Texas Towns

Christmas in Texas: 8 Places to Visit for a Festive Vacation

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Are you looking for a magical Christmas in Texas this winter? Luckily, Texas is home to several charming towns that are perfect for festive holiday celebrations.

The holiday cheer is alive throughout these Christmas towns in Texas. From admiring twinkling light displays to visiting small-town Christmas events, there are plenty of fun festivities in Texas.

While there are many towns where you could spend a Christmas vacation in Texas, there is a handful that makes the top of the list. We found the most festive Texas towns that we think you should visit at least once.

Top Places To Go in Texas for Christmas

Whether you’re heading on a short weekend getaway from Dallas or traveling across the states, the many towns in Texas all offer a splendid holiday stay. Are you wondering where to go for Christmas in Texas? Here are eight magical spots to enjoy the holiday spirit.

1. Grapevine, Texas

Christmas is a time of year where we gather around and celebrate with family and friends. Celebrate a classic Victorian Christmas with millions of twinkling lights in Grapevine, Texas. This town has been christened the “Christmas Capital of Texas” due to its annual celebration each December. There are so many things to do and experience in Grapevine for the holidays; it’s a magical experience, indeed.

When I think Christmas in Texas, Grapevine comes first to thought. Known as the "Texas Capital of Texas" Grapevine has so many things to do for kids and adults alike for holiday activities and events.

Grapevine turns into a winter wonderland, and all the major hotels partake in making the experience even more memorable. Grapevine is the perfect place to create holiday memories with your family and friends. Things to do in Grapevine during their “40 Days of Christmas” celebrations include:

  • Stroll Main Street in Historic Grapevine. There are several events and unique activites during this time and beautiful Christmas decorations, trees and millions of bright holiday lights.
  • Watch the parade of lights and the Twinkle Light Boat Parade at Lake Grapevine.
  • Get in you jammies and snuggle up on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad North Pole Express and have Mrs. Claus Serve up some milk and cookies
  • Take a Christmas Wine Train
  • Head Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas for the most magnificent display of Christmas and Christmas activities. The Gaylord for Christmas is a destination in itself. Every year there is a new holiday theme. ICE! The experience is created around the theme. In addition, SNOW! includes snow tubbing, ice sculptures, snow throws, build your own snowman, character breakfasts, gingerbread decorating, carousels and light shows. The atrium is at the center of it all with a spectacular display of trees, lights and holiday décor.

Where to Stay in Grapevine during holiday season:

  • Gaylord Texan Resort is our top pick for magical Grapevine Christmas memories. The resort fantastic if you are traveling with kids. The Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas is not just somewhere to stay, its definitely a destination full holiday activities.
  • Hotel Vin located right on Historic Grapevine’s Main Street is a stunning hotel and great for a couples getaway this holiday season.
  • Great Wolf Lodge if you are traveling with kids, this hotel is perfect and has “Snowland” during the holidays.

2. New Braunfels, Texas

If you’re looking for a holiday destination with fun festivals and Christmas markets in Texas, New Braunfels is the place for you.

This quaint town in south-central Texas provides exciting adventures with many things to do. It’s filled to the brim with fantastic spots to visit in December. One of our favorites is Santa’s Ranch, where you’ll drive through over a mile of country roads.

A drive through Santa’s Ranch offers an awe-inspiring display as the roads glow with more than 1.5 million lights and animated displays. This offers a fun family outing to bundle up in the car with hot cocoa and watch your little ones’ faces light up in awe.

Other Christmas attractions in New Braunfels include:

  • See a theatre production or magical musical at Circle Arts Theatre
  • Head to the Natural Bridge Caverns to celebrate Christmas with hayrides, ziplines, caroling, a reindeer roundup and a cute Christmas village.
  • Tackle your holiday shopping at Gruene Christmas Market Days
  • Grab some hot cocoa at head to the Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade

Where to Stay In New Braunfels, Texas

  • Guadalupe Riverfront Cottage an upscale, modern (and pet-friendly) cottage is perfect for spending a weekend in New Braunfels and exploring Texas Hill Country. The cottage is right on the river surrounded by a canopy of cypress trees.
  • Clutter Falls Retreat This charming A-frame guest home overlooks the Guadalupe river and offers privacy for a couples getaway.

3. Wimberley, Texas

Wimberley is a neighbor of New Braunfels and the next town Fredericksburg, Texas. Each of these small towns is easily accessible to one another and Austin and San Antonio.

Wimberley is a central town in Texas that provides an enchanting Christmas experience with a rural feel. Wimberley is best known for its spring-fed waters and abundance of artisan shops. During the Christmas season, you’ll come across several holiday-themed markets with seasonal décor, gifts, and delicious food.

Wimberley is a must-see Christmas town in Texas. Its perfect for a girls weekend, a romantic Christmas getaway for just a fun Texas road trip!

