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Ahhh...winter getaways!

The promise of spring is beginning to thaw parts of the country that have otherwise been pummeled and frozen into submission over the last several months. So while hearts too, are being warmed by the coming months, there's no time like the present to enjoy a winter getaway. You don't have to love the cold or hate it to craft a seasonal interlude that'll be chock-full of memories and there are a veritable slew of options. Whether it's a weekend excursion or a multi-day, take-time-off-work, grab-the-kids-from-school style getaway, Danielle and I have a couple of approaches - albeit very different approaches - to constructing the perfect winter escape. Brian: Now, first things first: I've come to love the summer and enjoy basking in the sun's most popular season - no doubt there, but my roots are still bound to the quiet solitude of a winter landscape hushed by a blanket of fresh snow. Now, to many of you this may sound exactly like the thing you'd prefer to leave behind on a winter getaway and while I hear where you're coming from, all I can say is stay tuned for Danielle's segment. For those of you that aren't put-off by a bit of winter's offering (so long as it doesn't mean driving on black ice or dodging slush-filled pools at seemingly every intersection), then may I suggest a mountain setting.

Thanks to travel aggregators (Expedia.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com and the like), discount sites and brilliant websites like Airbnb these thinned-aired retreats are more accessible than ever. All it takes is a bit of persistence and research! Recently, for example, I took what my friend and I officially designated as a "Bro Board Trip" back to where I grew up in Colorado's Summit County. While we both were hitting the slopes while we were there, the great thing about this destination is that there are a multitude of resorts and accommodations to serve the desires of winterites of all types. Want to ski or snowboard? Well, that's certainly covered! Want to apres-ski without the "ski"? Oh, yeah, they've got that, too. Want to snowmobile, snow-shoe, ice skate, shop, read by a fireplace, enjoy photography, play with the kids, take cooking classes, enjoy a wine flight or get a massage? Done, done and...done.

And while I'm partial to the unique beauty of Colorado, there are plenty of these mountainous destinations all over the U.S. offering that soul-filling concoction of pine and wood-burning fire floating through the air. Here are just a few of the nation's most popular wintery mountain escapes:

New England

Mid-Atlantic/Southeast

Southeast

Midwest

Rocky Mountains

West Coast

So, if you're looking to appreciate winter's beauty and excuse to get cozy, less to outright escape of it's snow, then I suggest you give the wintery mountain escape a try. You just might find you'll be hoping for a few more weeks of winter after all!

Danielle:

I'm not a fan of winter. Don't get me wrong; it has its place. I love a fresh blanket of snow, so long as it melts the next day. I can appreciate the brisk cool temperatures that get my blood pumping and flush my cheeks. But when it's winter and I think about a vacation, there's no way I'm going someplace equally as cool. I want warm. And while warm usually means sand, sun and sangria, I have a child so escaping to a tropical venue is not always easy. But that doesn't prevent me from getting into my swimsuit and walking around in 80+ degree temperatures. I'm talking, of course, about indoor water parks. If you haven't experienced this phenomenon, you're missing out. Fun for both parents and kids, it's literally like walking around inside a tropical bubble - replete with water slides, swimming pools, water features and countless other water obstacles and receptacles.

Most indoor water parks offer lodging and food and of course unlimited use of the park. Typically you'll get lodging and the water access included with food being extra. And since there are so many types of water features, it's perfect for babies all the way through to teenagers. So if you have limited time and budget, check out this option for a winter escape that won't break the bank or require an airplane.

Great Wolf Lodge - multiple locations

CoCo Key - multiple locations

Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park - Lake George, NY

What's your favorite type of winter getaway?

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