You truly can't beat Christmas on the coast here in the Golden Isles. Between the mild, sunny weather and unique, festive events, spending the holiday season in the Golden Isles will quickly become your family's go-to annual tradition. These four can't-miss Christmastime events are cherished by locals and visitors alike. 

Santa at the Pier

Photo Credit: Towyna Campbell

1. Santa Arrives at the St. Simons Island Pier

Each year, the holiday season kicks off with the ultimate coastal Christmastime tradition: Santa's arrival by boat! Head to the St. Simons Island Pier to watch Santa Claus himself bring merriment and cheer to the island. Before his arrival, enjoy a filling breakfast or lunch at Palmer's Village Cafe or work off your little ones' anticipation and excitement at one of the playgrounds available at Neptune Park. There's no better way to celebrate when Santa Claus comes to town!

This Event Happens: December 16th at 2:30 p.m. | Please call St. Simons Bait & Tackle for more information.

Each year, the Christmas lights on Jekyll Island transform the island into a winter wonderland.

2. Holly Jolly Jekyll Christmas Lights

When we say the holiday season shines brightly on Jekyll Island, we're telling the truth! With over a half-million lights in their annual holiday light display, Jekyll Island transforms into the most magical coastal winter wonderland. See the lights on a guided tram tour (complete with free festive beverages!) or explore on your own with these maps provided by the Jekyll Island Authority. Enjoy a very merry evening with family and friends as you delight in the lights all around Jekyll Island.

This Event Happens: Select nights, November 24-January 7 | More information

Holiday High Tea is a beloved annual Christmas tradition on Jekyll Island, GA

3. Holiday High Tea at the Jekyll Island Club Resort

Indulge in one of the holiday's most beloved and popular traditions: Holiday High Tea at the Jekyll Island Club Resort. Don your Christmas best and soak up the warmth and opulence of the Jekyll Island Club Resort at Christmastime. Guests of Holiday High Tea are treated to a tantalizing assortment of freshly baked scones and pastries, soup and tea sandwiches, an expansive selection of teas, and specialty champagne cocktails. Reservations are required.

This Event Happens: December 7,14, 21, & 28, various times available | More information

Sea Island's talented pastry chefs create a life-size gingerbread village at The Cloister during Christmastime each year.

4. Life-Size Gingerbread Village at The Cloister

Beginning in late November and lasting through December, Sea Island begins to look more and more like The North Pole. From ornately decorated Christmas trees lining the corridors to warm and inviting fires crackling in each of the fireplaces, Sea Island is not to be missed this holiday season. One of their many time-honored traditions is the life size gingerbread village on display in the Solarium at The Cloister, avaliable only for guests and members of the resort. Sea Island's renowned pastry chefs leave no cookie unfrosted when designing and creating this over-the-top village each year. Guests and members of Sea Island can also sign up to experience an abundance of holiday cheer at Sea Island's many daily holiday festivities including story time with Santa's elves and a rainbow dash fun run!

This Event Happens: Daily throughout the month of December | More information