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Best Holiday Lights? NC Town Ranks as a Top Place to See them. What Makes it Special?

A small North Carolina town makes a big mark when it comes to holiday lights. So much so, the Charlotte-area destination now ranks as one of the nation’s best places to see them, a new report finds. The town of McAdenville ranks No. 7 on a list of locations with the “most festive displays.” That might not come as a surprise for a place that says it boasts a half-million lights and bears the nickname “Christmas Town USA.”

But it wasn’t the only destination in the state to receive national recognition. On a separate list, the Biltmore in Asheville was named one of the best historic homes to visit for the season, according to results published Friday, Dec. 8.

The honors come from USA Today’s 10Best, which shares travel-related best-of lists. To create the rankings, the website said it first asked travel experts and editors to choose top-notch holiday activities. It then presented the nominees to readers, who could vote for their favorites up to one time each day over the course of a month. WHAT MAKES THE HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS SPECIAL? In the resulting readers’ choice awards, McAdenville ranked the highest in its category at No. 7.

The town of about 900 people is treating visitors to over 250 lit trees, a Nativity scene and decorated homes through Dec. 26, according to its Christmas Town USA website. “Each winter, this small town in North Carolina transforms into a festive, twinkling wonderland, dotted with thousands of lights, dramatic displays, and a spirited Main Street,” 10Best wrote. “Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Christmas Town USA every December to drive or walk by breathtaking holiday displays — a tradition that dates back to the ‘50s.”

People also flock to see seasonal decor at the Biltmore, which ranked No. 10 among the nation’s favorite historic home tours. The mountain tourist site — the largest private home in the U.S. — said it will be adorned with dozens of decorated Christmas trees and roughly 45,000 indoor lights through Jan. 7. “A variety of tours offer a glimpse into America’s Gilded Age, with special emphasis this time of year on Biltmore Christmas traditions,” 10Best wrote, adding that the home first opened to visitors on Christmas Eve in 1895.

Despite ranking high for holiday light displays and home tours, no North Carolina destinations made it onto other related 10Best lists. Those considered the best seasonal markets, parades and other attractions. Overall, 10Best said the country’s top light display is in Duluth, Minnesota. And the winner of the best historic home tour award is Graceland, the Tennessee estate that was once home to singer Elvis Presley. In the past, 10Best has told McClatchy News it doesn’t reveal how many people respond to its reader surveys.

Source: The News & Observer