5 Reasons To Visit Christmas, Florida

This real-life Christmas town has a holiday mindset and spirit year-round.

Christmas, Florida

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When a small Florida town sports an iconic name like “Christmas,” you can imagine why it draws throngs of visitors during December. Some people simply seek a “Christmas, FL” postmark on the envelopes of their holiday cards. Others want to check out the holiday festivities packing the town’s events calendar. 

But guess what? You don’t need to squeeze in all the small-town fun during December. Located in Orange County about 25 miles east of Orlando, this Central Florida town has a holiday mindset year-round, with an origin story to thank for its namesake. Here’s why you should visit this quaint town, even for a quick trip, any time of year.

It's full of landmarks with festive names like Comet and Cupid (Street).

The town long ago embraced its Christmas heritage and, as the community grew, started naming its streets in festive fashion. As you drive around this mostly rural community, you’ll see holiday-themed street names ranging from the religious (think Matthew St. and Luke St.) to the cultural (like Comet St. and Blitzen Ave.). 

You can send mail with a "Christmas, FL" postmark.

If you visit in November or December, bring your stack of holiday cards and packages to the town’s tiny post office for that coveted “Christmas, FL” postmark. It adds a festive flair to your mail and is guaranteed to bring a smile to recipients’ faces when they notice the special stamp. Little ones can drop off their letters to Mr. Claus in a special Santa mailbox (no-postage-required), with Santa’s helpers responding to as many as they can. Over the years, Santa even made sporadic appearances at the post office during the holiday season, much to the delight of customers who happened to be onsite during the surprise visits. 

Christmas, Florida
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There's a Christmas tree on display all year long.

If you’re looking for the holiday spirit beyond December, take a ride past the intersection of State Road 50 and Fort Christmas Road. Here, you’ll see a larger-than-life, fully decorated Christmas tree permanently infusing the spirit of Christmas every day. Santa and his sleigh—along with a nativity scene—round out the festive, street-side display. For years, a local family has maintained and decorated the tree, tapping into community donations to help defray the costs. 

It's surrounded by thousands of acres of marshland. 

Beyond its holiday-themed charm, Christmas offers plenty of natural beauty and fun pitstops. Spend a glorious few hours in Orlando Wetlands Park, a 1650-acre marsh habitat oasis with winding trails perfect for hiking, birding, biking, and horseback riding. Book a unique airboat tour from several area vendors for an on-the-water view of the gorgeous St. Johns River. And go boating, hiking, or fishing in the picturesque Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area—a terrific birding spot on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.

Christmas, Florida

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There's a replica of a 19th-century fort.

Back in the 1830s, when Florida was still a frontier, U.S. soldiers were in the midst of the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842). On December 25, 1837, soldiers began building a fort, with its name of “Fort Christmas” as a nod to the Christian holiday. Located a mile from the original location, Fort Christmas Historical Park recreates 19th-century Florida for visitors today. This 25-acre park features a full-scale replica of the fort along with a collection of nearly a dozen authentic, restored historic structures built between the 1870s and 1950s. Pack a lunch and bring the family to enjoy the shaded picnic areas, a playground, and basketball and tennis courts.

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