If you’re wondering where to find the best Christmas lights in Savannah, I have a few ideas for you. It’s no secret how much I love Christmas in Savannah! This city looks so pretty when it’s decorated in its holiday best.

I’ve included a map at the end of the post in case you want to try a self-guided tour.

Pinnable image showing two Savannah GA Christmas lights scenes with text overlay saying Where to Find the best Christmas Lights in Savannah

Note: This guide contains affiliate links to my trusted travel partners.

If you’re new around here, first of all … allow me to extend a warm welcome!

My name is Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. It combines all of my best Savannah travel tips from this website into one handy downloadable guide.

Savannah Georgia Christmas Lights 2023

There are multiple areas throughout the city that are known for their beautiful Christmas displays. I’m going to attempt to list as many as possible, beginning with my favorites…

The Historic District

If you want to feel like you’ve crossed into a real-life Dickens novel, try going for a stroll through the Historic District during the holiday season.

I kid you not…I’ve actually stumbled upon carolers strolling from door to door with candles in-hand. And yes, it’s as heartwarming as it sounds.

Pale blue historic home with dark blue shutters, candles illuminating the windows, and Christmas greenery on its wrought-iron fence
This home bordering Troup Square is decorated traditionally for the holiday season. It’s very common to find homes dressed in greenery and red bows, with candles in every window. | ©ErinClarkson

The historic homes, flickering gas lanterns illuminating the cobblestone streets, and Spanish moss hanging from giant Southern live oaks all combine to create a picture-perfect scene in Savannah year-round … but the Historic District looks even more charming during the holiday season!

2-story Colonial-style home decorated for the holidays as viewed from the square across the street
This is a typical Southern Christmas scene: green grass and flowers combined with Christmas decorations — and not an ounce of snow in sight! | ©ErinClarkson

My favorite areas to explore are the far NE section of the Historic District and the streets directly north of Forsyth Park.

View of a two-story traditional home in Savannah decorated for Christmas, seen from a distance through a square with greenery and large oaks
Two-story gray brick home with black shutters and a Victorian-style porch decorated with holiday greenery
This Historic District beauty has long been a favorite of mine. Not only because it’s pretty, but also because the sign in their window makes me laugh. It warns of a black widow spider’s nest below! | ©ErinClarkson

If you haven’t guessed by now, the majority of the decorations in the Historic District are very classic in nature. It’s rare to see tacky yard displays or gaudy balloons downtown. Although I did spot one giant Olaf (from the movie, Frozen) balloon by Forsyth Park in recent years.

Marquee lights of the Historic Savannah Theatre lit up at night
Although neon lights are rare in the Historic District, you’ll see them occasionally. This is the marquee sign for the Historic Savannah Theatre, which borders Chippewa Square. | ©ErinClarkson

Related Reading: Where to Stay in Savannah Georgia: Get the Scoop From a Local!

Savannah Historic District Christmas Tours

Want to go on a tour to see the holiday decor in the Historic District? Here are a couple options for you:

Both are great options, it just depends on whether you prefer to walk through the Historic District or have someone drive you around.

The trolley is a nighttime tour, so you’ll be riding around after dark while music plays in the background (feel free to sing along). It stops at the historic Davenport House where you can grab some snacks and see what Christmas was like for families back in the 1820s in Savannah. (The Davenport House has public restrooms, and my mom tells me it’s always important to point that out!)

The trolley also stops by the Christmas Market at Plant Riverside so you can explore, shop, and enjoy some hot chocolate and other toasty drinks and snack.

Broughton Street

It’s so easy to get in the holiday spirit on Broughton Street!

You’ll find the city’s official Christmas tree at the intersection of Broughton and Bull Streets. It’s always adjacent to Levy’s Jewelers, and it’s smack-dab in the middle of the road. You can’t miss it.

A lit Christmas tree at night reflected in a wet paved city street
You’ll find family entertainment around the Christmas tree every Saturday in December from 1 – 4 pm. | ©ErinClarkson

The twinkle lights draped from one side of the street to the other look like a scene from a Hallmark movie, and the greenery and ribbons on all of the old-timey lampposts just add to the effect.

