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ANYWHERE in the US - Two Weeks at Christmas - Where Would You Go?


easypeasy
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We’re planning and looking for ideas. If you could go anywhere in the US over Christmas break for around 2 weeks - where would you go? 

The only restrictions are: somewhere we could socially distance. So, nowhere traditionally *packed* and touristy. And somewhere we haven’t spent a lot of time at before.

We’ve considered a cabin in the woods somewhere (where? Somewhere sorta south beause I don’t want to get snowed in. Ideas??) and just staying put - hiking and playing board games and relaxing. 

We’ve considered a condo on a beach (which beach?). DH suggested Hawaii, but that’s a lonnnng flight during this mess & so I’m unenthusiastic about that. But a continental beach? Sure! Maybe an east coast beach area? We do love watching the water. A cabin by a lake?

We’ve considered flying in to San Diego and driving north along the coast, stopping along the way... 

so - ideas? East coast, West coast? Somewhere in the middle we’re not thinking about? Tell me about places I don’t know about yet!!! 

It‘ll be end of December, so I’m thinking nowhere really north since we’ll be driving a lot.

There are 6 of us.

JAWM Disclaimer: Don’t tell me we shouldn’t travel or whatever. I am at the end of my rope with COVID and I want to plan something fun to do, fergoshsakes. If everything is still awful and full of despair, we will stay home. Like we have since Marrrchhhhh. 😭 So - a bit of a JAWM. 😂 I need to dream a little. Our pre-COVID plans were 3+ weeks, starting in Scotland, traveling through England, and going over to Paris for a few days. I neeeed to dream about and make a Plan B we can look forward to. 

Edited by easypeasy
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Hawaii and a few other states still require a two week quarantine upon arrival, so I’d avoid those places.

West coast will be in the rainy season in December. Don’t know if that’s your jam, but if you are looking for rainy weather in the 40s, that’s Oregon and Washington coast weather. For west coast snow and German charm, I’d look at Leavenworth, WA.

It kinda sounds like you want a warm beach for December... I’d look for a small town around Destin, FL....beautiful sand in that area!

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12 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Hawaii and a few other states still require a two week quarantine upon arrival, so I’d avoid those places.

West coast will be in the rainy season in December. Don’t know if that’s your jam, but if you are looking for rainy weather in the 40s, that’s Oregon and Washington coast weather. For west coast snow and German charm, I’d look at Leavenworth, WA.

It kinda sounds like you want a warm beach for December... I’d look for a small town around Destin, FL....beautiful sand in that area!



no - a cold beach would be wonderful!!! Any suggestions?

We have visited pretty much every Florida beach there is - multiple times - as the kids were growing up. So - Florida beaches are off the list. 

Dh and 2/3 kids want to go snow skiing. But I am not super squishy with that idea. Too many people in a smallish space. And with the way 2020 has gone, I figure it’s just asking for someone to break a leg or something. 😕

Also - I *said* a condo on the beach - but I’d prefer a seaside cabin or air bnb. Not a hotel or condo setup. 

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Gleneden Beach, Oregon

You should be able to find a seaside cabin somewhere along the coast. A lot of the listings are on Vacasa. I’d look south from there all the way down to Florence or so. It is isolated and there won’t be premium grocery shopping, but super Covid-friendly. Try to find a beach house with a fireplace. 🙂 

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San Diego would be my pick.

Or an old hotel in San Francisco, with really good room service.  Like the Sheraton Palace.  And then just do driving tours around.  That is a great time of year to be in SF, warmer than most places, although not ‘warm’.  You could go to Muir Woods, see the cable cars, drive up along Highway 1 to Point Reyes (whale watching perhaps), do the scenic drive through the city, look at the Christmas decorations, gift shop in nearby Half Moon Bay (a trippy town with the wind sweeping through the mostly one of shops, so almost like being outside).

OH!  Or stay at the Ollalaberrie Inn in Cambria, right near the beach, and further south (hence warmer) (though damp and not ‘warm’).

