George Stone – Editor in Chief of National Geographic
Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Winter Adventures
What makes it adventurous: Stunning mountains, Swiss Alps, plenty of nature activities (skiing, tobogganing, biking, ziplining…)
Accommodations: An ice hotel – IGLOO-HOTEL – Iglu-Dorf Zermatt
Built with muscle power, snow ploughs, balloons and plenty of passion in around 3,000 hours every winter.
A tunnel system connects the igloos to each other and international artists decorate the interior spaces of the Igloo-Villages with careful attention to detail, creating enchanting fantasy worlds in snow and ice art.
Iglu-Dorf offers a family package, as well as a romantic package.
Hot tub and various winter activities offered
Will open its doors on Christmas Day and stay open until March.
Nearby: Sion Airport (3 and a half hour train ride away)
Switzerland’s cuisine is inspired by its neighboring countries, including Italy, so their pizza is really good!
Head to Sennerei Maran to sample their infamous delicacy, alpine cheese. Located in Arosa, Sennerei Maran is an achillea that has been producing cheese for more than 40 years.
Switzerland is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chocolate. Milk Chocolate was invented here. Tour a Swiss Chocolate Factory. We recommend Aeschbach Chocolatier.
Nendaz – Some of the best Biking Trails in the Swiss Alps. Trails range from expert to beginner. While serious bikers can take a ski lift to the mountain summits, leisurely riders can enjoy low-key, yet stunning trail rides.
Paragliding with Flug-Taxi – www.flug-taxi.ch – Exhilorating, once in a lifetime experience. You’ll fly tandem with guide. Ankle story?
Aletsch skiing area (Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp), you can access by mountain train and ski lift 104 kilometers of pistes, up to an elevation 2,869 meters. Offerings also include extensive winter hiking paths, snowshoe trails and cross-country tracks.
Tin toboggan on the Brunni – Engelberg
If you plan on traveling between cities, invest in a Swiss Travel Pass that covers unlimited travel throughout the rail, bus and boat Swiss Travel System network. The Swiss Travel Pass also gets you free entrance to 500 museums and exhibitions.
Purchasing bottled water from the supermarket in Switzerland is a total waste of your money, as the country is home to some of the world’s cleanest and best-tasting tap water.
Destination: Salt Lake City, Utah
What makes it adventurous:
Utah is one of the most diverse states in the country and it has some of the most beautiful natural features.
From rock climbing indian creek to mountain biking through Moab to skiing the Wasatch in quite possibly the best snow in the world, Utah is an epicenter for doing cool stuff.
We recommend checking out Little and big cottonwood Canyons.
Accommodations: Grand America Hotel
Largest hotel in Salt Lake City
Full-service spa, outdoor and indoor pools, exercise facilities, Garden Cafe restaurant, Lobby Lounge and Gibson Lounge bar.
Starts at around $176/night – www.grandamerica.com
From brew pubs to night clubs and concert venues, Salt Lake City has a surprisingly vibrant Night Life.
Some of the best places to hang out in the city include Red Rock Brewing co, Fiddlers Elbow, and Junior’s Tavern.
There are 7 ski areas and loads of backcountry gems.
SLC is also a 4 hour drive from the Colorado Rockies, the Tetons, and the southern Rockies.
It’s pretty much the center of everything for the rocky mountains. Rafting, kayaking, backpacking, biking, hiking, you name it.
Over in Pioneer Park, the Twilight concert series gets underway each summer in July. Cheap ticket prices ($7.50) as well as a location in the heart of downtown.
Start your visit by booking a Connect Pass from the visitor center, which grants admission to 13 of Salt Lake City’s top attractions, including the Clark Planetarium and the Leonardo museum, which explores the intersection of science, art, and innovation.
“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”
What’s in Your Suitcase?
The Better Ice Scraper
$12.99 – www.betterstuff.biz or Amazon
The Better Ice Scraper is a faster, smarter, easier way to clear your windshield. It’s unique design makes it efficient. Its compact size lets it stow away easily. Its ergonomic grip makes it more comfortable to use. Features patent-pending Shape Shifting technology that forms the frost edge to the curve of your windshield for maximum contact. The enhanced stability puts less strain on your wrist, elbow and shoulder, but knocks out ice in no time.
What’s on your phone?
Catie, what’s on your phone?
The Weather Channel (Android; iOS: Free)
The TWC app provides you with a wealth of meteorological data such as temperature, wind and visibility on an hourly or daily basis, with an extended 10 day forecast available. Interactive maps can display the latest Doppler radar data to show rainfall and weather events and severe weather alerts. The app also includes social sharing features for users to upload images, tweets, videos and photos.
What’s the tip?
Winter Travel Tips
Make sure your hotel has covered parking – You don’t want to have to dig out your car in the morning!
Bring your own ski gear if you plan on skiing often. It’s expensive to rent.
Wear all of your heaviest stuff on your travel days – like your bulky jacket, that scarf that’s as big as a blanket, warm hat, and so on.
Bring a pair of leggings to wear under your jeans for extra warmth
Be sure to bring chapstick and moisturizer for cold weather