A favorite winter staycation in Montana is a weekend trip to the hot springs. You've got a number of great hot spring options across the state. If you live in the Billings area, two popular choices are Chico Hot Springs and Yellowstone Hot Springs. Either can be reached in about two hours by car and both are a lot of fun. If you're heading that way for a weekend, you can easily visit both. They're only about 30 minutes apart.

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Party in Chico, chill at Yellowstone Hot Springs.

Chico is well known for the party-vibe in the pool, with plenty of cocktails and oftentimes a live band on the weekend. Our family visited Yellowstone Hot Springs last spring and it's more laid back and alcohol-free. Either place is great during our long, miserable winters. Chico has on-site accommodations. Yellowstone Hot Springs does not.

We like to stay at vacation rentals instead of hotels. I've got a big crew and it's often more cost-effective for us to rent a cabin/house instead of booking two hotel rooms. Plus, it's great to have a full kitchen and laundry facilities in the unit and you don't have to worry about loud neighbors stomping around and slamming doors at all hours. If you're heading to the hot springs this winter in Paradise Valley, check out these cool VRBO properties.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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The Tiny Cabins at Emigrant - $105 per night.

How cute are these little baby cabins? Located just a few minutes from Chico, they're small, but cozy with two queen beds and a fully functional kitchen.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Each cabin offers views of Emigrant Peak from the porch and they are located "within walking distance of food, drinks, live music, shopping & adventure!" Winter rates are just $105 per night and you can view the VRBO listing HERE.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Pet friendly in Paradise Valley - $178 per night.

Most vacation rentals frown on pets. It's understandable, but it does make traveling with your dog a bit trickier. This beautiful, newly constructed log cabin in Emigrant (seen above) is a rare pet-friendly VRBO and it's available for $178 per night. It sleeps up to six if you include the pull-out couch.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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It's literally right on the Yellowstone River, although you probably won't be doing much fishing in the middle of the winter. This cabin looks really nice. You can check out the VRBO listing HERE.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Raise your budget and rent this stunning lodge for the weekend - $795 per night.

At 2,000 square feet, this property is substantially larger than most rental cabins in Paradise Valley and so is the price. It rents for $795 per night in the winter months, but if luxury and serenity are what you're after, you'll find it on 200 acres at the base of Chico Peak.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Two miles of Mill Creek meanders through the property and Counts Creek actually flows underneath the cabin, which guests can view through a portion of glass flooring. How cool is that!? This place is absolutely beautiful. Even if it's out of your budget, you gotta check out the pics and listing HERE.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Paradise views for miles - $350 per night.

This newly constructed rental is just a few miles south of Emigrant and offers 3 beds and two baths with room to sleep 8. It's nicely decorated and the kitchen is well equipped.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Did we mention those views? That's what I'm talking about.

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Photo via vrbo.com
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Gateway to Gardiner Cabin at the Rockin' Y - $225 per night.

Just five miles from the north gate to Yellowstone National Park, this cabin is not overly fancy, but it's tough to beat the location. It offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and accommodations for up to six people. This rental could be a great launching point for your winter visit to Yellowstone.

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Photos via vrbo.com
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If you get skunked looking for wildlife inside the park, it looks like you've got a good chance of seeing bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, and bison from the front door of the rental. Check out the VRBO listing HERE.

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