Squaw Valley, Calif.
Park your bike at the eclectic new San Francisco-style PlumpJack Balboa Café, and bask in the atmosphere of Squaw Valley's long-awaited village. The self-contained enclave, consisting of three buildings with 17 restaurants and shops and 139 luxury condos that surround Events Plaza, should be in full swing by July. And this is just Phase 1. By the summer of 2007, the whole development¿nine large buildings with 600 condos, a score of retail businesses, meandering avenues and a dramatic gateway¿will complete the vision.
On the mountain, the Cable Car whisks you to the High Camp Bath & Tennis Club, where, at 8,200 feet, you can swim in a rocky lagoon, ice skate on an outdoor rink, hike to shimmering Shirley Lake, mountain bike or join a star-gazing party.
In the valley, ride horses, scramble through a ropes course at the Adventure Center or take on the challenging Resort at Squaw Creek 18-hole golf course. When muscle exhaustion sets in, return to Balboa to kick back at a sidewalk table and people-watch. On weekends, musicians play on the outdoor stage, alongside art shows and other events. Or retreat to the Resort at Squaw Creek Spa, where aches and worries fade under the spell of a "hot rocks" treatment. ¿Ken Castle