Finding a certified, experienced locksmith is no easy task. Sure, dozens of companies out there will dispatch an indifferent “technician” that offers “quick” solutions when you lose your keys. But when it comes to protecting your home and your business, cheap locks and part-time contractors just won’t cut it. Arrowhead Lock & Safe stands out as the most trusted name in security solutions and products in Georgia in an industry known for poor service and mediocre locksmiths.
Established in 1973, Arrowhead Lock & Safe is a locally owned locksmith and control access firm. Having protected homeowners and business professionals in metro Mountain Park for decades, we have built our reputation on exemplary service and the highest quality security products available. Unlike other locksmith companies, we carry all of the major brands that you know and trust to protect your family and your business, including:
As a comprehensive locksmith repair center and dealer, we also own an on-site lock shop to serve our clients better. That way, we can assist with your day-to-day needs like re-keying, cutting keys, and repairing locks. So whether you’re looking for a brand-new security platform for your business or simply need a new set of keys for your storage unit, we are here to help. Our goal is to exceed your expectations with every service we offer.
Though home appraisers may disagree, the value of your home isn’t defined by the four walls and roofs that cover a property. The real value of your home lies within those walls where your family eats, sleeps, and plays. When it comes to the safety of your family and the security of your valuables, having quality locks installed on your home is paramount. When your home has lackluster locks and minimal protection, the things that you hold closest to your heart are at risk.
That is why having a dependable residential locksmith in Mountain Park is so important – to ensure that your home is protected and that your family is safe from intruders. When you have problems with the locks on your home, you need a solution quickly. When you call Arrowhead Lock & Safe, know that our locksmiths will work efficiently and tirelessly until your home is secure. Whether your home’s locks need to be repaired or you need to consult with us about an integrated security system, our skilled locksmiths are available when you need them the most.
We offer a variety of residential locksmith services to preserve your peace of mind seven days a week, 365 days a year:
Does your home have a complicated lock setup that requires you to use different keys for different doors? Perhaps a former babysitter still has a key to your home. Whatever your reasons, our team of seasoned locksmiths will come to your home, re-key your locks in an efficient manner, and leave you feeling more secure in your house.
Your home is only as safe as the locks that you have on your doors. As your locks age or when you are the victim of a security threat, you may feel that it’s time to install new locks on the doors of your home. This can be long, laborious, and complicated for the average homeowner. For that reason, many clients trust Arrowhead Lock & Safe to handle the hard work for them. When you arrange for new lock installation, one of our experienced residential locksmiths will come to your home and install new locks on your doors. Once we’re done, we’ll make sure your family has enough keys to open your new locks.
If you are a homeowner who has experienced a break-in or want to take additional steps to secure your assets, high-security locks are a great solution. We offer a wide variety of locks from a plethora of major brands. We are fully equipped to meet your needs, whether you’re interested in more traditional lock systems with high key differs or pry resistant lock technology.
If you feel like you need an extra layer security and want to make sure that only certain individuals have access to your home, an access control system is a great solution to your problem. Whether you are interested in electronic or magnetic locks or have been looking to install a password-protected system, our team of experts can help. Contact our office today for a free consultation to learn more about your access control system options in Georgia.
If you are a business owner in Georgia, you have the weighty responsibility of protecting your patrons and securing your businesses’ assets. The most common way for entrepreneurs to keep their business safe is by having a commercial locksmith in Mountain Park install quality, reliable locks on every entry point of your storefront. But, unfortunately, many business owners take the least amount of effort necessary when it comes to protecting their business.
Whether you own several franchise locations or have a single storefront, it only takes one break-in to make you realize the importance of installing high-quality locks for your commercial property. Sadly, at that point, it’s too late – your ability to provide for your family and pay your bills has been compromised. For that reason alone, it’s always better to be proactive about your businesses’ security rather than reactive.
At Arrowhead Lock & Safe, our commercial door lock services are designed to ensure that your assets and your customers are protecting 24-hours a day, seven days a week. We will always take the time to walk you through your options, explaining the pros and cons of each security solution so that you can make an informed decision. With a wide range of security offerings and a reliable team of commercial locksmith experts on your side, choosing the right security setup is easy, efficient, and affordable.
