Top Winter Villages

Do you become active and engaged during winter months, or do you prefer to hibernate? Do you like to shop, be outdoors, or cuddle by a fire? The small-town lifestyle of American villages offer a way to relax and do whatever you like at a slower pace. After all, what is better than a getaway that leaves all the hustle and bustle behind? We’ve handpicked a few winter wonderlands that have something for everyone, so lean back as we take you through them.

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Vail offers world-class skiing in a town that encompasses all the charm of a European alpine village. This city lives up to its reputation as a top entertainment and shopping destination. The slopes at Vail offer a wide range of terrain from kid-friendly to expert. Skiers with children love Vail because kids can attend a thorough ski school as they indulge on the resort’s diverse terrain. At day’s end, sip hot cocoa while walking the village’s cobblestone streets, perusing its wide selection of restaurants.

Berkshires, Massachusetts

The Berkshires’ winter is what inspired the picturesque romantic white Christmas scenes we see around the holidays. New England is full of dreamy small towns with classic red barns, open roads, great food, and friendly people. Look anywhere for scenery that appears right out of a painting. Make sure to stop by the Blantyre Hotel to see the 110-foot decorated Christmas tree. You can rent rooms with a traditional fireplace and four-poster beds. Step outside into the sparkling snow and enjoy a sleigh ride.

Cannon Beach is located on the beautiful coast of northern Oregon. It’s a city that remains calm and quaint in spite of its relatively close proximity to its neighboring city of Portland. You can find arguably the best coffee in the United States around any corner. Cooler weather during winter months make prices favorable to visitors. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway with a view, Cannon Beach should be at the top of your list. A stay at the Blue Gull Inn will have you situated right near the famous Haystack Rock.

This desert oasis takes on a new feel in the winter. There’s something magical about seeing Arizona’s fiery-red mountain tops dusted in sparkly snow. Winter is the best season to save on hotels and avoid crowds. Driving through the canyons, catching a hot-air balloon ride, or gazing at the unobstructed night sky are just a few of the many relaxing things to do here. Are you looking to get away for some peace and quiet? Sedona, Arizona is waiting for you.

Located at the foot of California’s Sierra Mountains, this popular ski village hosts visitors from around the world for some of the best winter sports west of the Rockies. Mammoth Mountain overlooks Lake Tahoe with a view of the surrounding Sierra peaks. Last year Mammoth Mountain had the longest ski season in California’s history, 270 days, getting 51 feet of snowfall at the basecamp. The skiing is great for all skill levels. There are three amazing lodges we recommend: Main Lodge, Canyon Lodge, and Eagle Lodge. Each are luxurious and cater to your every desire. Be sure to grab an après-ski beer at one of the village’s handful of micro-breweries.

Visit Bonwi.com to start planning your winter retreat. You’ll be packing your mittens and sharing hot chocolate by the fireside soon enough!

The 2017 List Of Best Natural Hot Springs In The United States

Hot springs have long been known to have therapeutic value thanks to the complex mineral compounds they contain and the tranquil landscapes that surround them. Natural thermal springs relax sore muscles, boost circulation, and soothe both mind and spirit. Below are our five favorite hot springs found throughout the United States.

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park was nicknamed “The American Spa” in 1832 when President Andrew Jackson designated the Hot Springs as the first federal reservation. The actual park is closed to swimmers, though you can take a dip in the historic Bathhouse Row where the warm water is pumped into several hotels and spas. For a truly local experience, visit Deluca’s for a slice of pizza that mixes spring water with the dough, then wash it down with a pint of beer at Superior Bathhouse Brewery which also sources water from the springs for its brews.

Homestead Crater, Utah

This unique hot spring is hidden within a beehive-shaped crater that was formed by nature over a span of approximately 10,000 years. The hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air while the mineral water in the interior remains heated at a constant range of 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit (32-35 degrees Celsius). Visitors can go swimming, scuba dive, snorkel, enjoy a therapeutic soak, or take a paddleboard yoga class.

Long before Steamboat Springs was known for its world class skiing and luxury resorts, the 150 geothermal hot springs that dot the landscape were highly sought after and revered among Native Americans and pioneers. The best time to take a dip in the 104°F (40°C) degree mineral baths is in the middle of winter while snowflakes gently gather all around you. Resort spas in the area offer a wide variety of relaxation and therapeutic massages.

Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, California

The eastern side of Sierra Nevada is loaded with natural hot springs, with many hidden away and tricky to locate. Just south of a town called Mammoth Lakes is a vast maze of warm pools called Wild Willy’s Hot Springs. The springs here are free to use, ranging from 95-105°F (35-40°C), with striking views of the beautiful Sierra range.

