National Gingerbread House Day is December 12 – Here are the Best Places to See Incredible Creations in the South

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida
Photo: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida

Gingerbread houses are synonymous with the winter months, and we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate National Gingerbread Day than finding some of the most spectacular displays in the South. From whole gingerbread villages to riverboat designs, these bakers put major time and talent into their creations. The best part is that some of the displays raise donations for nonprofit organizations in their local areas. Be sure to check out the gingerbread house display that Austin, Texas, has to offer at the Four Seasons. If you're in our nation's capital for the holidays The Willard InterContinental should be on your list to visit. Of course, we can't forget that the National Gingerbread House Competition is hosted at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, and boy, oh-boy do they have a Christmas gingerbread house display to show off down there. These displays are a sweet treat to the eye and a tempting confectionary feat to the belly.

01 of 07

The Omni Grove Park Inn

"Christmas Around the Globe" created by The Merry Mischief Bakers
The Omni Grove Park Inn

Asheville, North Carolina

The 29th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition returned to the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, with over 120 entries of gingerbread designs from all categories. The Merry Mischief Bakers from Phoenix, Arizona, were the Grand Prize Winners in the adult category with their "Christmas Around the Globe" gingerbread carousel. Visitors and guests of the hotel can see all the gingerbread creations at the hotel until January 2, 2022. Drive-on guests are welcome after 3 p.m. on Sundays and anytime Monday-Thursday. A $25 self-park fee will be charged for drive-on guests. Part of the proceeds benefit local nonprofit organizations.

02 of 07

The Willard InterContinental

Willard InterContinental 2019 Thomas Jefferson Memorial Gingerbread Display
The Willard InterContinental

Washington, D.C.

The Willard InterContinental Hotel partnered with Washington, D.C. high school culinary students to create their annual gingerbread display. Students from the DC NAF Academies of Culinary Arts were divided into teams with guidance from instructors and the Willard culinary team to create the display. Through December 17 guests and visitors can vote for their favorite display and provide donations to American Experience Foundation, the nonprofit charity partnering with the Willard InterContinental for the event. The Willard InterContinental's 2019 gingerbread display was a replica of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, pictured to the right.

03 of 07

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

The S.S. Bingle
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is celebrating the holiday season with a gingerbread riverboat in its lobby. The riverboat, named the S.S. Bingle, symbolizes the importance of marine and river commerce to The Crescent City. Its namesake, Mister Bingle, was the holiday mascot for the Maison Blanche department store that was the previous occupant of their building. The S.S. Bingle will be on display through the holiday season.

04 of 07

Jacksonville Gingerbread Extravaganza

Jacksonville Gingerbread Extravaganza 2021 Exhibit
Jacksonville Historical Society

Jacksonville, Florida

The Jacksonville Historical Society kicked off their 19th Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza on December 4th at the historical Old St. Andrew's Church in Jacksonville, Florida. The event features a holiday shop, a scavenger hunt, a silent auction, and an online contest to vote for the people's choice winner. An array of homemade gingerbread creations is on display until December 22nd. You can reserve tickets online. The display is open for general admission from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 12-4 p.m. Sundays.

05 of 07

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Gingerbread Display
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

Naples, Florida

Check out Santa's Workshop and a gingerbread home for misfit toys at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. The display is complete with Santa, reindeer, and plenty of icing work fit for Mr. Kringle's sweet tooth.

06 of 07

Four Seasons Hotel, Austin

The Town Square gingerbread house at The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas
Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Austin, Texas

For the past 16 years the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, has created an incredible gingerbread village every winter. The gingerbread display is part of a fundraising effort benefitting a local non-profit. This year local visitors and business sponsors can purchase the gingerbread houses to benefit the People's Community Clinic, an organization that provides healthcare assistance to the uninsured and other vulnerable community members. This year's village has already raised nearly $10,000. The display is in the hotel's lobby until December 28th.

07 of 07

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee - Gingerbread House
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

Greensboro, Georgia

The Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee Resort provides guests with a variety of holiday experiences including a playful Hansel and Gretel-themed gingerbread house curated by Pastry Chef Michael Gaddy displayed in the lobby. Holiday treats and train rides also await hotel guests. Gaddy's 12 x 8 x 5 ft. gingerbread house display took 265 hours to make and includes over 250 lbs. of candy, 500 lbs. of icing and 50 lbs. of chocolate. Now that's some serious candy work!

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