Installing high-quality door locks for your business is one of the best ways to protect your assets and your commercial property. At Arrowhead Lock & Safe, we offer many commercial door lock options from the best brands in our industry. From reliable maintenance service on your current Grade 3 locks to new Grade 1 commercial door lock installation, our team of commercial locksmiths is ready to help.
If your businesses’ locks are old and need proper maintenance or corrective repair services, it’s always best to work with a team of experts. From re-keying services to fixing stuck or broken locks, our commercial locksmiths are only a phone call away.
Commercial alarms for businesses are more complex than their residential relatives, and for a good reason. Our cutting-edge alarm systems are great for preventing and interrupting break-ins, notifying the authorities, and act as an important addition to any business that wants enhanced security.
A commercial-grade CCTV system installed by Arrowhead Lock & Safe allows you to monitor all activities that take place under your businesses’ roof. Having security cameras installed around your business gives you added peace of mind and evidence for the police if a break-in occurs. Having visible security cameras can also help deter criminals and prevent suspicious activity from ever taking place. With remote monitoring capability on your smart device, you can check in on your storefront any time of the night or day, from just about any location.
Having the ability to control every one of your businesses’ locks is a proactive, cost-efficient way to protect your customers and your assets. With a commercial-grade control access system from Arrowhead Lock & Safe, business owners can easily restrict certain areas within their store, prevent physical key duplication, record entry history, and even simplify employee turnover.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) grading system was developed years ago to standardize a testing procedure to measure the durability and strength of a door lock. This grading system applies to both residential and commercial door locks. Composed of three different grades, the ANSI grading system gives homeowners and business owners a good idea of lock quality and reliability. ANSI examines six different qualities to determine a lock’s grade:
These locks offer the highest level of security and are most often used by institutions like hospitals, schools, and even museums. These locks also have the highest life expectancy, though they can be much more complex and require an expert residential or commercial locksmith in cityname to install. In today’s day and age, many more homeowners are opting for Grade 1 locks (like electronic locks) for the most peace of mind. This classification of lock must hold up against 800,000 cycles, six door strikes and a 360-pound weight test.
These locks are great for residential areas with more foot traffic, like a door that leads to an apartment complex or suite of rooms. These locks can also suffice for small businesses that need a higher level of security than Grade 3 locks. Use these locks when you want to secure access to areas with valuable equipment or sensitive documents. This classification of lock requires 400,000 cycles, four door strikes, and a 250-pound weight test.
This grade of lock is best suited for residential purposes and is considered standard door hardware. This kind of lock is the least expensive and should never be used in a high-traffic area like a lobby or storefront. However, these locks would be suitable for areas without much foot traffic like storage closets or areas without expensive merchandise. Because these locks are easiest to bypass, consider upgrading your Grade 3 locks with anti-bump and anti-pick technology. This classification of lock requires 200,000 lock cycles, two door strikes, and a 150-pound weight test.
A famous animator and movie director once said: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” This quote rings especially true when it comes to protecting your home or business with the best security solutions in Georgia. If you’re worried about the safety of your family or the wealth that you have worked so hard to create, contact our office today at 404-351-4331 for a free consultation. When you trust Arrowhead Lock & Safe, you can rest easy knowing your most precious belongings are safe and secure.Contact us!
The only bidder for management of Georgia’s Confederate-themed, state-owned Stone Mountain Park is a new firm created by an official of the company that’s pulling out, the park’s governing board said Monday.The Stone Mountain Memorial Association board voted Monday to choose Thrive Attractions Management LLC as the finalist to run the park near Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ...
The only bidder for management of Georgia’s Confederate-themed, state-owned Stone Mountain Park is a new firm created by an official of the company that’s pulling out, the park’s governing board said Monday.
