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Star-studded Olympic training and gravity-defying air shows, free public transportation and toasty weather without the humidity — Park City sounds like a perfect summer destination, doesn’t it? Still, tourists flock to the resort town in droves during the winter to ski the Rockies and leave by spring. Next time, we suggest lingering a while longer to enjoy the affordable thrills of summer. Here are four ways to enjoy the lively “down” season:
They say idleness is the mother of all vices – so it’s a good thing we had so much to keep us busy during a recent jaunt through rural southern Utah. Heading for St. George, a small, oft-overlooked town in the state’s bottom-left quarter that’s just under two hours from Vegas, we packed in a full three days of hiking, kayaking, outdoor yoga, and even a little art gallery browsing. And the best part: We even had time left over for some poolside lounging. Here’s how you can do it, too:
Just because summer is fast approaching, that doesn’t mean that America’s ski towns are closed for business. In fact, lots of them are offering great deals to fill rooms in the off-season, including some high-end properties. The 4.5-star Waldorf Astoria Park City, the first ski resort in the luxe brand’s portfolio, is offering summer rates starting at $211. This special rate is for a 1-bedroom suite with a king bed and a sofabed (sleeps 4), which takes 15% off current rates. We saw rooms as high as $275 per night on other sites. There’s also an additional $35 per night resort fee, which covers internet access and a local shuttle. Read more
Ever thought about strapping on some boots and hitting a dusty trail? At these three resorts, you can get a taste of the cowboy (or girl) experience while taking in some of the country’s most beautiful surroundings. Read more
Ever heard of the “Mighty 5?” You will this year, if Utah’s tourism office has anything to say about it. This quintet of famous national parks – Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyon Lands, and Arches – is the focus of a massive new ad campaign run by the state. Whether you’re newly convinced to head to the rugged West, or you’ve had Utah on your travel bucket list for years, here’s our guide to help you choose where to go first…
Skiing can be glamorous and exciting, and unfortunately, expensive. But as the season wears on, discounts start to pop up for both lodging and lift tickets. Since it looks like most of the major ski destinations will have snow through the beginning of April, here are a few deals to consider for a March trip. This is only a selection, so if your favorite destination isn’t listed, be sure to dig deeper at your favorite area or mountain to see what’s on offer.
Yes, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have been mired in controversy, but we can’t help but get into the Olympic spirit as the opening ceremonies (February 7) draw nearer. After all, what beats watching a trained professional athlete go hurtling down the luge track at 90 miles an hour? We’ve taken a look back at previous winter Olympics host sites, and all the fun activities that visitors can still do there. Now, who’s ready for some bobsledding? Read more
If taking a romantic getaway was your 2014 resolution, then you have lots to look forward to next month. Hotels far and wide are putting together some nifty Valentine’s Day packages to help lovebirds get the most out of the holiday. From free spa treatments, to add-ons like champagne and rose petals, there’s a trip here to suit every taste, and save you some money.
For laid-back lovers…
In Curaçao, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is making itself extra-accessible to lovers on a budget with their “Love In the Caribbean” package, which is available even after Valentine’s Day. Starting at $379 per night with a 3-night minimum, this deal packs in a couple’s massage, daily breakfast for two, a complimentary dinner at Shore, welcome cocktails, and (why not?) a two-day car rental. Valid for stays through the end of 2014.
Time to dust off the skis and snowboards: the 2013-14 ski season is already underway, with several resorts already open and plenty more set to do so in coming weeks – which is a promising sign for the season to come. This year, some enticing deals and passes, as well as more direct flights to resort destinations, are a great excuse for a winter weekend getaway. Here are some of the best (and budget-friendly) offers.
Alta and Snowbird, Utah: Known for epic powder and deliciously long runs, these Utah resorts are also offering out-of-state visitors a killer deal this year: half off lift tickets within 24 hours of arrival at Salt Lake City International Airport. The offer is good throughout the 2013-14 ski season, Monday through Friday, and saves $39.50. Read more
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts recently re-branded three lodges in Park City, Utah; Beaver Creek, Colorado; and Lake Tahoe, California as part of their new Hyatt Mountain Collection. Targeting skiers, the collection aims to drum up interest in the high-up mountain resorts, with one deal in particular leading the way.
By selecting the Stay at Three, Ski for Free offer, guests who book a 3-night stay at each of the three properties in the Hyatt Mountain Collection from November 27, 2013 through April 20th, 2014, will receive a complimentary Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for the 2014/2015 winter season. The ski pass, which normally costs $729, provides unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Canyons, Heavenl, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin, and Eldora – with no blackout dates. Not a bad deal, especially if you had already planned to spend some time out west this fall – just nine nights spent at Hyatt hotels, and you’ll be set for the entire 2014/2015 ski season!
The three properties in the Hyatt Mountain Collection are the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa (from $229); Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City (from $153); and Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino (from $179)
To Book: Visit www.hyattmountaincollection.com and reserve each stay using the code EPIC.
The cold, snowy months of the U.S. winter feel a lot brighter when you hit the ski slopes. But traveling to the best resorts at the height of the season also means you’ll have to contend with crowded slopes and high prices.
If you want to miss those crowds, and don’t mind not actually getting to ski, consider visiting during shoulder season (from now until around mid-to-late-November) when there are still lots of activities on offer, but the resorts will be quieter and the prices lower.
Towering from 400 to 1,000 ft tall, a cluster of sandstone buttes in the Colorado Plateau make up what is known as Monument Valley. Colored a beautiful bright red, the valley is made of siltstone, but gets its hue from iron oxide, which is exposed when the siltstone weathers away. The valley is located on the border of Arizona and Utah and forms part of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Navajo Nation’s version of a national park. Perhaps the valley’s most recognizable image is that of its “mittens”, buttes shaped like gloves. Read more
As the summer hits full swing in the United States, over 2,000 federal recreation sites open up to the masses. Many of these National Parks and Monuments are inaccessible during the winter, meaning travelers who wish to capitalize on the season need to choose their destinations wisely. Admittedly, road trips aren’t as affordable as they once were thanks to rising gas prices, but for those eager to load up the station wagon (or the Prius) and visit a variety of parks, the America The Beautiful pass could prove a worthwhile investment.
At $80, this pass is valid for a full year from the time that you purchase it (in fact, I’d recommend purchasing it at the start of a new month, resulting in a theoretical usage period of nearly 13 months.) If you’re planning to visit just one park this year, it’s not worthwhile, but for the right crowd, it represents an outstanding value. Here’s a breakdown… Read more
It may not look like much from the outside, but the Homestead Crater Thermal Pool in Midway, Utah has lots to offer beneath its nondescript, dirt-covered dome.
Located at the Homestead Resort under a limestone dome that looks like a hill from the outside, this 10,000-year-old, 55-foot-deep geothermal pool is open to swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers. Originally, the only way in was from a hole in the top of the crater until 1996, when tunnels were created for easy access. Inside, you will find walls composed of mineral deposits left behind by the hot spring’s water. Read more
Do you know the difference between whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and rye? It can be confusing, especially since all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbons, and all scotch is whiskey, but not all whiskey is scotch. (Think of it like bubbly. All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne.) Here’s your go-to guide on brown booze and where the best distilleries are around the world. Read more
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