Snowglobe Music Festival 2019 | South Lake Tahoe Festival Guide

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If you’re looking for somewhere to ring in the New Year, why not consider the snowy region of Lake Tahoe? It’s one of the most exciting cities to spend New Year’s Eve, and there’s plenty to do, including attending Snowglobe Music Festival from December 29th to December 31st in South Lake Tahoe’s Community Playfields & Bijou Park. The music festival, hosted by MTV, will feature headliners such as Louis the Child, Skrillex, Griz, and the newly announced: Zhu!

Did you want to see any of these artists before the end of the year?

How to Get There

Depending how far you’re traveling from, there are a few ways to get to South Lake Tahoe, where the music festival will be held. Find out which mode of transportation is best for you.

  1. Fly. If you decide to fly from your hometown, the closest airport would be the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO). The airport is an hour away from the festival grounds, so you can either rent a car from the airport, or take the South Tahoe Airporter Shuttle all the way to South Lake.

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  2. Shuttle. There are both local and long-distance shuttles listed on Snowglobe’s official website. Starting off with the local daily shuttles, there are two that run from Reno and Carson City, which cost $75 for all three days or $39 for a single day pass. If you’re staying in Reno, the pick-up and drop-off point is at Peppermill Hotel, and if you’re staying in Carson City, the pick-up and drop-off area is at Motel 6 Carson City. If you can’t find a vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe itself, then Reno and Carson City might be a good back up plan if you’re able to score a shuttle pass.

    Additionally, there are long distance shuttle services from Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose, which all depart from each respective city on Friday, December 27th, and return to your city of choice on Wednesday, January 1st. Tickets from Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose cost $99 round trip or $49.50 one way. Sacramento shuttle tickets, on the other hand, are slightly cheaper, priced at $89 round trip or $44.50 one way. Each rider on every shuttle may bring two bags and one ski or snowboard.

  3. Drive. California and Nevada natives also have the convenience of being able to drive to the festival. We’re always in full support of a fun road trip adventure! Driving also gives you the freedom to travel on your own time, so you can hit the festival or the slopes at your own convenience. If you don’t have all-wheel-drive, just be sure to pack a set of chains for your tires before you go!

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  4. Rideshare. In the last year, UberSKI, Lyft, and other rideshare apps are becoming more popular around Lake Tahoe. But do to unpredictable weather conditions, rides may be limited and it’s hard to guarantee a ride. Although ridesharing is an option, it probably isn’t the best mode of transportation that you should count on to and from the festival.
  5. Where to Stay

    The most convenient location would be to find a vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe itself, but keep in mind that Snowglobe weekend is one of the busiest times of year in Lake Tahoe, and cabins book up months in advance! If you find an availability in the area, we suggest finalizing your reservation as soon as possible.

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    Your second option would be to search for availability in Meyers, CA; Stateline, NV or Kingsbury, NV — all less than 20 minutes away from the festival grounds. And finally, as mentioned above, your final option is to look for rentals in Reno or Carson City in Nevada, with the option of purchasing a local shuttle pass so you don’t have to worry about driving back and forth each day.

    No matter where you’re staying, just be sure to pack for the cold and layer up!

    Where to Ski

    The 3-day festival is held from Sunday, December 29th to Tuesday, December 31st, which means you have Saturday, December 28th to enjoy a day on the mountain if you wish to squeeze it into your itinerary. And since you’ll already be in Tahoe, why not? There are three ski areas to choose from, all less than an hour away from the festival grounds.

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    The first and most convenient mountain to explore is Heavenly Ski Resort, only ten minutes away from where Snowglobe is held. If you know you want to head to Heavenly before the festival, take our advice and purchase lift tickets online to save at least $20. Adult lift tickets for December 28, 2019 cost $141 online or $174 at the window. For teens ages 13 to 18 years old, tickets cost $116 online or $143 at the window. Be sure to plan ahead for lower rates!

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    If you’re looking to ski for less than $100, your second option is Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, about 30 minutes away from the festival grounds. Advance purchase of lift tickets for Saturday, December 28th cost $94 for adults ages 23 and over, or $69 for young adults between the ages of 13 to 22. The price of single day lift tickets purchased in person, on the other hand, are $125 for adults and $115 for young adults.

    For attendees staying further south — closer to Meyers, CA — another ski area you can visit is Kirkwood Mountain Resort, located 45 minutes away from Snowglobe and just 30 minutes south of Meyers. Lift tickets for adults on December 28th are $103 online or $129 at the window, while teens ages 13 to 18 can ski for $93 online or $116 at the window.

    Your 2019 Snowglobe Playlist

    Once your Snowglobe trip is all set and you’ve got your snow gear ready, be sure to download this playlist with 45 of our favorite tracks from this year’s lineup. You can listen to it on your way to the festival, or while you’re on the slopes. It’s the perfect way to get pumped up for the festival so you can end 2019 with a bang!

North Lake Tahoe vs. South Lake Tahoe | What You Need to Know

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The region around Lake Tahoe is a paradise for nature lovers, mountain men, ski bunnies, and anyone else with a desire for a simpler existence, more than any metropolitan city can provide. Nestled at the crook of the California and Nevada’s border, Lake Tahoe — the body of water — is one of the largest in the United States, with a surface area of nearly 200 square miles, or 191 sq. miles to be exact.

Despite it being so visually expansive, its size is not the main thing that captures people’s attention when first glimpsing the high alpine lake, it’s the lake’s vibrant blue waters. It’s absolutely mesmerizing when seeing it in person. Pictures try to do it justice, but it always seems over-saturated on the screen. Then when you get up close, you realize that wasn’t fancy photo-editing. Lake Tahoe is actually that blue and that clear.

If you’re in California or Reno and tell someone you’re going to Tahoe, the most reasonable follow-up question is: “Oh nice, it’s so beautiful up there! North or South?” If you’ve been enough, or even just once to both, you’ll understand that there is quite a difference to the two regions; which are colloquially referred to as North Lake and South Lake. Knowing these differences and how it relates to the vacation you are looking to have can truly make or break your vacation in Lake Tahoe.

