When the days are shorter and the wind gets colder, people know that it’s almost winter in the northern hemisphere. But the season of cold and snow isn’t a matter of what, rather it’s a matter of when. Winter is often viewed to be the last of the four seasons in a year’s cycle. As the coldest season, it is directly the opposite to summer, the hottest season. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.When Is the First Day of Winter?

When Is the First Day of Winter?
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Winter is greatly associated with snow, but seeing piles of snow only means that winter has already been around for a while.

The start of winter is marked by its own solstice, much like summer. The winter solstice indicates that the Earth has orbited around the sun to a position where the northern and southern hemispheres receive sunlight most unequally as part of the Earth is tilted away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice happens on or around December 21 every year.

Meteorologists mark winter as starting on different months depending on the location. In the northern hemisphere, winter happens during December, January, and February.

Of course, winter is not present in all regions of the Earth, and the tropics don’t experience winter at all (although it doesn’t mean that they don’t have cold seasons).

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2.Dark Doesn’t Always Mean Cold

Dark Doesn’t Always Mean Cold
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You might be wondering why parts of the Earth that are darker than others do not necessarily get as cold. At first, it seems logical that the spots where the sun shines the least should be the coldest parts of the world. But when you take into consideration how our world absorbs the heat of the sun, you realize that water and landmasses do take some time before they can get rid of the heat they have absorbed from the sun.

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3.The Environment in Winter

The Environment in Winter
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Being a stark contrast to summer, winter is the time of the year when Mother Nature enters a state of dormancy. Most plants that grew during the other seasons won’t be able to survive the cold weather. Meanwhile, many animals either hibernate or migrate so that they can survive the harsh environments of this season.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you should stay at home during the winter season. It might be cold, but there’s still so much you can do to enjoy the season. This is the time when you can start planning with agencies that offer winter vacations. Be careful, though, because winter is the time for catching the flu, experiencing seasonal depression, or suffering from hypothermia or snow blindness.

In any case, make sure to prepare for the cold weather and dress properly. This should be done not only to avoid getting sick, but to make the most of the winter season as well.

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When Is the First Day of Winter?



Winter Vacation Ideas: Inn at Green River

The Inn at Green River is a charming bed and breakfast set in the serene country setting in the foothills of the Berkshires and has been offering guests a tranquil and relaxed retreat for 28 years. Surrounded by peaceful gardens in a lovely rural setting in the Hudson Valley, the Inn is based in a beautifully preserved 1830 Federal-style farmhouse and offers upscale lodging in the form of seven romantic country-style guest rooms, private bathrooms with two-person showers or whirlpool tubs and hearty gourmet breakfasts every morning.

The Inn’s beautiful interiors are homely and warm and adorned with paintings, prints and sculptures, and charming family antiques. Exteriors are shaded with old sugar maple trees and manicured lawns where guests can relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding Hudson Valley. This lovely location plays host to an array of activities and events, including being the Berkshire Theater Festival, the Barrington Stage, the Hancock Shaker Village and a variety of art galleries, antique shops, theaters, and historic sites such as the Norman Rockwell Museum and Naumkeag.

The Inn at Green River boasts seven romantic guest rooms with country-style décor, comfortable beds, and private bathrooms, sunny sitting areas with fireplace (five rooms) and large windows with garden views. Guest rooms feature king or queen-size beds with luxury linens and soft pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with granite vanities, spa showers, and/or whirlpool tubs, fresh towels and organic toiletries. Charming sitting areas have armchairs and Persian rugs, fireplaces (in five of the rooms), large windows with alluring views over the garden and modern amenities, including flat-screen televisions with cable channels and air-conditioning.

The Thorsden Room is a large, corner room in the west wing of the Inn and features a king-size bed with luxury linens and soft pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with spa shower, whirlpool soaking tub, fresh towels and organic toiletries. The room has a spacious sitting area with a beautiful hooked rug, custom-made red armoire, flat-screen cable television and large windows with lovely garden views.

The Merrill Room can be found in the newer west wing and is decorated in pale hues with a king-size bed with luxury linens and soft pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with a marble vanity, spa shower, whirlpool tub, fresh towels and organic toiletries. The room has a spacious sitting area with a gas fireplace and flat-screen television with cable channels and a Shaker-style armoire.

The Van Deusen Room features a queen-size bed with luxury linens and soft pillows, an en-suite bathroom with tiled double shower, fresh towels and organic toiletries, and a charming sitting area with gas fireplace and a flat-screen television with cable channels.

The Vandercook Room is located on the ground floor and features a queen-size bed with luxury linens and soft pillows, an en-suite bathroom with tiled double shower, granite vanity, fresh towels and organic toiletries, and French doors that open onto a private terrace and garden with a manicured lawn and fish pond. Modern amenities include flat-screen televisions with cable channels and air-conditioning.

