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ROWLEY GETS A STYLISH INN

The Briar Barn Inn recently made its stylish debut in Rowley. The full-service property sprawls across 4 manicured acres where a series of buildings — housing 30 boutique rooms, a 100-seat restaurant in a white post-and-beam barn, a holistic spa, meeting rooms, and offices — create the feeling of a small pastoral village. Airy accommodations with high ceilings and large windows each boast a private in-room gas fireplace, antique and contemporary furnishings, plush bedding with Sferra and Frette linens, and bathroom outfitted in farmhouse style with black and white tile floors, soaking tub, and separate shower. Operated by Bramble Hospitality, the Briar Barn Inn joins its sister property, Willowdale Estate, as a venue for weddings and private events. Combining casual elegance and rustic comfort, the inn is also perfect for intimate winter getaways. Rates from $119. 978-653-5323, www.briarbarninn.com

BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL HONORS JOE VAL

Shake off February doldrums at the 34th Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, the premier wintertime bluegrass fest in the region. The rollicking good time takes place at the Sheraton Framingham over Presidents’ Day Weekend (Feb. 15-17) where national and regional artists will perform on the Main Stage (including the Seldom Scene, Sister Sadie, Lonely Heartstrings Band, and more); and the next generation of rising stars will grace the Showcase Stage. Extensive educational programs include more than 60 master classes, workshops, instructor-led jam sessions, and the Joe Val Bluegrass Academy for Kids. In addition, find instrument vendors, luthiers, and, of course, picking around the clock. In October 2018, Joe Val was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame, making this year’s festival extra celebratory. Plan ahead: Tickets sell out quickly. www.bbu.org/events/joe-val-festival

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SKI-IN, SKI-OUT LUXURY HOTEL DEBUTS

Deep powder fans will want to check out The Josie, a Nobel House Hotel ski-in, ski-out property located at the base of RED Mountain Resort’s slopes in Rossland, British Columbia, the first stop along Canada’s renowned Powder Highway. Surrounded by nearly 2,877 pristine acres — in an area with a reputation for light, dry powder, average 300-inch yearly snowfall total, and variety of challenging terrain for intermediate and expert level skiers — the recently opened hotel offers guests easy access to cat skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, cross country skiing, curling, ice skating, and hockey. The Josie’s stylish and contemporary 106 one-bedroom suites, guest rooms, and studio suites offer those just in from a day of playing hard outdoors a luxurious way to unwind. Amenities include a ski concierge, spa and fitness center, and the Velvet Restaurant and Lounge, serving a locally-inspired craft cooking menu by Chef Marc-André Coquette. Rates from $218. 888-915-6743, www.thejosie.com

SMOOTH SKATING IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS

Lace up your skates in Lincoln, N.H., where the Rink at RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain welcomes skaters of all ages. The enormous outdoor rink (in summer months a 167,000-gallon swimming lagoon) offers a one-of-a-kind ice skating experience, including a central fire pit to keep you warm on chilly days. Through March 31, guests can glide and spin across a perfect sheet of ice, kept smooth by RiverWalk’s very own Zamboni machine. Forgot your skates? Rentals are available. Skating is free for resort guests; open to the general public for $10 fee. Resort accommodations from $249. 603-745-7500, www.riverwalkresortatloon.com

GOT WHISKEY?

At the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, right next door to Edinburgh Castle, The Scotch Whisky Experience celebrates its mission “to make the world fall in love with Scotch whisky.” New bespoke VIP experiences this year include fine dining in the world’s largest whisky collection; super-premium whisky tastings; and a blend-your-own whisky master class — where guests can taste limited edition single malts from the now-silent stills of Scotland. First opened to the public in 1988, The Scotch Whisky Experience was created when 19 individual companies committed to jointly showcase Scotch whisky to international visitors. An interactive exhibition, not a working distillery, the Experience represents 90 percent of the industry, making it an ideal first stop for enthusiasts. Not to be missed, and part of every tour, is the Diageo Claive Vidiz Whisky Collection, 3,384 bottles of golden spirits displayed in a marble and glass vault. Experiences $20-$96. www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk

BLUETOOTH-ENABLED EYEWEAR

The future is now with Lucyd Loud, a line of prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses that let you talk on the phone, listen to music, and use a voice assistant. The innovative Bluetooth-enabled eyewear features speakers near the ears to make these glasses convenient for listening and talking hands-free while on the go. Use your own prescription or opt for clear, polarized, or blue-light-blocking lenses. Cable, manual, and case included. Recommended for iPhone 7 and newer, and Samsung Galaxy S8 and newer. From $99. www.lucyd.co

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