With license plates proclaiming “Big Sky State” and a name originating from the word mountain, it is no surprise that Montana is an adventurer’s paradise – especially in the winter.
The Ranch at Rock Creek is the ideal place to call “home on the range”. Situated near Philipsburg, and a short 1.5 hour transfer from the Missoula Airport, this Relais and Chateau property is a working ranch but redefines luxury in every aspect. Accommodations range from cozy western lodge rooms to well-appointed tent suites where a claw-foot tub, wood burning stove and rippling creek acoustics will ensure a restful night sleep.
The fully-inclusive property provides fun for all ages and interests. Little buckaroos can ride horses, go sledding, cast a line or enjoy a movie night in the on-property theater room. Discovery, known to the locals as “Disco”, offers family-friendly downhill skiing – without the lines.
Explore the nearby mountains on a snowshoe trek followed by mountaintop yoga complete with a fire and hot cocoa for warmth. For the more adventurous spirits, set out on a snowmobile ride or try one of the many shooting ranges set up around the property. And when the day is done, relax in a soothing spa treatment complemented by a “saddle-sore” soak.
And no visit to a ranch would be complete without a hoedown! Get outfitted in the ranch’s gear closet with boots and hats and let the staff treat you to a twirl as you learn to line-dance while savoring world-class BBQ in the barn. Your stay at the Ranch at Rock Creek will leave you and your family full of laughter, memories and gratitude for the opportunity to share this magical Montana gem.
To design your own magical Montana moments contact Lindsey Woodcock.
The Italian Alps, as we know them, were formed over 65 million years ago. Just two hours north of the Venice airport lies a Unesco Natural World Heritage site: the Dolomites. This breathtaking landscape spans 90,000 acres with soaring peaks, sheer rock faces, and lush valleys, which cater perfectly to those that hike, bike, snowshoe, rock climb or ski. And you can leave your trail-mix at home. The fusion of Italian and Austrian cultures has produced world-class wine and cuisine from Michelin starred chefs that delight the most sophisticated palate.
Escape to Cortina (home of the 1956 winter Olympics) this February for the winter polo matches where participants compete on horseback on a field of fresh snow. Thereafter, traverse the backcountry with your private guide and ski from hut-to-hut (mountain rifugios) on untouched off-piste terrain. When you’re ready for groomers, select from one of 12 ski resorts nearby. Conclude your adventure in costume for Carnival in Venice where you’ll apres all day. This annual festival takes places from February 11-28, 2017.
To plan your Italian Alpine extravaganza, please contact Jill Taylor.
For powder skiing fanatics, nothing beats falling asleep to a sustained snowfall certain to produce an epic powder day by morning. In Hokkaido, such an experience occurs more often than not from December through March, setting this destination apart in the predictability of its excellent conditions.
Skiing in Japan provides both an amazing mountain experience and an opportunity to understand and appreciate the quiet, kind Japanese culture. Nestled in the mountains of the northern island of Hokkaido lie numerous resorts filled with like-minded adventurers seeking the famed fluffy flurries of snow. The gentle slopes and vast terrain provide memorable powder days for skiers of all abilities.
Following an exhilarating day on the slopes, a warm bowl of spicy ramen and a soak of one’s weary legs in any of the many onsens (natural spring pools) in the area provide a satisfying dose of local Japanese culture. A stopover in Tokyo on the way there, back, or both will round out an exceptional vacation.
To book your own Hokkaido ski experience contact Lindsey Woodcock.
Photo credit: Zach Doleac