Winter fun where the Olympians train

Methow Valley, Washington, is where many an Olympic hopeful trains. Nordic skier and local Sadie Bjornsen takes us on an insider’s tour

Where to eat …

Breakfast: Wheaties, shmeaties. Sadie craves a three-egg omelet packed with cheese, spinach, olives, and mushrooms from the Duck Brand Cantina. The blueberry pancakes come in a close second. Calories? Carbs? Whatever, you’re in training. $; 248 Riverside Ave., Winthrop; 509/996-2192.

Lunch: Twisp River Pub, a family-friendly hangout and small-batch brewery, is Sadie’s stop for a veggie burger (the beer will have to wait another year until she’s 21) and live rock or reggae on Friday and Saturday nights. $, cover charge from $5; closed Mon–Tue; 201 State 20, Twisp.

Dinner: After a day outdoors, it’s okay to eat like an Olympic contender. Sadie splurges with a creamy arugula pesto pasta, enjoyed fireside at Freestone Inn. The finish? The bittersweet chocolate truffle torte. “Irresistible.” $$$; closed Tue–Wed; 31 Early Winters Dr., Mazama; 800/639-3809.

Getting to Methow Valley:

State 20 is closed in winter over the passes separating Methow Valley from western Washington. Give yourself 51/2 hours to drive the long way: From I-405 outside Seattle, take State 522 to U.S. 2 over Stevens Pass to Wenatchee, then head north on U.S. 97 and State 153 to Twisp.

Where to stay:

At the Freestone Inn in Mazama, choose a lodge room with a stone fireplace or one of five new condos with kitchens. Rooms from $140, including breakfast; condos from $195; 800/639-3809.

If you want the whole shebang (spa, ski lessons, gourmet suppers, and stunning views), book a room at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop. Sadie likes to stay in the freestanding cabins, where she’s spent many birthdays sledding down the hill out back. Rooms from $160, including breakfast; cabins from $265; 800/572-0493.

The tiny Owl’s Nest Cabin at Winthrop’s Spring Creek Ranch has it all―if all you need is a cute, dog-friendly bolt-hole with kitchen, bedroom, and easy access to Methow’s main ski trails. From $100; two-night minimum; 509/996-2495.

More: Great snowy getaways in the West

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