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Best Slopes Opening Soon

November 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

As the fall months begin to transition into the winter season, families around the country have started getting ready for the start of ski season! Whether you're a Black Diamond slope runner or haven't had your first day of ski school, there are countless ski resorts open in November — so you can get on the slopes before they become overcrowded. Take a look at two of the best resorts in the country that offer early-season skiing.

Salt Lake City, Utah
It's no secret that booking a family vacation in Salt Lake City, Utah will give you access to some of the best open ski resorts in North America this year. With plenty of opportunities for ski rentals, one-on-one lessons, passes available to skip long lift lines and even family classes and events, Salt Lake City is one of the most popular destinations for skiing in America for a reason. And if you're looking for something other than simply skiing, why not try your hand all the family-friendly activities that are available? You can hit the slopes in a new way — rentals and guides are available so you can enjoy snowmobiling, sledding, snowshoeing or even snowboarding! And for that perfect family-friendly après-ski pick-me-up, be sure to head to Salt Lake City's Hatch Family Chocolate to sample what many refer to as the best hot chocolate in the state. So grab your warm coats, fuzzy hats, snow boots and gloves and get ready for the vacation of a lifetime!

Breckenridge, Colorado
If you're looking for a small-town feel in one of the best ski destinations in North America, you'll find everything you need in cozy and quaint Breckenridge, Colorado. With a permanent resident population of just under 5,000, Breckenridge is a little town with a big reputation. It’s known world-wide for its attention to detail, luxury rentals, fine dining and shopping, exquisite art galleries and state-of-the-art spas and ski lodges. With multiple hills and mountains available to cater to every age and ability level, the town is known for bringing in some of the highest quality instructors in the entire nation. It's also the home of the International Snow Sculpture Championships, held every January. And if you ever decide to visit in the summer, the town doesn’t disappoint. Be sure to check out the historic hiking trails and mining history Breckenridge boasts.

They say the early bird catches the worm, but this year, why not catch the slopes? Chase the greatest early snow in the country and beat the crowds by taking your family for a surprise vacation to one of these best resorts for early-season skiing. Whether you're a novice or an expert, you’ll be sure to make memories for your whole family on an early-year ski trip. Sip hot chocolate with marshmallows, warm up in a ski lodge or take a family class on a vacation they'll never forget. 

Fall in Love with Delicious Pie around the South

November 18, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The fall season means scarecrows, Thanksgiving and best of all, pies in every flavor imaginable! Pie has long been the centerpiece of American bake-offs, holiday tables and even eating contests. To help you celebrate the season of falling leaves, we've gathered a list of places where you can find some of the best pies in America. With flavors synonymous with fall, like pecan, pumpkin and apple, it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise that many of the country's greatest pies come from the South. The next time you're on vacation with your family, or even looking for a decadent break from a business trip, be sure to grab a bite of the best Southern pies out there!

Slice Pie Company in Raleigh-Durham, NC
If you're headed with the family to North Carolina's gorgeous Raleigh-Durham for your next trip, be sure to check out the Slice Pie Company. This is quite literally the home of one of the best apple pies in America. Slice’s apple pie was the winner of the State Fair Blue Ribbon! Made from scratch, (because no good Southern grandmother would dare to do otherwise) the pies are available in multiple sizes and are made to order — so you know you're getting the freshest pie possible. With Southern staples like Strawberry Rhubarb, Lemon Meringue and Key Lime, you’re sure to enjoy real hospitality from Slice Pie Company. Slice is also able to deliver to certain areas, so if after a long day sight seeing you barely have the energy to even get back to your hotel room, you can order a fresh, homemade, to-die-for pie for the sweet tooth in your traveling group. Quick tip: If it's specifically Pecan Pie you're craving, the locals swear by The Angus Barn.

The Pie Shop in Atlanta, GA
If your travels bring you to beautiful downtown Atlanta, Georgia, you're well on your way to enjoying some of the most popular pies in America. The Pie Shop, with over a hundred types of pie and specialty holiday flavors, will make you feel like you're back in grandma’s kitchen. There's nothing more Southern than The Pie Shop's flavors, which count Bourbon Pecan, Apple Butter Chess and Candy Corn Cream Pie among their copious flavor selections. For those who are craving something a little more savory, no trip to the Southern part of the country could ever be complete without at least sampling a single slice of Chicken Pot Pie and The Pie Shop’s doesn’t disappoint. Flaky crusts, unbeatable white meat chicken and several secret, made-with-love ingredients all work together to bring you a fantastic culinary experience.