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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Thank you prairiewindmama and Carol in Cal!!

ill look into all of those destinations. We have friends in San Diego, and it would sure be awesome to see them while we are traveling.

rainy and 40s sounds a-ok as long as it's not torrential rain 24/7. We prefer traveling in cold/rainy weather vs hot summer temps (unless we are camped out on beachfront property... I'm still recovering from an early-August trip to Washington DC last year... 😂😂), so we have umbrellas, raincoats, and rain boots ready to go as needed!! 😅

Id love to go somewhere snowy but don't want to get snowed in or have to drive on icy roads. But maybe somewhere that is prepared for that wouldn't be too terrible... (when we have gone snow skiing in the past, it's been fine bc they kept the roads so ready-to-go).

We will be going to Canada this summer (iF they're letting us in!! 😅) for hiking, camping, lots of walking, etc so this trip can be a bit lazy. 😅

 

Edited by easypeasy
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We went to a small wedding of less than 10 people 900 miles away and I regret going because social distancing and safety were just not as simple as I thought they'd be, so I would stay home. If I were going to go I think beach. Gulf? Maybe New Orleans with a beach trip in there. Or to a cabin in the snow for a week so you have grace.

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6 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Gleneden Beach, Oregon

You should be able to find a seaside cabin somewhere along the coast. A lot of the listings are on Vacasa. I’d look south from there all the way down to Florence or so. It is isolated and there won’t be premium grocery shopping, but super Covid-friendly. Try to find a beach house with a fireplace. 🙂 

Another advantage of Oregon -- their entire ocean front is open so you can drive down the coast popping in and off of beaches. I've done it with a friend before.

 

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Oregon coast (you can pick any town along the coast, stay there and drive to neighboring beaches): we have done that a few times, each time we picked a coastal town to stay in based on how far we had driven there from our home in NorCal.

San Diego (you can drive to LA and Santa Barbara in your 2 weeks): weather could be rainy, but, it would clear up in the 2 weeks that you are there because it never rains for long in Southern CA (but, seeing how 2020 has gone, no guarantees). You could do a lot of outdoor touristy things just because of the accessibility to so many great locations from SD. 

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It rarely freezes on the coast and in the Portland metro. You can grow palm trees. Snow sticks in the mountains.

ETA: It’s a state secret. Don’t tell everyone: stick to the party line of it’s dark and cold and rainy 7 months out of the year, and dry and wildfires the other 5 months. Traffic is bad enough already.

Edited by prairiewindmomma
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Actually, if you wanted to do a split week you could do that week in San Francisco and then the next week in the Sierra.  You could stay at Tahoe, which is glitzy but beautiful, but honestly I don’t know what you would do there—it all depends on the iciness of the roads.  For instance, Emerald Bay is gorgeous for a road trip all year round BUT if the roads are icy it’s gnarly.  Ditto Virginia City.  Truckee and Tahoe City are great shopping towns, but I personally would not want to shop in them that time of the year with Covid and so many out of area visitors.  And the cabins are not mostly right on the lake, so you’re not like thrilled to be sitting around where you are staying.  But there ARE beautiful places to drive and snow shoe or do short hikes to lake front areas.  All the historic sites are closed in the winter, but MAYBE some of them open at Christmas since there are so many visitors then; I am really not sure.

A place where you WOULD have a cozy cabin in the snow experience is The Rivers Resort in Strawberry. CA  (google it) which is also faster to drive to and from from SF.  Cabins are in view of the river, and there are a lot of places to go walking or snowshoeing, depending on how much snow there is.  Plus it’s lower in altitude than Tahoe.  But, you do have to carry chains or have 4WD that time of year, it’s a legal requirement.  (Actually that might be true in Tahoe also, cannot recall.)  If you do go there, make the reservations ASAP and try to get Cabin Number 7 as it has the best view and the best deck. Also plan to shop for food on the way up as local grocery stores are limited.  

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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46 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

It rarely freezes on the coast and in the Portland metro.

True.

46 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

You can grow palm trees. Snow sticks in the mountains.

ETA: It’s a state secret. Don’t tell everyone: stick to the party line of it’s dark and cold and rainy 7 months out of the year, and dry and wildfires the other 5 months. Traffic is bad enough already.

 

It is usually only dark, cold, rainy for 6 months and wildfires for 4 months.  We get 2 months off for good behavior  . 