The Martin Van Buren Room has 16-foot high cathedral ceilings, large windows on three sides of the room that embrace beautiful views of an old apple orchard and meadow. The room has a king and twin beds with luxury linens and soft pillows, an en-suite bathroom with tiled double shower, soaking tubs, double vanity, fresh towels and organic toiletries.

The General Henry Knox Room is a large suite with a queen-size bed in the main room, and a twin bed in the second small room. Beds have luxury linens, and soft pillows and rooms have en-suite bathrooms tiled showers, fresh towels and organic toiletries. This lovely second-floor room boasts gorgeous views of the giant Norfolk Pine in the front garden and the terrace iris and day lily garden.

The Crandell Room is a cozy, east facing second-floor room that features a queen-size bed with luxury linens and soft pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with tiled shower, soaking tub, granite vanity, fresh towels and organic toiletries. This lovely room is shaded in summer by a large silver maple tree and overlooks the lower lawn and gardens.

A gourmet breakfast is prepared by the innkeeper and served in the dining or sunroom, overlooking the tranquil lawn and gardens. Breakfast includes locally sourced ingredients that are fresh, imaginative and healthy and include freshly baked scones and biscuits with jams and preserves, French toast, baguettes, and seasonal fresh fruits. Hot coffee and a variety of teas are also served, along with fresh fruit juice.

The Inn at Green River offers an array of amenities, including a gourmet breakfast served every morning, beautiful gardens in which to relax, and easy access to a variety of attractions and activities.

The Inn at Green River is set in the serene country setting in the foothills of the Berkshires between the Hudson River and western Massachusetts. The Inn is ideally located for exploring the region, which is home to a wide variety of activities and events, including antique shops, art galleries, theaters, museums, and historic sites such as the Norman Rockwell Museum, and the Hancock Shaker Village. The Hanock Valley is the summer home of the Boston Symphony, MASS MoCA, the Berkshire Theater Festival, Barrington Stage, and Jacob’s Pillow.

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9 Nobletown Road, Hillsdale, NY 12529, Phone: 518-325-7248

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Winter Vacation Ideas: The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica

The Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, California is a premier location for relaxation. Within walking distance from both the beach and popular shopping hot spots, this upscale property is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and city slickers alike. The towering building encompasses the glamour and modern design for forward thinking travelers.

The rooftop restaurant called the Penthouse, with panoramic views and menu choices to tempt the taste buds, offers a dining experience coveted by visitors and locals alike. This is also a great place for corporate travelers, allowing access to the business center, on-site gym, dry cleaning, and a number of amenities to ensure guests do not have to worry about anything during their stay.

The Huntley Hotel contains 204 rooms and a number of glamorous suites including the presidential suite. The rooms include the Huntley King Rooms, Premier Rooms, and Deluxe Rooms. The Deluxe are located on the lower floors, making them perfect for getting out early for a beach jog or sightseeing. Each contains a large flat-screen television, modern bathrooms, and Italian Stone showers. The Premier Rooms offer a choice of a king, queen or two queen beds and are located on the middle floors of the hotel. The Huntley King contains a spacious room with a sitting area, a king sized bed, a large bathroom with a soaking tub, and Italian stone. Each room offers a stunning view of the surrounding landscape.

The larger suites are an excellent choice for the distinguished traveler. The Signature Suites, for example, contain an air of sophistication. These are studio suites with the extra living space including a cozy window cove perfect for reading and overlooking the sweeping views of the ocean or city. These suites contain a rotating television, and the Italian stone bath features a spa bath and open shower.

The Malibu Suites are the next level with one bedroom and a living area with a sofa bed for extra sleeping space. The Malibu contains two entertainment centers, a walk-in closet, and a window cove. The bathroom also contains a spa bath and glass shower. As with every other room the views from the windows are sweeping and picturesque, capturing the coastline, the mountains, and the ocean.

The Penthouse Suite is the ultimate in luxury and modern sophistication. This room sits on the highest floor of the hotel, and this one bedroom suite contains a king sized bed. The living area has two entertainment centers with large flat-screen televisions. There is a separate dining area with a wet bar. The bathroom contains an open spa bath with a soaking tub and glass shower.

The Huntley Hotel is a smoke free facility, and other amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, multi-line phone service with voice mail, high-end room amenities, in-room dining, an in-room safe, an ironing board, and a hair dryer. Guests may also have access to a number of services throughout the hotel such as valet parking, the business center, and the fitness room.

The Penthouse Restaurant is located at the top of the building on the 18th floor. This unique space captures the atmosphere of Santa Monica with a panoramic 360-degree view of the landscape from the ocean horizon to the sparkling city lights. Guests can dine in style in the club-like restaurant or watch the tide come in from the comfort of an open-air cabana. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available as well as designated brunch and special event menus.

