Some are headed out West to hit the slopes. Some are traveling south for warmer climes. Others are merely popping across the river for a boozy night with friends.
But as hundreds of thousands of Americans descend on Washington, for President Obama's inauguration, the one place that many Republicans say they will not be, if they can help it, is anywhere near the nation's capital.
"It's a chance for President Obama and his supporters to enjoy the city, and for those of us that didn't support him, there are better places to be," said Charlie Spies, a Republican lawyer and Mitt Romney supporter who, along with his wife, Lisa, have organized a trip to Las Vegas for nearly 100 Republicans over inauguration weekend.
"Almost everybody I've talked to has said they're getting out of town. I would be surprised if you found many Republicans at all were in downtown D.C. on Monday."
The decision, they say, is not borne out of any animosity for Mr. Obama's re-election celebration. Rather, the concern is largely logistical and pragmatic; Washington all but shuts down during the inaugural because of security and crowd concerns, and because Republicans are hardly the A-list guests this time around, the occasion provides an easy excuse for a long weekend out of town.
Mr. Spies's Las Vegas confab, complete with its own slogan -- "We still believe in America," a cheeky play on Mr. Romney's campaign slogan, "Believe in America" -- is perhaps the most elaborate of the Republican gatherings. Mr. Spies, who served as treasurer of a pro-Romney "super PAC," said he held a similar gathering four years ago in Las Vegas for about 20 friends who were veterans of President George W. Bush's administration. But the group this time has ballooned to roughly 100, a mix of former Romney campaign staff members and supporters, as well as clients of Mr. Spies.
The main events -- complete with surprise Las Vegas showgirls and food by Wolfgang Puck -- will be Sunday night at both the Wynn Las Vegas (owned by Steve Wynn, the billionaire Romney supporter) and the Venetian (owned by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Romney supporter), and the get-together will even include "Inaugural Dinner 2013" T-shirts.
The weekend, Mr. Spies said, will be a mix of work and play -- part Romney reunion, and part look ahead to 2014 and even 2016.
"For those of us who cared deeply about the race and believe we need to protect the Republican majority in the House and believe we need to do better in the next election, it will be a chance to strategically talk about how we move forward," he said. "It's too important that we start planning for the future to just play. We also need to do a little planning."
For others, talking political shop is distinctly beside the point. Ben Ginsberg, a Republican lawyer who served as national counsel for Mr. Romney's campaign, left town Wednesday with his family for what he called a "ski to sea" vacation -- flying to California to hit San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa and, finally, Tahoe.
"Inaugurations are wonderful events when you have a role, are attending the ceremony or going to the parties," he e-mailed from 34,000 feet. "If not, it means bad traffic."
Russ Schriefer, one of Mr. Romney's top strategists on his most recent presidential bid, similarly left on Thursday for "four or five days of skiing" in Davos, Switzerland. His wife, a journalist, was already headed there for a conference, and he decided to tag along. Though the couple hosted an inauguration party four years ago for out-of-town friends, Mr. Schriefer said that this time, "the thrill is gone."
"It's sort of a nothing right now. It's not getting the attention it got four years ago," he said. "It feels like it's going to come and it's going to go and unless you're really paying attention, you'll hardly know that it's been here -- other than staying away from downtown for a few days."
Kevin Sheridan, who most recently worked on Mr. Romney's campaign and is now an executive vice president at JDA Frontline, said that during Mr. Obama's first inaugural, he skipped the chilly temperatures of Washington for a trip to the Caribbean. This time, he and much of the Washington-based staff at his firm are taking a "well-timed" annual work retreat to Charleston, S.C., where they have another office.
"D.C. is a wonderful town," he said. "D.C. with a few extra hundred thousand out-of-towners is not an easy place to navigate, and I figure I'm doing my little part to make a little extra space for those who are here to party."
Still, Mr. Sheridan added, "I wish them luck. It's a great moment for the country, but they don't need me to be here for it."
The working retreat, in fact, seems to be a preferred excuse for leaving Washington. Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist, is headed with a small group of Republicans to Mexico.
"The inauguration is happening, and with all of the inaugural activities occurring, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a work retreat out of town," he explained.
Others are not leaving the city at all. Matt Beynon, the president of Madison Strategic Ventures, a Republican consulting firm, said on Friday that a group of his friends -- mostly fellow Republican consultants and lobbyists -- were headed to Northern Virginia for a night out.
"Regardless of what party you're with, it is a time to inaugurate a new president," he said. "That's a great thing in our republic, and instead of sitting home and watching an episode of 'How I Met Your Mother,' we'd rather go out and have a few drinks with friends."
But Mr. Beynon himself decided to skip town at the last minute. Again, nothing against Mr. Obama, he explained, but he was headed to South Carolina to help with the special election to replace former Representative (and new Senator) Tim Scott.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.