Snow and Behold
Dec 07, 2017 09:25AM ● Published by Ashley Madonna
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Or how about snowy pines and drifting snowflakes? If the season has you wishing for a winter wonderland, we’ve highlighted a few of the country’s best destinations for enjoying the magic of a frosty December. Whether you want to hit the slopes, relax by the fire in a cushy robe or do a little bit of both, these cozy escapes will set the scene for a pristine winter vacation. Stay at one of these lodges and the cold just might seem like a good thing.
Timberline Lodge | Oregon
Set amidst an almost mythical landscape of snow-covered peaks, Timberline Lodge, situated about 50 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon, is a grand refuge for snow seekers. Built in 1937, the stunning 55,000-square-foot structure is like stepping back in time, but with plenty of modern comforts (i.e. free Wi-Fi and satellite TV). Here, you can enjoy a fireside hot cocoa by the lodge’s towering stone hearth, take in the mountain views from the outdoor hot tub or heated pool, or recount the day’s adventures over cocktails at the Blue Ox Bar. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re strapping on skis for the first time, the diverse terrain will accommodate all abilities. There’s a reason Timberline Lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark and draws nearly two million visitors annually—it’s an awe-inspiring retreat for those who want to experience the majesty of Mt. Hood, one of the world’s most-climbed mountains.
Planning a getaway with your extended family? Accommodations range from spacious chalets that can sleep up to 12 guests to luxury condos, each with its own style and flair. No matter which lodging option you prefer, just make sure you get a room with a wood-burning fireplace. If you ask us, it’s a necessity on a winter escape. TimberlineLodge.com
Mirror Lake Inn and Spa | New York
If you’re looking for a luxury hotel that’s also family-friendly, head to the stately and historic Mirror Lake Inn and Spa just south of New York’s Whiteface Mountain. The upscale spa resort has received AAA’s coveted Four Diamond award for 33 consecutive years (and counting) and has also been named among Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Hotels” and Conde Nast’s “World’s Best Places to Stay.” As for the family-friendly part? It begins with warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in.
Just nine miles from the Lake Placid Olympic Sports Complex, the inn is a hub for family activities, whether your crew is into skating, skiing or snowshoeing. When you want a break from the slopes, the inn offers a host of other activities including yoga, afternoon tea and nature hikes. And because kids always want to swim, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s fully enclosed pool that brings the beauty of the Adirondacks right to you. When it’s time for a little R&R in your room, you couldn’t ask for cozier accommodations—rooms feature rustic furniture, vaulted ceilings and expansive windows that offer panoramic views of Mirror Lake and the surrounding mountains. Grab a blanket, snuggle up and enjoy your winter retreat. MirrorLakeInn.com
Alyeska Resort | Alaska
If Elsa needed a place to roost for the winter, she’d probably pick Alyeska Resort. Surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, this chateau-style ski resort is a veritable winter wonderland that averages 650 inches of snow annually. Located about 40 minutes south of Anchorage, Alaska, Alyeska Resort offers a little something for everyone in the family, including a heated saltwater pool and hot tub, a scenic aerial tram to the top of the mountain and easy access to hiking trails. Want to experience an authentic Alaskan adventure? Don’t miss the resort’s disc golf or glacier jet skiing—or just strap on your skis and take on the signature slopes of the Chugach Mountains.
When you’re ready to unwind, head back to your room and take in the views—the scenery might include mountains, glaciers or a glimpse of the sea. Come mealtime, the resort boasts plenty of enticing options, whether you take your family to the top of Mount Alyeska for lunch at the Glacier Express or sit down to dinner at the sleek Seven Glaciers restaurant. Whatever is on the docket for your winter escape, prepare for an enchanting experience all the way around. AlyeskaResort.com