Stetson Mansion Honored with Two Reader’s Choice Travel Awards

DeLand, FL – Stetson Mansion is honored to announce it’s been named as one of the top Historic Holiday Homes Tours for two reader’s choice awards!

For the second year in a row, Stetson Mansion was chosen as a winner in the USA TODAY 10Best Reader’s Choice travel award contest for Best Holiday Historic Home Tour – placing third on the list. Last year, it was fifth. Florida’s Gilded Age Mansion was also named as the second-place winner in Fodor’sTravel Guide to Southern Holiday Homes and is the top tour in the state!

Located in DeLand in West Volusia, this year’s journey through Stetson Mansion’s Christmas Spectacular features 10 Christmas trees, 24 Nativity scenes, several peacocks – a nod to Stetson’s love of the birds – and each room showcasing its own dedicated theme, such as the “Heroes Tribute Room,” a tribute to servicemen and women and first responders, “A Woodland Escape” in the music room and “A Blue Christmas” with blue jays in the parlor.

“This is such an honor for us to be recognized as one of the best holiday historic home tours for the second year in a row,” said Michael Solari, Co-owner of Stetson Mansion. “For two months, co-owner JT Thompson – without the help of any staff, volunteers or decorators – transformed this home into the ribboned wonderland you see, all to help honor the man who started it all, John B. Stetson, and bring some holiday joy to everyone who visits.”                                                                                            

The Christmas Spectacular at Stetson Mansion runs now through January 15, 2020. It is expected to bring more than $2 million to the West Volusia economy. For more information about Stetson Mansion and its tours, please visit

Stetson Mansion, known as the “House That Hats Built,” was the home of John B. Stetson – Florida’s first “snowbird” – who left an amazing cultural legacy beyond the world’s most famous hat. Stetson was known for giving back to the community and donating generously to charities, as well as for being a progressive employer. He had a specific affinity for DeLand and made it his family’s winter home. He became the main benefactor for the state’s first private university – named Stetson University in 1889; and brought electricity to DeLand, making it the first area in Florida with electric streetlights. The Stetson Mansion is the first and only “Gilded Age” mansion in Florida and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority’s mission is developing and supporting marketing and advertising programs intended to bring increased tourism dollars into West Volusia, and enhancing its image as a tourism destination. It works with area accommodators, tourism service providers, attractions and resources, and event promoters to represent the area to potential visitors, tour operators, travel and meeting planners, and the media.