While your family’s summer calendar is probably filled with more festivals, beach trips, and vacations than you have time for, your winter schedule might be a little less busy. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that you need to put having fun on the backburner! Add a winter retreat to your calendar this year to reward yourself (and your family) for the hard work you’ve done this year.
Residents of North and South Carolina have plenty of winter things to do to keep the kids occupied and the parents happy. Take a look at our list of cold weather retreats and plan your own special family day this winter!
1. Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC)
Trying to get through the chilly winter in Asheville, NC? We recommend a visit to the Omni Grove Park Inn which is a popular destination for winter. Guests are welcomed to a roaring fire in the great hall where they can relax with a favorite beverage. Feed your appetite at locally-sourced restaurants, and then bundle up and go for a brisk winter hike along a trail up Sunset Mountain.
When you finish, you can warm up at the Inn’s world-famous spa, which has been recognized as one of the Top Resort Spas in the U.S. Choose from experiences that include steam rooms and even “therapeutic waterfalls” to stay warm during even the coldest month in North Carolina.
Address: 290 Macon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804
3. Great Wolf Resort (Concord, NC)
Families that find themselves visiting Charlotte this winter have a great option for a weekend of fun that’s just under half an hour away. The Great Wolf Resort in Concord is perfect for families with younger children
Your kids will love indoor water park which is heated to a toasty temperature of 84°F, so you can enjoy a swim even in the middle of winter. Children will also love to play a few rounds of mini-golf and then head over to the bowling alley that’s specially designed for kids, complete with shortened lanes and miniature bowling balls.
Address: 10175 Weddington Rd., Concord, NC 28027
4. Hot Springs Resort & Spa (Hot Springs, NC)
Another resort located in the Asheville area, that makes for a great day trip is the Hot Springs Resort & Spa. It’s a great spot to warm your bones and escape the cold. Less than an hour northwest of Asheville, Hot Springs was established in the late 1700s and is a cozy town situated along the French Broad River. Here, you can relax in private baths filled with mineral springs water while enjoying beautiful river views.
Rates are approximately $50 per hour for two people. If you want to pamper yourself even more this season, consider adding on their massage and body treatments, offered by licensed massage and bodywork therapists. The mineral bath hours are 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. every day of the week, making this spa a perfect last-minute getaway when you’re getting cabin fever at home.
Address: 315 Bridge St., Hot Springs, NC 28743
5. Carolina Beach (Outer Banks, NC)
The beach in winter? Believe it or not, the beaches in North Carolina can be an ideal place to spend the winter. With average January temperatures hovering around 57°F at Carolina Beach, there’s no excuse not to plan your own family retreat on the coast one weekend. Of course, the water’s temperature will likely be too chilly for swimming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of other coastal activities during the offseason. You’ll be able to get fresh seafood without the long lines (or the traffic), so make a point to visit those must-try restaurants and enjoy the shortened wait time.
Visiting the beach on a mild winter weekend is also perfect for families with children that are either too young to swim or simply don’t like to. Instead, they can enjoy seeing all the animals at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, which is open year-round (minus Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).
6. Wentworth Mansion Spa (Charleston, SC)
The Wentworth Mansion is a historic inn that was built in Charleston in the late 1800s. In addition to 21 rooms, the business also boasts an on-site spa that can help cure the winter blues. They offer spa experiences like the Anxiety Relief Aromatherapy Massage and even prenatal massages for expecting moms. You can also opt for a luxurious cocoa shea butter wrap body treatment if you want an even more relaxing experience.
Visitors can choose from packages like the Folly Beach Adventure Package (which includes a guided kayak tour, three-course dinner, and 24-hour bike rental) or the Discover Charleston Package, which takes visitors through Charleston’s Historic District via horse and carriage.
Address: 149 Wentworth St., Charleston, SC 29401
6. Devils Fork State Park (Salem, SC)
South Carolina residents who want somewhere cozy to spend a few days this winter should consider booking a stay at Devils Fork State Park. The park has 20 villas (cabins) available for rent, and several of them are even pet-friendly, making this option great for families with dogs or cats. Don’t worry about hauling all your supplies either; the villas are equipped with linens, kitchenware, and even WiFi and TVs. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of nature this winter from the comfort of a furnished cabin.
All of the villas have a two-night minimum for booking, and some have longer requirements. Check ahead as they tend to book quickly. Reservations are made through the park’s official site or by calling 1-866-345-7275.
Address: 161 Holcombe Cir., Salem, SC 29676
Some Advice for Winter Retreats
Whether you want to plan a special mother-daughter trip or a weekend together with the entire family, treating yourselves to a few days of relaxation can help you stay stress-free this winter. Be sure to plan your trip well ahead of time, as some of the locations are especially popular in the cooler seasons. To add to the retreat experience, consider making a pact to not check work or school emails. Unplugging from technology during your stay can help everyone leave their worries behind for a while!