The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
Breakfast with Santa takes place each year at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee along with other festivities, including ice skating, elf tuck-ins, and caroling on the Linger Longer Express. Visit during the Annual Lighting at the Lake on Nov. 22, 2023, and enjoy live music and sing-alongs until Santa arrives to light hundreds of thousands of lights at the resort.
A must-see for the holidays is the one-of-a-kind, life-sized gingerbread house that is created by the pastry team. This holiday treat, made with gingerbread, 180 pounds of candy and 480 pounds of icing, will be on display for guests’ delight in the hotel’s main lobby throughout the holidays.
See why 365 Atlanta Family named Reynolds, Lake Oconee the best family resort in Georgia.
Experience a Bavarian Christmas in Alpine Helen, located about an hour and a half north of Atlanta in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. The town's architecture and holiday scenery are the picture-perfect backdrops for a holiday getaway.
Don't miss the Annual Lighting of the Village in Edelweiss River Park on Nov. 24, 2023.
A German tradition, Helen's annual Christkindlmarkt offers specialty gift items, decorations, assorted savory foods, drinks and candied treats. This shopping extravaganza is held Nov. 25-26, 2023, and Dec. 2-3, 2023, at Helen Marketplatz.
Join in a Victorian Christmas in Sautee-Nacoochee at the Hardman Farm State Historic Site and see the house dressed in period holiday décor while learning about Victorian holiday traditions from docents in 1870s-style clothing. This open house on Fridays and Saturdays in December is highlighted by twinkling candlelight and live music. Dec. 1 - Dec. 16, 2023.
General Coffee State Park
General Coffee State Park is one of Georgia’s most underappreciated state parks and one of my favorites for the holidays. There are six cottages here, but the treat is a stay at Burnham Cottage, decorated with the charm of an old-world Christmas.
Spend the day at the family-friendly Heritage Farm. An easy half-mile loop takes you past the live animals, syrup-making area, blacksmithing shed, and more. You can also hike around the 4-acre lake, visit the amphitheater, play at the playground or take a picnic lunch. We loved the Gopher Trail hike, as well, which is home to more than 130 Gopher tortoises.
In the evening during Christmas, the park comes alive with Christmas lights, which reflect beautifully off the lake. It’s a picture-perfect way to make lasting holiday memories.