For a location known primarily for best of class skiing Lake Tahoe offers an amazing choice of activities. Even though outdoor activities are the most most familiar ways to have fun there are so many indoor activities that everyone is sure to find something to please.
Let’s start with the casinos. Most of the Nevada side casinos, including MontBleu Casino, offer a full range of activities besides gambling. Also featured are top live shows, truly fine dining and every kind of shopping.
Hiking has always been among the favorite activities at Tahoe in the warmer months. The Mount Tallac/Glen Alpine trail offers a six mile hike to a breathtaking vista of Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake and the High Sierra. For the truly adventurous there is the Tahoe Rim Trail which, at 152 miles, completely circles the lake and provides some of the most jaw dropping landscapes to be seen anywhere in the world.
For a glimpse into the heritage of the Lake Tahoe area try the Thunderbird Lodge, begun in 1936, which started out to be a vacation resort, but as the building went on the eccentric owner found himself more and more interested in the indigenous history, the flora and fauna of Tahoe. The site was eventually sold to the US Forest Service and the mansion remains as the last and best example of a great individual residence in the area.
For those interested in the natural wildlife of Tahoe no stay could be complete without a stop at Eagle Lake, famous for the wild Eagles often spotted at the lake. It can get very busy on weekends so plan to arrive early.
Additional leading hiking trails typically include Echo Lakes offering an easy to moderate trail past both the lower and upper Echo Lakes and many other smaller lakes along the way. An even easier choice is the Rainbow Trail which is a handicapped-accessible, paved trail and features many signs by the walkway creating a self-guided tour.
Another great view point that isn’t well known is the Stateline Fire Lookout just a 45 minute hike off the road. The lookout area is cleared so nothing obstructs the alluring views that are worth the easy walk.
A beautiful way to enjoy the lake if you enjoy biking is the Ring Around the Lake bike trail. At 72 miles you will probably just select one portion to do.
While we’re talking about the lake we must mention the Dixie Queen paddlewheel boat providing daytime and dinner cruises. The Dixie Queen offers a fun and memorable bring out of any trip to the Lake.
If you want the ultimate in views with very little effort then check out the Squaw Valley Tram. The tram runs year round from Squaw Village up to the observation facility, restaurant and swimming pool build for the 1960 Winter Olympics. Heavenly also offers an thrilling Tram ride operating all year.
This list should not be considered close to complete. I haven’t even touched on many of the other popular adventures such as hot air balloon rides and, of course, the main winter attraction of downhill skiing and boarding.
With so many fun adventures awaiting you why are you sitting there reading this article? Go have some fun. Go find some Tahoe fun!
To describe the Chamonix Valley as beautiful would be a lot more then an understatement. It is, without doubt, one of the most picturesque areas in the world.
One hour from Geneva by road, this skiing and mountaineering haven has become popular the world over with skiers, mountaineers, climbers and mountain lovers alike.
The valley itself is dominated by Mt Blanc, as well as other ranges meeting in this most dramatic mountain area. Towering pillars of granite dominate the area often bewhildering you with the very scale that they represent. It is difficult not to be impressed once the clouds lift, the peaks towering above you like sentinels.
Chamonix has become very popular with the British, who have now gathered there in significant numbers, though many leave and go somwhere else once the ski season is over.
Scandanavian peoples also appear to favour the area, and, of course, there are the French.
Chamonix has become so multicultural in some areas that it would be easy to say that it is not typically French. Though French is widely spoken, you will never be far from a British accent. Most Brits have picked up the baton, so to speak, and learnt French, but a minority remain who expect to use English wherever they go. This has lead to small amounts of friction between the two communities, but nothing too serious.
If you are going to go to Chamonix, you should expect to speak some French.
As a ski area goes, Chamonix has some of the most extreme skiing available to man. There are many resorts, all reachable via a small bus or cable car ride from Chamonix or the surrounding area. For the more extreme routes like the Vallee Blanche you should look to find yourself a guide, or ski the route with people that know the way, or you may find yourself in a crevasse.
Some skiers complain of the layout that Chamonix offers – of course you can’t please all the people all of the time – if you want extreme skiing, come to Chamonix, and expect to take a few short journeys to the venue of your days skiing, that’s all.
As well as being a mecca for skiers and snowboarders, Chamonix offers excellent climbing and mountaineering options, with climbs up fantastic granite cliffs suitable for all comers, stretching to huge extreme alpine rock routes like the Walker Spur. Pleasant woodland walks can also be easily found!
Not far from Chamonix are the mountain villages of Argentiere and Les Houches. Les Houches is only a 20 minute bus journey from Chamonix and is actually a ski resort in its own right, so you don’t need to be in Chamonix itself to enjoy some of the best skiing the Alps has to offer.
