Q: My two teenagers and I want to get away for Christmas to someplace where we’ll have snow, but isn’t a ski area. I’d like it to be a reasonable drive from New Jersey, but still be far enough away that we feel like we’re not near home. And something that won’t break the bank, but that gives my daughter a relaxing break from college and let’s my son and I soak in the holiday spirit. Too tall an order? Any suggestions? Thanks! ~ CS
A: Hi CS! Although I can’t believe I’m going to say this, it’s really not too early to start planning a snowy Christmas getaway. Since you don’t want to ski, that makes it easy to eliminate ski resorts during peak season, which should help to cut costs. And since you don’t want to travel too far, but want a real change of scenery, I’m thinking beautiful New York State.
For a relaxing break for your daughter, and Christmas spirit for you and your son, Saratoga Springs might be a perfect fit. The hot springs are an attraction year round, and the charming city is lit up with Christmas spirit. And you probably won’t find a better deal than the historic Gideon Putnam, where rates for Christmas week are currently starting at $114 per night (!) if you prepay. By staying at this you also have easy access to the Roosevelt Baths & Spa. And if you want to play in the snow, there’s complimentary snow shoeing, plus ice skating nearby.
Another option is Lake George, and another historic hotel, The Sagamore, which is set on it’s own island right on Lake George. There’s a large indoor pool, great spa, plus lots of nooks with fireplaces and loads of charm.
The hotel has regular rooms as well as spacious multi-room suites in the “lodges” with kitchen facilities, which is a great way to save on breakfast costs in the restaurant. I’m seeing “premium” suites in the Lodge for Christmas week for less than $200 per night that have separate living room with a pull-out couch plus two double beds, giving you and the kids lots of room to stretch out. Christmas week the resort has special holiday meals, decor, and activities.
Have a family travel question? Email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: The Gideon Putnam