The Stone Mountain Memorial Association board voted Monday to choose Thrive Attractions Management LLC as the finalist to run the park near Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
That opens the way for negotiations with Thrive, led by Michael Dombrowski — Stone Mountain Park’s general manager for seven years as a vice president of Herschend Family Entertainment.
Management companies have little, if any, direct control over Confederate imagery at Stone Mountain Park, and state law bars any change to the enormous mountainside carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.
Such companies also have no role in the board’s current initiatives to loosen ties to the Confederacy, such as dropping the carving from its logo and moving Confederate flags from a busy walking trail.
Dombrowski said he “absolutely” supports such efforts, which also include creating a new museum exhibit about the park’s and carving’s history and long ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
“We can’t do anything about a rock,” he said. “But we can do something about the living human beings and the community that’s in front of that rock. The way we love our employees, the way we welcome our community, the way we invite our community.”
Bona Allen is a leader with the Stone Mountain Action Coalition, which has been pushing for major changes to Confederate tributes. He said Monday that he hopes the new management company will encourage them, too.
“Stone Mountain Action Coalition wants Stone Mountain Park to be successful,” Allen said. “And the only way we think it can be successful is to be inclusive, which means get rid of the Confederacy and everything that it stands for.”
Dombrowski told the newspaper that with Herschend soon leaving the park, he was heartbroken that Stone Mountain might not be part of his life. That’s what prompted him to create Thrive to bid on the new contract.
Herschend’s lease ends July 31. The company has said it will leave, citing decreased revenues and “protests and division” fueled by the park’s Confederate imagery.
Herschend has run attractions like the laser show and the Skylift, as well as special events, shops and convention space, since the 1990s.
The authority in July made a formal call for proposals from would-be operators for the park, which lies below the world’s largest Confederate monument — an enormous mountainside carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee..
Four companies expressed interest but only Thrive made a bid, said memorial association CEO Bill Stephens.
Dombrowski’s “deep experience” and “unmatched depth of knowledge” made Thrive the right partner, officials said.
Press releases credited Dombrowski, who developed popular attractions including Snow Mountain and Stone Mountain Christmas, with turning a money-losing park into one that made a profit for the six years before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dombrowski told the newspaper that all current Herschend employees at Stone Mountain can stay if they want to.
Thrive’s proposal calls for a 10-year management contract with an option for two five-year extensions, the newspaper reported.
Thrive’s base fee would be 2% of gross hotel revenues and 3% from all other areas. The memorial association would keep all earnings for the first $8 million accrued each year; Thrive would receive a 20% incentive fee for anything above that.
The memorial association would put 40% of its cash flow into revenue-generating capital investments at the park.
The handoff could come before Herschend’s lease runs out, Dombrowksi said.
Marriott operates the park’s primary hotel and conference center, but Thrive’s proposal includes partnering with Crescent Hotels and Resorts, a national management firm.
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WRBL) – Come take a ride on the wild side! Every Wednesday on News 3 This Morning, News 3’s Blake Eason takes you on a ride through Wild Animal Safari – a Pine Mountain theme park.On the next stop of our safari adventure, we meet Smeagol the Uromastyx Lizard. The lizard can be found inside the Reptile House within the Walkabout Adventure Zoo.The Walkabout Adventure Zoo is a portion of Wild Animal Safari that allows for gues...
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WRBL) – Come take a ride on the wild side! Every Wednesday on News 3 This Morning, News 3’s Blake Eason takes you on a ride through Wild Animal Safari – a Pine Mountain theme park.
On the next stop of our safari adventure, we meet Smeagol the Uromastyx Lizard. The lizard can be found inside the Reptile House within the Walkabout Adventure Zoo.
The Walkabout Adventure Zoo is a portion of Wild Animal Safari that allows for guest to visit with and meet animals in a zoo-like setting.
Smeagol happens to be one of General Manager Katie Harrison’s absolute favorites inside Wild Animal Safari.
“He’s also very uniqe and very chill which I love. He has a spikey tail, because there’s also called spiny-tailed lizards,” said Harrison.
Harrison adds the spines on their tail actually help them defend for themselves while in the wild.
