A lake just a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean is the focal point for the holiday festivities at this area in N.C. year. From the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, the towns of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach host the Island of Lights Festival. Beachgoers and visitors follow a one-mile path around Carolina Beach Lake to view displays built around the lake. On the first day, Nov. 25, free hot chocolate and cookies are served. Admission is free.
On Dec. 2, fishing and pleasure boaters decorate their crafts with thousands of lights for a water parade on the Intracoastal Waterway. The parade, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., cruises from Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The parade and parking is free.
Find all the details at www.islandoflights.org.