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Travel: Quebec

Enchanting is the only word for winter in Quebec City. Ok, it does get cold and snowy, but the streets glitter brightly with festive decorations, imbuing the city with a downright iconic, wholly contagious holiday vibe. The streets are narrow and the close proximity of…everything in this old-European-style village means that you never have to walk far for a warm meal, hot chocolate, or local brew. If you’ve never been to Quebec City, it’s a blend of old-world charm with a charm that’s totally French Canadian—exotic and welcoming at the same time.

There’s plenty to do and see—here are some tips for planning your trip.

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Travel: Ski and Ride NYE

Expectation is always the downfall of most New Year’s Eve celebrations. So much build up tends to lead to so much…disappointment. But the silver lining of this holiday may reside in its place on the calendar–New Year’s Eve, in other words, is the prime time to embrace some cold-weather fun. So we say leave watching the dropping of the ball in Times Square to the mindless hordes, and head for the mountains instead. Here are a few of our favorite snow-centric celebrations this year…

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Travel: Ice Sculptures

Forget the image of frozen swans in wedding punchbowls. Ice sculptures are so much more advanced than that cliché. Now, countless cities around the globe host their own ice and snow sculpture festivals–it’s the perfect activity in places where cold weather is the norm. People create and enjoy beautiful art–and ice is the ultimate renewable resource. The sculptures range from the exquisite small creations to entire hotels and castles where you can spend the night and have a classy meal.

Here are a few don’t miss ice and snow sculpture events.

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Travel: South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe, straddling the border between California and Nevada, is a city that never sleeps. You could easily play outside all day and party all night and keep up the frenetic tempo for several lifetimes. The nearly ubiquitous views of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains stand as a near-constant reminder that there’s a legion of outdoor pursuits on tap here, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to paddleboarding, trail running, backpacking, hiking, biking, and…pretty much everything the rest of the year. Partner that outdoor hedonism with the city’s handful of casinos, which offers a different spin on indulgence, and expect to be wholly overwhelmed with options. Let us offer a few ways to navigate the 1,001 options for the winter months now upon us.

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Travel: Puerto Rico

If absence truly makes the heart grow fonder, by now you’re probably really yearning for a bit of sun. The kind of sun that warms the skin. The kind of sun that makes the dark days of winter feel like a distant dream. The kind of sun that glints, hypnotically, off the Caribbean Sea. The kind of sun, in other words, that illuminates the isle of Puerto Rico almost every day of the year.

 

And given the island’s status as a U. S. territory, you don’t need a passport.

 

Spontaneous travel just became much simpler. Here’s a few things you can do when you arrive.

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Travel: Warm Winter Hikes

While we all love the coming of the cold, and the activities that accompany it, occasionally we yearn for a bit of a respite from winter (especially if those Polar Vortex conspiracies come true). And that’s why we love these hikes. They trace through some of the country’s best national parks, ones that are prohibitively hot during the peak travel months of summer, but become a textbook destination when the rest of the country struggles to adjust to the deep freeze.

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Travel: Family Friendly Ski Resorts

The family that skis or rides together stays together. There are very few outdoor activities that are as family-friendly as skiing and snowboarding. These sports can be enjoyed by nearly anyone who can walk—from three or four years old to people in their 80’s and even 90’s. Our suggestion is to plan on a long weekend, or better yet, a week. Sign kids and adults up for lessons; non-skiers or riders can snowshoe, ice skate, or have fun at the tubing park. Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly ski resorts in the country.

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Travel: Sun Valley, Idaho

First things first: Ketchum, Idaho—the city adjacent to the famed Sun Valley Resort and your typical gateway to the region—can be hard to reach. The area (including the small town of Hailey) sits in a low valley, and when the weather comes in, the conditions can close the airport. It’s not uncommon to take off, fly right over Hailey, and then get rerouted due to fog or clouds, even after making a few attempts at landing on the runway.

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Travel: There’s More To Irish Food Than Guinness

Perhaps because of its geographic proximity and tangled history with England, a country whose culinary heights are typically associated with mushy peas, food in Ireland gets a bad rap. We’re here to change that perception.

First, there’s Guinness, that famed, amber-hued beer of the gods that’s robust enough to qualify as a meal (even if it’s technically lighter in calorie count and lower in alcohol than the our famed State-side IPAs). Yea, it’s a drink…not food—but you can also cook with it; your first taste of Guinness beef stew will make you appreciate this stout on a whole new level.

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Travel: Park City

It’s fair to say that if we didn’t love Park City so damn much, we’d have to hate it. This small town nestled into a crook in the Wasatch Range really does have it all—and by “all” we mean countless mountain biking, trail running, and hiking trails, three world-class ski resorts, a surprisingly burgeoning craft beer and liquor scene, and a snowglobe-perfect Main Street that intermingles haute cuisine and fur coats with shot-and-a-beer combos and torn blue jeans.

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