Your best deal of the week is this trip to either …

Story highlights Winter ski resorts in New England, wine country in California and an American bistro in France are our picks for the best things to do this week.

We round up three of our favorite travel items for your consideration.

The holidays are a great time to hit the slopes.

Unadulterated snow, beautiful scenery and loads of brownies (Nordic jams, y’all) in every ski lift. All we want for Christmas is to slide down the bunny hill, remember to unzip the flannel (and show off all those extra layers) and pull out our GoPro camera.

If you are heading to one of these snowy spots this week, you might want to make an extra stop en route to make some great memories. Look for conveniently located restaurants, bars and lodges that will transport you back to your high school ski team days.

But lest you forget, getting to the slopes in the snowiest months is not the only reason to visit these destinations. Our pick for the best places to eat and stay this week comes courtesy of TripAdvisor. The site has sorted out the best small-group accommodations in 17 major cities on the East and West coasts of the United States. Travelers have indicated that intimate settings allow them to get to know locals and really get to know their host city and its people. And while not all of our picks for small-group accommodations have AirBnB options, most of them do.

Even if you don’t want to live in cities that take requests for couch surfings, you can score airfare and rooms from many popular online home-sharing sites. Plus, you can even go for it via independent car rentals (through websites like

1. Sea Fire Grill, Clearwater, Florida.

This vacation spot in Clearwater boasts historic mansions, scads of pools and, of course, seafood. A stop here, you might also get to hear the locals’ stories and learn more about the history of the area.

2. Louis Roulant, North Adams, Massachusetts.

The Franklin County attraction is a collection of top-notch local restaurants and bars. You can also pack snacks and supplies in for the walk around the estate, which includes a multi-century-old church.

3. Hendy Hutton’s, Durham, North Carolina.

Up close and personal with the iconic designer/photographer, you’ll also have a taste of the region’s unique art, cooking and music scene.

Plus, you’ll also have a chance to rock out and share in the experience in front of a fireplace while sipping Champagne and inhaling barbecue.

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