“If you remember the hedgehog, they use their spine to defend themselves, that’s their defense mechanism, his spikey tail is his defense mechanism,” said Harrison.
These lizards also change colors, but Harrison says don’t get them confused with chameleons.
“They do something different. The way that they regulate their heat, is by changing colors, so they get lighter and darker. So right now, Smeagol is this bright orange, which just means that he is warm, toasty, he’s doing great. Now if he starts to cool off, he’ll be that darker color. If it makes sense, whenever you wear a dark shirt, you get hotter right? Because you are absorbing more heat. That’s the way his skin works,” said Harrison.
Smeagol is an animal ambassador at Wild Animal Safari meaning he’s apart of their off-site program. This program invites certain animals from Wild Animal Safari to schools and events in the community.
Wild Animal Safari is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2021 and as part of that celebration the park is teaming up with News 3 for “Wild Animal Wednesdays – A Ride on the Wild Side.” The park is located at 1300 Oak Grove Road in Pine Mountain, Georgia, and the 300-acre park is home to 75 animal species. For more information on Wild Animal Safari, including how to plan your visit and purchase tickets, go to https://animalsafari.com.
It sounds unbelievable: Tucked into a valley just a mile from Ga. 92 sits a city of 583 people who live within walking distance of two lakes and no commercial properties.It is a state-designated wildlife refuge in North Fulton where you park by the wooden rocking chairs outside City Hall, and not five minutes later can bump into the Mayor Pro-Tem walking his dog named Mosby.The city’s biggest problem used to be beavers gnawing down too many trees by the lakes (they hired a professional trapper to solve that one).Bu...
It sounds unbelievable: Tucked into a valley just a mile from Ga. 92 sits a city of 583 people who live within walking distance of two lakes and no commercial properties.
It is a state-designated wildlife refuge in North Fulton where you park by the wooden rocking chairs outside City Hall, and not five minutes later can bump into the Mayor Pro-Tem walking his dog named Mosby.
The city’s biggest problem used to be beavers gnawing down too many trees by the lakes (they hired a professional trapper to solve that one).
But today, there’s new trouble in paradise.
Some in the city of Mountain Park are curious about how to dissolve the city’s charter — in essence, an anti-cityhood movement a few years short of its centennial.
When asked about Mountain Park’s prospects, House Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones said: “I think long-term it will be difficult for them to remain an incorporated city.”
Mayor Jim Still said it’s not uncommon for people to get frustrated and talk about disbanding the city. It happened as recently as 2010, when folks were worried that litigation over the two lakes would bankrupt city coffers.
What’s different now, Still said, is that familiar irritation has turned into actual exploration.
Mosby’s owner and Mayor Pro-Tempore Mark Murphy wants to study the consequences of dissolution. This comes after a fight over public safety and how to pay for it with a tax base that includes zero commercial properties.
The nearby city of Roswell has provided policing along with emergency services to the small burg since 1998.
Roswell earlier this year increased its bill for services by 484%, so Mountain Park residents would pay the same as actual Roswell taxpayers.
At one point, Roswell council members were afraid Mountain Park would respond by forcibly annexing itself into the larger city. That move would have saddled Roswell’s taxpayers with possibly tens of millions of dollars in debt and infrastructure costs.
The two cities went back and forth for months — until this week, when it was agreed that Roswell would provide fire and 911 services. The smaller city is still negotiating with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to provide policing.
But the existential crisis for Mountain Park residents continues: Is this city viable? Are residents OK with the level of services? Is paradise worth all this trouble?
“We’ve been able to adapt for many years to the ever-changing circumstances,” Still said.
A DIY spirit
Mountain Park has never been normal.
When the city was formed in 1927, it became the only locality in Georgia to receive a charter without a legal resident.
Sculpted from about 250 acres of woods, Mountain Park became a spot for rich folks to beat the heat lakeside on the weekends.
There was no running water — residents shared a community well. Used to be, the only news that that came out of Mountain Park was people on the shore laughing at a man who lost his bathing suit while water skiing.
