There’s nothing quite like celebrating the changing of the seasons from a cozy getaway lodge tucked quietly away within a breathtaking mountain range that looks more like a Currier and Ives print than reality. From leisurely days spent skiing along the slopes and absorbing the scenery to nights curled up indoors by a crackling fireplace, mountain retreats offer travelers a blissfully removed and ultimately rejuvenating vacation experience. With majestic mountainous regions decorating every corner of the country, finding the perfect spot to disappear to for a long weekend is just as easy as slipping into that loungewear and breaking out the hot cocoa. We’ve rounded up the ten best mountain vacations in America for your cool-weather ascent.
1. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana
Dubbed the number one hotel in the world in 2014, this all-inclusive, adults-only oasis near Montana’s Bitterroot Valley offers visitors a rustic and romantic atmosphere. Complete with 30 luxurious log cabins offering amenities like wood-burning fireplaces and hot tubs, this tranquil retreat also provides the opportunity to explore the magnificent nature surrounding it, including organizing free birding and nature tours. At any given time, guests might be able to catch a glimpse of the native wildlife, including peregrine falcons, eagles, elks, moose, bears and wolves.
2. Sonnenalp Resort, Vail, Colorado
Waking up and drawing back the curtains at this Bavarian-modeled retreat will reveal breathtaking views of Vail, Colorado’s rolling mountains or the tranquil Gore Creek. Rooms come furnished with handmade furniture, cozy fireplace settings and heated floors in the marble bathrooms. Skiing and hiking are among the most popular daytime activities at this exotic lodging, where the atmosphere is livened up even more by the delicious culinary selections and the accommodating staff, clad in lederhosen.
3. Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah
Decorated to the hilt with Norwegian-inspired aesthetics, the Stein Eriksen Lodge near Deer Valley ski resort offers visitors an atmosphere that takes a step back in time, providing all the comfy and luxurious amenities a nature getaway should come with. Perfect for any time of year, wintertime arrivals enjoy a bundled up experience of skiing, hiking, and relaxing in the mountainside chalet, while summertime guests can even enjoy concerts hosted at the retreat’s outdoor amphitheater.
4. Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska
Staying at Alaska’s dreamy chateau-modeled hotel 40 miles south of Anchorage is like taking a step away from the hustle and bustle of reality. Located deep in the Chugach Mountains on the south-central coast, the steep mountains, deep snow, starry night skies and fresh, unpolluted air will keep visitors itching to come back year after year.
5. Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont
Vermont’s top-rated ski center nestled on a 2,400-acre sprawl in the mountains above Stowe Village is the ideal destination for families, as many of the retreat’s rooms can be conjoined. Visitors up to the challenge can attempt to tackle the three-mile, 800-foot vertical ski to the resort’s Slayton Pasture Cabin, and the effort will be worth it, with hot homemade soup, bread and hot chocolate awaiting those who enter.
6. The Ahwahnee, Yosemite, California
Housed English-country-house style in the heart of Yosemite National Park, retreating to The Ahwahnee, built in 1927 with furnishings even older, is truly an experience you’ll have to see to believe. Located amid all the great national park sights, like El Capitan, the Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point, the resort doesn’t skimp its guests on once-in-a-lifetime natural-landscape immersive experiences. Just peering out your window at the Half Dome cliffs each morning is enough to keep the photo memory on your phone full the entire stay.
7. Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee
Situated in the rustic, pastoral atmosphere of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, the 4,200-acre plot of winding white fences, Anglo-American style cottages with rocking chair-clad screened in porches and the very best of southern artisanal home cooking is one that welcomes its guests with a brand of hospitality only found south of the Mason-Dixon line. But be forewarned—we recommend booking at this retreat months far in advance to secure a spot.
8. The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
As the only luxury resort in one of Colorado’s most famed ski towns, The Little Nell offers an experience unlike any other in the area. With staffed adventure specialists ready to customize any outdoor experience from an afternoon skiing to a morning of trout fishing, days spent exploring Aspen Mountain are just as exciting as it will be to park it in front of your room’s luminous fireplace at night, pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy the landscape view of the city lights.
9. Jenny Lake Lodge, Jackson/Grand Teton, Wyoming
Positioned at the base of the snow-laced Teton Mountains, the collection of old-world log cabins in Wyoming’s national park territory pairs luxury with earthy simplicity. Park guides are at each guest’s disposal and host evening natural history talks and outings for interesting visitors.
10. Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, Washington
Built in the foothills of the aptly named Cascade Mountains, this cozy lodge rests on top of Snoqualmie Falls, a 268-foot waterfall in Washington. While visitors take in the unbelievable scenery, they can also enjoy an on-site ice skating rink, acclaimed restaurants, and, to paint the ultimate portrait of a quaint mountain escape, a honeybee apiary.