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Utah

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, ski. resort
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, HeavenlNorthstar, 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.

 

Spring Creek Ranch, Fall, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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.

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Monument Valley GuideTowering 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

Joshua Tree National ParkAs 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

Homestead CraterIt 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

The Best Places to Try Brown BoozeDo 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

The WaveHikers and photographers across the States are drawn to The Wave in Arizona’s Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Iron deposits and the unique Navajo sandstone explain the mixture of orange, yellow, and red coloring characteristic of The Wave. Some have claimed the rock formations actually date back to the Jurassic period. Read more

As far as “small” big cities go, Salt Lake City has a lot of appeal. A lot of common annoyances found in booming metropolises are either diminished or vanquished altogether here, making it a highly enjoyable locale to end up in on business. It’s also a ridiculously great time of the year to visit, with temperatures inching milder each day and snow-capped peaks still glistening. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Utah, we’re offering up two restaurants, three attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more

Waldorf Astoria Park CitySet in the pristine Wasatch Mountains, the Waldorf Astoria Park City offers luxury accommodations at one of the premier resorts in the nation. Act now to take advantage of the hotel’s very reasonable rates before the holiday rush: Rates range from $135 to $179/night during the fall months but skyrocket to at least $500/night in mid-December. With over $300 in savings, head to the Beehive State before it’s too late!

All guestrooms feature gas fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, wireless Internet, and Waldorf Bed and Bedding accompanied by Salvatore Ferragamo bath and amenity products. Onsite dining options include a restaurant, café, dessert bar, and room service.

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Grand Canyon National ParkMemorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer – and with it, the beckoning of warmer weather and the great outdoors – and in the upcoming months, there’s a slew of ways to do just that at national parks across the country. Since there are parks in four U.S. territories and every state except Delaware, chances are there’s one within easy distance for you, and entry fees are usually no more than $20 per car.

Here, some of the best offerings guaranteed to inspire you to lace up the hiking boots and get outside. Some highlights: a full moon hike this weekend and the fourth annual National Get Outdoors Day on June 9, which comes with free entry into many popular parks, including Grand Canyon National Park and state parks across the country.

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May 20 annular eclipseAn annular eclipse of the sun – the kind that results in a dramatic “ring of fire” effect, viewable in the United States for the first time in 18 years – will take place around sunset on May 20, with solar celebrations and viewing events scheduled at dozens of national parks in the western United States.

The eclipse will have the best viewing in a 200-mile-wide diagonal swath from the California-Oregon coast all the way to west Texas. The most avid astro-philes, however, should head to the tiny southern Utah town of Kanarraville. It was identified by NASA officials as one of the prime “sweet spots” for viewing the rare phenomenon, during which the moon will block most of the sun.

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Grand Canyon Flickr OhitzannaIf you need another excuse to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather, the National Park Service is offering free admission to all National Parks – all 397 of them! – from April 21 through April 29, 2012 during National Park Week.

While most parks are free and open to the public year round, over 100 parks charge a fee to enter. The National Parks that usually charge admission include the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, the Everglades, Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, and many more. But during National Park Week, all entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees are waived. Read more

Deer Valley UtahNew residents of Utah’s ski havens of Park City and Salt Lake City say they came for the winter and stayed for the spring and summer. I got a taste of what they meant on a trip there this month.

The spring is arguably the best time for a recreational skier to visit a few of the seven ski resorts within an hour of the Salt Lake City airport. There’s still snow on the ground, but lodging prices are much lower than in peak season. For example, a room at the exclusive, ski-in/ski-out St. Regis at Deer Valley starts at $199 a night instead of $599 during the height of winter. The rate for a king room drops from $750 to $550 at the Washington School House, a newly renamed and revamped luxurious boutique property that is a stone’s throw from the action on Main Street (and ski-in/ski-out from Park City Mountain Resort). That includes a fine, home-style breakfast and all the après-ski snacks, microbrews, and wine you’d like – a rarity in this resort town.

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Flickr/Skistar TrysilMillions of people will be indoors watching the Super Bowl this Sunday, but Liftopia is offering exclusive lift ticket deals to get you out on the slopes – be quick, though, because the offers are limited. Currently, savings range from 20 to 76 percent and you can find deals at over 80 resorts, from Alaska to New England, organized by location.

Liftopia is an online lift ticket retailer that offers deals throughout the year and around the world, from small ski resorts in the Midwest, to big names like Sun Valley and Mammoth. The Game Day sale is Liftopia’s biggest sale yet, but be sure to check out the site (or use their iPhone app!) for great deals on lift tickets throughout the ski season.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and other travel deals.

Ojo Caliente Mineral SpringsValentine’s Day is a popular time for hotels to offer packages with champagne and romance concierges (you know, to help your hopeless partner plan a romantic evening out), but it’s not as easy to find packages that include spa treatments and massages. Luckily, we’ve done the searching for you, and we’ve found some great budget options as well as some luxurious extravagances. For both a romantic and relaxing February 14 (or thereabouts), try out these hotels and spas, from East Coast to West.

The Budget Picks:

The Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sunsets on the beach are already dreamy, but the Westin Beach Resort & Spa is taking the swoon factor a few steps further with its “Rekindle Romance” package. It starts at only $319/night and is available for stays from February 10-15. What do you get? The package includes breakfast in bed, a visit to Shula’s on the Beach (for dinner, the Chef’s Tasting Menu, and wine!), champagne and strawberry turndown, and the Heavenly Healing couple’s spa treatment at the Heavenly Spa.

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