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The 10 Most Amazing Christmas Trees in the U.S.

The holidays are here, and there’s an army of twinkle lights to prove it! Not to mention, an assortment of breathtaking Christmas trees. Some people travel to visit them, while others are lucky enough to live in a city that features one of these dazzling spectacles. Today we feature 10 of the most stunning Christmas Trees in the U.S., from towering outdoor attractions to an indoor tree in the center of a skating rink!

best christmas trees in the US

There were many trees to choose from–we chose our selections based on their size, as well as their unique characteristics, from beautiful lights to attractions at the base of the trees! Read on for a gallery of unforgettable pictures, as well as details on what makes each of these selections so special…

1. The Rockefeller Center Tree in New York City

This famous Christmas tree is a beloved tourist attraction that ushers in the holiday season each year with its glistening lights and grand scale. In fact, to be chosen for the role of what could easily be America’s most famous Christmas tree, contenders must be at least 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide. This year’s winner is an 80-foot Norway spruce. The first Rockefeller Center Tree made its appearance in 1931, with the first official lighting ceremony following in 1933. This evergreen tradition proves that there’s nothing like Christmastime in New York City! [Images below from AFP/Getty Images via The Blaze]

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This year’s tree lighting ceremony took place on the evening of November 28th, 2012. Thousands attended to see the dazzling display of lights, as well as performances by musicians such as Tony Bennett, Rod Stewart and Mariah Carey.

The Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City

2. The National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.

A true American favorite, the National Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1923. This year’s lighting will take place on Thursday, December 6th, 2012. Each year the ceremony begins with live performances by favorite musical artists, and an annual highlight is when President speaks with a message of peace. Not only is there a national tree to gawk at, there are 56 nearby smaller trees on the Pathway of Peace, which features evergreens representing each state, the five territories, and the District of Columbia. The grand finale of the big ceremony: the lighting of the National Tree!  [image from VisitingDC.com]

The National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC

Here’s a nighttime pic to enjoy! Note the smaller lit trees in the background… [from National Park Service]

The National Christmas Tree

3. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.

Our next tree is not to be confused with the National Christmas Tree above! This is the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree after all, displayed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Called “The People’s Tree,” this holiday tradition was first displayed in 1964. Now provided by the U.S. Forest Service, the tree is selected from a different National Forest each year. This year’s winner, an Englemann spruce with a height of 73 feet, comes from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest, near Meeker, Colorado. It will be lit on December 4th, 2012. Enjoy the pics below. [from Luxist and U.S. Capitol Historical Society]

The U.S. Capitol Tree
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

4. The Coeur d’Alene Resort Tree in Idaho

We now spotlight the tree that claims to be “The World’s Tallest Living Christmas Tree.” It’s the Coeur d’Alene Resort tree in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and it’s the tallest living Christmas tree in America! In fact, the lighting of this 161-foot-tall Grand fir is just one of many delights in the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which occurs each year to ring in the holiday season. Other high points: a street parade, live music and fireworks! Fun fact: the star at the top of the tree is 10 feet tall! [Image via AARP]

The Coeur d’Alene Christmas Tree

5. The Delray Beach Christmas Tree in Florida

We now head to the southern part of the United States and visit balmy Florida… The Christmas tree in Delray Beach stands tall and proud on the front lawn of the city’s Old School Square. The tree is covered with LED lights–15,500 to be exact! Not to mention, the star that tops it all off is 18 feet tall! As it turns out, the 100-foot Christmas tree in Delray Beach is not only spectacular on the outside–you can head to the tree’s interior to view a display of animatronics! [from Inside Fort Lauderdale and Linzi Events]

The Delray Beach Christmas Tree
The Delray Beach, Florida Christmas Tree

6. The Dallas Galleria Christmas Tree in Texas

We now move indoors to the Dallas Galleria, where shopping isn’t the only thing on the menu. In fact, the holiday centerpiece of the Galleria is a 95-foot-tall Christmas tree covered with 10,000 ornaments and 250,000 lights. This Texas jewel is the tallest indoor tree in the United States! Another bonus: it sits in the middle of a skating rink, so onlookers can enjoy some time on the ice while admiring the view. [Images from Mike Lewis via The Wall Street Journal]

The Dallas Galleria Christmas Tree

Here’s a closer look–note the festive ornamental details.  [from Fun, Fit & Fabulous]

The Christmas Tree at the Dallas Galleria

7. The Faneuil Hall Tree in Boston, Massachusetts

New England’s tallest tree stands proudly in front of the famous Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, Massachusetts. But the 85-foot tree is not the only holiday reason to visit Faneuil Hall! This year marks the first to showcase a state-of-the-art LED light show called Blink!, which is set to the tunes of the Holiday Pops. Featuring more than 350,000 LED lights, Blink! runs every night on the half hour between 4:30-10:00 pm. [from Boston Discovery Guide]

The Christmas tree at Faneuil Hall

In the next photo, we get a closer view of this elaborate tree with a golden glow. [from Boston.com]

Boston’s Faneuil Hall Christmas Tree

8. The Toledo Zoo Tree in Ohio

Who would have thought that one of the most amazing trees in the United States would be found in a zoo? That’s right–the Christmas tree at the Toledo Zoo is a holiday sight like no other! The tree is 85 feet tall and covered with 35,000 lights. We love the whimsical look of this Christmas gem, especially the way the lights drape in web-like designs. [from Huffington Post]

