Non-Ski Winter Holiday Trip

Old Jul 20th, 2022, 10:19 AM
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Non-Ski Winter Holiday Trip

Hi, we are a family from Florida looking to take a Christmas trip to see some snow and mountains this year. So far we have narrowed down our choices to Breckenridge Colorado area, Park City Utah, Jackson Wyoming, and Leavenworth Washington. We do realize that the first 3 cities are much more geared towards skiing, but they do seem to have much more to do than the non ski towns like Leavenworth. We are really just looking to rent an Airbnb or cabin and enjoy the snow and Christmas atmosphere and lights. Any recommendations for these cities or any other cities we should look into?
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Old Jul 20th, 2022, 11:46 AM
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Is the plan to fly to a major airport and then to rent a car? A possibility without renting a car would be to take the Amtrak California Zephyr from Denver to Winter Park/Frasier or all the way to Glenwood Springs. There is a good bus service from Glenwood Springs up to Aspen (42 miles).
If you want to go to Park City UT, fly to SLC and take public transit to get up to the mountains.
There is an Amtrak stop on the Empire Builder route starting from Seattle King Street station.
Another possibility would be to fly to Reno Nevada and drive up to Lake Tahoe.
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Old Jul 20th, 2022, 01:36 PM
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The cool thing about Jackson, WY is you're next to the Teton Mts. which are perhaps the most beautiful mts. in the Lower 48. Also, you are only an hour away from Yellowstone NP.
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 05:59 AM
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Leavenworth is perfect for what you are looking for. We head over there quite often, and usually sound a week there between Christmas and New Year's. We too prefer cabins and we tend to stay just outside of town. Take a look at https://comfycabins.com for some great places. We have used them many times and they are great to work with. We had an emergency a couple years ago and were not sure if we were going to need an extra night, and they were so compassionate and made a difficult time much better. Airbnb and VRBO are also good in this area.

They put up Christmas lights that stay up through Valentine's Day at least, some years later if there is a ton of snow. You can rent cross country skies and go right in town, or snowshoes. I remember one year we stayed in a hotel and let the kids sleep and my husband and I strapped on our snowshoes and headed down to Blackbird Island (right in town) and snowshoed in the dark with no other people, and fresh snow. Beautiful!!!

Ski Hill is a big hit and is just up the hill from the main part of town. You can cross country ski there, or snowshoe (rarely see other people on these trails), but the big draw is for the ski jumping as well as the tubing. There is a rope tow for that and it is a lot of fun!
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 06:56 AM
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Lets hope that the original poster finds their way back to read our good responses.. Another city that they could consider would be Bend Oregon. There may not be much if any snow down in the city but there is bus service going up to Mount Bachelor daily. There is a fun snow tubing hill on Mt. Bachelor and if there is enough snow, you can snow shoe in the area.
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 07:07 AM
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Sorry for the late reply - had a crazy busy couple of days. But I really appreciate the responses! Leavenworth sounds great! The only issue is that flights to Seattle from Florida appear to be much more expensive than Utah or Colorado for the week we are looking at. If we did do Leavenworth or either of the other locations, would you recommend staying in one town for the 8-10 days we will be there, or splitting between 2 locations? For instance, would it be practical to combine Park City and Jackson WY in 1 trip, doing about 4-5 days in each?
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 08:01 AM
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Yes, it's absolutely possible. Jackson and Park City are only 4.5 hours apart. Of course weather and winter driving could slow you down a bit.

PS - no need to apologize for returning to a thread the day after you started it. Some folks here are just really impatient

Of the places you've listed I've been to all but Leavenworth. Personally, I go for Jackson. Beautiful part of the country.

Last edited by Melnq8; Jul 21st, 2022 at 08:05 AM.
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8 View Post
Yes, it's absolutely possible. Jackson and Park City are only 4.5 hours apart. Of course weather and winter driving could slow you down a bit.

PS - no need to apologize for returning to a thread the day after you started it. Some folks here are just really impatient

Of the places you've listed I've been to all but Leavenworth. Personally, I go for Jackson. Beautiful part of the country.
Thanks. Jackson does look beautiful. If we went with there, I think we would probably still fly into SLC anyway as the fares going there are the most affordable, so we'd probably spend at least the first couple days in the Park City area. I do find reasonable cabin rentals harder to find in Utah, even if I look outside of Park City, the options are mostly apartments and studios. The appeal of a cabin is being able to have a fireplace and property that we could even go sledding on. But all these places look like they have great snow activities so I get the feeling any would be great.

Obviously Leavenworth is the most festive for Christmas so that is very tempting as well 😂
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Old Jul 21st, 2022, 01:12 PM
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The only one on your list that I've been to in winter is Jackson. We like the cabins at Dornans which are 20 minutes north of Jackson but you might want to stay closer or right in town. Cowboy Village in Jackson has cabins (they're on the small side, don't know how many people you have). I don't know what activities you might be interested in but other than downhill skiing, there's cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and sleigh rides. There's also good wildlife watching in Grand Teton and the National Elk Refuge. You can't drive into Yellowstone from the south entrance in winter but you can take a snowcoach tour.

Other places to consider are Ketchum/Sun Valley in Idaho or Big Sky in Montana but airfare may be higher to these destinations.
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