It is that time of year again. With December comes winter holidays, mountains of snow, and travel desires for families and couples alike. Of course, with so many of the same mind, securing the perfect winter vacation can be difficult and frustrating beyond measure. Where do we go? Where is the best place to stay? Can we bring the dog? These are just a few of the questions asked by many every year, and here are the answers to all of them.
A city with much historical significance, Cumberland is a destination that is constantly overlooked. Not only is it known for being the starting point of the United States' first national road, U.S. 40, but the town also has 70,000 acres of public parks. Rocky Gap State Park is one of them, which has 3,000 acres of rugged mountain beauty where visitors can enjoy a hike. Here, hikers will certainly find the perfect trail. During Christmas, the historical downtown becomes a winter wonderland for families to enjoy with the annual City Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The dazzling event includes holiday music, entertainment, the lighting of the pedestrian mall and Christmas tree, and most importantly, Santa's arrival.
Situated in downtown Lewes, on the Lewes–Rehoboth Canal, families can find perfect winter lodging close to the beach at the Dogfish Inn. This casual inn with a coastal vibe offers 15 rooms, a Cottage "Sweet" that sleeps four and a "Super Sweet" that sleeps six. They have everything needed for sporty beach activities, including beach cruiser bicycles, and they even welcome dogs of all sizes. The inn is within walking distance of restaurants and shops. At night, a drive through the Winter WonderFEST Christmas lights experience is breathtaking and ignites the holiday spirit. Families seeking peace and quiet during the holiday season will find the town of Lewes just what the doctor ordered.
During the winter months, the city of Hershey becomes a beacon of joyous spirit. The city boasts the largest amusement park in the state of Pennsylvania, which hosts the Hersheypark Christmas Candylane every year. 5 million twinkling lights, along with other holiday decorations, transform the park into an unforgettable Christmas experience. Make a reservation to have breakfast with Santa, or visit the famous Chocolate World attraction. There are endless possibilities in the city of Hershey, from relaxing spa treatments to wildlife exploration. With plenty of accommodation to fit every need at numerous resorts like the Hershey Lodge or camping adventures at the Hersheypark Camping Resort, your family can have a winter getaway catered to your every need.
Ocean City, Maryland
Being a beach town, many believe there is only fun to be had in Ocean City during the summer. However, all season long, even after the holidays, OC offers special deals throughout the winter months so you can vacation for less. It's a great getaway to spend with a loved one for Valentine's Day. Family or friends can come together to enjoy the long President's Day weekend without breaking the bank. The famous OC mini golf activities don't come to an end after the summer months; they simply move indoors. Fun is to be had during all seasons of the year. Do not overlook a beach vacation just because the warm, sunny months have passed.
Clinton, New Jersey
This charming village located along the Raritan River is only an hour and a half drive from New York. Offering both a lovely backdrop and a leisurely pace. It is an ideal day trip destination or a weekend getaway and one of the best places to enjoy winter festivities. That is what Clinton has to offer. It transforms each year into the best Christmas town in New Jersey. The historic Red Mill Museum, popular during all times of the year, gets one of the best makeovers in the state and plays host to a stunning collection of Christmas trees. Then there is the annual Clinton Christmas Parade, which brings a wildly inventive collection of floats down the town's streets. Clinton's winter activities include a marketplace where over 41 artisans sell quality handmade goods and where you can also find cozy coffee shops such as Riverside Coffee & Tea, where you can go in and warm up with your hands wrapped around a hot mug of something sweet. Clinton has everything needed for couples seeking romance and solitude.
Another city known for its summertime festivities, winter brings a mystical charm to the historic Annapolis. With fewer crowds, it's as though you have all of Annapolis to yourself. There is so much to see and do throughout the city that will inspire cheer in the whole family. From boutique shopping under the twinkling lights, live performances of White Christmas or the Nutcracker, to candlelight history tours, there's plenty to keep you warm and content during the holiday season. Do not miss the state house or its historic significance. Tour the naval academy on one of the regularly scheduled tours, which can be much more entertaining than a self-guided stroll. Be sure to take in the great views and good food at the Severn Inn and Carrolls Creek, where fine dining takes on a new meaning.
Dover does the winter months like only an old colonial town can. Caroling, decorative lights, and hot cocoa are just a few of the pleasures to be found, not to mention tax-free shopping for any gift-buying needs. Of course, events with Santa and his little helpers can be found as well, making Dover ideal for families looking to create long-lasting memories. Numerous bed and breakfasts can be found throughout the town. One of the best is the State Street Inn. Breakfast is homemade fresh every day and served either in the dining area downstairs overlooking the garden or in your bedroom. The waffles and French toast are a must-try. They also have freshly made cookies every day, which goes so well with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee during an afternoon tea break. The bedrooms are all color-coordinated and have wonderful bedding. The light fixtures are all warm, and the bathrooms are well stocked with everything needed for a deep soaking bath to warm those bones after a chilly day exploring the town's wonders.
Lake Placid, New York
For those seeking luxury and times of sport, the resorts in Lake Placid offer some of the best slopes for skiers of all skill levels. There are also the nearby Olympic bobsled tracks and a ride on the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the top of Little Whiteface Mountain to consider. Where the views are both breathtaking and Instagram-worthy, whether it is roaming through the Olympic Center or taking a stroll along the shores of Mirror Lake, Lake Placid offers beautiful sites to fill the spirit as well as your social media pages. Lake Placid Lodge is situated on the shoreline of pristine Lake Placid. This luxurious hotel delivers an authentic Adirondack great camp experience that is truly unforgettable. Although the Lake Placid Lodge's greatest asset is its team, the lodge itself is unbelievable. Impressive craftsmanship is consistent throughout the property. Our room was outfitted with beautiful handmade furniture, a massive wood-burning fireplace, goose-down feather beds, five-piece bathrooms, a private deck, and top-notch amenities. The lodge is home to a very impressive collection of art for all to see. On-site dining is five-star, but it is only a short drive from shops, galleries, and restaurants, which can easily be reached using the hotel's complimentary chauffeur service to the village.
Cape May, New Jersey
The town of Cape May is breathtaking in the winter, especially during Christmas when the town is bustling with holiday activities, and a tangible sense of cheer fills the air. Reserving farm dinners, breakfast with Santa, and train and carousel rides are just a few of the activities that make Cape May perfect for families. The Winter Wonderland hosted by the town Congress Hall is a haven that children will adore and parents will find nostalgic. Visit the selection of Cape May bed & breakfast inns and private homes with the Lamplighter Christmas Tour. Decorated for the holidays on this self-guided evening walking tour that includes a visit to An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit in the Carroll Gallery at the Physick Estate Carriage House.
The mid-Atlantic offers dozens of possibilities for winter getaways for both families and couples. The winter months can be cold and stressful, but the holiday spirit of these towns is sure to warm even the darkest hearts. Offering winter sports, romantic scenery, and family fun, these towns are the ideal locations for anyone wanting to make lasting memories with the ones they love.