Holiday Historic Home Tours

Sure, you know about wonderfully decorated historic home tours in cities like Boston, New Orleans and Chicago. But they're not the only Christmas homes worth seeing. Check out these historic gems that open seasonally to the public.
By: Alyson McNutt English
Related To:

Natchez, Miss.

Victorian Christmas Bedroom in Natchez, Mississippi

Victorian Christmas Bedroom in Natchez, Mississippi

In its glory days, Natchez was one of the most important trading ports on the mighty Mississippi, and its well-preserved estates harken back to the days when cotton and tobacco made the city's planters and merchants into barons. Three years ago, the Christmas in Natchez festival began, and it includes holiday tours of some of these stunning antebellum homes. One of the highlights of the tour is The Towers Jeweled Christmas. Thousands of pieces of vintage jewelry (1860-1950) drip and shimmer from trees, wreaths and other decor in this stunning Italianate antebellum home. Photo courtesy of Christmas in Natchez

In its glory days, Natchez was one of the most important trading ports on the mighty Mississippi, and its well-preserved estates harken back to the days when cotton and tobacco made the city's planters and merchants into barons. Three years ago, the Christmas in Natchez festival began, and it includes holiday tours of some of these stunning antebellum homes. One of the highlights of the tour is The Towers Jeweled Christmas. Thousands of pieces of vintage jewelry (1860-1950) drip and shimmer from trees, wreaths and other decor in this stunning Italianate antebellum home.

St. Augustine, Fla.

Double Porches Decorated for Christmas in St. Augustine, Florida

Double Porches Decorated for Christmas in St. Augustine, Florida

The northeastern cities founded by Pilgrims are certainly old, but they're not the oldest European settlements in the U.S. That honor belongs to St. Augustine, which was settled in 1565 by Spanish explorers and has been a continuously occupied town ever since. And with age, of course, comes wonderful historic homes. The Christmas Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Garden Club of St. Augustine, doesn't feature 14th-century dwellings, but it does open up six seasonally decorated private homes built in the 1800s to the public.

Photo by: Garden Club of St. Augustine

Garden Club of St. Augustine

The northeastern cities founded by Pilgrims are certainly old, but they're not the oldest European settlements in the U.S. That honor belongs to St. Augustine, which was settled in 1565 by Spanish explorers and has been a continuously occupied town ever since. And with age, of course, comes wonderful historic homes. The Christmas Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Garden Club of St. Augustine, doesn't feature 14th-century dwellings, but it does open up six seasonally decorated private homes built in the 1800s to the public.

Newport, R.I.

As the summer social capital of America from the post-Civil War era until WWI, Newport has some of the best examples of Gilded Age architecture in the country. And every year during the Christmas in Newport festival, the Preservation Society of Newport County opens up a few of these incredible structures to the public, all of them opulently decked out in full holiday finery.

Albany, Ore.

Located about 90 minutes south of Portland, historic Albany is serious about historic holiday tours. The second Sunday in December, visitors can enjoy a Victorian-era holiday experience with the city's Christmas Parlour Tours. Tour-goers get to stroll through beautifully-decorated historic homes while costumed carolers set the Victorian atmosphere with song and historic dress.

Quincy, Ill.

This west-central Illinois city of more than 40,000 people has some of the best-preserved historic homes in America, and they're dressed in their Christmas best the second Sunday in December for Quincy Preserves' annual Christmas Candlelight Tour. Since the town is so steeped in notable historic architecture, the candlelight tour rotates among the different historic neighborhoods each year. Otherwise, it would just be too much for one afternoon.

Colonial Williamsburg, Va.

Chowning's Tavern Wreath

Chowning's Tavern Wreath

A coastal-inspired wreath featuring seashells and dried flowers and fruit hangs on the window of Chowning's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg.

Photo by: Evelyn Bennett

Evelyn Bennett

A coastal-inspired wreath featuring seashells and dried flowers and fruit hangs on the window of Chowning's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg.

In Colonial Williamsburg, a historic Christmas isn't about one afternoon of tours -- it's an all-encompassing experience full of old-time wonder. Don your best 18th-century dress (or modern black-tie attire, if you prefer) to attend Lady Dunmore's Ball in the historic Governor's Palace, or enjoy a walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg's historic buildings and streets dressed in their period-appropriate holiday finery. Learn about how early Americans decorated their homes for the holidays, made delicious desserts and enjoyed candlelit puppet shows, all while immersing yourself in a full historic holiday experience.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Buckhead Theatre

The beat goes on at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theatre.

Tucson's Historic Barrios

A link to Tucson's Spanish and Mexican past, the barrios have become a critical part of revitalizing the city's oldest neighborhoods.

Tampa's Historic Boom Era Hotels

Tampa's buildings are of historical significance, with beautiful architecture and charm.

Buckhead Shopping

Entire weekends are planned around Buckhead shopping for the finds, fun and fabulousness.

Katie Armiger's Sugar Cookies

"During the holidays, I have such a huge family and we always get together and make sugar cookies. We put tons of different types of frosting, sprinkles, everything on them!"

Karen Fairchild's Lemon Bars

Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town shares a story and recipe about her favorite holiday treat, lemon bars.

Rory's Raisin Tarts

Rory, of country duo Joey + Rory, shares a story and recipe about his favorite holiday treat. Every Christmas, Rory's aunt makes these raisin tarts. The overall-wearing artist admits he much prefers these tarts over his mother's divinity candy — no offense, Mom!

Buckhead Zip Codes and Streets

The heart of Buckhead beats in the 30305 zip code though it branches out beyond into three other major zips.

St. Anthony Falls Historic District: The Heart of Minneapolis

Learn about one of Minneapolis's oldest and most intriguing areas.

What It's Like to Live in the Chesapeake Bay Area

Explore what life is like on Virginia and Maryland's coast.

On TV

Music Videos

10am | 9c

Music Videos

11am | 10c

Time Capsule

1pm | 12c

Living Alaska

6:30pm | 5:30c

Living Alaska

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Living Alaska

8pm | 7c

Living Alaska

8:30pm | 7:30c

Living Alaska

9:30pm | 8:30c

Living Alaska

10pm | 9c

Living Alaska

10:30pm | 9:30c
11pm | 10c

Living Alaska

12am | 11c

Living Alaska

12:30am | 11:30c

Living Alaska

1am | 12c

Living Alaska

1:30am | 12:30c

Living Alaska

2:30am | 1:30c
3am | 2c

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Consult Program Guide

Living Alaska

Tuesdays 9pm | 8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.