There are many charming towns in Virginia that could star in a Hallmark Christmas movie. From the quaint village of Middleburg to the historic town of Winchester, there are towns filled with holiday cheer, festive decorations, and welcoming communities.
Many people think that all Christmas movies star beautiful snow-covered houses on hills overlooking picturesque towns full of twinkling lights, but there are plenty more than just those stereotypes! Here’s a look at several places in Virginia that could be the star of a Hallmark movie this winter.
These charming little towns are perfect for those travelers who want to enjoy a quieter, more laid-back environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Let’s start with the tiny town of Middleburg with a population of 826. Middleburg is known as America’s horse and hunt country capital, so it is no wonder the horses are part of the Christmas appeal.
Located a short drive from Washington, D.C., in Loudoun County, Middleburg is the perfect setting for evoking the Hallmark Christmas spirit. The tree lighting, a Christmas parade, shopping, caroling, and so much more make it Hallmark perfect.
Christmas in Middleburg, returning this year on the first Saturday in December, is particularly famous for the annual Christmas in Middleburg parade. Visitors and locals witness a spectacular and unique parade down Main Street with over 150 scarlet jacketed men in full hunting attire on horseback leading over 40 hounds. Yes, I said hounds, like dog hounds, and it is a sight to behold.
After the parade, children can head to Santa’s Workshop for animal encounters, crafts, and caroling. At the same time, parents and grandparents indulge in a very merry progressive food and craft beverage experience throughout town. Everyone is sure to feel jolly!
Put on your Santa pants and get ready to jingle all the way down Main Street in Orange, VA, this holiday season! The town transforms into a Hallmark holiday village, and its festivities will make you feel like you’re living inside a Hallmark movie.
From tree lightings to carriage rides through downtown, there is something here for everyone. You can participate in a gingerbread walk or kick up the jolly feeling by caroling under the stars with your family during this magical season.
A massive hit over the holidays is a festive tour of James Madison’s Montpelier adorned with vintage 19th-century holiday decorations.
The entire county gets festive and spreads seasonal joy by participating in the Tacky Lights Tour. Indulge in a seasonal wine or grab some hot cocoa and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year in Orange, VA.
During the Christmas season, the sleepy town of Bedford, VA, magically comes alive with holiday spirit and festive activities to celebrate the season. Homes are decorated with lights and wreaths. There are even carriage rides through downtown!
The Festival of Lights at the National D-Day Memorial honors service members who died on D-Day with 4,415 luminaria, one for each person who died.
A parade through town and numerous arts and craft shows help townspeople and visitors alike celebrate the season. The Festival of Trees is a community activity involving 30 local businesses — each decorates a tree in keeping with the theme of A Storybook Christmas. The public is welcome to walk through the Festival of Trees.
Take a short 20-minute drive for a Holiday Candlelight Tour of Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s cherished hideaway. Step into Christmas past, learn how the Jefferson family and their enslaved workers celebrated Christmas. Tour the villa decorated for the holidays by candlelight.
Few places do Christmas better than Colonial Williamsburg. Enjoy the many festive Christmas events, such as Talk of the Town: Christmastide Tours, exploring holiday traditions from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Colonial holiday traditions like fife and drum performances, caroling by torchlight, the celebration of the yule log, and interpretive programs set the stage for Christmas in charming Williamsburg.
Meet up with Father Christmas as he strolls the town visiting various merchants and listen to live holiday music in the town square. Stay after dark for the Lighting of the Cressets on the historic Duke of Gloucester Street and strolling musicians.
The yearly Colonial Christmas celebration lets visitors explore the Jamestown Settlement and meander the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. You can celebrate Christmas and learn about American history at the same time.
A highlight is the Grand Illumination, a celebratory firework, and historic gun-salute display, best viewed from the town green.
Nearby Busch Gardens celebrates the holidays with Christmas Town, featuring over ten million lights glittering in the night as you stroll through European holiday traditions.
It is a magical time of year in Ashland. This means lights, decorations, hot chocolate by the fireplace… and did we mention lights? Walk along the picturesque streets filled with twinkling lights as you celebrate the season in this charming town.
But the big event is Light Up The Tracks. The trackside historic district is transformed into a quaint vintage Christmas village. The mile-long spectacular light display is also the backdrop for festive events.
Train lovers can ride the Amtrak train with the jolly old elf himself to Williamsburg and spend the day and then return with Santa. Tickets for this event sell out in October, so be sure to call early next year if you want to enjoy this fun trip. Can you imagine the grandchildren’s eyes when they realize Santa is riding the train with them?
Ashland has a delightful Christmas Market throughout the season, and the first weekend in December, it hosts the annual Ashland Christmas Parade.
Harrisonburg is a charming, award-winning historic downtown complete with old-fashioned downtown shops. The town is decorated, and a large town tree twinkles throughout the holiday season. The tree lighting ceremony on the square provides an evening of holiday cheer for the community.
Winter Wonderfest includes a sip and stroll, carriage rides, a parade, cookie tour, and more. It sounds like a Hallmark movie to me!
7. Virginia’s Blue Ridge
The charming mountain towns of Virginia’s Blue Ridge light up during the holidays. The Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia are a beautiful sight during the Christmas season! Snow falls on the mountains, and the twinkling Christmas lights illuminate the night. There is a lot to do in this area throughout the holidays that give you that warm and fuzzy Hallmark happy feeling.
The area is filled with holiday cheer, from decorated trees to picturesque views. Whether you want a relaxing weekend or an action-packed few days, there are plenty of activities for everyone.
Off the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoy 500,000 dazzling lights on a wooded walking path at Explore Park’s Illuminights.
The town of Lexington comes alive during the holidays with lights, ornaments, and wreaths. Like in a Hallmark movie, the town has some festive events happening as they celebrate “small-towns, big backyard” Christmas in Lexington and throughout Rockbridge County.
Lexington is a small town in the heart of Virginia’s horse country. The last weekend of November, it kicks off the season with a Candlelight Processional and Tree Lighting delivering Santa to town in a horse-drawn carriage.
Horses are also part of Lexington’s Annual Christmas Parade, Christmas Classics on Parade is this year’s theme. The parade goes down Main Street the first weekend in December, with Santa traveling through the historic district on his sleigh. The parade includes floats, emergency vehicles, marching units, and more.
It is no wonder this town was named one of Virginia’s Beautiful Holiday Main Streets by Virginia Tourism Corporation in 2017. We are talking brick sidewalks, walkable downtowns decked out for the holidays with wreaths around the street lamps and bright red bows. Decorated storefronts, various performances, and seasonal parades add to the merriment. But the magical light displays take the main stage.
Luminary Nights and the carriage rides at Natural Bridge State Park take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Natural Bridge State Park is adorned with festive lighting and awash in holiday spirit for the season.
The illuminated Cedar Creek Trail provides a wonderful after-dark stroll taking you under the Natural Bridge. Or enjoy the park via a horse-drawn carriage ride. Gather with friends and family at the pavilion afterward for roaring fires and refreshments.
When you visit the quaint towns of Virginia, you most likely will find yourself in one that looks like it could star in a Hallmark Christmas movie.
There are other places that might be a good location for a Hallmark movie: