It makes sense that people who love Hallmark movies would be interested in lists like “40 of the Prettiest American Towns to Visit During the Winter” from Country Living Magazine. Idaho put at least one place on that list, which shouldn’t be a surprise!
The place they picked will shock you. Country Living talked about some of the things they looked for in their picks, such as holiday celebrations, ski resorts, dramatic scenery, historic buildings, and cozy cabins. That sounds like at least four of the Idaho towns on our list of the five most charming Christmas places. The name also sounds like McCall, which is where Idaho’s most famous winter fair is held.
We all thought that one or more of those towns would be on the list, but Country Living surprised us all! Nampa, Idaho, is in 20th place. That’s correct. Oh, no. This is what Country Living said:
Nampa, a suburb of Boise, is renowned for its residents’ Christmas light displays. It’s not necessarily an organized event—the residents simply feel the festive spirit. There are, however, organized tours hosted by the town that take visitors to the most impressive displays.
That sentence is true in every way. A huge number of home Christmas light shows are always shown on Nampa’s Boise Christmas Lights map. Nampa Parks and Recreation puts on the tours they’re talking about. They start from the Harward Rec Center and take you to all of the city’s most interesting homes and neighborhoods. The information about the 2023 tours has already been put up.
But we’re not sure if they meant to pick Nampa. The picture they used for their list does look a lot like the lights along Indian Creek in Caldwell’s Winter Wonderland. A quick look at the photographer’s work on Getty Images helped us feel less crazy. As it turns out, the whole collection is full of pictures from Winter Wonderland, and all of them are wrongly labeled “Nampa, Idaho.”
The Streets Department of the City of Caldwell spends hours every year putting up more than a million lights along the creek. They also make cute shows for people to see. You can see Penguin Island, a teddy bear swing, and a dragon that breathes fire every year. The ice strip in Indian Creek Plaza is in the middle of everything.
So, did Country Living really pick Nampa? Or did they mean to say that Caldwell was one of the most beautiful winter towns to visit? No one knows for sure, but the main point is that the holidays and winter months are special in the 2C!