All opinions and recommendations are our own
There are a few things that can make you feel the magic of Christmas like a Spectacular Christmas light display. When thousands of twinkling lights combine to create a beautiful scene, it can take your breath away. Young or old, gazing at the most spectacular Christmas displays can just make anyone feel the yuletide joy.
Each year, we pack the family up in the car and hit the road to see a light show. Sometimes, it’s local and sometimes it’s a drive. Either way, it’s always a special time to be together bouncing down the road with screaming kids in tow. Well, maybe not the screaming kids part.
Living in the Southeast for the last 15 years has exposed us to some of the most amazing light shows in the US. In this article, we’re going to share some of our favorites.
The Southeastern part of the US is known for its spectacular weather. Pristine beaches, towering palms, and delicious cuisine all make this region special. However, it’s also a pretty amazing place to be for the holiday season.
Whether you are from the Southeast or just visiting, checking out the area’s most spectacular Christmas displays is a must on your list. They are sure to put you in a festive mood and inspire cheer. You’ll be amazed by the talent and dedication that goes into crafting these illuminated works of art.
These ten spectacular marvels are some of the best Christmas light creations in the world. Do yourself a favor and check out a few for yourself. Or, go on a full-blown Christmas light road trip. Either way, these displays are sure to make even the Grinchiest visitor smile.
A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland
Most Spectacular Christmas Displays in Tennessee
The Gaylord Opryland is a stunning hotel any time of the year. However, the holidays take its beauty to the next level. The huge lobby is transformed into a winter wonderland full of sparkle and shine.
Thousands of twinkling lights trickle from the soaring ceiling. The lush palm trees paired with brightly lit Christmas trees are a stunning sight. All of this festive decor is centered around a towering fountain, creating incredible ambiance.
A stay here means you’ll have no shortage of festivities. Take an exhilarating ride on an ice tube or an exciting skate on the ice. Walkthrough the Christmas movie display featuring all of your favs like Elf and The Polar Express. And don’t miss the one of a kind Christmas in Tennessee Dinner Show by The Oak Ridge Boys!
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
When you think of Christmas lights, a botanical garden might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But at Brookgreen Gardens, they know how to do Christmas right! Their Nights of a Thousand Candles event is a highlight of the season and home to some of the most spectacular Christmas displays.
Here, they transform the beautiful outdoor space into a whimsical land for the holidays. You don’t want to miss the giant trees are meticulously wrapped in thousands of twinkling lights! Nearly 3,000 lit candles float peacefully atop the garden’s water features. No detail is left out as brightly lit jars hang from the beautiful pines.
It’s no wonder that Travel and Leisure magazine names the display the best in the state. Snag yourself some tickets to see it for yourself one of the most spectacular Christmas displays. Don’t forget to grab a mug of something toasty and wander through the garden for a truly memorable experience.
Nights of Lights
St. Augustine & Ponte Vedra, Florida
The sweet and salty St. Augustine weather is perfect for taking in a stunning light display. The historical streets of the country’s oldest city are only enhanced by the festive decorations. This light display was named one of the top ten in the world by National Geographic and for good reason.
Nights of Lights transforms the cobblestone streets into a winter oasis. And because it’s St. Augustine, you’ll also be able to enjoy the delicious food and awesome shopping in the area with a festive backdrop. Even better, experiencing this display is absolutely free.
Check out the area from the end of November through January. The display covers twenty blocks and you can even book a tour for a unique experience. The lights can be viewed by trolley, train, or even from a boat cruise on the harbor.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Each year, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is set aglow for the holidays. The stunning light displays are a festive feast for the eyes. Check out Garden Lights, Holiday Nights for a remarkable experience.
Immerse yourself in cheer as you walk through a colorful tunnel of lights. Wonder at the garden’s impressive illuminated sculptures. Check out the glowing orbs and abstract trees for a perfect photo op.
This year, the amazing display has an added touch of whimsy. Lighted sculptures from the Alice in Wonderland exhibition are on display. Spring for a premium ticket for express entry, hologram glasses, and a drink ticket.
Christmas at the Biltmore
Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore estate is known for being one of the most beautiful in the country. The holiday season only takes that up a notch. Christmas at the Biltmore is an unforgettable event. Luckily, there are two incredible ways to check out this amazing display.