No matter what season you plan your Tahoe trip, we can promise you it will be memorable in its stunning display of nature hitting its stride. However, given that it is on the eve of winter, we’re going to focus this on the colder months, comparing and contrasting North Lake Tahoe to South Lake Tahoe between late November and early May.

What’s the difference between North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe?

North Lake Tahoe is the cluster of communities, parkland, resorts, and forest land along the north and northwest of Lake Tahoe. North Lake Tahoe is not actually a town name, but rather contains Truckee, Tahoe City, Dollar Point, Ridgewood, Carnelian Bay, Kings Beach, Crystal Bay, and Incline Village.

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While on the other end of the lake is the actual town of South Lake Tahoe. Yet outside of that town as the core, South Lake Tahoe can be everything from Emerald Bay, a beautiful cove off the southwest corner of the lake, to Glenbrook along the East Shore.

Speaking of East Shore, North and South Lake are not the only way to navigate the lake. West Shore and East Shore are aptly named as they sit along the western and eastern shores of the lake. On the west side there are some very cute communities, and gorgeous homes right at water’s edge, which contrasts the serenity and vistas found while driving along East Shore.

No, but what’s the real difference between North Lake and South Lake?

With a collection of ski resorts scattered between numerous residential communities, North Lake Tahoe exudes a cozy, traditional mountain experience by the Sierra Nevada Range. Truckee is the largest community as it sits along a railroad and Route 80, but even so, it still holds on to the mining town vibe with a quaint main street of boutiques, cafes, bars, and restaurants.

In South Lake Tahoe, you are absolutely going to find a mountain experience as East Peak and Monument Peak loom right along the water. There is a distinct presence of casinos which pop up literally on the border of Nevada and California. Yes, there are casinos on the north side of the lake with Crystal Bay Club and the Biltmore. But it’s simply not the same as having Montbleu, Harrah’s, Hard Rock, and Harvey’s loom ten stories over Route 50.

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Now that’s a bit heavy-handed to bucket the entire region with four buildings. However, when comparing the North and South, we would be remiss to point out that the four largest buildings in the region are casinos on the state line in Stateline. And with that comes a specific cultural presence relative to the numerous ski shops and local dives found in the North.

So what kind of vacation are you looking for?

Everything in close proximity: With two towns sharing a border at the state line, the region of South Lake Tahoe packs a tremendous amount in a small area. So if you’re looking for everything available without the stress of finding an Uber or packing the family into the car, find a vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe, California, or Stateline, Nevada. These are also the best locations if you want to ski at Heavenly Ski Resort.

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The down-to-earth mountain town without venturing too far off path: Truckee, California is the answer to your prayers. With a quaint main street of boutiques, bars, cafes, and restaurants, right off the main highway to the region, Truckee will have the rental you are looking for with hosting friends and family.

Staying at the mountain: If you are hoping to ski the legendary Squaw Valley USA, look for homes to rent in Olympic Valley, CA. You’ll wake up to sounds of ski patrol detonations, snowmobile engines starting their morning, and groomers ending their night. Staying in this area puts you in walking distance to the Far East lift, so have a blast! And don’t worry, there’s also a shuttle if you’d rather not walk with all your snow gear in the cold.

Quiet, secluded peace in the woods: Take a peek at Tahoe City, Carnelian Bay, and Tahoma. You’ll be within reach of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows to the west, and Northstar to the northeast, but it’s a bit more of a trek to get there. However, what you trade for time in a car you are likely to get back in terms of seclusion and quality of home. Tahoe City by itself is a cute mountain town right on the lake, so if being on the water is important during the snowy months, then this is your place to search.

But what about skiing and snowboarding?

Squaw Valley and Northstar are the most popular destinations in North Lake and rightly so with incredible terrain and pleasant villages. Aside from the two most popular resorts, within close proximity of the north side of the lake are also Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Diamond Peak, and Mt. Rose. Heavenly Ski Resort lies in the south, where the gondola into the mountain is also right at the state line of California and Nevada.

Beyond the range of “close to lake” are a number of other choices as well. To the north are Sugar Bowl and Boreal. (Yes, there is another small hill called Soda Springs, but if you are traveling to ski, this is not where you will be heading). Then a bit farther south are Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Heavenly Ski Resort is all but the only option for those in South Lake, and its village is shared by South Lake Tahoe and Stateline, Nevada. So after skiing, you can just boot walk right into any of the numerous restaurants or bars for apres. Yes, Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe are considered within reach and are each great mountains to boot, but if you want a Lake Tahoe experience beyond just the skiing, then these shouldn’t be high on your radar.

So, have you decided between North Lake and South Lake? Allow us to help you find the right vacation rental for you!

Lake Tahoe Winter Travel Guide | Activities, Tips & More

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Lake Tahoe is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise — no matter what time of year you visit — but winter in particular is a marvelous season in Tahoe. Thousands of visitors have the option to enjoy various winter activities at over ten different ski resorts in the area, in addition to getting sweeping scenic views from just about anywhere. If it’s your first time visiting this ski region nestled on the border of California and Nevada, you’ll be amazed at all there is to do!

    Local Winter Activities

  1. Skiing & Snowboarding

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    Lake Tahoe is known as California’s top ski destination. Although Tahoe sits on the vertical border of California and Nevada, its two main communities are split horizontally, across the beautiful blue body of water. These two communities are called North Lake Tahoe and Tahoe South. A handful of resorts exist in both these areas, so you may want to check out a couple of them during your stay.

    One of the most popular resorts in North Lake Tahoe is Northstar. There, you’ll find the Burton Academy, the only official Burton snowboarding school. If you’re in need of some liquid courage on the mountain, you can ride down to Tōst at 1:30 PM and cheers with fellow riders over a free glass of bubbly at 2:00 PM. Because the champagne is complimentary, drinks are distributed on a first come-first serve basis.

