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Natural Awakenings Magazine Daytona | Volusia | Flagler

Stetson Mansion Christmas Spectacular! Holiday Home Tour to Begin November 1

The 10th annual award-winning Christmas Spectacular! holiday home tour at the historic Stetson Mansion, in DeLand, kicks off November 1, 2021, and runs through January 22, 2022, with seven self-guided tour times daily. This year’s adult-oriented journey through the mansion, which was built for famed hat maker and philanthropist John B. Stetson in 1886 as his winter retreat, features 23 Christmas trees, more than two dozen nativity scenes, several peacocks—a nod to Stetson’s love of the birds—and 10 elaborately themed rooms. Decorations change every year. Room themes this year include Angels Appear When Cardinals Are Near; A Rockwell Kind of Christmas; Heroes Tribute; Snow Babies ... It’s Cold Outside; and Hallelujah, the Christ Child Is Born.

Stetson Mansion has been named as one of the top historic holiday home tours for two readers’ choice awards. The mansion was chosen as Florida’s winner in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Holiday Historic Home Tour—placing third on the national list. Florida’s most historic home was also named as the second-place winner in Fodor’s Travel Guide to Southern Holiday Homes and is the top tour in the state.

“It was such an honor for us to be recognized as one of the best holiday historic home tours for two years in a row,” says Michael Solari, co-owner of Stetson Mansion. “For three months, co-owner JT Thompson—with only the help of one guide, JoAnn Heinle—labored to transform this home into the bedecked wonderland you will see—all to help honor Jesus, John B. Stetson and the visitors we hope to bring some holiday joy to.”

They hope to earn those pre-pandemic honors again for this year’s tour, which is expected to bring more than $3 million to the West Volusia economy.

Stetson Mansion, known as the House That Hats Built, is the first and only Gilded Age mansion in Florida and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Stetson, Florida’s first “snowbird”, left an amazing cultural legacy beyond the world’s most famous hat. He was known for giving back to the community and donating generously to charities. He became the main benefactor for the state’s first private university and brought electricity to DeLand, making it the first area in Florida with electric streetlights. One of the first sets of Edison Electric Christmas tree lights hung on Stetson’s tree.

Location: 1031 Camphor Ln. For more information or to book a tour (reservations are required), visit StetsonMansion.com.