If you just want to feel the holiday sprit and walk through a beautifully decorated town for Christmas, New Jersey has a great variety of places to visit.

You don't have to travel to Manhattan or Philadelphia for an all-out holiday display.

Towns in the Garden State have been stepping up their game over the last few decades.

Whether you're in North Jersey, Central, South or the Jersey Shore, there are great towns to visit during the holidays.

MADISON

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Via Madison Santa on Facebook
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Whether it's Santa's Village  or the Christmas Parade, the town is definitely all decked out and ready for the holidays.

CLINTON

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Via Google Maps
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It's one of Hunterdon County's most picturesque towns with the most photographed spot in the state, The Red Mill.

The Winter Village At The Red Mill will feature food trucks and craft vendors.

The town itself is also all lit up and ready for the holidays.

MAPLEWOOD

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Via Essex County Place on Facebook
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Every December the downtown is set up like a village out of Dicken's A Christmas Carol with their Dicken's Village.

There is a full calendar of events and there is plenty of free parking.

MEDFORD

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Via Michael Oconnor on Facebook
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The downtown is small but every year they host The Dicken's Festival and Main Street is crowded with visitors and characters dressed in classic Dicken's attire.

There is a live nativity scene complete with the animals, wise men, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. It's a beautiful older colonial town that's all decked out for the holidays.

NEW BRUNSWICK

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Via New Brunswick City Center on Facebook
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The downtown known as New Brunswick City Center is a great place for a visit all year long, but Christmas is certainly special in this college town.

The New Brunswick Winter Wonderland has something going on from late November and the calendar is packed through Christmas.

Don't miss the horse-drawn carriage rides the weekend of December 16 - 18.

HADDONFIELD

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Google Maps
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It's known as one of the wealthiest, well-appointed towns in South Jersey and around the holidays it really shines.

It's got an old colonial feel with an amazing downtown along Kings Highway all decked out for the holidays.

Check out the calendar of events for the holidays in beautiful Haddonfield. 

RED BANK

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Google Maps
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Another one of the prettiest towns in the state any time of year, Red Bank is magical at Christmas.

They feature a Christmas scavenger hunt, holiday horse and carriage rides, and carolers in the downtown district of Red Bank.

Visit Santa at the Galleria or you can watch one of many holiday productions at The Count Basie Theatre.

SUMMIT

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Via Google Maps
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Downtown Summit will put visitors in the holiday spirit with its shops, restaurants, and hidden elves!

Try to spot more than 100 hidden elves within Summit businesses for a chance to win prizes.

They also offer carriage rides with holiday music throughout downtown, which runs every Saturday.

On Sundays enjoy fresh foods and holiday items at the weekly farmer's market.

SOMERVILLE

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Via Downtown Somerville New Jersey on Facebook
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The town has fast become one of the most popular towns to visit in Central Jersey.

At Christmastime, the atmosphere is warm and inviting.

The highlight of every holiday season is their Holiday Jubilee on Dec. 3 this year.

With its traffic-free promenade through downtown all lit up for the holidays, it's a must-see any Christmas season.

BORDENTOWN

Farnsworth Avenue via Google Maps
Farnsworth Avenue via Google Maps
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It's at the northern tip of what many people consider South Jersey, historic Bordentown has had a renaissance in the past 20 years drawing visitors from all around the state.

Farnsworth Avenue is where you can find funky shops and great restaurants of all kinds.

Easy to get to by car, right off I-295 or you can take the Riverline light rail.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH AND BORO

Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk
Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk (Bud McCormick)
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We think of Point Pleasant as a summer destination, but it's got a really nice downtown worth a visit any time of year.

The holidays are extra special in downtown Point Pleasant Beach, and Point Pleasant Borough. 

CRANFORD

Downtown Cranford via Google Maps
Downtown Cranford via Google Maps
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The downtown has seen explosive growth over the last decade and a half and it's always bustling.

During the holidays enjoy the creative, unique Christmas trees sponsored by local organizations.

On Fridays, Dec. 10 and 17, you can enjoy smores and hot chocolate as you take horse and carriage rides downtown.

COLLINGSWOOD

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Google Maps
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It's Haddonfield's more blue-collar cousin with tons of character and a dizzying array of shops and restaurants along Haddon Ave.

Every year at holiday time they have a Holiday house decorating contest which makes for a beautiful display on every street.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, the town features Christmas carolers throughout the downtown area.

They really do go all out with everything they do in this very happy little town. 

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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