The annual holiday tree lighting is typically held at 5:30 pm on the day after Thanksgiving at the intersection of Bull and Broughton. It’s always a free event!

If you take a stroll down Broughton Street in the early evening hours as the lights begin turning on, you’ll get the full effect of the extravagant holiday window displays in stores like The Paris Market.

They change their display every year, and it’s always fun to see what they’ll come up with next.

Elaborate holiday window displays of flocked Christmas trees at The Paris Market with cafe seating under a striped awning
Elaborate holiday window display of Christmas trees at The Paris Market with cafe seating under a striped awning
Elaborate holiday window display of Christmas trees at The Paris Market with cafe seating under a striped awning
Green storefront of The Paris Market in Savannah with elegant flocked Christmas trees in the window

Can’t-Miss Shops on Broughton Street

Here are a few places where you can pick up Christmas gifts while supporting local businesses at the same time. The Paris Market and Nourish are two personal favorites of mine.

If you want to stay in a gorgeous historic property on Broughton Street, I highly recommend The Marshall House. It’s one of my favorite hotels in Savannah that decorate for Christmas.

Related Reading: Christmas in Savannah: It’s the Most Magical Time of the Year!

City Market

City Market | 219 W Bryan Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401

The area known as City Market is an open-air market covering two blocks in the Historic District. It’s a bit of a hotspot for tourists thanks to its many restaurants, bars, and shops. There’s also a steady stream of live music.

During the holidays, it’s a festive place to see the Christmas lights. Each block has a Christmas tree in the center that’s decorated with white lights and bright red ribbons.

Close-up of a nutcracker guarding the entrance to Savannah Candy Kitchen
View of the Christmas lights in Savannah's City Market, as seen over the shoulder of a life-sized nutcracker
Christmas tree with white lights and red ribbons in the center of City Market in Savannah
Christmas tree in City Market in Savannah at night
City Market is a picturesque spot year-round, but it looks even more festive during the holidays. | ©ErinClarkson

The shops and art studios also get into the act by decorating with greenery, wreaths, and colorful trees in the windows.

City Market hosts a Holiday Open House to celebrate Christmas in Savannah. It features more than 500 luminaria lining their courtyard. They also have carolers available to serenade guests. Santa usually makes an appearance, too!

Can’t-Miss Spots in City Market

Again, it’s great to support local businesses, so I want to list a few popular spots in the area…

  • American Prohibition Museum
  • Belford’s Seafood and Steaks
  • Byrd Cookie Company
  • Savannah Candy Kitchen
  • Vinnie Van Go-Go’s Pizza

Vinnie Van Go-Go’s and Byrd Cookie Co. are tied as my two favorite spots in City Market, and the Prohibition Museum tour is tons of fun. Be sure to check out all of the talented artists in the area, too.

Related Reading: City Market Savannah: What to See and What to Skip

The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist

Cathedral St. John | 222 E Harris Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401

The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist hosts numerous Christmas events, including their annual Christmas at the Cathedral musical program. The sanctuary is usually filled to capacity that night.

Elaborate church interior decorated with a 20-ft tall Christmas tree made of poinsettias
The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist looks beautiful during the holidays, especially the trees made entirely from poinsettias. | ©ErinClarkson

They have a beautiful and very detailed nativity scene (Crechè scene) that guests can walk through to see up close. Volunteers usually start assembling it the first week of December.

The Squares

If it’s traditional Christmas decor you’re after, try exploring the squares throughout the Historic District.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) and the folks who live in the homes surrounding each square decorate them annually with holiday greenery to celebrate the season.

Daytime shot of the white Victorian-style gazebo in Whitefield Square, draped in Christmas greenery and red ribbon
Whitefield Square looks very picturesque during the Christmas season. You’ll find similar greenery and red ribbons in nearly all of the squares. | ©ErinClarkson

The squares on the eastern side of the Historic District are usually the prettiest. I make a note beside each square below once it’s been decorated.

