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The Impulsive Traveler: Details, the Balsams, Dixville Notch, N.H.

Sunday, January 23, 2011; F06

If You Go

Want to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Balsams in Dixville Notch, N.H.? Here's what you need to know for the weekend of Jan. 28-30:

Getting There

Southwest offers flights from BWI Marshall to Manchester, N.H., starting at $118 round trip. Dixville Notch is about 165 miles north of Manchester.

Where to Stay

The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel

1000 Cold Spring Rd.

Dixville Notch, N.H.

800-255-0600

www.thebalsams.com

On the National Register of Historic Places, with 18 suites and 184 guest rooms, most furnished in a cozy country style. There is WiFi, but most rooms have no TVs (there's a general TV room with a large flat-panel off the main lounge). Rates start at $378 a night, including breakfast and dinner, complimentary ski passes, snowshoeing, skating and many other activities.

Where to Eat

Grand Dining Room

During the winter season, serves a full buffet breakfast and a table d'hote dinner with a five-course menu that changes daily, offering such choices as prime rib, steak, pasta and fish. Vegetarian dishes upon request. Meals are included in the room rate, but wine and alcoholic beverages are extra.

The Tavern

A casual alternative off the main lobby, where you can purchase lunch if you're not stuffed from breakfast. Soups and salads, burgers and sandwiches from $6. Nightly entertainment.

La Cave

A brand-new wine bar off the lobby, serving wine, beer, cocktails and artisanal cheeses from $4.

Base Lodge at the Wilderness Ski Area

Snacks and casual fare at the foot of the mountain. Burgers and sandwiches from $5.

What to Do

Skiing at the Wilderness Ski Area, with two triple chairlifts and one double chairlift, 16 trails, five gladed areas, a terrain park and an introductory teaching area. Ski passes are complimentary with the room. Ski or snowboard rentals $35 a day, $25 for a half-day.

Surrounding the hotel are 59 miles of cross-country ski trails and 20 miles of snowshoe trails. Classic Nordic ski rentals $25 a day, $20 half-day; skate ski rentals $28 a day, $23 half-day. No charge for snowshoes.

Ice skating, with a limited selection of men's, women's and children's skates available at no charge.

Weekend sleigh rides, $20 per person.

Indoor activities include wine tastings, cooking demos, movies and billiard tournaments.

Check the board in the lobby for each day's scheduled tours and activities put together by recreation director John Kennedy.

Z.S.

All lodging and flight info valid as of press time Thursday.

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