The Christmas tree at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio

In addition to LED lights, the zoo features bicycles that are connected to a power grid. Why? So visitors can use their pedal power to help light this glorious tree, which is a Norway spruce! [from ToledoBlade.com]

The Christmas tree at the Toledo Zoo

9. The Daley Plaza Christmas Tree in Chicago

Not only does Chicago, Illinois’ Daley Plaza Christmas Tree glisten and shine, it is surrounded by a Christkindlmarket that draws on the 16th Century Nuremberg Christmas Market for inspiration. Lit ball ornaments add color and charm. [Image from JenChicago takes the Windy City]

The Daley Plaza Christmas Tree in Chicago

Below we get a glimpse of the Christkindlmarket, which boasts striped awnings and twinkle lights that add festivity. [from Show Me Chicago]

The Daley Plaza Christkindlmarket

10. The Circle of Lights Tree in Indianapolis, Indiana

We end with a tree that isn’t green at all–aside from the green twinkle lights that are interspersed throughout the structure of this man-made creation. The Circle of Lights is actually created by long strings of lights that are connected to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Monument Circle. 52 strands to be exact! The best part: you can ride to the top to get a one-of-a-kind view! Did we mention that this “tree” is 242 feet tall?! [from ActiveRain]

The Circle of Lights at Monument Circle

And there’s nothing like the view from the middle! [from Visit Indy]

A view from the center of the Circle of Lights

Have you visited any of the trees above? Tell us about your holiday adventures by leaving a comment below!


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What do you think?

  • Absolutely beautiful!

  • Anaid Autumndays

    “Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself around us, that little “something” so intangible that it’s like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but it will always be a day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved”…so I love you Decoist and keep up the great work by enchanting many visitors with your great ideas :)

  • Not only does Toledo, Ohio have one of the most beautiful trees at Christmas time, it’s located in one of the most famous zoos in America.

  • Christmas is a magical time of year in Delray Beach, Florida and the magic all starts with the lighting of our Famous 100-Foot Christmas Tree! http://www.i-love-delray-beach.com/christmas-tree-lighting-in-delray.html

    In July 2012, Delray Beach also was honored with the award of being the Most Fun Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today.

    Thank you for recognizing our Famous 100-Foot Christmas Tree as one of the TOP 10 in our country! You might say that we are very, very, very proud of our Delray Beach, Florida, and this makes us even more proud! Thank you!!! :-)

    Danika Dahl

  • So happy to see Delray Beach’s Famous 100 Ft Christmas Tree. Just one more reason why we were voted Most Fun Small Town in the USA by Rand McNally, USA Today and the Travel Channel!

  • 3Camps

    Hooray that my hometown, the Most Fun Small Town in the US, Delray Beach, FL made the list!  We love our famous 100 ft. Christmas Tree! =)

  • .

  •  My family and I visited the tree at Toledo Zoo this past weekend. They not only have this beautiful tree but the entire zoo is completely clad in lights! What a wonderful time we had strolling through the zoo to the sounds of Christmas carols. So glad to see it made the list, more than worth a visit.

  • Toledo Zoo is so beautiful! Not only the big tree, the entire zoo is so decked out! Great hot chocolate to enjoy while walking through the beautiful displays. A real family event. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy like Christmas should!  

  • David Petersen

    I love the Toledo Zoo. It is a sight to see. I travel there all the time.

  • Delray is also the most fun small town in America (voted for across the country).. Alan and I live here and we are having the best Holiday Season. There is something for everyone all the time.   Yayyy Delray…   Bev Gibson

  • Melody Stiff

    took my daughter to see the tree in Toledo, OH this weekend.  She is 2 1/2 and that is where her daddy proposed to me 5 years ago!  Makes it extra sepcial for us!

  • Visited the Toledo Zoo.Spectacular.

  • Toledo Zoo tree is AWESOME. The whole zoo is spectacular.

  • ecraft

    haven’t missed one year of the lights before Christmas in the 27 years since it first opened. A family holiday tradition that continues to this day. The big tree is always a highlight!

  • SeaSunsGreetings

    How’d you misss the 35-foot tree made entirely of sand in West Palm Beach? It’s lit with LED lights and uplit with rotating pastels.

  • Eric Graber

    SOME GREAT TREES!!!  But the one at the White House – YUK! SO MUCH STUFF on it you can hardly tell there is a Beautiful Tree under all the garb…
    THRILLED to see the Toledo Zoo Tree made the list! It is a live – growing tree and is always a Spectacular sight!

    Check out http://www.holidayartisans.com Some Great Decorations and they BUILD Trees, wreaths, and garland to order! Amazing work they do too! I have a 7′ ‘pencil pine’ (3′ wide at base) from them which I ordered with sturdy branches – LOVE IT!!!

  • WE saw the tree in the Toledo Zoo last night…wonderful!!!! They also have a large snowglobe that you can have your picture taken in….last night we watched as a young man dropped to his knee and proposed inside the snow globe…the Zoo has so many wonderful lights……

  • Eric – lovely link (I edited coz the one you left wasn’t working) :)


  • Melissa Carter

    What an honor for my hometown of Delray Beach, Florida to be included on this list!  As the Most Fun Small Town in America (Rand McNally/USA Today, 2012), we are very proud of our town AND our 100 foot Christmas Tree!

  • Melissa Carter

    What an honor for my hometown, Delray Beach, Florida to be included on this list!  As the Most Fun Small Town in America (Rand McNally/USA Today, 2012), we are very proud of our town AND our 100 foot Christmas Tree!