These 2 West Coast Cities Are Hosting European-style Christmas Markets This Holiday Season

The two holiday festivals have both been traditions for nearly a decade.

While Christmas markets date back more than 500 years in Europe, two West Coast cities have started their version in the last decade, carving out their own brand of community traditions that pay homage to the German-style holiday festivities. Cambria Pines Lodge plans to bring back its Cambria Christmas Market on California's Central Coast from Nov. 26 through Dec. 23, while Oregon Garden Resort will host the Silverton Christmas Market most nights from Nov. 26 through Jan. 9.

Both run by Moonstone Hotel Properties, the Cambria market, which first opened in 2011, will sparkle with more than two million lights throughout its holiday displays, along with booths selling everything from German ornaments and nutcrackers to handmade wooden crafts and locally poured candles. Live music, carolers, fire pits, and of course, Santa Claus, are all expected to be on site. The walking distance through the market is about 1.25 miles.

Lite up Cambria Christmas Market from 2019
Staci and Michael Photography/Courtesy of Cambria Christmas Market

Though the popular event has already sold out its daily tickets, there are still ways to get in. Those who sign up for the German Buffet Dinner in the lodge's Peacock Room ($45 to $55 per adult; $20 per child) will also get free admission to the Cambria Christmas Market light display. For those who prefer more traditional dining, make a reservation at Cambria Pines Lodge Restaurant, which will allow you to pay a $20 cover charge to gain market access.

For the ultimate experience, book a stay at Cambria Pines Lodge, starting at $229 a night, or its sister properties — Sea Otter Inn and J. Patrick House & Inn — both starting at $279 per night. Bookings will come with market access for each person's name on the reservation.

Christmas ornaments at the Silverton Christmas Market
Whitney Ulven/Courtesy of Silverton Christmas Market

Meanwhile, up north in Oregon, the Silverton Christmas Market, which started as Christmas in the Garden in 2012, shines with more than a million lights and is dedicated to preserving the area's German heritage by serving traditional lebkuchen (gingerbread hearts) and glühwein (mulled wine) along with a display honoring Krampus, who it refers to as a "wicked German counterpart to St. Nicholas." In addition to its light displays and live music, there's also a biergarten and snowless tubing hill.

Lite up Silverton Christmas Market
Karalyn Demarest/Courtesy of Silverton Christmas Market

Tickets are available for $15 to $18 for those ages 13 and up and $5 for kids ages six to 12, while Silverton residents get $3 off the adult rates with proof of residency. The Oregon Garden Resort also offers a Silverton Christmas Market overnight package starting at $169 for two people (with a cozy fireplace in each room). It includes market admission, as well as breakfast the following morning.

The European-inspired Christmas markets are fast catching on as an American tradition, too, with other events like the Savannah Christmas Market, Solvang Julefest, Holland Kerstmarkt, and Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt.

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