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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
Hikers 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
Set 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.
With so many national parks in the U.S. and so much ground to explore, choosing an ideal hiking trail can be a challenge. The best hikes should get you to one or more of the park’s top sights, and our 10 favorite national park hikes do just that. These trails, some more strenuous than others, guide the explorer past stunning landscapes and offer a glimpse of the park’s most remarkable treasures: rare species, peculiar rock formations, pristine beaches, spectacular canyons, or abundant wildlife. Take Grinnell Glacier Trail in Montana’s Glacier National Park to view three of the park’s remaining 25 glaciers (down from 150 a hundred years ago); or the Waikamoi Cloud Forest Hike in Maui’s Haleakala National Park to get up close to rare species found nowhere else on the planet; or the Outer Loop Trail to Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove to walk through, around, and underneath ancient towering sequoia trees. Nature’s wonderland beckons – all you need is a good pair of walking shoes, plenty of water, and a taste for adventure.
Memorial 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.
An 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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