TRAVEL Q & A
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Q. Next summer I want to take my wife and daughters to the Colorado Rockies. We want to hike but not overnight in a tent, and want to go white-water rafting and mountain climbing without the danger. Any advice?
Joe Lerner, Arlington
A. At Colorado's mountain resorts, you can raft, hike, bike and climb until your muscles scream for mercy, then soak in a hot tub and tuck into a cozy bed. Dean Barta, general manager of The World Outdoors (800-488-8483, http:/
When planning your trip, Barta suggests two approaches: staying at a base "camp" (i.e., mountain resort area) or moving from lodge to lodge, activity to activity, with a tour. If you prefer to unpack only once, consider Vail/Summit County, Winter Park or Durango -- where outdoor endeavors are only an hour-and-a-half or less by car. For example, Winter Park offers rafting on the Colorado River for tamer paddlers (Class II and III), world-class mountain biking in Grand County and hiking on the Ute Trail, which you can trek in its entirety or zip up via the Zephyr Express. In addition, because the resort caters to families, if your kids (or you) want a day off from the wild outdoors, they can instead opt for disc golf, the alpine slide, a climbing wall or the human maze. For Winter Park Resort: 800-979-0332, http:/
For general info on Colorado: Colorado Travel and Tourism, 800-COLORADO, http:/
I'm interested in options for Christmas travel this year. Are there cities in Canada that have Christmas markets and a Euro feel?
Dale Houser, Oakton
Canada is the Europe of North America, but without the bad conversion rate. And while the legendary Christmas markets are unique to the Old World, Elizabeth Gormley, administration director of the Canadian Crafts Federation, says, "There are definitely Christmas markets across the country, from traditional markets to high-end, contemporary crafts."
Quebec City, for example, offers a Noel fete Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, with chorals and carols, a Tour of Lights and a Christmas market featuring local food and artisans. Info: 418-692-6635, http:/
Toronto has a more eclectic array of Christmas markets (oddly held a month before the holiday), such as the Swedish Christmas Fair (Nov. 19-20) and the Mennonite Christmas Festival (Nov. 25-27). The Signatures Christmas Crafts Show makes the round of provinces selling ceramics, raku, dolls and other items made by Canadians. The show comes to Toronto Nov. 19-27 and to Ottawa on Dec. 8-18. Info: Tourism Toronto, 800-499-2514, http:/
For Christmas markets in other provinces: Canadian Crafts Federation, 905-891-5928, http:/
Do Paris shows such as the Lido need to be booked in advance?
Bhavesh Shah, Arlington
To guarantee a seat at one of Paris's ribald revues, the theaters recommend booking in advance -- but it's not required. The Lido, for example, offers matinees and two evening performances, including one with dinner, so you have options if one time slot is sold out. However, booking is a snap; simply reserve online at http:/
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