McAdenville, NC 

Christmas Town USA

Situated along the South Fork River McAdenville is a highlight desired town & its easy to see why. From the local resturuants, shops, the Historic downtown, to the river access and trails. 

McAdenville is most famous for their Christmas traditions.  Many places worldwide claim to have the best Christmas celebrations, but no holiday location is quite like McAdenville, North Carolina. Brought to the public’s attention in 1980, the Charles Kuralt Morning Show featured McAdenville and continues to be a popular place for visitors.

During the year, McAdenville, a small town home to around 1,000 full-time residents, and its streets are as charming as any place you can imagine. This town becomes a beacon for those looking for a head-to-toe holiday spirit. The town, dubbed “Christmas Town U.S.A.,” puts on a light show that draws in an estimated 600,000 visitors each year.

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If you’re new to the area or thinking about moving here, were happy to show you what makes it home.

1. History:

Situated within 1.5 square miles of historic charm, McAdenville is proof that the best things really do come in small packages. McAdenville is a village with a heritage of tenacity and faith in what it was, is and will be. This town represents what can happen when the willpower of hard-working people, the vision of enlightened collaborations, the leadership of corporate stewards, and a compassionate caring, community of co-workers, families, friends, and neighbors come together for the betterment of a community.

McAdenville was destined to become a vibrant textile manufacturing center with its flowing rivers and acres of cotton all around. It took the pioneering vision of Rufus Y. McAden to make this a reality. With the Atlanta-Charlotte Railroad laying tracks in 1873, McAden purchased land along the South Fork of the Catawba River in 1880 and then chartered the Springs Shoals Manufacturing Company in 1881. The town was planned around the cotton mill with houses built to attract workers from the mountains and surrounding area. A company mercantile was established along with wheat and corn mills, a town library and phone lines to enhance the quality of life. In 1883, the town was incorporated as McAdenville and the company became known as McAden Mills.

History of Mcadenville
History of McAdenville

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2. Christmas Town USA

Many North Carolinians have no idea that our state has one of the most magical towns in the country. Each year McAdenville, or better known as Christmas Town USA comes to life – an entire town of businesses, homes, schools and churches that transforms overnight into a world of twinkling lights and holiday sights. Children carol in the streets, shouting ‘Merry Christmas!’ to passersby. Santa walks through town waving at cars. People walk past glowing lights sipping warm cocoa, while holiday music inexplicably fills the air. It’s like a magical Christmas movie come to life.

Every single night from December 1st to December 26th Christmas lights illuminate the entire town for visitors and residents to enjoy. It is a spectacular spectacle to see. Every Year, over 600,000 visitors travel to this town to see the lights. And guess what? It’s completely free!

Christmas Town USA History 

For more than 60 years the Christmas lights lights have sparkled on hundreds of trees and buildings as well as public spaces around town, but where did it all begin? 

The tradition of Christmas Town began in 1956, when a few members of the McAdenville Men’s Club asked Pharr if they could decorate a few trees around the McAdenville Community Center. Pharr not only gave permission – he offered to pay. In fact, he offered to pay for any lights they wanted to put up. Year after year, more and more lights were added to the display. Lights began to sparkle down main street. Lights began to encircle the lake. Thousands upon thousands of lights poured across the town.

In 1980, Christmas Town U.S.A.® gained national attention when featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. Since then, Christmas Town U.S.A. has been featured on Good Morning America, Carolina Impact – 2017 Christmas Town and other television shows, in addition to popular periodicals such as Southern Living Magazine.


Christmas Town USA
Christmas Town USA

3. Location

McAdenville is a small town situated along the South Fork River and is just 15 miles west of Charlotte city center.  Nestled in Gaston county, right beside Belmont, McAdenville offers a fantastic location to the city, nature, and great t things to do.

Residents of McAdenville are only 15 minutes from the Charlotte International Airport and just 22 minutes from Charlotte city center.  McAdenville allows you to have that small town feel, while still being very close to all the amenities Charlotte NC has to offer!