Twenty years after incorporation, there were maybe 12 year-round residents and 241 registered voters. Nearly three-quarters of those voters were actually from Atlanta, with the rest from all over: Chicago, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania or Tennessee.
Anyone with 50-foot frontage in Mountain Park used to be able to vote until a Supreme Court decision around 1960 determined that voters must actually reside in the city.
And the city has always had a DIY spirit.
In 1952, about 15 members of the Lorelie Ladies’ Club of Atlanta decided to build a cement block cabin. “No husbands were brought into this endeavor,” one club member told The Atlanta Constitution.
Politics in “The Park” have long been along the fault line of old-timers versus newcomers. Residents started predicting that all the growth in metro Atlanta would spell doom for their quiet wooded hamlet 35 years ago.
The current conversation of folding into Roswell is reminiscent of the brief idea from 1989 of consolidating the county’s northern area into the city North Fulton. This talk came out of the eventually successful Sandy Springs cityhood movement.
The quest for cityhood is usually mostly driven by residents wanting better services.
Roswell Mayor Lori Henry said Still approached her soon after she was elected and said Mountain Park was thinking about getting rid of its volunteer fire department, so he was curious if Roswell wanted to buy their gear and station.
She looked into the current arrangement and found that Mountain Park residents were paying less for Roswell services than actual Roswell taxpayers. So she asked for an amount based on the number of residents in the small city as opposed to the previous rate.
That change in the math meant Mountain Park would pay $374 per resident or more than $200,000 annually — a salty increase from its previous $64 per resident.
Mountain Park’s entire budget bobs around half a million dollars. That’s small enough to do their budgeting in QuickBooks.
“I don’t think they were even anticipating what the cost of public service actually is,” Henry said.
All this annexation and taxation talk has animated eleven people to run for the three of the open at-large council seats.
One of the current candidates is Bill Kolbrener. He said the 8.0 millage rate the city council approved Wednesday was “a bone with no meat and very little marrow” to appease him and others who wanted an even lower rate.
Kolbrener has spent $150 on signs for his roadside home that advocate for responsible government spending.
“Until we know what we’re going to be as a city … let’s go in survival mode,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The St. Louis native moved from Roswell to Mountain Park three years ago because “it’s truly heaven in the middle of an urban sprawl.” But he’s interested in whether they can keep it that way while reducing taxes.
Councilwoman Linda Dorough Dixon said keeping the charter will be her main campaign issue ahead of her November re-election bid.
Dixon said the charter is sacred.
“I think the city is absolutely in the best shape it’s ever been,” said the Rome native, who pined for her mountain life after raising children in Sandy Springs.
But whether Mountain Park is its own city or part of Roswell, the two will never be fully separate, Jones said.
“They go to church together, their kids go to school together, play on the same sports teams,” she said.
Jones, who represents both cities, would likely be the legislator to handle the dissolution.
“If the Mountain Park City Council chooses to dissolve the city charter, I have committed to both cities that I’ll work with them toward a smooth and fair integration into Roswell,” she said.
It isn’t easy to do, just ask the city of Rest Haven. The town of about 22 residents in Gwinnett County that has been trying to end itself nearly two decades.
Still said some people who move to Mountain Park from elsewhere have misconceptions about what level of services to expect from a former summer resort town.
“There’s a choice, you either pay more or you do more,” he said.
Whether you celebrate the holiday season early or wait until after Thanksgiving, there're plenty of options for adults and families in and around Atlanta.Holiday festivities are already beginning in mid-November. Some are returning from a pandemic hiatus.Here are some events for families and adults happening in town and around metro Atlanta:The Trans-Siberian Orchestra3 – 5 p.m. Dec. 12, Gas South District, ...
Whether you celebrate the holiday season early or wait until after Thanksgiving, there're plenty of options for adults and families in and around Atlanta.
Holiday festivities are already beginning in mid-November. Some are returning from a pandemic hiatus.
Here are some events for families and adults happening in town and around metro Atlanta:
3 – 5 p.m. Dec. 12, Gas South District, Duluth
The memorizing rock band makes a stop at Gas South District in Duluth during its "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" tour. The 2021 tour celebrates the band’s 25th anniversary and its first tour since the pandemic layoff in 2020.
