The 7 Best Beach Towns for Celebrating Christmas

Sometimes, sand is way better than snow.

The 7 Best Beach Towns for Celebrating Christmas

Sometimes, sand is way better than snow.

When people think of places to get away for Christmas, they usually envision cozy little cabins in snowy mountain towns. But, the truth is, going to a beach town around the holidays could be just as magical, if not more so (not to mention cheaper, since it’s the off-season).

If you go somewhere tropical, it can feel deliciously good to escape the cold and soak up some sun, eat a great meal, and fall asleep watching Christmas movies with your loved ones back at the hotel. If you go somewhere coastal, it can also feel oddly thrilling to walk along the deserted shore in warm, cable-knit sweater, watching the wet sand slowly turn into sheets of ice. Here, we offer some of the best beach town to visit during the holidays. And for more great travel advice, here’s the single trick that will save you tons on airfare—no matter where you’re going.

Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket / Nantucket Christmas

1
Nantucket, Massachusetts

This historic little island could not possibly feel more American, so if you’re looking for a truly traditional Christmas, you can’t do any better than wandering its cobblestone streets and checking out the decorations draped over steepled churched and cedar shingle houses.

2
Stanwood, Washington

Every year, over one million Christmas lights are put on display at the Warm Beach Camp, making it the largest holiday festival in the Pacific Northwest. That, along with the smell of fresh donuts and the sound of carolers, makes it the perfect holiday destination.

Sand christmas tree in west palm beach, florida.

3
West Palm Beach, Florida

There’s nothing more delightfully cheesy than Sandi, the world’s only 600-ton sand tree. Except, of course, the Ugly Holiday Sweater Crawl, the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade, and a bunch of other hokey events sure to please dear old Dad.

newport, california at christmas

4
Newport Beach, California

The over-the-top, annual Christmas boat parade, which has been taking place since 1908 and occurs over the course of 5 glorious days, is a holiday must-see.

christmas tree in tivoli

5
Mackinac Island, Michigan

It may be freezing, but the annual Christmas market in this sleepy little town makes it feel like a coastal version of It’s a Wonderful Life.

night of a thousand candles at myrtle beach, south carolina.

6
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The 5,500 hand-lit candles at the Night of a Thousand Candles, along with the multitude of holiday shows like the Dickens Christmas Show and The South’s Grandest Christmas Show, provides an endless list of fun things to do for you and the kids. 

snowman on the beach

7
Ogunquit, Maine

The annual Christmas by the Sea festival, which runs on the weekend of December 8th, includes a musical performance of A Christmas Carol, a pancake pajama party, a living manger, a bonfire, free wine-tasting, card-making workshops, wagon rides, and pretty much any else you can come up with to make your days merry and bright.

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