When it comes to holiday vacations, you probably have a vision in mind. It might consist of magical sleigh rides with swirling snowflakes, cuddled up under a blanket with a hot cocoa in hand and making snow angels while the cookies are baking. Or it could be an escape from the frosty fingers and fluffy coats to a sunny paradise complete with salty sea breezes. These Christmas getaway ideas cover all the angles.
The best Christmas getaways in the US
Ranging from cozy cabins tucked into forested surrounds with hilly backdrops painted in winter white to wave-lashed bungalows that add a hint of tropical vibes to the holiday season, the best Christmas escapes stretch from shore to shore and mountain to beach in the US.
The Midwest is full of options
You’ll want to pull on the boots and ready the sleighs for a holiday vacay in America’s Heartland. This large region of mountains and plains smack dab in the center of the country has just about every yuletide experience you could hope for. Up for a Christmas weekend getaway full of department store shopping, ice skating to peppy jingles, and indulging on red and green pizza pies? Head to the Windy City of Chicago. After some traditional family holiday fun? Branson, MO, offers up festive train rides, live Christmas shows, and plenty of twinkly lights on display.
Schedule some beach time in Florida
There’s a reason Florida is known as a respite for snowbirds. Temps here stay nice and tepid most days, even in the thick of winter. You can fa-la-la-la-la your way right into the Atlantic froth down south in Miami, where the cerulean waters average in the mild 70s in December and the sun keeps beating down on beachgoers. Even if you’re not into winter swims, the cotton-white sands of Gulf destinations like St Pete Beach are perfect for picnics and sandman-building contests.
California’s Christmas towns
The Golden State may be best known for its action-packed cities and adventure-filled national parks but dotting the spaces between are some charming little hubs perfect for a holiday getaway. In northern redwoods country, coastal Mendocino’s timbered downtown district is primed for shopping local since retail giants are a no-go here, while Big Bear Lake’s German-style village welcomes Santa visits and sleigh rides between snowboard runs down the nearby slopes.
What types of Christmas getaways are there?
Looking for a comfy cabin for two complete with a fireplace and hot tub? Need a roomy villa that can squeeze in grandparents, cousins, and presents to go around? These places and spaces fit the bill for Christmas weekend getaways, seasonal escapes, and more.
A dash of holiday romance
Loved-up duos can add a little romance a la Hallmark-channel to the holidays with cozy vacation rentals that feature bubbling hot tubs, big deck spaces under that stars, and crackling fireplaces perfect for cuddling. Seek them out in coastal cottages just feet from Oregon’s dramatic Pacific shoreline or tucked away in the forests of northern California where you can step out onto frosty trails in winter.
Spots to gather the family
No matter whether your family unit is a compact foursome or a wild bunch of cousins, aunts, and grandparents looking to reunite for the yuletide season, holiday vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes with multiple bedrooms to fit the whole crew and fully-equipped kitchens for cooking up those Christmas Eve dinners. Roomy lodges in the mountains of Colorado are always a great choice, serving up tons of outdoorsy fun in the way of sledding and snowshoeing with creature comforts like big TVs and comfy couches for catching up on Christmas flicks.
How to find an affordable Christmas getaway
Since the holiday season means lots of “dear Santa” letters and shopping lists to check off, it would be nice to save a little dough on that Christmas getaway. Cue these budget tips for vacation rentals, which will help you allocate more dollars for spiced cider and ski passes.
Start looking early
Since you can’t help but hit the high season in some places when you’re planning a Christmas vacay, it’s especially important that you begin searching extra early. This will help ensure that the most options, best locations, and lowest price points are still on the table when you go to book.
Avoid the popular spots
Saving big on Christmas getaways might mean staying away from the uber popular destinations or looking for a house for rent that’s a few blocks away from the action. Planning a Florida trip? Avoid Miami’s South Beach and look for something on the fringes of the big city instead. Strapping on the skis in Colorado? Consider spending just a couple of days on the slopes in Breckenridge and the rest of your vacay admiring the mountainous views from Boulder or Denver.