When it comes to Christmas trees, you can go the traditional route – a stately fir wrapped in sparkling lights and tinsel. Or, you can go stack a bunch of lobster traps and wrap them with colorful buoys. These seven Christmas trees put a unique spin on the holiday celebrations.  

San Clemente, California

When it comes to holiday celebrations, this Southern California city does it big. Measuring 100ft, this year's towering white fir is billed as the “Tallest Christmas Tree in OC.” Located at The Outlets at the San Clemente, the massive tree has more than 18,000 multicolored lights and 10,000 bows and ornaments.

A tumbleweed Christmas tree covered in multi-colored Christmas lights shines at night
The city of Chandler, Arizona has had a tumbleweed Christmas tree since 1957 © Tonda / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Chandler, Arizona

Who needs a spruce or a fir when you can have tumbleweed. Yes, a tumbleweed. Since 1957, every holiday season, the city of Chandler collects tumbleweeds to construct a 30ft Christmas tree. The tumbleweeds are attached to chicken wire, the process takes about a week. Later, the tree is coated with flame-retardant and about 25 gallons of white paint and 65 pounds of glitter. Throw on some lights and a twinkling star and the end result is a stunning display that truly represents the city.

A series of Christmas tress wrapped in bright white sparkling lights stand in the halls of the South Dakota Capital building
Why settle for just one tree? © Courtesy of Travel South Dakota

Pierre, South Dakota 

Sometimes, more is better. More than 80 beautifully Christmas trees line the halls of the South Dakota Capitol every holiday season. Each tree is decorated to reflect the year's theme. This year marks the event's 40th anniversary with the theme "Winter Wishes." The centerpiece tree is a 25-foot Colorado Blue Spruce.

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San Francisco, California 

Covered in crystals and measuring 50ft tall, Westfield San Francisco Centre’s Christmas tree would be a stunning sight just based on that alone. But what makes this attraction truly unique is that it’s dangling upside down from mall’s Level 4 dome.

Upside down Christmas trees date back to the Middle Ages and are believed to have been a symbol of Christianity. They were sometimes decorated with nuts, fruits and sweet treats, as was the tradition in parts of Poland. 

Westfield’s upside-down Christmas tree has garnered both elation and anger since its 2016 unveiling.  

How to virtually tour the world's most inspiring festive scenes

Banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui is decorated with multi-colored Christmas lights
Lahaina's beloved banyan tree is included in holiday celebrations © Don White / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Lahaina, Hawaii 

Planted in 1873, Lahaina’s banyan tree is an iconic symbol of the city. Every holiday season, Hawaii’s biggest tree that spreads over an acre is wrapped with over 6500 lights. A truly magical scene.

Christmas tree made of lobster traps in Gloucester, Massachusetts
The lobster trap Christmas tree is a New England staple © Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

Gloucester, Massachusetts 

It doesn’t get more New England than this. Standing 40ft high, and outfitted with hand-painted buoys from local residents and sparkling lights, Gloucester’s lobster trap Christmas tree is a beloved icon every holiday season. The tradition began in 2001. 

Jack Daniel’s Barrel Christmas Tree

Lynchburg, Tennessee 

There’s really only one way to do Christmas in Lynchburg – with whiskey. Using 140 Jack Daniel’s American White Oak Whiskey barrels, the city erects a 26ft tall Christmas tree draped in sparkling festive lights and topped with a shining star. The tradition began in 2011. 

Replicas of the tree have been erected all over the country with the top barrel of each tree going up for auction and the proceeds going to Operation Ride Home, a charity that, according to Jack Daniel’s press release “assists junior-enlisted service members and families travel from their place of military service back home for the holidays.” 

You might also like:
8 Christmas traditions from around the world 
6 classic Christmas movies to watch on your holiday travels 
Traditional Christmas desserts from around the world 

This article was first published December 2020 and updated November 2021

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