2023’s Most Festive Cities

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Sleigh bells are ringing, snow is glistening, while Mariah Carey serenades shoppers at every department store — it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Which of the 200 biggest U.S. cities most resemble a scene out of a Hallmark movie?

LawnStarter made a list of 2022’s Most Festive Cities and checked it twice. We looked for cities with bags of fun, like holiday festivals and European-style Christmas markets serving delicious goodies.

Of course, no winter wonderland is complete without snow, so we also measured the average snowfall in each city to find the most Instagram-worthy backdrops. 

Check out the 10 most festive cities — and the 10 most bah humbug — below, followed by highlights and lowlights from our report. (See where your city ranks here.)
Most Festive CitiesRankCity
1 New York, NY
2 Las Vegas, NV
3 Los Angeles, CA
4 Chicago, IL
5 Denver, CO
6 Houston, TX
7 San Antonio, TX
8 San Diego, CA
9 Charlotte, NC
10 Philadelphia, PA
Christmas in New York: Kids from 1 to 92 will find it hard to sleep in The City That Never Sleeps. New York is our No. 1 most festive city for the second year in a row, dominating four out of five categories. 

Even though New York placed eighth in “Frolicking,” no other city holds a fir-scented candle to America’s most popular tourist destination. It would take a miracle on 34th Street to beat the city with the most holiday festivals, attractions, music venues, gift shops — you name it.

To rub icy elbows with your pal Jack Frost, head to Upstate New York. Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester are true winter wanderlands, boasting excellent walk scores and the highest average snowfalls among all 200 cities. The region already hit an icy milestone, a historic 4 feet of snow in a single day, back in November.
Where the Grinch Stole Christmas: Crowd-averse residents of several California, Florida, and Texas cities can enjoy more than one silent night this holiday season. Three cities from each of these states make up most of our bottom 10.

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