Menu items include smoked salmon, pastas, steaks, and even high-end succulent pizzas. The brunch menu contains tempting choices such as waffles, a variety of salads made with fresh seafood ingredients, and tempting classics such as the Eggs Benedict. The dessert menu is a decadent selection as well, with choices such as the Chocolate Souffle, Mascarpone Cheesecake, or the Pink Lady Crostata. Dessert wines and ports are the perfect accompaniment and cap to the meal. Gift cards are available upon request, with an option to send an email link or a physical card. Diners can also join the Friends of the Penthouse, a newsletter in which they will receive news about special offers and events held at the Penthouse.

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The lounge is a great place to relax with an appetizer and cocktail. Choices include small plate appetizers such as the charcuterie or cheese plate. Guests can also choose from decadent selections like the Pacific Yellowtail Tartare, the Chef Selection Oysters, or the Crispy Calamari. Cocktails range from classic flavors to signature combinations such as the Blackberry Pineapple Sidecar.

The Huntley Hotel contains a large amount of event space for both business and personal events. Gatherings ranging in size can be accommodated with over 5,000 square feet of space available within the building and choices of both indoor and outdoor locales. Venue rooms include the Penthouse, which can be transformed for anything from a business reception to a wedding gala. This space can host up to 300 guests, making it a sought after event venue.

The Twilight is located at the top of the building with 345 square feet of availability and stunning views. This is the perfect spot for an anniversary meal including all generations, a small rehearsal dinner, or a business luncheon. Other penthouse event venues include the Skyline, which provides 755 square feet of space, or the Sunset Lounge, an intimate locale with 455 square feet, housing up to 40 guests. The Director's Boardroom is the perfect space for meetings and conferences, as is the Crystal Room with a warm inviting interior. The Crystal Room is a flexible space that can be used as a whole or broken up into smaller configurations. The Regal & Terrace is the perfect spot for those seeking a relaxing outdoor venue for holiday gatherings or a small wedding ceremony.

Each space has its own charm with cool inviting atmospheres and on-site catering. Other amenities include the use of a television, projectors and screens, high-speed Wi-Fi, microphones, audio systems, and available on-site A/V technicians.

The beach is just one of the many places to enjoy the outdoors surrounding the Huntley Hotel, but the sandy shores beckon from a mere two blocks away. The popular Palisades Park is great for a bike ride down to the Santa Monica Pier where you can take a ride on the Ferris wheel. For those who enjoy their outings more on the paved side, the Third Street Promenade is a short walk away as well. This shopping area is perfect for a stroll to enjoy the boutiques, shops, and coffee houses.

Malibu is just a short drive away and contains some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Shopping can also be found at the Country Mart, located close to the beaches of Malibu. Visitors can end the day with a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants such as the casual Duke's Malibu or the high end Gladstone's or Geoffrey's.

There are a great number of outdoor spots to enjoy with hiking, biking, and surfing being at the top of the list. Nearby parks include the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the Will Rogers State Historic Park, and the Malibu Creek State Park. Guests can also enjoy wine tasting at local venues in Malibu.

No trip to Southern California is complete without visiting famous Hollywood. Guests can take in the sights at the Hollywood & Highland complex and see the venue where the star-studded Academy Awards take place. The courtyard has one of the best spots anywhere to view the iconic Hollywood sign before strolling down the Walk of Fame to find the name of their favourite celebrity.

Beverly Hills is another area that cannot be missed. Shopping along Rodeo Drive is a once-in-a-lifetime event where visitors can peruse the names of famous designers of both clothing and jewellery. You’ll see names such as Sax Fifth Avenue on Department Store Row, Barney's, and Neiman Marcus to name a few. Two Rodeo Drive became the next most popular shopping venue, and some say it has surpassed its namesake. This area is built with a cobblestone drive to evoke the European aesthetic, with boutiques along each side. Dining at Spago's or a quick bite at Nate & Al's deli is the perfect ending to a day of shopping.

The Huntley Hotel offers a number of exclusive offers to ensure that every stay is perfect. The Beach, Bed & Breakfast package offers a stay with a choice between breakfast in bed or a visit to the Penthouse at a special room rate. Guests can use the $50 dining credit as they see fit while enjoying everything the Huntley has to offer.

Package deals include the Fourth Night free, which is exactly that, or the Weekend Getaway, which takes 15% off the total price of the visit. The Suite Escape package offers a one-night stay in one of the luxurious suites with a $40 breakfast credit, valet parking, and extended check in hours. All packages are subject to availability and subject to change at any time.

1111 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403, Phone: 310-394-5454

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