Sleighbells tinkling, lights twinkling, and eyes crinkling from the joyous smiles when you find yourself in the middle of a feel good Hallmark Christmas movie. Charming Vermont towns and villages are picture-perfect Hallmark movie sets when draped in lush seasonal decorations and frosted with newly fallen snow. The seasonal festivals and events celebrated in a down-home, country style embody the spirit of Christmas in rural America.
Mitten-clad hands wrapped around a steaming mug of hot cocoa, bonfires to warm nippy noses, lovingly knit caps, and scarves catch tiny snowflakes that drift silently downward. This Hallmark movie scene plays out in towns and villages across the Green Mountain State, where old-fashioned holiday season celebrations resemble a timeless Currier and Ives print. One beautiful town is actually a real Hallmark Christmas movie location.
We have assembled nine of our favorite small towns that celebrate a Hallmark-like Christmas movie every December. They are presented for your enjoyment in no particular order.
When you think about charming small Vermont towns and Hallmark movies, Chester is the first spot that comes to mind. The filming location for Moonlight & Mistletoe, a 2008 Hallmark movie starring Candace Cameron Bure, Tom Arnold, and Barbara Niven, Chester vaulted into the Christmas town hall of fame. Packed with small-town charm and a welcoming community, visitors will feel right at home the moment they arrive. Wrap up in a soft buffalo plaid blanket and sip a warming concoction while you enjoy the view from the front porch of your getaway B&B; you will feel the gentle peace of the village wash away your work-a-day worries.
The darling Main Street is lined with quaint shops and cozy inns. Chester’s Scottish heritage is evident in the beautifully crafted stone masonry buildings along Route 103. Built in the Snecked Ashlar masonry style, the beautiful homes have thick stone walls and are covered with large flat stone slabs laid in a decorative pattern. The stone village is stunning when decorated for the season and dusted with a fresh snowfall.
Dine at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub where you can sample delicious dishes from the Scottish homeland. With your pint, enjoy a Rarebit, Highlander, or other sandwiches for a tasty bite.
Pro Tip: Stay at the Stone House Bed and Breakfast in the heart of the Stone Village Historic District in Chester. This pretty and walkable town will surely put you in the mood to binge on a string of Christmas movies.
Winter nights in Vermont are magical, snow-covered trails lit by moonlight and take on an adventurous twist with a twilight dog sledding ride. Mushing through the tall pines will have you bubbling with joy and wonder at the beauty of the moonlit forest.
Outdoor ice skating in the village center with snow-covered peaks framing the backdrop is a classic Vermont winter experience. Visit the Village at Spruce Peak for outdoor skating fun. The rink is open daily and rental skates are available. Practice your camera-ready twirls and enjoy an exhilarating spin around the rink.
Pro Tip: Stay at the Trapp Family Lodge where you can venture out and explore everything Stowe has to offer guests. Then retire to your cozy chalet where you can dine on inspired farm-to-table cuisine and enjoy the beautiful snow-covered hills from the warmth of your sitting room.
Stately white colonial homes clustered around a center green, tucked in by area mountains, Woodstock shines best when the snowflakes are falling and the Christmas lights are twinkling brightly. Stroll around the town center where you can envision a romantic sleigh ride, jolly snowmen, and merry carolers all camera ready for their starring role in several Christmas movies.
The Billings Farm puts on a Victorian-inspired Christmas to celebrate the holiday season. Its Christmas at the Farm and Wassail Weekend festivities include carriage rides, cider donuts, colonial crafts, and plenty of charming downhome fun. Be sure to check out the farmhouse Christmas tree decorated with traditional Victorian ornaments.
Woodstock is beautiful year round. Check out the Woodstock area destination guide for lots of great ideas for your visit.
Pro Tip: One of the most classic New England stays is at the famous Woodstock Inn & Resort. Exquisitely appointed suites, perfectly prepared farm fresh cuisine, and charming antique decor envelop you in luxurious comfort.
