Although the holiday decorations are packed back into boxes, the end-of-the-year hustle and bustle is a thing of the past and a fresh calendar hangs on the wall, there’s still plenty of winter left. With this in mind, we highlight seven snowy winter escapes across the eastern and western United States, including activities available at Andrew Harper Alliance hotels, all perfectly suited for easy getaways filled with winter wonder and magic.
“Lenox in winter is exactly as you would imagine a quaint New England town,” says Kathryn Branson, lodging manager at Blantyre. “There are white lights on every tree, snow-covered hills, cross-country skiers and snowshoers on every trail—a true winter wonderland.” Nestled in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Lenox is not a usual ski town, Branson adds. “The crowds that invade the typical ski town bypass Lenox,” she says. “It is more a Nordic winter area with the cross-country skiing, midnight snowshoeing and winter hiking up local mountains—with Monument Mountain at its best during the winter.” Blantyre has a full-time snow concierge in the winter to help guests plan their outdoor adventures, Branson says. She adds that Lenox offers plenty of indoor adventures, as well. “Lenox is a place for those who enjoy winter for Nordic sport, but also enjoy the best museums, culture and cuisine come afternoon and evening. There is a tranquility here that you cannot find anywhere else in the Northeast. Winter in the Berkshires is just magical.”
“Vermont is so special in its own way—the people, the trees, the homes,” says Janine Cifelli, who handles public relations for Twin Farms in Barnard, which lies just east of the Green Mountains in central Vermont. “Barnard is remote and you can enjoy a relaxed way of life here. It’s simply pretty,” Cifelli says. She says that Silver Lake and Barnard General Store, one of the longest-running general stores in Vermont, add to the town’s charm and beauty. In the winter, the town is “loaded with snow, less busy and much quieter overall,” Cifelli adds. In particular, “Twin Farms is a lovely escape because the cottages and rooms are remote, the trails are secluded, the fireplaces are always ready to be lit and it’s just a cozy experience.”
Saranac Lake lies in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains and, combined with the nearby towns of Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, it forms the Tri-Lakes region of Upstate New York. “Saranac Lake is beautiful all year round, but the winter allows visitors to have a more active experience in the area,” says Megan Torrance, general manager at The Point, which is situated in the vast wilderness of the Adirondack Park on the original site of William Avery Rockefeller’s Camp Wonundra. “The range of outdoor activities available, along with the snow-covered landscape and frozen lake, make for a memorable atmosphere.”
“Jackson Hole is surrounded by the majestic Grand Teton Mountain range, one of the most picturesque mountain destinations on the continent,” says Jessica Cook, sales manager with Amangani, located about 15 minutes from the shops and galleries of downtown Jackson. Jackson is not as developed as some other ski destinations in the west, which “provides visitors with a more authentic western experience,” Cook says. Jackson’s ecosystem is also authentic, she says. “Jackson is the last fully intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states since the re-introduction of the grey wolf in 1998,” Cook says. “Early morning wildlife excursions offer an ‘American safari’ experience that you won’t be able to experience anywhere else, during which you’ll see majestic animals such as moose, grizzly bear, bison, deer, elk and more.”
The Bitterroot Valley lies west of the Continental Divide near the southwestern border of Montana and Idaho. To the west is the Bitterroot Mountain range, part of the Rocky Mountains, while to the east is the Sapphire Range with its smaller, forested peaks. According to Deborah Schara, marketing director at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, the dry climate and milder temperatures provide an opportunity for “lengthy outdoor play.” “There are so many options for powdery winter fun. Southwest Montana is known as the ‘Banana Belt,’ which means we have milder temperatures than eastern Montana,” she says. Schara notes that the highest peaks in Montana are nearby, with Triple Creek Ranch located at the base of Trapper Peak (elevation 10,157 feet). “The snow is very light and powdery,” she says. “The valley floor may have little or no snow, which is great for travelling, yet the mountains are so close and highly accessible. Southwest Montana is virtually a winter playground for all who enjoy the outdoors.”
The Four Corners area in Southwest Colorado is magical in the winter, says Edoardo Rossi, general manager at Dunton Hot Springs, a meticulously restored mining town resort located in Dolores. “Our high altitude (8,900 feet) and the amount of snow we get make this truly a winter wonderland setting,” Rossi says. The area is home to an abundance of national forests, wilderness areas, recreation areas, national monuments, and state and national parks and, Rossi says, Dunton Hot Springs is convenient for exploring them all. “Within a three-hour drive you can get to Monument Valley, and Mesa Verde National Park is just a one-hour drive away. So there truly is a vast area to discover.” The winter season is particularly special, he says. “Winter here is truly idyllic, especially with the hot springs all over the area. And, with the amount of snow and the Alpine setting, it is like being in the Swiss Alps.”
“Santa Fe is never at a shortage of things to do—especially during winter,” says Julie Baker Horne, director of sales and marketing for Encantado, an Auberge Resort. “The unspoiled natural beauty of Santa Fe is enhanced during the winter season. It’s a bit more peaceful than other seasons; streets are lined with flickering luminarias; adobe buildings are dusted with snow; and it is truly one of the more romantic times to explore the city’s cultural offerings.” Horne adds that Santa Fe’s high desert environment means the area gets sunshine and blue skies throughout the winter. “Although the temperature drops, the air is fresh and crisp, with regular dustings of powdery snow,” she says. Winter also provides a different setting in which guests can enjoy Santa Fe’s distinct offerings. “The warm, spice-oriented local cuisine offers a great warm-up alternative après-ski,” Horne says, “and the spa and healing culture ensures top-notch offers for repairing and refreshing the body after a strenuous winter outdoor experience.”