The Best Mountain Resorts in North America To Visit

John Muir famously said, “The mountains are calling and I must go” and for good reason. They’re the perfect place to get away from the busyness of everyday life, to breathe in the fresh air, and take in the views. While some prefer to relax on the beach with a piña colada in their hand, others travel to the mountains the first chance they get. In colder temperatures, the mountain offers winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, while in warmer temperatures, you can do activities such as hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and fishing. So whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation. Or a solo holiday, why not head to a mountain resort this year? To help you decide where to book, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best mountain resorts in North America, with places in both the United States and Canada.

Sun Mountain Lodge – Winthrop, Washington

Since 1968, Sun Mountain Lodge has been welcoming guests to the Methow Valley area of Washington. This valley at the foothills of the Northern Cascade Mountain is a favorite vacation spot in all seasons with summertime activities like hiking, fishing, canoeing, and golf and the property boasting over 200 kilometers of trails in the winter (making it the largest cross country ski resort in the country). Accommodations range from the Main Lodge, with hand crafted wood furniture made by local artisans, to the rustic Gardner Lodge, to Mount Robson guest rooms with private decks and 16 cabins located on Lake Patterson. With fine dining and a wine cellar stocked with over 3,500 bottles of vino, it’s no wonder the resort has won numerous awards from TripAdvisor, Fodor’s, and the Washington State Wine Commission!

Attitash Grand Summit Hotel – Bartlett, New Hampshire

The Attitash Grand Summit Hotel sits at the base of Bear Peak and Attitash Mountain and offers 143 deluxe and condominium style rooms. The resort itself is the big attraction! Home to the Attitash and Bear Peak mountains the resort has a total of 78 ski runs, making it a popular winter destination, the resort is also a family favorite during the warmer months. Summer activities include an aerial zipline that is 4,969 feet before transferring to another line that is 2,196 feet. They also have an alpine slide over one mile long, a mountain roller coaster, and a huge water slide. You can also take a scenic chair ride to the summit of Bear Peak and enjoy horseback riding or a bike ride. The activities are endless in all seasons at this mountain resort!

Teton Springs Lodge – Victor, Idaho

The Teton Springs Lodge offers luxury mountain log cabins, a full service spa, friendly staff, world-class golfing, and on-site fly-fishing. With polished western décor, full size kitchens, and outdoor grills the cabins give you the privacy of your own mountain retreat while still having all the benefits of an upscale resort complete with a fitness center, a PGA designed golf course, and fine dining. With outdoor activities such as horseback riding, hot air ballooning and skiing in the winter, Teton Springs is one of the best lodges for corporate outings, conventions, family getaways, or a relaxing romantic weekend.

Vail Cascade Resort and Spa – Vail, Colorado

Located along the banks of Gore Creek, the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa offers guests luxury amenities and access to scenic mountain surroundings. Famous all over the world for the Vail Ski Resort, the surrounding area is just as beautiful and inviting. Enjoy biking and hiking trails in the summer, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, volleyball, basketball, and Vail’s largest fitness and athletic training facility. During winter enjoy skiing with chair lifts located right outside the hotel door to Vail Mountain. Several dining options and craft beers can be enjoyed during your stay and a variety of accommodations are available depending on your budget, from hotel rooms to condos and vacation home rentals.

Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa – Whitefield, New Hampshire

Originally established in 1865, the resort has been a popular destination with its panoramic views of the White Mountains. Activities here include skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding in the winter and golf and swimming in the summer. The terrain in the White Mountains offers incredible and challenging hiking as well. Cider pressing and foliage hikes are popular activities in the fall and the views at this time of year are spectacular. The Cog Railway is located nearby – the world’s first mountain train – so don’t miss the opportunity to take a ride! Accommodations include 8 different types of guest rooms and luxury suites, depending on your budget and what you’re looking for. A wine cellar with over 6,000 bottles of wine compliment the dining area where local ingredients are sourced by the chefs. The resort also has a fitness facility, sauna and spa.

Triple Creek Ranch – Darby, Montana

Located in the Montana high country, Triple Creek Ranch is a luxury ranch resort for adults and teens 16 and up. The resort features fine dining by a chef who graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York and a wine cellar that has won awards from the Wine Spectator. The resort also offers a cooking school where you can learn to replicate the meals by the resort’s chefs, which is a fun activity to do during your stay. Accommodations range from one, two, and three bedroom luxury cabins to ranch homes featuring private hot tubs. Outdoor activities include fishing, white water rafting, trap shooting, golf, and tennis or sign up for a cattle drive or horseback riding on the open plains. Whether it is private dining at the Chef’s table, honing your cowboy skills, or just kicking up your feet, the Triple Creek Ranch is one of the best mountain resorts in North America. They also offer inclusive packages, allowing you to eat, drink, relax, and play to your heart’s content, for one all-inclusive price.

