Video: REAL: Aspen

Kinga Philipps exposes the different sides and issues associated to this popular ski resort destination.
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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!

Get Inspired

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  

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

  

Sun Shining on Overwater Bungalows on Kampot River
Kampot, Cambodia

Kampot, Cambodia

Known throughout Cambodia as the coveted weekend getaway destination, Kampot is a much needed reprieve from the chaos of Phnom Penh. Eco resorts like Ganesha and Eden Eco Village line the river while secret lakes and waterfalls abound for early morning canoeing and swimming. Rent a moto and take a drive up the winding roads of Bokor Mountain or over to La Plantation’s organic pepper farm and sample some of the world’s best. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Getty Images  

Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia

Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia

Just off the coast of Cambodia near the border of Thailand, Kong Rong Sanloem sits unaffected by the worries of mainland and city life. A stay at either Lazy Beach hotel or Saracen Bay Resort delivers white sand beaches and an uninhibited view of the Gulf of Thailand. Sunset cocktails are recommended for full vacation mode. 960 1280

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Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Take the dirt roads back into the forest of Mondulkiri and experience a Cambodia most tourists never know exists. Full of hikes, waterfalls and winding paths for moto riding, this oasis is one of Cambodia’s best kept secrets—until now. The Worldwide Fund for Nature protects a significant amount of the area and there are eco-accommodations like Nature Lodge that make the environment a priority. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Oliver Townend  

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Known best for the 12th century temples of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap has quickly developed into a bustling city. The famous pub street attracts all sorts of characters with its competing street parties—between Angkor Wat and Temple Bar—while the edges of town are host to more docile retreats. Artisans Angkor, a silk farm with free tours and a socially minded business concept, and Bees Unlimited, an educational guide to protecting local bees and honey, provide a way to explore modern Cambodia. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Getty Images  

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A wave of youthful enthusiasm is driving a country rocked by genocide into a new era. Gain your historical bearings at the Royal Palace and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, but transport back to the present with a cultural evening at the Meta House and a sunset dinner by the Mekong River. Fully embrace the daily lives of these smiling people at Russian Market and sample a traditional Khmer meal at the hip Eleven One Kitchen. 960 1280

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Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai, Thailand

Away from the famed sandy beaches of Thailand’s coast, the northern city of Chiang Rai acts as the perfect stopping point for Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. Travelers are given more than one reason to get off the beaten path, from finding the best khao soi soup at Phor Jai restaurant, stunning landscapes and ornate temples — the intricate White Temple is a bucket list staple. 960 1280

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Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Stick to temples and food for the daytime experience while nighttime is definitely for the parties. The Grand Palace is a must, while taste-testing the city with Bangkok Food Tours should be on every foodie's list. The popular backpacker nightlife is on Khao San Road, but for those looking to avoid this type of crowd, the more local scene is at Sukhumvit Soi 11. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Getty Images  

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Bordering Myanmar in Northern Thailand, Kanchanaburi proves to be more than just a stopover destination. For the outdoor adventurer, Erawan National Park and quieter Sai Yok National Park provide some of Thailand’s best waterfalls, hikes and cave exploration. Check out the laidback lifestyle scene on the River Kwai and its infamous bridge. 960 1280

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Krabi Province, Thailand

Krabi Province, Thailand

Krabi Province is all about the coastal life. Full moon parties, white sand beaches and overwater cliff climbing have been summoning travelers from all over the world for more than 20 years. Go swimming at Phra Nang Beach, paint yourself neon for a rave on Koh Phi Phi or catch a sunset in Kantiang Bay. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Getty Images.  

Phetchaburi, Thailand

Phetchaburi, Thailand

Get outside of Bangkok and off the heels of tourists in the working town of Phetchaburi. Its rich history, ancient temples and mystical caves attract people from around the world. Don’t miss Wat Kamphaeng Laeng dating back to 12th Century Khmer architecture and the Tham Khao Luang cave. 960 1280

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Legian, Indonesia

Legian, Indonesia

On the famous Bali Island coast, Legian is the “just right” spot as it’s sandwiched between the high end Seminyak and backpacker Kuta beaches. Accommodations and entertainment come in mid-range prices, while the surf and scenery are priceless. Catch the sunset at TAO Rooftop Bar and dance the night away at Eikon. 960 1280

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Ubud, Indonesia

Ubud, Indonesia

Eat, Pray, Love readers will recognize Ubud as the setting for the conclusion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey, and this part of Bali truly is as romantic as she makes it seem. Whether it’s a spiritual quest or simply getting in touch with nature, Ubud has a little something for everyone. Plan to see the iconic rice terraces and venture over to White Lotus for a yoga class. 960 1280

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Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The incredible topography of Ha Long Bay makes this an iconic destination of Vietnam. Massive land structures shoot straight out of the blue-green ocean and provide an otherworldly view while cruising through by boat — Dragon Legend tours are one of the best in deals and name. Kick back for a luxe overnight trip exploring caves and feasting on fresh seafood. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Indochina Junk  

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Busy streets packed with food stalls and revving scooters let you know you’ve arrived in Vietnam. The Gustave Eiffel designed Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral and the Jade Emperor Pagoda let you know you’re in Ho Chi Minh City. Still frequently referred to as Saigon, this city with a controversial past is now a vibrant, modern destination. 960 1280

Image Courtesy of Paul Arps.  

