In My Mind, I’m going to Carolina (and Georgia, and Virginia…)

Here's Guest Blogger Betsy with a few travel ideas!

The Christmas Season always brings with it a wealth of festivals and celebrations, whether you have snow or sun. Since my husband and I are heading south for a couple weeks to visit family, I’ve been investigating cities and towns along the way and wanted to share a few of our major stops with you. If you’re in the area, be sure to pop in and enjoy the following festivities! And if you know of any must-sees that I missed, comment below and let me know! We leave in 4 days (not that I’m counting…)

Philadelphia, PA
*Macy’s Light Show: For a half century, people have been venturing to the historic Wanamaker’s building to see this fantastic display of 100,000 LED lights twinkling above the Grand Court Atrium. Narrated by Julie Andrews, and accompanied by the Wanamaker Grand Organ, this fantastic light show displays snowflakes, ballerinas, and reindeer and is a holiday tradition not to be missed.
(November 28 – December 31)

*New Years Eve Fireworks Display: There’s no better way to ring in the New Year than fireworks and you can find them in Philly, right along the Delaware River.
(December 31, 12:00a)

*The Christmas Village at Dilworth Plaza: For the first time ever, Philly will host a real-life medieval Christmas Village. Among the delightful wooden structures, you’ll find gifts, food, live music and plenty of Christmas cheer.
(December 3 – December 24)

*The Blue Cross RiverRink: No winter visit to Philly is complete without a spin around this classic ice rink overlooking the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge. Take a few spins to see the city lights, then scoot over to the warming hut for a cup of hot cocoa.
(November 15 – March 1)

Asheville, NC
*Christmas at Biltmore Estate: The Biltmore Estate is fabulous year-round, but especially delightful at Christmas. The estate features about 100 Christmas trees, more than 1000 wreaths and bows, 1450 poinsettias, thousands of ornaments and more garland than you’ve ever seen.
(November 7 – January 4)

*National Gingerbread House Competition: In addition to hosting its normal guests throughout the Holiday Season, the Grove Park Inn is also home to about 300 Gingerbread Houses from 20 different states. It’s a true feast for your eyes and your stomach. Below is the first place entry from 2007 created by Billie Mochow of Burns, Tennessee.
(November 19 – January 11)

Atlanta, GA
*Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Resort: A stop here is a must – this is the world’s largest animated holiday light show. The Resort also features a Holiday Village with plenty of dining and shopping options and carnival rides.
(November 22 – December 30)

*The ‘Pink Pig’ at Macys: This life sized train takes parents and children under a 170 foot Pink Pig and through a storybook that includes the Pink Pig and her friends. Even if you don’t have kids, you might want to go just to see a large pink pig.
(November 1 – January 4)

*Ice Skating at Centennial Olympic Park: Atlanta rarely sees snow, and this outdoor rink is as close as you’re going to get, so get out there!
(November 15 – January 4)

Savannah, GA
*11th Annual Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley: Hop on and enjoy a two-hour ride through Savannah’s lighted and decorated historic district.
(December 16 – December 23)

*New Years Eve Celebration at City Market: Nothing is better than a huge street party with live music!
(December 31)

Charleston, SC (the birthplace of the poinsettia)
*Holiday Festival of Lights: In your car or in the train, the three mile tour around James Island County Park is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Over 500,000 lights are on display at this winter wonderland.
(November 15 – January 1)

*The Charleston Christmas Special: If the Rockettes decided to come to North Carolina, they would come here. This two hour musical variety show has all the fixings for a great variety show: a live orchestra, a chorus line of dancers and live performances by some ex-Broadway superstars.
(December 12 – December 21)

*Christmas on King Street: The hippest street in town offers deals and specials strait through New Years Eve. While you stroll, also check out the eye-catching windows, decorated especially for Christmas.
(November 26 – December 31)

Richmond, VA
*Tacky Light Tour: Finally, someone has owned up to the tackiness of Christmas lights and lawn ornaments! Not all are “tacky”, but Richmond brings you all of the best. From large inflated Santa snow globes to an igloo filled with penguin, you’ll find it all here in Richmond. As if you needed any more motivation, here’s a sample of what you’ll see.

*100 Miles of Lights: Travel from Richmond to Virginia Beach through Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth and Norfolk to catch this light spectacular. Over 700,000 lights are used for this annual tradition. Additional events include live music, boat parades, visits with Santa and parades.
(Mid November – Early January)

Have a Happy Holiday, everyone!


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