Ready to get into the holiday spirit? These 5 SC towns are must-visits for the season

There’s nothing like a classic, American small town lit up for the holidays to make you feel like you’re in a Hallmark holiday movie and that the holidays are around the corner.

South Carolina has plenty of small towns that are beautiful and quaint the other days of the year.

But during the holidays, these five go all out to transform themselves into embodiments of the Christmas season.


This small town is known as one of the most magical ones, especially during the holiday season. There are a number of events that put locals and visitors into a festive state of mind.

The town could arguably be called the “ugly Christmas sweater” capital of the state thanks to its festive Ugly Christmas Sweater Crawl.

Even when you stay in Aiken, there’s someone there to remind you of the holidays. The Willcox Hotel has a special “elf tuck-in” for your kids (as long as they haven’t been naughty) along with one-on-one time with Santa (It’ll cost you $50 for each service).

The town has not one, but two Christmas parades.

One, sponsored by the town,features your classic vintage cars, floats and horse. The second, hosted by the Hatchaway Hounds Mock Hunt, features festive horse-drawn carriages, horses and dogs.

So dig out your ugliest sweater and head to Aiken.


Some might say Charleston is just a city, but it has the spirit and heart of a small Southern town. The “Holy City” has all sorts of Christmas goodies But there’s one special place you have to at least drive through.

The Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island has an amazing Christmas drive-thru display, along with a Winter Wonderland next door where you can see Santa or ride a Victorian carousel.

You’ll enjoy plenty of shows, music and food while you’re catching Charleston’s holiday spirit.


This small town dresses up its Uptown Main Street with a wonderful display of lights. Every tree along Main Street and Maxwell Avenue is decorated for the season. There are also Santa and toy figurines along the streets.

You can also enjoy Christmas decorations at the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home.

If you want a true small town, Christmas feel, stop by.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is known for its bustling Boardwalk and bright lights. But during this time of year, the Grand Strand adds a bit more red and green to its usual light display.

Not far from the city, there’s a stunning display at Brookgreen Gardens. The “Nights of a Thousand Candles” has over 4,500 hand-lit candles and fluorescent lights that have even been named the best Christmas Light Display in South Carolina by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Then, of course, there are a number of holiday shows you can see to watch the holiday spirit come to life.

Rock Hill

This town is literally known as “ChristmasVille” during its four-day holiday festival where visitors and locals can enjoy all types of wintertime activities.

The festival ended this past weekend, but the town still has plenty of other decorations and activities to keep you in the mood for the holidays.

People love the town’s Founders Holiday Ice Rink and there’s also an annual light show at Stafford Park.