Escape big cities and urban life for a retreat to America’s best mountain towns. From the East Coast’s Poconos in Pennsylvania to the Western mining towns of Telluride, Colorado and Park City, Utah, there’s an adventure-ready destination made for your next vacation. So pack your bags and book a trip to enjoy the best mountain getaways in the USA.
8 Cool Mountain Getaways in the U.S.
Family-friendly Resort with Huge Indoor Waterpark
Once the “Honeymoon Capital of America,” Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains are today an outdoor mecca catering to skiers, hikers, and boaters that’s just two hours from New York City. With over 65,000 acres of outdoor space to explore, you can go rock climbing, snow tubing, skiing, horseback riding, ice skating, hiking at the Delaware Water Gap, or simply launch a boat on Lake Wallenpaupack.
And when it comes to where to stay, the best basecamp for families is Great Wolf Lodge. This massive resort is home to an indoor waterpark that’s a balmy 84 degrees inside all year long. Admission included with your stay, and you can ski the slopes of nearby Shawnee ski resort by day before sliding down waterslides at night.
The resort also offers free activities like Story Time and Yoga Tails in the lobby. Bowling, mini-golf, a ropes course, and even a Build-a-Bear workshop are available for an additional cost. Beyond the lodge, explore the Poconos by whitewater rafting or hiking around Big Pocono State Park.
Great Wolf Lodge - Poconos Pa
Majestic Mountainside Property with Modern Rooms in Utah
Explore a classic ski town with historic mining charm in Park City, Utah. Just 30 minutes from the state capital of Salt Lake City, this mountain mecca is a year-round star for outdoor adventure. When the snow falls, folks fly to Park City Mountain, North America’s largest ski resort, and when the summer sun shines, hiking and mountain biking reign supreme in the Wasatch Mountains.
For a slopeside stay with easy ski resort access, hang your hat at Hyatt Centric. This modern property offers ski-in, ski-out access to Park City Mountain’s slopes and a place to stash your skis at day’s end. Or rent skis or a snowboard without leaving the hotel at Aloha Ski & Snowboard.
Enjoy a cozy breakfast, lunch, or dinner around the fireplace at Escala Provisions Company Restaurant & Bar, or grab and go at The Market—an express shop in the lobby. Residences range from one bedroom to four so you can travel with your sweetie or bring along a crowd.
Take a free shuttle from the Hyatt Centric to town to explore historic mining buildings turned boutique shops, bars, and restaurants. Or book an excursion through the hotel’s in-house activities company, Wasatch Adventure Guides, to explore the mountains with a local expert.
Hyatt Centric Park City
Restored Gold Rush Hotel in the Charming Sierra Foothills
Just an hour from California’s capital of Sacramento, find the Sierra Nevada Foothills gem of Grass Valley. As the Gold Rush took off, this settlement became an ore mecca and one of California’s richest mining areas. Today its historic charm remains, but Grass Valley has grown into a vibrant town with boutique shopping, street fairs, excellent cuisine, and plenty of outdoor adventure. Explore the old gold mine landmarks or swim, cycle, and hike in the hills surrounding town.
When you’re ready to rest and recharge, head to the Holbrooke Hotel. Located right on Grass Valley’s Main Street, the Holbrooke played host to many U.S. presidents and famous figures as one of California’s oldest operating hotels. But a recent mega renovation transformed it into a luxurious property that maintains its old-school charm while adding a touch of class. Grab a barstool and a beer at the Golden Gate Saloon, an old prospector haunt, or head downstairs for craft cocktails and bites near Prohibition-era tunnels at The Iron Door.
A Charming European Retreat in Walkable Vail Village
If a buzzing pedestrian plaza and easy access to the mountains matter to you, Vail is an epic year-round destination. Located in the Colorado Rockies, just 100 miles west of Denver, Vail is known for its lengthy pedestrian-only streets, charming restaurants, boutique shopping, and epic mountain terrain.
