a planned community near Orlando that lives up to its name, especially during the Christmas season. Developed by The Walt Disney Company, Celebration captures the magic and charm of a classic American small town while offering a unique holiday experience.


One of the main attractions during the Christmas season in Celebration is the annual Now Snowing event. Each night, snow falls on the town center, transforming the area into a winter wonderland. Visitors can enjoy sledding, ice skating, a holiday-themed train ride, and even take a horse-drawn carriage through the picturesque streets.


Stroll through the downtown area, adorned with festive lights and decorations, and discover a variety of shops and restaurants. From specialty boutiques to quaint cafes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Indulge in tasty holiday treats or find that perfect gift for a loved one.


A highlight for many is the Celebration Holiday Home Tour. Explore the beautiful homes decorated in full holiday splendor, with each dwelling showcasing its unique take on Christmas decor. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get inspired and gather ideas for your own holiday decorations.


For those seeking a magical evening, the Celebration Town Center offers a synchronized light show set to holiday music. The stunning display transforms Market Street into a visual spectacle of color and sound, creating a mesmerizing experience for all who attend.


Celebration is also home to several community events during the holiday season. From festive parades to live performances and fireworks, there’s always something happening to celebrate the Christmas spirit. The town truly comes alive with holiday cheer and offers a sense of community that is second to none.


One of the best ways to experience the holiday season in Celebration is by attending the Holiday Concert Series. Held in the town square, these concerts feature local musicians and performers who delight the audience with joyful songs of the season. It’s a heartwarming and festive experience that truly captures the essence of Christmas.


With its picture-perfect streets, festive activities, and a touch of Disney magic, Celebration offers a unique and enchanting Christmas experience that will leave you with lasting memories. It’s no wonder this idyllic community is considered one of the best Christmas towns in Florida.


Key West

Escape to the beautiful tropical paradise of Key West for a Christmas celebration like no other. Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, Key West offers a unique blend of island charm, colorful history, and a laid-back festive atmosphere that will make your holiday season unforgettable.


One of the highlights of Christmas in Key West is the annual Holiday Fest and the Island City Christmas Parade. This vibrant parade features creatively decorated floats, local organizations, and festive music, creating a joyful and lively spectacle. The parade route winds through the historic streets of Key West, showcasing the island’s unique architecture and inviting everyone to revel in the holiday spirit.


Key West is known for its picturesque sunsets, and during the Christmas season, a special holiday tradition takes place at Mallory Square. The Key West Lighted Boat Parade is a breathtaking spectacle as elaborately decorated boats cruise along the harbor, twinkling with lights. Watching the boats glide by against the backdrop of a fiery sunset creates a magical and memorable experience.


Do not miss the opportunity to explore the festively decorated streets of Old Town Key West. The charming pastel-colored homes and lush gardens take on a new charm with the addition of twinkling lights and wreaths. The Key West Historic Seaport is also decked out in holiday decor, where you can enjoy waterfront dining, visit the local shops, or even embark on a holiday sunset cruise.


For a unique holiday shopping experience, stroll down iconic Duval Street. With its eclectic mix of shops, galleries, and boutiques, you’ll find a wide array of unique and locally crafted gifts. From art and jewelry to clothing and home decor, Duval Street offers something for everyone on your list.


If you’re in search of some holiday entertainment, check out the holiday-themed performances at The Studios of Key West or The Waterfront Playhouse. From festive concerts to theatrical productions, these venues showcase the talent and creativity of the island’s artistic community.


Of course, no visit to Key West during the Christmas season would be complete without indulging in the delicious local cuisine. From fresh seafood to tropical-inspired cocktails, Key West’s restaurants and bars offer a delightful culinary experience that perfectly complements the festive atmosphere.


With its laid-back island vibes, unique holiday traditions, and a touch of tropical allure, Key West provides a Christmas experience that is sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Embrace the spirit of the season in this charming island paradise!



Florida is not only a popular destination for its warm weather and beautiful beaches, but it also offers some of the best Christmas towns in the country. From the historic streets of St. Augustine to the vibrant coastal communities like Key West, Florida celebrates the holiday season with unique charm and festive spirit.


Each Christmas town in Florida has its own distinct personality and traditions, creating a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Whether you prefer the nostalgic ambiance of St. Augustine’s historic district, the artistic vibe of Winter Park, or the island charm of Key West, there is a Christmas town in Florida that will capture your heart and immerse you in the holiday spirit.


From the twinkling lights and festive decorations to the lively parades, holiday markets, and special events, these towns come alive during the Christmas season, inviting residents and visitors to revel in the joyous atmosphere. Whether you’re strolling down the picturesque streets, indulging in seasonal treats, or attending a holiday performance, the Christmas towns in Florida offer a unique blend of holiday cheer and warm weather festivities.


Whether you’re a Florida native looking for a new adventure or a traveler seeking a sun-filled Christmas getaway, exploring these Christmas towns will leave you with lasting memories and a sense of holiday magic. Immerse yourself in the local traditions, indulge in the festive food and drinks, and embrace the warm hospitality that these towns offer.


So, pack your Santa hat, put on your flip-flops, and head to one of Florida’s enchanting Christmas towns for a holiday experience like no other. Celebrate the season in style, surrounded by beautiful lights, cheerful celebrations, and the infectious holiday spirit that fills the air in these delightful destinations. Florida truly knows how to make the Christmas season merry and bright!