These seasonal activities make winter in Georgia and South Carolina both merry and bright.

New to the area and hankering for a road trip bubbling over with holiday cheer? Check out one of these winter activities to boost up your holiday season this year.

1. Ice Skating

Approximately 90 miles from Savannah, you can experience oceanfront ice skating on Jekyll Island. Winter in Georgia may not be akin to the North Pole, but imagine skating with palm trees and the Atlantic Ocean in the background. This outdoor rink with synthetic ice brings winter activities to the Georgia coast. Jekyll Island Skating Village returns for the holiday season and runs through January 8, 2017.

2. Dove Street Festival of Lights

Billed as “the most tastefully tacky light display in the Southeast,” the Dove Street Festival of Lights on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has been glowing for more than 20 years. A seemingly endless amount of holiday lights and displays illuminate the Shelter Cove Towne Centre shopping district, just 30 miles east of Savannah. Faux snow falls from the sky as skaters glide across a nearby rink. Santa sets up shop and live music takes the stage on select nights. Events run through December 31.

3. TMT Farms Christmas Lights Display

Bask in the glow and give back in Statesboro with a mile of over 100 holiday displays comprised of thousands of lights at TMT Farms, just 55 miles from Savannah. Glowing designs from snowflakes to Santa bring seasonal imagery to life. Although vehicles can cruise the grounds free of charge, the farm owners ask visitors to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to needy families in Georgia.

4. Holidays at Kiawah

Holiday happiness often comes in edible form, so why not have a Christmas Day meal at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort? About 130 miles from Savannah, this plush coastal oasis on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, near Charleston, offers several meals on Christmas Day. Grab breakfast at Jasmine Porch, and come back between 12–8 p.m. for Kiawah’s Grand Christmas Day Buffet. Holiday dinner goes Italian at Tomasso. The Ocean Room steakhouse and its Sushi Lounge ring the dinner bell, too.

5. St. Simons Island

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island allows visitors to welcome 2017 amid rolling waves. Echo, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant and bar, is just 85 miles from Savannah and has celebratory sounds for the last night of 2016. Live music comes from Jackson Powers (6–9 p.m.) and Crawford Perkins & Friends (9 p.m.–midnight). A champagne toast flows at midnight.

Fill your winter in Georgia and South Carolina with these fun activities, each just a short drive from Savannah, for seasonal entertainment that’s both merry and bright.

Jon Waterhouse

About the AuthorJon Waterhouse

Jon Waterhouse is an award-winning, Atlanta-based journalist specializing in entertainment, travel and lifestyle. His work has appeared in Esquire, BlackBook, Paste, Boy's Life,, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many other publications. He's also served as an online reporter for and, and exclusive publicity writer for Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame act, Van Halen. In addition to writing, Waterhouse has the ability to produce exceptional audio/visual content, including audio slideshows. As the host, writer and producer of "The Pop Culture King Show," Waterhouse won a Georgia Association of Broadcasters Award for his work.