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Travelers across the US are starting to dust off their ski poles and practice their knee bends, as resorts in the northeast, midwest, southwest – anywhere, really, where there’s fresh powder to be had – prepare to open for the season. But for most of us, skiing is only half the fun. The rest of the trip (finding cozy lodges to sip hot chocolate, visiting local shops and galleries, or maybe even stopping in at a ‘cowboy bar’) should be every bit as memorable as the time you spend on the trails. Below, a few recommendations for towns that provide a quiet setting for your alpine getaway, and with lower prices to boot, could be a better deal than larger resorts in better-known areas.
Hanover, New Hampshire (above)
On your way to or from the Dartmouth Skiway, set aside some time to enjoy the cultural offerings of the college town of Hanover, 20 minutes to the south. Visit the Hood Museum contemporary art center where interning Dartmouth students help to curate the frequently changing exhibits – current exhibits feature Picasso and Fan Tchunpi. The Hanover Inn, which occupies a building dating from 1780 and overlooks Dartmouth Green, is connected to the Hood Museum via a passageway and is home to a farm-to-table restaurant named PINE, created by celebrity Boston chef, (and James Beard award winner) Michael Schlow.
Across the green, in the college’s Baker library, is the Epic of American Civilization, one Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco’s three grand frescoes in the United States (the others are in California and New York City.) Read more
“Relaxing” and “romantic” are two words rarely used to describe a Las Vegas vacation. This deal from the 4-star Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa, situated on a scenic slice of desert 30 minutes from the Strip, may change that. On weekends from November 1 – December 22, the resort is offering a $199 per night package for couples, a savings of 45 percent on current rates. Or, make it a group outing. Each additional traveler pays just $99.
The summer of 1947, a ranch foreman in New Mexico discovered some peculiar wreckage in a field. The Airforce initially reported the existence of a “flying disk”. Extraterrestrial “experts” claim that aliens and UFOs from this crash and others have been housed in Area 51, a military base in Nevada. The military quickly changed its story and said the wreckage was a weather balloon. It also denied the existence of Area 51, but just this year the CIA admitted that Area 51 really exists. If you’re not a believer, all the more reason to visit the many extraterrestrial sites in the regions to see if you can be convinced – or, at least, take some campy pictures with aliens to show your friends. Read on for some great (and cheap) roadside attractions for your next long drive through the desert.
It’s Vegas, baby. And if that calls to mind the flashing marquee signs, smoke-filled hotel lobbies, and sequin-clad showgirls so often portrayed in the movies, well… that’s about right. As recently as last week, the city announced a two-year residency by the pop princess herself, Britney Spears – yet another vice just waiting to tempt travelers into this unadulterated, high-spectacle city.
But for those needing a break from all the sin, there are options.
This month, MGM Grand, quadruples the number of its “Stay Well” rooms, essentially taking over the entire 14th floor of the main tower with a special tier of health-focused rooms. There are 17 amenities in total, including HEPA-standard air purification to remove allergens and toxins from the air; light therapy to help you fall asleep and wake up according to your body’s internal clock; vitamin C-infused shower water to give you healthier hair and skin; and even an educational welcome video from Deepak Chopra. The cost for all this wellness? A $30 per night upgrade on your basic rate.
We had to wonder, what are some other sin-free indulgences travelers can make during a stay in Las Vegas? Read more
Sure, Las Vegas has a ton of celebrity-owned restaurants, and a renowned bar scene. But, there’s an entirely different culinary world beyond the glitter and glam of the Vegas strip – most of it rich with Nevada’s authentic food culture. So if you’re already planning a trip to Sin City, here’s a non-Vegas guide to eating and drinking.
1. The Wineries: Three wineries operate in Nevada, and they all boldly defy the state’s less-than-stellar grape-growing climate. Tahoe Ridge Winery was a pioneer in Nevada wine making, receiving medals for their award-winning bottles. There’s also Pahrump Valley Winery, which makes a coveted Nevada Ridge Zinfandel. And the cult-favorite operation, Churchill Vineyards in Fallon, Nevada, an appointment-only, family winery that grows European-style grapes, produce a top-notch White Riesling and Gewurztraminer. This winery is also the first winery to receive a license to operate as a distillery – keep an eye out for their silky, smooth Nevada Brandy. Read more
The town that Johnny Cash helped immortalize is one of the more beautiful places to visit as spring finds its way in, and if you’re heading to The Biggest Little City in the World, allow us to offer some recommendations. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the Truckee Meadows, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more
Las Vegas never sleeps, and one could argue that its convention centers are never closed, either. Sitting at the top of the heap in terms of available hotel rooms for conference goers, Sin City remains a top destination for business (and leisure, for that matter) travel. You already knew that the city offered plenty beyond meeting rooms, but I’m here to give you a few options that the folks around the water cooler may be unaware of. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of southern Nevada, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more
Experience a different side of Las Vegas and save over 40 percent at a 4-star property just outside of Sin City. Stay at the upscale JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa from just $103 a night and save big on rates later in the season. Choose this grand resort and you’ll be close enough for a quick trip to Vegas’ famous Strip while staying in the calming surroundings of an 11-acre oasis of gardens, coursing streams, waterfalls, and palm trees.
