The holiday season may mean sugar, spice, and everything nice, but it also means magical sights, scenes, and sounds. As you’re looking for ways to welcome the season and celebrate the holiday spirit, consider these travel options—all a short drive from South Fulton.
Christmas in Cartersville
Christmas in Cartersville includes A Country Christmas, where visitors can take in Christmas lights through a drive or hayride. At the annual event hosted by Pettit Creek Farms, young ones can take pictures with Santa and his reindeer, Comet and Cupid. The whole family can enjoy s’mores, hot chocolate, and funnel cakes, plus see animals up close in the petting zoo and even select a freshly cut Christmas tree to take home.
Cartersville also has a year-round Christmas store, ‘Tis the Season, that features ornaments, Christmas trees, collectibles, and more.
Good Times in Greenville
Roughly 2.5 hours by car from Atlanta, Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville is hosting its Christmas Market through Sunday, December 31. The market at the fully decorated lodge includes meet and greets with Santa and live music and entertainment. Guests can choose from holiday-themed food and beverages and take part in 12 Days of Cocktails—choosing from a daily Christmas-themed cocktail, such as Silent Night—yeah right! —Let it Snow, and Believe in Your Elf, starting December 12. kesslercollection.com/bohemian-greenville
Ice, Ice Baby!
Gaylord Opryland Resort is hosting its annual holiday tradition, ICE! through January 1, 2024. This includes Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. ICE! features more than two million pounds, or 1,000 tons, of ice. New this year, during the 40th annual A Country Christmas event, is the theme “The Polar Express,” based on the beloved Warner Bros. holiday film. Forty world-class ice artisans from Harbin, China, will bring the enchanting tale to life in ice sculpture form. Other activities include a Christmas dinner show, ice skating, ice tubing, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. marriott.com/en-us/hotels/bnago-gaylord-opryland-resort-and-convention-center/overview
Roughly 1.5 hours north of the Atlanta area, Alpine Helen-White County, Georgia, serves up a Bavarian Christmas without having to leave the Southeast! Take in the festive holiday décor amid the town’s alpine architecture and cobblestone alleyways. In late November each year, the area lights up its 20-foot-tall tree at the annual Lighting of the Village in Edelweiss River Park, with the town dressed up and illuminated each night until February. The tree is decorated with 8,000 lights and more than 800 ornaments. Stay for a night or more in one of the whimsical Alpine lodging offerings. helenga.org
A Blue Christmas
A mountain getaway holiday is all yours—just 90 minutes by car from Atlanta. The town of Blue Ridge in the North Georgia Mountains hosts a number of events in December. The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association’s Holiday Art Show and Sale takes place through December 16. Shop handcrafted items such as jewelry, pottery and paintings made by member artists. Through December 24, climb aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Holiday Express for a festive train ride where you can take in holiday sounds, Christmas story readings, and visits with old St. Nick. BlueRidgeMountains.com/events
Christmas With Old World Charm
As part of its Christmas at Biltmore celebration, Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, will showcase its 35-foot-tall Fraser fir tree, decorated with 500 lights and 500 ornaments. With the yuletide tale, “The Night Before Christmas” as its inspiration, the tree and room where it’s featured will shine with colors of red, gold, and emerald.
The celebration includes a tour of Biltmore House, the gardens, conservatory, winery, and Antler Hill Village and runs through January 7, 2024. Through Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Biltmore House showcases decorations for the holidays featuring an Old World charm. biltmore.com