You are hereJanuary/February 2008

January/February 2008

Start the Celebration!

This year marks 10 years of Pilot Getaways. Beginning in this issue, we start looking back at some of our favorite getaways with fun snowy and sunny winter getaways. As in every issue, we also have great new getaways that help pilots get the most out of their airplanes. Like Aspen, known for its chic style and wonderful skiing which is in this issue, as well as some great warm-weather escapes in Georgia, Texas, and Florida.

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is synonymous with the finest in luxury winter getaways, but author Amy Dodgen points out that it offers so much more. Work around the holidays and you can find lower hotel rates, especially in late winter and early spring. Outdoor activities include not only some of the world’s finest skiing, but also snowmobiling, dog sledding, ballooning, hiking, and strolling through the historic Victorian silver town. The après-skiing scene will keep you going long into the night, while shopping and art galleries galore provide still more diversions. Aspen offers something for everyone, from the most exquisite to the casual.

Mystic, Connecticut

In Mystic at this time of year, you can warm up with a bowl of steaming clam chowder beside the fire and watch the winter mists rise above the dark water of the Mystic River. As Senior Editor Stephanie L. Smith points out, maritime history galore, both old and new, awaits your exploration. The Mystic Seaport is home to more than 500 vessels, including spectacular tall ships and an 1841 whaling ship. Visit a U.S. submarine museum and tour the U.S.S. Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine. For more hands-on fun, take a sailing class and stroll or bike the undeveloped coastline at the Bluff Point Coastal Reserve. Gamblers can take full advantage of the world’s largest casino, Foxwood. Nearby spas will ease your aching muscles. Julia Roberts fans will enjoy patronizing Mystic Pizza, the restaurant that launched her career, and basketball fans will love the Michael Jordan Steakhouse or 23.sportcafe. You can choose accommodations with nautical, mermaid, organic, or other themes, go for a AAA 4-diamond resort, or stay in bargain hotels.

Pine Mountain, Georgia

Pine Mountain can provide a secret golf/spa escape for stressed adults or a fun family vacation any time of year. The nearby Callaway Gardens Resort is 13,000 acres of lush forests, blazing flower gardens, and luxury golf courses and spas. Families will love the birds of prey show and the butterfly building. Other fun activities include myriad bike paths and fly or spin fishing, no license required. Author Shannon Cournoyer takes you to F.D. Roosevelt State Park and the Little White House, President Roosevelt’s favorite retreat. Nearby farms and animal safaris provide still more family entertainment. Numerous B&Bs, cottages, campsites, and hotels offer a wide variety of accommodations, while unique cottage, garden, and horse-carriage restaurants present interesting settings along with quality food. Pine Mountain is the perfect Southern getaway!

Madison, Wisconsin

Downtown Madison is so compact, you can do without a rental car unless you want to venture farther afield. Author Sandra Friend takes you on a tour of the grand Capitol building, modeled after a Venetian palace. You can cross-country ski through downtown parks, and warm up inside the tropical Botanical Gardens. There’s a thriving arts scene, so come inside and enjoy ballet, concerts, or musicals, or visit any of several outstanding museums. Architecture buffs worldwide flock here as well, since Frank Lloyd Wright used to live here. You can visit Taliesen, his long-term residence, as well as a number of other architectural wonders. Foodies will find satisfaction at a wide variety of eateries, including a Nepalese restaurant, and there’s always the famous Wisconsin cheese. When it’s time to tuck in, you can sleep in a glorious century-plus luxury hotel, historic home, or even an “environmental inn.” Wisconsin in winter is a winner.

Sisters, Oregon

Sisters is a Western town surrounded by millions of acres of National Forests that serve as a recreational paradise year-round. Fabulous fly fishing awaits in numerous, aqua-colored, spring-fed streams, and golf, tennis, mountain biking, and hiking are just some of the recreational opportunities in and around Sisters. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy points out that the town of Sisters celebrates a diverse array of year-round festivals from Rodeo, Jazz, Quilts, Folk Music, Women’s Workshops, and much more. You’ll find accommodations from family-friendly condos and rental homes to fine hotels housed within huge, beautiful wooden lodges, to thousands of campsites.

Spring, Texas

Author Tamara Brown takes you just north of Houston, where you’ll find two distinctive villages, one old and one new. The new one, The Woodlands, gives San Antonio’s Riverwalk a run for its money. It’s a fabulously extravagant shopper’s paradise with a top-of-the-line resort, two championship, 18-hole public golf courses, miles of deeply wooded trails ideal for strolling or biking, and a premier outdoor performing arts center, as well as a watertaxi to motor you around. And, it’s so easy to get to when you land at nearby Hooks Memorial Airport. Nearby is the charming Old Town Spring, first settled over 250 years ago. Warm bed & breakfast accommodations await, as well as 150 shops, wineries and cafes on cobblestone streets.

Spruce Creek, Florida

Eastern Florida is home to Spruce Creek, perhaps the country’s most prestigious fly-in community. Would you like an invitation to visit? Just make a reservation at the airport’s Downwind Café, and you’re in! Authors Cal Thomas and Janie Phillips take you to Spruce Creek, a full-service facility with 1,500 homes and 400 hangars. The Downwind Café is literally at the center of the action in the middle of the airport, with planes almost within touching distance and always within view. Open early till late, it’s an integral part of the community. On Saturday mornings, you can watch 20-plus vintage aircraft overfly the airport in formation while you enjoy an excellent breakfast. You can even watch takeoffs and landing on a special flat-screen TV. Soups, steaks, and seafood grace the menu, and the décor is decidedly aeronautic. After your meal, you can take advantage of nearby golf, or even rent a home and stay a few days near the beach.

Tricycle Gear in the Backcountry? – Tailoring Operating Procedures to your Aircraft

Many people think the backcountry is best suited to tailwheel aircraft, but not all of us have one. Author Michael Vivion, an experienced backcountry pilot, gives you tips on operating your tricycle-geared aircraft safely off pavement. Step into a whole new world of opportunities, as you can explore America’s natural beauty!