Name a town after the Jolly Old Elf and mail will come — lots of it.
The Santa Claus, Indiana post office opened officially in 1856. James Martin, the town’s 14th postmaster, began mailing response letters from “Santa” at his own expense in 1914.
But the letter-writing didn’t really take off until Robert Ripley of Ripley’s Believe it or Not published a cartoon featuring the town’s post office in the 1930s.
This town was originally called Santa Fe, but there was already a town in Indiana by that name. It was a cold December night as townsfolk gathered to discuss a name. Children shouted “Santa Claus!” when they heard jingle bells, and that became the moniker.
Today, the town is home to many Christmas-themed businesses, making this a great, kitschy road-trip stop.