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Wow, will you adopt me? You guys sound fun!

I'm a -- or I was a (before covid) -- family travel writer. I'm not sure where you're traveling from. I've been travel writing for 15 years now (I sure hope my job returns).

All of these locations would allow you to social distance. Here are my suggestions

Lake Tahoe. This place is insanely awesome. I think it's a don't-miss if you're a resident of Earth. Tahoe is just phenomenal. Sometimes there's snow for Christmas, sometimes not. Let me know if you want the article I wrote for families flying into Reno to visit Tahoe -- it appeared in a Virginia mag. (The Reno airport is just 45 mins. to Tahoe.)

Hilton Head in South Carolina. We visited last Thanksgiving and it was warm. I don't know if it does that every year, but it's a beautiful island. Keep in mind this state sees hurricanes. The beaches are gorgeous and quiet in the winter months. And some are hard-packed so you can ride bikes on the beach. There's also a nice riding path into town. Super cute. Upscale.

The Georgia islands are phenomenal too: Saint Simons Island and Jekkyl Island are my favorites. I wrote an article on these islands called The Family Went Down to Georgia. 😅 I crack myself up.

The Florida island that I LOVE is called Amelia Island. I've written about it too. It sits at the top of Florida very near the Georgia line.

Also, Delaware's beaches are cool too -- especially Rehoboth Beach. I wrote about it too if you'd like the article. The town is adorable, they work hard to keep chains like Starbucks and McDs out of the cute area surrounding the beach. The beach has an old-fashioned boardwalk w/ cotton candy, saltwater, pizza and ice cream. I love Rehboth. I wish we still lived by it.

But, if I could only do one, I'd do Tahoe.

I hope this helps!!! (Can I be your kid?) Let me know if you want articles. They go into the specifics that parents need for travel w/ kids.

W.

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We went to Buxton, NC in the Outer Banks two years ago for Christmas.  We got a great deal on a house with an unobstructed ocean view.  We could watch the dolphins from our porch.  There was hardly anyone there.  Did pose a few problems for restaurants etc as it is off season but we had no trouble finding places to eat, even on Christmas.   We are all introverts and it ended up being the most amazing Christmas for the four of us.  Best time we ever had together. 

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1 hour ago, littlebug42 said:

We went to Buxton, NC in the Outer Banks two years ago for Christmas.  We got a great deal on a house with an unobstructed ocean view.  We could watch the dolphins from our porch.  There was hardly anyone there.  Did pose a few problems for restaurants etc as it is off season but we had no trouble finding places to eat, even on Christmas.   We are all introverts and it ended up being the most amazing Christmas for the four of us.  Best time we ever had together. 


@littlebug42  could you possibly PM me with the info or address of the house you stayed in? (Assuming it was air bnb or  vrbo or some such - not a family friend, lol!). I'd love to see the exact area you're speaking of - dolphins from the front porch sounds perfecto! OBX has been on our list to return to for years, but every time I go to research, I get overwhelmed for some reason. 😂

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12 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Actually, if you wanted to do a split week you could do that week in San Francisco and then the next week in the Sierra.  You could stay at Tahoe, which is glitzy but beautiful, but honestly I don’t know what you would do there—it all depends on the iciness of the roads.  For instance, Emerald Bay is gorgeous for a road trip all year round BUT if the roads are icy it’s gnarly.  Ditto Virginia City.  Truckee and Tahoe City are great shopping towns, but I personally would not want to shop in them that time of the year with Covid and so many out of area visitors.  And the cabins are not mostly right on the lake, so you’re not like thrilled to be sitting around where you are staying.  But there ARE beautiful places to drive and snow shoe or do short hikes to lake front areas.  All the historic sites are closed in the winter, but MAYBE some of them open at Christmas since there are so many visitors then; I am really not sure.

