Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.
Weekend in Sun Valley-Ketchum, Idaho, one of three ways: on a budget, spending a bit more, or when the getaway calls for a splurge.
Trip tips: One mile separates the resort town of Sun Valley and Ketchum, a bustling resort town surrounded by wilderness. Throughout winter, expect sunny skies and line-free lifts to the slopes on Bald and Dollar mountains. "Baldy" has 64 runs served by 13 lifts ascending 3,400 vertical feet to a summit altitude of 9,150 feet. There's terrain for all levels of boarders and skiers from tree skiing, to bowls and glades. Dollar Mountain with five lifts has beginner-friendly slopes, family-friendly Terrain Park, a Tubing Hill and a 22-foot super pipe. Ride the complimentary Mountain Rides bus throughout Wood River Valley, including round-trips from the Sun Valley Village to both Dollar and Bald mountains and to the towns of Ketchum and Elkhorn Springs.
Getting there: Round-trip rates on Delta from $445, based on 21-day advance (one-stop service via Salt Lake City). Alaska Airlines from $325 one-way with 14-day advance. Fly Alaska Airlines and trade your Seattle-Sun Valley boarding pass for a 50 percent savings on a ski/board adult group lesson or a free Sport Ski/Snowboard Rental Package valid on the following day.
Stay: The downtown Tamarack Lodge is within walking distance of art galleries, casual and fine dining, shopping and fun nightlife. On site are an indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub, both with great mountain views. Recently renovated guest rooms from $115, including use of snowshoes. 291 Walnut Ave., Ketchum. 208-726-3344, www.tamaracksunvalley.com.
Eat: Start the day with breakfast or kick back for lunch at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge, located at the base of the Dollar Mountain Ski Hill, the snowboard center and a children's ski area. The family-friendly menu (fried chicken, mac and cheese, oven-fired pizza, and grilled burgers from $9) attracts skiers and non-skiers of all ages. 82 Elkhorn Road, Sun Valley. 208- 622-2241, www.sunvalley.com/dining.
Experience: If you can walk, you can snowshoe. Stop at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center (in summer the Sun Valley Golf Club) for rentals (or arrange lessons or guided tours): $20 adults, $13 age 12 and under ($9 for all on half-day rentals after 1 p.m.). Then hit the pristine and groomed network of trails to sunny snow fields, along Trail Creek to Trail Creek Cabin. Half-day trail fees: $19 adult, $10 ages 12 and under. 200 Trail Creek Road, Sun Valley. 208-622-2250, www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/nordic-skiing. At night, take in the latest Hollywood feature films at the 1930s-era Opera House. $8 adults, $6 age 12 and under. Dine at Bald Mountain Pizza to receive a free movie pass for the same evening or for the following night. 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley. 208-622-2244, www.fandango.com/sunvalleyoperahouse_aawqn/theaterpage.
Stay: Built in 1936 and renovated in 2015, Sun Valley Lodge offers spacious guest rooms with French country interiors, and marble bathrooms. On site are a 20,000-square-foot spa, a fitness center and yoga studio, a glass-enclosed outdoor pool and pool cafe. The Sun Valley outdoor Ice Rink is located adjacent to the Lodge with year-round ice skating. A "Spa Stay & Play" package includes one night's lodging, one lift ticket per person and one 80-minute massage per person at the spa. From $385 per person per night on stays through March. Room only from $319. 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley. 1-800-786-8259, www.sunvalley.com.
Eat: Many entrees at the Sawtooth Club are cooked over a mesquite and apple wood fire, including steaks, duck and rainbow trout. Cozy up on lounge sofas with hand-crafted cocktails, 20 wines by the glass, a tapped microbrew or appetizers ($6-$16). Entrees, $11-$30. 231 N. Main St., Ketchum. 208-726-5233, www.sawtoothclub.com.
Experience: Enjoy romantic dining in a rustic, early-Western atmosphere at Trail Creek Cabin, once a hunting cabin built in 1937. It's situated next to the rushing waters of Trail Creek with a view of "Baldy." Seasonal winter menus have a Western flair with Rocky Mountain Elk, Northwest Steelhead with Idaho caviar and Bison Short Ribs, $11-$30. Take a half-hour sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin through March. The sleigh ride, dinner and tip are $149 adults, $89 ages 12. One-hour scenic sleigh rides, sans food, are $20 adults, $10 children. Reservations required, 208-622-2135, www.visitsunvalley.com/things-to-do/sleigh-rides.
Stay: Knob Hill Inn features 19 king guest rooms with a seating area, wet bar, and mountain views from the balcony. The "Winter Rendezvous" package, based on a two-night stay through April 15, includes two 55-minute massages at the nearby Zenergy Spa, $100 dining credit for dinner for two at the inn and continental breakfast. Per night from $394-$424. Room only from $287. 960 N. Main St., Ketchum. 208-726-8010, www.knobhillinn.com.
Eat: Take a ski break with a house-made cocktail in front of the fireplace at Galena Lodge, a warming hut and restaurant. Open daily for lunch ($7.50-$15). Plan ahead to enjoy the monthly Full Moon Dinner event. The communal-style four-course menu is served at one 6:30 p.m. seating. Bring your snowshoes or skis (or rent them at the lodge) and hit the moonlit trails around the lodge. $40 per person (drinks, tax, tip extra). 15187 Idaho 75 (23 miles north of Ketchum). 208-726-4010, www.galenalodge.com.
Experience: The SnowSports School offers an all-day Children's Camp group ski and snowboard lessons for 6- to 12-year-olds at Dollar Mountain. The day includes on-snow instruction and supervised breaks and lunch. Dollar Bears rates are $225 daily with lift pass; $249 with lift and rental equipment. Introduce skiing to kids under 4 with half-day rates of $205, including a one-hour on-snow lesson, lift tickets, rental equipment, helmets and lunch. www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/snowsports-school.
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