Celebrate Holidays All Year Long at These U.S. Resorts

From ice castles to fireworks on the beach, these resorts offer special vacation activities, events and packages.

Excited Women Celebrating Outdoors with Colorful Confetti and Balloons

by NEA Member Benefits

There is something wonderful about packing your suitcase and heading to a fabulous hotel or resort to spend the holiday—any holiday! While you may think getaways like this are relegated to end-of-year celebrations such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the fact is that many resorts pull out all the stops for holidays from Thanksgiving to Easter to the Fourth of July. 

We’ve compiled this guide of some of our favorite places to visit for all the holidays throughout the year. You’ll find outdoor carnivals and festivities, afternoon tea and scrumptious celebratory buffets, fun parades and activities, and a chance for the kids to meet everyone from Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Easter Bunny.

Plus, you can get a discount on many of these hotels by booking through NEA Travel. Rates vary by date and room type, so log in to check pricing for your preferred getaway. In addition to getting a terrific nightly rate, you’ll earn NEA Travel Dollars that you can apply to future travel costs.

Where to celebrate Christmas

1. Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois

Located in the heart of the Windy City, the luxurious Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is hosting the Fairmont Lodge this winter, complete with dozens of lit-up trees and other decorations. Nestled between Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile, the Lodge provides an unexpected holiday haven for travelers to experience the magic of winter while escaping to the great indoors to warm up. Guests can relax and have fun with the cozy décor, indoor “fire pits” and festive programming while enjoying sweet and savory fondue, cocktails and s’mores.

Rates: Overnight rates in December start at $185 a night on NEA Travel’s hotels page. Note that you do not have to stay at the hotel to book a table at the lodge, where price start at $40. Visit Tock to book a table at the Lodge.

NEA member travel benefits: To visit Chicago, you can either fly into Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) or Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). Either way, be sure to check NEA Travel: Flights for great ticket prices.

Plan your itinerary:  Choose Chicago | Enjoy Illinois

2. The Willard InterContinental Washington, an IHG Hotel, Washington, D.C.

This historic hotel in our nation’s capital goes all out for the holidays, complete with a gigantic decorated tree in the lobby and seasonal decorations throughout. In addition to Holiday Afternoon Tea in the Willard's Peacock Alley every weekend in December, the Willard’s nightly Caroling Program has become famous in the city after more than 20 years, with a wide array of highly accomplished choral and vocal ensembles from around the metropolitan area.

Each night between December 1 and December 23, visitors can enjoy the sounds of the season with complimentary chorale performances. In addition, there is a roving Chandon Champagne cart in the lobby during the month of December, and hotel guests will receive this year’s Willard Holiday Ornament (the first since 2019), which represents the cherished tradition of afternoon tea and the grandiose Christmas tree in the lobby.

Rates: Although the entertainment is complimentary, a stay at the Willard is a splurge. Rates start at $354 per night in December via NEA Travel, while afternoon tea is an additional charge ($65 for children and $112 for adults) and must be reserved in advance. Caroling is free and open to non-hotel guests.

NEA member travel benefits: Book a flight through NEA Travel to either Reagan National Airport (DCA), Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI).

Plan your itinerary: Official Tourism Site of Washington, D.C.

3. Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, Tennessee

The five Gaylord resorts around the country are known for going all-out for the holiday season. The Gaylord Opryland is right next to Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry and features more than 2,000 rooms, golf links, an indoor water park and a massive spa and fitness center.

Its annual Christmas at Gaylord Opryland runs this year from November 11, 2022, to January 1, 2023, and includes live entertainment, holiday theme events and the Gaylord signature ICE! attraction, which is carved from 2 million pounds of ice blocks. Visitors to ICE! get to walk through a frozen wonderland of slippery things such as ice slides, ice sculptures and live carving zones. The theme for 2022 will be inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Other attractions and activities include a Christmas on ice show, dinner shows by the Oak Ridge Boys, tubing, ice skating, ice bumper cars,  breakfasts with Rudolph, a scavenger hunt, gingerbread decorating, and more than 3 million lights to marvel at.

Rates: The 2022 holiday package rate starts at $379 plus tax and resort fee ($25), including one-night room accommodations and two tickets to ICE! Attraction. Note that you do not have to stay at the hotel in order to take part in the holiday fun. Visit the hotel's website to book activities such as ice skating and tubing for a per person fee.

NEA member travel benefits: On the NEA Travel: Flights page, flights to Nashville International Airport (BNA) have great prices, and you can earn Travel Dollars.

Plan your itinerary:  Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. | Tennessee Department of Tourist Development 

4. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Cedar Creek, Texas

This resort just outside Austin goes all-out for the end-of-year holiday season, with decorations, breakfast and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a holiday tree light show, cookie decorating, a hot cocoa bar, horse-drawn hayrides, family movie nights, and arts and crafts in Santa’s workshop. Festivities run from November 25, 2022, through the New Year.

Rates: The average nightly rate on NEA Travel's hotels page is $310 per night in December.

NEA member travel benefits: Book tickets into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on NEA Travel: Flights for the best deals and prices.

Plan your itinerary:  Visit Austin | Travel Texas

Look for these New Year’s extravaganzas

5. Emerald View Resorts, Panama City Beach, Florida

Emerald View Resorts encompasses seven hotels in Panama City Beach, and they all join in on the famous Panama City Beach New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop. Some offer very competitive seasonal rates. 

Panama City Beach’s New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop, which is free and open to the public, features two countdowns, fireworks and 10,000 inflatable beach balls being released from nets stretched over the streets of Pier Park. The Beach Ball Drop happens at 8 p.m. so it’s perfect for little ones who need to get to sleep.