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Though Hanoi is another bustling city in northern Vietnam, it’s easy to access much needed greenery at the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake and a little further away Ba Vi National Park. For a look at an authentic downtown experience, walk the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter to admire the colonial architecture and grab the best bowl of traditional beef pho at Pho 49 Bat Dan. 960 1280

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Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, a transitory town on the coast, between north and south Vietnam, is known for its tailor-made clothing and relaxing environment. This is a good place to kick back and have a drink or two. Don’t be fooled by the chilled out vibes. The town turns it up every lunar cycle for a vibrant full moon party filling the quiet streets with music, colorful lanterns and traditional plays. Book early as the event draws quite a crowd. 960 1280

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Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa, Vietnam

For a bit more of a perspective on rural life, head north to Sapa. Although this northern region can get cool in the winter, Sapa shouldn’t be missed when visiting Vietnam. The impressive mountains surrounding this town offer a perspective on rural living as they are home to indigenous tribes and a traditional way of life. Head into the hills with the local guide group Sapa Sisters—a social enterprise run entirely by local women—or discover the Sapa Square for colorful handicrafts. 960 1280

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, or simply KL as most travelers call it, is quickly becoming a destination hot spot. Since the public transportation system is cheap and easy, touring this bustling metropolis is a walk in the park. After checking off the obligatory view of the Petronas Towers, move on to the real reason people visit: taste testing the hawker stalls. Head to Chinatown and Little India to experience this cultural amalgamation with hole-in-the-wall eateries serving up authentic, savory cuisine. 960 1280

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Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is known for having more than 2,000 Buddhist temples, which are currently being restored to UNESCO standards. The recent increase in tourism is bringing more reasons to visit this rich, historical city. The location has catered to foodie travelers as cuisine from regions near and far have settled here. Most notable is the recent opening of Sharky’s restaurant, an artisan eatery focusing on locally grown produce and, surprisingly, expertly produced cheeses. 960 1280

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Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

Irrawaddy River, Myanmar

Experience Myanmar like an old school explorer by cruising down the massive Irrawaddy River. It runs north to south, bisecting the entire country and connects major cities Mandalay and Bagan. Luxury line Sanctuary Ananda has cruise options for up to 11 nights of slowly watching the world go by. There are ships for any budget, though — most taking day trips into river towns and glimpsing impressive cultural pieces like the Maya Tha Lun Pagoda. 960 1280

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Singapore

Singapore

Being nicknamed the cleanest place in Asia doesn’t come cheap, but splurging in Singapore is well worth the accompanying price tag. About half the size of Hong Kong, this equally modern island off the southern coast of Malaysia has everything from an impressive skyline, Ferris wheel included, to world-renowned fine dining experiences like famous Restaurant ANDRE. “Since 2010, Restaurant ANDRE has been listed in World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award for six consecutive years and the Best Restaurant in Singapore,” said Marketing and Communication Manager Wendy Huang. 960 1280

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Si Phan Don, Laos

Si Phan Don, Laos

As a landlocked country next to the more popular Thailand and Vietnam, Laos falls under the radar of most travelers. It’s left places like the 4,000 Islands, or Si Phan Don, on the famous Mekong River seemingly untouched. Humble roads for riding bikes, porches for simply watching the sun rise and set and a host of natural beauties like curious dolphins and flowing waterfalls call to adventurers searching for authenticity.  960 1280

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Vientiane, Laos

Vientiane, Laos

Contrasting sharply to cities like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is the chronically laid back Laos capital, Vientiane. Though the hustle and bustle is starting to make its way into development projects and construction, the bulk of tourism here still revolves around drinking Beerlao at sunset on the bank of the Mekong and slow paced visits of cultural sites like the Laos National Museum or Buddha Park. Accommodations are still fairly traditional, however there are some homier options, like Mandala Boutique Hotel that combine budget comfort and Laos culture. 960 1280

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Luang Prabong, Laos

Luang Prabong, Laos

Go to where the rivers converge, the Nam Khan and Mekong, to find Luang Prabong. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this Laotian city has gracefully combined traditional urban design with 19th and 20th century colonial architecture. The location provides access to nearby mountains, Kuang Si waterfalls and, of course, ample temples. To immerse yourself in the slow, quiet vibe of Laos, visit the Vipassana Temple and Park to try the meditation technique of the local monks. 960 1280

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Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng, Laos

Long established as a devil-may-care backpacker destination, this town actually shut out these types of travelers in 2012 by closing down the drug-induced partying and reckless river tubing. Since then, it has returned to the reason people flocked here in the first place: the serene river and peaceful environment. Going back to the basics, the Organic Mulberry Farm Restaurant is not to be missed as well as a lazy afternoon floating down the river. 960 1280

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