When it comes to activities and things to do in Italy it should be noted that skiing and cycling are two of the countries favorite past times.
When it comes to skiing expenses have gotten so out of hand that many skiers are now looking to Eastern Europe for cheaper ski trips, but while there are certainly bargains to be found in the Balkans, the resorts tend be less developed than in Western Europe and offer less extensive terrain.
So what does the cash strapped skier do?
For many, the answer lies in the not so well known ski resort of Livingo, Italy. Set in the Italian Alps Livigno offers extensive skiing without forcing you to break the bank. With 33 lifts and 110km of skiing, the area attracts all levels of snow seeking sports fans.
The wide open runs are perfect for beginners who are just learning to ski, intermediates more interested in progressing, and the terrain park and easy back country access will definitely keep more advanced skiers and snowboarders happy.
The town has avoided the rapid building boom of imposing concrete high rise hotels that has blighted some of the more famous ski resorts in Western Europe. Instead, Livigno remains a town with plenty of rustic charm. The traditional wooden chalets and small rural buildings are easy on the eye and add to the natural charm of the surroundings.
The best thing about Livigno is the price, due to its duty free status which was introduced by the Austro-Hungarian Empire about 160 years ago. It’s thought that Livigno’s remote nature, which was completely cut off from the rest of the country during the harsh winters, was largely the reason it was made into a tax free haven. Even nowadays, only three roads connect the town with other areas. Though improvements in building technology and snow clearance mean that access is no longer a problem.
About the only downside to Livigno is the slight inaccessibility of the area from major airports. It’s about a three hour drive from Bergamo or Innsbruck, but with regular buses going to the resorts on a regular basis or with privately taken rental cars readily available in Italy, getting to Livigno really isn’t too difficult.
As for cycling, there are many cities that you’ll want to visit should you take one of the many cycling tours you’ll find available. From riding the gondolas in Venice to visiting the Roman ruins, you can find all different kinds of activities and scenery to enjoy while you are cycling through this country. Your cycling in Italy trip will be full of interesting historical sights and once in a lifetime spots to make memories. You will be able to help give your children and family a trip that they will never forget. You’ll want to plan your cycling tour well ahead of time in order to enjoy the sights that Italy has to offer you and your family.
If you’re concerned this types of activities may be too expensive for you, you might be pleasantly surprised. I you go online and do a little research you’re sure to find many different companies that offer skiing and cycling tours throughout Italy. I shouldn’t be to hard to then just pick the best deal. Competition can work to your advantage in this case, because they are each trying to get your business. You should be able to find other activities in Italy that will fit your budget as well.
The holidays are a time for family and friends, a time to be surrounded by the ones you love.
But, this abundance of love also brings about an abundance of chaos: the holidays are a time for screaming babies, sloppy kisses on the lips from your Aunt Shirley, endless requests from three year old nephews for shoulder rides, and accidentally walking in on your Grandpa George sitting on the toilet, a spot he has been for over three hours. Because of this, when someone is asked what they are doing for the holidays, they often reply, “I’ll be with family. So, in other words, I’ll be drinking.”
Nonetheless, the holidays are a time that come but once a year, and leave before you even know it. After they are over – the presents have been unwrapped, the VCR you received from your grandmother has been exchanged for an IPOD, and your in-laws have finally decided, three weeks later, that they’ve worn out their welcome – you may find yourself desperately wanting to take a vacation.
For the person who loves to ski – who prefers to strap their children to the luggage rack of their SUV so that their new alpine skis can ride shotgun, where it’s nice and warm – a ski trip is an excellent vacation getaway. Even for those who don’t particularly enjoy skiing, sitting inside a ski lodge, drinking peppermint schnapps and hot cocoa, can be a welcomed release to the hustle and bustle of the past few months.
There are a variety of places to take a ski trip. Some people prefer to go close to home, others prefer to travel abroad, and still others simply enjoy skiing through the forest behind their house, getting lost in the woods and their imagination. While people can ski in all sorts of places, a few resorts routinely remain a snow bunny’s haven.
“How’s your Aspen?” may be a question asked any skier who routinely crashes, falling to the ground butt first. Known for its steep hills, there is rarely a better place to fall than Aspen, Colorado; falling here may even provide the rare opportunity to have celebrities laugh at you. While it can be a bit expensive, many skiers, particularly those who are well seasoned, find that the challenge of Aspen often warrants the price.
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the non-skiing life of Aspen is as magical as the slopes. With restaurants, five star lodging, and entertainment unlike most mountain towns, a ski trip to Aspen is really hard to surpass.
Whistler, British Columbia
Huge mountains make up the arguably best place to go for skiing in North America. With some of the biggest drops, this resort provides certain skiers with chills and others with thrills. Many skiers believe that they haven’t truly skied until they have conquered the slopes of Whistler. Soaring down the mountain with the wind in your face, and snow underfoot, the skiing at this location serves as the epitome of the sport.
