Holiday Time

Only in the South: Celebrate the Arrival of 2020 with Unique New Year's Eve Drops (December 2019)

Log on to Cyber Monday Deals (December 2019)

Southern Hospitality Traveler's Favorite Things About October (October 2019)

Honor the Red, White and Blue in the South with Independence Day Celebrations (July 2019)

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Celebrating Mardi Gras 2019 (February 2019)

Pickle, Pelican or Peach: The Many Unique Ways the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2018)

Get Into the Holiday Spirit with the 29th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest (November 2018)

17 Celebrations Honoring the Red, White and Blue (June 2018)

Celebrate Mom this Mother's Day with Getaways and Experiences (May 2018)

"Throw me Somethin' Mister!" Celebrating Mardi Gras 2018 (January 2018)

Beach Ball, Fleur-De-Lis, MoonPie: Unique New Year's Eve Drops in the South (December 2017)

25 Festive Events to Keep that Holiday Feeling Through the New Year (December 2017)

Awe-Inspiring Gingerbread Displays at Various Hotels and Resorts Around the South (December 2017)

Fun and Fireworks: 14 Events Celebrating Independence Day (June 2017)

Celebrate 2017 Mardi Gras in the South (February 2017)

Three Festive Ways to Avoid Going Stir Crazy Before the Holidays (December 2016)

30 Ways to Get Your "Jingle" On in the South (December 2016)

Five Ways to Experience the Holidays "Louisiana-Style" (December 2016)

"Brighten Up" Your Holidays with These Holiday Light Displays (November 2016)

Red, White, Blue and You: Fourth of July Celebrations in the South (July 2016)

Drops, Celebrations and More: Memorable Ways to Welcome in 2016 (December 2015)

Spark Your Holiday Spirit with the Many Events Happening Around the South (December 2015)

Six Places to Celebrate the Holiday Season (December 2015)

So Many Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season in the South (November 2015)

14 Dazzling Holiday Light Displays Throughout the South to Enjoy Now (November 2015)

Celebrate the Holidays in Minden and North Louisiana with the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights (November 2015)

New Twist on an Old Favorite: Amping Up the Grilled Cheese (April 2015)

Celebrate National Soup Month Anytime with Recipes from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels (January 2015)

Move Over Ball Drop - This is How the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2014)

Ways to Get Your Holiday On in the South (December 2014)

Liven Up Your Thanksgiving Meal with Some Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Style Comfort Foods (November 2014)

Warm Up the Days and the Nights with These Chili Recipes (October 2014)

Creating the Perfect Cheeseburger with Crawford Ker on National Cheeseburger Day (September 2014)

Celebrate National Martini Day with these Recipes (June 2014)

It's Great to be King...Celebrating Mardi Season with King Cake Creations (February 2014)

Celebrate Your Valentine with a Getaway (February 2014)

A MoonPie, Pickle, Red Stick and More...Welcoming in the New Year in the South (December 2013)

Celebrate the Holidays with a New Orleans' Reveillon Dinner (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide...Packages and Escapes (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Food and Beverage (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in the South (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Experiences in the South (December 2013)

End Your Holiday Meal on a Sweet Note courtesy of Chef Sara Thomas (November 2013)

From Their Table to Yours: Holiday Recipes from The Carolina Inn (November 2013)

Firing Up the Grill: Tips and Recipes for a Successful and Tasty Grilling Season (May 2013)

Breakfast for Mom, Southern-Style (May 2013)

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Talkin' Mardi Gras, Shreveport, La. Style (February 2013)

Southern Style: 13 Things You Must Do in 2013 (January 2013)

Holiday Joy: Tips for Creating the Perfect Gingerbread House (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Secret is in the Sauce at Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Make It Memorable and Give the Gift of an Experience (December 2012)

8 Reasons to Visit Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights this Season (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Chef's Table at Emeril's Delmonico (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Simply Ballastone Cookbook (November 2012)

Treat Your Mom to One of These Eight Southern Destinations (May 2012)

Seeing Various Shades of Green: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the South (March 2012)

It’s Mardi Gras Time in the South (February 2012)

Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday in the South (January 2012)

A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

Celebrate the Holidays New Orleans-Style with a Reveillon Dinner (December 2011)

"Treat" Yourself this Holiday Season with (November 2011)

Holiday Fun in the South After Thanksgiving (November 2011)

Holiday Fun at Gaylord Opryland (November 2011)

Tours and Treats Along Virginia’s Inn to Inn Cookie Trail and Tour (November 2011)

Celebrating Milestones in the South (August 2010)

5 Activities that Add a "Sizzle" to Your Summer Vacation (June 2010)

Forget Gifts, Give Experiences This Mother’s Day (April 2010)

Celebrating Mardi Gras 2010 (February 2010)

Published: December 2015
Six Places to Celebrate the Holiday Season  

canton lights

Holiday are about spending time together, and a great way to accomplish this is by traveling. Create memories and establish new traditions by celebrating the holiday season at any one of the six destinations.