Saturday Nov. 20, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 1516 Peachtree Street, Atlanta
Kids can meet Santa in a unique in-town setting inside Atlanta’s own castle. Register online to make your family’s next Christmas card memorable.
Begins Saturday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., Six Flags White Water, Marietta
White Water hosts what claims to be one of the world’s largest dynamic light shows. Drive-thru the show that tells a story with lights.
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 24- Jan. 5, Margaritaville, Buford
Take a nostalgic lakeside stroll through the classic light show.
10 a.m.-10 p.m., November 23-November 27 & December 21-January 4, January 18
Suit-up with skates at this Rockafeller-inspired rink.
675 Ponce De Leon Avenue, Ponce City Market
Lounge in igloos or skate on the rooftop ice rink at Ponce City Market. There’s also a seasonal Holiday Social Bar.
Nov. 13, 2021 - Jan. 15, 2022, Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden’s popular holiday event returns. The event still features old fan favorites but added some new exhibitions to 2021, including a colorful Glowing Grove along the Flower Walk, oversized flowers leading to Ice Goddess and several lighted sculptures from the 2021 summer exhibition "SUPERnatural: Glass Art by Jason Gamrath."
Saturdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Nov. 14 – Jan. 3., Atlanta Botanical Garden
Kids can enjoy a ride through the Great Lawn on weekends.
Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, 285 Andrew Young International Boulevard, Atlanta
The Georgia Festival of Trees makes for a festive holiday outing with elaborate tree displays, gift shops and seasonal treats. The event benefits Wellspring Living, which serves survivors of sex trafficking. The event is volunteer-driven and there are sponsorship opportunities available.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10 and 11, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Atlanta
The concert expanded to three performances for 2021 and the performance becomes a part of Atlantans’ holiday traditions.
Begins Nov. 13, Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta
Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts feeds your nostalgia with an exhibit that features the stars of a Christmas classic. The exhibit features Rudolph and Santa puppets from the original film production of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Dec. 8 from 6-9 p.m. Blackburn Park, Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta
The tree and menorah lighting event return in-person to Blackburn Park. Kids can see live reindeer, have their faces painted, hunt for hidden candy canes and meet Santa.
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 22 to Jan. 16, Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta partners with Hanart Culture to a nighttime experience featuring about 80 animal lanterns, some as tall as 20 feet.
1680 S Lumpkin St, Athens
Enjoy professionally crafted cocktails surrounded by holiday décor in the Classic City.
Nov. 26 to Jan. 1, 1104 Crescent Ave, Atlanta
Enjoy this pop-up bar with an award-winning dining experience and Christmas lights and decor.
Nov. 19 – Dec. 23 (rink until Jan 17), 1197 Peachtree St, Atlanta
The Grove at Colony Square transforms with a decorated igloo and a holiday speakeasy. The plaza becomes an outdoor skating rink.
Nov. 10, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022
1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta
After a year away, the live-action puppet version of the classic Christmas tale "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" is back. . The museum is also showing rare puppets from the original Rankin & Bass production.
Nov. 24, 2021 - Jan. 5, 2022
7650 Lanier Islands Pkwy. Buford
Margaritaville on Lake Lanier is offering fun for people of all ages with an ice rink, carnival rides, snow, and a visit to Santa Claus at their own Santa's village. This year, the resort is also offering its new walkable Lakeside Lights Spectacular where you can walk through giant light displays filled with holiday music.
Nov. 20, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022
275 Riverside Pkwy, Austell
Along with Six Flags Over Georgia’s usual thrilling rides, the park is getting into the holiday season with its all-new Oh What Fun! A Holiday Light Spectacular, new holiday shows, and more.
Nov. 20, 2021 - Jan. 9, 2022
767 Clifton Rd, Atlanta
Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum of Natural History is offering multiple events for kids and parents all holiday season with decorated trees and cultural exhibits, a sock ice-skating rink, snow globes, and an after-dark holiday party.
