These 7 Airbnbs Are Perfect for Escaping NYC This Holiday Season

From cozy cabins to sprawling country homes, gather the family and get out of town

October 23, 2020 10:00 am
A-Frame cabin
Looking for a change of pace this holiday season?

It’s hard to imagine, but last year more than 115 million people traveled over the holiday season — an all-time high since tracking by AAA began back in 2000. This year, things will no doubt look very different. The holidays are a stressful enough time on their own before you add in the possibility of infecting a loved one with the coronavirus (or vice versa) while passionately discussing politics at the Thanksgiving table.

For this important reason, certain trends are already beginning to dominate the way people are traveling this holiday season. From keeping in-person celebrations within your nuclear family to getting together with the members of your quarantine “pod” or “bubble,” people are being more cautious about who they choose to string the Christmas lights with this year. More families are also planning staycations — opting for rental homes and resorts within a five-hour drive of their home town or city.

Typically NYC is a holiday destination itself, where visitors from all over the world journey for iconic experiences like the Radio City Rockettes, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and ice skating in Bryant Park. With the coronavirus still on the top of everyone’s minds, though, these are attractions best saved for next year. Even the New Year’s Eve Times Square ball drop is being relegated to a virtual celebration — the first time in more than 100 years the city won’t be hosting a public party for the occasion.

With all this in mind, you’ll pretty much have a guarantee that prime Airbnb listings for an out-of-city holiday are going to be snatched up quickly.

Spacious, clean rental homes are a great way to get away from the noise of the city and spread out sans the fear of coming into close contact with others. The pandemic has also prompted rental website Airbnb to change its extenuating circumstances policy, allowing for easier cancellations up until January 19 of 2021. 

So if you are thinking about heading to your favorite vacation town for the holidays this year, try to avoid crowded streets and packed slopes. Opt instead to venture farther out of town, where you’ll probably snag a much grander property as well as the chance to reconnect with nature and close friends or family in a way that keeps you, and others, safe. And before you start your drive over, be sure to stock your car with supplies — from the cleaning gear you’ll definitely need to the bottles of wine you know you’ll want — in order to avoid disrupting another town’s supply chain. Finally, regardless of where you and your party choose to head this winter, make sure to read the fine print before booking, and expect cancellations.

With all that in mind, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling seven rentals within driving distance of NYC that are appropriately isolated, still have holiday season vacancies, have enough room for at least four people, and each home on our list comes equipped with a fireplace for roasting marshmallows. 

An excellent fireplace for your cold-weather needs.

A stylish farmhouse near Hudson

Just a couple minute’s drive from picturesque downtown Hudson is this renovated farmhouse. Like visions of sugar plums dancing in our head, we can’t stop picturing ourselves by the fireplace or swimming in the heated pool. The decor features local pieces, and a long stylish dining room table makes the perfect setting for a holiday feast.

This rental is perfect for: A moderately sized family or group of friends who want to escape the city, but not too far. You’ll be comfortably separated from the bustle of Hudson, but close enough that a trip into town for some socially distanced shopping would be more than accessible.

Grist mill view
A great space with an excellent view.

A former Grist Mill by Mountain Creek

This formerly functioning Grist Mill has seen its fair share of visitors since closing — it was then converted into a bed and breakfast before its owner retired. Only an hour’s drive away from NYC, the mill is located right by Mountain Creek, otherwise known as New Jersey’s largest and highest ski resort. 

This rental is perfect for:
A big family looking for a unique experience. From optimal marshmallow roasting opportunities at a fire pit looking out at a private waterfall to its antique-filled rooms, groups looking for a typical experience might want to look elsewhere. Those in search of a holiday experience to remember might have found their spot.

House and pond
A memorable place to stay, with bonus pond.

A seaside home by Salem, MA

Salem might typically be associated with spooky season, but it shines during the holiday season too, with less crowds and more snowy charm. This four-bedroom home is just a short drive away, and about 40 minutes from Boston for those wanting to drive in for the day. Located right on the water with a charming wraparound porch, it’s an atypical but idyllic holiday getaway.

This rental is perfect for:
A moderately sized family looking to get away, but that might be tired of fleeing Upstate. Families have been renting out this particular home for over 10 years according to the owners, making its spacious yet cozy layout the perfect backdrop for a reliable and peaceful holiday away from home.

Brooklyn apartment
If you’re going to stay in the city, why not do it in style?

A luxurious apartment by Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a little staycation to refresh your love of the city, and this modern apartment in historic Brooklyn is just the ticket. A three-bedroom apartment with flat screens and a fully equipped kitchen, it’s the perfect spot to escape to for Thanksgiving or Christmas away from home (but not too far away). 

This rental is perfect for:
A family looking for the most charming Christmas experience they can get in the city, as Dyker Heights is home to some of the most over-the-top Christmas decorating around. From the weekend after Thanksgiving until well after the holidays have ended, expect streets lined with lights, statues, ornaments and even Christmas carols bumping from loudspeakers.

Cabin view
The perfect spot for a mountain excursion.

An A-frame mountainside escape in Hunter

We all know this list wouldn’t be complete without a good A-frame cabin. This one is beautifully secluded at the base of Hunter Mountain, one of the best spots for getting your winter sports on this holiday season. The home itself is stylish and light-filled, with an indoor fireplace and an outdoor fire pit for optimal nighttime storytelling.

This rental is perfect for:
Families or a medium group of friends who appreciate a good aesthetic and can’t wait to hit the slopes. You literally can’t get closer to the resort without being on top of the mountain, and the A-frame’s cozy living room presents the perfect spot to curl up with a cup of something hot (or boozy … or both) to wind down after a day in the snow. 

All this and a fire pit, too.

A one-stop-shop luxury cabin in Warrensburg

Not afraid to go way Upstate? Those willing to take a (very scenic) three-and-a-half-hour mini road trip will be rewarded with this massive cabin located right on the Hudson River. With 19 beds and 5 baths it could fit a small village or a very massive family, and its incredible proximity to outdoor winter activities such as hiking, ice fishing and skiing mean you’ll never be out of activities.

This rental is perfect for:
A generously sized group of responsible individuals looking for an upscale place to get away for the holidays. Naturally the kitchen has everything needed to chef it up during your cabin stay, and cozy details like a hot tub, wood-burning stove and fire pit complete the recipe for an unforgettable trip.

Front of the estate
A stately estate if ever there was one.

A 31-acre estate near Coxsackie

Those on a mission to ball out this holiday season should look no further than this upscale McMansion located right on the Hudson River. With stylish decor and soaring windows, it’s the perfect spot for the aesthetically-minded, and a home theater, billiards table and hot tub don’t hurt either.

This rental is perfect for:
A family looking for a luxe holiday getaway, where you can be sure to get away from the crowds of the city in exchange for fresh air and tens of acres of land. Direct access to the river makes for some lovely winter strolls and downtown Coxsackle is a relatively short drive away, but the house itself is so nice you probably won’t want to venture out much anyways. 

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