No matter how perfect your vacation, a little extra indulgence, whether on the road or back in your hotel after a long day of sightseeing, makes it that much better. Enjoy a slice of homemade goodness and experience real down-home cooking in the South by stopping to enjoy — and taking home — some of the best pies in America.

Great Family Reunion Winter Destinations

November 14, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

There's no reason that arguing over who should host the family reunion this year should ever lead to any cancelled get togethers or hurt feelings. If you and your brood just can’t seem to figure it out, why not make a new tradition and find one of many affordable family reunion destinations the whole family can agree on? This year, why not just book a group hotel block of rooms, relax and actually enjoy your family time.

Pine Mountain in Georgia

Some of the best family reunion lodging can be found in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Enjoy a peaceful ambiance in this neck of the woods that truly has something for everyone. From down home country cooking to the Wild Animal Safari, Pine Mountain is sure to entertain everyone in the family. You can find a butterfly center, an expansive botanical garden, hiking trails and even a circus for the kids — one thing you can all agree on is that nobody will be bored in Pine Mountain.

Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania

If you're looking for family reunion destinations that are geared more towards the winter months, don’t miss the breathtaking Poconos Mountain Range in Pennsylvania. Easy to access from New York and the surrounding areas, the whole family can enjoy skiing or snowboarding, and if you have little ones, there’s even a ski school. For those wanting to move at a bit of a slower pace, winter hiking and snowshoeing can satisfy those who truly love the cold — you can brave the winter weather to venture out into some of the country's most beautiful game trails and parks. There are also plenty of indoor climbing centers, and even paintball courses, to keep the kids entertained while the adult members of the family can relax with a cocktail or enjoy an après-ski glass of wine. 

Great Lakes in Michigan

Another perfect family reunion destination? Consider somewhere with a lot of wide open space for hosting family talent shows, eating contests or simply running around! Areas surrounding the Great Lakes in Michigan, or even the lesser-known, hence much less crowded, Lower Herring Lake are ideal for families with lots of children who are old enough to entertain themselves with minimal supervision. Known for its cherry orchards, gorgeous views and spectacular sunsets, Michigan offers a myriad of activities for families, and is usually very open to larger crowds renting out a space. Golf enthusiasts will have no trouble at all finding an expansive, challenging golf course to play on in the area — while the children can take turns trying their hands at mini golf. 

Families can be chaotic, but finding the right destination for your next family reunion doesn't need to be. With the right venue, food and, most importantly, attitude, your reunion is sure to be a success. Don't let the fear of arguing over who has to host the family reunion prevent you from having one — instead, bring your clan together and create a new tradition by traveling to a different destination every year.


Family Tour for National Peanut Butter Month

November 10, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy, no matter how you slice it, peanut butter is a beloved American staple—a favorite in lunch boxes across the country. In a time where we celebrate everything from hamburgers to ice cream with dedicated days throughout the year, it should come as no surprise that we also celebrate National Peanut Butter Month each and every November. While you could celebrate this creamy (or crunchy) month simply by eating as much peanut butter as humanly possible, in true Road Warrior fashion, those looking to make a trip out of it can visit several peanut themed establishments for an inside look at this very American treat. This November head to these three corners of the country for peanuts, peanut butter and more.

Krema Nut Company—Columbus, Ohio

Looking for a different and fun adult weekend getaway? Why not plan a group caravan road trip? Once you’ve secured hotel rooms for your big group, you can head to the Krema Nut Company in Columbus, Ohio. The peanut butter factory offers free factory tours to large groups of those aged 21 and older. The tour lasts about an hour and details the peanut’s fascinating history. Not only can you learn about peanuts and peanut butter, but you can also see first hand how peanut butter is made the old fashioned way. Krema Nut Company remains the country’s oldest continuously operated peanut butter company since 1898. Tours are offered by appointment Monday through Friday from 9AM to 10:30AM and 1:30PM to 2PM. The minimum group allowed is 30.

