Charlotte's Best Christmas Light Displays

Decorated home in McAdenville
••• Randomsoleil / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • 01 of 05

    Where to find Christmas light displays in Charlotte

    The Charlotte area is home to several excellent Christmas light displays, ranging from a small town of less than 700 people (that both Yahoo! and Time Magazine call one of the best displays in the nation), to the oval of a NASCAR super speedway. Here's everything you need to find the best Christmas lights around Charlotte.

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  • 02 of 05

    The Town of McAdenville

    Decorated home in McAdenville
    ••• Randomsoleil / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    The town of McAdenville is easily the largest light display around, and so popular that you can read a guide to visiting it.

    Just 15 miles west of Charlotte, a trip through the tiny town is a holiday tradition for many locals, and has been for more than 50 years. The town of McAdenville alone puts up over 500,000 lights, and the vast majority of residents decorate their own houses to an extreme degree as well. McAdenville has garnered lots of national recognition, with Time Magazine and Yahoo just in the past few years alone counting it among the top 10 destinations in the nation. Good Morning America has broadcast live from the town, as have countless local news stations.

    Since the entire town makes up the light display, there is no charge to see the McAdenville lights. You're just driving through a public city on regular roads.

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  • 03 of 05

    Christmas at the Billy Graham Library

    Billy Graham Library
    4330 Westmont Dr.
    Charlotte, NC 28217
    704-401-3200

    At the Billy Graham Library, visitors can see a live Nativity that offers a glimpse into the awe of that first Christmas night, complete with live animals. You can also enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through one of Charlotte's most beautiful light displays and hear heartwarming sounds of caroling and festive music. There will be Christmas story time for kids of all ages (5 to 9:30 p.m.) and a chance to pet live animals! (noon to 2 p.m.). Carriage rides are available for a fee.

    Christmas at the Billy Graham Library has quickly become one of the premier holiday celebrations in Charlotte. The library itself is a beautiful place, but when it's decorated for Christmas on the inside, a dazzling light display outside, a live nativity, carolers, carriage rides, and more - it's one of the area's best displays. It was named one of the Top 100 Events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association (ABA) and a Top 20...MORE event by the Southeast Tourism Society. Lines for the library can get a little long, especially the closer you get to Christmas. I recommend checking it out earlier in the month, when lines will be a little shorter.

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  • 04 of 05

    Speedway Christmas

    Speedway Christmas and the all-new Boulevard of Lights is one of the largest holiday light shows in the region. This year’s route at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over 3 miles, offering an even more spectacular in-car LED light viewing experience. The world’s largest continuous LED Christmas light netting, custom-designed for the speedway, will cover 20,000 square feet along the speedway’s 22-foot high catch-fencing on the front stretch. Also, more than 30 stock car light displays will fill the front stretch grandstands, along with six giant stop lights. Other exciting attractions continuing this year will include a realistic-themed Bethlehem Village, a Festival of Trees, NASCAR souvenir rigs for Christmas shopping, marshmallow roasting pits, Santa’s workshop, photos with Santa, themed areas for children, food and music.

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  • 05 of 05

    Holidays at the Garden

    Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Christmas
    ••• Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Christmas. Courtesy of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

    Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens
    6500 South New Hope Rd.
    Belmont, NC 28012
    704-825-4490
    $12 Adults/$6 Children

    Quickly becoming one of the area's premier holiday tradition, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will present Holiday Lights at The Garden. Holiday Lights will showcase about a half million lights, a breathtaking Christmas tree created with hundreds of orchids, carriage rides, live entertainment and even a visit from Santa in a room designed to capture the "glistening essence of Christmas morning."