One of our favorite Christmas events in Wimberley is the EmilyAnn Theatre and Gardens Trail of Lights. This has become a town tradition and features millions of festive lights. You can enjoy a walking tour with your loved ones in the 6-acre winter wonderland free of charge.

The trail of lights offers live music, visits from Santa Claus, movie viewings, and complimentary roasted marshmallows at the Yule Log.

For a jolly adventure in Wimberley, check out these top spots on your next Christmas vacation:

  • Wimberley Market Days
  • Wimberley Farmers Market
  • Blue Hole Regional Park
  • Wimberley Square

Where to Stay in Wimberley, Texas

  • BellaVida Bed and Breakfast and Retreat come stay at a peaceful, warm and welcoming bed & breakfast near Jacob’s Well and the Blue Hole. Enjoy a nice home-cooked breakfast then head off to downtown Wimberley.
  • The Driftwood Yurt– Glamping at its modern finest. Have a different experience while visiting Wimberley in a Yurt.
  • A Charming Bungalow IN Wimberley Square a little country-chic bungalow hidden on Wimberley Square that is perfect for your stay.
  • Green Acres Cottages In the heart of Hill Country, this little community of cottages is perfect (and affordable) place to stay to explore Wimberley.

4. Fredericksburg, Texas – The German Christmas Town in Texas

Fredericksburg is one of the best places to visit in Texas during Christmas. This town is situated in central Texas and has a rich German heritage. The town boasts a 30-foot tall community Christmas tree and a 26-foot tall German Christmas pyramid.

A German Christmas pyramid, or Weihnachtspyramide, is a traditional decoration from the Ore Mountains region in Germany. In the 1700s, German immigrants brought this German classic to the United States. Fredericksburg’s Christmas Pyramid is one of the first large-scale German pyramids in the country that was first displayed in Marktplatz in 2009.

Photo 105022339 / Fredericksburg © Florin Seitan | Dreamstime.com
Fredericksburg is one of the best places to go in Texas for Christmas. Its a German town with German Christmas traditions.

The atmosphere in Fredericksburg is sure to bring joy into your holiday season. Fredericksburg is a renowned wine destination. Many wineries partake in the Christmas Wine Affair, where you can enjoy discounts and seasonal wine tasting offerings.

There are plenty of fun activities for all in Fredericksburg. Here are a few spots to visit in Fredericksburg during winter:

  • Light the Night Christmas Parade
  • AfterGlow at Marktplatz
  • Eisbahn Ice Skating Rink
  • First Friday Art Walk
  • Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm
  • Der Singende Weihnachtsbaum at Pioneer Museum

Where to Stay in Fredericksburg, Texas

5. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is one of the best destinations for Christmas getaways in Texas. You may not experience snow when visiting here, but you’ll undoubtedly feel the holiday spirit in the air. Nestled in south-central Texas, San Antonio is renowned for its rich history and culture.

Winter is one of the best seasons to explore San Antonio, where you’ll experience comfortable Texas weather with mild temperatures. There is an abundance of attractions in the city, such as the Natural Bridge Caverns and the San Antonio Riverwalk Christmas light display.

San Antonio is top Texas Christmas Vacation. The Riverwalk is lit up by millions of twinkling lights not to mention the cute small Texas towns that surround San Antonio to visit.
San Antonio, Texas

The charming holiday lights are lit from dusk to dawn and stay up from late November to early January. It features more than 100,000 sparkling lights arranged over buildings and trees along the river in downtown San Antonio.

Enjoying a stroll along the historic Riverwalk is one of the best free things to do in the city. Other top attractions in San Antonio include:

  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • Whataburger Zoo Lights at the San Antonio Zoo
  • Texas Transportation Museum
  • The Mission Trail
  • The Alamo

Where to Stay in San Antonio, TX

  • The Omni La Mansion del Rio is a historic hotel with stunning architecture in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Located on the Riverwalk, this beautiful property features guestrooms and suites, as well as an award-winning restaurant and bar.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk-is a great place to stay in the heart of downtown. Experience the beauty and charm of this iconic Texas city from this location near the Alamo, which can be seen up close on your daily walk along the Riverwalk.
  • Alamo Dome Home a block away from the Alamo Dome, this newly built guest house will make your visit to San Antonio an unforgettable experience.

6. A Quirky Christmas in Austin, Texas

Austin is home to some of the best Christmas attractions Texas has to offer. This city is located in central Texas, and the city is renowned for its exceptional food, quirky culture, live music, and friendly hospitality. The state capital transforms into a winter wonderland with striking Christmas decorations and enjoyable activities in December.

The Trail of Lights at Zilker Park is one of the most famed Christmas attractions in the city. The trail boasts over two million lights, 90 glistening Christmas trees, and more than 70 light tunnels. It is perfect for a fun-filled family experience, where you’ll find numerous food trucks, live music, and performances.

For a real Texas Christmas, head to Austin for all kinds of Christmas activities for all ages.

