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  • Writer's pictureAlist Nation

Winter Getaways on a Budget

Top Places To Travel In The USA, That Are Fun & Affordable

On our list you won’t find those typical places that make everyone else's list. We went Beyond the norm and found you the extraordinary. Places that you never even knew existed. Well, maybe some of you did. Take a look and let us know if you decided to give it a go. Tag us #AlistNationVacas to be featured on our IG page. @alist_nation


Eagle Ridge Resort And Spa

Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, located a 2.5-hour drive from Chicago within The Galena Territory about 6 miles southeast if the historic town of Galena offers four award winning golf courses, newly renovated rooms, more than 250 villas and homes, award winning restaurants, and a full-service spa. The resort is known for an incredible selection of sports and activities during winter season. The route to Galena and Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is known for its scenic vistas, rolling hills, state parks, small towns, and historic landmarks, that serve as the perfect backdrop for Instagram posts and more.

Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge – Opening for the season in December.

Guests who visit the Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge can try something new or participate in their favorite winter sport, including cross-country skiing among more than seven miles of trails, sledding, skating on the one-acre skating pond. The Nordic Center professionals take guests on twilight snowshoe hikes and organize broomball games and trips to local distilleries and wineries. They also teach skijorking, where guests’ dogs are attached to owners with a towline and pull them across the snow.

Every year, over the Presidents Day Weekend, the resort hosts a Winter Carnival. Guests at the Winter Carnival can experience all the cold-weather activities Eagle Ridge has to offer, such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through seven miles of groomed trails, sledding, and ice skating on the 1.5-acre Eagle Ridge pond. The resort also features special activities for that weekend, including:

Two Fire and Ice Winter Glow shows on Friday and Saturday night on the resort’s Marina. Guests can enjoy a cozy bonfire while they watch glowing hot air balloons, magically lighting the night sky. Shows start at dusk.

Broomball: Eagle Ridge provides all the necessary equipment for a fun and rousing competition

Ice turkey bowling at the Pool Patio

Snow art for kids and families

Putt Putt Ice and Snow Golf

Ice Bar, serving up drinks and hot chili

Cozy Valentine Gazebo, with romantic views and plenty of warm furs to snuggle into.

For Reservations: 800.892.2269

In addition to the on-site activities, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is located within driving distance to Chestnut Mountain Resort. The resort's slopes are meant for all levels of skiers and boarders to enjoy. Their 475-foot vertical drop meanders 3,500 feet through 19 runs, ranging from novice to black diamond with two quad chairs, four triple chairs, two conveyor lifts and one surface lift to get you back up to the top. Transworld has chosen Chestnut Mountain as their top-rated Midwest snowboard park for three years running. Their terrain park, the Farside, is the largest of its kind in the Midwest – containing more than 25 rails and an array of features, and is served by its own triple chair lift and surface lift. Eagle Ridge Resort provides free shuttle to and from Chestnut Mountain Resort for guests.

Photos: Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa



Tybee Island

Located just 20 minutes from downtown Savannah, Ga, Tybee Island is a 5-mile long beach filled with history and quirky hidden gems. A perk to visiting the South is enjoying the beach year-round. While the rest of the country is bundling up, Tybee Island’s mild winter temperatures are perfect for those looking to trade their snow for some sand. Although locals will agree that the island slows down in the cooler months, there is still so much going on for the holidays making it an ideal destination for a winter getaway on a budget.

Off-Season Rates: Tybee’s winter season is a great opportunity for visitors to take advantage of impressive discounted rates. From beach front hotels to historic bed and breakfasts, visitors are sure to find a great deal for their winter island getaway.

Smaller Crowds: Winter means a quieter, more intimate island experience. You’re bound to have your pick of secluded beach hideouts or dine on scrumptious seafood without the worry of a wait.

Tybee Island’s bounty of pristine waterways and quiet bike paths make it a prime destination for nature lovers. From kayaking and sailing to biking and bird watching, the island offers countless ways to recharge and reconnect with nature.

The Tybee Island Light Station has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years.

a complete light station whose history dates back to 1736. The tower stands 145 feet tall and has three Light Keeper's Cottages nearby. A small 1812 Summer Kitchen holds archaeological finds. Across the street is an 1899 Military Battery that houses the Tybee Island Museum.

