Spring is in the Air: Deep Creek Lake Weekend Getaways

Warmer temperatures up here on the mountain this past week have been a pleasant surprise and are starting to entice the longing for true spring to arrive! Hard to believe that we are quickly approaching St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Breaks, and of course the “Springing Ahead” with the time this weekendBlue-2BSky.

We are so excited that our kids and many of the kids in the surrounding cities and up and down the East Coast will get to enjoy a few extra days off for either Easter, Spring Break, or both this year. Although Jonas heaped a pile of snow on us, we had less snowfall this year than normal, hence less makeup snow days. If you haven’t made your family plans, you should definitely consider a Deep Creek Lake weekend getaways.

Are you wondering what there is do at Deep Creek Lake in the spring? First, it’s the perfect time to get back outside, embrace Mother Nature, and explore our many state parks. Swallow Falls State Park is always a favorite choice and the #1 recommended “Must See” spots in Garrett County as it houses numerous waterfalls and nice walking trails. However, Deep Creek State Park and Herrington Manor also have nice hiking and mountain biking trails.


Wisp Resort is still offering some skiing options as well as the snow tubing park, ice skating rink, and the mountain coaster! All of which are enjoyable for kids of all ages as well as adults. Smiley’s Fun Zone has an awesome indoor arcade which includes laser tag, bowling, and a variety of arcade type games. They also offer Smiley’s Fun Value Cards which gives you bonus cash which can be used to save on food and the arcade.

Of course, there is also the many different shopping and dining establishments that we encourage you to patronage but we also do our best to find you the perfect vacation home so you have plenty to do whether you choose to head out and seek adventure or spend a casual afternoon at home bonding with friends and family.

We are currently offering some fantastic last minute specials and have even put together a “Family Fun Spring Package”! For only $85, this package includes a free night’s stay (3 day minimum), a free Early Check In or Late Check Out (a $35 value), 4 movie tickets, 4 CARC passes to our local Aquatic Center, and a $25 Cash card to Smiley’s with $25 Bonus cash added on! A fantastic deal that gives you and your family plenty of options of fun activities to do while visiting us here at Deep Creek Lake! Our location in Western Maryland makes us an easy destination for weekend getaways near Pittsburgh or the Baltimore/Washington, DC area.

A Snowy Adventure!!

Muddy Creek Falls in winter!
In general, when one is trying to encourage others to try a new activity, it is helpful that the describer has also tried the new activity. <Insert perk to working for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations>!  One of our favorite vendors in our area is All Earth Eco Tours. Crede Calhoun and his crew have perfected the art of “appreciating the great outdoors” and often invite Taylor-Made owners and employees to join them on some of their exciting excursions! However, when they first invited us on asnowshoeing tour a few years ago, I must admit that I had some serious trepidation. It is widely known throughout my circle, that I have a serious coordination issue. The issue, being, that I lack it! However, I was feeling brave and didn’t want to be called a wimp by Chad, so I signed up. We met Crede at Swallow Falls State Park where he gave detailed instructions on how to maneuver around in our “duck feet” and then we were off.  Crede took us through areas of Swallow Falls State Park that I have never been too (which I thought was impossible since I have frequented Swallow Falls for as long as I can remember!) Within minutes, I was in love! This new adventure was so fun, exciting, and not difficult at all (yes, a little awkward at first but once I got into my groove, I was good to go!) So, there we were surrounded by this breathtaking, peaceful scenery, the snow was falling gently, and I was upright and not falling down! Not to mention that you are outside in the fresh mountain air and participating in an activity that is good for you and fun at the same time. I can’t wait to do it again and definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the area. Make sure you call for an appointment!  1-800-446-7554 or go online www.allearthecotours.com ) Crede and his crew also do cross country tours as well in the wintertime. Any other season, you will find them guiding you on “eagle watching” kayak tours or hiking tours. (We went on the kayak tour this past spring and it was amazing!! I am already planning on doing it again this year!) 
Look at us go!
 There are still a lot of fun winter activities going on over the next month or two so be sure to call us here at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations (1-866-351-1119 or online www.deepcreekvacations.com) to take advantage of some great last minute discounts. February 15thweekend is Winterfest in downtown Oakland. Bring the family and spend the day touring the town as you take in the awesome ice sculptures and enjoy hot chocolate and other treats. The following weekend (February 22nd) is our annual Deep Creek Dunk! Witness tons of people dunking themselves in the chilly water of Deep Creek Lake for the wonderful and important cause of raising awareness and money for Maryland Special Olympics! (Some of the costumes are amazing. Last year we had Elvis, the Teletubbies, Dorothy & the gang from Oz, just to name a few…) Homes are booking quickly so call today to find one that works best for you and your family. The snow if falling, the slopes are open, and we can’t wait to see you at the lake!

