Looking for a mountain getaway, but need some travel inspiration to get you started? Whether you’re looking to conquer epic ski slopes or hike through a variety of terrains, we’ve compiled a list of five incredible places to vacation in the mountains that are sure to satisfy your fresh air cravings any time of year.
While Smoky Mountain retreats, Gatlinburg mountain getaways, and vacations in the mountains of Colorado are always safe, these five trip ideas will get you out of your vacation comfort zone. These mountain getaway spots are all over the world, bursting with natural beauty, and they are sure to leave you breathless (not just because of the altitude). Click on each location below to find the perfect cabin rental, ski chalet, or ski-in/ski-out condo to make your mountain retreat complete.
Teton Village, Wyoming surrounds the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and beckons to outdoor-enthusiasts and adventurers all year long. It is a convenient 12-mile drive from nearby Jackson, and the 100-foot tall clock tower that sits in the heart of the village makes this vacation spot easily identifiable for those headed to the hills. The Swiss-style Teton Village, nicknamed “the Vil,” gives visitors the feeling of being transported to Europe, and bursts with things to do. From après-ski bars to cozy coffee shops, live music and more, the Vil has everything you’ll need during your mountain getaway in Wyoming.
During the wintertime, both beginner and expert skiers gravitate to this mountain getaway destination for its dramatic slopes and the largest vertical rise in America at 4,139 feet. Shush down Rendezvous and Apres Vous Mountains on skis and let your lungs fill with fresh mountain air. Warm up with a drink at the Mangy Moose Restaurant and Saloon with its funky decor, or sit by the fireplace at your Teton Village rental. Ditch the downhill slopes and change things up on your second day by taking advantage of 17 kilometers of groomed cross country ski track and snowshoeing trails at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. After a couple days of outdoor action, give your legs a rest and indulge yourself with a luxurious spa treatment at Sena Spa at the Teton Club.
The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram climbs from the base of Teton Village to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain, and is an ideal activity to do once the snow has melted. There are numerous hiking trails that lead down the mountain, or vacationers looking for an adrenaline rush can choose to paraglide to the bottom. Other activities for a warm weather mountain retreat include horseback riding, mountain biking, and taking a wildlife tour with Wild Things of Wyoming.
Located just north of Vancouver in British Columbia, Whistler has been consistently voted a top ski destination in North America and it attracts more than two million travelers each year. Whatever season you choose to visit during, you’ll always be met with unspoiled wilderness, wide open spaces, and endless opportunities for adventure. For your Whistler mountain getaway, choose from cozy cabin rentals with convenient access to the slopes or pick from a variety of places in the heart of this resort town to be near the action.
Colder months bring copious amounts of snow, which create the perfect setting for alpine skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities. Expert skiers and adventure-seekers will want to try a heli-skiing experience with Coast Range Heli Adventures. This tour company takes small groups out through back-country powder for skiing adventures unlike any other. If you’re visiting during the low season when the weather is warmer, try heli-biking, heli-fishing, or even hold a heli-wedding. Give your legs a rest from skiing one day and explore the Whistler Sliding Centre. Time your trip to catch a seasonal competition here or hop into a 4-person bobsled and try out the sport for yourself.
Even if there’s no snow on the ground, Whistler has plenty of activities to choose from that will make your mountain getaway unforgettable. Walk around the pedestrian-only village and stroll along the variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Grab a map and ride the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola for easy access to alpine hiking trails on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Once home to the Olympics, Whistler’s Olympic Park also has activities to enjoy, even in the summer.
While many first think of skiing and snowboarding when mountain getaways are mentioned, snow isn’t necessary to make Queenstown a heavenly and hilly retreat. While the area experiences four distinct seasons, most activities are available year-round due to the relatively mild climate. When visiting, keep in mind that summertime falls at the beginning of the year during January and February when temperatures are at their hottest and typically top out around 85-degrees Fahrenheit. Winter takes place from June through August. Expect cooler temperatures and snow-capped mountains that transform Queenstown into a skier’s paradise during this time of year.