Nov. 13, 2021 - Jan. 9, 2022
1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain
While Stone Mountain Park’s Snow Mountain is canceled this year, the park is still doing its Stone Mountain Christmas where guests can enjoy nights full of festive music, millions of dazzling lights, shows and visits from some of their favorite holiday characters.
To some, the idea of a picture-perfect winter wonderland is reserved for northern states. However, the South puts its own stamp on the Christmas season with some spectacular events and celebrations worthy of a family road trip. Think illuminated boat parades instead of sled rides, snow-machine blizzards instead of frozen ponds for ice skating. If you’re looking for fun and memorable ways to celebrate the holiday season, here are nine destinations to consider.St. Augustine, FloridaThe country’s first official ...
To some, the idea of a picture-perfect winter wonderland is reserved for northern states. However, the South puts its own stamp on the Christmas season with some spectacular events and celebrations worthy of a family road trip. Think illuminated boat parades instead of sled rides, snow-machine blizzards instead of frozen ponds for ice skating. If you’re looking for fun and memorable ways to celebrate the holiday season, here are nine destinations to consider.
St. Augustine, Florida
The country’s first official city, St. Augustine, Florida, hosts the 28th annual Nights of Lights Celebration with more than 3 million white lights draped over 20 blocks in the historic district from Spanish Colonial buildings to the Bridge of Lions and along hotels, restaurants and stores. Selected one of the top 10 holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic, the shining spectacle can be viewed on guided tours featuring a variety of transportation modes, including boat, train, horse-drawn carriage, golf cart or trolley. For a complete list of related holiday events, including Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum on Dec. 1, St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade on Dec. 4 and the Holiday Regatta of Lights Boat Parade on Dec. 11, go to www.floridashistoriccoast.com/nights-lights.
Savannah’s rich history and unique charm create a majestic backdrop for holiday festivities. Take a two-hour ride through the city to look at Christmas decorations on Old Savannah Tours’ Holiday Lights and Sights Trolley Tour. The tour stops for a visit inside historic Davenport House to see it in all its holiday glory and a visit to the Christmas market at Plant Riverside District. Another attraction is December Nights and Holiday Lights, a driving tour featuring more than a million lights and creative displays on five acres at Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.
Holiday Lights and Sights Trolley Tours: $36 per person. Old Savannah Tours, 255 Montgomery St., Savannah. 912-234-8128, www.oldsavannahtours.com. December Nights and Holiday Lights: Through Dec. 24. $25 per vehicle. Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, 2 Canebrake Road, Savannah. 912-921-5460, coastalbg.uga.edu.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Have a “Dolly” Christmas this year at Dollywood’s annual Smoky Mountain Christmas, one of the most spirited holiday celebrations in the Southeast. The event is so iconic, Hallmark immortalized it in a movie called “Christmas at Dollywood.” The amusement park will be decked out in more than 5 million lights, and there will be 40 different Christmas performances throughout the season. What could be better than riding a roller coaster surrounded by beautiful twinkling lights? Every night, an elaborate fireworks show lights up the sky with holiday colors set to classic Christmas music. Best of all, the seasonal elements don’t stop at decor and performances. The theme is matched by food and beverage options, including eggnog cheesecake and peppermint milkshakes.
Through Jan. 2. $84 one-day, $99 two-day, $109 three-day tickets. Dollywood, 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. 865-365-5996, www.dollywood.com
You may think that snow in south Alabama is impossible, but think again. Springdale on Ice transforms Andalusia, Alabama, into a magical winter wonderland with Polar Bear Tubing Hill, featuring two 150-foot snow tubes, an ice-skating rink, an inflatable Arctic Trek Maze Run, visits with Santa and Elsa from “Frozen,” train rides on the Springdale Express and a holiday-themed cirque-style show. But that’s not all. Candyland on the Square features a whole village of child-sized play cottages including a bank, a church, a restaurant and Santa’s workshop. In addition, there are horse-drawn carriage rides and a 30-minute snow show that simulates a blizzard.
