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Get excited, sweet tooths of America: It’s maple sugaring season in New England. Here are some places to indulge in both Vermont and New Hampshire – two of the region’s most popular maple getaways – plus affordable places to stay nearby.
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.
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
Summer is the perfect time to pop the top on an ice cold beer. But, not just any beer will do. Warm weather lends itself to lighter, crisper brews, and these nine offerings fit the bill as some of the best summer beers. Enjoy at home, or better yet, include a brewery tour on your summer vacation itinerary. Read more
With spring breaks and warmer temperatures ahead (we hope), April and May make perfect months for quick weekend jaunts. Whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast, or somewhere in between, we’ve rounded up a number of great hotel deals – from New England to California – that make it easy for you to escape and relax, even for just a few days. Read more
Rather than trying to escape the chilly weather this season, why not embrace it? Even in high season, many ski resorts offer lodging deals now, especially for travel on weekdays or toward the end of the season (late March and early April). Winter is also the cheapest time to travel to many cooler-weather metropolitan cities, both in the U.S. and abroad, so, if you can brave the lower temperatures, you’ll also enjoy reduced airfare and hotel rates.
Ski on fresh powder out West at major Colorado ski resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone, where individual condos through ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals start from just $119 per night. Most of Fairmont Hotels‘ 4-star properties throughout Canada offer rooms for 20 percent off this season, including the Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta, which sits at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Not only can you ski at the nearby Marmot Basin, you can also enjoy ice skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. Read more
When you were a kid, how great was that game “King of the Mountain?” If you missed out (or had parents who cared for your safety), the objective was simple: climb to the top of a large landmass – usually a hill or a pile of dirt – and remain at the peak as its “king,” all while combating shoving usurpers gunning for your title. Unless you wound up as the bruised and battered kid at the foot of the hill, it was a fun game. But standing atop a mound and christening it your kingdom is a childish lark. It’s not like you can claim an entire mountain for yourself nowadays, right? Well, with enough cash, becoming master of your very tall domain is actually a lot easier than you think.
A handful of ski resorts throughout the country are offering Own the Mountain packages – deals that, for a fee, allow you full, private access to the powder. Typically, exclusive mountain access can be acquired on a non-holiday, and can run a price tag of a few thousand dollars. That may seem like a hefty sum, but when divided equally among participants, the cost per skier on some mountains equates to a little more than the price of a daily lift ticket.
For most of the northeast, camping season ended weeks ago. The foliage is past its peak and as the end of the year creeps closer by the day, temperatures will continue to drop. Many seasonal adventure seekers have probably already put their hiking and camping gear into winter storage. What these people will be missing out on though, is the chance to experience a number of parks and wilderness areas across New York and New England in the off-season – no shivering required.
How is this possible? By staying at a rustic cabin or lodge maintained by the state or a non-profit. In the Pine Tree State, Maine Huts & Trails operates a 45-mile recreation corridor that includes three small, comfy “boutique hostels” (a fourth is due to open in late December) with hot showers, heated bunkhouses, kitchens, and dining rooms. Hike, ski, or snowshoe from hut to hut or choose Poplar, the hut closest to the town of Kingfield, for a shorter, easy-access trip. Sweeping views of Flagstaff Lake and the Bigelow Range are included at no additional charge. Read more
Head to snowy Vermont this winter and save as much as 40% on current rates at a 4-diamond resort in the popular town of Stowe. As part of their pre-season sale, Topnotch Resort and Spa – a top-rated property on TripAdvisor – is offering rates as low as $139 on most weekdays between December 1, 2012 and April 7, 2013. Most weekends are available for $209 per night. But hurry, you need to book by midnight on September 17 to take advantage of this special offer.
Blackout dates includes the travel periods around Christmas and New Year (December 24 – January 1), Martin Luther King Day (January 18-20), Presidents’ Day (February 15-23), and March 7-10.
The picture-perfect town of Stowe is nestled in a cozy valley and surrounded by majestic mountains. Founded in 1794, it has preserved its quintessential New England charm and features many locally owned shops, a variety of restaurants, and a vibrant music and arts scene. Popular activities in the winter months include Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, and dog sledding. Or relax in the upscale resort’s outdoor hot tubs, make s’mores, or enjoy a treatment at the Topnotch Spa.
Topnotch Resort and Spa is located on 120 wooded acres three miles from Stowe Mountain Resort and less than six miles from Smugglers’ Notch Ski Area. Area attractions also include the Ben and Jerry’s Factory. Free wireless Internet access is available and guests also received a complimentary newspaper every day.
For more information and to book, visit the Topnotch Resort and Spa website or call 800-451-8686.
See our Stowe, Vermont destination guide for more trip planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on return flights, packages, and more travel deals.
With record-breaking temperature highs in New England over the past few months, summer may well continue a few weeks beyond Labor Day. Leaves are just beginning to turn in Vermont, so catch the very beginnings of fall while still enjoying summer temperatures. Stay at the picturesque Woodstock Inn & Resort, which is offering exclusive end-of-summer rates starting at $195 per night, a 30 percent savings on normal high-season rates.