A place where you WOULD have a cozy cabin in the snow experience is The Rivers Resort in Strawberry. CA  (google it) which is also faster to drive to and from from SF.  Cabins are in view of the river, and there are a lot of places to go walking or snowshoeing, depending on how much snow there is.  Plus it’s lower in altitude than Tahoe.  But, you do have to carry chains or have 4WD that time of year, it’s a legal requirement.  (Actually that might be true in Tahoe also, cannot recall.)  If you do go there, make the reservations ASAP and try to get Cabin Number 7 as it has the best view and the best deck. Also plan to shop for food on the way up as local grocery stores are limited.  

 

Will look into the Rivers Resort in Strawberry, CA. I just kind of want to visit a place called Strawberry, CA now that I know it exists! 😄

12 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

Wow, will you adopt me? You guys sound fun!

I'm a -- or I was a (before covid) -- family travel writer. I'm not sure where you're traveling from. I've been travel writing for 15 years now (I sure hope my job returns).

All of these locations would allow you to social distance. Here are my suggestions

Lake Tahoe. This place is insanely awesome. I think it's a don't-miss if you're a resident of Earth. Tahoe is just phenomenal. Sometimes there's snow for Christmas, sometimes not. Let me know if you want the article I wrote for families flying into Reno to visit Tahoe -- it appeared in a Virginia mag. (The Reno airport is just 45 mins. to Tahoe.)

Hilton Head in South Carolina. We visited last Thanksgiving and it was warm. I don't know if it does that every year, but it's a beautiful island. Keep in mind this state sees hurricanes. The beaches are gorgeous and quiet in the winter months. And some are hard-packed so you can ride bikes on the beach. There's also a nice riding path into town. Super cute. Upscale.

The Georgia islands are phenomenal too: Saint Simons Island and Jekkyl Island are my favorites. I wrote an article on these islands called The Family Went Down to Georgia. 😅 I crack myself up.

The Florida island that I LOVE is called Amelia Island. I've written about it too. It sits at the top of Florida very near the Georgia line.

Also, Delaware's beaches are cool too -- especially Rehoboth Beach. I wrote about it too if you'd like the article. The town is adorable, they work hard to keep chains like Starbucks and McDs out of the cute area surrounding the beach. The beach has an old-fashioned boardwalk w/ cotton candy, saltwater, pizza and ice cream. I love Rehboth. I wish we still lived by it.

But, if I could only do one, I'd do Tahoe.

I hope this helps!!! (Can I be your kid?) Let me know if you want articles. They go into the specifics that parents need for travel w/ kids.

W.

 

Please - send any articles you suggested above! I will read them all!! Of course, our "kids" will all be legal adults by this trip (ummmm... 😐😶🥴😲), but I'm sure most of the suggestions will still be relatable to us!! 🙂 

And, we are fun! But feeling less-so right now - aren't we all? So. Ready. For. This. Nightmare. To. Be. Over. I have a feeling you will be busybusybusy once the world opens up again - most people I know are SO ready to GO SOMEWHERE as soon as they feel safe doing so. Even my have-never-had-a-vacation-in-20-years-workaholic-neighbors are chomping at the bit to take a trip for a couple of weeks!! 😅

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On 9/5/2020 at 3:21 AM, easypeasy said:

 

😐😶🥴😲🙂 

 

And, we are fun! But feeling less-so right now - aren't we all? So. Ready. For. This. Nightmare. To. Be. Over. I have a feeling you will be busybusybusy once the world opens up again - most people I know are SO ready to GO SOMEWHERE as soon as they feel safe doing so. Even my have-never-had-a-vacation-in-20-years-workaholic-neighbors are chomping at the bit to take a trip for a couple of weeks!! 😅

Thanks for the kind words about my job coming back.

Here are the articles, I hope they help:

The Family Went Down to Georgia

Have a Sapphire Christmas -- (Lake Tahoe)

10 Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for Families

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe -- click on the windows to see the entire article.

A Date with Delaware -- (Rehoboth Beach)

When it's Carolina Time -- (Hilton Head)

Let me know if you need anything else!

Wendy

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You could do Arizona for some time skiing and some time in the sun.  I actually think skiing will be a pretty safe activity as far as COVID goes.  At least, I hope it is, because I am depending on ski club to get us out of the house this winter!  I would just stay out of crowded areas in the lodges which should be easier to do if you are staying at a ski resort.  Outside on the slopes they will be covered up anyway. 

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