Hickory in North Carolina was recently named the “Top Tinsel Town In America,” on a Realtor.com list of the 10 surprising cities worth visiting for the holidays, followed by Eugene, Oregon and Buffalo, NY.
Pittsburgh was the 4th most festive city for the winter holidays. Other cities ranked on the list — Sarasota, FL at No. 5; Hartford, CT at No. 6; Providence; RI at No. 7; Salisbury, MD at No. 8; St. Louis, MO; and Lafayette, Louisiana at No. 10.
Magazine’s ranking was compiled by looking at the 150 U.S. cities and assessing each on criteria such as the percentage of all employees that are seasonal cashiers, the percentage of all flight arrivals between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23, and toy stores per capita.
The 10 best U.S. cities for winter holiday lovers
1. Hickory, North Carolina
Median home price: $232,000
Holiday highlight: Enjoy some of the nation’s finest Christmas tree farms … just don’t get run off the road like a Griswold.
2. Eugene, Oregon
Median home price: $337,275
Holiday highlight: More Christmas trees! No. 1 in the nation for piney production.
3. Buffalo, NY
Median home price: $166,525
Holiday strength: Great for kids, lousy for bank accounts—the highest concentration of toy stores per capita.
4. Pittsburgh, PA
Median home price: $171,500
Holiday highlight: Hi, Mom! An unusually high number of townies return home for the holidays.
5. Sarasota, FL
Median home price: $350,000
Holiday strength: Drink up! Alcohol consumption spikes here in December, thanks to a plethora of parties.
6. Hartford, CT
Median home price: $259,950
Holiday strength: A fine place to celebrate eight crazy nights.
7. Providence, RI
Median home price: $342,450
Holiday highlight: Need help with holiday decor? You’re in the right place.
8. Salisbury, MD
Median home price: $299,950
Holiday highlights: Throw a rock in any direction in December, and you’ll hit either a holiday shop or a Christmas parade.
9. St. Louis, MO
Median home price: $189,950
Holiday highlight: An exceptionally high concentration of fireplaces. Cuddle up!
10. Lafayette, Louisiana
Median home price: $210,000
Holiday highlight: Shopping and shellfish