Video: REAL: Aspen

Kinga Philipps exposes the different sides and issues associated to this popular ski resort destination.
schegi/ iStock/ Thinkstock
schegi/ iStock/ Thinkstock

Bundle Up and Venture Out

Whether you like to embrace the season by hitting the ski slopes or escape it by heading off to someplace tropical, winter can be a great time to travel. You may even find fewer crowds and cheaper flights. But if you choose a cold-weather destination, you’ll need a good coat, hat, gloves and scarf!

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Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort - Lake Tahoe
Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Hit the slopes at Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort. With 65 trails, and 121 miles of skiable terrain, the property is the largest cross-country ski resort in all of North America. Find it in Soda Springs, California, roughly 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. 960 1280

Daphne Hougard  

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa

For a little gambling fun, head to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. Nestled on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe, the resort doubles as a casino and health spa, where you can indulge in saunas, whirlpools and eucalyptus steam rooms. The resort is also a great place to catch a live show. 960 1280

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa   

Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe

Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe

Come summer, rent a stand up paddleboard and paddle around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. You’ll get in some good exercise: The lake is the 27th largest lake (by volume) in the world, with a perimeter that stretches 72 miles long. 960 1280

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Burger Me

Burger Me

Grab a burger and onion rings at Burger Me. This family-owned-and-operated burger joint in nearby Truckee, California, serves everything fresh and made to order. Hearty options include the “Dirty Bird” (made with 5-oz. free-range chicken) and a good ole hamburger, except this one grass-fed, with no antibiotics. Fast food just got a little healthier. 960 1280

Larry Miller, flickr  

Hiking (Tahoe Rim Trail)

Hiking (Tahoe Rim Trail)

Lace up your boots for a hike along Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile-long hiking trail that forms a loop around Lake Tahoe. Other great hikes include Bayview Trail, a 4- to 5-mile-long trail for experienced hikers, southwest of Lake Tahoe; and Eagle Falls Trail, a family-friendly, 1.5-mile hike in Tahoma, California, located right by Lake Tahoe. 960 1280

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Vikingsholm

Vikingsholm

Find this 38-room mansion on the shore of Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe. Built in 1929, Vikingsholm is one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture not just in America but in the entire Western Hemisphere; among its striking features are round granite boulders fixed in mortar, something commonly found in stone churches and castles built in the 11th century in southern Sweden. 960 1280

Dawn Ellner, flickr  

Resort at Squaw Creek

Resort at Squaw Creek

The kids will love the Resort at Squaw Creek. This luxury ski resort in Lake Tahoe offers a host of family activities, from snowshoeing and sledding to ice skating in the resort’s outdoor exhibition rink, where you’ll find the Sierra Nevada mountain range just beyond. Ask about Mountain Buddies, a supervised outdoors program for kids ages 4 to 12. 960 1280

Resort at Squaw Creek   

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Bed down for the night at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort. With a spa, casino and 500 feet of private lakefront beach, this AAA Four Diamond-property is on the pricier side, but if it’s alpine lodge luxury you seek, you’ll find it here. The 421 guestrooms, including 24 lakeside cottages, come decorated with natural pine, distressed wood and leather furnishings. 960 1280

Hyatt Hotels  

Franciscan Lakeside Lodge

Franciscan Lakeside Lodge

For something a bit more on the budget-friendly side, try the Franciscan Lakeside Lodge. Located on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, the property is home to lakefront and lakeside cottages, in a relaxed setting. Stroll along the nearby beach and take in the Tahoe sunset, or kick back in an Adirondack chair on your very own deck or porch. 960 1280

Karen Peacock, flickr  

Homewood Mountain Ski Resort

Homewood Mountain Ski Resort

Enjoy ski runs with epic views of Lake Tahoe at Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. This ski area, on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, comprises 1,260 acres of skiable terrain and eight lifts. Among Homewood’s 64 runs, experienced skiers will want to try “Rainbow Ridge” -- at 2 miles long, it’s the resort’s longest run. 960 1280

Robyn Scarton, Courtesy of Homewood Mountain Resort  

Emerald Bay

Emerald Bay

Located on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay State Park features the Scandinavian-style Vikingsholm mansion; California’s first underwater shipwreck park (scuba-dive to see this final resting place of many boats, launches and barges, used in the lake before the turn of the century); and Fannette Island, the only island in all of Lake Tahoe. Get here by boat; spots six and 21 are the best places to dock. 960 1280

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Gar Woods Grill and Pier

Gar Woods Grill and Pier

Dig into the daily seafood special at Gar Woods Grill and Pier. The waterfront restaurant, nestled in Carnelian Bay in North Lake Tahoe, features a menu of hand-cut steaks, fresh Pacific seafood and the famous “Wet Woody” (ask the waiter). The restaurant’s large deck and balconies, meanwhile, offer great views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. 960 1280

Jasper Yue, flickr  

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

On the Nevada side of the river, hop aboard the 520-passenger, M.S. Dixie II -- the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe that’s been voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by local Nevada Magazine. In North Lake Tahoe, hop aboard Tahoe Gal for a leisurely ride to Emerald Bay. 960 1280

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations  

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

M.S. Dixie Sunset Cruise

On the Nevada side of the river, hop aboard the 520-passenger, M.S. Dixie II -- the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe that’s been voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by local Nevada Magazine. In North Lake Tahoe, hop aboard Tahoe Gal for a leisurely ride to Emerald Bay. 960 1280