Whiteface Lodge – Lake Placid, New York

Located in Adirondack Park at Lake Placid and designed by a former luge Olympian athlete, The Whiteface Lodge has won awards by TripAdvisor, Conde Nast, and the Wine Spectator. The resort features a 24 hour onsite health and fitness center, luxury spa, and restaurants featuring ingredients from local farms, and native fish and game. If you love outdoor activities, Lake Placid is a great vacation spot. From boating, fishing, hiking, cycling and golfing, to wintertime dog sledding and tobogganing, you’ll enjoy your time at Lake Placid. While you’re there, be sure to see what it’s like to be an Olympian with a bobsled ride at the Olympic Sports Complex.

Nita Lake Lodge – Whistler, British Columbia

With incredible reviews, the Nita Lake Lodge is rated one of the top 25 hotels in Canada, sitting on the shores of a glacier fed lake in the Great White North. Accommodations include rooms with double soaker tubs and glass enclosed rain showers. The lodge is a five minute shuttle ride from Whistler village where various festivals occur throughout the year including beer, BBQ, and music festivals. The lodge is located just 500 meters from the Creekside Gondola for skiing on Whistler Mountain – a beloved pastime of those visiting the area. The resort restaurant offers food prepared with locally sourced ingredients, including vegetables grown on the lodge’s own rooftop garden! With beautiful mountain views and Lake Nita at your doorstep, the Nita Lake Lodge makes for a great weekend escape or family vacation.

The Fairmont Chateau – Lake Louise, Alberta

Located within Banff National Park, Lake Louise is surrounded by mountain peaks and the Victoria Glacier. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known for its progressive environmentalism. The Fairmont Chateau was originally built over 100 years ago as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and has since been updated and expanded. With 550 luxury rooms, seven restaurants, and a luxury spa, the Fairmont has also become a popular destination for weddings and events. During the summer, guests can enjoy hiking, canoeing, and fishing in the Canadian Rockies. Or if you’re feeling up to it, you can brave the frigid winter temperatures and sample some of the best skiing Canada has to offer.

Sonora Resort – Sonora Island, British Columbia

Located within British Columbia’s Discovery Islands, the Sonora Resort is easily accessible from Vancouver or Seattle, Washington. This five star luxury resort in the wilderness is a perfect romantic getaway, family vacation, or corporate retreat. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities like fishing, river rafting or kayaking, or take an eco-tour or tour of the nearby glaciers or even a trip to see grizzly bears. The resort offers spacious rooms, suites, and private villas along with all the amenities (including a spa, of course).

Four Seasons – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Located near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, the Four Seasons at Jackson Hole offers a combination of luxury accommodations with a rustic outdoor feel. Take your pick from guest rooms including suites and penthouses, some which overlook the Teton Village – a great spot for skiers as it’s known for having the largest vertical rise in America. If you visit in summertime, check out the National Elk Refuge, do some fly fishing, or whitewater rafting. You might want to take in the two and a half mile aerial tram at Teton Village during your stay, which offers beautiful views of the mountains. Five star accommodations and fine dining along with superb service makes this a great destination.

The 12 Best Backpacking Destinations in the World

International trips are often seen as luxurious and expensive, out of reach for most people except for once every few years. But this doesn’t have to be true! You can travel the world on shoestring budget if you’re willing to trade luxury for a few personal items and a backpack.

Backpacking can refer to those hiking and camping while carrying everything they need for the trail on their back. It can also refer to a low-cost form of travel, often staying in inexpensive accommodations like hostels, while carrying all necessary possessions in a backpack. Both are wonderful ways to see cities, as well as the natural world.

Of course, you can technically go anywhere if you’re backpacking, however there are cities and parts of the world that are particularly welcoming to travelers who are backpacking. To help you choose here to take your next adventure, we’ve put together this bucket list of some of the world’s best backpacking destinations…

Taman Negara, Malaysia

Taman Negara is Malaysia’s most-visited national park, strung with Amazonian rope bridges over the untamed wilderness. Your hiking journey starts by boat aboard the Kuala Tembling Jetty and leads you through hidden caves, elephant trails, fields of giant mushrooms, and lush jungle. Don’t make this just a weekend stop-over – plan to spend some time in this tropical rainforest.

