Where to Spend Christmas Away from Home

The Greenbrier at Christmas
Photo: Ball & Albanese

There are a lot of songs about both coming home for Christmas (or begging others to), and also about getting away. Like when Jimmy Buffett ponders, "How'd you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?" Honestly, we'd sure like to. Because while it is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, it certainly seems to also be a stressful, schedule-packed, high-pressure time of the year where the house must be constantly prepped for company and the oven barely turns off. And since Christmas comes every 365 days, why not spend this one away? This time, gather up the family, pack your bags, and head to a Christmas getaway where someone else is in charge of the overseeing the kitchen, making the beds, and making sure everyone's glass stays (at least) half full. All you have to decide is mountains, coast, city, or country; we'll point you to some of the Best Southern Resorts for the holidays.

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Here Are Our Favorite Spots

Which would you pick?

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The Mountains: Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge Hotel Room
Nancy Nolan

Ridgedale, MO
From $208 Per Night

This rustic wilderness resort is tucked away in the Ozark Mountains, about 10 miles from Branson, Missouri. Spend the holiday cozied up in a log cabin overlooking serene vistas. Starting December 13, the lodge kicks off its own "12 Days of Christmas," with musical acts, special tastings, and dance performances.

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The Mountains: The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier at Christmas
Ball & Albanese

White Sulfur Springs, WV
From $313 Per Night

This American institution goes all out for Christmas. (See the full scoop in our December 2016 issue!) Book a holiday here and participate in the tradition that is Christmas at the Greenbrier with wine tastings, worship services, The Nutcracker ballet, children's cookie decorating workshops, and a packed itinerary of more festivities.

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The Mountains: The Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort at Christmas

Hot Springs, VA
From $207 Per Night

Stay in the same halls that have hosted 23 U.S. presidents, thanks to its Southern hospitality and timeless approach to comfort. The mountain setting abounds with winter activities like skiing the Allegheny Mountains, ice-skating, and tubing on the snow. The more than 40 Christmas trees dotting the property, including the 22-foot-tall behemoth in the Great Hall, make the resort feel extra-special around Christmas.

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The Coast: The Breakers

The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL
Ball & Albanese

Palm Beach, FL
From $849 Per Night

It may be quite a splurge but this resort has defined luxury for 120 years. Another presidential favorite, the property has hosted at least six U.S. presidents. Come during winter for Christmas (and New Year's!) in paradise with holiday teas, Christmas brunch, cocktails, formal balls, and more than 170,000 twinkling lights.

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The Coast: Montage Palmetto Bluff

Montage Palmnetto Bluff

Bluffton, SC
From $350 Per Night

Catch a breath of salty air at this new development, situated on 20,000 acres of pristine Lowcountry nature. See the resort all gussied up in festive adornments during the holiday season while it plays hosts to a whole slew of celebratory events, like breakfast with Santa, special spa treatments, movie screenings, and hot chocolate on its 1913 antique yacht.

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The Coast: The Pearl

The Pearl
Robbie Capponetto

Rosemary Beach, FL
From $216 Per Night

If tropical breezes and soothing waves are more your speed, head to The Pearl in Rosemary Beach, a spot we voted one of our favorite hotels in 2015. This 55-room gem is Rosemary Beach's only full-service resort, so though it may be too chilly for beach lounging, there's still plenty of trouble to get into with a swanky spa and onsite bar and restaurant. Or check out the endless charm of 30A.

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The City: The Hermitage

The Hermitage at Christmas
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Nashville, TN
From $269 Per Night

This 106-year-old Nashville icon is as stately and inviting today as ever. Spend the holiday in Music City and indulge at the Hermitage's annual Christmas Day Feast or Christmas Dinner in Capitol Grille, the property's signature restaurant.

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Hotel Moteleone

Hotel Moteleone in New Orleans, LA
James Shaw

New Orleans, LA
From $129 Per Night

Head to a city full of bright lights, endless music, and food that's famous for good reason for a colorful holiday. This French Quarter classic opens its doors to guests during the holiday season with its Papa Noel special that is a steal starting at $129—15% off normal rates so you can experience all the Crescent City has to offer during Christmas.

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The City: The Peabody

The Peabody in Memphis, TN
Nancy Nolan

Memphis, TN
From $162 Per Night

Nab one of The Peabody's 464 rooms during the holiday season for a total bargain thanks to the Home for the Holidays special (which includes a Peabody Christmas ornament!). See the famous Peabody ducks make their march twice daily to the fountain, then head to the hotel's restaurants for Christmas Day brunch and dinners.

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The Country: Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm at Christmas
Heather Anne Thomas

Walland, TN
From $845 Per Night

Splurge at this pastoral escape in rural Tennessee, about 40 minutes south of Knoxville. During the Christmas season, the property, which is home to rolling hills and a true operating farmstead, offers all the classic Christmas festivities: holiday movies, cookie decorating, family activities, and a visit from Santa.

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The Country: The Inn at Dos Brisas

The Inn at Dos Brisas in Washington, TX

Washington, TX
From $260 Per Night

Escape to this cushy ranch between Austin and Houston, which offers privacy, relaxation, and luxe haciendas and casitas for accommodations. Dine on provisions from the inn's organic farm and keep an eye out for Santa while stargazing under the expansive Texas sky.

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The Country: Inn at Shaker Village

Inn at Shaker Village in snow

Harrodsburg, KY
From $253 Per Night

Keep it simple in Shaker style this season at Kentucky's 3,000-acre historic landmark, home to pared-down rooms and countryside views. The village will be decked out in its classic holiday ornamentation for families to enjoy alongside tea time with Mrs. Claus, Christmas brunches, holiday caroling, toy crafting with elves, and a timeless favorite: hot chocolate around the bonfire.

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