Estes Park

The beautiful Baldpate Inn in Estes Park, Colo., boasts a century of business and a gorgeous setting – and it’s up for grabs.

The beautiful Estes Park, Colo., is a great place to play — we all know that. But what if we told you that you could also own an entire inn that would provide both a personal playground and a revenue stream? 

This week’s historical shelter is the Baldpate Inn. The Estes Park staple has 12 guest rooms in the main lodge, four cabins, the original homestead, and an outdoor event area. (more…)

Steamboat Springs Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Tourism Office

Every ski town seems to have its own appeal. It’s easy to get to, or it’s isolated and exclusive.  It’s snowboarder heaven, or it’s snowboard-free. It a great place for beginners, or  it’s dominated by advanced-level runs and black diamond-lovers don’t have to navigate around skiers like me.

Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado is known as an exceptionally family-friendly town. It’s known for lots of programs for children, kids-only lifts, and play areas and parks designed with juveniles in mind.  But,  the area has a unique natural feature with special appeal for adults: mystical natural hot springs where skiers, snowboarders, and hikers can relax and soak away tired muscles and aches and pains.  Click here for a look at these therapeutic wonders and a gorgeous new vacation home listing in Steamboat Springs:

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Decorating a second home can present some unique challenges, says Jason Lenox of Anteks.

Now that you have your sought-after weekend retreat on Cedar Creek Lake, what are you going to put in it? Bought a home away from home in Boot Ranch? What do you hang on the walls? Acquired a ski home in Aspen? What is your design inspiration?

Decorating a second home is a huge challenge, especially for those who want a place that feels comfortable and easy without all the fuss of shopping for just the right arm chair, carpet, dining set, linens …  Eeeeeesh. Seems overwhelming, right?

If that sounds familiar, you’ll want to read on to get some sage advice from veteran vacation home interior designer Jason Lenox. Not only does he own two successful home decor stores — Anteks Home in the Dallas Design District and Anteks Curated in the Plaza at Preston Center — but he designs warm, sophisticated, rustic interiors for vacation homes near and far.

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River Ranch (3)

We told you that Anteks, that fabulous rustic home furnishings store in the Dallas Design District, has spun a sibling. It’s called Anteks Curated, a home accessories, furniture, and gift shop in the Plaza at Preston Center. Oh the main store is still on Dragon Street in the Design District, but this location sure beats a 15 minute drive on the tollway!

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We’re here reporting from the Westin Oaks Galleria at the National Association of Real Estate Editors Houston conference where we’ve heard from some exceptional experts in second home and vacation real estate, including Natalie Binder of Telluride Rentals, Ben Jenkins of Land Advisors & Resort Solutions, and Matey Veissi, founder of Veissi & Associates.

Each of these professionals offered interesting perspectives on the vacation and second home market for 2014, which is one where buyers, developers, and investors are cautiously rebuilding after the economic downturn.

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While some of us despise the chilly winter winds that have been a-blowing and prefer to bundle up indoors until bikini season arrives, skiers and snowboarders alike know that the storms that blew through Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming this week (and will continue on through the northeast next week) offer the perfect, powdery platform for a fantastic weekend out on the slopes.

Below, check out our top five vacation rental homes to enjoy the best of both worlds: top notch skiing paired with amenities worth traveling for.

Chateau of Breckenridge

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For a true ski-in/ski-out luxury chateau, don’t miss this Colorado beauty, just a few steps from the popular Four O’clock Ski Run. Plus, there’s even a rooftop patio with an outdoor spa and fireplace. Rent this five bedroom, five and a half bath mountainside home for $13,125 a week.

The Stratton Mountain House

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This winter retreat, nestled in Stratton, Vermont, is minutes away from the Stratton Ski Resort. Get a couples massage at the resort’s day spa after a long day of hitting the slopes or take a short 20-minute drive to the Manchester Designer Shopping Outlets nearby. Truly get away from it all by simply staying at the home, which boasts six bedrooms, five and a half baths, a jetted tub and a jacuzzi. Rental rates are $1,600 a night, with a three night minimum stay required.

The Country Estate2688554d-56a5-43fe-8648-423bdf81e847.1.10

I am in love with the decor of this secluded rental in Stowe, Vermont. Romp in seven bedrooms and five bathrooms in three separate dwellings set on an 8 acre hilltop, surrounded by rambling farmland. Cross-country skiers will enjoy trails located just off the property, and black diamond skiers can hit the slopes at Stowe Mountain Resort, which is just 15 minutes away. Cost to rent is $10,000 per week.

Four O’clock Breckenridge Condo

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At just $79 a night, this two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath Breckenridge condo offers amenities that rival its luxurious competitors: a full kitchen, 46′ flat screen TV in the living room, and a balcony with a mountain view. Walk on a trail to reach the ski resort or simply take the bus just 20 feet from the condo to Peak 7 and 8 of the Four O’clock Ski Run.

Glacier Lodge

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Newly built in 2012, this 2,800-square-foot, six-bedroom rental property is located in beautiful Lake Harmony, Penn., just minutes from the lake, championship golf courses, the Poconos ski slopes, state parks, and restaurants. Soak in the six-person outdoor hot tub or play a game of pool inside this Poconos chalet for $3,200 a week.

Whitney ThompsonWhitney Thompson loves to daydream about the perfect beach house, but she’ll settle for a hot tub in Colorado if that’s on the menu. She is a freelance writer and contributor to SecondShelters.com and CandysDirt.com.

201 Silver Load Drive Aspen Colorado

You know what’s exhausting? Shuffling to a million different homes throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to visit with relatives both close and distant. It gets tiring and old, and the environment rarely changes.

This year, though, my family is considering running off to Colorado to take advantage of a friend’s vacation rental that fell victim to an unexpected cancellation. It’s a lovely cabin near great skiing, so of course we’re at least considering it.

It made me wonder who else forgoes the holiday shuffle for a more serene and relaxing Christmas vacation. Where do you go?