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1 Nov 2023
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Make plans for a brilliant Christmas this season with a visit to the sea islands on the Charleston coast. Our charming beach communities deck out the halls and light up the nights with spectacular experiences sure to make your holiday jolly and bright.

First on the list for experiences is the drive-thru Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. This magical and memorable display features a million twinkling lights arranged in various displays along this three-mile tour. Kiddos can visit with Santa (through Dec. 23), ride the Festival Train and a carousel, get crafty at the Reindeer Workshop, and enjoy other activities. The Holiday Festival of Lights is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. each night from Nov. 10-Dec. 31. Admission starts at $15 per vehicle for online tickets on lighter traffic nights and go up to $40 per at the gate on Saturday nights and the week before Christmas.

On Kiawah Island, resort staff hauls out the holly and turns the grounds into an enchanting wonderland. The Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Sanctuary on Nov. 25 officially starts the month-long celebration.

Be sure to view the chocolate holiday sculpture in The Sanctuary Lobby. Take part in holiday craft events. Indulge in the time-honored tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve at Tomasso at Turtle Point.

Of course, there is high-quality Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining at the resort’s restaurants, including The Atlantic Room, Jasmine Porch, The Ocean Room, or the less formal Cherrywood BBQ and Ale House. The menus feature holiday fare and regional favorites with inspired winter menus.

The Holiday Street Festival kicks off the season Dec. 1 on Front Beach on the Isle of Palms. The fest features arts and crafts, entertainment, carnival rides and, of course, a visit with Santa.

Seabrook Island and Wild Dunes Resort also transform during the holidays, offering plenty of Lowcountry hospitality, food and fun. Throughout the holidays, Freshfields Village features a festive Village Green with a Letters to Santa mailbox, Spirit Tastings, Holiday Starlight Cinema on Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, and plenty of holiday shopping.

A Traditional Christmas at Boone Hall Plantation takes place from Dec. 4 through Jan. 1 when the historic home comes alive with festivities and beautiful holiday decorations. Christmas trees decorate each room on the plantation’s main floor, with creative ornaments made with local sweetgrass, cotton and berries. The Traditional Christmas tour is included in the regular admission price of $28 for adults; $25 for seniors and $12 for children ages 6-12.

Spend your vacation days strolling the beach, over-indulging in mouth-watering Lowcountry cuisine, shopping local boutiques and making memories with your family. Create a new tradition this year with a Lowcountry holiday.