One of our favorite highlights of 2020 was the opportunity to visit Crystal Springs Resort in northwestern New Jersey (an hour from New York City), and from the moment we left the resort property, our children have been asking to return. Since we first visited during the summer, we thought it would be fun to see the resort during the winter (ish) season. So this past weekend we headed back to New Jersey’s favorite resort (a well-earned title) for a Winter Wonderland weekend of holiday magic.
The town of Avon, Colorado is located at the base of Beaver Creek Village and Beaker Creek Ski Resort, 2.3 miles up the hill. Vail Village and adjacent Lionshead Village are located 10 miles east of Avon, less than 15 aways from Avon. Both Beaker Creek and Vail are known for their world class skiing in the winter and plenty of outdoor fun throughout the entire year.
After researching places to stop between our visits to Utah and South Dakota (we’re on a massive National Parks tour this summer), we decided to spend a few days exploring the beauty of the Vail area. When crowd sourcing places to stay the overwhelming choice of both friends and acquaintances was the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon.
Our family first visited the Woodloch resort in 2012; it was an impromptu trip after Superstorm Sandy flooded parts of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey and we had no power for almost a week. We had so much fun, we vowed to return. It took a while, but we finally made it back to Woodloch in the fall of 2020 for the most magical weekend- we wrote a full post about the resort and the (seemingly) endless ways to have fun. We met so many people (and have since heard from even more people) who remarked “We’ve been coming here for years, since I was a child” that we thought it would be fun to return with my parents. A resort like Woodloch is the perfect place for a multigenerational trip.
Our visit to Woodloch is easily one of our favorite adventures of 2020. We visited in 2012 and vowed to return when the kids were older and could better enjoy all of the amenities. We finally got our chance this past week and enjoyed a beautiful fall weekend in the Poconos. Established in 1958 by the Kiesendahl family, Woodloch Pines is a resort in the northwest section of the Poconos in Pennsylvania. The 350 acre property has grown over the years to now include a lakeside resort with 160 rooms and suites, times shares and private homes, a championship 18 hole golf course, a luxury spa, and a seemingly infinite amount of ways to have fun.
A visit to Woodloch focuses on family “togetherness”- most activities encourage families to work together, laugh together, and play together. There is a genuine sense of community that the staff brings to every meal, activity, and celebration. Members of the Kiesendahl family visit with guests at every meal (look out for the crazy patterned suits!). Every staff member we encountered greeted us with a warm welcome, an invitation to join in on the fun, and a sincere desire to be inclusive. We witnessed several, multi generational families vacationing together and overheard so many conversations that started with “Last year, when we did this..” or even better, “When I was your age and we played this game….”. It is clear that many, many families return to Woodloch every year to make memories, and we’re hoping to become one of those families.
We just returned from a beautiful (almost) fall weekend in the Berkshires. We’ll have several upcoming posts about things to do, places to explore, and where to eat in the Berkshires (we’ve already posted about Hancock Shaker Village and Naumkeag). We were fortunate to be invited to stay the Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort and spend time checking their resort amenities and activities. Opened in 1948, Jiminy Peak is the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England and offers year round family fun. We were impressed by the initiatives the resort takes to preserve the environment and maintain their energy independence. The resort uses only renewable sources for all their electrical power- the only resort in North America to do so!
Crystal Springs Resort, the largest golf resort in the Northeast, offers so much more than “just” golf for families, couples, and friends who vacation together. Located in the northern part of New Jersey, an hour from Manhattan, the resort includes two resorts, situated three miles apart: Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals. The resorts feature six golf courses (4 courses with 18 holes and 2 courses with 9 holes); 10 restaurants, bistros, and grills; three pool complexes; and hundreds (literally!) of ways to have fun. I spent a wonderful weekend at Grand Cascades Lodge two years ago with college friends and have wanted to bring my family back ever since that visit.