    Down in Tahoe South, you can take advantage of a full day of winter fun at Heavenly Resort. Aside from shredding down Heavenly’s slopes, if you’re visiting in December, you can check out Heavenly Holidays, a full month of holiday celebrations including a tree lighting, fireworks, live music, and more.

  2. Drive the Scenic Highways

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    California upholds a reputation for having incredibly scenic views as you drive through the state’s highways, and Tahoe is no exception. Take a drive down the scenic highways 89, 28, and 50 to appreciate the skyline and lake views. As the highway takes you up north, feel free to stop at Squaw Valley, another ski resort which served as the site for the 1960 Winter Olympics. While there, you can tour the Olympic Museum, ice skate, ski, snowboard, or take an aerial tram ride to catch amazing views of Lake Tahoe’s landscape.

    If you continue to drive north, you’ll probably end up in an old historic railroad town called Truckee. Here you can take a break and do some shopping at local boutiques such as Dressed or Bespoke. Your visit to Lake Tahoe wouldn’t be complete without actually seeing the lake up close. On your way down from Truckee, find your way to Crystal Bay on the Nevada side, which boasts the deepest point in the whole lake, measuring in at 1,645 feet deep. This area has a lot going on, including a casino to let you test your luck and gamble a little. You’ve reached Nevada after all. If you’re not the gambling type, you can grab a bite right along the water at Lone Eagle Grille.

  3. Overlooks and State Parks

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    If it’s not too cold out, you can visit some of the high overlooks and state parks. Emerald Bay Overlook gives an expansive view of the Emerald Bay. So much so, that it’s said to be one of the most photographed places in the world. As long as the weather permits, Emerald Bay at sunrise is an incredible sight to see, even in the winter. A nearby trail leads to Vikingsholm Castle, a hidden gem built in the late 1920s. Have your camera ready here too so you can take a few snapshots at the historic mansion.

    The state parks and recreation areas around Lake Tahoe also have some picturesque views. D. L. Bliss State Park and the Donner Memorial State Park normally more popular during the summer, but if you visit during the tail end of winter, you’ll get to witness the vibrant colors of the lake in contrast with the snow, pictured below.

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Tips for Exploring Tahoe

  1. Plan Your Routes and Check Road Conditions

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    Driving is the most convenient way to get around the Lake Tahoe area, but it’s easy to get lost. To keep yourself from driving around in circles, plan your activities and routes in advance, and double check addresses on a map, and write it down somewhere in case you lose service. In the winter, look up local road conditions before you set off. The area gets a lot of snow, and road closures are not uncommon. The Waze App is a great way to get live updates on road closures while navigating where you need to go. Even if your route is clear, pack a set of chains, just in case.

    Pro tip: chains are normally more expensive in Tahoe. If you’re visiting during the winter from a different city such as San Francisco, purchase chains before you get to Tahoe. Alternatively, you can also save yourself the hassle and rent an all-wheel-drive car.

  2. Opt For Home Cooked Meals Instead of Restaurants

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    Don’t get us wrong — there’s nothing wrong with restaurants in Tahoe. But if you ask us, enjoying a home-cooked meal in your Tahoe vacation rental adds to the cozy winter experience. There are many other advantages to doing grocery shopping instead of splurging at restaurants.

    First, you’ll want to be prepared if you get snowed in. During the winter months, anything is possible, and it’s better to be prepared rather than stuck at home with no food. Second, cooking your own meals will also save a lot of money, which you’ll be able to spend on other exciting things. Third, this will allow you to enjoy spending time in your vacation rental rather than being out and about all the time.

    Hit the grocery store and think of the best comfort food you can make for you and all your travel companions! You never know, cooking may even turn into a fun activity for your entire Tahoe crew.

  3. Always Pack Snacks

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    While you’re at the grocery store, be sure to grab some snacks too. Granola bars are perfect to bring in a backpack when you hit the slopes so you can refuel when you get tired. And who doesn’t love road trip snacks? Traffic jams, delays and road closures on the highway are common. Packing something to eat and drink along the way can keep you from feeling tired and hungry if you get stuck.

  4. Ready to pack your bags and head to Lake Tahoe this winter? Book a vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe or North Lake Tahoe now.

Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals That Can Accommodate the Whole Family

If you haven’t started planning your winter break escape with your family, now is a great time to start. Earlier this year, we surveyed 1,000 travelers to find the best vacation spots in the United States. Our results showed that Lake Tahoe won in spades as the top destination for outdoor activities during any time of year.

As the snow starts to fall, Tahoe seemingly transforms into a magical winter wonderland. To experience Tahoe’s beauty in the winter, take a look at these four cabins allowing you to appreciate the glistening blue body of water, where the whole family can enjoy some quality time.

  1. Lakeside 3 Bedroom With Patio & Deck

    Looking for lake access on the north side of Tahoe? Check out this town home right along Kings Beach! This property sleeps up to seven people with gorgeous lake views.

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    One of the great things about this home is that the common areas are all connected, with no enclosures obstructing your view. You can be cooking on the island stove top while conversing with your family and friends in the living room. Your view of the lake all the way from the kitchen isn’t too shabby either.

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    When you want to spend some time outdoors, there’s a patio on the first floor and a deck on the second floor. The deck even has a gas grill and heater, so you can still make use of the outdoor amenities when it’s cold outside.

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  2. Dog-Friendly Romantic Log Cabin

    Pet-friendly vacation rentals are always in demand. For anyone traveling to Tahoe with a furry family member, we’ve found the perfect place for you in Tahoe City, on the west edge of the lake.

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    This lodge has three bedrooms and sleeps eight guests comfortably. If you’re looking to invite more than eight people, you can also contact the owner about booking the cabin that sleeps ten people next door. Lake Tahoe slumber party for 18? We want in.

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    The fenced backyard features an outdoor dining area, a hot tub, and patio seating. Let your pup run free while you relax in the spa, or sit around with hot chocolate and s’mores.

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  3. Luxury 5 Bedroom Family Style Home

    If you want to accommodate one big family under one roof, check out this incredible property that sleeps fifteen people on the Nevada side. There’s plenty of exciting amenities in this home that make it a wonderful vacation destination.

