By: Laura Reece
School is in session - and it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, Winter Holiday and President’s Day Weekend vacations!
Instead of exchanging gifts during the holidays, our family takes a trip somewhere in the world together. It teaches us that memorable experiences are worth far more than material items and it gives us a chance to see something new, educate ourselves, and reconnect as a family.
One of our most memorable vacations was to Salt Lake City, Utah one December. The temperatures were sub-zero, my girls had never skied before, and it ended up being a winter-wonderland vacation that we will never forget! JetBlue and Delta have direct flights to Salt Lake City from Ft. Lauderale and Miami airports, which makes it easy to pack up and go.
Our family stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Park City resort, located at the base of the Park City mountain. This hotel is an excellent choice for families as they offer rooms with a kitchenette, dining room and a fireplace. Our family of four booked a King Bed Junior Suite room and had plenty of space for the pull-out couch, an additional roll-away bed and our ski equipment. My older daughter and I chose to brave the heated, outdoor pool one day - we felt like Polar Bears! - and the hotel has hot chocolate ready and waiting for you when you return from the slopes. All the little touches make this resort a memorable escape.
Other resorts in the area include the Stein Ericksen Lodge and the The Montage, both in nearby Deer Valley. The Stein Ericksen’s authentic European ski lodge is a premier year-round destination where guests experience the best ski-in/ski-out access, award-winning dining, indulgent treatments at a Forbes Five-Star spa, and entertaining après activities such as sleigh rides, a movie theater and heated outdoor pools. You’ll almost believe youve been whisked away to Europe! The Montage Deer Valley is just as spectacular, and boasts a bowling alley and its own snow tubing park complete with a magic carpet. Both resorts offer many family friendly activities for the holidays from gingerbread house building to cookie decorating to an Elf of the Shelf scavenger hunt.
In addition to skiing, snowboarding and tubing, you can arrange for a private dog-sled ride. We hired Luna Lobos Dog Sledding, a family-owned company, for our private adventure. Fernando and Dana teach you all about the amazing sport, give you lots of time to love on the dogs, and you go for a thrilling ride where you can help drive the sled. The expert guides lead you through a thrilling course as you get the opportunity to experience a truly authentic mushing adventure. Each package can take from 90 minutes to 120 minutes and you’ll quickly learn why unless you’re the lead dog, the scenery never changes!
Utah offers an amazing experience for those of us who need their fix of winter weather accompanied by unsurpassed skiing, hotels and gourmet restaurants. Reece Worldwide Travel has firsthand experience in planning vacations for families and couples to this exceptional location and can help tailor an experience to your specific desires and preferences. www.reecewt.com