The Church Street Marketplace District, in the center of Burlington, is the perfect spot to amp up your Christmas spirit. Historic buildings line a beautifully decorated, tree-lined, pedestrian walkway anchored by a glorious Christmas tree. Leisurely stroll this charming historic district while you shop for those one-of-a-kind perfect gifts for friends and family. After hunting down your shopping treasures, stop for a nosh at one of the many excellent restaurants and cafes.
Pro Tip: TheHotel Vermont is a delightful stay in Burlington. With modern, unfettered decor, the hotel is the perfect spot for friends or family getaway. Many Wednesday nights are filled with the smooth jazz sounds from local musicians, making your stay extra special.
Grafton is home to less than 1,000 residents. Its quaint historic homes have a timeless appeal that transports visitors back to bygone days when life was easy and unplugged. Just like in a feel good Christmas movie, Grafton is the quintessential New England hometown.
The downtown area is home to galleries, museums, charming shops, and amazing cheese. Take a day out from your skiing holiday and immerse yourself in the soothing vibe of this fabled town.
Pro Tip: Established in 1801, the historic Grafton Inn offers visitors a romantic getaway where the accommodations are warm and cozy and the hospitality is first class.
The famous Vermont Country Store, where you can find every possible Christmas gift on your list, is a fabulous spot to find an old-fashioned Hallmark Christmas. Romance is in the air with festive lights, adorable flannel jammies, and cute nooks and crannies around the shop, you can almost see them staging a tension-filled movie scene where the boy-meets-girl finally realizes they are more than just friends.
Pro Tip: Vrbo offers a charming country estate that sleeps 16. It is a fun spot for a pre-Christmas family get together where, just like in the movies, the family dinner is delivered to the table on time and perfectly cooked. The Hallmark Channel may be calling you for its next family gathering filming.
This real life Hallmark town is the home of Robert Lincoln Hildene (President Abraham Lincoln’s son). The family home is a beautiful mansion and the perfect setting for a Christmas movie. The mansion is seasonally decorated in a traditional style for Hildene Holidays, Christmas Eve 1912. You will step back in time when small towns across New England celebrated the wonderful winter holidays.
Pro Tip: A luxury stay at the Taconic in the middle of this postcard-perfect village offers a lovely romantic getaway stay. The approachable luxury paired with curated experiences will leave you feeling your getaway is on a Hallmark movie set.
Waterbury is a fun, lively town and the Christmas events reflect the joyous celebration of the season. The anchoring trio of Very Merry Waterbury events puts the cheer in December. The Holiday Stroll and Artisan Boutique are joined by a unique lighting display, the River of Light Lantern Parade. The parade showcases local crafters, both amateur and professional, meandering through town in a serpentine stream of light. The River of Light is destined for film greatness. It would be a spectacular event on the big screen.
Pro Tip: The Moose Meadow Lodge and Treehouse in Duxbury is the perfect rustic setting for your own Hallmark Christmas movie. Cozy up by the fire and watch the snowfall as you sip a warming hot toddy with that special someone.
9. St. Albans
The charming small town of St. Albans is tucked away near Lake Champlain in the northwestern corner of Vermont. It is the perfect setting for a dreamy Hallmark Christmas movie. With all the historic Victorian buildings lining the downtown area, the winter wonderland ambiance is gorgeous. When the snow drapes St. Albans in a blanket of white and the twinkling Christmas lights glow through the pillowy blanket of snow, you will fall in love with this charming small town.
The Festival of Trees brings the entire community together to celebrate throughout the month of December. Join the festivities and immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas.
Pro Tip: Enjoy a classic New England stay at Back In Time. Close to the downtown, this cozy B&B is decorated in turn of the century style for an elegant, yet casual getaway.
Vermont is home to many small towns with charming historic buildings, twinkling Christmas trees, thick boughs of greenery, and wonderful winter celebrations, adventures, and experiences. As you explore these charming villages you can almost feel the film crew following you. You will be the star in your own special Hallmark Christmas movie.
Check out these Hallmark film locations before your next Christmas vacation: