- Sheila R. from Grandy, NC
I’ve been traveling to Vermont for almost 20 years now and I have so many fantastic memories of my times there. I first started my relationship with the Green Mountain state as a teenager when I used to trek up North in an attempt to find the most rigorous and challenging ski trails. With more than 15 different mountains and resorts, Vermont offers a wide variety of options for all kinds of skiers and snowboarders, no matter what your skill level.
While the winter may be my favorite time to visit Vermont, I’ve also had the opportunity to experience it in the autumn and summer. I can honestly say that New England during the height of fall foliage is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. The views of the rolling mountains and hills, filled with different hues of yellow, orange and red, are quite breathtaking. Vermont is also a great place to visit in the summer. One of my favorite memories was when I visited my sister in July and we spent the afternoon walking the streets of Burlington before ending the day relaxing in a park that overlooked Lake Champlain.
This week on the blog, we’ll be featuring stories and pictures about Vermont from RCI subscribing members. Be sure to check back throughout the week to get some great ideas and information that can help you plan a trip to the Green Mountain state.
I’ve been to the Poconos for more weekend getaways than I can count (I live close-by in New Jersey) and I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite places to escape to. There’s something to do all year-round, and no matter the season, you’re almost guaranteed gorgeous scenery.
If you like to ski but aren’t quite a master of slopes, I would recommend staying near Shawnee Mountain in Shawnee, PA. The mountain is beginner-friendly and the area itself is home to many great shops and restaurants (I highly recommend The Stone Bar Inn in nearby Stroudsburg, PA for some fine dining).
Or, if skiing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of outdoor adventure in the Poconos! The summertime offers perfect weather for hiking, camping, canoeing, and my personal favorite… fishing! I’ve spent many summers on my uncle’s boat out on Lake Wallenpaupack, an area that offers plenty of fun for families. If you’ve got little ones, you should plan to visit Claws “N” Paws Animal Park near Hamlin, PA (http://www.clawsnpaws.com/). Callie's Candy Kitchen and Callie's Pretzel Factory are also two stops that are well worth the trip.
There’s so much adventure in the Pocono Mountains that I’m hoping to escape there for more than just a weekend this year!
Come back to the RCI Blog this week for stories from RCI subscribing members who have visited the Poconos. If you have a story or photo of your own that you would like to share, click here. We may post yours at the end of the week!
I've been lucky over the years... I've lived in some of the most beautiful states in the country. When I was young I lived in Northern California, then we moved to Alaska. I've also lived in Colorado and Connecticut and I've had a job that has taken me to all 50 states... numerous times. Having said that, I think I now live in the best state of all...Utah! You can literally go skiing in the morning and play golf that same afternoon. I love it! And while there are cool cities and towns everywhere in Utah, you have to visit Park City!
Park City is the perfect place - there are three ski resorts within just a few miles of each other - The Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley. Each has won their share of International awards. One of the things I love about Park City is its easy access. There is a 6 lane freeway (I-80) that runs right past it and you can actually fly into Salt Lake City International airport and be at any of these resorts within 45 minutes.
Park City has just the right mix of locals and tourists. If you like to shop there is a huge outlet mall out by the freeway exit as well and another shopping center less than a mile away that has new cinemas, the latest stores and good restaurants, too. But the best part of Park City is "Historic Main Street". Park City was built up during the 19th century as a mining town and many of the earliest original buildings are still a part of Main Street. Main Street has a little bit of everything... really unique shops and stores selling everything from your typical souvenirs to high-end furs. There are great art galleries and lots of really quaint, local restaurants, diners, coffee shops and ice cream stores. The one thing you won't find on Main Street is any kind of a chain store or restaurant - I absolutely love it.
Park City is a true, four season destination. I live about 45 minutes away and we play in Park City year round. I grew up in Alaska so I definitely like to hit the slopes during the winter. But I also love photography and, during the spring, the mountains and meadows burst with color as a result of all the spring flowers. During the summer we've enjoyed everything from hot air balloon rides to great rounds of golf and lots of outdoor concerts. Fall in Park City is amazing as all the leaves change colors and everything is blazing in oranges, reds, yellows and greens. This is the time of year that we typically use some of our Points and exchange through RCI to stay at any of their affiliated resorts - we really like The Miners Club at The Canyons.
If you like amazing natural beauty with the fun and sophistication of a classy resort town proud of its history and heritage, you will LOVE Park City. And besides...it seems like the air is always clean and crisp and the sun a little brighter up here. If you haven't been to Park City you really should check it out... and if you have been here, well... I know you'll be back!
This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have visited Park City. Be sure to come back to read about their adventures!
As a child and teenager, my family went on ski vacations to Colorado almost every winter. After graduating college, I even took a job in Colorado and lived there for a while. Yet, somehow, I’d never made it to Steamboat Springs.
