Known for its gorgeous green landscapes, diverse culture, and Southern charm and hospitality, Georgia is a wonderful place to ring in the holiday season. Whether you look forward to taking a stroll down the cobblestone streets in Savannah, viewing the wild horses on the Cumberland Island National Seashore, hiking the Appalachian Trail in the North Georgia Mountains, or exploring the vibrant nightlife in Atlanta, you’re going to love this eclectic state. Many Georgia vacation rentals are located just minutes from the most festive Christmas events and attractions. Here are five of the best places to see Christmas lights while you’re in the state.

atlanta botanical garden christmas lights

1. Atlanta

Atlanta is Georgia’s largest city, and it has something to offer good boys and girls of all ages. The Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts a yearly Christmas lights event that’s truly a sight to behold. There are multiple areas to explore, each one more breathtaking than the last. Stroll through the Radiant Rainforest, Glittering Galaxy, and Orchestral Orbs, and don’t forget to check out Nature’s Wonders, a new exhibit that features synchronized twinkling lights strung high over Storza Woods. While you’re in Atlanta, be sure to stop by Six Flags, where the entire park and all its characters are fully decked out in holiday decorations, creating an enchanting winter wonderland that the whole family can enjoy. Finally, make sure you visit the light show at Stone Mountain Park. It includes more than two million lights, festive holiday music, a giant Christmas tree, and even some costumed Christmas characters for you and the family to meet.

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2. Savannah

If you’re looking for cozy vacation rentals and classic Southern charm, it’s hard to beat Savannah. Georgia’s oldest city boasts one of the state’s most cherished annual holiday celebrations: December Nights & Holiday Lights at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. In addition to over a million lights spanning a huge variety of themed gardens for you to explore on foot, this event features Christmas treats such as running model trains elevated among the trees, live music on certain evenings, and a variety of fresh baked goods and hot beverages available for sale at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. Santa himself appears on certain days, so be sure to check the calendar in advance if you want a picture with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. While you’re in Savannah, stop by the annual Savannah Harbor Holiday Series, where you can enjoy a wide range of Christmas activities, including a gingerbread house-building contest.

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3. Pine Mountain

Located just an hour southwest of Atlanta, Pine Mountain is known for its beautiful scenery and incredibly friendly locals. It’s a great place to look for a vacation rental if you want a quaint mountain cabin or lakeside home. When you’re ready for some Christmas cheer, head to Callaway Gardens for the yearly larger-than-life Fantasy in Lights holiday celebration. It’s one of the country’s most spectacular holiday light shows, featuring 15 different holiday scenes and using more than eight million lights spanning more than 2,500 wooded acres. You can drive through the decorated woods in your own vehicle, or hop aboard the Jolly Trolley if you don’t feel like driving. National Geographic Traveler has even named this event one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” in the world, so don’t miss it.

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4. Gainesville

Known as the ‘Queen City of the Mountains’ and ‘Hospitality Capital of the World,’ Gainesville vacation rentals offer all of the rural beauty and friendliness you’d hope to find in a Georgia city. During the holiday season, Lake Lanier is the place to be. The Magical Nights of Lights event has been a beloved tradition for over 25 years. It’s a 7-mile-long light show that you explore from the comfort of your vehicle. There are 13 different themed displays, including Santa’s Elves at Work, The North Pole Express, Jack & the Bean Stalk, and The Wizard of Oz. Once you reach the end of the dazzling light show, you’ll arrive in Holiday Village, where you and your family can meet Santa, ride carnival rides, roast marshmallows, and browse holiday ornaments for sale.

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5. Lookout Mountain

Known as the home of See Rock City, a famous landmark featuring rock formations and gardens, Lookout Mountain is the perfect place to look for a vacation rental if you love nature. To see some gorgeous holiday lights in the area, head to the Rock City Gardens for the extremely popular, award-winning Enchanted Garden of Lights celebration, a tradition that’s been going on for more than two decades. With more than 30 holiday scenes spanning four themed realms and nearly a million LED lights, this spectacular show will impress visitors of all ages. While you’re there, enjoy holiday activities such as decorating gingerbread cookies, sipping hot cocoa, and enjoying live entertainment. After you’ve worked up an appetite at the event, take a quick drive to downtown Chattanooga for a delicious holiday meal at one of the area’s many fantastic local eateries. Popular dining options in the area include the Public House Restaurant, Tupelo Honey, and Bluewater Grille.

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