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Many Happy Returns

The Breakers
Follow the lead of early snowbird families such as the Rockefellers and Carnegies and head to this 107-year-old landmark. WHO GOES The Hammerschlags, from Greenwich, Connecticut YEARS RETURNING 30 POOL PAL All four Hammerschlag kids learned to swim with head instructor Helena Khoshnevis, who has taught at the hotel for 20 years.
Palm Beach; 888/273-2537 or 561/655-6611; www.thebreakers.com; doubles from $450.

Kona Village Resort
This 125-cottage enclave is built on an 1801 lava site; the beach sand ranges from black to bright white. WHO GOES The McIntyres of Palo Alto, California YEARS RETURNING 5 THEY'VE GOT IT COVERED Every year, Lucianne McIntyre embroiders a new table-cloth on which the family scribbles the week's mem-ories—snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing contests.
Kailua-Kona; 800/367-5290 or 808/325-5555; www.konavillage.com; doubles from $515, including meals.

Kahala Mandarin Oriental
Forget reindeer—the lagoon of this 364-room hotel is home to five bottlenose dolphins. WHO GOES The Rossons, from Los Angeles YEARS RETURNING 25 HOW TO SPOT THEM They're the group of 40 (their family of four, plus five other clans befriended over the years) gathered together on the crescent-shaped beach.
Honolulu; 800/367-2525 or 808/739-8888; www.mandarin-oriental.com/kahala; doubles from $295.

Lone Mountain Ranch
One night a week, Belgian horses pull sleighs full of guests through the woods of this 33-room ranch to the North Fork Cabin for a prime-rib dinner. WHO GOES The Fosters, from Memphis YEARS RETURNING 14 FROSTY THE BISON Cross-country skiing through Yellowstone's thermal basins is a must, say the Fosters. Watch for grazing bison and elk in frost-covered coats.
Big Sky; 800/514-4644; www.lmranch.com; cabin for four from $4,350 per week, including meals.

Whitney Inn
This 1936 mom-and-pop lodge, at the base of Black Mountain, is ideal for an old-time ski holiday. WHO GOES The Hofmannsof Barrington, Rhode Island YEARS RETURNING 3 I SEE YOU "From the window of your room," says Jeff, a father of four, "you can watch your kids' lessons."
Jackson; 800/677-5737 or 603/383-8916; www.thewhitneyinn.com; doubles from $125.

Alta Lodge
A powder playland at 8,600 feet, Alta is known for the tribelike regulars that pack its 57 dorm and suite rooms. WHO GOES The Netters, from New Haven, Connecticut YEARS RETURNING 42 HOW THEY GOT STARTED Inclined to leave on arrival in 1961, they were stopped by a storm. Now three generations of Netters come for the holidays no matter what.
Alta; 800/707-2582 or 801/742-3500; www.altalodge.com; doubles with private bath from $324, including breakfast and dinner; kids five and up from $42.

Trapp Family Lodge
The halls are alive at this 96-room mansion founded by the Sound of Music von Trapps. WHO GOES The Kerrigans, from Boston YEARS RETURNING 10 BOOK CLUB The library is stocked with the latest best-sellers for guests like Maryjane Kerrigan, who lounges indoors while her husband and two kids take on the slopes of Mount Mansfield.
Stowe; 800/826-7000 or 802/253-8511; www.trappfamily.com; doubles from $195.

Woodstock Inn
Guests of this 142-room inn ski at nearby Suicide Six, home of the first motorized lift in the eastern United States. WHO GOES The Melignanos, from Weston, Massachusetts YEARS RETURNING 10 DEAR DIARY Vita, a mother of three, keeps a Woodstock journal about what she, her husband, and their daughters do at the inn. Entries: Bingo at the New Year's party, the chimes of the Revere Bell Ringers, and napping by the parlor fireplace "for hours on end."
Woodstock; 800/448-7900 or 802/457-1100; www.woodstockinn.com; doubles from $199.

Caribe Hilton
A 646-room refuge for all vacation tastes—ride a horse throughEl Yunque rain forest or learn to cha-cha at the resort. WHO GOES The Schwartzes of Wayne, New Jersey YEARS RETURNING 18 WHY THEY GLOW Last year, all six family members went on a guided kayak tour of a nearby bioluminescent bay.
San Juan, Puerto Rico; 787/721-0303; www.caribehilton.com; doubles from $175.

Petit St. Vincent
No phones at this island resort—just flags on bamboo masts outside 22 stone cottages: yellow means you need something; red is "Do Not Disturb." WHO GOES The Bosses, from Narragansett, Rhode Island YEARS RETURNING 30 FREE TO BE Happy without TV's or even a pool, the Bosses sail to the Tobago Cays, picnic on Mayreau Island, and watch six grandchildren splash at Kiddies' Beach.
The Grenadines, B.V.I.; 800/654-9326; www.psvresort.com; doubles from $910, kids 6-16 $110.


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