Photos provided by



Colorado Springs

Nothing beats a FREE deal! What better way to enjoy your vacation than with free things to do in Colorado Springs? Let the kids go nuts on a splash pad, hike stunning trails with breathtaking views, take the kiddos to enjoy free nature activities, learn about the history and heritage of Colorado Springs at a local museum, take various tours and try some natural mineral springs - all for free!

Restaurants in Colorado Springs range from high-end sophistication and superb elegance to rustic outdoor farm-to-table suppers, wood-fired pizza and casual sidewalk cafes.

The unique atmosphere of Colorado Springs restaurants doesn’t quit after dessert is served, because there’s no shortage of nightlife. With great clubs and concerts, and night spots ranging from bars to opulent wine-tasting rooms, some places even serve up delicious food until the wee hours of the morning.

Colorado Springs lodging options offer fantastic views and convenient access to local shopping, dining, and entertainment. If you enjoy being closer to nature, think about staying in cabin lodging near Colorado Springs. Adventurers will love one of the many dude ranches, while outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home at a campground or one of our RV parks. Whether you have your heart set on a 5-star resort, like boutique properties or trust the reliability of brand-name hotels, you'll find the right Colorado Springs hotels and motels for your trip on the trip planner at

Photos provided by

If you want to plan a winter trip to Colorado you can go to and plan your trip with a itinerary builder. It's free, easy to use and totally customized by you!




Carlsbad is your gateway to California’s most charming and unforgettable escapes. From world class resorts to quaint hotels, soak up the coastal splendor that is uniquely Carlsbad. Experience a vibe that is quintessentially California. Seven miles of coastline, nine incredible breweries, world-class resorts, shopping, golf, restaurants and more.

In Carlsbad, something wonderful is around every corner. Perfectly situated between the laid-back vibe of downtown San Diego and the glamour of Orange County, the world is at your fingertips, while your toes are in the sand. Carlsbad has so many choices to stay that are Located along the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline which is graced with a year round mild climate.

It’s all here in Carlsbad. Award-winning restaurants that are constantly reinventing the way we eat to street food classics that magically whisk you back to your childhood. No matter your tastes or budget, restaurants in Carlsbad offers a wealth of options that overflow with flavor and style, as well as happily fuel your next fun-filled eating adventure.

Photos provided by

Shopping in Carlsbad provides the enticing combination of upscale offerings and a casual atmosphere. Walk tree-lined streets to discover art galleries, garden shops, jewelers, clothing stores, boutiques and a farmer's market with goodies galore. Venture slightly further for more options at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets or to The Forum for all your lifestyle needs.

Marina Del Rey Hotel

Situated on the world’s largest man-made harbor tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and minutes from LAX, the famed Venice boardwalk and Santa Monica pier, the Marina Del Rey Hotel allows guests to unwind and indulge in equal balance. The iconic hotel, famed as the first hotel on the Marina was recently renovated in late 2015 and refreshed with 164 guest rooms and suites, many of which overlook the sparking marina. The waterfront paradise welcomes guests by offering luxury standards at an affordable rate that won’t break the bank. Book early enough with special discounted rates available through their advance purchase deal and save nearly $50 on your next room, upgrade to a free Marina view and wake up to breathtaking views of the glistening Pacific. Wake up and join the hotel’s award winning restaurant, SALT Restaurant & Bar, for a savory breakfast to kick-start your day before embarking on your Los Angeles adventure. The contemporary California cuisine based restaurant offers seasonally inspired and locally sourced dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take advantage of the year-round LA sunshine and enjoy the hotel’s amenities which include a heated infinity pool and spa with a marina-view sundeck with daybeds and cabanas available without a reservation and rental fee, on-site fitness center, 24-hour concierge and bike rentals perfect for the California weather.

Looking for a place to play? Catch a wave from a local paddle board instructor and surf across the marina, perfect during anytime of the year with the California climate or take a 10 minute car ride down to the World Famous Venice Beach where you can catch a glimpse of the Venice drum circle and dance on the board or shop for gifts for your friends and family from local street vendors with an array of art of cool finds only available in California.