I’ll start updating these in late November and early December of 2023:

  • Chatham Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Chippewa Square
  • Columbia Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Crawford Square
  • Ellis Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Franklin Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Greene Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Johnson Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Lafayette Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Orleans Square
  • Oglethorpe Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Madison Square
  • Monterey Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Pulaski Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Reynolds Square
  • Taylor Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Telfair Square
  • Troup Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Warren Square
  • Washington Square
  • Whitefield Square – Currently decorated for 2023!
  • Wright Square
Black streetlamp wrapped in red ribbon with a red bow at the top and a view down a sidewalk lined with historic homes in Savannah
Black streetlamps in Troup Square lined with greenery and red Christmas ribbons and topped with red bows

Troup Square is one of my personal favorites. Homeowners add beautiful red ribbons on all of the lamp posts and even decorate the trash cans in the square!

Make note that not all of the squares participate each year. Oglethorpe Square and Wright Square didn’t decorate in 2021, for example. I believe all of the squares participated in 2022?

Insider Tip: It’s ok to wander through the squares after dark as you’re admiring the Christmas lights in Savannah, but I don’t recommend exploring them late at night unless you’re with a local who knows the area. Check the Savannah Crime Map for updated crime statistics.

The cemeteries in Savannah sometimes get in on the act, too! The decorations along the gate for Colonial Park Cemetery usually go up the first week in December.

Gaston, Taylor, and Jones Streets

I’ve written plenty about the historic homes on Jones Street, so it’s probably no surprise to learn that they’re decorated beautifully for the holidays.

If you’re in the mood for a romantic evening stroll, try walking from the Tattnall intersection all the way to E. Broad and back on Gaston, Taylor, and Jones Streets to see the pretty lights and decorations.

You can usually count on the 100 blocks of Jones Street (both east and west) to be decorated. Much of it is understated, so it won’t show up at night, but it looks pretty if you go for a stroll during the day.

Related Reading: Is Jones Street Really the Prettiest Street in Savannah?

Forsyth Park

You won’t find a Christmas tree or many holiday lights in the park, but the famous Forsyth fountain gets an annual holiday makeover with greenery and red bows.

The lamp posts surrounding the fountain get the same treatment. It’s an iconic place to take photos in Savannah, so I had to mention it!

Forsyth Park fountain dressed in greenery and red Christmas ribbons with sunlight illuminating the water spraying from the fountain
If you time it just right in the afternoon (around 4:00 pm during the month of December), the setting sun illuminates the spray of water from the fountain and looks magical. | ©ErinClarkson

The holiday decor is typically placed on the fountain the first week in December and stays up all month.

Insider Tip: If you take photos by the fountain, it’s courteous to get your shot and then move on to a nearby bench. That way others can take their photos without having tons of people in the background.

Savannah GA Christmas lights at the Armstrong-Kessler Mansion on Bull Street
The Armstrong-Kessler mansion is hard to miss! It’s located on Gaston Street, which has quite a few beautifully decorated homes during the holiday season. | ©ErinClarkson

While you’re in the area, be sure to stop by the Armstrong-Kessler House which is just north of Forsyth Park at the intersection of Bull and Gaston. Mr. Kessler tends to go all out with his holiday decor.

Related Reading: 21 Incredible Photos of Forsyth Park Savannah

Beyond the Historic District

As beautiful as Savannah’s Historic District is, some of the outlying areas are even prettier. Make note that you’ll need a car to get to most of these.

Victory Drive

This beautiful street is located south of the Historic District and is one you’ll probably want to drive to see. It’s a rather busy street, but many of the homes along Victory Drive are spectacular. A few of them have really elaborate holiday decor!

Victory Drive is notably different from many streets in Savannah, because it’s lined with more than 300 palm trees. The street was named to honor the many soldiers, sailors, and Marines who lost their lives in WWI.

Ardsley Park

This pretty neighborhood is located south of Victory Drive and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the homes in Ardsley Park have larger yards than the homes in the Historic District, which are typically much closer together.

The neighborhood hosts a holiday decorating contest, which spans the two weeks surrounding Christmas. That’s the best time to see the lights on full display!

Insider Tip: Ardsley Park is bordered by Victory Drive on the north and 55th Street to the south. The east/west boundaries are Bull Street and Waters Avenue.

Isle of Hope

Bluff Drive on Isle of Hope is another location I always make a point to visit for the holidays. The road is very narrow. As a result, there’s really only room for one car at a time driving in any particular direction.

