Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Forget the gift shopping and dealing with in-laws. These six beach towns are the perfect holiday escape.
1. Punta Gorda, Florida
Situated along the Gasparilla Sound, Punta Gorda is a laid-back town with a charming waterfront complex called Fisherman's Village. From shops to restaurants and water sports, there's a little something for everyone in Punta Gorda.
If you're looking for a warmer getaway to escape the holiday blues, this Florida beach town is it. The average high in December is 76 degrees, and the town sees very little rain this time of year.
2. Golden Isles of Georgia
Georgia may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of beach towns, but the Peach State is home to four beautiful islands: Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and St. Simons Island.
The Golden Isles offer fantastic views of the Atlantic. Expect the temperatures to be a little cooler than other beach destinations. In December, the average high is 62 degrees. Still, these islands are much quieter in the cooler winter months, which means more peace and quiet for you.
3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach beams with energy in the spring and summer, but this beach town is also a great place to visit during the holidays.
The weather is warmer than New England and northern America, and the crowds have all but disappeared this time of year.
With so much to do, you're better off renting a condo in Myrtle Beach and staying the whole week. Rentals are more affordable this time of year, which means you can get away without breaking the bank.
4. Newport Beach, California
Head West to Newport Beach, California for an unforgettable Christmas Boat Parade. The town has been hosting this festive parade every year since 1908 – over 100 years. What makes this parade unique is that it lasts five nights.
The city's temperate climate makes it a great place to visit during the holidays. The average high in December is 63 degrees, but it's not uncommon to see exceptionally warm days when temperatures reach into the 80s.
5. West Palm Beach, Florida
Every day is beach day in West Palm Beach, Florida. Celebrate the holidays island-style with a Christmas tree built out of 600 pounds of sand. This sandy tree is lit up at night and synced with music.
The town also hosts a boat parade and a traditional German Christmas market.
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Atlantic meets Chesapeake Bay at Virginia Beach, which is home to three beaches. Each beach has a different appeal. There's one for families, one for surfing, and one for fun with a boardwalk, restaurants and shops.
The weather is a little cooler here during the holidays, but there are no crowds to deal with. That means you can enjoy the sunrise on the beach with not a soul in sight.