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 has reimagined its holiday festivities to ensure families can feel safe while enjoying the spirit of the season. The island is home to more than half a million lights during the Holly Jolly Jekyll season. The Great Tree alone has more than 35,000, 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. 4, holiday fireworks Dec. 11 & 18, and a special drive-in movie presentation of Frosty the Snowman on Dec. 12 & 19, 2021. Check the Jekyll Island events calendar for a full lineup of holiday fun!

Nov. 26, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022

Visit Holly Jolly Jekyll

Boats decorated with holiday lights in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah Boat Parade of Lights

Watch a Parade

Keep a safe distance from others while you 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. Before your trip, review the city's Savannah Safe Information.

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 Plantation Christmas on Dec. 3-4, 2021, welcomes guests to a celebration of the holiday season in the style of plantation life in the 1850s. Before visiting, review the parks' COVID-19 precautions.

See more State Parks events on coasTAL GEORGIA

film projector

Watch a Drive-In Movie

On Dec. 12 and 19, 2021, take the family to the Jekyll Island Convention Center for a free showing of "Frosty the Snowman" presented drive-in style. Enjoy the show from your car from 5:30-6:15 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

Historic home in St. Marys decorated for the holidays

St. Marys Christmas Tour of Homes

Tour Festively Decorated Homes

On Dec. 11, 2021, explore beautifully decorated private homes on the St. Marys Christmas Tour of Homes. Enjoy refreshments on the self-guided tour through historic buildings, and at least one historic bed and breakfast or hotel.

Enjoy Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight of the Davenport House in Savannah with light refreshments and music Dec. 26-30, 2021. Skilled interpreters show visitors through the home, and a demonstration of period dancing will culminate the evening. Before your trip, review the museum's COVID-19 precautions.

Overhead view of a passenger train in St. Marys, Georgia

St. Marys Express in St. Marys, Georgia

Ride a Holiday Train

On the St. Marys Express, the magic of Christmas comes alive during the Open Air Railcar Experience, where Jolly Old St. Nick himself boards the train with gifts for all the good little boys and girls. Enjoy entertainment all along the way. Or, you can choose the Santa Special, which features an interactive, family-friendly adventure with heroes Mason and Molly on a quest to save Christmas. Santa makes an appearance along with the Snow Queen, elves, snow people and more. 

Select dates Nov. 26 - Dec. 31, 2021

Before your trip, review the railroad's COVID-19 precautions.


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. Before your trip, review the resort's COVID-19 precautions.

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. Before your trip, review the resort's COVID-19 precautions.

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. Before your trip, review the island's COVID-19 precautions.

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. Before your trip, review the boat's COVID-19 precautions.

Go on a cruise in Savannah

Published: October 2021