If you’re planning to get away from home for the holidays but dread the hassle of traveling long distances, there are plenty of amazing hideaways in and around Houston to escape to. Some of these getaways don’t even require more than two hours of drive time if you are already in the city. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way with your loved ones or by your lonesome as you cruise along toward your chosen holiday destination with the best holiday escapes near Houston.

Woodlands Resort and Conference Center (credit: Rainne Mendoza Celespara)

The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center
2301 N. Millbend Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(281) 367-1100
www.woodlandsresort.comHidden in lush foliage and beautiful landscapes, this resort is perfect for those who love to commune with nature and bask in the comforts of modern facilities and amenities. It has a huge, 36-hole golf course, hotels, bars, restaurants and swimming pools in varying sizes, which include the famous Forest Oasis Waterscape. It also offers spas, spacious tennis courts, fitness centers and a bike trail for the more physically active guests. If you’re driving, this resort is just 30 minutes away from downtown.

The Westin La Cantera Country Resort (credit: Rainne Mendoza Celespara)

The Westin La Cantera Country Resort
16641 La Cantera Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78256
(210) 558-6500
www.westinlacantera.comHours: Nov. 22 to Jan. 6 – 11a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $10 for 45 minutes of ice skating per guest

Perhaps one of the most scenic resorts in the area, this haven is sitting atop one of the highest hills in San Antonio, overlooking the famous Texas Hill Country. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, it offers guests a wide range of amenities including spas, pools, hotels, restaurants and a golf course. It also offers a special holiday tradition in which guests enjoy ice skating at the Frost, a synthetic winter wonderland rink, for a limited time. Skate rentals are included in the package. Make it your home for the holidays as you visit the historical sites and shopping havens of San Antonio.

The Kemah Boardwalk
215 Kipp Ave.
Kemah, TX 77565
(877) 285-3624
www.kemahboardwalk.comA famous destination for locals and tourists, the Kemah Boardwalk offers a wide variety of entertainment for its guests. In addition to the traditional carnival, barbecue grill depots, hotels and restaurants by the bay, it features holiday activities for its many visitors, including the 51st Annual Boat Lane Parade, which features a parade of 100 brightly lit and decorated boats cruising the bay (Dec. 8), “Preludes Ballet,” a ballet performance presented by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Dec. 15) and the boardwalk’s annual fireworks extravaganza as part of its traditional New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 31).

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Austin

Hillside Acres Retreat
4032 Ranch Road 3232
Johnson City, TX 78636
(830) 868-7515
hillsideacresretreat.comIf you are looking for a perfect hillside country retreat, this is the place to be. Just 30 minutes from the Austin airport, this haven is close to wineries including those located in the Texas Hill country and Bell Springs. On site, it allows guest to fish in its private ponds, go swimming and hiking and even cozy up by the fire pit for some marshmallows and hot dogs to make the holiday as traditional or out of the box as you and yours desire this year.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road
Lost Pines, TX 78612
(512) 308-1234
lostpines.hyatt.comThe best part of this resort is the Colorado River that runs through its setting. Enjoy the 405-acre resort’s amenities including its golf course, beautiful water park, spa facilities, restaurants and hotels along with opportunities for horseback riding, river kayaking and rafting at the Colorado River, and birding. The resort is located in a secluded area that allows for a serene retreat with nature perfect for an extraordinary holiday getaway.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to New Braunfels

Rainne Mendoza Celespara is a freelance writer living in Houston. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.