The winter holidays are a joyous time of year, but they can be overwhelmingly stressful, especially if you’re playing host. This month, we recognize 10 inns that give you the opportunity to pack up and take an exciting holiday escape. Ditch your stress at the door and be pampered at these festive B&Bs. Be sure to explore all of our award-winning inns!
1785 Inn & Restaurant, North Conway, NH
The winter holidays don’t end on Christmas at this North Conway B&B. Their colorful holiday decorations are in place from December 1 through March 1, the duration of their ski season. Over-the-top holiday decor adorns the entire inn, including many different Christmas trees. You will even spot an upside-down Christmas tree. Each common room here (dining room, guest living rooms, and pub) have their own theme and color scheme. Partake in the inn’s Cookie Tour on December 8 and 9, or take the opportunity to dine on a seven-course New Year’s Eve dinner. If you need to burn off some of your holiday calories, go on an adventure and explore the inn’s cross-country trails or nearby downhill skiing slopes.
Arlington Inn, Arlington, VT
Celebrate the holidays at this Vermont B&B built in 1847, which has its own full restaurant and tavern. The innkeepers offer a Christmas package to guests that includes a Christmas dinner buffet, and they also let you put out Christmas cookies and eggnog for Santa. You get to enjoy the full holiday meal experience without having to clean a single dish! Ring in the New Year like never before with their fun New Year’s Eve package that includes champagne on arrival, a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride, a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner, and a jazz ensemble.
Bayfront Marin House, Saint Augustine, FL
Experience some of the most impressive Christmas lights in the world at this inn. This inn participates in St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, which runs until January 31, by covering the B&B in colorful lights. The 18th-annual tradition was named one of the top 10 places in the world to see holiday lights in National Geographic last year. During this time, the inn is offering a Nights of Lights Special that entails free hot chocolate and fudge from a local candy-maker, plus free tickets to the Green Trolley, which will take you on a tour of the famous lights. On December 8 and 9, the inn is also partaking in The St. Augustine Historic B&B Annual Christmas Tour. Each B&B on the tour is themed with a verse of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Bayfront Marin House’s verse is Eight Maids a Milking. The staff will dress as milkmaids, and the innkeeper will be dressed as a Bavarian milk man. Several inflatable cows will lounge on the large lawn.
Colonial Inn At Smithville, Smithville, NJ
This New Jersey inn located in the heart of historic Smithville sits on a small lake. From the weekend after Thanksgiving until the first week of January, experience their fun evening light show on the water. The show consists of 120 Christmas trees made from 50,000 Christmas lights. These trees float on the lake, and in the evening they dance, chase, and blink to Holiday music. This unique show can be viewed from many of the rooms or on their side deck. The owners of the inn also own the Village Greene, which is just outside the door and features over 60 shops, seven restaurants, and many free holiday events. If you bring your kids with you, they can listen to Mrs. Claus read stories for free or chat with the talking Christmas tree!
Gateway Guesthouse, Austin, TX
Visiting family or friends in Austin for the holidays? Stay just minutes from downtown and partake in a fun cooking class that allows you to bring food to your host. The innkeepers are offering a “Fearless Feast” cooking class for Christmas on December 23 and 24. This hands-on cooking class gives you the chance to create classic holiday dishes with the inn’s professional chef (she was even featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!). Once you’re done, take your perfect holiday meal with you to easily finish and serve at your host’s house. If you stay here during Christmas, the innkeepers are also hosting a fun Christmas happy hour for guests. They are hosting another Fearless Feast cooking class on December 31 that involves making gourmet appetizers and snacks for a New Year’s Eve party that night. These cooking classes are also available to locals!
Firelight Inn, Duluth, MN
Experience special holiday moments at this Minnesota B&B, which was built in 1910. For the Christmas holidays almost all of the nearly 9,000 square feet of the inn is dressed up in holiday attire. Guests will enjoy hundreds of lights and garlands, decorated wreaths, glistening mantle displays and many ornate Christmas trees. Top things off with a holiday tour of the historic mansion on the second Sunday in December, which features music and refreshments. Cozy up in front of the fire and enjoy your relaxing, festive getaway here.
Thyme in the Country, Hudson, NY
Relax in the welcoming holiday atmosphere at this quiet 1880s farmhouse inn on five pastoral acres. Rather than bright colors, they use an old-fashioned “woodsy motif” with greenery, garlands, and wreaths of real balsam and hand-made decorations. Every weekend afternoon during the month of December, you will be treated with a complimentary holiday high tea. Enjoy this tradition with their homemade cookies, cakes, and rustic breads made with locally-sourced organic ingredients. Kick back in front of the glowing fire as you listen to musicians softly play Christmas music.