Published On: Dec 02 2011 04:18:46 PM CSTUpdated On: Dec 22 2014 01:00:00 AM CST
From dazzling Disney displays to brilliant boat parades, Yahoo! Travel ranks the best holiday lights destinations to ring in the season this year.
For more than 60 years, a charming block of row houses on the city's 34th street has been transformed into what’s dubbed “Christmas Street” and the “Miracle on 34th Street.”
The “100 Miles of Lights” festival strings together illuminated extravaganzas between six cities, including Richmond, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
8. San Antonio
The city's famous River Walk comes alive each year with more than 1.8 million holiday lights garnishing 200 trees and 20 bridges. Carolers sing nightly from passing river barges.
7. McAdenville, N.C.
For nearly six decades, this town of 700 lures some 600,000 visitors to witness its transformation into what’s been dubbed “Christmas Town USA," decking more than 375 firs with nearly a half-million lights.
6. Branson, Mo.
The city's 1880s-style theme park Silver Dollar City hosts “An Old Time Christmas" each year, an elaborate light-and-music show showcasing 4 million radiant lights and 1,000 decorated Christmas trees.
Don’t miss Macy’s 45-feet-high Great Tree and downtown’s sparkling Christmas tree in Daley Plaza. The 20th annual “Magnificent Mile Lights Festival” is at the city’s celebratory epicenter.
Denver's dazzling city and county building is a must-see. The Denver Botanic Gardens’ “Blossoms of Lights” exhibition features more than a million lights, glistening ice sculptures and a strolling choir.
3. Walt Disney World
"The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights" blankets the theme park with a staggering 5 million lights that sync up with animated displays for choreographed interpretations of holiday tunes.
2. Newport Beach, Calif.
A flotilla of some 200 vibrantly decorated vessels glides through Newport Harbor in the "Christmas Boat Parade" as holiday music and costumed carolers fill the air with melodious merrymaking.
1. New York City
Rockefeller Center’s iconic towering tree, set aglow with some 30,000 bulbs that glisten down upon the ice-skating rink, is not to be missed. Also check out the downtown's Winter Garden and 14-foot illuminated stars at the Time Warner Center.
A plan to have fresh water from an ocean desalination plant flowing into the system by October in Santa Barbara is behind schedule and that's causing concerns. A new schedule shows drinking water won't be produced, tested and approved until January.