It’s the most wonderful time of the year – red and green decorations adorn the walls of all shops, and all aisles are stocked with candy canes in every color and flavor and gingerbread cookies of all shapes and sizes.
Every year, elementary school kids come home with little four-walled structures made of gingerbread, hastily pasted together with too much icing and rainbow-colored candies decorating every wall and roof. Gingerbread houses are as classic as candy canes and jingle bells in the holiday season.
When it comes to planning your holiday vacation, we want to help you find something as festive as the season itself, and some houses, even without all the special holiday decor, look like they belong on the food channel instead of on a real street. Here are seven gingerbread houses you can actually stay in.
1. Historic Maple Street Dairy
Enjoy your holiday vacation in this New England town that’s so classic, it looks like it’s straight out of a movie.The home looks good enough to eat. This AirBnB rental is right in the heart of Stowe, Vermont, a small village in the mountains in the northern part of the state. Let the home’s coffee-colored exterior and white, lacey framework remind you of the gingerbread walls and icing of a simple, yet classic gingerbread house. The home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, easily fitting up to eight people.
Stowe itself is a charming village nestled between two mountainous state parks. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, Mt. Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont and is a regular must-visit for skiers and snowboarders, beginners and experts alike. The lift at Mt. Mansfield will also bring you to neighboring mountain, Spruce Peak.
Aside from the mountains, the village of Stowe is home to a classic general store, a handicraft store perfect for finding holiday gifts, and an independent bookstore. If it’s not already too cold, head to the Ben and Jerry’s main factory just 15 minutes away in Waterbury, VT.
2. Killington Chalet
Another Vermont spot, this quaint cabin looks more like it belongs in the Alps or scaled down and on the desk of a kindergartener. The Killington home has two bedrooms, with space for four guests. The first bedroom contains a queen size bed plus two bunk-beds and the second bedroom has a queen-sized bed and a private bathroom. The entire bottom floor is available for rent, while the top floor is the owner’s private space.
Get ready to hit the slopes. Killington is another go-to destination for skiers. The main mountain and ski slopes, nicknamed “The Beast of the East” cover 1,509 acres for you to ski or snowboard to your heart’s content. When you’re done with the skiing, check out the tubing, snowshoe tours, snowmobile tours, or the Beast Mountain Coaster, all located within the Killington Ski Resort.
3. Mountain Chalet
Head out west to Colorado to stay in a hotel chalet that would make Hansel and Gretel come eat the outside. Don’t worry, though, no wicked witch to be found here. The Mountain Chalet in Aspen, Colorado is a hotel located just in front of the ski slopes. Each room comes with a private bathroom and a top-of-the-line entertainment system, and the warm atmosphere and attentive staff welcome you to Aspen.
If you’re up for it after a day on the slopes, the hotel has a year-round hot-tub and outdoor pool for you to use. The hotel also comes equipped with rental gear for your days in the mountains.
The town of Aspen is a small skiing village located right below the great Rocky Mountains. Aside from all the skiing and snowboarding at Buttermilk Ski Area or Aspen Resort, the quaint town also has an opera house for you to enjoy a holiday-themed show, a brewing company to end your day with a delicious pint, and an environmental center for you to learn more about the wildlife of the Rockies.
4. Chalet Zala
Try not to get too hungry looking at this Slovenian cabin. The dark wood exterior of this classic Alps-style home is easy to confuse with the dark and milky chocolate exterior of an intricate gingerbread home. The hostel-style chalet comes with four rooms available to rent.
The rooms come with free wi-fi and free breakfast, as well as use of the ski and bike rooms on the property. The property has only one shared shower, however, but this is because the water needs to be brought in from the village, giving you the ultimate mountain man experience.
Bohinj is home to Lake Bohinj, a magnificent site fit for a fairytale. The clear blues of the lake against the greenest tree covered mountains make this lake a perfect backdrop for your holiday season. Nestled in the Julian Alps, Lake Bohinj hosts a variety of winter-themed outdoor adventures, including snowshoeing and skiing.
5. Classic Castro Victorian Home
San Francisco, CA
This house looks about as sweet as a home out of Candy Land. This Victorian home, with pale greens, yellows, and pinks covering the exterior, sits right in the heart of the Castro, in San Francisco. The space has five bedrooms and three bathrooms, a fully stocked kitchen, garage parking, and fits up to 10 guests comfortably.
San Francisco may not seem your ideal ‘white Christmas’ location, but the city hosts more than enough events to get you into the holiday spirit. The city will host its 32nd annual Cable Car Caroling, featuring songs in Spanish and English, and songs about Christmas and Hanukkah, all atop a classic SF cable car.
There’s no shortage of other interfaith, multicultural, winter-themed, and specific holiday events, markets, and more in the City by the Bay.
6. Tres Belles Mansion
This quintessential Swiss home is a classic picture of Geneva. The house is brown and white outside with designs cut into the balcony, making it your perfect Swiss holiday escape. The Airbnb rental holds up to eight guests across three bedrooms. Located in between Swiss Alps peaks and a beautiful lake, this house is ideal for you and your family to have a cozy holiday.
Geneva itself is a bustling little city in the south of Switzerland, close to the French border. It’s Located just in front of Lake Geneva and the deep blues of the lake split Switzerland from France. Geneva is close to a number of ski resorts in Switzerland and France, including the famous Mont Blanc just an hour away.
Geneva also serves as headquarters for various international organizations, including an office of the United Nations at the Palais de Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Step inside either of these offices to see the importance of this city first hand.
7. Immaculate Gingerbread Cottage
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
With a name like this, we can assure you this is a true gingerbread cottage (or, it looks enough like one). This home’s ginger-colored walls, white accents, and trim cut like the icing on a gingerbread house, this rental property is fit for only the best holiday vacations. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the home fits you and three of your friends. The house has a wrap-around porch and full kitchen, and sits about three miles from each of the main “downtown” sections of the island.
Martha’s Vineyard is a small island in Massachusetts with three quaint villages along the shore. In the summer, it’s a great spot to swim or boat, but in the winter, there is still plenty to do.
Check out the dozens of hiking trails for a nice snowy hike in the woods, train to be the next Michelle Kwan on the ponds, or treat yourself at any of the breweries, cafes, or new restaurants lining the streets. This vacation is best for you and your family to spend quality time with each other.
If you’re looking for a gingerbread house in another corner of the world, check out AllTheRooms for the widest selection of accommodations options on the internet.
Read more about the holiday season on ATR