Activities & Adventure 4 MINS READ

Best Winter Break Virtual Tours Around the World, Ranked

Best Winter Break Virtual Tours Around the World, Ranked

Activities & Adventure 4 MINS READ

Winter break during the pandemic can take out the fun part of meeting friends, going on a ski trip, or traveling to Europe for Christmas markets, but the virtual tour is an option to have fun from the comfort of your bed, and spend time with your family learning something new just like on a field trip. Perfect for both students staying on your campus for winter break, or families with kids traveling on a budget, these self-guided virtual tours, and online events are a great opportunity to experience the space around us in a new way.

Go on a Sleigh Ride in Sweden

We already wrote about the most magical destinations to visit during winter in Europe. But what if you would not have to travel to the North to go on a sleigh ride? Hop on some of these free virtual tours in Abisko National Park in Finland.

Learn About Arctic Issues and the Life in North

You may know a lot about polar bears, arctic wolves, foxes and have a dream of visiting the Arctic to see the Northern Lights, but how much do you know about climate change affecting the life in North? Learn about the history, culture of Lapland, and the Arctic issues on a tour here.

Visit Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland

Christmas and the Winter Solstice is one of the most celebrated events of Northern peoples during the winter holidays (sorry, Australians!) According to local legend, Santa’s original home occupies a secret location in Finnish Lapland. His Rovaniemi office opened in 1985, and the town became the Official Hometown of Santa Claus in 2010. Tour the residence of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland, see what is happening there right now, and listen to what Santa Claus and his elves have to say on the official television before booking a real tour for the next Christmas.

Virtual Chinese New Year Celebration Tours

Although celebrating the New Year on December 31 at home to align with covid restrictions, you can educate yourself on different cultures while staying on campus as a student, or on your couch with family and kids at home. Covid is a great chance to tap into free virtual tour resources and join the celebration of Chinese New Year via this link (registration for tour required) and learn about Chinese arts and crafts.

Visit the Winter Palace tours in Russia

Said to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, has virtual Hermitage Museum self-guided virtual tours available on the website. There are no information sessions, as information stalls are embedded into the 360° view. This can make some of the greatest field trips or campus virtual tours for arts and culture students, especially if you are tracing the steps of Anna Karenina in imperial Russia (discover other movie-inspired trips here).

Virtual Ski Tours in the Dolomites, Italy

When it is hard to decide between skiing in one of the best national parks in the world and saving huge skiing in the Balkans, this new virtual ski experience tour might be of great help. Get immediately catapulted to an altitude of 6500 feet with clear blue sky and groomed ski slopes around you. Head to the Val di Fassa ski slopes tour here.

Get your Dose of Winter Sports in the Olympic Museum Tours

The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, offers self-guided virtual tours for anyone keen to learn about the Olympics. While waiting for the 2022 Winter Games in China, you can learn about sports by heading to the Olympic Museum virtual tour.

Tour the British Museum’s Winter Objects

Have a large family of school and college students? Field trips will appeal to both students and parents, with beautiful objects, views, and an educational classroom-like information session being held on the tour.

With this collection of winter objects in the British Museum, you can feel more in winter than ever before. From a child’s snowsuit made from reindeer hide to paintings of Hindu god Shiva sitting in the snow-covered Himalayas, you can visit the British Museum tours by era or category and listen to expert guides. This is one of the best online resources and field trips for students and adults to learn more about history off the campus.

See Nature on Live Stream

During the winter break and pandemic when campus tours usually organized by colleges are on hold, a great option is to stay on campus and see the Arctic animals online. Cuddle up with a laptop in your bead and tune in winter by switching on live polar bear streaming from Cape Churchill.

Activities & Adventure 10 MINS READ

9 Affordable US Ski Towns For Shredding On A Budget

9 Affordable US Ski Towns For Shredding On A Budget

Activities & Adventure 10 MINS READ

Whether you’re planning your ski vacation or want to slide your snowboard on terrains in the US, there are many options for skiing on a budget. In the country where bigger is better, many of the ski resorts are very large. While Powder Mountain is the largest ski resort in North America, the connected Alta and Snowbird ski resort at 5100 acres is not only one of the largest, but also one of the most affordable US mountain ski resorts. Read on to learn about the 13 affordable US ski towns for skiing on a budget.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Whitefish Mountain Resort — Whitefish, Montana

The Whitefish in Montana, Northwest US, is an authentic mountain town in the northern Rockies. Not only is it surrounded by exquisite beauty; it has been ranked as one of the top 52 places to visit in the world by The New York Times in 2020, rated as one of the most beautiful in the US, and the most beautiful town in Montana. The town is well known for environmentalism and is a good place to live for hippies.

For skiing, the Whitefish Mountain Resort on the near Glacier National Park has some of the most affordable mountain ski tickets and equipment rental prices. It was ranked No.3 Best Resort in the West by SKI Magazine Readers for the 2020-21 ski season and placed second in overall value. The swing skiing starts at 1pm and includes night skiing, but night skiing itself is also available.