ARAMARK Parks and Destinations  

Hotel de Glace, Quebec
Hotel de Glace - Quebec

Hotel de Glace - Quebec

Inspired by the original in Jukkasjarvi, Hotel de Glace on the outskirts of Quebec incorporates the same functionality but in even more refined form. The hotel has framed paintings hanging on its ice walls, more elaborate ice furniture and a swankier ice bar. 960 1280

Matias_Garabedian, Matías Garabedian  

Hotel de Glace - Quebec

Hotel de Glace - Quebec

This hotel itself is large; 34 rooms, to be exact. Designers sketch up the hotel and build it in a matter of weeks every fall. Each year, the facility has something different -- a new bed, a new bar. 960 1280

By Matias Garabedian from Montreal, Canada (Hôtel de Glace) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Alta Igloo Hotel - Norway

Alta Igloo Hotel - Norway

If there is such a thing as a rustic ice hotel, the Alta Igloo Hotel in the northeast corner of Norway would be it. The rooms are not very large, and low ceilings make them a bit claustrophobia-inducing. Still, the experience of sleeping in an igloo under the Northern Lights is second to none. 960 1280

mcdonaldkar/Getty Images  

Alta Igloo Hotel - Norway

Alta Igloo Hotel - Norway

Apart from its 80 beds the Alta Igloo Hotel houses suites, an ice gallery, an ice bar, an ice chapel and several lounges. Sculpture work also is present here -- hulking ice sculptures that appear as stone until you touch them and they melt in your hand.  960 1280

Mark Hannaford/AWL Images/Getty Images  

IceHotel - Sweden

IceHotel - Sweden

Situated in the village Jukkasjarvi, 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, the original Icehotel has been built every year since 1980. The facility didn't start out as a lodge; at first, it was simply built as a seasonal structure to house an art exhibit.
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By Laplandish (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

IceHotel - Sweden

IceHotel - Sweden

Accommodations inside the Icehotel are, well ... chilly. Regardless of the temperature outside, the air in the Icehotel is always between 17 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Bedrooms have blocks of ice as beds, covered with fur, skin, hides and sleeping bags. 960 1280

By Laplandish (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Aurora Ice Museum - Alaska

Aurora Ice Museum - Alaska

The Aurora Ice Museum, located on the grounds of the Chena Hot Springs Resort 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, is the only ice hotel in the U.S. Ice-carving champion Steve Brice designed. Visitors don't even have to spend the night; at the hotel's ice bar, guests can down a chilled martini before heading back to Fairbanks for the day. 960 1280

Aurora Ice Museum  

Aurora Ice Museum - Alaska

Aurora Ice Museum - Alaska

In this hotel, everything is made of ice: the beds, the chairs, the counters, the glasses and more.  960 1280

Aurora Ice Museum  

Balea Lake Ice Hotel (Chapel) - Romania

Balea Lake Ice Hotel (Chapel) - Romania

Only accessible via able car in the winter, this ice church is located in Romania at the Balea Lake Ice Hotel. 960 1280

By Untravelledpaths (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Kakslauttanen Igloo Village - Finland

Kakslauttanen Igloo Village - Finland

Located in Saariselka, Finland, the Kakslauttanen Igloo Village is known for their world-famous glass igloos situated below the Northern Lights, which are visible from late August through the end of April. 960 1280
Kirkenes Snow Hotel - Norway

Kirkenes Snow Hotel - Norway

Opened in 2006 in Finnmark, Norway, near the Norwegian and Russian Border, the Kirkenes Snow Hotel features 20 bedrooms, an ice bar and more. 960 1280
Lainio Snow Village - Finland

Lainio Snow Village - Finland

Situated just north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland, the Lainio Snow Village is built every year using just about 40,000,000 pounds of snow. 960 1280
Lainio Snow Village - Finland

Lainio Snow Village - Finland

Covering over 65,000 square feet of space, Lainio features a snow hotel, an ice restaurant, an ice bar, a super-slick ice slide and a chapel. 960 1280
SnowCastle - Finland

SnowCastle - Finland

Known as one of the biggest snow structures in the world, the SnowCastle of Kemi, located in Finland, features a SnowRestaurant, a SnowChapel and a SnowHotel. 960 1280

By Art of Backpacking (Flickr: SnowCastle, Kemi, Finland) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Ice Hotels  14 Photos

Yosemite
Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California

The setting sun illuminates El Capitan monolith in frozen Yosemite National Park. A favorite for advanced rock climbers, "The Chief" is the world's largest solid granite block, rising an awe-inspiring 3,500 feet above the ground. 960 1280

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Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

After an ice storm, freezing cold water continues to plummet an impressive 620 feet into the Columbia River. Visitors can take in the spectacular view from the Benson Bridge, built in 1914 for scenes like this one. 960 1280

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Snow coats the ground around the Belgian Pool, a hot spring in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. You can look, but don't get too close! Originally named Oyster Spring, the natural wonder was renamed after a Belgian visitor who fell into it in 1929 and suffered fatal thermal burns. 960 1280

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Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

A snowy shot of Bryce Canyon's hoodoos, tall rock structures that form from water, wind and ice erosion. 960 1280

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St. Joseph Lighthouses, Michigan

St. Joseph Lighthouses, Michigan

The St. Joseph Lighthouses attempt to withstand the elements on frozen Lake Michigan. The 2 lighthouses were built in the early 1900s, and the outer light is one of the oldest on the lake.  960 1280

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Coyote Buttes, Arizona

Coyote Buttes, Arizona

Jack Frost puts an icy touch on "The Wave," an incredible sandstone rock formation in Coyote Buttes North, a section of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. In order to preserve the spectacular sight, only 20 hikers (with permits) per day are allowed to visit. 960 1280

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Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California

The sun rises over snow-clad Joshua trees in California's Mojave Desert. 960 1280

  

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