Miles of twinkling lights and sculptures sparkle across the South during the holiday season.

At Bellingrath Gardens, holiday lights shape into lotus blossoms in front of a pagoda.
Cary Jobe

Pine Mountain, Georgia, Fantasy In Lights
November 19-December 30, 2010. or 800/225-5292

“I do Christmas 365 days a year,” says Greg Brannen, Operations Director for Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens near Pine Mountain, Georgia. While the lights gleam from November 19 until the end of the year, Greg’s continually prepping—he has to. Greg manages eight million lights (that’s 731 miles of strands) and more than a dozen scenes set to music. To accomplish all of that, he stays in constant communication with the Bill Ferrell Co., the California-based outfit that handles the lighting and sound for the Academy Awards and drops the confetti in Times Square at New Year’s. (Bill was on the original Fantasy In Lights design team when the event started in 1992.) Greg also keeps the Jolly Trolleys running. Sure, you can drive the more than 5 miles in your car. But it’s better to let someone else do the driving. When you’re riding on one of the trolleys in the crisp air, singing Christmas carols and listening to a recorded narration of each holiday scene’s story, you experience the entire glittering event and make Greg’s job worthwhile.

Theodore, Alabama, Magic Christmas in Lights
November 26 - December 31, 2010 or 800/247-8420

Centreville, Virginia, Bull Run Festival of Lights 
Nov. 24, 2010-Jan. 9, 2011 or 703/359-4633

Bristol, Tennessee, Speedway in Lights 
Nov. 19,  2010-Jan. 8, 2011 or 423/989-6900

Texas Hill Country, Regional Christmas Lighting Trail 
Nov. 26, 2010-Jan. 1, 2011 or 830/997-8515

Natchitoches, Louisiana, Festival of Lights
November 20, 2010-January 6, 2011 or 800/259-1714

Ocean City, Marlyand, Winterfest of Lights
November 18, 2010-January 2, 2011 or 800/626-2326

Newport News, Virginia, Celebration in Lights
November 25, 2010 - January 1, 2011 or 757/926-1400