One-day lift ticket (adults): $85

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 3,000 acres 

Tips on how to save: while skiing in the resort is one of the most affordable in the US, the prices of accommodation go up in the high season, that is, during the summer and winter months. You can save by staying in Kalispell instead, which is a 20-minute drive away. Kalispell, being home to Glacier National Park, also has two ski resorts, lakes, and streams for fishing, and also boasts an outstanding art and culture scene.

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Schweitzer Mountain — Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint in Idaho is the largest city in Bonner County of Idaho, but more than that, it is also an amazing place to visit for anyone seeking an escape from the busy city life. Nestled between three mountain ranges on Lake Pend Oreille with possibilities to hike in summers and enjoy winter with snowshoeing and skiing, this ski town is a great place to visit if you are from the Pacific Northwest. Even if you are from far away, the Spokane, Wash airport is just 80 miles away with Amtrak.

Sandpoint offers affordable skiing options, but Schweitzer Mountain resort is the largest resort in Idaho and Washington, with an elevation of 6,389 feet, it is a great resort if you are seeking a place that is big on powder, and light on parties. Schweitzer mountain resort has enough varied slopes to keep most intermediate-and-up skiers happy, with lots of free runs and plenty of steeps. If you are traveling with family and want the elderly to enjoy their time on safer activities, Schweitzer mountain also offers Nordic ski trails and, of course, ski school for kids. Forty percent of the terrain is classified as intermediate, 35 as advanced, and 15 percent as an expert with the remaining ten left for beginner level. However, if you are there for a party, then the off-slope life can feel a bit dead. The 4,700-foot-elevation village is shut down early, making it a peaceful and family-oriented resort. Apart from two lodges, vacation homes, two pubs, and one restaurant around a compact street pizza place, there is nothing more in the town. But for a family vacation, that’s a perfect fit.

One-day lift ticket (adults): $89 (midweek, with $95 on weekends and holidays)

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 2,900 acres 

Tips on how to save: If you want to save on skiing, plan your ski vacation on midweek days, so you can ski for less. Also, if you choose Alaska Airlines, the boarding passes count for free ski days at resorts near airports. Check it out and save huge on your winter vacation this season.

budget ski towns in us bridger bowl

Bridger Bowl—Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman is a great escape for skiing, biking, and hiking – the nearby Bridger Range, to the North, and the Spanish Peaks, to the South, offer great outdoor activities for any season.

However, if you wish to ski on cheap in affordable ski resorts in North America, then Bridger Bowl might be one of the best bets. While being one of the best ski areas in North America, the place is run for no-profit, making it much more affordable. With areas for beginners, intermediate guests (500 acres) and advanced skiers are available. The resort also includes a bar and lounge, and on your free time in afternoons off-slopes you can visit Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National park in Montana to hike or car-ride some of the most beautiful trails, such as Bozeman to Norris Geyser Basin looking out for Trumpeter Swans on the rivers and bison on the roads.

One-day lift ticket (adults): $63

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 2,000 acres 

Tips on how to save: We suggest checking the Bridger Bowl official website, as this season, all visitors are required to make a reservation before skiing or riding. Following ski conditions and managing reservations for both skiing, accommodation, and traveling to Bozeman is crucial to safeguard your holiday joy.

budget ski towns in us budget ski resorts taos

Taos Ski Valley—Taos, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley ski town is well known for free-skiing and also as a great resort for families. The Ski Valley is also very accessible, with Santa Fe (165 miles away; shuttle service offered) being serviced by American Airlines from Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix, and United to Denver International Airport. However, if you just want to ski occasionally, you may consider staying in Santa Fe, which is a bigger town with a ski area just 15 miles away.

The largest ski mountain resort in New Mexico being Taos, it is also among some of the most affordable ski resort options for affordable ski holidays. Although you should watch the snowfall (average snowfall 300 inches) for the trail openings, the Taos Ski Valley ski resort offers strong intermediate and advanced mountains with over half of marked runs being advanced or expert (51%). There are also 2 terrain parks —Maxie’s Terrain Park, Bambi Glade Terrain Park if you prefer snowboarding over skiing.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $85 (on Monday-Thursday, non-holiday and non-peak days; other days $128)

Lift day tickets (youth 7-17 y.o.): $90

Ski area: 1,3000 acres 

Tips on how to save: If you’re lookingto save even more, then consider the nearby Angelfire ski resort. It is cheaper, more accessible, and more of everyday family type skiers. The lifts for Angelfire are right in the town, whereas it can take 30 minutes to get from Taos to lifts.

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Ski Cooper — Leadville, Colorado

The historic city of Leadville in Colorado at 10,152 feet above sea level is the highest incorporated city in North America. And unlike other Colorado mining towns, Leadville still looks like it did in years past, with 70 square blocks of downtown Leadville designed as a National Historic Landmark District of Victorian Architecture of late nineteenth century with the largest opera house of the Mississippi, the saloon visited by Oscar Wilde and so much more to discover on your off-slope time.

If you wish to have a great ski vacation without breaking a bank, give Leadville a go. The Ski Cooper is one of the oldest in the state, opened 78 years ago, and in between the base of 10,5000 feet and summit of 11,700 feet, the 59 trails served by 5 lifts give you an amazing ski experience with an all-natural snow base. However, keep in mind those expecting an area to perform tricks, Ski Cooper does not have much to offer — with no terrain parks, the mountain resort focuses on skiers and mountain snowboarders only. Altogether, Ski Cooper is a great alternative to more crowded ski areas. Generally, here there are no lift lines, high-rise condos, or man-made snow.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $80

Lift tickets (children 6-14 years): $60

Ski area: 470 acres 

Tips on how to save: If you ski a lot, you may buy the season pass instead, but overall, Ski Cooper is still one of the most affordable ski resorts in Colorado.

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Donner Ski Ranch — Norden, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe is a well-known winter ski destination. Norden receiving on average 500 inches of snow per year has the snowiest ski resorts in the High Sierra. But the winter fun does not stop here. The town is great for off-slope fun as well. You can book ski lodging at the lakefront and listen to Celtic Harp music. You can go to bars and wine-tastings, or take the whole afternoon to drive to a deer farm to see the Mule deer.

Donner Ski Ranch is one of the cheapest ski areas in Lake Tahoe. There are many affordable options — see the best Lake Tahoe lift ticket deals. Donner Ski Ranch, a family-owned ski area located at the Donner Summit in Tahoe National Forest of Nevada. The mountain terrain is mostly oriented towards beginner and intermediate skiers, with beginner runs at 31% and intermediate runs at 38%, with the remaining 21% and 10% targeting advanced and expert skiers. With 8 total lifts, it is a comparatively small ski resort, perfectly navigable for those just starting.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $35

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 500 acres 

Tips on how to save: Instead of getting a flight from San Francisco, consider taking a bus or train. In the case of a bus, you can travel to Norden for much less, at the same time not spending more time on the road.

budget ski towns in us

Cranmore Mountain — North Conway, New Hampshire

The North Conway village in Carroll, New Hampshire, is a great place to escape the crowds and buzzing city. You can take a hike to Diana’s baths with smooth rocks and waterfalls any time of the year, and go shopping in the tax-free North Conway Settlers Green with over 60 national retailers.

East coast skiing and snowboarding emphasize family skiing and although has less of a natural powder, the man-made and natural snow is hard to tell apart these days. After all, New Hampshire’s Gallatin Valley is where multi-medallist Bode Miller comes from.

Regarding budget-friendly family ski destinations, Cranmore is located in the heart of North Conway, has skiing and riding for all ability levels and premier learning programs plus off-the-hill activities for all the family. The newly-added night skiing is a thrilling option for those seeking a rush of adrenaline.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $69

Lift tickets (children): $42

Ski area: 200 acres 

Tips on how to save: Save  $5 off each ticket that is purchased online 24 hours in advance.

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Brighton — Salt Lake City, Utah

Apart from skiing, Brighton offers great hiking trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Lake Blanche. You can also go to Donut Falls Trailhead for forest hiking.

Brighton is one of the most laid-back ski hills of Salt Lake, attracting a young crowd, many of whom are snowboarders. It is also the only Ski City’s night ski spot with over 200 acres of lighted runs to extend your day on the mountain. When hungry during the midday, go down to the base area, which sports its friendly tavern with burgers, beer, nachos, and sunny patio available.

One-day lift ticket cost(adults): $89 (with weekend and holiday tickets at $93)

Lift ticket (children): free

Ski area: 1050 acres 

Tips on how to save: Instead of booking a taxi or shuttle from SLC Airport to the ski resort, consider Uber Ski with ski racks or Lyft. If you are staying in Salt Lake City instead of Brighton, consider taking the Ski Bus.

budget ski towns in us bolton

Bolton Valley Resort—Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is just 17 miles away from Bolton Valley Resort, which makes it a great place to travel to during the winter holiday season if you are more of a holiday skier than a fanatic. Being the most populous city in Vermont, Burlington offers a lot of fun to anyone eager to explore its streets. Downtown with shops and restaurants, and American folk and decorative art collection of historic buildings in the vast Shelburne Museum will keep you entertained during your visit.

The Bolton Valley is just 30 minutes from Burlington, and, although there is no direct connection, you can change buses or rent a car in Vermont to get around. Bolton Valley resort has beginner runs (34%) and intermediate runs (38%), with some advanced runs (23%), but very little expert runs (6%), making it a family-friendly and laid-back ski destination for an average American. Like so many other New England ski areas, the average annual snowfall is 300 inches. The Bolton Valley Resort offers 64 trails accessed with 6 lifts, as well as night skiing.

One-day lift ticket cost (adults): $69 (midweek and non-peak; $59 on weekend and non-peak)

Lift tickets (children): free

Ski area: 165 acres 

Tips on how to save: get the most out of your time on the mountain and save money by making your lunch sandwiches and taking them with you — this is a great money-saver if you have  a family to feed.

Now that you know the most affordable ski resorts with the best deals on lift tickets, lodging, and overall value in the United States, it is time to look to decide between these budget US ski destinations. Book your accommodation without breaking the bank on CuddlyNest.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels.

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Top 10 Things to Do in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Top 10 Things to Do in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ

Also known as “The Boat”, Steamboat Springs is located in the upper valley of the Yampa River, in northern Colorado. The city is surrounded by geothermal hot springs, and it’s primarily applauded for its world-class ski resorts framed by huge snowy mountains that offer the perfect condition for winter sports. In fact, Steamboat Springs is also regarded around the globe as the “Ski Town”, and it has produced more winter Olympians than any other city in North America.

But, aside from winter attractions, Steamboat Springs also offers a slew of activities all year round. If you go to the city during summer or spring, you’ll find yourself surrounded by immense natural beauty, and indulging in fun outdoor sports, including hiking, and mountain biking.

To help you make the most out of your experience in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, we’ve handpicked the top things to do in the city.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Why Go To Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with Mt. Warner ski area in the background.

One of the top things that makes Steamboat Springs so special is the fact that the city is suitable for all types of travelers. Families, for instance, can take advantage of a panoply of fun outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, sleigh rides, and tubing. Couples can choose Steamboat Springs as their romantic getaway for the weekend and go relax in the city’s famous natural springs, which are said to have therapeutical properties.

Adorned with a rustic mountain setting, Steamboat Springs provides travelers with the ultimate vacation in the wilderness and perfectly replaces crowded city breaks. The city is also a prime destination for winter sports, as it’s home to some of the most amazing ski resorts in the world, such as the Steamboat Resort, and the Steamboat Grand Hotel.

Find Hotels in Steamboat Springs, Colorado | Find Homes Near Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Best Time To Visit Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Spring sunset in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

When it comes to the best time to visit Steamboat Springs, CO, it all depends on what you want to do. If you’re interested in hitting the slopes and having a ski trip with family and friends, winter is the best time to go.

Between June and August the weather is warm and pleasant, and travelers can explore the city’s trails, go biking, and benefit from the affordable hotel rates.

Best Things To Do in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Snowshoe on Rabbit Ears

Man snowshoeing during the sunset.

To take a break from your traditional skiing ventures in Steamboat Springs, try snowshoeing, which allows you to have fun at a more leisurely pace. Once you see the views of the Flat Tops and Yampa Valley, you’ll be glad you chose this activity.

Go Night Skiing

Night ski with view of the mountains and the full moon.

Just because you usually sky during the day it doesn’t mean that all fun has to stop when the sun goes down. In fact, night skiing can be even more fun. It’s a whole new experience. Wait until you see everything lit up at night as you glide through the slopes.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Balloons floatinh over Bald Eagle Lake, in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

Yes, even in the winter you can take an adventurous ride in a hot air balloon. And if you’ve taken a ride in a hot air balloon before, get ready for a memorable travel experience. Nothing will beat the sweeping views of Yampa Valley coated in white snow. This activity is fun for all ages and it’s a great way to experience Steamboat Springs at any time of year.

Try Some Snow Tubing Fun With Family

Woman and child sliding down in inflatable snow tube

Snow tubing in Steamboat Springs is probably the most fun activity for families. Make sure to catch a ride on the magic carpet so you can reach the top of the hill faster. You’ll want to hold on tight during your ride down the slopes, but it will be worth it.

Relax in a Hot Spring

Strawberry Hot Springs, in Steamboat Springs, surrounded by a winter forest.

After a whole day of skiing and hiking, a great idea is to enjoy some relaxation time on the famous Steamboat Hot Springs, at Strawberry Park. Located 7 miles from Steamboat Downtown, the hot springs are open all year round and are surrounded by forests and hills.

The Hot Springs at Strawberry Park features thermal open-air pools, with temperatures ranging from 101 to 105 degrees, and it’s an effective treatment to relieve sore muscles.

Ride The Outlaw Mountain Coaster

Person sliding down on a mountian coaster surrounded by a green forest and mountains on the backdrop.

The Outlaw Moutain Coaster is one of the best things to do in Steamboat Springs, especially for families with kids. Stretching over a mile on an elevated track at speeds up to 27 mph/43 kph, the coaster takes riders past Christie Peak Express. The ride takes about 10 minutes, and it features curves, 360-degree turns, rises up to 40 feet above the ground, waves, and steep descents.

Hit the Yampa River Core Trail

Aerial view of the Yampa River, in Colorado.

Aside from skiing, hiking is one of the most sought-after activities in Steamboat Springs, CO. The city is nestled around mountains and forests, and going for long walks is probably the best way of enjoying the sweeping views of Steamboat Springs. So, in case you want to hit the trails, a good idea is to start by the famed 7.5-mile Yampa River Core Trail, which runs through the heart of Steamboat Springs and along the Yampa River.

Suitable for all age groups, this paved multi-use trail is dotted with scenic pit-stops, which you’ll surely want to enjoy along the way. One of the most await stops is the Yampa River Botanic Park, open to the public from the beginning of May through the end of October. The Botanical Park is located at 6,800 feet above sea level, and thanks to designed microclimates, it offers conditions for both alpine plants and desert plants to grow. In there, you’ll find a range of native plants, trees, shrubs, birds, and some occasional visitors, like moose and bears.

Visit The Fish Creek Falls

A small bridge over the river at Fish Creek Falls, Colorado.

Visiting the Fish Creek Falls is one of the best things to do in Steamboat Springs, CO, especially during summer and spring. This majestic 280-foot waterfall roars down Fish Creek Canyon, located about 5 miles east of Steamboat Springs. The moderate hike to the waterfall grants visitors scenic nature views and takes them into the magical wilderness of the Routt National Forest, where the waterfall is located.

Hit The Slopes At Steamboat Ski Resort

People skiing at the Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, on Mount Werner, Colorado.

If you’re in Steamboat Springs during the wintertime, make sure you go to Steamboat Ski Resort, which is one of the best Colorado ski resorts. With 169 miles of trails, 2,965 miles of skiable acres, and 18 lifts, the resort is particularly famous for offering guests the perfect conditions for some fun time in the snow. In fact, the Steamboat Ski Resort is well-known for its iconic champagne powder snow, which is a dry, light, and smooth snow with an average of 6% water content.

This veritable white wonderland is the perfect destination for family holidays, as it offers a range of kid-friendly activities, such as sleighing, snowboarding, and snowmobile tours.

And, Of Course, Check The Holiday Fireworks

Winter night landscape wit colorful fireworks over a pine forest.

Although fireworks are traditional, they are a staple when it comes to winter in Steamboat Springs. Come celebrate winter and watch the sky light up with gorgeous fireworks during the holidays.

Have you ever went night time skiing? What did you think of it? We would love to hear.

Now that you know the most interesting and things to do in Colorado Springs, it is time to plan your getaway. Let us know what bucket list items you can’t wait to tick off, and we will help you find the perfect place to stay.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

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The 5 Best Colorado Ski Resorts For Winter 2020

The 5 Best Colorado Ski Resorts For Winter 2020

Colorado 5 MINS READ

When it comes to winter holidays, Colorado ski resorts offer a wide range of exciting activities, especially for families. With Christmas just around the corner, a great vacation idea is to plan ski a trip to the mountains, where you can indulge in a variety of snow sports while experiencing some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the US.

We’ve rounded up the best Colorado ski resorts, so you can take advantage of the season, experience the true radiance of winter, and, of course, hit the slopes with your family.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The Best Colorado Ski Resorts

The Steamboat Ski Resort, at Colorado Springs

Person downhill skiing at the Steamboat Resort, Colorado.

The Steamboat Resort is one of the best Colorado ski resorts for a Christmas vacation. Located on Mount Werner, in the Routt National Forest, this family-friendly resort is a major ski area in Colorado. Offering a myriad of outdoor activities, the Steamboat resort has 169 trails spread over 2,965 acres. Of those trails, 14% are beginner-level, 42% are intermediate, and 44% are advanced. So, If you’re heading out to this resort with your family, you are about to be impressed.

Steamboat Resort is a perfect match for all those looking for a family-oriented destination. In fact, they have several family programs, including amazing offers like “Kids Ski Free”, where kids under 12 can ride the chairlift for free if they’re with their parents. They also offer a range of seasonal packages, such as the Winter Wonderland Vacation 2020-21 at the Steamboat Grand Hotel, which includes 3-day lift tickets, lodging discounts, 10% off at the Grand Spa, and worry-free vacation planning.

With 169 miles of trails, 2,965 miles of skiable acres, and 18 lifts, the Steamboat Colorado Resort is well-known for its famous champagne powder snow. This dry, light, and smooth snow has an average of 6 percent water content, while other ski locations have 15% water on their snow. This snow creates the perfect conditions for skiing, and this is why the Steamboat Colorado Resort is one of the best ski resorts in the US. Wondering how they ever came up with such a quirky name? The term was coined by a local rancher named Joe McElroy in the 1950s. While McElroy was skiing, he said that the snow tickled his nose, just like champagne!

If you need a break from skiing, sleighing, and snowboarding, a good idea is to explore Steamboat Springs, which is the ski town where the Steamboat Resort is Located. Framed by huge snowy mountains, Steamboat Springs has 130 restaurants, bars, breweries, a multitude of art galleries, and a rustic relaxation water oasis, the Steamboat Hot Springs. Located downtown, the Old Town Hot Springs has waterslides and hot spring pools for you to relax after hitting the slopes.

Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Ski lifts in the snowy mountains of Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

Aspen Snowmass is a ski resort located in Snowmass Village near Aspen, Colorado. Considered one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, Aspen Snowmass has 150 miles of trails and 3,339 acres of skiable terrain. Of those, 5% are for beginners, 48% intermediate, 17% advanced, and 30% for expert skiers.

You can expect 300 inches of snow per year in this area, and Aspen Snowmass is one of the best choices for skiing in Colorado thanks to its variety of mountain terrains, which include the Burnt Mountain Glades, the High Alpine, and the Cirque.

The Aspen Snowmass also has a ski and snowboard school for newcomers of all age groups. Aside from group lessons, you can also request one-on-one training and get a personalized class in the mountains before you hit the slopes.

And, in case you’re tired of skiing, you can head over to the new Snowmass Base Village, which has an ice rink, and a climbing wall. 

Families with kids can also benefit from a holiday vacation in Aspen Snowmass, as the ski resort arranges a variety of free activities for kids, such as S’mores making and cookies decorating.

Winter Park Resort

Ski lifts surrounded by snow and pine trees.

Located 67 miles from Denver, along the Continental Divide, the Winter Park Resort is the longest continually operated ski resort in Colorado. With more than 75-years of history, this resort features seven ski territories spread across 3,081 acres

With over 320 inches of snow per year, the Winter Park Ski Resort is known for being a family-friendly destination in the mountains, and also for its award-winning Ride + Ski School. Aside from skiing at this mountain resort, you can also indulge in other fun outdoor activities, such as sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, snowshoeing, and dog mushing.

Telluride Ski Resort

View of the snowy mountains at Telluride, in Colorado.

Located in southwest Colorado, Telluride Ski Resort offers both alpine skiing and cross-country skiing opportunities to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Most of the terrain of this ski resort (60%) is dedicated to beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers have access to the legendary inbound terrain with moguls, glades, and Hike-to- terrain on the upper mountain.

Telluride has the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000- foot peaks in North America, and if you climb to the top of the San Juan Mountains, you’ll have a 360-degree scenic view of the mountainous landscape of Colorado.

And if you are into Nordic skiing, you can head over to the Mountain Village Town, which is located close to Telluride and has approximately 8 miles of winter trails. Just beware of the fact that this is not an exclusive-to-skiers-only trail, as it also accommodates hikers, snowshoers, bikers, and dogs. 

Copper Mountain Resort

Entrance of the Copper Mountain Ski Resort, in Colorado.

Considered one of the best Colorado ski resorts, the Copper Mountain Resort is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, approximately  75 miles west of Denver. This ski resort is ideal for all ages and abilities.

With 2,490 skiable acres, Copper Mountain is one of Summit County’s largest ski areas. Aside from terrain parks for skiing, this ski resort in Colorado also offers a variety of activities, such as snowshoe tours, ice skating, and the famous Mountain Coaster, an alpine coaster that will take you cruising through the forests at 25 miles per hour. Just a couple of years ago, Copper Mountain added a new activity called Apres Alley and it’s set up to offer fun activities such as ladder golf, ping pong, and live music, and even shuffleboard every Saturday.

Now that you know the best Colorado ski resorts to enjoy your winter holiday, it’s time to plan your move. Find the best-priced ski resort homes and vacation rentals on CuddlyNest. You are just a few steps away from working from anywhere around the globe at an affordable price.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travellers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

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The Most Charming Europe Christmas Market List in 2020

Activities & Adventure 2 MINS READ

Europe Christmas markets and Christmas traditions, anyone? Cultural travel is on the rise, and after tapping into Barcelona undiscovered museum list, best ancient Roman heritage sites and midsummer traditions, one can go on and discover the Northern European holiday traditions, be it Christmas, Winter Solstice or New Year’s.

Winchester

Take a break from the capital and get some black pudding at Christmas market.

Tallinn, Estonia

Take a stroll around Tallinn, the birthplace of the Christmas tree tradition, where the Brotherhood of Blackheads erected the first Christmas tree was erected in 1441.

Berlin, Germany

Visit Lucia Christmas market and buy some vegan gingerbreads.

Aarhus, Denmark

Visit the Gamle By open-air town museum and hear some Christmas carols singing and get your hygge by drinking.

Stockholm, Sweden

Feel the magic of Christmas by crunching on the chocolate glazed apple in Skansen Christmas market or get your Christmas feeling by windowshopping around Nordiska Kompaniet on Hamngatan and Kungsträdgården.

Krakow, Poland

Get your winter taste by drinking warm beer and eating bigos during Sylwester.

Dublin, Ireland

Listen to Irish pipes get into a swing of the ceilidh.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Visit the island of ice for the winter solstice festival to warm up with some whiskey, see some Icelandic sagas and watch some whales.

Ready to go to Europe for winter 2020? Get more ideas for what to do on Europe winter holidays in New Year 2020 and follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook:

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Destination Deep-Dive 4 MINS READ

Winter Wonderland: Magical European Destinations to Visit in 2020

Winter Wonderland: Magical European Destinations to Visit in 2020

Destination Deep-Dive 4 MINS READ

European destinations during Christmas and New Year’s attract many visitors from all around the world. But where to go to experience the offbeat winter itinerary?

Some of the best spots to celebrate the winter solstice is where there is the least light, the lowest temperature, and the most snow. If you are in the US, you may go up to Canada or Maine, Minnesota or Wyoming, but if you happen to travel around Europe in winter, there are some must-visits for tapping into the winter wonderland. So hold tight, because we are going on a sleigh ride all around Europe.

European Destinations: The French Alps

French are famous for their fashion mecca Paris, their patisserie and champagne. But did you know that the French Alps is one of the best spots to dive into winter activities?  Val d’Isère near Tignes might be just your next place to go if you have a soft spot for large ski resorts and prefer many ski tracks of different experience levels. From black to red, to a large network of blue tracks, the remote valley captures what’s beautiful about French Alps, namely the diversity and extensive choice for everyone, both snowboarders and skiers. If you are just starting out, yet want some glitz and sparkle, then Courchevel is the place to be. Multi-million properties and high-class are the specials for this luxurious ski resort, and why not? Winter is always fun, and more so if you have a dollar to spare.

Finland

If you seek to catch the glimpse of nature and truly white winter, then Finland is one of the best European destinations to experience just that. They even have Santa Claus living just behind the polar circle! And if you go high enough to the very Northern areas of Finland, you will surely see all the colors of Northern Lights.

Being home to various winter sports and crazy activities, Finland will not leave you wondering what is the essence of winter vibes. And if you are crazy enough to go full in, you will see how people master wintertime. From saunas to winter swimming to the ski jumping and nordic combined discipline, there is a wide range of activities you can do. And – did we mention raindeers? If you want to catch a vibe before going, a recommended movie is “Sami Blood” showing the harsh lives of reindeer-breeding Sámi peoples. The movie is set in neighboring Sweden in 1930s, and it may also be wise to visit Sweden if you are traveling from afar. Fun fact? Finland used to be ruled by Swedes for centuries and still has two national languages. If you go more to the west, you will definitely encounter Swedish more, and if you are a  Dane or Estonian, you may very well get by using your mother tongue – Danish and Swedish are very similar, just as Estonian and Finnish.

Norway

If going outside of the European Union is not a dealbreaker, then Norway should also be on your travel list. It is wild (and expensive), yet going to mountains and seeing the views of mountain lakes and fjords will definitely be worth it. You may also ski downhill or do cross-country skiing. If you are more up for a laid-back atmosphere, you may want to go for dogsledding. Just get ready for a cold breeze and adrenaline! Ice fishing and ice skating are also popular wintertime activities, and you may do them anywhere you wish. For ice fishing, you do not need to obtain a license either, but better go prepared and in a company, especially if you are a first-timer. How often do you get a chance to slide over ice clearly seeing every single water green right under you?

Iceland

Of course, Iceland. No wonder, huh? Not that much of an ice cube anymore, yet full of breathtaking landscapes and views. You can cross-country ski, get into the sauna or even do mountain climbing here. Or, alternatively, you can ‘cuddly’ up with a cup of hot chocolate in an igloo or far-away farmhouses to relax from the busy city streets and finally enjoy freedom from all the responsibilities. If you are a photographer, there is no limit of your wandering photo walks, as the landscape colors change with every hour of the day. From rosy to green to burning yellow, nature presents itself at its best here. Be prepared for extreme weather though, just like in any other Northern country.

If you want to go from fairy tale to reality without losing the adventure and beauty, then you must visit Northern Europe whilst it is winter. From truly laid-back wintertime activities, like shopping in Christmas markets and dog sledging, to sports such as skiing and snowboarding for more active travelers, winter shall not be a threat but an opportunity to see the countries in their real light. Nature is breathtaking, but so are people, welcoming at houses with glogg and egg liqueur, or hot tea after a cold, crisp winter day outdoors.

Now that you know the most interesting and things to do in Europe in winter, it is time to plan your getaway. Let us know what bucket list items you can’t wait to tick off, and we will help you find the perfect place to stay.

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Hacks & Tips 4 MINS READ

Embrace the Ski Season With These Tips Plus New, Exciting Inventory

Embrace the Ski Season With These Tips Plus New, Exciting Inventory

Hacks & Tips 4 MINS READ

Are you taking advantage of this snowy season? CuddlyNest has exciting, new inventory of places to ski. Here are some tips to take with you next time you embrace the slopes.

  1. Avoid Borrowing

Think twice before borrowing someone’s snowboard or skis. This equipment is usually designed based on someone’s weight and height. To avoid ever needing to borrow, get yourself some equipment that is appropriate for you and your needs. How? Think about where you spend most of your time. What type of terrain do you ski and how often? These are important questions to ask yourself and to discuss with the store clerk when choosing the perfect set of skis for yourself.

  1. Dress Code is Critical

Sure, you know it’s cold – snow equals wintery cold weather, right? But do you know the appropriate dress code besides just ski pants, boots, and a hat? Here are some pointers to remember:

  • Bring goggles for the shade and cloudy weather and sunglasses for sunny weather.
  • Layer up those clothes, in addition to ski pants.
  • In fact, make sure one of those layers is cotton and the layer closest to your skin is thermal.
  • Ensure that all outside layers are waterproof.
  • While some people think multiple socks is best, one pair is actually warmer.
  • Pockets are a bonus so you can take off layers if you get too hot.

Now that the basics are covered, let’s jump into the fun tips.

 

  1. Are you properly turning on your skis?

While turning sends you into the direction you wish to go, you also control your speed with turning. Many new skiers will begin to make turns in either a gliding wedge or snowplow, which works on flat, gentle surfaces. However, to advance for steeper terrain, it’s important to learn the right form of turning – The proper form is more effective, even at speed, than the well-known wedge turn.

