For more than 70 years, American servicemembers have vacationed in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, at the Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort, now known as Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. Situated under soaring Bavarian peaks, the resort touts itself as the perfect place for servicemembers to clear their minds in fresh mountain air and enjoy their families before or after difficult deployments. According to the resort, Edelweiss operates the only accredited Professional Ski Instructors of America ski and snowboard school outside the continental United States. Every year, it provides ski and snowboard rental equipment, instruction and lift tickets to more than 6,000 servicemembers and their families. Skiing and snowboarding instruction is available for ages 5 and up. “The best way to learn to ski or snowboard is to participate in our weeklong snow sports instruction week,” said Leigh Plowman, ski school director. “Getting personal attention from the instructor, you will really be able to progress quickly and confidently navigate the mountain by the end of the week.” Edelweiss is surrounded by more than 400 mountain peaks soaring almost 3,000 meters (about 10,000 feet) high and boasts 203 kilometers (about 126 miles) of prepared slopes and 33 ski lifts. However, skiing is not the only thing to do during the winter at the resort. It also offers guided tours in English to the top sightseeing destinations in the area, such as Innsbruck, Austria; Munich; and Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace. The resort recommends a soak in its giant outdoor hot tub and a hearty steak dinner at the restaurant following a day of energetic sightseeing. Make reservations at the resort’s website, Or follow Edelweiss on

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