Holiday tradition usually dictates staying home for a large gathering with the extended family. But celebrating away can be an exciting prospect. You might not think it, but spending the holidays somewhere else can be much less stressful than hosting or staying with relatives. A vacation rental provides a neutral territory and a much-needed break from your normal holiday routine. All you need to do is to choose a festive place to go. A good place to start is with the country’s most popular Christmas cities. 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 best family-friendly Christmas Airbnbs perfect for a Yuletide gathering.
We hope you love the Christmas Airbnbs we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
New York City, New York
Four-bedroom townhouse, Upper East Side
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury and magic for your stay in New York, this four-bedroom townhouse is a superb base. Located in the Upper East Side, your family will be surrounded by holiday lights, world-class decorations, excellent shopping and dining options, and the holiday city buzz. Comfortably sleeping 15 guests with a whopping six bathrooms, the impeccably renovated three-story is spacious and beautifully decorated. The kitchen is also fully stocked with everything you’ll need to cook a celebratory meal for the entire family. It’s a short eight-minute walk from Park Ave, 5th Ave, and Central Park, where you can ice skate and (hopefully) play in the snow.
15 guests, four bedrooms
Price: $1,099 per night
Cottage on the beach, Howard Beach
Staying in New York City proper isn’t exactly budget-friendly, especially over the holidays. If you’re looking for something affordable within driving distance, 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 perfect for children.
Five guests, two bedrooms
Price: $233 per night
Camp Stardust lakefront cabin, Piseco
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.
Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $354 per night
Taking a trip over the holidays? Check out Matador’s holiday accommodation guides:
Cottage from 1900s
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. This 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.
Six guests, three bedrooms
Price: $164 per night
Custom built colonial on six private acres
The listing for this lavish house states that the owners specialize in hosting large multigenerational family vacations. And it gets better. The retreat sits on six private acres under 20 minutes from the major attractions of Williamsburg. The open-planned ground floor was custom-designed for events. So whether you’re sitting down to a holiday feast or entertaining in the living room, those in the kitchen won’t miss out on the fun. The master bedroom has an attached nursery with a train and dress-up box. This room also features French windows that open onto a covered deck and a heated jacuzzi tub. Bedrooms on the second floor have en-suites and a second nursery with a play area and a doll house. There’s a bonus room above the garage, perfect for last-minute guest arrival, a home gym, and an enormous covered back deck overlooking the forest.
13 guests, four bedrooms
Price: $699 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.
Six guests, two bedrooms
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.
Eight guests, three bedrooms
Price: $299 per night
Fully refurbished home at the top of April Mountain
If you’re a family or group who wants to hit the snow over the holidays this stunning townhouse is ideal. The home has gorgeous views of two of the most popular ski destinations in Utah, Deer Valley and Park City. The four-bedroom has all new furnishings and appliances throughout, and a state-of-the-art hot tub with a lovely view. It’s worth noting that there is a one-week minimum stay, and if you want to stay longer, a discount is available.
10 guests, four bedrooms
Price: $893 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.
Eight guests, three bedrooms
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.
Seven guests, three bedrooms
Price: $375 per night
100-year-old stunning five-bedroom house
Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, this epic five-bed, five-bath house is one of the most splendid Airbnbs in California. The gourmet kitchen alone is worth booking this Christmas Airbnb. The five-bedroom en-suites, huge backyard, and luxury interior are also worth mentioning. The home is a 100-year-old bed and breakfast, but you and your group can buy out the entire property for your holiday stay.
11 guests, five bedrooms
Price: $1,401 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.
Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $303 per night
Santa Claus, Indiana
Christmas cottage 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 six guests, the house is large enough for the whole family and located conveniently close to all the town’s Santa attractions.
Eight guests, three bedrooms
Price: $260 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 the Ohio River is perfect. Just 30 minutes from Santa Claus, this cozy cabin sits right on the waters edge and offers your family a more intimate holiday experience. It has all the amenities you’d expect and sleeps six people.
Six guests, one bedrooms
Price: $150 per night