Snowshoeing under the full moon
If snow skiing and water skiing are sports that are close to the feeling of flying, then snowshoeing offers the feeling of walking on top of the world or at least on elevated terrain.
Snowshoeing is especially thrilling (and a great cardiovascular workout) under a full moon, and that's exactly what the Tahoe Adventure Co. has in mind with its Full Moon Snowshoe Adventure schedule.
Consider: Trekking through snow-covered fir forests, looking down on moonlit Lake Tahoe and looking up at a sky crowded with stars. Remember the Milky Way?
Experts will lead the excursions, sharing their knowledge of winter ecology and geology. Afterward, enjoy hot drinks, snacks and more stargazing.
Tahoe Adventure also offers daytime snowshoe treks that include instructions, talks on natural and human history in the region, and lunch.
The full-moon treks include gear and permit fees. Cost is $65 per person. Get more information and register at (530) 913-9212, www.tahoeadventurecompany.com.
Here's the winter full-moon snowshoeing schedule:
Dec. 28, 4 to 7 p.m.; Jan. 26, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 24, 4 to 7 p.m.; March 27, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; April 25, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Now's the time to avoid crowded malls for a spot of small-town charm in snow country. Consider the First Friday holiday shopping excursions to historic and well- decorated Truckee, the Sierra village straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Throughout December, downtown merchants will host themed holiday shopping nights from 5 to 8 p.m. the next two Fridays. Girls' Night Out will be Dec. 14; Couples Night will be Dec. 21. Merchants will offer food and drinks, live music and children's activities.
For more information: (530) 587-2757, www.truckee.com.
ON THE GO
The online travel company Orbitz Worldwide has compiled a couple of insightful lists the most popular holiday destinations for Christmas and New Year's.
Despite rising travel costs, respondents overwhelmingly said they will visit their relatives and friends over the holidays, and plan to spend an average of about $2,500 doing so.
The destination lists:
For Christmas: Orlando, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Los Angeles, Tampa, Fort Myers, Cancún, San Juan, Phoenix.
For New Year's: Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, Cancún, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Denver, San Juan, Maui, Fort Myers.
FIRST STEPS OF 2013
Walk in the new year
New Year's Day is meant for watching football, eating too much and recovering from the night before, right?
Not this year. Instead, join the Sacramento Walking Sticks on their New Year's Eve and New Year's Day excursions. The free, non-timed 5K and 10K walks will leave from and end at the Pioneer House, 415 P St., Sacramento.
On New Year's Eve, both walks called Volkswalking will begin between 5 and 6 p.m. (it's your choice) and conclude between 7 and 9 p.m.
On New Year's Day, both walks will start between 9 a.m. and noon and end by 3:30 p.m.
The New Year's Eve route will take walkers through festively lit downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento. The New Year's Day route will meander through the historical neighborhoods of Chinatown, Alkali Flats, Mansion Flats and Boulevard Park.
For more information: (916) 283-4650, www.sacramentowalkingsticks.org
Walkers of any age and skill levels are invited to attend the Sacramento Walking Sticks meeting at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, at the SMUD Headquarters Building, 6201 S St., Sacramento.
"We're inclusive of everyone, and have walking opportunities at night and in the day, in any weather, and if you're alone or with someone," said Walking Sticks publicist Barbara Nuss.
TO REACH CALIFORNIA TRAVELER
Janet Vitt, section editor
(916) 321-1056, firstname.lastname@example.org
To submit events or news about travel and recreation activities, travel talks as well as organized day trips with costs up to $100, please send information at least three weeks in advance to Traveler, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852, fax (916) 556-5625 or email: email@example.com. Priority will be given to events free to the public.