4. McAdenville Lifestyle

Every night from December 1st to December 26th Christmas lights illuminate downtown McAdenville, creating a picturesque winter wonderland for residents & visitors to admire. Over 600,000 visitors descend every year to view the spectacal. Guess what? Its completely free!

McAdenville’s blend of rich history and innovation creates a fun and unique place to enjoy a day, a weekend or a lifetime. Filled with outdoor activities in close proximity to Charlotte, you'll feel right at home in McAdenville.

With trails, parks, playgrounds, kayaking, & greenways, McAdenville has something for everyone. The South Fork River Trail offers Hiking & Mountain Biking while the downtown area provides an escape for runners & cyclists.

People enjoy strolling down historical McAdenville, shopping and grabbing a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants, or joining the locals for one of the festivals downtown.

The moment you enter McAdenville, you will see a town that is built around community, where living is easy, neighbors become friends, and memories last a lifetime.

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5. Things to do in McAdenville

McAdenville is a super cool town with a ton to do! Here are some of our favorites

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden provides visitors with an inspiring, unforgettable garden experience that instills a love of nature and its beauty. Located just a few minutes from McAdenville, the Garden offers an oasis with gardens, fountains and more.

The River Room- Catawba Riverkeeper’s taproom The River Room located in downtown McAdenville, North Carolina. Craft beer, wine, cocktails, live music, and food trucks

Terra Mia– If you are hungry, you have to visit Terra Mia. A fantastic Italian restaurant located in downtown McAdenville.  They have a great wine selection to accompany some of their delicious dishes.

115 Craft–  In the mood for a ice cold beer?  Visit 115 Craft, a bottle shop & taproom, in downtown McAdenville, featuring 18 taps, beer, wine, mead, cider, Kombucha, & Saki!

Revolver Records- Are you in the mood for some cool shopping? visit Revolver Records, a vinyl record shop that recently opened up in downtown McAdenville.  

US National White Water Center – Take a quick drive to the world’s premier outdoor center featuring 1,300 acres to run, paddle, ride, climb and more located in Charlotte. 

6. Real Estate Statistics

Average Price: $448,333
Highest Price: $650,000
Avg.Price/Sqft: $173.86
Lowest Price: $175,000
Total Sold Listings (past Year): 9
Total Single Family Homes Sold: 9
Total Condo / Townhomes Sold: 0


Single Family Homes


Condo / Townhomes

7. McAdenville NC Real Estate

he homes in McAdenville tell a story of the rich history in our community. From the newly renovated circa-1880s brick duplexes in the center of the historic district, to the classic white frame houses of the 1930s through 1950s, to the new Charleston and manor-style homes in McAdenville Village, this uniquely charming place effectively blends historically important architecture with the craftsmanship and creativity of some of the most respected award-winning residential builders in the Carolinas.

While McAdenville has a good variety of housing options, McAdenville is a smaller town.  McAdenville is also a highly desired town, so homes dont come available too often. When they do, they tend to sell quickly. Here are the neighborhoods to keep an eye on: 

Chats with neighbors from porch swings, morning coffee on the veranda with postcard views and the sounds of kids playing in the street – these are some of the realities of the family-friendly living that is McAdenville Village.

Located off I-85 at Exit 23, just beyond McAdenville’s Historic District, McAdenville Village exemplifies the blending of history and present to inspire charming homes, community spirit and a high quality of life.

Ranging from 1,700 to 3,600 square feet, the neo-traditional architecture pays tribute to days gone by of homes with historical character while offering all the amenities and pleasures of present-day living. Ideal for active seniors and growing families to make McAdenville their new home!


From Cottages to Victorian, Colonial Revival or Bungalow Craftsman, the rich history of McAdenville has been preserved in the 85 acres that have been designated as a nationally registered historic district. The historic homes of McAdenville reflect the rich tradition and focus on preserving Southern-style America. Historic McAdenville also offers maintenance-free living in one of the historically registered brick mill homes!


McAdenville Homes for Sale

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If you’re new to the area or thinking about moving here, were happy to show you what makes it home.