Charleston's beautiful nearly every day of the year. But it's especially beautiful covered in pine and twinkling with lights.

Here are our picks for the best holiday photo ops, but leave your own in the comments. And be sure to follow us on Instagram, where we'll be sharing holiday cheer for as long as we can.

1. Holiday Festival of Lights

+1 
Lights.jpg (copy)

A family arrives at the Winter Wonderland section of the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. 

This is the obvious one, but there's nothing like three miles of light displays for a good photo. It runs until Jan. 1 at James Island County Park and costs $20 per vehicle. 

But there's a lot more there than just lights - grab a picture on the old-fashioned carousel or design your own color scheme at one of the interactive light displays. 

2. All the giant Christmas trees

+1 
Christmas Tree Lighting in Marion Square (copy)

The City of Charleston's 64-foot Christmas Tree in Marion Square.

There are so many to choose from, and here's a full guide to all the lightings around town, but most of them are up by now. The most photogenic might be the Colonial Lake tree - the lights reflecting off the water is hard to beat.

But of course, the sheer scale of Marion Square's 64-foot tree of lights is also pretty impressive.

Really, you can't go wrong, and there are options all over the region.

3. Get yourself a delicious Christmas treat

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

ONLINE HOLIDAY SHOP NOW OPEN! Link in profile. This beauty is our Chocolate Malt Buche de Noel. We roll up dark, tender chocolate cake with chocolate malt Chantilly cream, enrobe it in glossy bittersweet malt and caramelized white chocolate ganaches and add a last sparkling touch with golden meringue lichen. Available NOW on our online holiday shop, along with a wealth of one-of-a-kind artisan sweets and ice cream treats, all of which hold very nicely. Select from three different pick up days. None of those days really work? Contact us directly at info@liferafttreats.com to enquire about delivery possibilities. Additional fees will apply for delivery, and some locations are outside our area. - - - #christmas #christmasdesserts #holidaydesserts #chocolate #chocolatedessert #buchedenoel #artisanfood #localfood #supportsmallbusiness #holidaygiftguide #welovechs #saveyourselfwithatreat #chseats #charlestoneats

A post shared by Life Raft Treats (@life.raft.treats) on Dec 3, 2018 at 3:09pm PST

Treat yourself: some of our culinary geniuses are serving up some truly beautiful holiday confections that are almost too pretty to eat. The Establishment is also serving a special holiday brunch on Dec. 23 with cookie decorating for the kids. 

4. Festive statues

There are at least two options for this: The turtles in Isle of Palms wearing Santa hats, and the wreath around the Bulldog statue outside The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium. Know of others? Let us know in the comments!

5. Stroll South of Broad

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

SPOTTED: Santa hanging out on Rainbow Row 🎅 (📷: @andrewjwhitaker | The Post and Courier)

A post shared by The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) on Dec 5, 2018 at 7:53pm PST

The most beautiful homes in the country know how to decorate. There's even one Battery mansion that itself wears a giant Santa hat. Stroll through the iconic neighborhoods for the ideal seasonal photo.

6. Snap one of the holiday markets

No reason you can't get some cute photos in while you're getting your holiday shopping done, right? The Marion Square holiday market runs every Saturday and Sunday  from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. through Dec. 16.

A few others you can check out:

7. Take your pet to meet Santa

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Group photo was not a total success but I loved meeting Santa! 🎅🎄🎁 #furderinos #lcms #lowcountryfurderinos #murderinos

A post shared by Steven Lavinia (@stevenlavinia) on Nov 17, 2018 at 11:41am PST

Of course, we all love the photos of children crying on Santa's lap, but did you know you can take your dog to get a picture with Santa? From 7 until 8 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 18, Santa will take photos with pets at the Citadel Mall. All pets must be leashed or crated. 

Many vets around the region are also hosting photo with Santa days, so it might be worth a call to yours.

Get the Charleston Scene newsletter

Live your most local life with the help of our handpicked music, events and food stories. Delivered to your inbox every Thursday.


Follow Kelly Poe on Twitter @kelly_poe.