Grapevine, Texas

With over 1,400 Christmas events scheduled throughout 40 days, it is easy to understand why Grapevine is considered to be the "Christmas Capital of Texas."

Festivities include everything from Christmas on Main to the North Pole Express at Grapevine Vintage Railroad. On December 5, celebrate a Victorian Christmas at Nash Farm. Learn about the holiday traditions of that period and create a Victorian ornament to take home. All ages can join in the fun of Christmas Sparkle at the Settlement to City Museums. Through January 3, 2016, take part in activities like creating cotton wreaths, sparkle ornaments and more.

Don't forget to check out the events at both Gaylord Texan Resort and Great Wolf Lodge. For a nominal fee, you can take part in activities such as ICE! (Gaylord Texan Resort) and Snowland (Great Wolf Lodge.)

New Orleans

NOLARevDinnerNew Orleans shines brightly during the holiday season. The Cresent City's schedule is filled with New Orleans traditions like Reveillon dinners, bonfires like the one scheduled for December 5 at Oak Alley Plantation, and caroling in Jackson Square.

For those who enjoy holiday lights, be sure to check out Celebration in the Oaks. Enjoy such displays as the Who Dat Tree honoring the New Orleans Saints and Mr. Bingle, an old-school New Orleans holiday character.

Starting on December 4 is Miracle on Fulton Street with a holiday market, live entertainment and refreshments, guaranteed to get everyone in the holiday mood.

And that's just a sampling of all the happenings. Don't forget about the activities with NOLA ChristmasFest, either.

Canton, Mississippi

With over 200,000 glittering lights decorating Canton's historic Courthouse Square to welcome in the holiday season, they've rightfully earned the title "City of Lights."

Through December 23, the city is abuzz with activities like an old-fashioned carousel and vintage car rides, trolley rides around the square and more, including an annual Sip N' Cider on December 11.

Make it a point to stop in Canton Animation Museums to take in the 135 life-size animated figures that highlight everything from history to fantasy.

Smoky Mountains

While it's always a great time to visit the Smoky Mountains, there's something "extra special" about the area during Winterfest.

In its 26th year, events across the area include Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at Smokies Stadium; and a new show, "Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas of Light" winterfestlightsat Smoky Mountain Palace in Sevierville, Tenn. Don't miss the 40th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg on December 4.

Ride the trolley to see the lights and lighted displays throughout the area.

Want more? Visit Ober Gatlinburg not only for inspiring views but also for ice skating, aerial tram and other activities. Check out the new Christmas show at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, "Christmas at Dixie" that includes the 35,000 square foot arena transforming into a live nativity scene.

Florida Keys

Celebrate the season island-style in the Florida Keys. Kicking off December in Islamorada is the Florida Keys Holiday Festival on December 4, complete with a tree lighting ceremony, holiday parade with Santa Claus and more. Stick around for their Inaugural Stone Crab Jam Festival on December 5.

BightChristmasViolins_046During the Key West Holiday Fest, enjoy the Harbor Walk of Lights reflecting and honoring the area's rich maritime history. And speaking of maritime, the 25th annual Key West Lighted Boat Parade is slated for December 12.

Other events taking place throughout the month include additional boat parades, concerts and the Holiday Historic Inn Tour on December 11 and 18.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

From home tours to Saturdays with St. Nick to Candle Tea in Old Salem, Winston-Salem charms visitors of all ages during the holidays.

Take a self-guided tour of Old Salem to take in the decorations reflecting the 18th and 19th century. Check out the different events happening as well, such as the Candle Tea and enjoy Moravian coffee and a piece of sugar cake. There's also the Anniversary Lovefeast at St. Philips on December 12. Enjoy listening to Christmas music by The Voices of God’s Children, followed by the serving of the Lovefeast buns and tea.

No visit to Winston-Salem is complete without stopping by the nearby Korner's Folly for a tour. Known as "the Strangest Home in America," it's dressed up for the season.

photo credits: (top) Canton, Miss., "City of Lights," courtesy of Visit Mississippi; (top left) Christmas New Orleans Style Reveillon Dinner, courtesy of; (mid right) Winterfest Lights, personal collection; (bottom left) Key West Bight Christmas Violins, courtesy of Florida Keys,