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    Starting off with the indoor spa, this room dedicated to relaxation is fully equipped with a hot tub and wooden infrared sauna. The wall of windows on one end allows the natural light to pour in during the day. When it starts to snow, you can peacefully watch from the heated jacuzzi.

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    Once you’ve made use of the private spa, it’s time to get cozy in the home theater! Lazy boy seats, surround sound, and a projector sounds like the ideal set up for a laid-back weekend. Bust out the popcorn and now your only problem is, what does everyone want to watch?

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  4. Cozy Classic A-Frame Cabin

    For a unique homestay in North Lake Tahoe, why not settle into this adorable “A frame” cabin? It’s located in the small community of Kings Beach, about a mile away from the lake, and within close proximity to a handful of ski resorts and casinos.

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    The interior architecture of this home adds more flavor to your Tahoe experience, with triangular floor to ceiling windows, leading to a deck facing south west — perfect for catching a colorful Lake Tahoe sunset!

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    A total of three bedrooms sleep six people comfortably, which is great for an average-sized family. Each room is a constant reminder that you’re living the cabin life, so take full advantage and enjoy your winter getaway.

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Whether you want to stay in North Lake Tahoe or South Lake Tahoe, we can help you find the right vacation rental for your entire family.

Top 10 Most Exciting Weekend Places to Explore in Colorado

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The state of Colorado is known for its unpolluted fresh air and natural wonders. The views are majestic, and there are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy. Here are the top 10 most exciting weekend getaways in Colorado:

  1. Vail

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    Vail is famous for its epic slopes and powdery mountains. The city has its own ski area called Vail Ski Resort, which upholds a reputation for being one of the best ski resorts in the entire country. Plus, if you’re planning on heading to Vail this winter, be sure to check out Eater’s list of best bars and restaurants in the area, including La Nonna Ristorante, Vail’s newest authentic Italian joint that reopens its doors for the ski season on November 15th.

  2. Maroon Bells

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    Colorado’s Maroon Bells mountain range is one of the most photographed ridges in the country. The Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail is a short hike that’s stunning during any time of year, accessible for all skill levels, and leashed dogs are allowed too! Prepare your backpack, and get ready for an adventurous hiking experience. The scenery is absolutely incredible.

  3. Mesa Verde National Park

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    Mesa Verde National Park is an incredible preservation of land, established to protect the creations of the Ancestral Pueblo people in Colorado many years ago. The way the Pueblo architecture blends with the nature that surrounds it is truly a marvelous sight to see. If you’re interested in learning more about Native American culture, this park is a great place to explore.

  4. Pagosa Springs

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    Pagosa Springs is home to the world’s deepest natural hot spring, with a record-breaking depth of over 1,000 feet. Enjoy soaking in the hot springs in winter, try ice fishing, or ice skating. On a cold winter day, you also can’t go wrong with brewery hopping. Get the local craft beer experience at Pagosa Brewing Company and Riff Raff Brewing Company.

  5. Pike National Forest

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    Pike National Forest is the perfect place to get away from everyday life and recharge. Set up your camping tent, go hiking, or spend quality time fishing with your loved ones. There are several streams in the forest for anglers to enjoy catching fish, but the most popular fishing area is Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area. While you’re there, enjoy a 19 mile scenic drive along Pikes Peak Highway.

  6. Million Dollar Highway

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    Speaking of scenic drives, the “Million Dollar Highway” offers jaw-dropping views of Colorado. Hop in a car, and have a joyride in the mountainside highway, but be careful because some areas of this road lack guardrails. Some sights along the drive include Bear Creek Falls and the Uncompahgre Gorge. There are a few restaurants and shops along the way, but take note that these establishments are closed during winter.

  7. Rocky Mountain National Park

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    Rocky Mountain National Park ranks third in the top U.S. national parks to explore. Wildlife viewing and camping are two of the most exciting activities to experience here, but if you’re looking for the perfect view of the Rocky Mountain’s ridges, the Forest Canyon Overlook is a great place to start. Within the park also lies a ghost town on the Lulu City Trail. As you continue to roam the land, you’ll probably also see bighorn sheep, deer, and elk in the flesh.

  8. Garden of the Gods

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    At Garden of the Gods, you’ll find towering red rock formations contrasting with blue skies and greenery all around. Once you arrive at this geological wonder, you’ll understand how it got its name. Explore on bike, or go on a horseback riding tour. For adrenaline seekers, rock climbing is a common activity in the area. Best of all, this National Natural Landmark can be experienced free of charge.

  9. Durango

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    Visit the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum in the town of Durango. The historic train is still fully functional, with day trips available from Durango to Silverton. During the holidays, there is even a Christmas Tree Train ride! But no matter when you’re visiting, Durango has a mountainous landscape, making it a great location for hiking and mountain biking.

  10. Black Canyon of the Gunnison

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    Black Canyon of the Gunnison is sometimes referred to as Colorado’s Grand Canyon. For couples who seek privacy and time away from the crowd, this park is secluded from noise and people. There are three campsites available: South Rim, North Rim, and the East Portal. The land is so remote that every September, they host an annual Astronomy Festival.

Which Colorado attraction are you planning to visit first? Allow us to help you find an affordable vacation rental close by.

5 Solo Travel Destinations to Cure Being Homesick on Thanksgiving

The saying “you can’t go home again” gets incredibly tough around the holidays — and Thanksgiving is an especially tough one to miss, because there’s nothing like sitting around a table with your loved ones, indulging in butter-dunked foods, watching a good ol’ American football game, shopping on Black Friday, and just being there to enjoy the leftovers all weekend. But before your inability to get home for Thanksgiving brings out your inner Scrooge, consider this:  with an affordable vacation rental, you can still escape the monotony of everyday life to take in unique local cultures and embrace the holiday magic.

