Denise Dube discovers four varied, but equally great, destinations in which to enjoy US nature in all its glory
Park City, Utah
Park City and Deer Valley offer skiing on a variety of mountainous terrains, giving a nod to newbies and a home to experienced ‘rippers’. It’s only 45 minutes from Salt Lake City’s airport, enabling devoted skiers to maximize their time on the slopes. Those who aren’t quite as dedicated or athletic may easily head from the blinding white-capped mountains into civilization for shopping and dining. Some sea-level living skiers choose Utah’s mountains because it’s about 1,000ft lower than Colorado’s highest, reducing the chance of altitude sickness.
South Padre Island, Texas
Unlike Cape Cod — a seasonal locale — South Padre Island averages 300 sunny and warm days a year. Once off the two-mile Queen Isabella Causeway that connects the mainland to this Texan island, many tourists feel as though they’ve landed on a tropical isle . The finger-like island boasts 34 miles of pristine white sand and clear water. Although it’s separated from the mainland, there’s enough there to keep any family or couple occupied for at least a week. Fishing, sunbathing, watersports, local activities, a lively nightlife and upscale restaurants keep everyone happy.
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
‘The Smile of the Great Spirit’, better known as Lake Winnipesaukee, is the centerpiece of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. At 72sq miles, it’s a haven for beach lovers, hikers, fishing fanatics, boat enthusiasts, water skiers, golfers, shoppers, antique lovers and more. The oldest US resort is located along its Wolfeboro shores, but the offerings in the other towns are equally enticing. Drive to the Weirs boardwalk for a bit of entertainment and then head back to that rented chalet. In winter, snow bunnies may rent there and drive to Gunstock Mountain for the slopes.
Minute Man National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Urge clients headed toward Boston to drive 10 miles more to this fascinating park. They’ll get the back story of America’s birth and how the fights erupted on April 19, 1775. “It was the first time an organized US militia stood up to the British army,” Philip Lupsiewicz, the park’s press officer, said of the battle that began in Lexington and continued into Concord. There, on the Old North Bridge, the Redcoats met local colonials. The park’s five-mile Battle Road Trail notes where the bodies fell. The visitor center is open April 1 to Oct 30 for those not keen to walk the route.