Holiday tradition usually dictates staying home for a large gathering with the extended family. But let’s be honest — we haven’t traveled in a while, especially last winter, and most of us are long overdue for a family vacation. This holiday season, when the kids are on school break, is the perfect time to do it. Celebrating the holidays away from home can be an exciting prospect, but it also begs the question: where do we go? Well, the country’s most popular Christmas cities are a good place to start. New York City, Santa Claus, Williamsburg, Park City, and Santa Barbara are the most sought-after destinations in the US for the holidays, and these are the family-friendly Christmas Airbnbs that should be on your booking radar.
New York City, New York
Cottage on the beach
Staying in New York City proper isn’t exactly budget-friendly, nor does it evoke the kind of cozy holiday cheer you’ve seen in all those Hallmark movies. Instead, head to Howard Beach in Queens to feel like you’ve completely escaped urban life. This spacious cottage on the water has a large lounge area, dining room, and porch overlooking the lake. There’s also a TV with a free Netflix account, complimentary snacks, and a second bedroom with two beds that are perfect for children.
Price: $233 per night
Camp Stardust lakefront cabin
The name of this property makes it sound pretty magical, and luckily, it doesn’t disappoint in person. For families looking to fully escape the stressful grind of the city, the Camp Stardust cabin is located a healthy four hours north of New York City in the woods of Piseco. You’ll be right on the water with only wildlife for neighbors. The cabin has an open and spacious floor plan, cathedral ceilings, a TV room, fireplace, and both indoor and outdoor speakers. The cabin’s walls are almost entirely composed of windows, so you’ll always have impeccable views of the surrounding winter wonderland. And of course, you could always venture into the wilderness by going snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or snowmobiling.
Price: $354 per night
Cottage from 1918
Nothing captures the spirit of the holiday season like traveling back to a simpler time. We can decorate our homes all we like for Christmas, but nothing beats going back to the 1700s and strolling around William’s cobbled streets in the snow. The 1918 Williamsburg Cottage is equipped with modern amenities but sits just minutes from Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement, where your family can really plunge into the ghosts of Christmas past.
Price: $136 per night
Cozy Williamsburg cabin
This cabin combines the rustic coziness of rural life with the joys of living in a historic city center. Just minutes away from Colonial Williamsburg in a wooded setting, the cabin sleeps six guests, with bunk beds for the kids. There’s also a heated pool, a deck, plenty of outdoor space, and access to nearby nature trails.
Price: $208 per night
Park City, Utah
Cozy log cabin south of Park City
Park City is renowned as one of the country’s most popular ski destinations, so it should be no surprise that families are flocking here around Christmas. Located just south of Park City in the more affordable Brighton, and nestled among the pine trees, this ski-in/ski-out log cabin has a huge fireplace that will make you think you’re in a ski lodge, a balcony, outdoor fire pit, and books and toys for children. It’s also just a 10-minute walk from the Brighton Ski Resort.
Price: $299 per night
Modern and chic condo
This modern condo combines all the benefits of contemporary living with a rustic mountain aesthetic. Accommodating eight guests in three bedrooms, the condo has a massive pitched skylight that bathes the spacious living room in natural light. There’s also a white stone fireplace, a full kitchen, and convenient door-to-door shuttle service from Deer Valley Snow Park Lodge.
Price: $400 per night
Santa Barbara, California
Home in the heart of Santa Barbara
California doesn’t exactly scream Christmas, but that’s kind of the point, right? Not everyone wants a white Christmas. Some of us just want to leave our ugly sweaters at home and escape to the beach. It’s no wonder, then, that Santa Barbara is one of the country’s most popular Christmas vacation destinations. This ideally-located home is right in the heart of the city, sleeping seven people in three bedrooms, and is just a block away from the beach. It’s within easy walking distance of Santa Barbara’s main attractions, including the popular Funk Zone boutique dining district.
Price: $375 per night
Classic and colorful Santa Barbara cottage
This cottage truly captures the colorful, artsy, and independent vibe of California. Built in 1915, the Victorian cottage has an intimate feel yet comfortably accommodates six people in its cozy, eccentric rooms. The interior is defined by African Colonial decor reflecting the owner’s trips to Africa, and it’s conveniently located just a block from the Saturday Farmer’s Market, and two blocks from the cafes, shopping, and theaters of State Street. There’s also a game table with chess, backgammon, and a decks of cards, and a TV equipped with Netflix to keep the family entertained.
Price: $303 per night
Santa Claus, Indiana
Residential home in the heart of town
Santa Claus, Indiana is indisputably one of the most Christmassy towns in the country. It’s home to the Santa Claus Museum and Village, the 1880 Santa Claus Church, and the Santa Claus Post Office, which fields thousands of Santa letters each year. This three-bedroom home is the ideal base from which to explore the holiday-themed town. Sleeping nine guests, the house is large enough for the whole family and located conveniently close to all the town’s Santa attractions.
Price: $125 per night
Log cabin with waterfront views
If you prefer a little distance from the Santa Claus gimmick, while still having easy driving access into town, this cabin on Yellow Banks Lake is perfect. Just 20 minutes from Santa Claus, this cozy log cabin sits right on a pond and offers your family a more intimate holiday experience. It has all the amenities you’d expect, though without the frills, and sleeps five people in a bedroom loft.
Price: $150 per night
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