Visit during the summer months to take advantage of long, sunny days. The sun typically rises at 5 a.m. and doesn’t set until 10 p.m., so you can fit in lots of activities outdoors. Reach the “Basket of Dreams” at the peak of Queenstown Hill after a challenging 1-2 hour hike. You won’t be disappointed by the breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, and other mountains from the top. Another great hiking spot is Ben Lomond Walkway, or let Ultimate Hikes take you on a multi-day adventure through rainforests, remote alpine passes, and past towering mountain peaks. With such a stunning backdrop, Queenstown is also the place to let go of your inhibitions and try something new like hang gliding or bungee jumping. SkyTrek Tandem Hang Gliding & Paragliding offer the excitement of a new experience high above ground with the comfort of an expert along with you.
Queenstown is at its busiest during the winter season when mountains like Coronet Peak and The Remarkables Ski Area open up for snow sports. At both ski resorts you’ll find trails and terrain for every level of skiers, and the stunning slopes will surely make your Queenstown mountain getaway a memorable one. Wintertime tours with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopter will leave you speechless. Although much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed here, you don’t have to be a Hobbit to visit this city and experience its surreal beauty any time of year.
One of Europe’s oldest ski areas, Chamonix is the perfect place to escape to for a luxury mountain getaway in France. Rent a chalet here at the base of Mont-Blanc to make your retreat to the French Alps extra special. You’ll find endless opportunities to enjoy nature from ski adventures to cable car rides while on your mountain retreat. Chamonix is also not from from other European destinations, which makes side trips to parts of France, Switzerland, and Italy possible.
Chamonix played host to the first Winter Olympic in 1924 and has been regaling visitors with historic mountain charm ever since. Grab your skis and hit the slopes at Mont-Blanc, Western Europe’s tallest mountain. The mountains of Aiguille du Midi and Les Grands Motets tower nearby and hold their own as fantastic ski areas as well. Confident skiers can enjoy a range of snow activities, including guided off-piste skiing and heli-skiing, with Chamonix Sport Adventure, while beginners might want to stick to lessons at the Tinderbox Ski School.
Cable cars take visitors up the mountain year-round for breathtaking panoramic views of the scenic landscape. The Telecabine Panoramique Mont-Blanc takes visitors from the Aguille du Midi over the valley to Helbronner point in Italy and has spectacular photo ops. If you prefer to be on land rather than in the air, spend a day hiking Glacier des Bossons. The hike itself is long (8-9 hours), but you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views and amazing scenery. At the end of the day, enjoy great cheeses and fresh bread from Le Refuge Payot in the comfort of your mountain retreat or devour a good ole fashioned burger at Poco Loco Chamonix. When you return home from your vacation in Chamonix, both your appetite for fresh mountain air and exquisite French foods will be sated.
Whether you’re a sporting enthusiast, love being pampered, or simply have a soft spot for quintessential New England charm, Stowe, Vermont has something for everyone. Stowe boasts big-time ski resorts during the winter, colorful foliage during autumn, and lots of quaint covered bridges and outdoor recreation that make it a natural choice for a classic mountain getaway. Fly into Montpelier or Burlington and then make the short drive to your picture-perfect Stowe cabin rental. With your mountain retreat secured, you’ll have easy access to awesome local restaurants like Cafe on Main and Bistro at Ten Acres and a wealth of things to do in the surrounding mountains.
Widely known as a fantastic ski destination, Stowe offers lifts and trails for skiers and snowboarders of every level. Bundle up and take the chairlift to the summit of Mount Mansfield or Spruce Peak. Ski or snowboard down the hill before ending at the mountain lodge for après-ski drinks and food. Both mountains are part of Stowe Mountain Resort and have family-friendly activities, so everyone can have fun on a Vermont mountain getaway. If the weather’s not cooperating, check out the Vermont Ski Museum or take a detour to the Ben & Jerry Factory for a guided tour and some ice cream samples.
Visit during March when the days are longer and warmer to participate in the maple sugaring process at the Trapp Family Lodge. The Maple Sugar Tour is a 1-mile hike around the property and visitors can help collect buckets of sap while learning about the process. At the end, everyone can enjoy a tasty maple treat. Other activities worth saving for warm weather include golfing at the Stowe Country Club, hiking the trails of Smuggler’s Notch State Park, and strolling along the Stowe Recreation Path. Stowe is an all-season destination, so you can getaway to the mountains in Vermont any time of year.