Through Dec. 31. Free; some activities $1-$5. Candyland on the Square, 1 N. Court Square, Andalusia, Alabama. Springdale on Ice, 505 E. Three Notch St., Andalusia, Alabama. 334-222-2030, christmasincandyland.com
Charleston, South Carolina
Head to James Islands County Park for the 32nd annual Holiday Festival of Lights, featuring more than 2 million dazzling lights and 750 light displays, including the newly rebuilt Cooper River Bridge display. Guests can view the lights on a three-mile drive through the park while listening to Christmas music in the comfort of their warm cars. Afterwards, enjoy marshmallow roasting, train rides, an old-fashioned carousel and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe. Put some Christmas spirit in your overnight accommodations in downtown Charleston at the French Quarter Inn (843-722-1900, fqicharleston.com) where the Sleigh Bell Suite is decorated in garland and mistletoe. It even comes with an in-room eggnog bar and a selection of freshly baked cookies with milk to enjoy while cozied up next to the fireplace and Christmas tree in the suite’s foyer.
Through Dec. 31. $15-$30. James Islands County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston, South Carolina. 843-406-6990, ccprc.com
Key West, Florida
Ever since the 1950s, visitors to Key West (a.k.a. the Conch Republic) have looked forward to riding the holiday Conch Tour Train to view the island’s best holiday lights. Before boarding, the tour starts with cookies and hot apple cider. Once onboard, the conductor leads visitors in singing popular Christmas carols as the train winds past beloved sights such as Mallory Square, the Truman house and the beautiful beachfront’s Harbor of Lights. Don’t miss the annual Key West Holiday Parade on Dec. 7. It can be viewed anywhere along the way from the corner of Truman and Eisenhower streets to Duval and Front streets.
Through Dec. 22. $25. Key West High School, 2100 Flagler Ave., Key West, Florida. 1-888-916-8687, www.conchtourtrain.com/key-west-holiday-events.html
Asheville, North Carolina
Are you a fan of Christmas baking shows? If so, you’re going to love seeing the country’s top gingerbread house makers compete for the title of Best Gingerbread House of 2021 at the National Gingerbread House competition. Hosted by the beautiful Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, the country’s bakers come together to bring the Christmas spirit to life with some of the most elaborate and breath-taking culinary creations. Previous winners have created Christmas town centers, elaborate Christmas carriages and modern architecture cityscapes.
Through Jan. 2. Free. The Omni Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville North Carolina. 800-438-5800, www.omnihotels.com. Guests not staying at the resort may view the display after 3 p.m. on Sunday or anytime Monday-Thursday, based on parking availability and excluding the following dates: Dec. 23-25, Dec. 29-31 and Jan. 1.
In a town like Colonial Williamsburg, you’ll rarely find anything new. However, this year marks the debut of an event called Lighting of the Cressets. It honors the city’s history by bringing the 18th-century streets to life with lights and strolling musicians. Wander along iconic Duke of Gloucester Street and view fabulous holiday lights on local businesses and historical landmarks. Along the way you’ll encounter carolers, music from Fife and Drum and Father Christmas strolling through Merchants Square. When you need a break, stop at a tavern or restaurant to enjoy a nice drink or meal.
Through Dec. 18. $45. 101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, Virginia, 888-965-7254, www.colonialwilliamsburg.org
If you’ve ever dreamed of stepping foot in Who-ville, Grinchmas is for you and your family. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the world of Seuss’ Landing becomes the fictitious town of Who-ville. The amusement park, complete with rides, games, souvenir shops and restaurants, will be decked out with snowflakes and populated by staff members who double as Who-ville citizens, complete with facial prosthetics. Entertainment is provided by The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular live show. While you’re at the park, don’t miss Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. See the Hogwarts™ castle light up for the holidays and festive decor throughout the streets of Hogsmeade™. Better yet, enjoy a hot butterbeer to warm you up as you stroll through the park.
Through Jan. 2. $109. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Blvd, Orlando, Florida. 407-224-4233, www.universalorlando.com