Welcome to Christmas – The Real Christmas

Florida, Orlando, USA
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Did you know you can visit Christmas? Yes, that’s right, you can visit it. Even better, you can do so all year long, not just in December. How? Take a short drive east on Florida State Route 50 coming from Orlando. On your way to the Space Coast, you will pass through the small town of Christmas.

Unfortunately, you won’t find Santa’s house there. His house is in North Pole. To be precise, it’s in North Pole, Alaska and you can visit Santa’s House in North Pole. Here in Christmas, FL Sata probably resides during the rest of the year when he takes a break from the busy Christmas days.

You can rest assured, that this small town is no part of any of the big theme parks in Orlando. Christmas, FL is a small town with just over 1200 people living there. Besides the name of the town, Christmas, it’s post office processes a large number of letters for people who want the “Christmas” postmark on their mailings. The local post office opened back in 1892.

Christmas Post Office

Christmas is also home to the world’s largest alligator-shaped building, measuring just over 200 feet (61 m) and Fort Christmas Historical Park, a recreation of the Second Seminole War Fort Christmas. The alligator (building) is named “Swampy” and is the mascot of “Jungle Adventures, A Real Florida Animal Park“.

Swampy the Alligator

Fort Christmas Historical Park is absolutely worth a visit. This well-kept park gives more information about the history of the town. The Fort was built back in 1837 when a force of 2,000 U.S. Army soldiers and Alabama Volunteers arrived here on December 25. Make sure you arrive early enough to get a look into the museum and the historical structures. These places close down a few hours before the actual park closes.

Not far from the Fort Christmas Historical Park is the Christmas Cemetery. It is a private burial place and the sign shows it’s open during day time only. As the gate was closed and locked, I didn’t attempt to enter. Either way, the entrance, and the sign are still worth a photo. Besides, you don’t want to stay there anyway, right?

A special highlight is The permanent Christmas Tree on the corner of E Colonial Dr (State Route 50) and S Fort Christmas Rd (County Road 420). Nearby are the nativity scene, a concrete Santa and a red wooden sleigh. Besides the main area with the tree and the nativity scene, there is a second one if you keep following State Route 50 east. Don’t forget to check out the area behind the tree. There are three larger crosses and remains of a park or something. Make sure you check back here at night when the tree is lit up. This place is worth visiting no matter what religion you are.

The whole town is Christmas-themed, everything from the colors to street names. Besides that, it’s not a very bustling area. Most of the traffic just passes through from Orlando to go to the Space Coast and back. I wonder if people even realize the place? It’s such a small town, there is not even a hotel in town. The closest one would be in Titusville. However, there is an RV Park.

One of the biggest downsides here is that this city will never see any snow. For me, Christmas and snow just belong together and are part of the whole experience.

Visit the Orlando Wetlands Park, which is a man-made wetland designed to provide advanced treatment for reclaimed water from the City of Orlando and other local cities and the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. Both are great for birding and wildlife viewing.

If you are looking for some more adventures, take an airboat ride on the St. Johns River. Airboat rides are located about 5 miles east of Christmas on the side of State Route 50.

Airboat Rides at Midway

Geocaching

Besides many caches along the trails in the nearby area, there are two special caches that are worth visiting. Both of them are placed at locations already mentioned earlier in this post. As you are there already, you might as well grab these caches. Happy caching.

Map

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