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Old 11-20-2017, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,342 posts, read 7,416,822 times
Reputation: 6775

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DH and I are a couple of empty nesters in our mid-fifties who have been discussing what to get each other for Christmas this year. We are at that stage in life where we really don't need more things, so we were thinking about a short trip, maybe 3-5 days. I have roughly a week off of work the second week of December and he is retired, so we are free to go for a few days. We live in Michigan and would either drive, fly, or we have a credit on Amtrak that we need to use before April for $136.

Some thoughts:

Most places within driving distance if we don't want to spend half of our time on the road will be cold in December. I was thinking maybe Chicago since we've never been there at Christmas time and I'm sure the Magnificent Mile will be decked out, but will it be way too cold with the wind off the lake to walk around very much outdoors? We could also use our Amtrak credit for that trip.

NYC is something I mentioned. We have never been there and could also use Amtrak to Penn Station, except that when I researched it a bit, I found that the hotel rates in December are "sky high" because of all of the shopping and Christmas displays.

We could fly somewhere warm like Florida, except that we have been to several places in Florida and frankly, it's not our favorite place to be. I wouldn't rule it out, but it would have to be somewhere with cheap airfare from Detroit Metro where there are things to do.

We could visit the Biltmore Mansion. We were there once in late spring but I think I read somewhere that they deck it out for Christmas, so that might be nice, but probably chilly.

I would love to fly to Charleston but we've BTDT so many times and it isn't DH's favorite place, just mine.

We have discussed in the past possibly taking a short Bahamas cruise and there is a Carnival cruise departing Jacksonville, FL for a four day cruise to the Bahamas during that week but we've never been on a cruise and have been told by friends and family that sometimes they are "just ok", especially if we don't party or gamble, which we don't.

Don't want to ramble on anymore, so can anyone comment on any of the above or offer a fresh suggestion? Cost wise, anything like Europe, Mexico, or the Caribbean are not going to work, we need to be somewhat economical since we have other people to buy for as well.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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Perhaps you could check out some place in the southwest? Las Vegas, or Santa Fe?
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
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I was actually going to suggest Asheville, NC. Will be chilly, but Asheville is my favorite
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Perhaps you could check out some place in the southwest? Las Vegas, or Santa Fe?
Thanks for the suggestion, but we've been to Vegas and DH hated it, and we lived in Phoenix for a while several years ago and spent time in AZ and NM which he also didn't like, so...he would probably nix that idea. But it does sound warm and scenic!
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
I was actually going to suggest Asheville, NC. Will be chilly, but Asheville is my favorite
Is there much to do there aside from the Biltmore House? I've heard good things but never been to the city of Asheville itself. Maybe we could do a detour through Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge if there is anything going on there for Christmas?
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Old 11-20-2017, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
Is there much to do there aside from the Biltmore House? I've heard good things but never been to the city of Asheville itself. Maybe we could do a detour through Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge if there is anything going on there for Christmas?
Depends on what you like to do I guess.. I've been 4 times and have never been to the Biltmore.

They have an impressive array of restaurants and tons of breweries. Asheville is incredibly walkable with lots of cool places to go, shops, bars, restaurants, etc. Nearby is Lake Lure and Chimney Rock if you are feeling up for some exercise.. Incredible views up there!
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Orlando
1,983 posts, read 2,631,742 times
Reputation: 7538
Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
DH and I are a couple of empty nesters in our mid-fifties who have been discussing what to get each other for Christmas this year. We are at that stage in life where we really don't need more things, so we were thinking about a short trip, maybe 3-5 days. I have roughly a week off of work the second week of December and he is retired, so we are free to go for a few days. We live in Michigan and would either drive, fly, or we have a credit on Amtrak that we need to use before April for $136.

Some thoughts:

Most places within driving distance if we don't want to spend half of our time on the road will be cold in December. I was thinking maybe Chicago since we've never been there at Christmas time and I'm sure the Magnificent Mile will be decked out, but will it be way too cold with the wind off the lake to walk around very much outdoors? We could also use our Amtrak credit for that trip.

NYC is something I mentioned. We have never been there and could also use Amtrak to Penn Station, except that when I researched it a bit, I found that the hotel rates in December are "sky high" because of all of the shopping and Christmas displays.

We could fly somewhere warm like Florida, except that we have been to several places in Florida and frankly, it's not our favorite place to be. I wouldn't rule it out, but it would have to be somewhere with cheap airfare from Detroit Metro where there are things to do.

We could visit the Biltmore Mansion. We were there once in late spring but I think I read somewhere that they deck it out for Christmas, so that might be nice, but probably chilly.

I would love to fly to Charleston but we've BTDT so many times and it isn't DH's favorite place, just mine.

We have discussed in the past possibly taking a short Bahamas cruise and there is a Carnival cruise departing Jacksonville, FL for a four day cruise to the Bahamas during that week but we've never been on a cruise and have been told by friends and family that sometimes they are "just ok", especially if we don't party or gamble, which we don't.

Don't want to ramble on anymore, so can anyone comment on any of the above or offer a fresh suggestion? Cost wise, anything like Europe, Mexico, or the Caribbean are not going to work, we need to be somewhat economical since we have other people to buy for as well.
Skip the cruise idea. If you don't party and gamble, and if you only have time for a 4-day cruise, it's not a good idea. The service on the shorter cruises is often terrible -- it's a "get 'em in, get 'em out" mentality.

My late husband and I went for several years in a row to New Orleans at the beginning of December. The temperature is pleasantly cool, the city isn't full of tourists so getting into good restaurants is much easier, and the French Quarter doesn't stink. There's lots to do and see there besides the Quarter too.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:47 PM
 
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Quebec is supposed to be wonderful (cold, yes, but wonderful) in December.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:59 PM
 
11,259 posts, read 8,414,613 times
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Gatlinburg is beautiful at Christmas. (In conjunction with The Biltmore)
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:09 PM
 
4,445 posts, read 7,185,715 times
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I was going to say Santa Fe too, vastly different from Phoenix and most of NM, I'm just back from a week there myself. But we love NM food, cool and crisp air and especially Ojo Caliente (hot springs about an hour north). I could have spent another week there without complaint, and the weather is typically excellent (dry, 30's at night and 50~60 days ~ t-shirt weather when you're used to humid and cold).

Asheville, NC is our go-to when we want a close getaway, it's about 4 hours drive. Of the dozens of times there, we've done the Baltimore only once (that was plenty), Lots of other things to do there. But given that you love Charleston, why not Savannah, GA? They are Substantially similar, but completely unique. St Augustine, FL fits in there too.
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