Travel Buzz

Tahoe Celebrates
Noel Nights will set the Village at Northstar a-twinkling December 3, 10 and 17. The festive evenings include s’mores toasted under cool winter skies and enjoyed fire side, free iceskating, hot cocoa, carolers and photos with Santa Claus.

Squaw Valley’s Squalidays features Festival of Lights; a holiday torchlight parade down the Mountain Run on December 24 and guided full moon snowshoe tours on the 29th and 30th to give guests the opportunity to create a uniquely mountain holiday memory.

Across the snow-covered Olympic Valley, the Resort at Squaw Creek kicks off the holiday season on November 27 not only with the unveiling of Gingerbread Village and a tree lighting but American figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Peggy Fleming will be on hand to mix and mingle. December includes breakfast with Santa, live après-ski music, children’s holiday crafts, winter wonderland stories and snowman-making contests.

Tahoe City will be featuring a Town Tree Lighting December 4 at Heritage Plaza, followed by a Family Winter Wonderland with refreshments and pictures with Old St. Nick in front of the lake December 5.

Guests enjoy free sledding and a visit from a toy-bearing Santa at the Rotary Santa Sled Day December 13 at Granlibakken Resort.

And, families can still enjoy outdoor s’more making and storytelling at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village and this time of year the tales will include a few holiday favorites. Need to burn off the marshmallows? Build an igloo, make snow angels or hike along the lake using the Hyatt’s on-site snowshoes.

For more on Tahoe and other western ski resorts, click here.

Mele Kalikimaka  
“Santa has been spotted learning to stand-up paddleboard in Hawaii at Kona Village!” says Ulrich Krauer, general manager of the Big Island property. Has he ditched his sleigh for a paddleboard? Reindeer for dolphins? Chances are he is just getting in shape for the big day. As is the resort. While there is not yet a completion date for upgrading all hales and common areas, improvements have been happening quietly on the property. Luckily for Santa and other beachgoers, the coveted black sands and turquoise water of Kahawai Bay remain untouched. To encourage family travel, the property is offering a “Togethering” package, which includes 50 percent off a second hale and meals (of equal or lesser value), canoe use and paddleboard lessons.

Bracebridge Dinner
Celebrate this annual feast for the senses with fellow Marinites, including San Anselmo costume designer Melissa Wortman and actress Holly Noble of Tiburon (pictured in center at left), December 13–25.

12 Days of Christmas
This December Meadowood Napa Valley will be celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas starting December 4 with a series of holiday feasts pairing world-renowned chefs from across the country with 12 of Napa Valley’s preeminent vintners. Each dinner will benefit the charity Share Our Strength, a group working to end childhood hunger by 2015. In addition to donating 20 percent per ticket, the resort will also give $2,000 in the name of each chef to SOS. A few of the charitable pair-ables includes; Mark Sullivan of Spruce in San Francisco who is matched up with Chuck and Ann McMinn of Vineyard 29; Josiah Citrin of Melisse in Santa Monica will be cooking to complement the wines of Darioush Khaledi from his namesake winery, Darioush; and celebrity mom/chef Cat Cora representing Bon Appetit magazine will be paired with The Stephens family of Hunnicutt and D. R. Stephens Estate.