The Daytime Celebration gives families the opportunity to tour the estate while it’s draped with festive greenery. Stunning wreaths and poinsettias don every surface for a feel of Christmas. Trees, covered with perfectly coordinated ornaments, fill the estate’s rooms with holiday cheer.
The property also features Candlelit Christmas Evenings, creating magical memories. This nighttime event allows you to take in the sparkling lights of the display after dark. Walkthrough the illuminated tunnel and along luminary lined paths as you marvel at the decor. The entire property is set aglow for a breathtaking view and perfect photo ops.
Lights Under Louisville
Lights Under Louisville is a highly anticipated event. This collection of over four million lights is an incredible display. Plus, you can view it all from the comfort of your own car.
Located at the Louisville Mega Cavern, over 900 displays are set up to get visitors in the holiday spirit. You’ll travel seventeen miles, taking in the carefully crafted illuminated works of art. This underground display is like nothing else in the world.
Looking for a more relaxing experience? Book tickets on the Christmas Express! Buy a bench and get cozy with your family and experience one of the most spectacular Christmas displays. Kick back and enjoy a half-hour ride on the open-top trailer, taking in the spectacular sights.
Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Do your family a favor and buy your tickets to Norfolk’s Botanical Garden’s light display early! Passes to The Garden of Lights sell out quickly. It’s not surprising since this display has ranked in USA Today’s Ten Best Garden Light Displays two years in a row.
Select a date for your visit and load up your car with blankets and cocoa. Work your way through the one-mile tour, taking in over a million twinkling lights. After that, don’t forget to stop at the Marigold and Honey Cafe Food Truck for a yummy snack.
This is truly a family-friendly event. Your four-legged friend can even enjoy the lights from your vehicle. However, the lights go out at the beginning of January, so book your tour now.
Forget Mardi Gras, Louisiana has an even more festive event to enjoy. Natchitoches Christmas has been going strong for nearly a century. Each year, it just keeps getting grander and more joyous.
With daily events throughout the season, it’s worth it to make multiple visits. Therefore, live music and food trucks create the perfect atmosphere for taking in the lights this holiday season. Stroll the riverbank and enjoy the many activities the area has to offer. Altogether, you’ll experience Christmas at its holiday best!
During the festival, you can buy your loved ones the perfect gift from the Mistletoe Market. The littlest visitors will love doing arts and crafts under the twinkling lights. And don’t forget to stick around for the fireworks. As a matter of fact, the fireworks display lights up Cane River Lake and an experience you don’t want to miss!
Most Spectacular Christmas Displays | Galaxy of Lights
The Galaxy of Lights is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. What better time to visit this amazing display? During this season, the Botanical Garden is transformed into Christmas.
Firstly, wander the two and half-mile walking trails and take in all of the festive displays. There are even special dates to bring your furry friend along. Secondly, make sure to plan early, your tickets can only be used on a pre-selected date.
Want a more relaxing experience? Since we all love to be cozy, there are designated nights that allow you to drive through the event. In any case, the Galaxy of Lights is sure to become a much-anticipated family tradition.
Landrum’s Homestead and Village
Few things are as charming as an authentic historical village. Landrum’s Homestead and Village is an amazing living museum located in peaceful Laurel, Mississippi. During the holidays, they take the charm up a notch by infusing the grounds with Christmas cheer.
Thousands of lights and festivities make Christmas at the Homestead a can’t miss event. Take a relaxing wagon ride and then soak up the holiday sights. Before you see the lights make sure to visit the general store and the adorable farm animals.
After dark is the perfect time to enjoy the Christmas Candlelight Tour Landrum offers. Enjoy Christmas carols, a festive mood, and one of the most spectacular Christmas displays in the southeast. Get there just in time to see the beautiful lights turn on at 4:30!
Enjoying the Most Spectacular Christmas Displays in the Southeast
In conclusion, you do not need a white Christmas to have an incredible holiday. Besides the Southern charm, it’s the combination of festive vibe, mild weather, and wonderful people that make the Southeast the perfect place to spend the season of joy!
The weather is perfect for checking out some of the most incredible Christmas light displays around. As a matter of fact, they’ll put you in a merry mood and add a ton of excitement to your family’s holiday fun!
Where have you seen one of the most spectacular Christmas displays?
Drop us a line because we’d love to hear from you! We’ve love to feature your favorite location!
And in case you’re already out on the road, here are some of our favorite apps when hitting the road.