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Festive Places to Enjoy History During the Holidays

Destinations for a Glimpse of Christmases Past

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Brimming with history, the Southeast U.S. offers holiday visitors many unique and enjoyable ways to explore some of the festive traditions of yesteryear. Across the region, charming historic districts and lovely historic homes are dressed seasonal finery and feature special holiday tours and events. Here are several fun day trip or holiday getaway destinations for yuletide fun with history.

America's Historic Triangle in Virginia

Photo © Colonial Williamsburg Foundation - All Rights Reserved
Visit the Williamsburg, Virginia area to enjoy an array of interpretive seasonal programs and special holiday tours at Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. From family friendly holiday-themed events to special dining experiences and much more, there are hundreds of interesting and fun things to do in the area. Nearby, two of the National Historic Landmark designated James River Plantations offer special holiday tours and programs as well. More About Williamsburg, Virginia for the Holidays

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Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Photo © The Biltmore Company, all rights reserved
The holiday season is one of the best seasons for a visit to Biltmore Estate because it was on Christmas Eve in 1895 that George W. Vanderbilt first welcomed his friends and family to visit his extravagant new estate. Each year, miles of decorations and dozens of Christmas trees decorate the elaborate rooms of Biltmore House, recalling various aspects of that first Christmas Eve and the legacy of the Vanderbilt family. Estate-wide daytime programs and special candlelight evening tours offer festive options for your visit. More About Christmas at Biltmore Estate

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Natchez, Mississippi

The Towers in Natchez MS
Photo: Courtesy of the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau
Christmastime is a beautiful time of the year to visit Natchez, Mississippi, home to over 1,000 history buildings, picturesque Mississippi River views and more. Enjoy tours of selected antebellum mansions, special seasonal carriage rides, holiday teas, a parade and many charming community traditions. More About Natchez, Mississippi for the Holidays

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George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate in Virginia

Mount Vernon During the Holidays
Photo © 2008 George Alexander, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Enjoy a glimpse of some of the holiday traditions enjoyed by the first first couple of the United States at George Washington's beloved Mount Vernon Estate. Holiday programs celebrate the season each year from Thanksgiving Weekend through the Twelve Days of Christmas, ending on January 6. Enjoy special tours of the Mansion, costumed reenactors, decorated trees and traditional fresh greenery. Very popular Mount Vernon by Candlelight tours are offered on limited weekend evenings. More About Christmas at Mount Vernon

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Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
Photo: Courtesy of www.kentuckytourism.com
Located in the picturesque Kentucky Bluegrass Region on 3,000 acres of preserved farmland near Harrodsburg, about 30 miles from Lexington, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is the nation's largest restored Shaker community. During the holidays, visitors are able to enjoy several festive events and tours, including horse-drawn wagon rides, freshly baked treats, holiday teas and buffet lunches, music and candlelight evening strolls. More About the Holidays at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

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Old Salem Museum & Gardens in North Carolina

Old Salem Museum and Gardens
Photo: NC Tourism / Bill Russ
Enjoy a step back in time in the Historic Town of Salem located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and founded in 1766 by Moravian missionaries. Holiday visitors may choose from an array of seasonal tours and events. A few highlights include Christmas candlelight tours, concerts and great shopping (bakery items like the famous paper thin Moravian cookies are a must). More About the Holiday Events in the Historic Town of Salem

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