Christmastime will be here before you know it, and as always, the season brings with it the question of what to do with your vacation time. You could spend another Christmas huddled around a fire with your in-laws, trying to escape the snow and sub-zero winter temperatures outside. On the other hand, you could escape the winter blues for a week or two by taking your family away to a vacation rental home somewhere warm. The best Christmas beach vacations are only a mouse click and a phone call away.
Santa Monica, California
One of Southern California’s most appealing features is the mild weather year, which makes staying there one of the best Christmas beach vacations for those not dreaming of a white Christmas. Santa Monica has long been a favorite spot for Californians who enjoy the beach. One of its most exciting attractions is the famous Santa Monica Pier, a small but charming 100-year-old amusement park jutting out over the water at the end of Colorado Avenue. In addition to its numerous bars and restaurants, the Pier has a carousel, an arcade, a number of roller coasters, and other rides such as a huge Ferris wheel from which you can see the city and the Pacific Ocean for miles. It is also an excellent place to spend the afternoon fishing.
Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Some visitors may prefer to spend their Christmas beach vacation in a laid-back environment. How about escaping the North American mainland altogether? Waikoloa Village is a tiny little community of just 4,000 people on the gorgeous Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s “Big Island.” Quiet vacation rentals are easy to find, and the small population of the town makes it a terrific alternative to a crowded, big-city beach resort.
Long Beach, California
Long Beach could be called “the other LA.” Only about 40 miles from the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach is a smaller city with a smaller skyline and a funkier, more unpretentious feel. Long Beach is one of the most ethnically diverse big cities in America, which means there’s no end to the city’s unbeatable cuisine. Long Beach is home to the long-retired but still magnificent Queen Mary, a relic from the days when steamships were the preferred mode of transport for the world’s wealthiest people. Of course the beaches are superb too.
The Tampa Bay area, including not only Tampa but also Clearwater and St. Petersburg, is rich with history and lined with beautiful beaches. When you’ve had your fill of clear, blue waters and the area’s clean, sandy beaches, you can go out to see what else the region has to offer. You can spend a day at Busch Gardens before heading into historic Ybor City to investigate some of the best nightlife in Florida.
Some folks don’t feel they’ve truly had a vacation unless they’ve traveled abroad. If you’re one of those people, the best Christmas beach vacations may be found in the Caribbean. The Bahamas is a country whose economy is almost solely devoted to tourism, which makes it one of the friendliest, most welcoming locations on the globe. The beaches are inviting, the food is delicious, and winter temperatures hover around 75°F.