Come in winter to ski the famed Back Bowls in the Gore Mountains, or opt for snow tubing, a sleigh ride, or even nighttime ski biking. Summers are far quieter in Vail, but endless adventure awaits on the mountain coaster, zipline, and nearby hiking and biking routes. Golden leaves blanket the area’s aspen trees in fall, and a massive Oktoberfest with German beer and lederhosen aplenty draws the party crowds.
Stay in the heart of the action in Vail’s pedestrian plaza at Sonnenalp Hotel. This luxury lodge located at the base of Vail Mountain offers views of Gore Creek and exudes European style and charm. Start your day with an authentic European breakfast buffet on Ludwig’s glass-enclosed terrace overlooking Gore Creek, then return for Western vibes and burgers at Bully Ranch for dinner. Unwind at the rejuvenating Sonnenalp Spa where relaxing massages and facials pair with riverside pools and hot tubs.
Luxe Mountain Retreat Near Lake Tahoe
Experience a former logging hub-turned-mountain community of Truckee, California. This independent, walkable town boasts restaurants, pubs, and shops aplenty and is the gateway to Lake Tahoe’s sparkling blue North Shore. It’s just 12 miles from the lake’s shore and set along the banks of the Truckee River, a popular destination for summer river floating. Truckee is a four-season destination with endless recreation in its mountains ranging from horseback riding to mountain biking.
If skiing is more your scene, stay close to the action at The Ritz-Carlton. This luxe resort is at Northstar Ski Resort and is the ultimate pampering retreat. Unwind with laps in the mountainside pool, or get cozy in a plush suite on the Club Level with a personal concierge.
If bringing littles along, enjoy kid-friendly programming that keeps them entertained when grownups need a break. When you’re ready to explore, access the shops and restaurants of the Village at Northstar California from an intermountain gondola.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
Mountain Retreat on the Slopes of Snow King Resort
The idyllic wild west town of Jackson should be on every mountain town lover’s bucket list. This rugged town is a recreational playground thanks to its mighty peaks and two nearby national parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Hiking and biking are popular summer pursuits while winter brings cross-country skiers looking for a sweat session.
The town of Jackson also boasts a thriving art and culture scene as well as incredible restaurants serving every type of cuisine. Its legendary Million Dollar Cowboy Bar downtown is the place for late-night shenanigans and is known for its saddle seats.
But when it comes to a good night’s rest, stay beyond the hustle and bustle of shops and restaurants at Snow King. This updated hotel is right on the slopes of Jackson’s “Town Hill,” Snow King Mountain, a small but popular ski resort with breathtaking views of the Teton Mountains. Here lines are rare and crowds are nonexistent. Beyond the skiing, Snow King offers lift-accessed tubing, Wyoming’s only alpine coaster, and a treetop adventure park.
Resort rooms were recently given a facelift that adds style, and the property’s year-round pool and hot tub look out onto the mountains. When hunger strikes, enjoy fresh American fare at Haydens Post, a hip eatery with a rustic setting and outdoor patio.
Snow King Resort Hotel and Grand View Condos
Boutique Beauty in Old Victorian Mining Town
Get away from it all—really away from it all—in Telluride, a remote Victorian mining town tucked in a box canyon surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks. There are no stoplights or chain restaurants in town, and the walkable historic district is home to landmarks like the 100-plus-year-old Sheridan Opera House and restored Victorian homes.
Winter visitors come for the skiing and to dine at Alpino Vino—the highest restaurant in North America at 11,996 feet. Summer is high season when popular music events like the Telluride Jazz Fest and Telluride Bluegrass Fest come to town. Hardy explorers also visit Telluride in summer to climb its mighty peaks—called 14ers.
Stay on the edge of downtown at The Hotel Telluride and easily walk anywhere in the city’s 12-by-eight block wide radius. This high-end hotel offers easy access to downtown’s dining, art galleries, and Telluride Ski Resort with mountain views from its contemporary rooms. The hotel’s outdoor hot tub is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration. If you need more adventure, borrow a bike to ride on the in-town trails, or catch the free gondola to ski and take in the views of the jagged San Juan peaks.