Holiday lights on Jekyll Island, Georgia

Holiday lights on Jekyll Island, Georgia

9 Ways to Spend the Holidays on Georgia's Coast

Visit Georgia's coast in November and December to enjoy a classic coastal holiday.

A visit to coastal Georgia is a great escape any time of year, but during the holiday season, it's particularly enchanting as communities get decked out and go overboard to make their traditional festivities full of cheer. Visit the coast to see spectacular light displays, experience historic landmarks, and shop for unique gifts for your loved ones (and yourself)! Include these nine activities in your coastal getaway for a festive and safe holiday season.

Christmas tree and holiday lights on Jekyll Island, Georgia

Holiday lights on Jekyll Island, Georgia

See Holiday Lights

Jekyll Island is home to more than a million lights during the Holly Jolly Jekyll season. The Great Tree alone has more than 45,000, which is more per square foot than the NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree! Purchase tickets online for the guided tram tours that take place on select nights. Trolley riders will enjoy festive holiday beverages, music, and a one-of-a-kind tour souvenir.

Don't miss the light parade Dec. 9, holiday fireworks Dec. 21 & 28, and a special drive-in movie presentation of "Mickey's Christmas Carol" on Dec. 20 & 27, 2023. Check the Jekyll Island events calendar for a full lineup of holiday fun!

Nov. 24, 2023 - Jan. 7, 2024

Visit Holly Jolly Jekyll

Boats decorated with holiday lights in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah Boat Parade of Lights

Watch a Parade

Watch local parades that showcase the true hometown flavor of the holiday season:

Find more events on Coastal Georgia

Woman holding a coffee cup at Savannah Christmas Market

Savannah Christmas Market at Plant Riverside District. Photo by @savgoldengals

Go Shopping

Stroll the shopping districts in Savannah to find unique gifts for everyone on your list. Poke around the Downtown Design District or City Market for upcycled furniture, fair trade jewelry, paintings and pottery. Browse the shops on Broughton Street, where home furnishings, gourmet provisions, apparel and fine jewelry are waiting to become special surprises for your friends and family. Pick up vintage clothing in the eclectic Starland neighborhood and nostalgic items in the city's abundant antique shops. And be sure to check out Savannah’s Christmas Market at Plant Riverside District, complete with a kid’s area for ornament decorating, wreath making, and other festive activities.

Go shopping in Savannah

Hofwyl Plantation decorated for Christmas in Brunswick, Georgia

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick, Georgia

Experience Christmas Past

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites celebrate the holidays with historical demonstrations, tours, crafts activities, light displays and more. The Annual Hofwyl-Broadfield Christmas Tour on Dec. 1-2, 2023, welcomes guests to a celebration of the holiday season in the style of life in the 1850s.

See more State Parks events on coastal Georgia

film projector

Experience the nostalgia of a drive-in movie with an iconic holiday film on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Watch a Drive-In Movie

On Dec. 20 and 27, 2023, take the family to the Jekyll Island Convention Center for a free showing of "Mickey's Christmas Carol" presented drive-in style. Enjoy the show from your car from 5:30-6:30 p.m., and keep an eye out for Santa, who will be riding in a fire truck and throwing candy to children!

Watch the show

Plum Orchard mansion on Cumberland Island, Georgia

Plum Orchard mansion on Cumberland Island, Georgia

Tour Festively Decorated Homes

On Dec. 2, 2023, take a special ferry ride to Cumberland Island to tour the festively decorated Plum Orchard mansion and learn about the holiday customs of the early 1900s from volunteers and staff dressed in period costumes. Enjoy seasonal refreshments, play old-fashioned lawn games and create a souvenir of your visit.

Enjoy Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight of the Davenport House in Savannah with light refreshments and music Dec. 26-30, 2023. Skilled interpreters show visitors through the Federal-style home, emphasizing the end-of-year celebrations of early 19th century residents.

Georgia Coastal Railway in Kingsland, Georgia

Georgia Coastal Railway in Kingsland, Georgia

Ride a Holiday Train

On the Georgia Coastal Railway, the magic of Christmas comes alive during the Santa Special Christmas Train, which features an interactive, family-friendly adventure with Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves, Frosty the Snowman and more holiday characters. Take a magical journey, and celebrate the season with a train ride full of fun.

Select dates Nov. 24 - Dec. 23, 2023

Ride the Santa Special Christmas Train

Christmas tree at the King and Prince Resort St. Simons Island, Georgia

King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Relax in Classic Accommodations

When you're visiting Georgia's coast, stay at one of the historic hotels decorated for the holiday season like the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island, which adds a large, decorated tree to its lobby and hosts special holiday meals and events.

The Jekyll Island Club Resort offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of holiday-centric activities, including teas, special meals and a bagpiper throughout the season.

Swing on the beach decorated for the holidays on Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @visittybee
Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @visittybee

Or, escape to a cozy cottage on Tybee Island, and enjoy the holidays with the surf, sand and sea breeze just minutes from Savannah.

Find more places to stay on coasTAL GEORGIA

Savannah Riverboat Cruises

Savannah Riverboat Cruises

Take a Cruise with Santa

Join Santa and his North Pole crew on Savannah Riverboat Cruises to go sightseeing on the Savannah River, or experience local holiday gospel entertainment and delicious Southern cuisine as you cruise the river. You can even spend Christmas Eve on the boat enjoying an elaborate buffet while the sounds of holiday spirit dance through the air. 

Go on a cruise in Savannah

Published: September 2023
Scroll To Top