One of my (and millions of others’) favorite Christmas tradition is the act of watching those crappy Hallmark Christmas movies and laughing at all the tropes. But with Christmas only a few days away, it would be, dare I say, an absolute miracle if any of us were truly prepared. But have no fear! You can ignore your racist uncle’s rantings to your heart’s content by planning your next trip to these top hallmark-inspired locations.
- Nevada City, California – The Christmas Card.
Though not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of weekend getaway, this hidden gem is only an hour’s drive from Sacramento and contains everything you need for the perfect Christmas. Every year, the Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Victorian Christmas festival, a perfect callback to basically every meet-cute in every Hallmark movie ever. If you have some spare time afterwards, or just love the outdoors, Nevada City sits right on the edge of Lake Tahoe National Forest. Hiking, water sports, lake cruises…see what all the fuss is about for yourself.
- Bucharest, Romania – Crown for Christmas
A staple of every eastern European trip. Bucharest is home to many a royalty-inspired filming location, but perhaps it’s about time you see for yourself. The Romanian capital city transforms into a Christmas wonderland with the annual festival located in the central Constitution square, which opens around mid-November and stretches until Christmas time. Hit up that mulled wine and enjoy the crisp air and falling snow.
- Peleș Castle, Romania – Royal Matchmaker and A Princess for Christmas (not to be confused with Netflix’s A Christmas Prince, which was also filmed here!)
As long as you’re in Romania, why not take a detour of the beautiful and historic Peleș Castle? This neo-renaissance palace should be quite recognizable, as many other movies have used it as a film set before (see above). And yes, you can tour the inside! The rooms inside include a theater, weapons room, and music room!
Photo by romaniatourism.com
- Winnipeg, Manitoba – Journey Back to Christmas
Making our way back to the North American continent, be sure to stop for a quick layover in Winnipeg to catch the place where the WWII-themed Journey Back to Christmas was filmed. Take a break from the usual British Columbia filming sites and wander a little further east. The forks is a popular place to hang out, and is home to many Christmas events throughout the month!
- Portland, Maine – Northpole
Journeying a little further west in the northern state of Maine is the righteously famous town of Portland. Though only a brief over-head shot of the skyline was used for Northpole, it’s still more than worth checking out. Portland has been a summer destination for years. Enjoy some hot chocolate while looking over the Old Port (just like in Northpole ahHH!) or take a quick hike along the Eastern Promenade trail.
Photo by visitportland.com
This, of course, is just a quick sampling of what to expect when exploring famous filming locations of your favorite winter escapist activity. Though most Hallmark movies are filmed in the United States and Canada, expect them to be in places with that small-town atmosphere that dominates their suspiciously similar plotlines. Let us know where your favorite filming locations are located!