Here are a few cities to check out, plus some notable things to do if you’re homesick and solo on Thanksgiving. Each location has plenty of dining options sure to keep your ugly-holiday-sweater-rocking-self stuffed, in addition to plenty of activities to keep you busy. Don’t forget that sometimes it’s refreshing to spend some quality time alone, and in the end, we’re sure these locations will help put you in the holiday spirit.

Boulder, Colorado

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Located about 45 minutes outside of Denver, Boulder is definitely accessible by car, but if you don’t want to spend a fortune or drive, there are also options to get there via shuttle courtesy Green Ride and Super Shuttle. Once you’ve arrived at this charming mountain getaway, there are plenty of Thanksgiving dining options to keep your stomach happy, and there are a lot of fun non-food activities you can do too.

Take in a holiday tradition courtesy of the Boulder Ballet. The holiday season means many things, but if you’re a ballet buff, chances are you’ll want to consider checking out this Boulder Ballet holiday classic, The Nutcracker, telling the magical and whimsical story of a young girl Clara and her beloved nutcracker. The show follows them on a fantastic adventure through fairy towns and faraway lands over one unforgettable Christmas night.

Enjoy Dude It’s Boulder at the Dairy Arts Center. Known locally as “The Dairy,” this center bills itself as Boulder’s “catalyst for creativity since 1992,” with cultural offerings that include cinema, arts, dance, music, and — of course — theater. Dude It’s Boulder, written by Jane Shepard, a Boulder native and award-winning playwright, presents the life and times of Boulder over 10 decades with live music and 75 characters. So beloved is this show, that it often sells out.

Hit the trails, slopes, or both to take in the local fun. The scenic backdrop that surrounds the area beckons visitors who seek a trail to hike or a slope for a skiing adventure. Beer lovers can enjoy a mug of local suds from one of the 21 nearby breweries or shop wares crafted by local makers. And don’t forget to sample some chocolate while you’re out and about.

Ready to save a mint? Affordable rentals in Boulder are right this way.

Sedona, Arizona

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Although Sedona is a two-hour drive from Phoenix and an hour outside Flagstaff, if you’re up for the drive, it is one scenic trip worth considering given the reward of breathtaking views along the way. Known as a retreat with many resorts and spas where visitors can get their rest and relaxation on, Sedona also provides visitors with some pretty sweet treats and activities.

Visit Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. This former site of an artist’s community now plays host to over 50 unique shops and art galleries. Visitors can browse local artist’s wares, which are sometimes crafted on the premises, including bronze sculptures, weavings, and fine contemporary jewelry. The village also offers fine dining with a nod to the state’s local Southwestern roots.

Enjoy the Vines of Verde Valley. Located in the nearby red rock countryside, Verde Valley is a wine lover’s paradise. Verde, which means green, is a great way to describe this region because it provides a lush oasis in the desert with nearly 80% of it designated as National Forest. The valley is home to the Verde River, the state’s only federally designated “Wild and Scenic River.” Verde Valley also consists of five vineyards and six tasting rooms, offering wine lovers the perfect excuse to sip and stroll on repeat.

Take a Jeep Tour. If it’s accessible to humans by car in Sedona, chances are you can probably take a tour of it in a Jeep Tour. Visitors to Sedona can expect to experience wineries, the Canyon, and countless other local draws from the vantage point of a local Jeep experience, with some lasting for an hour and others taking much longer. Don’t want to do the tour thing? Cool. You can also rent a Jeep and make your very own DIY tour.

Is Sedona’s energy calling your name? We’ve got you covered with affordable rentals right here.

Leavenworth, Washington

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Have you ever dreamed of going to Germany without having to dust off your passport? If so, you’re in luck because Leavenworth is waiting for your arrival, with all the Bavarian delights one can hope for this side of the Atlantic. The self-proclaimed “Alps of Washington” prides itself in keeping it local. Whether it’s wine, chocolate, cheese, or goods and trinkets, Leavenworth is down to party Bavarian-style any time of the year.

Enjoy a Horse-Drawn Carriage or Sleigh Ride. What better way to kick off the holiday season than to cozy up under soft blankets and see the sights in a carriage or sleigh ride? There are dozens of ways to participate, including, breakfast and dinner routes, at nearby ranches and in nearby meadows, and of course, some offer warm cider by the fire to top it off.

Give Yourself a Spa Day. Holidays can be stressful, so why not consider booking yourself an afternoon at the spa to relieve the stress and help you feel like a million bucks in the process? While Leavenworth is known for its nod to the old country, its spa offerings are modern and up-to-date, including luxury treatments such as massages, facials, scrubs, and wraps.

Swing by the Nutcracker Museum. You read that right. Leavenworth is so in love with all things Nutcracker that it even has a museum solely dedicated to the intricate wooden gadgets. The collection features figurines from all around the world and presents their rich history in a way that delights both children and adult visitors.

Ready to relax? A cozy rental in Leavenworth will do you good.

Portland, Oregon

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Thinking about keeping it weird this Turkey Day? The town known for just that is more than equipped to give visitors a great experience this time of year. While slightly larger and more well known than the other locales on this list, Portland usually manages to keep a small vibe even as it incorporates big-city sophistication.

The result: a holiday to remember.

Enjoy Holiday Spirit Aboard the Portland Spirit. Want to skip the hotels and restaurants for dinner and hit the waters instead? Great news! The Portland Spirit can do just that. For two hours, a boat will take visitors along the Willamette River, providing great views of the city and the nearby Milwaukie Waterfront. Dinner is served buffet style and includes all the trimmings one can expect to find at a holiday table. Visitors are also treated to candle-lit tables and live piano music.

Dig the Vibe at Dig a Pony Thanksgiving. Ready to dance, get down, and maybe find a sweet treat? You just might want to see what’s going on at Dig a Pony Thanksgiving. The venue is a performing art and dance space that also offers drinks. In honor of Thanksgiving, guests at Dig A Pony are invited to enjoy dessert while they bop to the music because it plans on serving up some pie along with a side of funk.