Patagonia, Chile and Argentina

Panoramic views are what Patagonia (from the Chilean and Argentinian side) is all about. It truly is one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, only serious trekkers should attempt to traverse this multi-day obstacle-strewn landscape made up of frozen cliffs, glaciers, and azure lakes. You have to be in pretty good shape to hike here, and thorough planning is required, but the vivid, uncultivated landscape is worth the sore muscles.

Glacier National Park, Montana, United States

Up North in America’s Montana is Glacier National Park, which is a stunning park to backpack in, complete with a tent and your food for the duration of your trip. The park preserves more than one million acres of forest and boasts alpine meadows, clear blue lakes, and glacier-carved valleys between rugged peaks. Here, you can see aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, year-round, though springtime is optimal viewing time. There are 65 campgrounds with a total of 203 campsites, so there are a number of different routes you can take.

Porto to Algarve, Portugal

Portugal is a stunning coastal haven for backpackers. Most fly down and begin their trek at Porto, making your way leisurely to the Algarve, at the southernmost tip of Portugal on the border of Spain. The walk is fairly easy; in fact, you can take advantage of the stellar public transport system and stop along the coast for wine tours, gorgeous scenery, lively festivals, delicious seafood, and friendly locals.

Bali, Indonesia

If you’re traveling on a backpacker’s budget, but want to sunbathe, dine, drink, and explore like royalty, then a trip to Bali, Indonesia is within reach. Not only are the golden beaches stunning, the accommodations and food are super cheap. However, the laid back surfers, other backpackers, and jubilant monkeys you’ll have for company during your journey will be priceless.

Inca Trail, Peru

The Inca Trail has long been coveted as a prime destination for adventurous backpackers seeking the mysteries of Machu Picchu. However, this South American destination offers more for the explorer than simply the forgotten city. If you trek along the Peruvian coastline, you’ll find rich culture, secluded beaches, lively little towns with festivals, great spicy food, and friendly locals.

Bay Islands, Honduras

Bay Islands in Honduras is a cheap place to explore and lay down your weary head after a long day of trekking. It’s also home to stellar scuba diving in the island’s crystal clear waters that are filled to the brim with a colorful collection of marine life, such as vibrant schools of fish, stingray, and whales.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Backpacking amidst the beauty of Halong Bay is like stepping into a fairytale. You’ll be awestruck by the islands and islets that make up the landscape (over 1,600 in all) to form an extravagant seascape of limestone pillars, hidden caves, crevices, and blue lagoons.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Feel like a sultan in Cappadocia, Turkey’s uniquely gorgeous landscape of windblown rocks and hidden crevices. In this city the locals carve out their little homesteads on the side of cliffs and gutted boulders. This land of colorful painted churches is filled with people that are just as colorful and ready to offer a cozy place for tea and a pit stop along your journey. It’s popular “fairy chimneys” – cone shaped rock formations – alone make it one of our top picks!

Yosemite, United States

This park has some of the best overnight hikes in the country, located in America’s California Sierra Nevada mountains, with majestic peaks like El Capitan and Half Dome and treacherous canyons like Tenaya. You’ll be camping in tents and preparing your own meals outdoors here, so you’ll want to make sure you have the right gear. Be warned – Yosemite backpacking requires experience, and isn’t for beginners, though there are suitable day hikes such as the Mirror Lake Loop (easy) and the Four Mile Trail (strenuous, but beautiful). However, the backpacking trails promise gorgeous giant ancient sequoia trees and jaw-dropping views around every switchback to those who make the climb.

Santa Elena, Costa Rica

Howler monkeys will announce your arrival along the Central America backpacking trek of Santa Elena. The small and rustic Costa Rican town is made up of an environment that is almost as charming as the gracious locals who will take you for a salsa twirl, show you where to get the best seafood, find the most comfortable accommodations that are cheap, or walk among the trees via canopy tour.

Tasmania, Australia

Australia’s Tasmania was once a jail for British outlaws, which earned this island its unbridled reputation. You’ll believe it to be true when you witness the untouched beauty, preserved forests, sprawling vineyards, and wide open spaces that lead directly into the Southern Pacific Ocean. Stop along the way for a dip in the ocean, to discover the unique rock formations, and perhaps get a glimpse of one of the world’s rarest species, the Tasmanian devil, itself.

Incredible Historic Hotels In Florida

While Florida may initially seem like a basic vacation destination, there’s actually a lot more history and culture to the area than you’d think! Florida has been a travel magnet for tourists for generations because of its year-round warm temperatures, sandy beaches and beautiful hotels, which happen to be some of the most prestigious and historic in the United States. From Clearwater to Orlando to Sarasota to the Florida Keys, follow along as we roundup some of Florida’s most incredible historic hotels and landmarks.

10. Fontainebleau Miami Beach

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach continues to make history as one of the most famous hotels located in one of America’s most desirable locations. Situated on 20 acres in the heart of Millionaire’s Row, the Fountainbleau completed a stunning $1 billion makeover in 2008 that expanded total guestrooms to 1,504 and reconfirmed its long-time standing as one of the nation’s most luxurious resorts. It originally opened in 1954 with 554 rooms, making it the largest hotel in Miami Beach. Designed by noted architect Morris Lapidus, the Fontainebleau in 2012 was named the “Top Building in Florida” by the American Institute of Architects for its distinctive curved façade facing the Atlantic Ocean. The original hotel tower featured a 17,000-square-foot lobby with bowtie marble floor and the famous two-story “staircase to nowhere.” The elevated, 6,500-square-foot pool was the setting for a memorable scene in the James Bond classic, “Goldfinger.” Today’s Fountainbleau features a 40,000-square-foot spa.

9. Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

The Vinoy has stood watch over Tampa Bay since it opened with great fanfare on New Year’s Eve 1925 and after a $93 million restoration in 1992, it ranks among Florida’s most luxurious resorts. The salmon-colored, Mediterranean Revival building hosted everyone from presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover to Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmy Stewart and Babe Ruth during its heyday. It was converted into a training center for the U.S. Army Air Corps and military cooks during WW II. The hotel reopened in 1944, but eventually fell out of favor to the point that it became a boarding house charging just $7 per night. It closed in 1974 but was saved from the wrecking ball by St. Petersburg residents in 1984 due to its cherished place in the city’s history. Today, the 361-room resort boasts a 74-slip marina, golf course, 12 tennis courts and a 5,000-square-foot fitness center.

8. The Breakers Palm Beach

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, The Breakers stands as a testament to the resilience of great places in beautiful locations. Originally constructed as the Palm Beach Inn in 1896 by Henry Morrison Flagler, the hotel burned down in 1903, rebuilt in 1904 and burned down again in 1925. After $7 million in construction, The Breakers opened in 1926 and today spans 140 acres along Palm Beach. The 540-room, Italian Renaissance-style resort was inspired by Italian villas of the 1400s and features a majestic, 1,040-foot main drive leading to the Florentine Fountain patterned after the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The main lobby’s inspiration was the Great Hall of the Palazzo Carega (circa 1560) in Genoa. Today, it’s better than ever with two golf courses, four swimming pools, eight restaurants, a half-mile of private beach, 20,000-square-foot spa, 11 onsite boutiques and new 6,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor oceanfront fitness center.

7. Loews Don Cesar

The Loews Don Cesar has been a Gulf Coast icon since it opened in 1928. The landmark pink castle on St. Pete Beach showcases Mediterranean and Moorish architecture with balconies and terraces lining the 10-story masterpiece. Named for Don Ce-Sar in Vincent Wallace’s opera Maritana, it has been the playground for the famous including Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In 1942, it was purchased by the U.S. Army to serve as a sub-base hospital and convalescent center for airmen returning from WW II. It didn’t reopen as a hotel until 1973, when it regained its status among Florida’s elite resort hotels. Its unique design has served as the backdrop of two notable movies—“Once Upon a Time in America” (Robert De Niro and James Woods) and “Forever Mine” (Ray Liotta, Ralph Fiennes). Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the 277-room hotel recently completed an extensive renovation.

6. National Hotel Miami Beach

The South Beach Art Deco Historic District in Miami is among the coolest collections of American architecture around and nowhere is it better displayed than the National Hotel Miami Beach. Opened in 1939, the National was designed by Roy France, one of Art Deco’s most revered architects. New owners and management did an extensive restoration in 1997 of the hotel that has 116 rooms in its iconic, 14-story tower as well as 36 luxury cabanas and suites. Today, original furnishings can be seen throughout the property including terrazzo flooring in the Martini Room cigar bar, the oak bar that anchors the Blues Bar and the Oval Ballroom’s original, restored carpeting and chandelier. Polished chrome light fixtures and dark wood furnishings also are original. During the restoration, a narrow, 205-foot-long, infinity-edge pool was created to mimic Art Deco’s streamlined style. The ultra-hip, palm-lined pool is Miami Beach’s longest.

5. Casa Monica

As the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the U.S., it’s natural to assume St. Augustine is home to some really old hotels like the Casa Monica. The circa 1888 hotel was purchased shortly after it opened by Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler who changed its named to Cordova and built a bridge in 1902 to connect it to another hotel nearby, the Alcazar. It officially closed in 1932 after Flagler abandoned the complex during the stock market crash, and it became the St. John’s County Courthouse in 1968. It was restored and reopened as a 138-room hotel in 1999. Today, the Moorish Revival-style hotel showcases hand-painted Italian tile, Spanish tapestries and hand-painted gold-leafed archways in the lobby. Rooms are elegantly appointed with Spanish-style furnishings, mahogany tables and four-poster, wrought-iron beds. In 2001, the king and queen of Spain visited what has become one of Florida’s most luxurious boutique hotels.

4. Gasparilla Inn & Club

The tip of Boca Grande Island has long been a special place with its deep water and reputation as one of the best tarpon fishing spots in the world. The Gasparilla Inn & Club opened in 1913, largely as the result of phosphate rock being discovered nearby and subsequently mined for use in detergents and other products. Built originally to appeal to visiting business barons and wealthy Northerners seeking a winter escape, the Inn has been a favorite over the years for celebrities and business tycoons alike including J.P. Morgan, Henry DuPont, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Katharine Hepburn and George H.W. Bush. Through careful stewardship, Gasparilla remains one of the best examples of old Florida luxury and style. The original pillared Inn has 63 guestrooms, while surrounding cottages offer 74 more. Sandy, private beaches, 18-hole golf course and 250-slip marina keep new generations coming back to this Florida classic.

3. Le Meridien Tampa

The Le Meridien Tampa is relatively new, having just opened in 2014, but the former Federal courthouse that houses it dates back to 1905. More than $27 million was required to renovate this Greek Revival-style hall of justice into a luxurious hotel in downtown Tampa. The courthouse was built to last, and remnants of its former life are prevalent throughout the hotel. A former witness box now serves as a host stand at its restaurant, while a witness selection desk has been repurposed as a business center. Former courtrooms are now ballrooms or meeting rooms with witty names like the Verdict Boardroom and Sidebar One. What’s special about this place is how the new hotel tastefully blends old with new, like modern chandeliers illuminating traditional marble floors and granite columns. Rooms are decidedly modern with 42” flat-screen TVs, contemporary furniture and carpet and WiFi.

2. Terrace Hotel

Air conditioning and railroads had much to do with the creation and enduring popularity of the Terrace Hotel. The railroad boom of the late 19th century had 25 trains stopping daily at the Lakeland depot by the 1890s, bringing increasing numbers of visitors from the Northeast U.S. The Terrace Hotel opened in 1924 with the big new innovation—air conditioning—which made it popular with A-list guests such as Henry Ford, Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Sinatra. The 10-story landmark was Lakeland’s first high-rise structure and featured breathtaking crystal chandeliers imported from Italy, floor-to-ceiling arched windows and patterned Cyprus ceilings in the lobby. After a long run of popularity, it faded from the limelight and eventually became a flop house for transients before closing in 1986. The 73-room hotel was restored and reopened in 1998 as the anchor of Lakeland’s revitalized downtown historic district.

1. Marquesa Hotel

The Marquesa Hotel in the heart of Key West’s historic district and is comprised of four Victorian-style homes built in 1884. Together, the pastel-colored houses frame two pools and an interior garden so lush with tropical plants and rock waterfalls that guests will be tempted to simply kick back and relax all day. Those who do venture out will find all the attractions on Duval Street only one block away. The Gulf of Mexico is just four blocks. The luxury boutique hotel features decadently decorated rooms with antiques, plush bedding and marble baths. It has been included on “best hotels” lists from the likes of U.S. News & World Report and Travel & Leisure, while Zagat named its fine-dining, 50-seat Café Marquesa Key West’s top restaurant. The owners emphasize comfort and quiet for their guests, and children have to be at least 14 years old to stay there.