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The perfect week in February begins with mid-week skiing and riding at one of Vermont’s pristine slopes. [R429R, Stowe Mountain Resort] is a perfect option that’s both easily accessible from the interstate and accommodating to all styles and ability levels.

To escape the weekend ski crowds, set your compass north for Burlington where the annual Winter Festival celebrates the spirit of winter with fun activities, events and deals. Activities include Vermont's own sanctioned snow sculpture competition, a family expo with activities and crafts, live entertainment at the Boathouse, a youth music and dance performance, and more.

Burlington is known for it’s young college-town vibe and features exceptional dining options, eclectic shops, and the pedestrian-only Church Street Marketplace. After grabbing dinner, wander through the lit marketplace, snap a photo with the sculptures and hear live music at one of Burlington’s many nightclubs. Spend the night in one of the lakefront hotels on Battery St., just a short walk from the main drag, and awake to tranquil views of Lake Champlain that will immortalize the experience forever.

What: 20th Annual Burlington Winter Festival

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012

Where: Church Street Marketplace and ECHO Family Center, Burlington, Vt.

Admission: Most events are FREE

Attractions: Snow sculpture and ice carving competitions, Penguin Plunge, shopping, dining, deals from local vendors

With the Kids: Visit ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, interactive museum exhibits

Festival info: Click here or call 802-864-0123

Skiing and Riding: Stowe Mountain Resort

Stats: 4,395 ft, 116 trails, 13 lifts, 4 terrain parks, 1 halfpipe

Lift tickets: $88 Adult (13-64), $66 Child (6-12), $77 Senior (65+), Kids five and under ski FREE

Other activities: Snow tubing, dog sledding, nordic skiing, snowshoeing

Experiencing Burlington: Burlington offers a wealth of options for all budgets, tastes and ages

Breakfast: Penny Cluse, Magnolia Bistro, American Flatbread (Breakfast Pizzas)

Lunch: Halvorson’s, Red Onion Bakery, Burlington Bay Cafe

Dinner: A Single Pebble, Sweetwaters, Trattoria Delia

Cocktails, Beer and Wine: Drink, Vermont Pub and Brewery, Three Needs

Live music: Nectar’s, Club Metronome, Red Square, Ri-Ra’s Irish Pub

Waterfront Lodging: Courtyard Marriott Burlington Harbor

Reservations: Click here or call 800-321-2211

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