Check Out the Holiday Tree Lighting and Beaverton Night Market. Portland will host its 35th annual holiday tree lighting from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the Pioneer Square Court House on November 29th. In addition to the brilliance of over 14,000 lights on a 75-foot Douglas fir, the town will host a holiday sing-along with hot chocolate on hand. Meanwhile, shoppers can bop over to the Beaverton Night Market Bazaar for souvenirs, arts, and crafts by nearly 30 vendors.

If you want to live like a Portland local, come find your affordable rental here.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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Last but not least on this list is Jackson Hole. At over an hour’s drive from Yellowstone, Jackson Hole is part of a 50-mile valley surrounded by mountains that prides itself in historically progressive moves such as electing the first all-female town council in the country in 1920. In 1930, Snow King Resort was established, marking the first ski area in the state and one of the first in the United States.

Run For A Prize. Each Thanksgiving, runners, joggers, and even prancers gather in downtown Jackson Hole to kick off the town’s annual Turkey Trot 5K. The race, which starts and finishes in the downtown square, celebrates its 27th year in operations and for 2019 will collect non-perishables for the nearby Jackson Cupboard, a local soup kitchen.

Attend A Tree Lighting With the Locals. From 5:00 PM to 7:00m PM the Friday after Thanksgiving, Jackson Hole invites visitors and locals alike to come and enjoy the lighting of its town tree, to sing Christmas carols together, and to get into the holiday mood. Even non-believers can expect a sense of magic, as Santa enters the town square pulled by sleigh dogs.

Get Lost In (Responsibly) In Nature. The fun in Jackson Hole doesn’t stop at the town square. There are plenty of excursion worthy stops outside the center city as well. Try a 12-minute ride in the Jackson Hole Tram if you want to see the surrounding area from high in the sky. Ski buffs can hit the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and for those who want to really get lost, taking in a guided wildlife tour is a sure bet.

Pro tip: your money doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket in Jackson Hole if you book an affordable rental.

Enjoy a Snow Day in These Four Gorgeous Cabins in Vail, Colorado

If you’ve set your sights on checking out Vail, Colorado for your first ski trip of the season, your next step would be to find a cozy lodge or cabin to keep you warm after a day on the slopes. Take a peek at these four Vail vacation rentals we love, which you can book instantly.

  1. West Vail Rustic 3 Bedroom & Loft

    For a convenient place to stay, you can settle into this lodge in West Vail, just a short walk away from a free bus ride to Vail Ski Resort. Plus, once the snow starts to pour, you’ll have piles of powder right in your backyard. If you bring kids, this would be a wonderful place to play in the snow without straying far away from home.

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    This contemporary cabin sleeps 11 people, fully stocked with a SmartTV, firewood, and fireplace for everyone to gather around at the end of the day. It’s the perfect room to catch up with friends and family!

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    The property itself is located on Gore Creek, and surrounded by mountain views. You’ll be blessed with a peaceful sight of Colorado right outside the balcony.

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  2. Grand Hyatt Vail

    Looking to treat yourself to top-notch service at your vacation rental? Consider booking a room at the Grand Hyatt for maximum comfort. This particular property comes highly recommended for couples, but you also have the option to select a suite for up to six people.

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    Just like the first property listed above, the Grand Hyatt is located along Gore Creek, seen right outside this bathroom balcony. But let’s take a second to admire this amazing bath tub ⁠— picture yourself drawing a warm bath right here after exploring the beauty of Vail in the winter.

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    Or, to level up your relaxation game after hitting Vail’s slopes, you can also treat yourself to a foot massage at the Grand Hyatt’s onsite spa. Other amenities at this property include two heated outdoor pools and three hot tubs. A luxurious experience like this would probably set the bar high for all your ski trips in the future.

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  3. Vail Log Cabin With Beautiful Creek Views

    If you’re coming to Colorado to escape city life and enjoy what winter has to offer, this cabin is all you need. This newly remodeled home sleeps up to eight people, conveniently located close to a Vail Town Shuttle Stop, and just a drive away from Vail Ski Resort.

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    Enjoy the tranquil sounds of nature from your front yard, with Gore Creek right around the corner. There’s plenty of space to make a snowman, make snow angels, or have a snowball fight with the kids!

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    When all is said and done, you can come home and be welcomed by this big comfy bed. How often do you get to enjoy a weekend in an actual log cabin?

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  4. Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa

    Opulence is waiting for you at Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa, situated right in the heart of Vail Village. Guests at this lodge are spoiled with free breakfasts every morning, massage services at the spa, and a fitness center that’s fully equipped with saunas.

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    These spacious suites are surrounded by windows, letting in all the natural light. It’s a great place for families to enjoy a winter vacation in the most hassle-free experience, with onsite concierge to assist with any of your needs.

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    All this space will make you feel right at home! Share a meal at the dining table, or pack some board games just for this occasion.

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Ready to plan a winter escape to Vail? Find an affordable cabin in Colorado with VacationRenter!

5 Sunny Cities for a Warm Thanksgiving Holiday with Your Family

Thanksgiving — commonly known as the holiday of showing gratitude while feasting over turkey — also marks the beginning of the chilly holiday season in most parts of the United States. So even if you and your family are gearing up for a long weekend getaway, you might not be as excited to travel with the thought of packing extra layers and enduring cold weather.

As the fourth Thursday in November approaches, we’d like to remind you that there are still some cities across the country that radiate sunshine and allow you to bask in the warm weather. From theme parks, to parades, to outdoor adventures, these cities provide enough family-friendly activities for your whole group to enjoy over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Los Angeles, California

The weather in Los Angeles typically stays between the high 60s and low 70s all throughout November, making it one of the most ideal cities to travel to on Thanksgiving. If you’ve already planned a trip to LA before, you know that there are many different things to do in the city for you and your family, including the Disneyland Christmas experience, and showing off your skills in the ice rink in Santa Monica.

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Over the Thanksgiving weekend in particular, families can visit the Aquarium of the Pacific to enjoy an Aquarium Thanksgiving lunch, or watch the Hollywood Christmas parade, which takes place on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. For a quieter holiday experience, you can visit one of the city’s stunning botanical gardens — Descanso Gardens — which transforms its grounds into a whimsical and interactive light show in Enchanted: Forest of Light.

