Deck the halls? In some neighborhoods, the halls aren’t the half of it. Locals deck out the streets and the light poles and the rooftops. They hold holiday events, sing carols, and light community trees. You know you’re in an amazing place to live when not only are there affordable homes, but the holidays are an excuse for the neighbors to work together to make life a little merrier. And while you may be able to best see that spirit during the bright lights of the holidays, those who live there know you can feel it all year ’round.
Our What Local Say feature gathers feedback from real locals about what it’s like to live in their neighborhoods. One question we ask is if a neighborhood has holiday spirit. According to the millions of responses we’ve received, these neighborhoods are bursting with it. Here’s what it’s like to live in some of the nation’s most spirited communities during the holidays—and some of the homes available in them right now.
Lake Houston, where 91% of Trulia locals say there’s holidays spirit.
Summerwood is a 1,500-acre master planned community in the Lake Houston neighborhood that’s dog-friendly, safe, quiet, and only a 25-minute drive to downtown. There are lots of new homes, and retailers have expanded into the area, including a Kroger’s Marketplace, with a beer and wine bar — a perfect place to stock up for picnics at nearby Lakeview Park on Lake Houston.
Come holiday time, residents hang out at the annual winter festival to sample local foods and do some holiday shopping. For Christmas, neighbors in the nearby Pinehurst subdivision create Candy Cane Court with giant candy canes, a dancing Santa, and a train that travels around the street.
This three-bedroom home on a cul de sac boasts a spacious open floor plan with a generous kitchen, arched doorways, a fireplace and lots of storage.
Starin Central, where 93% of Trulia locals say there’s holidays spirit.
Buffalo is often paired with the words “snow” and “cold.” But there’s more to this western New York city, like its amazing architectural resume—including at least six Frank Lloyd Wright sites. Each Buffalo neighborhood has its gems as well, and so many have affordable homes. Starin Central—safe, walkable, kid- and dog-friendly—has been recognized as one of the best neighborhoods in the “Queen City.”
And if you’re going to be synonymous with blizzards, you might as well embrace winter holidays. Starin Central makes the most of it with a holiday tree lighting, shopping, and snacking along the main drag. There are holiday markets at the nearby Hotel Henry, Queen City Market, and the 716mas Festival. What better way to keep warm?
You’ll find nice architectural details in this family-friendly four-bedroom with its coffered ceiling, leaded glass windows, and period woodwork. There’s also a remodeled kitchen, spacious detached garage, fenced-in yard and a finished attic, to boot.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Historic Uptown, where 88% of Trulia locals say there’s holidays spirit.
Less than two miles from downtown St. Petersburg, the Historic Uptown neighborhood is often described as “little Key West.” Eclectic, diverse, and walkable, the streets are full of small, colorful homes, many of which are a hundred years old. Neighbors are close and love to party on their porches, in the streets, or in the park. There are lots of planned kids’ activities, including trick-or-treating at nearby Round Lake Park, a big New Year’s party, an annual Easter Egg Hunt, and, yes, even a snowfest complete with a toboggan slide on real snow and ice skating.
Live large in the heart of everything in this two-bedroom home fronted by a porch and brick patio with a fire pit that are as welcoming as the neighborhood itself. There’s an open floor plan, gleaming hardwood floors, and a brand-spanking-new modern kitchen.
Belknap, where 87% of Trulia locals say there’s holidays spirit.
Dog-friendly, walkable, and safe, Louisville’s Belknap neighborhood is a place where kids play outside under mature shade trees and neighbors walk to the Douglass Loop shops, restaurants, and farmer’s market. Belknap was recognized by Louisville Magazine in 2010 as one of “the most livable and lovable” neighborhoods in Louisville.
There’s even more to love there during the holiday season, which kicks off with Belknap’s popular annual fall festival, two days of arts and crafts, music, food, craft beer, and family activities. Then, with downtown just six miles away, celebrating Christmas with your neighbors is easy—there’s a tree lighting, the Louisville orchestra presenting Messiah, Santa at the mall, holiday home tours, a drive-through nativity scene, and more.
Enjoy the yearly festivities from this brick one-bedroom, one bath, newly updated home with a remodeled kitchen, pine hardwoods, high ceilings, a great yard, and a covered patio.
Fort Worth, Texas
Park Glen, where 88% of Trulia locals say there’s holidays spirit.
Home values are in the affordability sweet spot—$190,000 to $360,000—in Park Glen‘s 13 villages, which were developed by Ross Perot, Jr., in 1988. Encircling the 217-acre Arcadia Trail Park, the neighborhood is a place where lots of kids ride their bikes and walk to school. And, bonus, Santa makes a yearly stop in the park. When he’s not handing out gifts or checking out the music or the vendors, during the local holiday celebration, you might catch him judging each village’s holiday decorating contest. But the fun doesn’t end in December. These neighbors rock an Easter “Eggstravaganza,” a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, and go all out for Fourth of July.
This three-bedroom, two-bath house is the perfect place to enjoy a cozy winter fire after a chilly day in the park. And, talk about sweet spot—Three Dog Bakery and Love Sweet Things are both within walking distance. It’s all about the kids and dogs.
Broadmoor, Anderson Island, where 87% of Trulia locals say there’s holidays spirit.
Neighbors say they really feel at home in the Broadmoor neighborhood just 10 minutes from downtown Shreveport. Large magnolias, pines, and oaks line the streets where kids walk and bike to school. Convenient to shopping, the affordable homes, built mostly in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s are varied and unique.
The nearby Red River is a draw during every season, and the winter holidays attract locals to the riverbank for the Louisiana Boardwalk’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Red River Express to the North Pole. Neighbors also drive to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival to tour old French-colony homes, join in the Redneck Christmas Parade in Monroe, and wander through a winter wonderland at the Gardens of the American Rose Center and check out the Holiday Trail of Lights along routes I-20 and I-49.
This three-bedroom brick home built in the late 1940s offers original shiplap walls and an updated, open floor plan in the public spaces. Plus, there’s an oversized kitchen, a master bedroom and en-suite, lots of storage, and a large, covered front porch.
Looking for a home in the most spirited neighborhood you know? See what’s available, here on Trulia.