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Winter Park is a Vacationer's Wonderland

By Caitlin Moore

Colorful Colorado is so filled with charming ski resorts and summertime activity hotbeds that choosing one over any other can be a difficult task. Each has its own appeal, but when it comes down to it, you canít go wrong with Winter Park. Any season of the year, this enchanting, mountainous, brimming-with-life village has a few ideas about how you should spend your long-awaited vacation.

For starters, wintry weather travelers should know that Winter Park has been singled out as one of the finest places to ski and snowboard. This region receives more of the powdery stuff than any other resort in the state, and five distinct mountains make for a practically infinite number of runs, trails, and exhilarating views. Whether you set out to conquer Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque, Vasquez Ridge, or Winter Park itself, youíll have plenty of terrain to keep yourself busy.

Non-skiers can enjoy the landscape from inside a protected snowcat, or can follow the leader on a snowshoe tour of the backcountry. To meet up with the rest of the group, hop on the Zephyr Express chairlift and within 15 minutes youíll be ready to have lunch at one of the Sunspot Summit restaurants with all your traveling companions. A cold-weather vacation to Winter Park will ensure a good time is had by everyone.

Once the snow has melted, the exposed mountainsides wonít leave you hanging when it comes to filling your vacation hours. Winter Park has been nicknamed the ďMountain Bike Capital of the USA,Ē and youíll see why after youíve spent a little time here. Rent yourself an awesome bike and choose a trail that is right for your skill level; from beginner to ultra-adrenaline advanced, an experienced guide will show you the way to your adventure sport fantasies come true. With 600 miles of trails and the stunning backdrop of Fraser Valley at hand, you could devote your entire trip to this thrilling activity if you wanted to.

If your muscles tire, however, (donít worry, thatís normal) then make time for more laid-back pursuits. Ride the chairlift to the highest peak youíll find, 10,700 feet, and drink in the sight of the Continental Divide as it contrasts with the gentle valley. For a quick and giggle-inducing way of returning to earth, slip down the 3,000 foot long alpine slide, the biggest one in existence.

More family fun will ensue as you continue to take advantage of Winter Parkís unique summer offerings. The Human Maze, a wooden labyrinth of huge proportions, will put everyone to the test, and the Rock ĎN Roll Gyro, which mimics the conditions of space travel, will offer a glimpse into the life of a fighter pilot. Mini golf fans will be entertained and educated at the same time, as each of the holes on the local course represents a different historic aspect of the Fraser Valley.

In addition to the everyday attractions, several festivals are held throughout the season. Check out the High Altitude Chili Cook off to add some spice to your life, or visit Rockfest to take in some tunes. From the Jazz Festival in July to Oktoberfest in the fall, thereís always something going on to get people together.

If youíre ready to explore Grand County, (thatís Winter Park and the surrounding area) then you should be sure to reserve yourself a great place to stay while youíre here. We all know that the lodging situation can either drag your vacation down, or give it that extra bit of oomph that results in memories untarnished by unpleasant details. Plan for a great vacation in every sense by checking out all the rental options in the area.

In the winter, a ski-in, ski-out condo would be ideal, and in the summer, a spacious chalet near the village would definitely meet your needs. There are dozens of great properties to choose from that contain well-equipped kitchens, entrancing views, plentiful bed space and enough bathrooms to guarantee an absence of tension between the kids as they get ready in the mornings.

So if this sounds like the kind of vacation that youíve been waiting for, start planning today. Map out your activities, leaving plenty of time for relaxation, of course, and go online to choose the Winter Park Vacation Rental that will add to your experience in so many ways.

http://www.HomeAway.com is a great place to start looking for your next vacation rental.

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