While a few restaurants may be closed for the weekend, there are still plenty of excellent dining options in Los Angeles to choose from. Some places to consider are Tavern in Brentwood, Bourbon Steak in Glendale, and Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey. All these restaurants will be serving Thanksgiving special menus, making it an incredibly unique way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Go ahead and book your Los Angeles trip!

Honolulu, Hawaii

If you’re looking to spend your long weekend hardcore relaxing, head to Hawaii for a laid-back island vibe. Honolulu was once voted the Best City to Celebrate New Year’s Eve because of its warm weather, even during the holiday season. On top of that, there are many kid-friendly activities around Honolulu that’ll keep your family highly engaged. If the kids want to see animals, you can visit the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Sea Life Park, or Atlantis Adventures. If they want something more physically adventurous, bring them to experience an adrenaline rush in Coral Crater Adventure Park or Kualoa Ranch & Zipline.

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If your family plans to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Honolulu, you might want to catch the Waikiki Holiday Parade, a gathering to commemorate Pearl Harbor survivors and veterans. The parade will consist of marching bands, military personnel, and of course, Hawaiian dancers!

The Islandwide Crafts Expo is another special gathering that takes place every year. It hosts Hawaii’s best craft artists and food vendors, making it the largest holiday craft expo in Hawaii, and a great place to shop for gifts and souvenirs. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get to squeeze in some holiday gift shopping at the expo. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving spreads look a little bit different in Hawaii, where a turkey might be seen next to a side of poke and purple potatoes. Get a taste of a Hawaiian Thanksgiving meal in Hoku’s Restaurant or Kai Market.

Ready to head to Hawaii? Find a beachfront rental in Honolulu.

Orlando, Florida

You can choose to escape to warm weather in Orlando, where temperatures remain in the high 70s and low 80s during Thanksgiving. The city is the home of many great theme parks, which will definitely keep the kids entertained. Your park options include Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Legoland, and Disney World. Before you book your trip, be sure to read our tips and tricks for the ultimate Disney family vacation.

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If your family doesn’t feel like spending your vacation in line to get on rides, you can also check out these nine family-friendly things to do in Orlando that don’t involve theme parks. WonderWorks calls itself an “amusement park for the mind” and has different educational exhibits for children to explore. The Crayola Experience will also be open on Thanksgiving, with nine new holiday activities open just for the season.

For a more unorthodox Thanksgiving experience, you can visit the annual Vegan Turkey Festival at the beautiful Mead Botanical Garden. But if you want to stick to tradition, Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, The Edison, and Fogo de Chao are just a few well-recommended restaurants that have Thanksgiving specials on their menu.

Travel to Orlando for your next Thanksgiving holiday!

Phoenix, Arizona

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Arizona, November is the perfect time because temperatures are more manageable than in the scorching hot summer months. Enjoy the warm weather driving through the Apache trail, more formally known as State Route 88. This 40-mile drive starts at the Apache Junction, ends at Theodore Roosevelt Dam, and has plenty of things your family can do along the way. The Goldfield Ghost Town, for example, is a display of history and character that will transport you back to the old west. Film and music aficionados will get a kick out of Superstition Mountain, where you can see the Elvis Memorial Chapel, built as a prop for one of Elvis Presely’s big screen films.

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On Thanksgiving Day, the whole family can watch the Fountain Hills Thanksgiving Day Parade, known as the only Thanksgiving Day parade in Arizona. The Phoenix Zoo’s annual ZooLights also starts on Thanksgiving weekend, featuring a new Wildlife Lantern Safari. Additionally, Phoenix houses its very own Butterfly Wonderland and Desert Botanical Garden, which are two fantastic options for nature-loving family members.

To complete your Thanksgiving weekend, indulge in a meal at The Capital Grille, Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine, or Thanksgiving at the Rawhide Steakhouse.

Check out these vacation rentals in Phoenix, Arizona!

Austin, Texas

Last on our list of warm November escapes is Austin, Texas, home to a flourishing live music scene, delicious barbecue, and more family-friendly activities. For some outdoor family bonding, the warm weather means you can still try these top outdoor adventures near Austin throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. If that’s not enough, you can opt to take part in the guided Canyon Tour at the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, or explore Inner Space Cavern, one of the best preserved caves in Texas. For something more original, try bringing your family on a Yoga Hike that combines an outdoor hike with a relaxing yoga practice.

One unique Thanksgiving experience in Austin is the annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade. At the parade, children are asked to donate used toys, which will then be given to other children in need. After the parade, you can enjoy Austin’s food selection in a variety of restaurants celebrating Thanksgiving, including 24 Diner, Cannon and Belle, Mattie’s at Green Pastures, and Second Bar + Kitchen.

Austin could be your next Thanksgiving destination. Search local rental properties on our site.

If you’re looking to escape the cold this November, keep these places in mind for your Thanksgiving holiday with the family!

Montana Winter Attractions | Ski Trips to Big Sky, Bozeman & More

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Some people prefer summertime, but many others look forward to the colder months. Winter has its own beauty and charm, especially in the United States. There’s nothing sweeter than a cup of hot chocolate while sitting near the fireplace and watching the snow fall outside.

If you’re looking for a winter wonderland escape, consider planning a trip to Montana during the holiday season. You’ll find several unique cities to visit, popular winter attractions to experience, and fantastic ski resorts to squeeze in some outdoor fun during this exciting time of year.

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Top Winter Cities in Montana

  1. Big Sky is a community found on the south end of Montana, close to the border of Yellowstone National Park. The area is most commonly known for outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking.
  2. Bozeman can be found about an hour north of Big Sky, serving as a home base for Montana State University. The closest ski resort to Bozeman is Bridger Bowl, with incredibly affordable lift tickets for as low as $53 for adults! This is a great place to learn how to ski or snowboard, because they also have beginner lift passes for only $15.
  3. Whitefish is on the northwest end of Montana, and is a great city to stay in if you plan to explore Glacier National Park. It’s also home to Whitefish Mountain Resort, where you’ll find powdery ski slopes and terrain parks for seasoned riders.
  4. Bigfork is a small community on the north edge of Montana’s Flathead Lake that’s known for it’s yearly transformation into a Christmas Village during the holiday season. This year’s Bigfork holiday festivities begin on November 23rd, where the city’s elves will be hard at work decorating the city.

