Christmas in Georgia: Top Destinations
Christmas in Georgia: Top Accommodations
Where to See Georgia's Best Holiday Lights
Enfold yourself in wondrous Edens, lit hauntingly with holiday lights, or ride a classic carousel at Lake Lanier's traditional Christmas illuminations.
1. Callaway Gardens
The Christmas light display in Callaway Gardens has been feted by National Geographic as one of the most impressive anywhere in the world. Certainly the most technically advanced display in the state, the light installation explores 14 themes and features no fewer than 8 million sparkling bulbs. From Snowflake Valley to Santa's Workshop, Christmas is explored in all its guises during the course of this unparalleled five-mile drive backed by holiday carols.
2. Atlanta Botanical Gardens
The city's botanical gardens, already a scenic spot, are embellished by a display of lights at Christmas. The display, exploring the planet's natural marvels, comprises otherworldly sights such as thousands of strands of lights hanging in Storza Woods, twinkling in unison. Glittering trees and an innovative Santa Mantis distinguish this light display from any other in the state.
3. Lake Lanier
Georgia's oldest light display illuminates a seven-mile swathe of leafy island scenery. Themed sections transport the viewer into different Christmassy worlds, which range from Snowflake Bridge to Teddy Bear Lane. Your drive culminates at a Christmas village complete with carnival features such as a Ferris wheel and Old World carousel, not to mention pony rides and smores.
Best Places to Stay for Christmas in Georgia
The Best Family Christmas Getaways in Georgia
Meet a friendly Snow Monster, fly through a winter wonderland on a Christmas Train and be swept off your feet by Tybee Island's Floating Christmas Parade. Georgian Christmasses are packed with happenings your children will treasure long after their new Christmas toys are forgotten.
1. Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta
For the holiday season, Atlanta's biggest attraction twinkles with some 2 million lights and features a towering Christmas tree, and the famous mountain becomes a canvas for a spectacular nighttime laser show. Children and adults will be wowed by stunning 4D animated movies featuring Rudolph and the Snow Monster, who is more adorable than abominable. Kids are transported straight to Santa's Workshop and cheered by music-backed rides on the Christmas Train. Pose with all your favorite Christmas characters, including Santa and Rudolph himself.
2. Tybee Island, Savannah
Nothing wows little ones like Tybee Island's Floating Christmas Parade. Founded by the Crab Shack to raise money for local food banks, the event sees local boats deck their bows with wreaths and twinkly lights. Glimmering reflections are beautiful to behold, and the parade that follows is a potent dose of holiday spirit.
3. Old Governor's Mansion
Why not tour the Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville? Replete with history and holiday cheer, the mansion's halls are decked in Christmas finery just as they would have been in the 1800s, transporting you and your family into the nostalgia of Christmases past. Discover why citrus fruits were used as decorations and more during your entertaining and educating visit to this impressive mansion.
Recommended Accommodations for Christmas in Georgia
The Best Places for Couples to Spend Christmas in Georgia
Get away from the Christmas madness at these relaxing and atmospheric Georgian hideaways, which are ideal for couples.
1. Atlantic Station, Atlanta
Couples will love Atlantic Station, where Christmas celebrations revolve around a 50-foot Christmas tree. The light display in town is completely free, and a remarkably realistic snowfall takes place every evening, weather permitting. Don't miss out on some retail therapy at the German Christkindl Market, and enjoy date nights at the plethora of ritzy restaurants in town. Outdoorsy souls can go for a romantic glide on the ice rink and stroll to Santa's Cottage in Central Park.
In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the village of Helen celebrates by illuminating its Bavarian-style buildings at a special November ceremony. Hardman Farm Historic State Site runs tours showcasing Victorian holiday celebrations, starting right after Thanksgiving. December brings the lighted parade through the town, led by Santa and his elves and followed by smores over the bonfire.
Tour Savannah's most impressive private homes decked in their Christmas finery. What could be more romantic than a river cruise accompanied by gospel singing and elegant holiday suppers? Mosey around the marketplace, which transforms in the holiday season and offers all sorts of gifts and seasonal snacks. Get festive on date night at a snow-sprinkled show at Savannah's historic theater, which opened in 1818.