While winter stateside fluctuates between absurdly high temperatures and drastically freezing ones, it can be hard to decide what kind of weekend (or weeklong!) getaway you really want. You can start planning your Caribbean vacation -- and we won’t discourage you -- as a surefire "thaw out" destination, but have you considered what other gems are keeping quiet, waiting for your arrival? No matter the temperature, it can be quite lovely to wake up to the solitude of Northeastern farmland, or be pampered by your own personal butler next to a Wisconsin lakefront. Whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat or a family-friendly excursion, we’ve found some inviting getaways in the U.S. you probably haven’t heard of (or at least thought of recently). Some of these quaint, oft-overlooked options even lack TVs in the guest rooms, but you don’t take a break from your daily routine to stare at a screen, right? It’s the New Year, and about time to try new things. Here are five cozy weekend getaways in the states that are worth a trip this winter or spring.
1. Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort; Leavenworth, WA
Two hours northeast of Seattle, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort is burrowed into Washington’s cozy Cascade Mountains, just a 10-minute drive to Leavenworth. This all-inclusive resort spans over 67 wooded acres and has the amenities (or lack thereof) for a more isolated, winter stay. Handmade log beds, wooden beamed vaulted ceilings, and hardwood floors complete a rustic allure inside the bedrooms. There are no TVs, but there is free Wi-Fi throughout. Recreational activities -- like a game room -- call for a family-friendly atmosphere, but a full spa and two wine bars can do just the trick for a vacationing couple. And make sure to take advantage of Sleeping Lady’s winter packages, like the option which includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the mountains, ending with spiced cider and hot cocoa.
2. Amee Farm; Pittsfield, VT
This Pittsfield B&B sits on a 40-acre secluded farmland on the edge of Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest, offering that much-needed relaxing country vista. The post-and-beam styled lodge has a modern-meets-rustic appeal, with a perfect mix of warm, rugged, and chic. Spacious, cabin-like bedrooms provide an at-home feel with Tempurpedic mattresses and stone showers with rain showerheads. Bedrooms lack TVs (which isn’t so bad when you’re away in the country), but don’t fret -- there’s one in the all-wood paneling lounge, equipped with leather chairs and a tempting fireplace. Looking for some outdoor winter activities? Wandering the acreage is recommended, as is renting snowshoes or taking the 20-minute drive to the nearby Killington Ski Resort. It’s best to dine on-site, since the neighboring village has just a pizza shop and general store, but there’s nothing better than bundling up with some hot chocolate on the wrap-around porch and taking in the beauty.
3. Baker House; Lake Geneva, WI
Ideal for an intimate, romantic getaway, Baker House is a luxurious, boutique hotel in downtown Lake Geneva. The historic Queen Anne Victorian house runs rampant with quirky characteristics as it steps back in time into the Gilded Age; staff dress in period uniforms, an eager-to-please personal butler will pamper your every need, and a chauffeur in a 1932 Model A Ford will take you on short rides. The hotel is exclusively suite-styled and its high demand makes it a bit pricey, but the gorgeous interior alone is worth the extra cost. Rooms depict a mix of 19-century contemporary royalty, French antiques, and lush decor, along with modern perks like heated marble bathroom floors and flat-screen TVs. Not to mention the property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Oh, and you’ll want to check out the indoor pool, hot tub, fireplaces, and highly-rated bar and restaurant.
4. The Lodge on Lake Lure; Lake Lure, NC
This lakeside, stone log-cabin lodge in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains has the cozy attributes of a low-key, mountain retreat. The picturesque Lake Lure is less than an hour southeast of Asheville, and was once the setting for movies like “Dirty Dancing” and “Last of the Mohicans.” Most of the sizable 17 rooms have panoramic lake views and each varies in design; some with comforting woodsy decor (picture carved wooden four-poster beds) and others with a more modern touch. There’s a daily, free Southern breakfast, a prix fixe dinner, and homemade cookies available at all times. The expansive living room-like lounge portrays a relaxed, romantic atmosphere with a piano, well-stocked bookshelf, and oversized stone fireplace. Looking to get some fresh air? Chimney Rock State Park is just minutes away, with 75-mile views, hiking trails, and 400-foot waterfalls.
5. Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort; Tabernash, CO
This Rocky Mountain luxury lair stands in Tabernash, and is ideal for outdoor aficionados looking for a more secluded stay. The entire hotel -- from the lobby to the bedrooms -- is floor-to-ceiling upscale rustic, with barn-styled chandeliers, Southwestern-patterned quilts, and stone fireplaces in some bedrooms. There are TVs and spotty Wi-Fi, but there’s always a full schedule of outdoor activities right on the ranch, like cross-country skiing, ice skating, and sleigh rides arranged through the on-site operating stable. And the outdoor swimming pool? It’s heated and right near the full-service spa and fitness center. Wherever you look you’ll be surrounded by the spectacular views of the surrounding peaks. With a two-hour (and often rough) drive to Denver, it’s easier to stay put at the resort, which isn’t difficult with its three restaurants -- one serving organic western dishes.