Best Ski Area: Big Sky Resort

Montana’s enormous snow covered mountains are great for skiing, with a total of fifteen ski areas scattered along the west half of the state, but the best resort in Montana brings us to Big Sky Resort, also known as “The Biggest Skiing in America.”

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This year, opening day at Big Sky is on Thanksgiving, with lift tickets priced at $52. Don’t take that price for granted, because rated begin to rise by the second week of December, and can go as high as $168 towards Christmas and New Year.

Big Sky also offers a handful of winter activities including sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowshoe tours, family-friendly zip lining, and more. If you’re visiting with the kids, but don’t quite want to spend an afternoon on the slopes, you can even opt for a relaxing appointment at the Solace Spa & Salon while the everyone else is on the mountain. There’s definitely at least one activity for everyone at Big Sky, making it the perfect place to go for a winter vacation.

Montana’s Most Popular Attractions

  1. Glacier National Park is noted as one of the top four national parks to explore in the United States. Many years ago, it housed over 100 glaciers, with only about 25 left remaining today. It’s definitely a sight worth seeing, as the number of glaciers slowly decrease due to climate change.

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  2. Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is a wonderful underground attraction in Whitehall, just an hour away from Bozeman. There are several guided tour packages to explore the limestone caverns, including a Winter Holiday Candlelight Tour that starts in December.

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  3. Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University is one of Bozeman’s most iconic attractions. The museum — an affiliate of the Smithsonian — displays interesting artifacts such as dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and many rotating exhibits. It’s a wonderful place to visit if you need a break from all the winter outdoor activities!

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Who’s ready for a winter escape to Montana? Start planning ahead with VacationRenter before others beat you to it.

Consider These 8 Cities for Your First Ski Trip of the Season

Winter is coming, which means it’s time to start planning your ski and snowboarding trips for the 2019-2020 season before all the good cabins get booked. If you’ve never stayed at a ski-in, ski-out vacation rental before, this year could be your chance, but you need to start doing your research now!

There are hundreds of places to hit the slopes all over the country, but if you’ve been wanting to mix it up and try a new resort, we have some suggestions of where to start looking. These eight cities rack up inches of powder in addition to having phenomenal mountain views. Read more to find your next winter vacation destination!

  1. Big Sky, Montana

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    More than 5,500 acres of skiing terrain make Montana’s Big Sky a huge ski destination. This year, Big Sky Resort opens on Thanksgiving Day with lift tickets priced under $70 before December 20th. Thirty feet of yearly snowfall and Lone Peak Mountain’s beauty also draw in crowds every year, but if you’re trying to squeeze in an affordable ski trip, you might get lucky if the snow starts to pour in early December!

  2. Copper Mountain, Colorado

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    The ski village of Copper Mountain in Colorado is small in size, but big on challenging ski slopes. If you’re an advanced skier who’s up for adventure, you’ll find this area off the beaten path, about two hours from the Denver Airport. What makes this place even better is that nearby vacation rental accommodations in Copper Mountain are close enough for you to walk to the ski lifts.

  3. Lake Tahoe, California & Nevada

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    Lake Tahoe is situated on the California-Nevada state border, and is typically divided into two parts: North Lake Tahoe and Tahoe South. It’s a popular ski destination with stunning lake views, granite cliffs, and magnificent mountain vistas. The top three ski resorts in the area are Northstar, Heavenly, and Kirkwood. If you plan to stay in the north, one popular town to find vacation rentals is Truckee.

  4. Breckenridge, Colorado

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    Breckenridge, Colorado, is practically synonymous with skiing. Also referred to as Breck, the city’s local ski resort is commonly known for the 3,000 acres of snowy landscape, 187 trails, and variety of ski-in, ski-out lodging. Downtown is a fun place to hang-out with restaurants and breweries that provide sustenance after a long day outdoors. A few great places enjoy a round of drinks after a full day of winter activities are Breckenridge Distillery, Broken Compass Brewing, and Breckenridge Brewery.

  5. Solitude, Utah

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    As the name implies, Solitude is a peaceful ski paradise not far from Salt Lake City, under 45 minutes away. This year, opening day is on Saturday, November 23rd, so if you’re planning a trip to Salt Lake City over the holidays, a day trip to Solitude Mountain would be worth your time. Cruise downhill, cross country ski, snowshoe, and enjoy this cozy Utah town.

  6. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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    Known as “Ski Town, USA” — Steamboat Springs doesn’t disappoint. Not only will you find awesome conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling at Steamboat Resort, but you can also enjoy hot springs to warm up in the winter and a sleigh ride accompanied by a four-course dinner. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! Steamboat visitors are also welcome to enjoy the slopes for a night ski, or a moonlit snowshoe tour.

  7. Telluride, Colorado

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    Recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s best ski resorts, Telluride has 2,000 acres and 148 trails awaiting skiers. The slopes vary in difficulty for people of all skill levels, accommodating everyone from beginners, to advanced riders. Don’t say we didn’t warn you: some of the advanced slopes can be very challenging. The vertical drops in this ski area give you some serious bragging rights if you’re able to conquer them!

  8. Vail, Colorado

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    Colorado has its fair share of ski resorts and towns, but there’s one particular place that upholds a reputation for being the “King of American Ski Resorts.” Come one, come all — and feast yourselves at the magnificence of Vail Mountain, the primo destination for skiing and snowboarding. Blankets of snow, rugged mountaintops, and noteworthy skiing put Vail high on the ski map. Vail is ahead of the game, with this year’s slopes opening to the public on Friday, November 15th.

Ready to plan your first ski trip of the season? Find an affordable rental with VacationRenter ASAP!