US News & World Report- 10 Underrated Places With Fantastic Holiday Celebrations
Enjoy twinkling lights, seasonal decorations and fun traditions in these charming locales.
By November 11, 2016 9:00am
Get into the holiday spirit in these festive destinations.
Even if you don’t like the idea of battling heavy crowds at the airport or on the road, if you’re a fan of festive holiday traditions, bright light displays and spreading Yuletide cheer, you won’t want to miss catching over-the-top decor in underrated locales near and far. And thanks to, a directory founded by Matt Burgess to help travelers find places with a minimum of 10,000 lights within a 10-, 25- or 50-mile drive, pinpointing top towns to get into the Christmas mindset is simple. If you’re ready to enjoy 10 other unusual celebrations, take a car, bus, train, boat or plane to these festive holiday hot spots at home and abroad., Chris Kensler – Christmas Light ‘Tacky Tours’ Spawn Online Community

Click Here to Watch the On-Air Video from December 15, 2008 

Christmas Light 'Tacky Tours' Spawn Online Community – Entertainment – December 12, 2008 – Chris Kensler
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Matt Burgess thinks Christmas is tacky-tacular.

Burgess runs the website, an online community for people who festoon their houses and yards every Christmas with millions of colored lights, plywood cut-out holiday characters, and massive blow-up Santas, Rudolphs and snowmen.

He got the idea for the site when he found himself spending hours planning the annual family car trip to the best Christmas lights in Richmond, Virginia.

"The process involved plotting addresses from my local newspaper on maps, then determining the best route to take throughout the city," Burgess tells "With the advent of free online mapping services, I knew there was a better way."

Burgess built the site's first version in 2004. Soon, he was getting requests from tacky people around the world to display their light shows on his site.

"So, in 2005, I opened up the site for anyone with more 10,000 Christmas lights to list their display," he says. "Traffic to the site has doubled every year since, and so has the total number of lights."

And while cities and suburbs from Green Bay to Galveston have their own "Tacky Tours," Burgess's home town of Richmond is probably the best -known Christmas-light display destination in the country.

"The first over-the-top displays in Richmond go back to the late 70's," Burgess says. "At some point in the early 80's, Richmonders started calling the unusually large number of displays the Tacky Light Tour. On any given night in December, traffic jams form around certain neighborhoods as dozens of vans, limousines and tour buses take their Tacky Light Tour."