This fall, I finally had the chance to visit Steamboat and it totally lives up to the hype of the quintessential ski town (or “snowboard town” if you’re like me). There is a charming downtown with lots of shops and so many restaurants. There is even a little feel of “the old west.” And the views are just amazing…I couldn’t help but be in constant awe of the beautiful mountains.
You can fly directly into Steamboat but I chose to fly into Denver and make the drive – Colorado is just so gorgeous I wanted to soak it all in. I stayed right on the mountain – ski in/ski out – and it was perfect. The units were nice, clean and comfortable and the staff was so friendly. The mountain wasn’t open yet, but while I was visiting they got their first snowfall of the year…it’s really a magical feeling!
This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have also experienced the magic of Steamboat Springs. Be sure to check back!
As we boarded the Scandinavian flight to Östersund from Stockholm to reach our RCI affiliated resort, Holiday Club Åre, a strange sense of wonder washed over me. Sweden consists of tens of thousands of lakes and our picture perfect resort had cottages on the Aresjon Lake and Olympic ski slopes with an extensive network of lifts and pistes as the backdrop. August is the height of summer for the Swedes and with 16 hours of daylight, our town was a downhill mountain bike paradise.
Biking families are armoured in colourful bike gear, children and dog in tow. They come hurling downhill on the rough dirt track on the bald terrain of Mt. Areskutan, the tallest peak in Sweden.
We tried hiking on a dedicated trail admiring the mesmerizing scenery and once the cold got to us we enjoyed the sauna in the room to renew our nerves.
Every cottage can take two bikes from the clubhouse and there are beautiful, dedicated tracks all along the serene lakeside. The club has various activities like table ice hockey, a bowling alley and video games. I especially enjoyed the meandering waters of the pool with Jacuzzis at different levels, a water slide, and different saunas. Our contemporary two bedroom cottage was in Nordic décor with one bedroom, bathroom with attached sauna, a well equipped kitchen, and a lounge with plasma TV opening on a huge deck overlooking the lake. A flight of steps takes you to the upper level where there is a sitting room with a TV and a bedroom with four bunk beds. The resort is attached to the picturesque railway station which has a huge supermarket from where we picked up our groceries.
We walked to the medieval main square called Åre Torg which is surrounded with quaint shops, cafes and restaurants. The ski lift station is also located there. As we climbed up the cable car we saw the town disappear under us and the jaw dropping scenery envelopes you. The cable car drops you at a point from where you take a short trek to Mt. Areskutan and you can sip a coffee in the restaurant. Fierce winds engulfed us and we had to negotiate a steep gradient to get to the summit. Whew! What a view. The spectacular sweep of valleys and towns below gives you a miniscule feeling. We let out a collective gasp as we made our way back to the secure cable car station.
There is a quaint chocolate factory 2 kilometers away where you can taste all the different chocolates they make. In the other direction is the cute town of Duved with a lovely church…
We took an overnight train to Stockholm, a city that consists of fourteen islands connected to each other over pretty bridges, and our hotel was strategically located from where you can walk everywhere without taking any public transport.
We walked to the Bohemian Island of Gamla Stan founded in 1252 where Baroque buildings jostle for space with hip cafes, beer bars and curio filled shops. The narrow, cobbled streets are bustling with tourists. The Royal Palace also on this island offers a collection displaying the vast wealth in more than 600 rooms. Its intention seems to give expression to the nations pride and tradition.
The sweet smell of waffles from a bakery pervades the air. A buzzing bar beckons us to taste the 22 varieties of freshly brewed Sweden beer. I enjoyed the chocolate flavoured beer. We also peeked into medieval art galleries and saw facades of pastel coloured buildings with interesting bistros in their gangways.
Shopping! Yes who can do without that the bubbling pedestrian streets of Drottninggatan (the Queen Street) and Vasagatan, which run parallel to each other. The huge stores of local brands like H&M and Lindex have a good variety. The street of Götgatan and the Sofo area is also lined with an unordinary assortment of trendy stores.
Exhausted with emptying our wallets running through the town shops, we were magnetically attracted to walk towards the verdant island of Djurgården to recharge our batteries. Vast vistas of greenery on this huge island makes you wonder at this space dedicated to cyclists and joggers to have their sport in this breathtaking oasis. This almost gives a center stage position which Djurgården richly deserves. We relaxed under a huge maple tree waiting to change its colour…
The strip of Baltic Sea running in is dotted with medieval gullets, modern yachts, cruise ships and chic cafes on the marina floating on wooden jetties. The backdrop of the church steeple makes it a panoramic setting.
As we savoured our last meal in a lovely, modern Italian restaurant near our hotel called Vapiano, we were enthralled with what Sweden had to offer us and thanked RCI for lovely memories we took home.
- Bina T. from Mumbai, India