More entertainment and live music follows during the buildup to midnight, when a dazzling fireworks display accompanies the lowering of a giant LED-lit beach ball to signify the beginning of the new year.

Rates: Nightly rack rates start at $89 at Origin Beach Resort and go up to a base rate of $109 at Grand Panama Beach Resort. But don’t forget that you can get a discount at Emerald View Resorts by using your NEA Travel discount.

NEA member travel benefits: : Buy airfare tickets for Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) through NEA Travel: Flights for great prices.

Plan your itinerary:  Visit Panama City Beach | Visit Florida

6. The Wave Hotel at Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico

For an extra-special start to the new year, head south to the island of Puerto Rico and stay at the Wave Hotel, right near the beach. Their Dreams 2023 party will take place at their rooftop bar Sunset, with live music by Melina Léon and Avenida 12; a Champagne toast; bowls of Asopao, a traditional chicken stew; dancing and more. Be prepared for fireworks across the city and parties around town all night long.

Rates: Unsurprisingly, hotel rates are quite high on New Year’s Eve across the city, but on NEA Travel you can find a rate of $219 at the Wave Hotel. Tickets for the New Year’s party start at $95 plus fees, and anyone can buy a ticket—you don’t need to be a guest at the hotel.

NEA member travel benefits: Fly into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) by buying tickets on NEA Travel: Flights, where you’ll find great prices.

Plan your itinerary: Discover Puerto Rico

7. Apple Tree Inn, Lenox, Massachusetts

Celebrate the new year at a chic gala at a cozy inn in the Berkshire Mountains. The Apple Tree Inn, set inside an 1885 Victorian mansion and lodge on 22 acres of meadows and apple orchards, hosted a gala last New Year’s Eve with live music, open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and a Champagne toast at midnight in their vibrant bar, the Ostrich Room. The next morning, dine at the on-site restaurant, the Bellflower, which focuses on local and seasonal ingredients.

Rates: Room rates start at $189 per night, and the celebration is available to hotel guests. Tickets for last year’s gala were $99.

NEA member travel benefits: The closest airport to the Berkshires region is Albany International Airport (ALB), about 50 miles away. Check NEA Travel for the best airfare prices and to earn Travel Dollars with any purchase.

Plan your itinerary:  The Berkshires | Visit Massachusetts

Spring break celebrations

8. Williamsburg Campground, Williamsburg, Virginia

This 180-acre campground has everything from RV and tent sites to fully equipped cabins and everything in between. In addition to amenities such as a Wi-Fi, a heated pool, splash pad, gem mining, gravity rail, climbing structures and nets, petting zoo and nature trails, all of Williamsburg’s historic sites, theme parks and museums are a short drive away. Easter weekend at Williamsburg Campground features a colorful Easter egg hunt, a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny, and appearances from all the animal friends from the petting zoo.

Rates: Rates start at $101 for tent site and $234 for a one-room cabin with a kitchenette and attached bathroom.

NEA member travel benefits: Reserve flights to Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) through the NEA Travel: Flights page and find great deals.

Plan your itinerary:  Visit Williamsburg | Virginia is for Lovers

9. Great Wolf Lodge, Colorado Springs, Colorado

With a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, this Great Wolf Lodge boasts a massive indoor water park, bowling alley, ropes course, arcade, mini-golf and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Spring break is a great time to visit, thanks to the lodge’s annual Spring-a-Palooza, which is included in overnight stays during spring break. Activities include arts and crafts, yoga for children, story time, a bubble dance party, a tea party and more. There are even bright and colorful spring decorations throughout the resort.

If Colorado’s not on your itinerary, Spring-A-Palooza is offered at all 18 Great Wolf Lodge locations across the country.

Rates: Average nightly rates start at $179, but you could save on rates by booking via NEA Travel.

NEA member travel benefits: You can fly into Colorado Springs Airport (COS), or for more flight options look at flying into Denver International Airport (DEN), about an hour’s drive away. Either way, for great prices, book through NEA Travel.

Plan your itinerary:  Visit Colorado Springs | Colorado Tourism

Enjoy Independence Day away

10. Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri

This resort celebrates July Fourth in a big way. With a focus on outdoor activities, guests can run in the annual Let Freedom Run 5k; dance the night away at a USA Dance Party with dancing, yard game competitions, s’mores, and more; watch the resort’s Top of the Rock fireworks over Table Rock Lake; join a mini golf tournament at the resort’s 9-hole mini golf course; and partake in a paddle boat fishing competition at Table Rock Lake. Not to mention other summer activities always available, like archery, golfing, boating, tie dye workshops, painting classes, and more.

Rates: Nightly rates start at $211.

NEA member travel benefits: The Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) is about 60 miles away from the resort. Book your tickets at NEA Travel: Flights and lock in great prices.

Plan your itinerary:  Lake of the Ozarks CVBVisit Missouri

11. Wild Dunes Resort, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston’s barrier island beach resort has everything from a golf course to multiple pools to a massive spa. For July Fourth, the resort has various activities: a pool party at the Swim Center, complete with carnival games, water slides, bounce houses and more (all free); a barbecue with live music ($40 for adults, $15 for children, $23 for drinks package); and, of course, the Isle of Palm’s fireworks show, which can be seen from the resort’s Grand Pavilion or on the beach at no extra charge.

Rates: Average nightly rates start at $321, plus a 16% resort fee and taxes. Search for discounts by booking through NEA Travel.

NEA member travel benefits: Flights into Charleston International Airport (CHS) can be booked via NEA Travel for the best prices.

Plan your itinerary:  Explore Charleston | Discover South Carolina 

NEA Travel discounts were valid at the time of this writing but can change at any time. NEA members must be registered and signed-in to participate.

Travel deals exclusively for NEA members