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From Thrillist: Japan's Massive Annual Snowball Fight

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Recognizing there's a better way to survive the Polar Vortex than hurling boiling pots of water into the air, modern-day Japanese warriors took to the battlefield recently in Hokkaido to hurl something else—snowballs. At each other. In a giant sanctioned snow war.

READ MORE AT THRILLIST.COM

Photo Courtesy of the T+L Photo Contest

Ice Caves Form at Lake Superior Thanks to Polar Vortex

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For the folks of northern Wisconsin, the frigid temperatures have, for the first time in five years, caused Lake Superior to freeze over, granting the tough-skinned tourist access to the string of ice caves spanning the shoreline. 

Nearly 40,000 people have already made the mile-long trek across Superior’s frozen surface to see the intricate webs of hoar frost and the dramatic ice formations emerging from the caves’ glittering mouths.  

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Ski Deals and Beach Plans for Presidents' Day Weekend

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It's official: Every state in the continental US—minus Florida—has snowfall. And with a long weekend coming up, it's the perfect opportunity to head to the hills for some skiing. Sites like Liftopia, Snow.com, and GetSkiTickets.com are offering last minute deals all over the country. Our favorite savings? Liftopia's $14 ski pass for New Hampshire's Ragged Mountain tomorrow—that's a 79% discount. They're selling out fast though, so act fast!

Tired of the snow? Here are some tips to book a last-minute beach vacation.

Peter Schlesinger is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. 

Photo credit: Cultura Creative/ YAY Media AS

Take the Kids to Cape Cod for Winter Break

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Winter break has a way of sneaking up on parents anyway, but a couple of snow days spent shooing kids away from computer screens makes the spectre of another long stretch of empty days at home unthinkable.

Arriving on the scene like a spandex-clad superhero is Cape Cod’s Sea Crest Beach Hotel. The recently renovated low-rise beachfront property ticks all the boxes for a winter family stay:

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Flying With Skis

Flying with Skis

Q: Any advice on flying with skis? —Hitomi Ueda, via e-mail

A: Most airlines treat a collection of sporting equipment as a single piece of checked luggage—so your skis, poles, and boots count as only one item, not three. We recommend Park Accessories, a new line of bags made with Italian coated canvas. Shown: the Northern Lights, which holds two pairs of skis ($1,150).

Related Articles:
Lake Tahoe Ski Vacation 2.0
Video: Behind the Scenes at Vail Mountain
How to Get Through Airport Security Faster

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by Park Accessories

Four Affordable Winter Getaways for February

Snowfall shouldn't stop you from getting away for the weekend. Whether you'd rather be lounging along Florida's coastline or skiing the slopes of the Berkshires in Massachusetts, T+L's Mark Orwoll has a set of affordable getaways perfect for February. Read on for where to go and stay during your visit.

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Beaver Creek Gets More Ritzy

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Ten years ago, I stayed at the then-relatively-new Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, at the base of Colorado’s Beaver Creek resort. The ski lodge was a new concept for the Ritz-Carlton, and I loved everything about it: ski-in/ski-out access, a great room with a huge stone fireplace, an outdoor fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Thankfully, all of that’s still there, but last month, the hotel put the finishing touches on a big renovation. Since I was out in Colorado, I went to take a look.

The big news? A brand-new, three-meals-a-day, open-kitchen restaurant called Buffalos, which serves up its namesake in several forms, like a buffalo steak and eggs, a bison burger, and something I wasn’t expecting to like as much as I did: bison tartare (washed down with a few Colorado craft beers). The hotel’s other restaurant, Spago, didn’t exist when I first visited, but since 2007, it’s been turning out Wolfgang Puck’s sensational seasonal dishes. And as I sampled his stupendous pumpkin-filled pasta, bonus—Puck himself was dining with his family a couple tables away.

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More Snow Means More Winter Travel

Winter storms like Hercules may have injured retail traffic, but T+L News Editor Amy Farley expects travel to boom, as told to CNBC. Anxious skiers will be hitting the slopes in destinations like Vail, Lake Tahoe, and Utah, while beach-goers are likely to score great deals to sunny spots like Florida and Aruba during January and February.

Sneak Peek: Breckenridge’s New Peak 6

It’s not every day that a ski resort massively expands out its skiable acres. Maybe it opens a new lift or on-mountain restaurant, but for a resort to increase its footprint by 20% is an enormous undertaking. Yet that’s exactly what Colorado’s Breckenridge Ski Resort is doing with its new mountain, called Peak 6, which opens on Christmas Day. And since I was out in Colorado, I stopped by Breck for a pre-opening look.

First off, the stats: Peak 6 brings 400 acres of lift-served terrain and 143 acres of hike-to terrain (skewing intermediate but pretty evenly split between intermediate and expert trails), three new bowls, eight new cut trails, and two new chairlifts. In all, it’s one of the biggest ski-area terrain expansions in North America in the past decade. And it’s on top of Breck’s existing five peaks, 2,900 acres, four terrain parks, a 22-foot superpipe, 11 bowls, and the highest chairlift in North America.

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Warm Winter Getaway Travel Tips Straight From Our Experts

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In the spirit of it getting cold out there (thank you, Winter Storm Boreas), we have beaches on the brain. Our recent Twitter chat on Warm Winter Getaways was the perfect way to get tips on the best sunny destinations to visit this season.

Our panel of experts also have sun and sand on the brain, and shared the exciting warm winter getaways they have planned. T+L Senior Editor, Jacqueline Gifford is “skipping out on turkey in favor of rum punches at Petit St. Vincent island resort in the Grenadines this #Thanksgiving.”

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