Top 5 Winter Travel Escapes For February

There are three ways to approach the month of February –escape to warmer climes, resign to counting down the days till spring, or boldly embrace the cold and plan one last bundled-up adventure before the snows melts.

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Here are a few great ideas for those of you who yearn to hit the slopes, lace up their skates, or get cozy by the fireplace one more time.

A ski special in Lake Placid

The all-suite Whiteface Lodge, tucked into the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, offers world-class skiing minus the steep fees at nearby Whiteface Mountain. The three-night Ski Free Midweek Package (Sunday – Thursday, through April) includes two days of complimentary skiing at the only East Coast mountain tall enough to host two Winter Olympics.

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Amenities include in-room fireplaces and warm homemade cookies at turndown. Beyond downhill skiing, guests can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing with one of the Lodge's ADK Guides or ice skate on the private rink. Two hand-crafted lean-tos offer an inviting, sheltered spot under the stars to gather for cigars, whiskey flights and hors d'oeuvres by the fire pit.

 "Fire & Ice" on the St. Lawrence River

The North Country's largest winter event, Fire & Ice returns to New York's 1,000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton with 20,000 pounds of ice carvings for the third annual Ice Bar extravaganza. 

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From Feb. 16-18, the hotel's patio will be transformed into a massive bar made entirely of ice and decked with grandiose ice sculptures and character cut-outs. The event will include an ice sculpture carving demonstration and guests can sit on ice benches to stage memorable selfies. 

Signature cocktails, light hors d'oeuvres, craft beers, and chili and chowder will keep the crowd well fueled against the chill. Guests can warm up around fire pits or retreat to the hotel's ballroom as well.

Home, home on the slopes

The high elevation of Colorado's top ski resorts means skiers enjoy prime ski conditions. InvitedHome offers travelers a helpful guide to spring skiing in Colorado. Within its rich portfolio of exclusive rental homes are 91 choices in five of Colorado's most legendary ski destinations.

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They range from luxury condos to spectacular eight-bedroom estates in Telluride, Breckenridge, Steamboat, Vail and Beaver Creek. 

Vacation home rentals are a booming trend because they are on a private estate with in-home spas and cinemas, ski-in/ski-out access and more.

Après-skate in Beantown

Outdoor ice skating is a classic urban winter pastime, and Boston delivers this year with two options: the beloved Frog Pond in the Boston Common and a colossal new 11,000-square-foot outdoor ice path at City Hall Plaza, which is open through Feb. 28. Guests can retreat to Aloft Boston Seaport for an "après-skate" cocktail, brew or pinot noir at the hotel's W XYZ Bar, and stick around for an acoustic performance from one of Boston's best emerging artists.

A cozy, off-season spa retreat on Martha's Vineyard

The tourist crowds are gone, the landscape transformed in soft grays, and the historic Harbor View Hotel in the heart of Edgartown is keeping the fire stoked in the lobby fireplace to welcome winter guests.

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The Lighthouse Spa Package includes king/suite accommodations, hearty breakfast at the Lighthouse Grill, and an in-room massage by local experts Eclipse Massage Therapy.

More readings:

Best Places to Go for a Winter Honeymoon if You Want to Escape the Cold

Best U.S. Ski Towns for Non-Skiers

Incredible Winter Destinations You Wouldn't Have Considered