The village surrounding the mountain adds to Whistler’s charm. Well known for offering after skiing food and drink, it contains everything from Chinese food to French food, from Mexican food to the food of the Greeks. Very much a melting pot of interests, it is almost impossible to find something here that you wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy.
Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France
“Wee wee,” is a term you will surely shout as you coast through the white powder of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. The location that hosted the first Winter Games in 1924, this resort has cemented itself in history, continually vying to be the most famous ski resort in the world. This resort includes the highest peak in the Alps and one of the longest runs in the world.
After skiing, there’s nothing quite like unwinding with a nice bottle of wine, a product for which the French are famous. With an atmosphere unlike many most experience, this ski trip offers more than just fresh powder: it also offers those not from France a fresh outlook on a different culture.
Jackson’s Hole, Wyoming
Wyoming isn’t exactly known as a hot spot when it comes to vacation; it’s not its heat but its snow that lends itself to our list. Possessing the mantra, “Like nothing you have seen before,” Jackson’s Hole is one of the most unique ski resorts in existence. From unparalleled back country to the potential for serious weather conditions, Jackson’s Hole is a ski resort that can be dangerous for the person who doesn’t take precautions. However, for those who ski safely, Jackson’s Hole will prove to be a whole lot of fun.
For anyone who grows tired of skiing, Jackson’s Hole offers experiences not likely to be found anywhere else. These include taking a sleigh ride through a National Elk Refuge, snowmobiling through Yellowstone National Park, and snowshoeing with the Wyoming wildlife.
Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
Where New England skiing was born, the Stowe Mountain Resort captures the appeal of a small, northeastern town. Over 200 years old, this town possesses dining, lodging, pubs, and skiing unlike any other. Once known as the “Ski capital of the East” this resort is nothing if not varied: from slopes intended to serve the brave to those intended to serve the novices, this resort is sure to appeal to skiers from all over the world.
Stowe Mountain Resort makes itself known as a resort laden with originality, stating that no two trails at this resort are the same. There are trails specifically designed for cross country skiing, trails designed for snowshoeing, and even night skiing on Saturdays, an experience that allows skiers to ski down Mount Mansfield over the snow, and under the stars.
So, there you have it. Some of the best places to ski in the world. These resorts are just what you need to give your post-holidays recovery a real lift.
About the Author
Jennifer Jordan is a senior editor for http://www.milleniumlimo.com/. Having been to five continents and over 40 countries, her travel column can be found at the Millenium limo website.
There is no better rush than skiing down a mountain on fresh snow. For all you winter sports enthusiasts, we have compiled a list of the popular ski resorts in the USA to fulfil your craving for speed:
One of the better known Ski resorts in Colorado, Breckinridge totals 2,358 acres and has 155 trails. Its longest trail, Four O’clock, reaches a length of 3.5 miles and the resort spans over more than 10 peaks. Of the 155 trails this resort hosts, 36-percent are expert slopes, the largest percentage of slope difficulty, and 13-percent of the slopes have the easiest designation.
Located in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, Aspen, Colorado, is the Aspen Mountain Ski Resort. Aspen Mountain sits on 673 acres and is one of the smallest skiing resorts around. It utilizes Aspen Mountain and Bell Mountain which has an elevation of 11,212 feet.
This ski resort is the largest resort in the eastern part of the United States. Utilizing Vermont’s second highest mountain, Killington Peak, this resort sports 200 trails and 33 ski lifts spanned over seven mountains. It is estimated that nearly 17,000 people will visit Killington Ski Resort on a good day.
Park City, Utah
This tourist destination is home to three different ski resorts, Park City Mountain Resort, the Canyons Resort and Deer Valley Resort. Park City Mountain Resort covers 3,300 acres and has 104 trails. Canyons Resort is the largest of the three, with runs on 9 mountains, 155 trails and covers 3700 acres. Deer Valley Resort recently underwent a nine million dollars renovation to add 200 acres and nine new slopes
Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California Lake Tahoe
Located on the Nevada-California boarder is home to Heavenly Mountain Resort. It features 95 slopes over 4,800 acres. At an elevation of 10,067, this resort is host to Lake Tahoe’s highest peak. It is the largest ski resort in California, with a total of 33-percent of its land developed.
Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
The Pocono Mountains is home to more than ten different ski resorts. The largest one, Camelback Ski Area, has 33 slopes and covers 139 acres. At an elevation of 2,133 feet, its steepest slope is 800 feet. The Jack Frost Big Resort is located close to the ski area of Camelback. This ski area is two resorts combined into one with nearly 30 different ski slopes.