Complete Winter Traveler
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Whether you’re traveling across town, journeying over the river and through the woods, or boarding a plane to a far-off destination, this guide will help you make the most of exploring the great outdoors (and the cozy indoors, too!)
When the temperatures drop and the white stuff starts falling, there’s something magical about a trip to an indoor waterpark. Grab your suits and beach towels and head to the massive 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. Plunge down three four-story slides that twist and turn and twist some more, float down the “Lazy River,” relax in the tropical whirlpool spa, balance across the lily pad water walk, and watch as the kids play in the fort, complete with water blasters, geysers, and the “Calypso Cabana” 500 gallon splash bucket. Afterwards, schedule a spa treatment at the on-site Darling Reflections Spa and dinner at the Lake Café. Rent a snowmobile, go ice fishing, take the kids sledding, or try ice-skating or cross-country skiing (rentals available). Warm up around a bonfire on Friday and Saturday nights. arrowwoodresort.com
When you’re ready to escape the Midwest and journey into Africa, Scandinavia, or take a cruise to either a popular or more remote part of the world, refer to the experts at Borton Overseas. The dedicated, passionate, and professional staff considers themselves lucky to share stories and insight and help clients experience the lands that they love so much. Who better to help you plan an exotic vacation than those who have first-hand experience traveling there, and focus all of their attention on that one particular part of the world? bortonoverseas.com
Hawks View Cottages
For a peaceful getaway that’s not your typical hotel or lodge experience, reserve a room at Hawks View Cottages in the river town of Fountain City, Wis. Situated on a steep bluff (too steep for motorcycles or heavy SUVs), the cottages are like giant tree houses set amidst the river valley. Not only is the setting romantic and unique—with “bird’s eye” views of the Mississippi River through the trees—but there are no electronic distractions, encouraging you and your loved one to spend time enjoying one another’s company and conversation (maybe while warming up in front of the fireplace?). Breakfast food and a bottle of wine are provided with your stay. hawksview.net
Set on a secluded 280-acre wilderness estate, the charming cabins and cottages of Canoe Bay Relais & Chateaux are ideal for a romantic getaway. Book the Grand Romance Package and receive lodging, roses, and a bottle of champagne. Enjoy dinner at the Inn, prepared with organic produce grown right on the grounds, and selections from an extensive wine list (for a truly special occasion, book a dinner in the private wine cellar). Breakfast is delivered right to your room. Canoe Bay is located in Chetek, Wis., near Rice Lake. www.canoebay.com
The Lodge on Lake Detroit
Nestled in a lovely, tree-filled setting on the shores of Big Detroit Lake, The Lodge on Lake Detroit offers a number of ways to escape from the ordinary: relax in the lakefront fireside lobby while a jazz band plays during sunset serenades, unwind with a massage at The Spa Within (a full-service spa), or rejuvenate in a romantic Renewal Spa Suite with a fireplace, private balcony overlooking the lake, and aromatherapy whirlpool tub. Reserve a rose petal turn-down with champagne or wine and a food pairing, to discover in your room upon arrival. The hotel is less than two miles from downtown Detroit Lakes and within driving distance of local restaurants, shops, and attractions. thelodgeonlakedetroit.com
The long winter season is a blessing for outdoor enthusiasts in Cook County. Enjoy cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, dogsledding, and fun winter festivals like the Winter Tracks Festival Feb. 1-10, 2013. Stay in the Lutsen-Tofte area, Grand Marais, along the Gunflint Trail, or in Grand Portage. visitcookcounty.com
Bluefin Bay Family Of Resorts
The Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts—Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, Surfside, and Temperance Landing—are at the center of winter activities along the North Shore. There are over 250 km of groomed and tracked trails for cross-country skiers and over 100 miles of snowmobile paths throughout the Sawtooth Mountains, Superior National Forest, and along the North Shore.
Guests can go ice skating on the Bluefin Bay Ice Rink, watch outdoor movies (complete with hot chocolate and goodies), or embark on a snowshoeing adventure. For a unique experience, try a guided moonlight cross-country skiing tour. You can bring your own ski equipment or use complimentary gear, available at the Guest Services Center. If you would rather hit the slopes, Bluefin Bay is within close proximity to Lutsen Mountains. Free daily shuttle bus rides are available. Look for Ski and Stay Packages online.
After a busy day, unwind in a seaside vacation home (the views are incredible) and enjoy one of Bluefin’s many pools or whirlpools, snuggle in front of a cozy wood fire, or book a massage at the Waves of Superior Spa. “For guests who want to play outside all day, we provide extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays for a little ahh-pres ski relaxation and rejuvenation,” says Lori Schaefer, marketing director. “And on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday nights, we also treat guests to live acoustic music from local and regional artists throughout the winter season.” bluefinbay.com