Shopping destinations for girlfriend getaways

The deer hunting gun season begins next month, so that makes it a time of pilgrimage for spouses as well as hunters. Here are a half-dozen packages that are being billed as girl getaways, be it shopping now or skiing when winter arrives.
 
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A degree from PowerShop University costs $35 in Appleton on Nov. 11, when retailers present lectures about how to be a better shopper. Class topics include fashion trends, how to shop for the best deals, how to “work the system with store credit cards” and “efficiently look through a clearance rack.”
 
The fun will be 9 a.m. to noon at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, which offers a $99 room rate on Nov. 11 and $89 for those also staying Nov. 10. The $35 “PSU tuition” includes continental breakfast, a shopping bag with freebies/coupons/gifts, course materials and the lectures.
 
The Fox Cities, which includes Appleton, are marketed as Wisconsin’s Shopping Place because of two miles that contain 400-plus retailers, including the 180-store Fox River Mall.
 
For more: www.foxcities.org, 800-236-6673.
 
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The all-suite Wintergreen Resort in Wisconsin Dells has introduced shopping, salon/spa and other overnight packages to reel in business now that summer is over. The resort is next to the new, 60-store Tanger Factory Outlet.
 
The shopping package includes one night of lodging for two, one $20 shopping gift certificate, one coupon book and a $20 coupon for the Wintergreen Grille. The price starts at $49.50 per person, based on two people per room. Weekend rates are $15 more, per person.
 
The salon/spa package starts at $57 per person (based on double occupancy) for one night of lodging, one $50 spa service per room and a $20 dinner coupon for the Wintergreen Grille. Dinner theater, comedy club, winery, birthday and romance packages also are available.
 
Suites include a microwave and refrigerator. Jacuzzi, sauna and indoor swimming pool are on the premises. For this promotion, the Wintergreen bills itself as “for people who aren’t into the kid thing.”
 
For more: www.wintergreen-resort.com, 800-648-4765.
 
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Sportsman’s Lodge is on the continent’s largest freshwater lake (after the Great Lakes), near Baudette, Minn. The property’s annual Women’s Weekend is Nov. 10-11, and it is described as a “wonderful time for gals to come and see first-hand why all the guys flock to” the 30-room woodsy lodge and 20 housekeeping cabins.
 
Located on Minnesota’s northern boundary, on the Lake of the Woods shore, the lodge is about five hours northwest of Superior. So this is not a quick weekend jaunt, but the trip sounds like an incredible bargain.
 
The Women’s Weekend itinerary includes a four-hour afternoon wine tasting, a five-course dinner with wine pairings and entertainment. The cost of $70 per person includes all of this, lodging and one spa service.
 
“Get a group together or come solo,” promotional materials advise. Vendors will sell jewelry and crafts in the lodge banquet room. There is an indoor pool and hot tub.
 
For more: www.sportsmanslodges.com, 800-862-8602.
 
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Think snow and stay tuned to www.womenswintertour.com (or call 231-929-7775) for more about the annual winter fundraiser to fight domestic abuse. Participants leisurely cross country ski and/or snowshoe, eat chocolate, shop and end the day with wine and fine dining. Eight locations in the U.S. participated in 2005, to assist various charities, but this year there is only one site.
 
The event occurs even if there is no snow. Multiple generations are welcome to participate.
 
The host is Crystal Mountain Resort, which has 85 acres for downhill and cross country skiing. It is near Thompsonville, Mich., which is 30 miles southwest of Traverse City and 280 miles northeast of Chicago.
 
A health expo and film festival at Crystal Mountain will complement the Women’s Winter Tour exercise and sports clinics on Feb. 2-4, 2007. The cost for lodging and lift packages begins at $199 per person, which includes a $20 credit toward the tour registration; those fees have not yet been set (they were $25-50 in 2005).
 
The resort also offers a Girls’ Winter Weekend package during other times; it is $389 per person for two nights of lodging, a three-day ski pass, one breakfast, one dinner, a one-hour ski or snowboard lesson and a 50-minute massage. The rate is based on double occupancy.
 
For more: www.crystalmountain.com, 800-968-7686.
 
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The Women on Snow Weekend, Jan. 26-28, 2007, will be at Wild Eagle Lodge, on Eagle River’s chain of lakes.  It is for women who snowmobile; they ride 60-70 miles during the first day, then about 100 miles the next, gliding over the trails of Vilas County.
 
Participants can show up solo or in groups. The cost is $225 per person for two nights of lodging, meals, fuel reimbursement (for the snowmobile; a cap may be set) and entertainment, starting with a Friday fish fry and ending with Sunday brunch. 
 
Four to six women will share each unit of the lodge, which has an indoor pool and hot tub.
 
The Women on Snow Tour, Jan. 29-31, is a more challenging excursion. The first full-day ride, into Michigan, will be about 140 miles. Cost for this event is $260. 
 
For more: www.wildeaglelodge.com, 877-945-3965.
 
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By day, consider it a fitness workout in a scenic location, such as Provence or Costa Rica. Then the shopping and spa treatments begin, with luxurious accommodations, and the cuisine is gourmet.
 
Active Women travel adventures are not for the budget-minded: The cost is about $2,600 to $3,300 for five days, depending upon the location. There are four choices, so far, for 2007.
 
These women-only trips are presented by Backroads, a biking/hiking travel company. A co-sponsor is clothier KN Karen Neuburger, and trip participants get a $100 gift card for this designer’s apparel.
 
For more: www.backroads.com/activewomen, 800-462-2848.