Travel by:Various through winter 2008
Say you're dreaming of a winter ski holiday but your friends or family would rather be at the spa or learning a new skill. You won't have to travel separately this year, as we've selected four winter resorts with enough activities to satisfy everyone — non-skiers included. Whether you choose to go ice-fishing in Lake Placid, enjoy scenic gondola rides in Lake Tahoe's Heavenly, skydive in St. Moritz, or pamper yourself in the spas of Austria's Bad Gastein, these first-class ski resort towns guarantee winter fun for all.
Lake Placid, New York
Host to two Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980, this pretty upstate New York town in the Adirondacks provides plenty of winter fun for skiers and non-skiers alike. Active types can choose between ice-fishing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice climbing, and snowmobiling, while those who prefer heritage and culture can explore fabled forts from the Revolutionary Wars, discover charming 19th-century villages, tour historic museums, and catch art shows and concerts. To cap it off, Lake Placid's shopping and dining scenes are also first-rate. Unwind from a day on or off the slopes this winter with excellent weekday rates at the award-winning Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa. They've reduced Sunday to Thursday stays by 50 percent and you'll pay just $160/night, with breakfast, through February 29.
Heavenly, Lake Tahoe
Straddling two states — Nevada and California — Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Village is among the most picturesque skiing destinations in the United States. But it’s a lot more than a sweet ski spot! At this lakeside resort, you’ll find European village flair — cobblestone streets, wooden archways and all — plus unique shops, dining, and entertainment venues. In addition to gondola rides, helicopter tours, dog sledding rides, and bathing in natural hot springs, you can get some serious thrills on the the Heavenly Rider, an elevated zip-line that reaches speeds of 50 mph while passing spectacular vistas. Hole up here this year at the all-suite Tahoe Seasons Resort, where winter rates start at $180/night.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Want a chic Euro winter holiday? St. Moritz is the place to go if you want to rub shoulders with the international jet-set. And if you prefer not to hit the slopes, this is a great place to be, since, in addition to fantastic (if pricey) shops, this exclusive resort has a string of one-of-a-kind activities for non-skiers. From scenic winter hikes and curling to winter golfing and hang gliding, St. Moritz offers plenty of off-the-slopes fun (including skydiving, Nordic walking, snowshoe trekking, and even indoor horse riding). While this array should keep you pretty busy, there’s always the village itself, with gourmet restaurants, terrific spas, and cozy bars and lounges. Ski Europe's package will get you to St. Moritz at the tail-end of the ski season from just $1,310 ($187/night), including seven nights at a moderate resort, flight from New York, and daily breakfast.
Bad Gastein, Austria
Austria's spa town of Bad Gastein features a picture-perfect alpine setting, stunning Belle Epoque buildings and healing thermal waters. The spa and wellness amenities here are unparalleled, ranging from beauty farms and vapor baths to so-called “healing galleries” famed for their restorative qualities, inside the Radhausberg mountain. Other activities include waterfall climbing and snow-biking as well as horse-drawn sleigh rides. No matter whether you're a skier or not, everyone can bond over some après-ski fun at the local ski lodges and bars here too. Ski Europe's seven-night package starts at $1,029 ($147/night), with airfare from New York, hotel, and daily breakfast.
These four deals are exceedingly affordable for the season, and offer good-value for both their destinations and amenities. Similarly equipped hotels in Aspen and Vail typically cost over $350/night in peak season, while these two properties in Lake Tahoe and Lake Placid both top out at $180/night. St. Moritz and Bad Gastein prices, in particular, cost virtually the same price you'd pay for airfare alone to Austria and Switzerland in ski season, and include seven-nights' accommodation, daily breakfast, and round-trip airfare from New York for under $200/night apiece per person. Considering the Euro-U.S. dollar exchange rate, there's no denying these are great prices for two chic (and notoriously expensive) destinations.
Lift tickets cost extra.
is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.