When the mountains call, you listen. Our favorite mountain getaways flex the best of both worlds: a thriving contemporary community painted against a stunning backdrop of peaks, wide open sky and crisp alpine air. Mountain living has a certain poetic appeal that feels like an escape from the ordinary and we’re here for it, any month, any season.
Rocky Mountains – Denver, CO
Denver has worn many hats from its Gold Rush days to the diverse metropolis it is today – a haven for those who live and breathe the outdoors, appreciate an expertly pulled craft beer or want to hone their artistic craft. Make it your urban home base but spend a day at Rocky Mountain National Park where wildlife flourishes across the seasons like its alpine natives, Bighorn Sheep and roosting White-Tailed Ptarmigan. It’s also a sprawling paradise for rock climbers, hikers and campers.
- The Denver Arts Festival rejoices in all things fine arts and crafts with Colorado artists taking center stage. Every medium has its admirer and maker here – mixed media, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, ceramic, wood and more. Live music, kid art zones and flowing beer and wine is bound to keep everyone in good spirits.
Denver is one of the lucky six cities where the U.S. Mint makes their coins and one of two facilities that offers free public tours for a peek behind the curtain. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the Denver Mint is one of the top coin producers in the world. That’ll put some change in your pocket.
Where to stay: Kimpton Born Hotel in LoDo
Green Mountains – Manchester, VT
Fun fact: The majestic range was dubbed before the state’s nickname. Now they share a moniker that references the copious trees that stubbornly peek out through the winter powder. If you’re venturing into the mountains themselves, there’s nearly a 1,000 trails to choose from varying by season. You’ll have your pick of campgrounds, fishing, water and winter sports activities galore .
- Bluegrass, roots and classic all-Americana music has found its home with the Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots Festival, a lively four-day fête that’s perfect for the whole family. Vermont artisans sell their wares and local eateries cook up their very best to keep festival goers satiated. Previous line-ups have featured the acoustic sounds of the Yonder Mountain String Band, Mandolin Orange, Sam Bush and more.
- February/March is prime maple season where Vermont sugar makers’ hard work tapping thousands of trees results in the state’s signature syrup and its many iterations from maple candy to maple pumpkin butter. The Sugar Shack is a 10-minute drive from Manchester where you can sample the four grades of syrup they carry and buy a pint for yourself and one for a friend. Also visit Vermont Maple to find out when their next Maple Open House Weekend will be held where you can learn from the expert sugar makers themselves.
Where to stay: Kimpton Taconic Hotel in historic Manchester Village
Wasatch Mountains – Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City is flanked by so many mountains, we can’t pick just one. World class ski resorts from Park City to Snowbird have put this mountain state on the map and the Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere (but surprisingly shallow at 35 feet). Many structures from its legendary 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are still in use so you can skate, luge and ski with the best of them.
- Teetotaling is respected here as is a solid pint of Utah brewed beer. The Salt Lake City Brewery Mobile Pass unlocks credit to 14 breweries and you can choose between 1-day, 3-days and 90-days if you’re a frequent visitor.
- The Salt Lake City International Tattoo Convention is a celebration of the history, techniques and styles that have come to life via body art. To answer the question on everyone’s mind, yes, you can get a tattoo here – it’s the main draw!
- For outdoor music lovers, the Twilight Concert Series has been a mainstay for three decades featuring artists and genres of all stripes. Performers at Pioneer Park have included Cat Power, The Roots, Father John Misty and Fitz and the Tantrums.
Where to stay: Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City in Downtown
Northern Rocky Mountains – Bozeman, MT
It’s official: Bozeman is a boom town and is one of the fastest growing micropolitan cities. That means its population is under 50,000 but that gap is closing quickly as urban city dwellers have found new homes closer to nature. The city’s proximity to Yellowstone National Park and top-notch ski resorts make it a proverbial playground for those who need big skies and mountain air to thrive.
- Iceland and Japan may be known for its hot springs but hot springs are equally prolific in the state of Montana. The aptly named Bozeman Hot Springs are open year-round and features a dozen indoor and outdoor mineral pools to soak and soothe your worries away.
- Ziplining, white water rafting, floating, horseback riding and fly fishing are cornerstones of Montana Whitewater. Family owned since the early 90s, the founder is still an active instructor who touts the camaraderie built by sharing in these heart pumping activities.
Where to stay: Kimpton Armory Hotel in Downtown
Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains – Asheville, NC
Asheville has given us the siren songs of Nina Simone, Olympic gold medalists and pioneering female physicians including Dorothy Anderson who brought cystic fibrosis to the world’s attention. The city’s eclectic personality ranges from the architectural arts to its Appalachian roots, bringing together the modern, the bohemian and every flavor in between.
- Rent a convertible to wind down Blue Ridge Parkway for a breathtakingly scenic drive. If you make it all 469 miles, you’ll spot the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains with art centers, hiking trails and sweeping vistas dotted along the way.
- Spend a day at the River Arts District where art is anything but stationary. Pick your medium of choice and drop by 200+ active studios and galleries. You can even try your hand at various workshops to bring home graceful DIY stacking rings and landscape oil paintings.
- Speaking of art, foraging is nearly a lost one. No Taste Like Home invites visitors to go back to basics with knowledgeable guides who identify the rich varieties of wild edible fruits, nuts, mushrooms and plants throughout Asheville’s woods, meadows and fields. The found treasures are then transformed into light appetizers and tastings prepared by their local restaurant partners.
Where to stay: Kimpton Arras Hotel in Downtown