USATourist News MagazineNovember 2005
In this issue:
November is here which means the holidays will soon be in full swing. If you happen to be in the United States on November 24th you'll be here for Thanksgiving Day. The tradition dates back to 1621 when after a harsh winter the Plymouth Colony (the Pilgrims) invited the Wampanoag Indians to join them in a feast, celebrating the harvest reaped after a long and ruthless winter. The day wasn't officially a holiday until our first president, George Washington, declared it a holiday in 1789.
If you are staying in a hotel there is a good chance you'll have the option of enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the hotel restaurant. The traditional Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry relish, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy and for desert pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie. Of course, every family has their own dishes and variances of the meal.
The morning of Thanksgiving the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade airs live on NBC.
Skiing and Snowboarding are favorite winter sports and now that most ski mountains are on the verge of opening it's time to plan those winter wonderland vacations.
Utah has 14 ski resorts and over half of them are less than an hour's drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Snowbird is only 29 miles (46.67 km) from the airport. Alta, The Canyons, and Solitude are only 33 miles (53.11 km) from the airport. You don’t have to stay in the resort, you also have the option of staying in downtown Salt Lake City and taking the city bus (Utah Transit Authority) to the Alta and Snowbird resorts. www.rideuta.com
Here is a Utah ski resort comparison chart to help you decide which resort best suits your needs: http://utahtravelcenter.com/activities/skiing/comparisonchart.htm www.skiutah.com
Colorado has 24 beautiful ski mountains to choose from and if you would like to ski each mountain you can do so by purchasing a Gold Pass. The Gold Pass allows you unlimited access to all 24 ski mountains for the entire ski season. www.coloradoski.com/goldpass/index.cfm
If you don't have the time to hit every ski mountain in Colorado you can purchase ski lift passes for the individual mountains. You don't know which resort to choose from? This map links you to the 24 mountain resorts and offers information such as annual snowfall, current weather, and the opening day of the mountains. www.coloradoski.com/resorts You can find the ski lift prices and information on each resort's Web page.
There are unlimited transportation options of arriving to your Colorado ski town. Depending on your departure destination you may be able to fly directly into the resort itself. You may also be able to fly into Denver International Airport (DEN) and take a small commuter plane into the resort's airport. Another common approach is to fly into Denver and take a shuttle bus. Or, you can rent a car and drive yourself. Renting a car is a nice option because it gives you the flexibility to explore the area on your own and maybe spend a day or two in Denver before driving into the mountains and hitting the slopes. Just remember that winter driving can be dangerous, especially if a snow storm hits and the roads turn icy. If you're not used to winter or mountain driving I suggest flying directly in to the resort or taking a shuttle bus from Denver. If you do decide to rent a car we can help make your reservation. www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Cars.html
What else is there to do in a ski town? Well, many resorts have natural hot springs you can go and relax in after a day on the slopes. Ice skating, shopping, and even indoor climbing and tennis are options in many of the towns. If you want to get away from the crowds you can indulge in backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. Après ski is quite popular as the sun sets and the bars fill up with skiers ready for a hot toddy or a freshly brewed beer at one of the many Colorado breweries.
Another option you may want to consider for feature ski seasons is working for a resort where you will receive your lift ticket as a benefit as an employee. There are many jobs available at a ski mountain from restaurant help to working the ski lifts to making snow when Mother Nature hasn't been doing her job. www.coolworks.com/foreign-applicant.asp
As the opening day approaches at the ski resorts it is extremely difficult to get hired, as most resorts have their hiring completed by the middle of the summer, long before the season arrives. If this is something that interests you, be sure to put your application in and complete any paper work early. If you don't have a work visa yet, this is the time to begin working on attaining one. www.unitedstatesvisas.gov
All across the state of Colorado are magical havens known as hot springs. About three hours northwest of Denver is a little ski town nestled in the Yampa Valley known as Steamboat Springs. Steamboat Springs has several hot springs and it's name has an interesting history to go with it.
