Winter Lovers Will Adore This US Town That Becomes A Winter Wonderland Every Year

Some of us dread the days when the skies turn gray, and the temperatures drop, but others come alive with the first snowfall and the sight of Christmas decorations adorning buildings and trees. Hot cocoa, thick sweaters, cozy nights spent wrapped in soft blankets — all of these things and more make winter a magical season that many appreciate.

Sledding, ice skating, and sleigh rides are some jolly activities that abound in the winter. There are also winter festivals of all sorts, which bring communities together and serve as wholesome stops for travelers. One town has an especially great love for all things winter and has festivals celebrating the season. The quiet town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, a festive small town, holds light and ice festivals in winter, making it the ideal spot for winter lovers. Even after the festivals end, the town keeps its winter charm with its delightful local businesses that sell various goods and make for perfect Christmas gifts.

Delightful festivals

Runaway Suitcase listed the town of Ligonier in the Top 25 Hallmark Christmas Towns Index at spot No. 4. It ranked cities based on five factors, including winter scenery, Christmas cheer, and friendliness. Ligonier's spot in the top five highlights how it's a source of warmth in the cold of winter. If you want to see its charm for yourself, consider planning a trip around one of its festivals. There's the annual Festival of Lights that takes place in early December, as well as Ice Fest, which occurs in January.

The Festival of Lights, hosted by the Ligonier Valley Historical Society, is a festive event that kicks off the month. It occurs at the town hall, which is elaborately decorated with Christmas paraphernalia and, of course, lights. "If you haven't attended this event in the past, the four-day Festival of Lights is an opportunity to get your holiday spirit on while admiring the stunning hand-crafted decorative displays," executive director of Ligonier Valley Historical Society Theresa Gay Rohall told GO Laurel Highlands.

Ice Fest is another magical time. You'll see artists create something intricate and beautiful from a block of ice and feel a sense of community as you observe the surroundings. You can find vendors selling hot drinks and kettle corn, meaning you'll have something to keep you warm and satiated as you stand out in the cold.

Holiday shopping

If you can't make it during the festival dates, Ligonier is still worth a winter visit. You'll find local businesses selling all sorts of products. If you visit before the holidays, you can get all of your Christmas shopping done on your trip here. If you're looking for something creative and artsy, check out Allegory Gallery, which combines a jewelry and gift store with an art gallery. If you want cute winter clothes, stop by The Black Bunny Boutique. Wander down the small town's streets and window shop until you're able to cross everything off your list.

Whether visiting for a festival, shopping, or a picture-perfect winter vacation, you'll likely find many reasons to smile in this town. You'll see friendly faces and cute boutiques lining the street and likely be welcomed into the town's activities. "There's just a lot of great traditions, and we didn't just make them up to get people to visit," Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee Chair Bryan Jarrell told Trib Total Media. "We love them, and if people want to join in, that's great."