The Lone Star State hosts a number of festivities during the most wonderful time of the year. Texas vacation rentals allow you to enjoy a warmer Christmas and a festive holiday in major cities, such as San Antonio and Austin, or smaller towns including Wimberley and Grapevine. Take a look at seven locations in Texas perfect for a holiday getaway.

1. Grapevine

grapevine texas christmas decorations
Source: Flickr/Alex Butterfield

This charming city, located about 20 miles outside Dallas, is known as the “Christmas capital of Texas,” boasting over 1400 Christmas attractions and activities. Securing a vacation rental in the heart of this city allows for easy access to a range of attractions. Board the North Pole Express on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad for a magical experience — train riders sing Christmas songs and meet Mrs. Claus right before they reach the North Pole, where Santa awaits amid a snowy Christmas forest. A visit to the Great Wolf Lounge is sure to bring wonder with the perfect indoor snowstorm at Snowland, complete with a dazzling light display and holiday exhibits. Experience an icy wonderland at the Gaylord Texan Resort with their ICE display featuring statues created from over 2 million pounds of ice.

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2. Galveston

ruhl house galveston
Source: Pixabay/12019

While this island city is one of the most popular Texas vacation destinations for tourists in the summer, renting a vacation home during the Christmas holiday has its own array of rewards. The 40-year tradition of Dickens on the Strand brings a vintage Victorian charm in a holiday festival, featuring parades, nonstop entertainment, carolers, live music, and Victorian-era inspired food and drink. The famous pyramid at Moody Gardens looks downright magical in its annual Festival of Lights, an annual Christmas event that features over 100 light and sound displays with live entertainment as well. The shops at the downtown historical strand offer a delightful selection of unique gifts to make holiday shopping an unforgettable experience.

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3. San Antonio

san antonio
Source: Flickr / Corey Leopold

The combination of the beautiful Riverwalk and hundreds of Christmas lights makes San Antonio a premium city for a holiday getaway. A holiday parade sees decorated floats and millions of light along the river. Enjoy a number of long-standing festive traditions during your vacation here, including the Tamales! holiday festival and the La Tamalada and Time Travel Saturday, where you can make and flavor your own Tamalada. Culture is widely embraced in San Antonio, making it an ideal venue to teach children about history and the traditions of different lifestyles. Explore the historic downtown streets and marvel at the nativity scenes connected to a spiritual heritage.

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4. Wimberley

christmas texas
Source: Flickr / Shiva Shenoy

If you’d prefer to trade the hustle and bustle of a big city for the quaint calm of a smaller town, a vacation rental in Wimberley is an ideal choice. This proud city in Texas Hill Country hosts a yearly Trail of Lights festival at the Emily Ann Theatre. Every year this festival is kicked off by the tree lighting ceremony taking place in November. A walking tour leading through six acres of decorated land is sure to get you and your family into the holiday spirit. You can also soak up the wonder at the Blue Christmas at Blue Hole regional park. Thousands of blue lights decorate the area, and you can enjoy a soundtrack by the local choir just before Santa comes to visit.

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5. Grand Prairie

Source: Pixabay/DanielReche

Grand Prairie is a self-declared “Christmas town,” hosting a number of holiday events. Staying at a vacation rental here allows you easy access to the large metropolis of Dallas while still securing a quiet getaway for you and your family. Their spectacular light show at Prairie Lights offers visitors a two-mile drive surrounded by thousands of lights and ends with an indoor laser show and walk-through forest in a holiday village. Challenge your family with the Sneak-a-Peak run/walk through Prairie Lights to bring a little fitness and fun to your holiday season. A holiday market with Santa and gingerbread house workshop offer plenty of memories to be made.

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6. Austin

christmas crowd at the state capitol in austin
Source: Flickr/Earl McGehee

As the capital of the state, Austin offers visitors a non-stop array of activities. This city really gets into the holiday spirit and decks out its bustling downtown with thousands of beautiful lights. A vacation rental in this city allows your family to experience the Christmas spirit of Texas and enjoy easy access to attractions such as an ice skating rink on the roof of a Whole Foods store downtown. Even driving down highways and access roads get you into the spirit, as locals love to decorate trees along the road for an extra festive touch. The Annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar gives you a noteworthy holiday shopping experience with more than 160 fine art and artisan vendors.

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7. San Marcos

Source: Flickr / Joe Diaz

Staying in San Marcos gives you a small-city feeling with plenty of attractions to enjoy as well as the natural beauty of the San Marcos river. This city is home to the Sights and Sounds of Christmas, a festival displaying millions of lights along the San Marcos river, rides and games, live music, and a recreation of the Town of Bethlehem. Children are bound to delight in activities located in their Santa’s workshop where they can make their own Christmas gifts.

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