Giving a thumbs up to Lisa!

Life in the mountains continues to return to normal following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Again, we must say how very thankful we are to all of the workers, both local and those that came from out of state to help restore power, remove downed trees & power lines, and cleared roadways. You are true heroes and we appreciate all of your time and effort!

It is once again time to introduce you to one of our featured employees. This week we celebrate Lisa Yommer, our Assistant Customer Service Manager. Lisa was one of Taylor-MadeDeep Creek Vacations’ first employees, having started with the company in December 2008. Having worked in customer service previously, Lisa brought with her 5 years of experience to the Reservations Department. Once in Reservations, Lisa began to implement many important ideas into the department from developing a training program, working closely with all departments to make sure our homes are in top notch condition for our guests, resolving customer issues, and forming a fun incentive program for employees. We are very lucky to have her as part of our team and appreciate all of her hard work and dedication. On a more personal note, Lisa is a Garrett County native that currently resides in Oakland. Many of her evenings are spent at her second job where she is a manager @ Garrett 8 Cinemas! (You would think she would have some pull on getting us some free movie tickets but so far, no dice. Trust me, several of us have tried!) She is an avid Steeler Fan, often participating in heated discussions with Company owner, Chad, who is a tried and true Ravens fan. (All in good fun but definitely makes for some good teasing around the office!) She has a very social life, and enjoys shopping and dining out with her large group of friends. For company get-togethers, we can always count on Lisa to show up with smile and ready to have a good time (Sometimes, we can even talk her into bringing her extremely scrumptious and yummy Mexican Taco Dip!!) So, Hip Hip Hooray! for Lisa! You are a wonderful employee and a great friend to us all!
There is still time left for those that want to visit the area in Thanksgiving. We are running some fantastic specials (sorry not retro-active) where you can now book 3 nights for the price of 2! If you choose to book and stay in the month of November, you can now also take advantage of our tourism boost when we waive the 6% accommodation tax on all of our homes. Don’t forget that this is also our annual Festival of Trees event. Held at the Garrett County Fairgrounds, this is your chance to wander through a true winter wonderland of decorative trees, wreaths, and other festive decorations. A wonderful family festivity, bring the kids and let them enjoy breakfast and pictures with Santa Claus! Call Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations today (1-866-351-1119) or visit us online @ www.deepcreekvacations.com  to begin planning your next Deep Creekadventure. We can’t wait to see you at the lake!


Pizza + Ale = It’s All Good!

We frequently get asked by visitors to our area to recommend some dining options for them during their stay. If they have children, we may suggest Smiley’s Fun Zone or if they are looking for a romantic candlelight dinner, I always tell them that they can’t go wrong with The Four Seasons @ Will O’ the Wisp. However, if they are just looking for something casual but a little different, I like to suggest that they check out Mountain State Brewery, located just a few minutes past Wisp Resort. Wooden floors with high vaulted ceilings provide a warm and cozy atmosphere. Actually the whole vibe is very relaxed and casual. If you are bringing the kids, there are numerous board games there to keep them occupied. Now, I have to be honest, I haven’t tried many of their dishes, simply because the first time we went, we tried the Fire on the Mountain pizza, and we were smitten. Cooked in a wood burning fireplace and using all fresh ingredients, makes the food delectable. They have a large variety of pizzas, wraps, burritos, salads and snacks. Of course, it’s not called a Brewery for nothing! Boasting a variety of different hand crafted ales, they differ from light to dark. Not sure which to pick? Choose their ale sampler and get one of each. Not being a big ale fan myself, I chose the Hillbilly Punch! Wow! Very good but definitely packs a bit of a punch (pardon the pun). Sometimes they offer acoustic music on the weekends which is definitely an added treat. Relaxed, casual atmosphere mixed with awesome food and beverage, makes Mountain State Brewery a must! Check it out the next time you are in the area. There are still a lot of fun activities going on around Deep Creek Lake in the next few weeks, so be sure to call Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations (1-866-351-1119) http://deepcreekvacations.com/ today to take advantage of some great last minute discounts. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you at the lake!

It’s Time to Break the Ice!

Mother Nature was certainly kind to us last week by blanketing the area in lots of pretty white fluff. Wisp has almost all of their slopes open, not to mention the tubing park and ice skating rink. It is definitely a great weekend to be coming into the area. If you want to experience a true ‘Mountain Winter Escape’, then I suggest that you head to Oakland Winterfest! This is one event that I always look forward to! Held in downtown Oakland, visitors will find a true winter wonderland. Going on its 5th year, the event is sponsored by various Oakland businesses and will be held from February 17th to the 19th. What might one find at this Winterfest? The highlight of the event are the amazing and unique ice sculptures that can be viewed throughout the town. Master carver, Bill Sandusky, from Frozen Assets Ice Carving Company will be returning for his 5th year to showcase his astounding talent. Local businesses are given the opportunity to purchase a sculpture that Bill will carve, generally, in an image pertaining to the business. He will do five live carvings on Saturday and “The Tribute to Oakland” on Sunday. The displays are well lit at night and on display until they melt. For the little ones, there is a ice sculpted bowling lane, an actual slide made out of ice, and in ice throne for them to perch on. They will also be able to take home a free personalized block of ice with their name in it. Other activities that will be going on are the snowman building competition, the crowning of “SnowFlake Toddler and Princess”, various craft vendors, and horse drawn sleigh rides by Pleasant Valley Dream Rides. Various dining establishments will be offering hot soup specials throughout the weekend as well. Still unsure? Think hot chocolate! Warm beverages and snacks can also be purchased at several locations throughout the town. If you are looking for some real old fashioned family fun then I highly recommend that you head to downtown Oakland this weekend to check out this excellent event. In the meantime, snow is on the ground, perfect for snow shoeing or cross country skiing. Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations is running some great specials for next weekend, so now is the perfect time to call to reserve your dream vacation home. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you at the lake! http://www.deepcreekvacations.com/

A Look Back….

Long before Deep Creek Lake became Western Maryland’s best kept secret, visitors still flocked to the mountains to visit Mountain Lake Park, a neighboring town of McHenry and Oakland. Of course, this was back in the late 1880’s when Methodist business men and churches were trying to find a new area to vacation. Drawn to Mountain Lake because of the fresh, clean mountain air, spectacular lush scenery, and convenience to the railroad, they developed the town and added a 22 acre man-made recreational lake that was used for swimming and boating. The town built an assembly hall that was quickly followed by the addition of rentable cottages, boarding houses, and hotels. The newly acquired town wanted to give vacationers a place of peaceful recreation that was far away from the frivolous and sinful recreations generally found in resort areas. The town promoted Christian principles which forbid those living or visiting the town to drink, gamble, play cards, dance or drink, even in one’s own home (I’m thinking this thought would not work so well today, especially on any given Sunday when the Steelers and Ravens are playing on TV.) If you wanted to participate in such evil misdeeds, you were encouraged to visit the neighboring town of Loch Lynn. Hence, the popular saying, “If you want to sin, go to Loch Lynn. For Jesus sake, go to Mountain Lake.” Of course, the town today basically resembles Hometown USA but they do still encourage others to visit. Many of the homes that were built back then, were fashioned as large Victorian type homes that now often allow visitors to tour them. Other attractions, you may want to check out are the Simon Pearce glass blowing store where you can purchase some fabulous gifts and tour the company to see first hand how the glass is created. (www.simonpearce.com) Another attraction in the area is Louis DiCarlo’s Stained Glass Gallery. Lou is an award-winning designer and stained glass craftsman. Visitors are welcome to view his amazing showrooms or call for an appointment to take a stained glass gallery lesson. (http://www.stainedglassgallery.net/) Although the original built lake no longer exists, there is another lake in the park called Broadford Lake Park. It houses a small sandy beach and the lake can be used for swimming, fishing, orsmall paddling boats. It also has a tennis court, pavilions for picnics, and multiple playgrounds for the wee ones. A very fun place to visit in the summer. If you are in the area and looking for something a little different, I encourage you to take the short drive into Mountain Lake Park. If you are suffering from a sinful sweet tooth, cross over the railroad tracks and enjoy a peace of coconut cream pie @ The Loch Lynn Restaurant. Tell Sheila and Bridgette that we said “Hello”. In the meantime, slopes are open, snow is in the forecast, and TaylorMade Deep Creek Vacations is ready to help you plan your mountain getaway. We can’t wait to see you at the lake!

A new reason to love Wednesdays!!

To most people, Wednesday’s simply mean hump day. The day that puts you further away from Monday and closer to the weekend. Here, at Deep Creek Lake, Wednesday’s actually signifies more than that. It signifies an evening of casual yet elegant ambience. A night to indulge with a large selection of delectable, gourmet cuisine . A night to create a feast to your specific desires without the painstaking work of actually preparing it. Yes, that’s right, folks. We are talking about Pasta Mania night at The Four Seasons Restaurant. If you have never dined at the Four Seasons, I strongly recommend that you check it out. The restaurant itself is fashioned in elegant décor with votive candles accenting the tables. Offering some of the finest lakefront dining in the area, guests can enjoy their meal while taking in the exquisite lake and mountain views. Their menu consists of everything from steak and seafood to yummy appetizers such as calamari and Thai scallops. On Pasta Mania night, they set up a large buffet style station where guests get to choose their own pasta meal. By choose, I mean they offer a variety of different noodles, sauces, and toppings (lots of fresh veggies included). Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations employees and employers ventured out for a night on the town last Wednesday to check out the selection and I must say, we have nothing but positive things to say. The food was absolutely divine; the customer service stellar, and a great time was had by all. In the meantime, slopes are open, the sun is shining, and it is a great time to call for some fabulous last minute deals on your perfect vacation home. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you at the lake!

Recently, nature decided to cooperate with us and brought to the mountaintop some very much coveted snow!! Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts have been flockingly happily to Wisp Resort to get their snow groove on! I, on the other hand, decided to celebrate the holiday with some exciting indoor activity. Bowling!! Still lots of fun with way less chance of falling on my rear! The family and I gathered some good pals and headed to Par-Matt Lanes Bowling alley in Oakland for a day of competitive fun. (****See photo of silly boys being, well, silly! The best way to be, somedays, if you ask me!!) If you haven’t been there in awhile, you should stop in and check out some of the recent upgrades they have made to their lanes. They have made them more kid-friendly by putting up barriers in the gutters to avoid gutter balls. I must admit that I was tempted to use them but refrained. They also keep the kitchen running throughout the day and evening, offering everything from pizza to burgers, wings, nachos, etc. I personally give a big thumbs up with the hot wings! They are delish. If you are looking for some good old fashioned family fun, then I recommend you check out Par-Matt Lanes.
If you are looking for something with a little more flair to it, then you may want to check the McHenry Highland Festival’s annual Robert Burns Supper held this Saturday the 21st at Dutch’s at Silver Tree. Every year, Scots around the world and in Garrett County, gather together to celebrate the birth of Robert Burns, author of many Scot poems. They celebrate his life with entertainment such as readings of his poems and of course, bagpipes. Scottish delicacies such as Sheppard’s pie, shortbread, and haggis (I will let you google this one on your own. It’s sounds very, ummm, interesting). Of course, let’s not forget the whisky tasting (I have to wonder if this is a direct result of the haggis!) Tickets are only a mere $45 per person and can purchased on the McHenry Highland Festivals website, attached on here. Sounds like a guaranteed good time! Reports of fresh snow is on the way so be sure to call Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations for some great last minute deals on your vacation home! In the meantime, see you around the lake!!

Just shopping for the BEAR necessities!

Entering the month of January, finds life in the mountains to be all good. Temperatures are comfortable, the snow has finally arrived (with more to come this week) and life as we know has returned to normal. I decided to reward myself for surviving the holidays with a little shopping excursion. I decided to check out Bear Creek Trader’s located in Market Fresh Square in McHenry. When I walked into the shop, I was immediately in awe of the vast selection that was before it. If you need it, it is most likely here. The store boasts a spectacular arrangement of Deep Creek memorabilia, from key chains, jewelry, totes, towels, and the list goes on. It’s also an awesome place to shop for home décor with original and unique vases, wall clocks, signs, mirrors, and more. As most of us do when we go on vacation, we tend to forget to pack something. Need ski gloves for the slopes? Forget your beach towel or sunscreen? Maybe your visiting and plan to attend a baby shower but forgot the gift (hey, it could happen). Well, worry not, Bear Creek Traders offers all of this. They have wonderful kids’ displays throughout the shop as well. There is an area where the kids can pick out an arrangement of Deep Creek Rocks to take home as a souvenir or a row of really unique kid’s toys. If your glutton for punishment and really want to sugar them up then allow the kids to carouse the old fashioned candy counter. (Temptation is a weakness of mine and I gave in and got the huge pixie straw stick. I used to love these as a kid and believe it or not, the sugar rush is equally fun as an adult!) They also have a very impressive assortment of candles and candle décor. If you stop in soon, you can also take advantage of the After-Holidays special. I saw a lot of beautiful Christmas ornaments/ decorations that were marked 50% off. So, if you’re out and about and looking to shop local with a humungous variety of items, I suggest you check out Bear Creek Traders. Otherwise, don’t forget to contact Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations for your Martin Luther King holiday getaway. The snow if fresh, the air is crisp, and we can’t wait to see you here at the lake.

Last Tuesday evening, the employees and employers of Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations celebrated their annual Holiday company party at Dutch’s at Silver Tree restaurant. A fabulous evening was had by all! This was my first time in the restaurant since it opened earlier this year although I had been hearing nothing but rave reviews from everyone. Our party was held downstairs in the lower level next to the bar. They had it cheerfully decorated for the holidays which added a wonderful ambience to the already festive atmosphere. We began our party with some sincere and heartfelt thanks from our employers. Chad, then in return, decided to be Chad and poke fun of the whole gang with his homemade videos. I have to give kudos where kudos are due. They were hilarious (check out some of them on our facebook page) but also very heartfelt. We had a buffet of food that was to die for. The prime rib was delish and everyone told me repeatedly that the twice baked potatoes were awesome (that’s what I get for trying to stay away from the carbs!). I also want to say what a fabulous job Dutch’s waiting staff did that evening. They were very on top of everything from refilling the water glasses, cleaning off dishes, or just getting you anything you needed. We concluded the holiday party with our annual Yankee Swap. It was a great deal of fun and it’s always interesting to see what you are going to take home with you. Perfect food, perfect setting, and perfect company made it a spectacular evening! Thanks once again to Dutch’s for your top notch service and to Joe, Jodi, and Chad for being the wonderful employers that you are! We are truly lucky to be part of such a wonderful team! In the meantime, as Wisp continues to crank out the fluffy goodness, we continue to fervently wish for snow (which seems to be working at the moment!), we look forward to seeing you at the lake!