You can also park near the marina and walk if it’s not too cold. (That’s what I usually do.)

Victorian mansion with dusty blue shutters and a large porch decorated with Christmas greenery, surrounded by large oaks and a white picket fence
Two-story coastal-style home with holiday decor and massive live oaks in the spacious front yard
The homes on Bluff Drive overlook Skidaway River and often look like something you’d see in the pages of Coastal Living magazine. | ©ErinClarkson

The homes on Bluff Drive face the water and sit on beautiful oversized lots featuring old — and massive — Southern live oaks. I enjoy this drive any time of year, but it’s extra magical during the holiday season. As a bonus, you’ll drive right past beautiful Wormsloe Historic Site on your way there.

Isle of Hope Marina | 50 W Bluff Drive, Savannah GA, 31406

More Savannah GA Christmas Lights

This list is getting pretty far outside Savannah, so I’ll end it with a few final suggestions for those who still need more ideas — including one “all-out” option.

  1. The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farms hosts a very festive holiday lights event! Get additional details on the Botanical Gardens website.
  2. Richmond Hill, GA, hosts an annual Christmas home decorating contest. It includes an entry “The Griswold Award” honoring the most Griswold-like holiday decor, as well as the best use of inflatables and the best animated yard.
  3. Head to Southbridge Boulevard off Dean Forest Road and explore the Southbridge neighborhood, which has a good number of homes decorated for the season.

Map of Savannah GA Christmas Lights

OK, that about wraps up my Savannah GA Christmas lights roundup for this year. Have fun out there! Here’s a map to help you find them all.

If you’d rather do a guided tour, I highly suggest doing one of the Hop-On/Hop-Off trolley tours! I created a one-day Savannah itinerary based on the Old Savannah Tours route, and it covers the majority of the places listed above.

It’s a fantastic tour to do in the daytime during the holiday season. As always, you can do the Holiday Trolley Tour if you prefer to see the lights at night.

Savannah Christmas Lights FAQs

When do Christmas lights go up in Savannah GA?

A few businesses begin decorating the week of Thanksgiving, but the majority wait until the weekend following Thanksgiving. The squares are usually the last areas to get in the holiday spirit, since they’re often decorated with live greenery.

When is the Forsyth Park fountain decorated for Christmas?

The Forsyth Park fountain is usually decorated after Thanksgiving. The greenery and ribbon are usually placed on the fountain the first weekend in December and remain up through the week of Christmas. Forsyth Park is currently decorated for 2023.The Forsyth Park fountain illuminated by sunlight with greenery and red Christmas bows decorating the lamp posts

What restaurants are open Christmas Day in Savannah 2023?

Many of the restaurants attached to hotels will be serving food on Christmas Day in 2023. Try The Emporium at Perry Lane, Fleeting at Thompson Savannah, 1540 at The DeSoto, and Stone & Webster Chophouse at Plant Riverside. Here is a full list of restaurants open Christmas day in Savannah this year. Flock to the Wok storefront in Savannah GA with a man standing in the entryway wearing a mask for Covid health reasons.

What’s open Christmas Eve in Savannah 2023?

A good number of bars and restaurants will be open on Christmas Eve in Savannah. Try The Olde Pink House for a classic meal, but make your reservations well in advance. The Collins Quarter will be open as well, but also requries reservations. Six Pence Pub makes a great spot for a nightcap!Six Pence Pub storefront in Savannah Georgia with a magnolia tree growing out of the historic brick sidewalk and a bright red phone booth to the right of the door

Savannah Vacation Guide

If you’re planning to a trip to Savannah, Georgia, here are a few additional resources I’ve created to help you out.

  • Free Resources Library – When you sign up for my email list, you’ll get a checklist of “50 Things To Do On-Foot in the Historic District (No Car Necessary)” and other helpful printables.
  • Savannah First-Timer’s Guide – My ebook combines my most helpful Savannah travel tips from this website in one handy downloadable guide.

When you purchase my ebook, you also get access to a private Facebook group I created where you can ask questions about your trip and get advice/see photos from others who have recently visited.

Do you have any questions for me about where to find the best Savannah GA Christmas lights? Let me know in the comments below!

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