Christmas in Dahlonega, Georgia
These 8 Small Georgia Towns Do Christmas Right
You can't help but feel festive during the holidays in these Georgia small towns.
There is just something special about celebrating a Southern Christmas in a charming little town – something that makes it distinctive and memorable. There is no shortage of enchanting southern towns in Georgia, and these eight locations know exactly how to create a holiday celebration your entire family will remember for years to come.
Fröhliche Weihnachten!! That's German for Merry Christmas, if you’re not familiar. Partake in festive Alpine cheer as you head to Helen for the annual Christkindlmarkt – a tradition that lines the center of town with gifts, decorations, candied treats and more. It's open the last weekend in November and the first weekend in December, but you'll want to bring the family when Santa arrives on his Bavarian sleigh as part of the Helen Christmas Parade.
Not too far from Helen is Cleveland, which offers two unique holiday experiences. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Babyland General Hospital, followed by its Appalachian Christmas celebration. Also, Starry Night and Winter Wonderland Tours at North Georgia Wildlife Park will get you in the spirit of the season.
Step back in time during Thomasville's extraordinary Victorian Christmas Festival. Carriage rides with jingle bells, live music, Victorian-clad carolers and more set the stage for strolling the streets and peering in storefronts. Kids will adore seeing ole Saint Nick sharing their Christmas list, shaking hands with giant nutcrackers, and having the chance to roast marshmallows on an open fire! Thomasville is an award-winning "small-town," and this Christmas extravaganza exemplifies why it's a well-deserved award!
Home to the Callaway family, you can enjoy the 1916 Hills & Dales estate (Fuller and Ida Callaway's home,) decked in decadent holiday decor, or dazzle the kids with a nearby stop in Pine Mountain at Callaway Resort & Gardens’ Fantasy In Lights. Did you know National Geographic dubbed it one of the world's best places for Christmas sparkle? Want to dive a little deeper into the first Christmas experience? Make a stop at the Biblical History Center for a historical experience of the season.
Christmas trees, mistletoe and thousands of twinkling lights adorn historic Dahlonega from Thanksgiving until year-end, creating an old-timey holiday experience. A home-town parade welcomes the Jolly Old Elf at the beginning of December, followed by carolers, live music, wine tastings, horse-drawn carriage rides and more. Don't miss a performance at The Historic Holly Theater, or a visit with Santa in the Public Square.
Have you heard of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" on ABC? One of the homes from that event is located in Columbus, and they are still pulling no punches! Visit The Ludy Christmas Spectacular to see more than 155,000 lights on a single family home! And while you're there, don’t miss the Annual Bi-City Christmas Parade and the Springer Opera House's exciting holiday event.
Named "One of The South's Best Small Towns" by Southern Living in 2018, Madison is home to the largest collection of 19th century architecture in Georgia with a mix of Greek revival, late Victorian and Romanesque-style buildings. Step inside many of the lavishly decorated mansions during Madison's annual Holiday Tour of Homes in December, and stroll through the festively decorated downtown sampling holiday treats at the many restaurants and sweet shops. Watch the parade of floats, bands and community groups, and sing along with carols during the Holiday Parade and Caroling by Candlelight.
Ahhh, the Blue Ridge Express at Christmas…what a way to kick off the season. Listen to a Christmas story, sing carols and meet with the big guy, St. Nick. There are also daytime and nighttime pavilion rides, which are longer tours and a chance to meet with Santa on the pavilion. If you can’t make the train ride, then see Santa and Mrs. Claus before and during the Light Up Blue Ridge Parade. You can have your photo taken with them afterward, but be sure to shop until it gets dark so you can see the lighting of the great 27-foot tall Christmas tree.