The property’s guestrooms satisfy all creature-comfort while elegantly showcasing Vermont’s natural spirit. Your room will feature a comfortable queen or king bed with wood-beam bed frames, warm blankets and luxury linens, and deluxe marble bathrooms with organic bath products. The on-site spa features ten treatment rooms, where guests can enjoy one of the many luxurious options including massages, hair styling, and a variety of day packages. Guests can also play golf on the property’s breathtaking golf course, with panoramic views of the Kedron Valley.
This offer is available for reservations through September 13, Sunday through Thursday, based on double occupancy. To book, call 888-481-8802 and mention the Endless Summer promotion. For more information, visit the Woodstock Inn & Resort website. This offer is not bookable online.
When I was around eight years old, my family took a road trip from Long Island, New York to northern Vermont. The drive took nearly eight hours and my father’s new sports car was not exactly made for comfort. As such, I found myself feeling ill toward the end of the trip. My father encouraged me to tough it out since we were “almost there.” What follows is my belated apology to my father for what happened in the backseat of that Honda Prelude.
Thanks for the great childhood. I feel like I should stress that point. We had some good times when I was completely reliant on you and Mom for survival. I hope that I have been a gracious and thoughtful child. However, one episode from my youth still haunts me, and I owe you an apology. I vomited in your four-day-old car sometime in the mid-1980s and feel pretty lousy about it.
Montage Deer Valley – Deer Valley, Utah
This classic Craftsman resort tucked in to the forested slopes of Utah’s Deer Valley Resort with its ski-in/ski-out access is a truly evocative spot, reminiscent of the great North American mountain lodges from another era.
The resort is a mere 36 miles from Park City International airport and minutes away from the charming and historical town of Park City, the epicenter for cinematic and celeb activity every January with the Sundance Film Festival.
Check in to one of Montage Deer Valley’s 154 guest rooms or spacious 66 suites with gas fireplaces and sweeping mountain views. Then walk out your door and onto the slopes of Deer Valley Resort with its 2,026 acres of skiable terrain on six mountains with 100 exciting trails and an annual drop of 300 inches of fresh powder each year. If you need some ski assistance, simply call the on-site ski-concierge.
Whether you’re packing up the family for a few more days of quality time before everyone’s hectic school year schedules start up again or planning a rendezvous for two, these hotels are offering an old-school way to kick it on a red-checkered blanket, no ants allowed, for the last few days of summer.
Head west to the family-owned El Capitan Canyon located on the Pacific coast of Southern California for the Family Picnic Package, which includes a two-night stay in the accommodation of your choice. This upscale outdoor destination is nestled against the Los Padres National Forest and only a five-minute walk away from the El Capitan State Beach. The package includes a complimentary Canyon Logo picnic bag packed with a s’mores kit for four and a bundle of firewood, as well as a picnic blanket, trail mix snack, and a lunch coupon for four to be redeemed at either the Canyon Deli Garden Patio or the Back Market Lawn. Lunch can be packed up to go and enjoyed with gorgeous ocean and mountain views from one of Canyon’s several hiking trails. Rates start at $384 for two nights in the Safari Tent, $516 for a Cedar Cabin, and $494 for the Adventure Yurt; www.elcapitancanyon.com.
With only two months left in a snow-filled East Coast ski season, the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont is offering rooms from $199 – a 30 percent discount off standard rates! Located below Mount Mansfield, this luxury resort is a mere two and a half miles from both the slopes and downtown Stowe Village, offering the ultimate convenience for those looking to tear up the slopes and hit the small, but lively après ski scene. To complete the offer, the 50,000 square-foot Stoweflake Spa is offering massages and facials at a 25 percent discount! Travel is valid now through March 31, 2011 and is based on availability.
THE VALUE: With regular guestroom rates starting at $289, this offer saves $90 per night!
THE CATCH: Rooms specials available Sunday through Thursday. Spa specials not available on Saturday.
THE DETAILS: To book your stay, visit www.stoweflake.com or call 1-802-253-7355.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low rates on flights to Vermont.
Take a peek at our Vermont Travel Guide to see all this gorgeous state has to offer!
The Luxury Stowe Mountain Lodge’s ski-in, ski-out location in northwest Vermont makes it easy for powder buffs to schuss the resort’s 100-plus trails, including those on Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak. An on-site ski valet can prebook lessons and lift tickets, ship equipment cross-country, and heat boots. The concierge will arrange dinner reservations and stock in-room refrigerators with requested treats. The 21,000-square-foot spa and wellness center can pamper sore muscles. Most of the 312 guest rooms feature marble bathrooms, stone fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling mountain views.
The Value Readers who book this package by February 28 for travel through March 31 will receive 25 percent off room rates, two one-day lift tickets (worth $89 each), and a $50 spa credit. Rates with the discount start at $194/night.
The Catch This package requires a two-night minimum stay, and holiday dates are not included.
The Details 888-478-6938 (mention code LuxeList); stowemountainlodge.com
From the Winter 2010/2011 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com.
For general trip-planning information, see our Stowe Travel Guide.
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