When the dust settles on the holidays, it’s time to get away. Sometimes forty-eight hours of fun is all it takes to relax and revive. Here are five quick trips to get the job done.
Salt Lake City, UT
Foodies and artisanal boozers will find much to love in Salt Lake City, where friendly people, great dining and outdoor adventure reign supreme. Make your way through the city’s copious craft breweries and distilleries by night. Then dry out during the day by skiing Snowbird, Alta or Brighton mountains. Non-snowbirds can hop the Trax light rial to the Red Butte Garden, a quick natural getaway from the bustle of downtown. And Temple Square is the city’s architectural showcase, where the Salt Lake Temple is a magnificent sight to behold at night.
Escape winter in nearby Scottsdale, where the weather is warm and the recreation boundless. Baseball fans can spend the day at one of the 10 spring-training sites (the season starts in February). A don’t miss for golfers is Mountain Shadows, an 18-hole par-three course with a rich pedigree. Book a food tour of downtown Scottsdale, hike Camelback Mountain or take a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert. Finally, a trip to Scottsdale wouldn’t be complete without a spa visit. Try the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa for its desert botanicals and aromatics.
Those in the know will tell you that Estes Park, a major summer tourist haven, is one of Colorado’s best winter destinations, too. This small mountain town at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the morea ffordable mountain towns to visit during the winter months. Solo-goers can get a pass to park and go snowshoeing or hiking along Bear Lake. Oenophiles can plan a wine-tasting at the Snowy Peaks Winery. Estes Park has also become a serious whiskey town. The famous Stanley Hotel – the inspiration behind Stephen King’s “The Shining” – also boasts the largest selection of whiskey in the state.
Steamboat Springs, CO
This quiet mountain town is beloved by nature lovers and hot springs enthusiasts alike. In winter, you’ll find the fluffiest of its famed “Champagne Powder” snow, with six towering peaks and 165 trails that offer something for everyone – from beginner runs to steep and deep slopes. Snow biking is also a rapidly growing sport here, where larger and fatter tires are used to enjoy the trails. Kick up your feet by taking a gondola ride up Mt. Werner for an unforgettable panoramic view of the mountains or soothe your tired muscles by taking a riversidecanyon drive to soak in the Strawberry Hot Springs.
A local’s hideaway only two hours outside Denver, Minturn is a steal, even in high season. Nestled between its more famous neighbors, Vail and Beaver Creek, its’ a great home base to both. Ski experts love the Minturn Mile, a hard-core back country trial that starts on Vail Mountain. After a day tearing up the slopes, grab a casual pint or dinner at Kirby’s Cosmo BBQ. The best apres-ski reward can be found at Minturn Saloon, an authentic Colorado watering hole festooned with ski posters and old-time photos.