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Winter Vacations That Heat up Romance

The traditional romantic winter getaway: a roaring fire, lace curtains, chintz and plenty of candles. A great alternative: an active winter vacation that makes your romance sizzle.

Being active outside together – especially in winter – is such a complete change of routine that it can refresh even the most tired relationship. Even better, experts have found a direct link between exercise and sex. That makes sense: After a day spent skiing, hiking or snowmobiling, what could be more tantalizing than returning to your room and slipping into a secluded hot tub with your lover before a pre-dinner “nap”?

Interested in heating up your relationship this winter? Dump the lace, chintz and candles for one of these active getaways.

Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Resort ranch Vista Verde offers nearly endless activity choices in breathtaking surroundings, along with plenty of privacy and a healthy dollop of luxury.

As few as 10 guests at a time enjoy cross-country skiing, horseback riding, sledding (including a chauffeured snowmobile back up the hill), snowshoeing, photography and naturalist tours, dog sledding, downhill skiing, and much more.

When it’s time to relax, couples retreat to deluxe private cabins, where antiques, handmade log furniture, a wood-burning stove, wine, soft drinks and snacks await. A steaming private outdoor hot tub is ready to soothe sore muscles.

Evenings start with candlelit dinners accompanied by fine wines. Couples looking for more seclusion can even have dinner delivered to their cabins. Later, nighttime ski and snowshoe tours take place under an impossibly star-filled sky.

Elkhorn Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Looking to leave winter behind? Consider Elkhorn Ranch in Tucson. Its extensive riding program takes advantage of 10,000 acres of remote canyon and mountain countryside and caters to all levels of expertise.

When you and your honey want a break, the Ranch also offers walking, hiking, tennis and a heated swimming pool – not to mention shuffleboard, ping pong and horseshoes.

Cabins are scattered throughout the ranch grounds, so there’s plenty of privacy. Each cabin comes with its own birdfeeder and seed, giving you a front row view of Arizona’s real snowbirds.

Whiteface Ski Resort, Lake Placid, New York

Couples who want to ski on the East Coast might have a hard time beating Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid. Site of the 1932 and the 1980 Olympics, Whiteface Mountain has the highest vertical drop of any ski resort east of the Rockies. Skiers and snowboarders should find plenty to keep them happily occupied.

The town of Lake Placid also has a great reputation for restaurants, bistros, bars and bookshops – and even more fun activities. A ski jump near downtown has been transformed into a toboggan run, and there are bobsled and luge runs to try, as well as miles of cross-country ski trails, the outdoor Olympic speed-skating oval and dog sledding rides on the lake.

Lodging options run from frugal to fancy and include cottages, log cabins, condos and houses.

The Cabins at Lopstick, Pittsburg, New Hampshire

Snow and speed can be a thrilling combination, especially when you’re riding a snowmobile. The Cabins at Lopstick are located right on the snowmobile trails for which Pittsburg is known. The resort will outfit you and your sweetie with snow coaches and all the outdoor clothing you need to stay toasty while zooming down 200 miles of groomed trails.

The Cabins offers a choice of 37 cozy housekeeping cabins to fit any budget. Some include whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. All have fully equipped kitchens, satellite TV and private porches with stunning views.

Opportunities for active romantic vacations abound, from luxury dude ranches to biking in Hawaii, dog sledding in Alaska, ice-climbing in the Canadian Rockies and much more. If you can’t take the time to go far away this winter, try looking closer to home. A real vacation might be an ideal – but an afternoon spent together at a nearby hiking trail, cross-country ski area or skating rink can also add winter sizzle to your relationship.

Photos courtesy Vista Verde Ranch

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