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

The Chena Hot Springs were discovered in 1905 by gold prospectors seeking to ease their sore, aching muscles brought on by malnutrition and grueling work. The springs are at the center of a 40-square-mile (103-square-kilometer) geothermal area that produces a steady stream of 165°F (74°C) water that must be cooled before anyone can soak in it. Chena Hot Springs is an amazing place to catch breathtaking, complimentary light shows from the Aurora Borealis.

All Said
There are numerous benefits associated with bathing in natural hot springs. You can treat muscle aches, joint pains, clear up skin ailments, detoxify the body, relax the mind, and do all of those things while enjoying the beautiful venue of the surrounding area. Take a trip to any of these relaxing and tranquil hot springs and your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.

New Orleans, LA: What’s Going on Louisiana’s Biggest City?

Instead of lurching down Bourbon Street, discover the swamps outside of New Orleans on a night tour!
Instead of lurching down Bourbon Street, discover the swamps outside of New Orleans on a night tour!
Instead of lurching down Bourbon Street, discover the swamps outside of New Orleans on a night tour!

New Orleans has always been party central while at the same time, is loaded with historical significance. It may be fun to enjoy the insane Mardi Gras festivities or peruse the various ancient mansions, but there is so much more to see and do in the Big Easy.

Audubon Park is located on Magazine Street in New Orleans and has almost too many components to list. From jogging and bike paths to tennis courts, a golf course, playgrounds, and even a lagoon, this lengthy park will keep everyone and anyone occupied. Not to mention the 58-Acre Audubon Zoo is just down the road and is home to about 2,000 animals!

Why not try a swamp tour…at night. The Honey Island Swamp Night Tour gives tourists the chance to take a chilling flat-bottom boat ride at night. Whether you’re scanning your periphery for gators, listening for the sounds of wild boars or learning about the Honey Island Swamp Monster, this unique tour will have you on the edge of your seat!

Take a New Orleans Aerial tour and see the sweep of the Mississippi river and all of the sites of the city from above.
Take a New Orleans Aerial tour and see the sweep of the Mississippi River and all of the sites of the city from above.

Speaking of tours, if you’re not a fan of water or you would prefer not to be so close to snapping gators, try an aerial tour of the city. New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training offers a Big Easy Aerial Tour which allows you to view New Orleans from the sky while simultaneously learning about the city.

Take a gander at the twists and turns of the Mississippi River, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and Louisiana’s many bayous. The Big Easy couldn’t look any more beautiful than it does from a birds’ eye view!

Should you plan on visiting New Orleans, here are some cool hotels that you may want to consider using.

The Ace Hotel in New Orleans may not be the only Ace Hotel in the world, but it nonetheless is a stylish and unique lodging option. The Ace Hotel in New Orleans sits in a former department store and boasts a beautiful hand-painted floor as well as voodoo folklore references in each room!

The Catahoula Hotel, a 35-room Creole townhouse, makes for a luxurious and authentic stay in New Orleans. The hotel’s café, rooftop terrace, and boutique coffee program may make you forget that the building has been standing since 1845, and will also make you want to stay in the hotel forever! 

The best thing about booking a New Orleans Hotel on Bonwi is that you get more nights free, using your Bonwi Points!

Orlando, FL: Attractions to Experience this Summer other than Disney World

Discovery Cove in Orlando has flamingoes, emus, and many other animals and things to enjoy with your family.
Discovery Cove in Orlando has flamingoes, emus, and many other animals and things to enjoy with your family.
Discovery Cove has flamingoes, emus, and many other animals and things to enjoy with your family.

Orlando is home to a whole bunch of theme parks, including the two massive compounds of Disney World and Universal Studios. These concrete and metal monstrosities may be a ton of fun, but there are other places to see in Orlando that may surprise you and free you of screaming kids and long lines.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort is opening another location and it’s going to be amazing. It’s actually opening in nearby Kissimmee.  The 300-acre resort will not only feature a hotel with 187 rooms but it will also include 300 timeshare units and 1,000 vacation homes. The Jimmy Buffett-inspired tropical oasis is opening later this year and will make a fantastic getaway for fans of the famous singer and everyone and anyone else.

Discovery Cove is not a new water park at Universal Studios. It is a heavenly destination in Orlando that I would never have heard of if it weren’t for Travelingmom.com. For an all-inclusive ticket, you can swim with dolphins, snorkel with a variety of tropical fish, encounter a plethora of different wildlife, enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch, and enjoy a whole bunch of other amenities. This tropical getaway is a wonderful alternative to an overheated day waiting in line at Thunder Mountain.

See a wide array of alligators and all kinds of kitschy souvenirs at Gatorland Orlando!
See a wide array of alligators, ride the zip line,  and find all kinds of kitschy souvenirs at Gatorland Orlando!