The Peanut Patch—Yuma, Arizona

Located in Yuma, Arizona, The Peanut Patch has become a tradition in Southwest Arizona. While not a factory per se, the store features hundreds of different candies and natural snacks, many of which feature peanuts. Opened in 1977, the shop provides information on how peanuts are grown. In addition, visitors can witness peanut brittle rolled out while taking in the whiffs of fresh peanuts roasting.

Planters Peanut Center—Suffolk, Virginia

While many peanut factories are not open for tours, Planters, perhaps one of the biggest names in peanuts, does have an old fashioned shop you can visit in Suffolk, Virginia. Planters Peanut Center provides something of a time machine for visitors. Guests step back in time and smell peanuts roasted in the shell with the help of a 1936 model roaster. The retail store has been in business since 1967 in the Peanut Capital of the World. Old timey, Planters Peanut Center satisfies those who are nutty for peanuts with its variety of Planters peanuts, candies and snack products for sale. The Planters Peanut Center is open Monday Through Friday from 10AM to 5:30PM and Saturday from 8:30AM to 4PM.

Peanut butter and jelly is just about as synonymous with classic American fare as milk and cookies or apple pie and ice cream. While your family might enjoy peanut butter daily, chances are they don’t know about how that jar came to be. If you’re looking to celebrate National Peanut Butter Month in its truest form, these peanut centric stops won’t disappoint. Just be sure you have some milk on hand back at your hotel room to wash down all of that stick-to-your-mouth goodness.

Thanksgiving: Back to Where it Started

November 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving. From making construction paper hats to dressing up as pilgrims and Native Americans in our kindergarten classes to teaching our own children about Plymouth Rock, the history of Thanksgiving has been passed down for generations. 

But what if you and your family had the chance to truly experience and live out the pilgrim Thanksgiving history? For over 20 years, the annual Plymouth Thanksgiving Celebration — held in scenic Boston, a perfect family destination for a long fall weekend getaway — has become a mainstay of cultural celebration and learning.

Plymouth Thanksgiving Celebration:
Thanksgiving activities in Boston, though plentiful, can't hold a candle to the weekend before Thanksgiving in Plymouth. Full of dozens of family activities, including a chronological parade that reenacts American history throughout the past 250 years, the weekend truly has something for everyone. The parade, which has been ranked as one of the top Thanksgiving celebrations in the country, is just one of many exciting components of the Plymouth Thanksgiving Celebration.

New England Food Festival:
A crowd favorite is the New England Food Festival, where you can sample traditional Thanksgiving and New England fare. Think clam chowder, Boston baked beans, apple cider and Anadama bread. At this festival, you're guaranteed a feast that will rival the First Thanksgiving!

There are also multiple concerts spread out over the course of the celebration, featuring music from the Marine Corps, Army Choirs and more traditional American tunes. Whether you hear children's songs designed to teach about history or patriotic anthems or folk songs everyone knows and loves, you and your family are sure to leave singing.

Historical Village in Plymouth:
Most popular of all — and perhaps the best way to experience what life was like in Colonial America and beyond — is the Historical Village in Plymouth. Filled with costumed historians and experts from different eras throughout American history, you will have a chance to really feel like you’re traveling through time. You'll learn about relationships with Native Americans, the Civil War, the drawing of the Constitution and even fight alongside women Suffragettes for the right to vote! Whether you’re looking to educate your children, or if you yourself are a history buff who enjoys interactive and educational experiences, a tour through time as a part of the Plymouth Thanksgiving Celebration is authentically American and really one of the best Thanksgiving activities in Boston.

Wampanoag Pavilion:
Finally, be sure to head over to the Wampanoag Pavilion to enjoy a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving dinner exclusively. Separate the fact from the fiction during this unique event by learning who was present, what they ate and what they learned from one another.

No matter how big the size of your family is, how long you’re planning to vacation in Boston or how you usually celebrate Thanksgiving, you won’t be disappointed if you make this holiday season extra special by heading back in time at the Plymouth Thanksgiving Celebration in Boston, Massachusetts.