Christmas in the Pines
Closer to the Atlanta area, Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club is a welcome respite from Big City Life. My family is eager to do something a bit different this year for the holidays, so follow along while I share what I’ve learned about “Christmas in the Pines” festivities underway now to New Year’s Eve.
Get in the Holiday Spirit
Every year, the woods of Georgia Veterans State Park light up with a special light display experience called Christmas in the Pines Lighted Trail. Wind through this 1.5-mile lighted trail and try to spot Santa’s Workshop, grazing reindeer, and even a garden gnome or two. Many locals and regular resort guests have made this experience their very own Christmas tradition. The cost is $10 per person and, unlike the annual Haunted Trail, is perfect for all ages to enjoy together.
Railroad enthusiasts: SAM Shortline is running two holiday trains on multiple weekends in December. SAM stands for Savannah, Americus & Montgomery Railway. Prior to 1900, the railway contributed to the expansion of Americus and the emergence of new towns: Vidalia, Cordele, and Plains.
- Candy Cane Express: Dec. 3 & 7
Catch the Candy Cane Express departing from Georgia Veterans State Park for a scenic ride to Plains, home of President Jimmy Carter and family. After arrival into Plains, we have a two-hour layover to explore the historic town. Oh, and rumor has it that someone “special” will be on the train checking his list and handing out a surprise gift! Ride Info
This one-hour train ride is designed for kids of all ages. Santa will be aboard giving out a gift for each passenger, plus the train’s guests can enjoy holiday music with hot chocolate and cookies. Ride Info
Christmas Day Buffet is being served at Cordelia’s, the resort’s casual dining restaurant. The buffet will be available from 11 am to 2 pm on Sunday, December 25 featuring Cordelia’s Christmas ham. Reservations are recommended by calling (229) 401-1249.
New Year’s Eve
Before the NYE bash, we’ll want to make reservations for the New Year’s Eve Surf & Turf Buffet at Cordelia’s. The family is coming dressed in their finest neon sweaters, oversized belts, blazers with obnoxious shoulder pads because the New Year’s Eve Dance this year, taking place in the ballroom after dinner, is an ‘80s Dance Party! Enjoy live entertainment from the 80’s cover band 80ATORS and don’t forget to raise a glass of champagne for a toast at midnight.
Follow along on Facebook for the latest updates on all these holiday experiences I am learning about. The holidays on the shores of shimmering Lake Blackshear seem like a blend of laid-back and peaceful, and full of cheer as our family would like to experience.
I hope this rundown gives every reader ideas for a cool way to spend the holidays in a destination where everyone can unwind and feel the gratitude of the season.
By Monique Steadman