Travelingmom.com also opened my eyes to an incredibly unique experience available in Orlando. Gatorland Orlando may not seem like a desirable place to visit but there are actually plenty of reasons why you should add this destination to your vacation itinerary.

From wrestling with alligators to witnessing a menagerie of wildlife like emus, flamingos, and giant tortoises to name a few, to a critically-acclaimed zip line, and a Gator Jumparoo Show, Gatorland Orlando is a different and fun place to see when you are in the theme park capital of the world.

Orlando may be known for Disney World and Universal Studios but the always-growing Florida city has much more than those two massive parks. Instead of following the beaten path, take the road less traveled!

For your Orlando Vacation, find the perfect hotel from Bonwi…and use your Bonwi points for a future trip!

How to Beat the Heat in Phoenix, Arizona

Wet and Wild Water Park is Phoenix can chill you out on even the hottest summer days!
Wet n Wild Water Park in Phoenix can chill you out on even the hottest summer days!

Whether you like it or not, if you’re visiting Phoenix or are a lifelong resident, you are going to have to deal with the grueling and infamous heat.

With the average temperature in July lingering around 106 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best that you find some shade and start planning ways to make the most out of the summer heat.

In 100+ degree weather, the first thing most people think of is cooling off, and what better way to do that than a water park? Wet n Wild Water Park is conveniently located in Northern Phoenix and has family, kid, and thrill rides. For $30, you can bring the whole family can enjoy swimming, fireworks, and a variety of water rides. Just make sure to pack sunscreen.

Scottsdale's Fashion Square is a cool respite from the blazing temperatures in summertime in Phoenix. Plenty of shops to stroll through and a great food court, too.
Scottsdale’s Fashion Square is a cool respite from the blazing temperatures in summertime in Phoenix. Plenty of shops to stroll through and a great food court, too.

Or maybe you’re more of an air-conditioned type of person, that’s ok too because you can get your shopping on at the Scottsdale Fashion Square. A local favorite, the mall has over 250 different stores to choose from. With small boutiques and large brand name stores, this is the perfect place to get out of the heat, and update your wardrobe!

If neither of these destinations sounds appealing, then lucky for you that Phoenix has no shortage of museums that depict local art and culture. The Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix is the ideal place to get away from the Arizona sun. The museums feature interactive exhibits that bring the museum to life and has activities for all ages.

One of the museum’s signature events is called Science With A Twist, which is an adult only event every Friday night that includes music, cash bar, food, live demos, and more. Guess you’ll be calling the babysitter for this one.

General admission for the museum for adults is $18 and $13 for kids.

Taking a stroll in downtown Phoenix through CityScape is not a bad way to spend a hot afternoon, seeing that there are retail shops galore and a huge array of restaurants available. The dynamic and urban destination is a one of a kind place where you can truly experience the heart of Phoenix.

If you really don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your home, or hotel, then try cooking an egg on the hood of your car, we hear that’s pretty fun too!

Find air-conditioned, comfortable hotel rooms in Phoenix and use your Bonwi Points to get another stay free!

San Diego: Summer Happenings in America’s Finest City

San Diego's famed Gaslamp Quarter is full of nightlife and great restaurants.
San Diego’s famed Gaslamp Quarter is full of nightlife and great restaurants.

The beautiful city of San Diego, California is playing host to a whole smorgasbord of events ranging from international soccer to an expansive county fair. There’s something to do for everyone in the Plymouth of the West this summer!

The San Diego County Fair alone has enough going on to satisfy everyone in the family. A Wild Wild West theme is the backdrop for the fair that includes live musical entertainment, the International Beer Festival, deep-fried foods, woodworking, livestock exhibits, an award-winning flower show, and much more.

In early July, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, an international soccer competition, will take a couple of its opening round games to Qualcomm Stadium in the city. The Mexican national team will be one of the teams competing in these open round games in California’s southern city.

Watch dogs compete and surf in San Diego this summer!
Watch dogs compete and surf in San Diego this summer!

You can even watch dogs surf!  In late July, Imperial Beach will host the annual Surf Dog Competition. More than 70 dogs will be competing in various surfing challenges that will surely be a treat to see in person!

The city is accustomed to many glorious hotels with beach themes and plenty of amenities. When in Rome, well, San Diego, try these hotels on for size:

The Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is a boutique hotel located Downtown. This pet-friendly lodge is eco-friendly and even has a rooftop bar!

Believe it or not, but the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel and Marina is a very stylish hotel that truly draws itself apart from its other U.S. locations. Tons of suite options, a long list of amenities, and some fantastic views make this hotel a must stay venue!   

Book a San Diego hotel with Bonwi and earn points to come back another time!