The proper way to turn is called a parallel turn – this means the skis are parallel to one another among the end of every turn. This position is ideal for edging, which is known as the basic action of scraping the edge of the skis amongst the snow. What can slow you down is edging. The goal is to get your skis as perpendicular as possible to the slope as it allows them to edge and gives you more control over your speed.

You can get the hang of edging paired with a parallel turn by practicing making “hockey stop moves” and make sharp turns to the left or right, whichever way provides more comfort for you. Start by positioning your skis so they are parallel to one another – They shouldn’t touch and definitely shouldn’t touch while turning – Now, edge them forcefully into the snow until you completely stop moving. This is basically a similar action you will notice at the end of each turn.

  1. How to Get Up in Deep or Soft Snow

While you can learn all the tips in the world to prevent a fall, you should know what to do in case you find yourself laying down in the snow, whether it’s soft or deep. To get up after a fall on the slopes:

  • Sit up sideways across the hill, positioning your skis together.
  • Make sure your pole tips are in the snow, just above your uphill knee.
  • Now, with one hand, grip the other just above the snow.
  • In just one fluid movement, push yourself up with your bottom hand as you push down on the pole grips.

  1. Transfer Weight to One Ski

Intermediate skilled skiers should learn to balance on one ski. To practice, you should transfer your weight from your downhill ski to your uphill ski while traversing. The end result with this is to parallel turn without any stemming. Start a traverse across the slope, with all of your weight carried by the big-toe-edge of your downhill ski. Your weight will then be transferred from your dowhillsi to your uphill ski by flexing your downhill leg, while you’re extending your uphill leg – While doing this, your uphill ski should be tilted onto your big-toe-edge.

During this practice, you may notice slight lifting of the tail of the downhill ski.

  1. Turning Shoulders With Skis

Several intermediate skiers may find that their shoulders follow the position of their hips, only to end each turn facing the same side of the piste. For the correct way, pick up your poles and turn them upside down to form a cross. Now, find a spot towards the bottom of the pitch in which you are skiing – Try to ensure that the crosshairs of your poles stay pointed in the exact same spot as you make careful and low speed turns around the area. If you’re doing this correctly, you will feel your hips working to keep your upper body pointed downhill as your legs go left and right across the snow. Make sure you are still aware of your surroundings while you practice this.

Do you have any other skiing tips to share? We would love to hear them. Stay safe this ski season and don’t forget to check out some our new inventory.

Activities & Adventure 3 MINS READ

Fun Things to do in Chicago in Winter

Fun Things to do in Chicago in Winter

Activities & Adventure 3 MINS READ

Just because winter is here doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up in your house. In fact, there’s plenty of activities to do in the winter that will keep you busy. Here are some winter fun ideas in Chicago.

Art Institute of Chicago Special Holiday Events

Visiting the Art Institute of Chicago will open your eyes to a variety of special holiday-theme performances and events:

  • Open Lecture: The Neopolitan Creche
  • Holiday Choir Concerts
  • 36th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt & Tea Party (Hosted December 10th, 10:45 AM until 2:30 PM)
  • Get Crafty and Build a Gingerbread House (On December 16th between 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM, and other times to come.)
  • Member Lecture: Holiday Thorne Rooms
  • Holiday Small Plates at the Museum Cafe (Every Thursday evening in December. Reservations encouraged)

Brookfield Zoo – Experience the Holiday Magic of 2020

Visit Chicagoland’s longest and largest running lights festival, the Polar Lights Show during its 36th year. Additional holiday highlights include: Dolphins in Action, photo opps with animals, Wild Encounters, Singing to the animals, Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

How to get in: You can obtain Brookfield Zoo tickets as they are included with the Go Chicago Card, as well as holiday events and activities, are all included with admission, unless specified otherwise.

Ice Skating at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Chicago in Winter

Step out on the ice and have a blast with a view of the Chicago skyline. This ice skating rink is a holiday favorite for several locals. Due to convenience and being able to find, this area is the place to be during the cold, winter months. If skating with a crowd isn’t something you jump for joy about, the skating rink is open throughout March, so there will be time to skate in peace after the New Year.

Be sure to check online for more information and specified hours. The rink is free but if you need to rent skates, rentals are available for around $10.

Lincoln Park Zoo and Zoo Light Festive Fun

Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo for some family tradition and festive fun in Chicago. Between the fun seasonal activities and bright illuminations, your Christmas spirit will for sure blossom. Whether you want to take the kids, or just stroll around with some adults, it’s the ideal place for anyone. Admission to the Lincoln Park Zoo is free.

Polar Adventure Days

Mainly for kids, Polar Adventure Days boast tons of fun such as meeting and greeting Siberian huskies, live music, storytelling, and ice sculpture creations. This is the 13th year for Adventure Days and it’s the perfect spot for some winter fun in the Chicago area. Once you’re done, you can explore nearby attractions, including the Adler Planetarium, where your children can learn about space exploration. Admission to the Polar Adventure Days is free and Adler Planetarium tickets come included with your Go Chicago Card.

What type of winter, snowy fun will your family have this year? Share and spread your ideas to spread Christmas spirit with us and our readers.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travellers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels