Embrace the holiday season with open arms and welcome family and friends to your doorstep for a festive and entertaining celebration! But how do you keep the holiday spirit alive once they're here?
We have a host of delightful activities in and around the metro area to ensure everyone has a jolly good time, whether it's a short visit or an extended stay.
Scenic Blue Ridge Mountains
Escape the urban hustle and bustle by taking a scenic drive just 90 minutes north of Atlanta to the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. Once a humble railway stop in the 1800s, Blue Ridge has evolved into a charming mountain retreat, earning a well-deserved spot on Southern Living Magazine's 2020 South's Best Mountain Town List.
Explore quaint towns, discover wineries orchards and antique shops, and challenge your family and friends to conquer their 2024 resolutions on the famed Appalachian Trail, traveling the Aska Trails, Swinging Bridge Trail and Springer Mountain. If luck is on your side, you may experience a snow-dusted hike, creating the perfect winter wonderland.
Indulge in the festive ambiance of downtown Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Dahlonega and Helen, where antique and boutique shops beckon with unique treasures. As you stroll through these charming centers, relish the warm glow of festive lights and savor the delights of locally sourced wine, olive oil and diverse culinary offerings from popular eateries like Cantaberry in downtown Ellijay and Wagon Wheel.
For more information on this mountain escape, visit https://www.blueridgemountains.com/.
Lake Lanier Islands
If you're in the mood for winter adventures just an hour outside Atlanta, head to the enchanting Lake Lanier Islands. While these islands are often associated with summer activities, they transform into a winter wonderland during the colder months. Picture snow tubing on the 575-foot Parrot Mountain, the only snow tubing slide in Georgia and ice skating to the cheerful tunes of the holiday season.
Take advantage of the mesmerizing light spectacular at Margaritaville on Lake Lanier, where a stroll through dazzling lights creates the perfect holiday adventure. Explore family-friendly events such as visits from the Coke Polar Bear, holiday crafts and even a chance to meet Mrs. Claus. Plan your holiday getaway by visiting the Lake Lanier Islands website.
Stone Mountain Park
Step into the magic of Stone Mountain Park's Christmas celebration, spanning from November to February. Immerse yourself in activities such as the Christmas Parade, a Jurassic Christmas, the Polar Express 4D Experience and more. Traverse the magical Frosted Forest for interactive family fun and catch glimpses of Santa through his shop window. Click here to purchase tickets!
Stone Mountain Christmas promises daily delights, including carolers, holiday plays and the opportunity to meet the famed Snow Angel!
As the football season wraps up and students embark on winter break, downtown Athens beckons with a unique southern Christmas experience. A mere hour-and-a-half drive from Atlanta, Athens, home to the historic University of Georgia, transforms into a holiday haven. Historical buildings adorned with bright lights create a quaint Christmas scene, offering a perfect backdrop for holiday festivities. From ice skating at The Classic Center to glimpsing twinkling lights at the Winter WonderLights installation at the State Botanical Garden of Athens, the city provides a holiday calendar that caters to every family member.
Explore museums, art galleries and savor the local culinary scene at top eateries such as The Table Bistro, Porterhouse Grill and Osteria Athena. For a genuine southern Christmas experience in Athens, go to https://www.visitathensga.com/ for more information on holiday events.
For more information about holiday events in Athens, visit www.visitathensga.com/events/holiday.