The Ute Indians were the first inhabitants of the Yampa Valley, but in the early 1800's fur trappers eventually moved into the area. Somewhere along what is known today as the Yampa River the trappers could heard a chugging sound, similar to a Steamboat. A steamboat never did make an appearance and as it ended up the sound was actually made by a local bubbling mineral spring. Eventually the sound ceased due to the dynamite explosions used to help install the railroad that currently passes through the town. Although the sound is gone the history is embedded in the town's name.
Today visitors can take a walking tour of the seven natural hot springs, including the original Steamboat Spring. www.yampavalley.info/history0078.asp
Number one on the walking hot springs tour is the Heart Spring found at the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation, located at the east end of Lincoln Avenue, the town's main street. The center has three mineral hot springs with temperatures ranging from 98 to 103 degrees (F) or 36.67 to 39.45 degrees (C). There is also a 25-yard lap pool maintained at 80 degrees (F) or 26.67 degrees (C) and a kiddie pool is available for children but only during the summer months. There is a fun 350-foot waterslide open year round. In addition to the hot springs and swimming pools the Health and Rec has weight and cardio rooms, exercise classes, and massage therapists. This should definitely be one of your stops during your visit to charming Steamboat Springs. www.sshra.org
Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs is located about seven miles from downtown Steamboat Springs and is one of the most enchanting mineral springs you can visit. The pools are divided into several areas with the hottest temperature being 104 degrees (F) or 40 degrees (C). After dark, clothing is optional and a minimum age of 18 is enforced. The area is isolated and the only sounds you will hear besides the hot springs water you're soaking in is the Colorado wildlife. The night sky offers an impressive view of the stars since you are far from the city lights that normally spoil the clarity of the night's constellations. If you visit on a clear night you may get lucky and catch a glimpse of shooting stars through out the evening. www.strawberryhotsprings.com
In previous newsletters we've mentioned the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. But did you know you don't have to wait until next summer to join in motorcycle rally fun? There are many rallies all across America held year round. On this list some of the events are scheduled monthly and as far out as 2008. www.motorcycleevents.com/calendar.php If biking interests you it’s never too early to start planning your trip. You can rent a motorcycle from local stores but be sure to make your reservation early; the events bring in a lot of people the rentals are reserved way before the event itself.
One of the largest Harley Davidson rallies is held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with more than 250,000 attendees. In 2006 it will be held May 12-21. www.myrtlebeachharley.com
As the rest of the country grows cold the beautiful Arizona desert becomes the perfect location to spend some time outdoors and for a round of golf. The golf courses of Arizona range from local community courses to the World-Class golf resorts. Some of the finer courses insist on advanced reservations due to winter being the busiest time of year. Tee-times fill up quickly so be sure to make your reservation as soon as you know your schedule.
For a list of Arizona golf courses and information:
The luxury Rosewood Hotels & Resorts recently partnered with Garmin International Inc to offer the Travel NaviGuide program, an offer of GPS pocket navigators to hotel guests. This offer is featured at three locations: The Carlyle in New York City, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas. With the help of the new iQue M3 you no longer need a big paper map to try and figure out how to get where you are going. The devices are pre-programmed with landmarks, lakes, restaurants, and other local points of interest and allows users to choose between a three-dimensional navigation view or a two-dimensional overhead view as well as a voice prompt to help guide you to your destination. rosewoodhotels.com
Have a layover at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport? If you’re flying Internationally you'll have no problem finding things to do between flights. This past July DFW airport (www.dfwairport.com) opened up the International Terminal D. The terminal has an array of impressive floor designs, artwork, sculptures, upscale shopping, fine dining and even access to the Grand Hyatt Hotel which is the perfect answer to early or late night arrivals and departures. The terminal also holds the world's first airport convenience store the DFW TravelMart and the world's first airport wine tasting called La Bodega Winery and Tasting Room (972) 574-1440.
Have a wonderful November. If you've recently visited the United States please e-mail me and let me know what your favorite destinations were. I love hearing about your travels and adventures. Until next month, Happy Travels!
Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair
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