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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
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.
The big city 4th of July celebrations – like the fireworks on the Hudson River in New York City – often get all the attention, but small town America also has a special way of throwing a great birthday party. Around the country there are plenty of smaller communities that have built a stellar reputation around this big day of festivities. From Colorado to Florida, these celebrations have become a gathering place for the community, but they also draw visitors from near and far, who often visit every year to kick off the summer with a bang. So, instead of fighting for a cherished spot to catch the light display in a big city, check out some of our favorite small town 4th of July celebrations that have big character. Read more
At 9,500 feet in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, the lush green slopes of Telluride offer visitors more than just skiing in the winter. Visit in late summer or early fall and you’ll have a whole slew of outdoor activities at your fingertips, including hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and fishing. Stay at the upscale Mountain Lodge Telluride, where rates through October are as low as $109 per night, over 50 percent off high-season rates. But hurry, you need to book by August 29 to take advantage of this offer.
The lodge is comprised of luxury suites, lodge rooms, condominium units, and private cabins, all of which feature private balconies or patios. Beyond concierge service and full 24-hour front desk service, the hotel provides guests with daily housekeeping, grocery shopping service, a fitness center, massage and steam rooms, and an outdoor deck with heated pool and hot tubs. With this offer, you’ll stay in a lodge guestroom, which features a queen bed, a high-definition flat screen television, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The property’s on-site restaurant, The View, features classic tavern cuisine, Après Ski and Happy Hour, breathtaking views of 14,000-foot peaks, and a massive stone fireplace.
The village is only a short walk, shuttle, or gondola ride away. Here, visitors can take advantage of the unique shopping, restaurants, and activities Telluride has to offer. There are no chain restaurants, shops, or hotels in the area, a testament to Telluride’s dedication to make the town as individual as can be. The free public bus system runs on non-toxic, biodegradable fuel, and the free gondolas are energy efficient as well. You won’t find another place like this!
To book, visit Mountain Lodge Telluride or call 866-368-6867. This offer is good for reservations made by August 29.
Now you have the perfect excuse to hit the slopes out West this winter. The upscale Mountain Lodge at Telluride, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, is currently offering its Great Winter White Sale. Book any two-bedroom unit at the resort for three nights or more and save 30% on hotel rates. The resort also offers 30% off adult lift tickets as part of this deal.
The Mountain Lodge is ideally located halfway up Telluride Mountain, so it couldn’t be easier to start your day on the slopes. The resort community, which also includes upscale condos for higher rates, offers an elegant lobby with a fireplace, a heated pool and Jacuzzi, a fitness center, and onsite ski rentals. Enjoy a drink at the rustic Tavern Bar after a day on the mountain, eat at the new resort restaurant, The View, or explore charming downtown Telluride.
THE VALUE: Save 30% on current hotel rates, along with 30% on lift tickets.
THE CATCH: Discounted lift tickets must be booked in advance. Also, this deal also only applies to stays through February 10 – so hurry!
THE DETAILS: Visit the Mountain Lodge at Telluride and enter the promo code WHITE.
The 2012 ski season has kicked into gear, so if you’re looking to hit the slopes with your partner, but are also seeking romantic aprés-ski ambience and excellent dining, here are my suggestions for the best U.S. ski resorts for grown-ups – from the Adirondacks to the Rockies.
Jackson Hole, WY: Combine a funky cowboy-town vibe with world-class resorts – and add in a majestic setting against the stunning Grand Teton peaks – and you have Jackson Hole. Read more
Still searching for the perfect Memorial Day Weekend getaway? Head to Telluride, Colorado when this famous ski town turns into an outdoor recreation hot spot with kayaking, hiking, golf, biking, and rock climbing keeping guests busy. Right now, the 4-star Inn at Lost Creek and the 4.5-star Hotel Madeline Telluride are offering room rates starting from $125 and $150 per night, respectively. And travelers booking two nights between May 27 and May 30 get a third night free! Both resorts are surrounded by the majestic San Juan Mountains and are just steps from the world-class Telluride Ski Resort. Guests looking for something more casual can take in the 33rd annual MountainFilm Festival, taking place over the weekend, or visit the new Spa Linnea at Hotel Madeline Telluride!
THE VALUE: In addition to a third night free, guests also receive overnight parking, a $35 daily value, and farm-to-table breakfast for two at M’s Restaurant, a $50 daily value!
THE CATCH: Book by May 15!
THE DETAILS: For reservations to Hotel Madeline Telluride call 970-369-0880 or toll free at 866-475-4403, or visit www.hotelmadelinetelluride.com. For reservations to Inn at Lost Creek call 970-728-5678 or toll free at 888-601-5678, or visit www.innatlostcreek.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find great rates on flights to Colorado.
Check out our Telluride Travel Guide for all the need-to-know information!
Finally, those hours spent wasting time playing Farmville and trolling friends’ photos on Facebook are about to pay off. The newly rebranded Hotel Madeline Telluride and sister property Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride, Colorado, want to reward loyal “fans” with rates of $125/night – that’s 50 percent off regular rates. Simply hit the “like” button on the Facebook page for Hotel Madeline, the hotel’s Spa Linnea, or the Inn at Lost Creek to be eligible for the special rate (valid through June 15) at the two hotels.
The 95-room boutique Hotel Madeline takes inspiration from its mountain-top surroundings, from farm-to-table cuisine made from local ingredients at M’s Restaurant to Spa Linnea’s treatments designed to help guests acclimate to the higher elevation (plus an indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling mountain views, natch). The Inn at Lost Creek, meanwhile, features 32 suites – decked out with fireplaces, balconies, and kitchens – as well as ski-in/ski-out access and two rooftop hot tubs. And though ski season is just about over in Telluride, there’s still plenty to do in spring and summer, from hiking to horseback riding.
For general trip-planning information, see our Telluride Travel Guide.
The hills are alive – with the sound of clinking beer steins in Stowe, Vermont. Opened last spring, the brewery at the Trapp Family Lodge (founded by the celebrated musical family that emigrated from Austria, www.trappfamily.com) turns out the lagers that Johannes von Trapp enjoyed in his homeland. Try the Golden Helles or Vienna Style Amber.
New Year’s might seem far off, but for powder hounds, it can’t come soon enough – especially when there are deals to be had for booking some of 2011′s roster of gay ski weeks early. Some even start happening before your hangover has had time to subside. Details below.
Never been to a gay ski week? Looking for something more low key? Ski Bums, the nation’s largest LGBT ski and snowboarder organization, runs group trips across the country and select worldwide pilgrimages (Courchevel, France and heliskiing in Sweden are on tap for in 2011), as well as day trips from NYC, creating what amounts to a mini gay ski week in the process. A new California chapter launches next Friday, October 8 at Gym Sportsbar in WeHo, so West Coasters can start feeling the chilly thrills soon. Both black diamond masters and bunny hill newbies are welcome.
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