But don’t worry; you won’t miss out on any of the amenities Vegas hotels are known for: The JW Marriott Las Vegas features a 50,000-square-foot casino with 1,200 slot machines and 40 gaming tables, 24-hour room service, a wide variety of dining and entertainment experiences (from casual to formal), three pools, a full-service spa, and more. Located near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, the resort is just 20 minutes northwest of the Las Vegas Strip and 25 minutes from McCarran International Airport. You’ll stay in an oversized guest room with views of the interior garden, city, or surrounding mountains.
Book by June 25 for travel on select dates July 1 – September 25. Visit the JW Marriott website or call 800-721-6996. Use promo code D59.
This summer, stay in the lap of luxury in the heart of Sin City. Book the 5-star Venetian, located on the legendary Las Vegas Strip, from only $119 per night — a savings of 40% on seasonal rates. Plus, you’ll receive $100-worth of exclusive savings at the luxe hotel and casino.
Stay on select dates from July 15 through August 1 in a Luxury Suite, a 650-square-foot room with a plush king sized bed and Egyptian cotton sheets, an HDTV, a spacious sitting area, and a marble bathroom with an over-sized Roman tub. Each room is also equipped with complimentary high-speed internet.
The Italian-centric Venetian channels its namesake city at every corner, from ceiling frescoes to jugglers in a make-shift St. Mark’s Square. There’s even a canal in the middle of the resort’s shopping complex, through which visitors can take a romantic gondola ride.
The $100-worth of resort savings include:
- Free admission to the Lavo Nightclub
- $20 off a food bill of $50 or more at both the First Food and Bar and Zine Noodles Dim Sum
- $30 off any 50-minute spa treatment at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub
- 20% off any Belvedere cocktail at the Laguna Lounge
To book these low summer rates, visit Vegas.com.
For diehard skiers and boarders, this year’s February 29 means an extra day on the slopes. Resorts across the country will offer lift tickets for just $29 tomorrow to take full advantage of Leap Day – with some full-day prices slashed by over 60 percent.
- Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadow: Book online by midnight tonight to score savings of 65 percent at these California sister resorts north of Lake Tahoe.
- Sunday River: Lift tickets at this resort near Bethel, Me., are discounted 64 percent.
- Diamond Peak: Save 46 percent at these slopes north of Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side.
- Sno Mountain: Skiing at Scranton, Pa.’s local mountain will save you 43 percent.
If you can’t make it to the slopes tomorrow but want to plan a ski getaway for March, Big Bear Lake in southern California will be offering a flash sale on lodging and lift tickets from 6am February 29 to 6am March 1. Book any weeknight in March to receive 29 percent off lodging, up to two $29 lift tickets per day, and 29 percent off ski and snowboard rentals.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and other travel deals.
For the ninth consecutive year, rock climbers of all levels will gather for clinics, climbing and, of course, the clinking of pint glasses at the Red Rock Rendezvous, a three-day event that’s gearing up to be the country’s largest climbing festival of 2012.
Registration for the festival, which takes place from March 30-April 1 at Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, one of the country’s premier climbing destinations, is limited to the first 1,000 registrants. About 400 spots are still available, according to event coordinator Phil Bridgers.
On tap for the weekend: all types of clinics for newbies and skilled climbers, from bouldering to rescue and even trail running; rubbing elbows with some of the top names in climbing (including Lisa Rands and Peter Croft); and plenty of Belgian beer each night. Read more
The Palace Station offers sweeping mountain vistas and panorama views of the Las Vegas strip. Try your luck at the 24-hour casino, soak up the sun at the pool or garden sundeck, and indulge at your choice of eight hotel restaurants and cafes. Live hotel entertainment, including music and comedy, happen almost every night. The hotel also provides free shuttles to the Strip, which is just two miles away.
Stay in a Courtyard Hotel Room, which includes high-speed WiFi, cable TV, comfortable accommodations, and courtyard views.
THE VALUE: Save 40% on current pricing with these online exclusive rates.
THE CATCH: These rates are most widely available in February and early March, so you need to act fast.
THE DETAILS: Visit the Palace Station Hotel and Casino and choose the “Online Exclusive” package.
Stay in a spacious suite at an exciting Las Vegas resort this season. The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino is offering 50% off their Masquerade Suites, starting from just $129 per night. This 1600-square-foot suite includes a formal dining room, a wet bar, a private Jacuzzi, and views of the Las Vegas strip.
The upscale Rio certainly doesn’t lack in grandeur: among its amenities include four pools, two nightclubs, a world-class spa, and a private beach and lagoon. The Rio’s Masquerade Village Shops offers over 60,000 square feet of shopping, gaming, and dining, and the Rio Entertainment Court offers nightly shows of famous Vegas acts, including Circus Vargas and Penn & Teller.
THE VALUE: Save 50% on a luxurious Las Vegas suite, in this resort with endless activities.
THE CATCH: This is only valid for travel through the end of February.
WE’VE GOT MORE: For general trip-planning information see our Las Vegas guide, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
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