Light Up the Holidays | RTX Destination Exclusives

The stunning light event at Callaway Gardens consistently makes “best of” lists year after year for holiday light displays. Many visitors book their annual vacation and stay on the property so that they can enjoy the lights night after night for a full week. If you seek a bit of magic during the holidays and especially if you have young children, you might consider a vacation to Callaway Gardens or one of these fantastic RTX destinations that also have amazing light displays during the winter holidays.

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Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg lights up for the holidays with displays along downtown’s Parkway, River Road and beyond. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular show from the comfort of a heated trolley complete with an entertaining driver who narrates the experience with information about the lights, history of Gatlinburg and more. The energy efficient quarter-watt LED bulbs create displays showcasing animals native to the area including bear, deer, squirrels and rabbits. Other familiar characters include snowmen, children and dancing fountains. The Trolley Ride of Lights runs three times nightly from mid-November through the end of January.

Nights of Lights: St. Augustine, Florida

The nation’s oldest city glows during the holidays with displays of elegant white lights at businesses, homes, public areas and historic landmarks throughout the city. The 449-year-old city traces the origins of this event to the Spanish tradition of placing white candles in the windows during the holidays. Visitors to St. Augustine can enjoy the lights in several different ways. Park in the Historic Parking Facility off Castillo Drive and rent a bicycle or hire a pedicab, take a ride on the Old Town Trolley or Ripley’s Red Train, or book a romantic horse drawn carriage ride. Nights of Lights typically begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs through the end of January.

Glittering Lights: Las Vegas, Nevada

While Las Vegas is already decked out with more lights than you can imagine, there is a special holiday display that coaxes visitors away from the Strip and to a dazzling experience of festive lights and sounds. Glittering Lights is held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just 15 minutes from the Strip. Visitors pay a per-car fee to drive through the display, and discounts are available for advance online ticket purchases and if visitors bring donations for a selected charity. Millions of LED lights cover 2.5 miles, and a live nativity scene and other special features take place throughout the Glittering Lights event.

Trail of Lights: Branson, Missouri

The drive-through animation display at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead in Branson winds through 160-acres of holiday wonderland magic. Life-sized and larger-than-life three-dimensional characters help guide you through themed displays ranging from patriotic to religious to fantasy. Millions of multi-colored lights cover hundreds of displays, and at the end of the journey visitors can take a ride up the glass elevator at Inspiration Tower for a view of the spectacular display from above. Arrive early for a Chuckwagon Cowboy supper for music, humor, holiday stories and a hot meal.

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