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Getting Away for the Holidays by Staying Local

Submitted by: Debbie Barkowski

As pumpkin has begun to spice everything from lattes to pies, there’s no denying the holidays are knocking on our door. With them come the thoughts of spending time with family and friends. Or maybe the need to plan some quality time with those we haven’t seen in a while, a little getaway to relax and recharge – just a weekend from the usual routines.

I’m not sure who coined the phrase “staycation,” but I eagerly adopted this new way of thinking about vacations, especially during the holidays. No dealing with crowded airports, overpriced NYE packages, or trying to find deals to far away beaches. Right in the beautiful backyard of northwest Indiana is a winter wonderland that just may be the paradise you need.

If I could design a perfect winter weekend getaway, it would certainly include renting a cottage or condominium so that after a full day out and about, we can come back to sit by a fire and enjoy some local beer or wine. Even better, because the winter is considered “off season,” vacation rental rates are typically about 25% less than the peak summer season.

“As far as bookings go, if it’s not a holiday, last minute rentals are always available. Holiday weekends, depending on the home, book up or are blocked for owner use.” says Monica Gauthier, Owner/Managing Broker of North Star Properties.

Once you have your rental reserved, it’s time to plan some festive fun in the region!

  1. Take in a holiday show at the Acorn Theater. Or check out the South Shore CVA for a list of December events.

  2. Snow.. snow… SNOW! There are plenty of places to enjoy sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and horse drawn sleigh rides. Check out these trails and parks.

  3. Get into the “spirit” of the season – Sample the funky holiday brews at Burn ‘Em Brewery in Michigan City; toast to the new year with classic cocktails and enjoy dinner at Journeyman Distillery.

  4. Find some peace with yoga at Sacred Dunes, Yoga Mecca or Bleu Lotus.

There’s still time to plan a festive holiday staycation. “If someone wants to rent a week long for the holidays, my company offers decorating services to bring the holiday cheer. As always it’s best to book in advance but if you decide last minute, you can usually find something good!” says Gauthier.

Ready to plan your holiday getaway? Monica Gauthier and Northstar Properties can help you find a local vacation rental at


Be sure to check out the Dig the Dunes directory for other rentals and fun things to do while on your staycation!

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