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November 29, 2022

Cape May, Atlantic City named among 25 best Christmas towns in America by Travel + Leisure

The list featured destinations known for their holiday decor and wintry events

Holiday Jersey Shore
Cape May Christmas Courtesy of/Cape May MAC

Atlantic City and Cape May were named to Travel + Leisure's list of the '25 Best Christmas Towns in the USA.' Above, one of the properties featured during Cape May's annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour.

Those looking to get into the holiday spirit should head to the Jersey Shore, according to one prominent travel magazine.

Travel + Leisure has named Cape May and Atlantic City to its list of "25 Best Christmas Towns in the USA." Cape May was ranked No. 21 and Atlantic City was No. 23.

MORE: Lancaster named the best place to retire by U.S. News & World Report

The list of "the most charming towns to spend Christmas" features destinations from coast to coast, including towns that boast beautiful decorations and cheerful wintry events.

Cape May drew praise for the sweet treats from the Original Fudge Kitchen, the historic Congress Hall resort – which hosts festive family-friendly activities – and its unique architecture, which particularly adds charm at Christmastime.

"This Jersey Shore town has a strong Victorian streak — it's easily recognized by its quaint architecture — and the holiday season pushes it a little further on the Dickensian scale," wrote Travel + Leisure's Katrina Brown Hunt.

Cape May's holiday staples include Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall, held Wednesday, Nov. 30, and the West Cape May Christmas Parade, held Saturday, Dec. 3. There are also holiday-themed trolley rides, Breakfast with Santa events and multiple tree lighting ceremonies. Plus, visitors can admire the town's decor during its annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours, held the first three Saturdays in December. 

Breakfast with Santa Cape MayCourtesy of/Cape May MAC

Several opportunities to have breakfast with Santa will be available in Cape May throughout December.

As for Atlantic City, the spirit of the lively seaside town landed it a spot on the list.

"A casino and boardwalk don't exactly conjure images of plum puddings and carolers, yet travelers appreciate Atlantic City's wild weekend spirit and vivid people-watching around the holidays," Hunt wrote.

Travel + Leisure specifically noted the Atlantic City Holiday Bazaar happening at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University on Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4.

Atlantic City Christmas Bazaar StocktonChristina Marie Klein/Stockton University

The second annual Atlantic City Holiday Bazaar takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, December 4, at Noyes Arts Garage at Stockton University in Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City Tinseltown Holiday Experience – a new, citywide celebration that includes an array of holiday events – kicks off Thursday, Dec. 1, with a tree lighting ceremony at Bally's Atlantic City Casino Resort at 5 p.m. 

It also includes Winter Wonderland Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, and the Santa Hustle 5K, Half Marathon and Kids Dash on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Atlantic City christmas decorCourtesy of/Casino Reinvestment Development Authority

Atlantic City is debuting a citywide holiday celebration this year – the Atlantic City Tinseltown Holiday Experience.

Each casino also has its own lineup of holiday events, including live performances, seasonal dining experiences and themed pop-up bars.

"Whether it's touring the amazing decorations throughout the resort, taking in a holiday show at one of the casinos, shopping at the Tanger Outlets, or enjoying holiday-themed beverages by a fire pit, Atlantic City is the place to celebrate the holiday season with friends and families this year," said Karen Martin, acting Director of Communications & Marketing for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Wondering which towns beat out Cape May and Atlantic City? The top five best Christmas towns in the U.S., according to Travel + Leisure, are:

1. Aspen, Colorado
2. Ogunquit, Maine
3. Vail, Colorado
4. Nantucket, Massachusetts
5. Orlando, Florida

Holiday lovers looking to plan a cross-country Christmas road trip can check out the rest of the list here.

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