The Trail of Lights Fun Run is an exhilarating Austin holiday tradition for those eager to stay active over the holidays. It is a 2-mile adventure with spectacular views – and it’s great for working off all the Christmas cookies as well. More must-visit attractions when spending Christmas in Austin include:

  • Mozart’s Coffee Christmas Lights Show
  • Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Austin Steam Train

Where to Stay In Austin, Texas

  • Omni Barton Creek Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for a luxurious Austin getaway. Located just thirty minutes from downtown Austin and an hour from the airport.
  • IVY Haus Newly built bright & airy studio guesthouse located in Austin Crestview neighborhood. Its filled with posters from local Austin musicians and bright pops of color. This studio is perfect for solo travelers, couples, or small families.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Cedar Park Austin This affordable hotel is just minutes away from the Austin Convention Center, University of Texas at Austin, and all the fun in downtown Austin.

7. Marshall, Texas

The town of Marshall is a festive wonderland that lights up during the holiday season. Situated in East Texas, Marshall near Caddo Lake is home to one of the largest light festivals in the state: the Wonderland of Lights.

Marshall Texas is not a well known destination in Texas for Christmas but is absolutely one of the best. This little towns is great for Christmas in Texas!
Wonderland of Lights, Marshall Texas, Facebook

The famed Wonderland of Lights boasts more than one million lights that illuminate the city, and this month-long Christmas event was established in 1987. You’ll find plenty of historical attractions in the city, including the Michelson Museum of Art, Harrison County Historical Museum, and Starr Family Home State Historic Park.

In Marshall, you’ll have exhilarating experiences such as horse-drawn carriage rides, outdoor ice skating, and visiting Santa Claus in his Christmas village. Texas provides visitors with exceptional adventures, and the town of Marshall will not disappoint.

Marshall is one of the top Christmas destinations in Texas for the jolliest festivities. Here are some top attractions in Marshall:

  • Wonderland of Lights Jingle Bell Run
  • Marshall Christmas Parade
  • Weisman Center
  • American Museum of Magic

Where to Stay in Marshall, Texas

  • Historic Jefferson Cottage stay in a historic 1920’s cottage near the heart of Jefferson. Spend your time in this charming city, then retreat to your two story cottage, pour yourself a glass of wine and rock on the balcony.
  • Hampton Inn Marshall clean and comfortable rooms perfect for family travel and near all of the Marshall attractions

8. Jefferson, Texas

Christmas in Texas means going to Jefferson. This quaint town will take you back in time with the glow of Christmas decorations in historic homes. Founded in the early 1840s, the town of Jefferson is located in northeastern Texas. You’ll find awe-inspiring historical architecture in this pre-civil war town.

From Christmas shopping in antique stores to enjoying taste-bud-tingling experiences at charming restaurants, Jefferson is an excellent vacation destination. During the holiday season, you can enjoy candlelight tours of Jefferson’s historic houses.

The annual Candlelight Tour of Homes features extravagantly decorated houses that date back to the 1800s. Jefferson is the perfect place for history buffs to take a peek into the past. Some of the top historic attractions include the Museum of Measurement and Time and Gone With the Wind Museum. 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity in the city, consider a Christmas Express Train adventure at the Historic Jefferson Railway. It is a 3-foot narrow gauge railway that travels through beautiful piney woods. Aboard the Christmas Express Train, you can enjoy stories of Christmas traditions and breathtaking views along the Big Cypress Bayou.

The charming town of Jefferson offers a magical Christmas experience with fresh fir trees twinkling with holiday lights, ribbon, tinsel, and sparkling glass balls. When visiting Jefferson during the festive season, you should not miss these attractions:

  • Candlelight Tour of Homes
  • Jefferson Historical Museum
  • Enchanted Forest
  • Jefferson Christmas Parade
  • Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players

Where to Stay in Jefferson, Texas

  • Delta Street Inn The Delta Street Inn is a charming bed and breakfast located in historic Jefferson TX, the “bed- Breakfast Capital of Texas”. The inn was lovingly restored by its owner who wanted it to welcome travelers whose taste for comfort matches their eye for quality.
  • White Oak Manor Experience Southern charm and modern amenities while staying in this 1920s Greek revival manor, within walking distance of the Gone with the Wind Museum.

Final Thoughts on Texas Christmas Vacations and Magical Towns

Texas offers a unique charm all year round. But, visiting the state during the Christmas season promises an extra-special adventure. With thousands of twinkling lights and the cheerful holiday spirit in the air, the towns of Texas provide an exceptional festive experience.

Whether you’re looking to dine at charming restaurants or stroll through forests filled with breathtaking light displays, you’ll find plenty of activity in the state. So, grab your loved ones and pick your favorite Christmas town – Texas festivities await your arrival.

If you’re staying closer to home this Christmas, be sure to add some Texas towns to your future Christmas vacation bucket list!

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