Photos provided by

Take a light stroll up the boardwalk and run into the Santa Monica pier with its own carnival and shopping located minutes away at the 3rd Street Promenade. Check out ICE in downtown Santa Monica (1324 5th Street & Arizona) the full-service 8,000-square-foot outdoor rink. Feeling adventurous? Take hike through the Malibu Creek State Park and travel through several of its hikes, the Lost Cabin Trail has vehicles and camp setup where the hit television show (“M*A*S*H”) was filmed. Enjoy all of this and more by choosing Los Angeles and the Marina Del Rey Hotel as your Winter destination. We are located just minutes from LAX, which has great deals of flights from all over the US (I.E. Southwest Airlines, Spirit).


North Carolina

Beech Mountain Resort

Beech Mountain Resort’s winter season pass sale begins Monday, October 4, 2021. Purchase your 2021-2022 unlimited season pass for just $440, a savings of $135 per adult. A Beech Mountain Resort season pass offers tons of value, benefits and perks, including free slope tickets at other ski areas.

On-Mountain Perks:

Season pass holders can enjoy additional ski time on select weekends! Lift 5 will operate from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for Beech Mountain Resort season pass holders on weekends (Saturday/Sunday) and during the holiday period (December 11, 2021 – January 2, 2022). This will remain in effect starting December 11th, 2021 through March 13th, 2022. This perk excludes MLK and Presidents Day. Beech Mountain Resort’s winter season passes provide discounts on the mountain during the ski season when you show your season pass.

Discounts Include:

Ski Beech Sports: 10% off all merchandise

Beech Mountain Resort Food and Beverage Outlets: 10% off food and non-alcoholic beverages

Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria: 10% off food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Bonus Slope Tickets:

Show your 2021-2022 Beech Mountain Resort Pass to receive (4) free bonus* slope tickets at the following resort:

Diamond Peak Ski Resort (Incline Village, NV) Blackout Dates: December 18-January 2; January 14-17; February 18-27

Bogus Basin (Boise, ID)November 26-28;

December 26-January 1; January 15-16; February 19-20

Photos provided by Beech Mountain Resort

New! Weekday Season Pass

A Weekday Season Pass is valid Monday through Friday non-holiday. This pass is not valid December 11, 2021 through January 2, 2022.

Adults (13-64)- $400. Valid weekdays only, non-holiday Juniors (5-12)-$300 Seniors (65-69)-$300 Active Military and immediate family-$300 College Students (with valid 2020-2021 College ID)- $300



Arizona Snowbowl

Snowbowl has received more snow this season than in the past 12 years, for a total of 328 inches to date.

This past season was the first year that Snowbowl will celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the slopes! Snowbowl extended its season and was open Fridays through Sundays, until May 7. Closing weekend festivities included music on the Agassiz Deck, food and beverage specials, giveaways, and more!

Many ski areas wish they had a town like Flag nearby with so many great bars and restaurants. Snowbowl to Flag is about the same distance as Jackson Hole ski area to Jackson, WY. Snowbowl is much closer to Flag than Mt. Bachelor is to Bend, OR -and Bachelor has no on-mountain lodging either. The Flag/Snowbowl combo rocks! Look for it to become more and more a ski destination. Snowbowl might not be as big as a Jackson Hole or a Mt Bachelor, but lots of people only ski bits of such big mountains and the Apes Ski scene is as important as the mountain. Flag has the goods!

Arizona Snowbowl is DEEPER than you think -its 2,300 foot vertical drop is MORE than Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Durango, Brian Head, Eagle Point, Monarch, Wolf Creek and every ski area in New Mexico except Taos at 2,612 (source and .

Photo credit Arizona Snowbowl

Arizona Snowbowl is very family friendly and everyone skis FREE on their birthday.

Arizona Snowbowl has a respected ski school, the largest beginner terrain in the Southwest, many beginner and intermediate runs, and bilingual instructors.

Arizona Snowbowl is only 1.5 hours from the Grand Canyon, making for an incredible winter combo vacation -and only two hours to Phoenix Major League Baseball Spring Training. Arizona Snowbowl's Ski Lift Lodge offers cabins and hotel style rooms - and the closest lodging to the slopes! Or, visit one of our many hotel partners in Flagstaff. For free lodging at Ski Lift Lodge, see


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