Endless vistas. Outdoor entertainment. Fresh mountain air. There’s nothing quite like the best mountain resorts in the U.S. to restore the body and soul. And while many people immediately think of fresh powder and downhill skiing, America’s top mountain resorts have plenty to offer in the warmer months, too, especially for families.
Mountain resorts are always prepared for inclement weather so they typically have both indoor and outdoor activities and dining options for the whole family. Most offer rentals or lessons in biking, tennis, fly fishing, horseback riding, and other mountain activities as well.
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Whether your family likes to hike, bike, or fish, or your vibe is more pool, tennis, and golf, mountain resorts offer plenty to do for those who want to take advantage of the sunshine and warmer temperatures. And if you’re keen to just sit back and enjoy the views, that works too! Put these mountain resorts at the top of your family vacation ideas wish list.
1. Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Teton Village, Wyoming
The Tetons are some of the most dramatic mountains in the U.S., and the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole has sweeping mountain views plus all the top-notch services and amenities the resort chain is known for. Guest rooms boast fireplaces and balconies, suites offer living areas and ensuite master baths, and for larger families looking for a more private vacation there’s an option to rent an entire home on property. In-room dining is always an option, but the property has a poolside cafe, pub, steakhouse, and pan-Asian restaurant, so if you certainly won’t go hungry.
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In the summer months, this mountain resort offers fly-fishing excursions with expert guides who’ll show you how to cast the perfect line along the Snake River. You can also take advantage of the resort’s wildlife safaris or full-day excursions to Yellowstone National Park. And when the sun sets, make your way to Grand Teton National Park for an evening of stargazing with the resort astronomer. Of course, there’s year-round access to the aerial tram and on-property spa, fitness center, and heated pool, too.
2. Massanutten Resort
Open year round and set against the backdrop of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s something for everyone in the family at the sprawling 6,000-acre Massanutten Resort. Accommodation options range from guest rooms and condos to townhomes and villas, making it an ideal spot for large families or reunions. A resort shuttle runs throughout the day and evening, so that everyone can be on their own timeline and you can leave your car behind.
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Hiking, golf, and mountain biking are popular outdoor pastimes here during the summer. A short drive from the resort to the top of the mountain delivers valley views that will leave you breathless. And an onsite water park boasting indoor and outdoor slides and pools is a big draw. Families can stick together or sign up for seemingly infinite activities such as terrarium building, on-site escape and e-gaming rooms, water aerobics, and an Outdoor Adventure Camp, to name a few.
3. The Inn on Biltmore Estate
Asheville, North Carolina
Summer at The Inn on Biltmore Estate is like nowhere else in the U.S. One of three lodging options on the Biltmore Estate, the historic inn is set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has 8,000 acres of land to explore. A variety of guest rooms and suites offer a range of options for your accommodations, and each evokes the Vanderbilt history with monogrammed pillows and elegant decor. The inn also has a number of dining options including a full restaurant, gastropub, and poolside cafe with a kids menu.
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Tour the nearby Biltmore House to soak up all the gilded age grandeur. If you’re keen to be outdoors, there are naturalist tours, river float trips, Land Rover tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, fishing, and even marksmanship opportunities in addition to seemingly endless hiking and biking options. The Pisgah Playground and Antler Hill Barnyard and Farm will keep the little ones busy.
4. The Whiteface Lodge
Lake Placid, New York
Located close to the shores of Lake Placid, the rustic and cozy Whiteface Lodge is a classic Adirondack timber lodge with a decidedly upscale flair. With amenities like balconies, fireplaces, jet tubs, and master bathrooms, families of any size will find comfort and space at this this suites-only mountain resort.
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In summer, kids love the nightly campfires where they can make classic s’mores. There’s also swimming, fishing, tennis, and basketball. The resort’s Canoe Club offers canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and paddle boats included in your stay; pontoon boats can be reserved with a certified driver for an additional fee. A complimentary kids camp, Kanu Kamp, gives the little ones an opportunity to learn and explore with trained counselors, and the resort also offers babysitting referrals for on-site care in the evening. When it’s time to come out of the sun, head to the bowling alley or onsite movie theater for guests only where movies are shown three times a day.
5. The Ahwahnee
Yosemite Valley, California
Often called the “crown jewel of national park lodges,” The Ahwahnee was built in the 1920s and is a prime example of the classic “Parkitecture” that defines America’s most iconic national park lodges. Situated on the east end of Yosemite Valley, the hotel’s grounds offer glimpses of famed natural wonders like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point. Staying at The Ahwahnee is an experience; you’re there as much for the historic nature of the lodge as you are for nature itself.
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Well-appointed and elegant rooms exist in every category, and your family will not be disappointed with a cottage king or a suite (just note that reservations can and should be made well in advance, up to 366 days). Standard hotel rooms, suites, junior suites, and cottages are available for groups and families of all sizes. A shuttle bus connects the lodge to Yosemite’s many natural attractions. While you will not find many of the trappings of a typical resort (pool, tennis, golf), the national park is your playground with hiking, biking, fishing, waterfall viewing, and picnicking options.
6. Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center
With nine outdoor hot tubs and two heated pools, you’ll have no trouble relaxing at Beaver Run Resort. Located between downtown and the base of the mountain, the resort has a wide range of lodging options from standard guest rooms and suites to one- to four-bedroom condos. There’s even an Imperial Suite that sleeps 12.
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Year-round activities will keep you busy. Hiking, whitewater rafting, boating, fishing, horseback riding, biking, and golf take center stage during the summer; skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, ice fishing, sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, and dog sledding are winter favorites. And, with five restaurants and two bars on property and a free shuttle to downtown’s variety of dining choices, even the pickiest eater will be satisfied at Beaver Run.
7. Trapp Family Lodge
The Austria-inspired, European-style Trapp Family Lodge wows families with its mountain views, farm-to-table dining, onsite brewery, and sprawling 2,500-acre grounds. Standard guest rooms, suites, a guest house, and even a 3,000-square-foot villa give you many options for how you want to stay. And the dining room, bierhall, kaffeehaus, and lounge allow your family to choose just how “sit down” you’d like your meals to be.
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In the warmer months, you can do everything from high-speed mountain biking to bird watching, and there’s a von Trapp family history tour that tells the story of the home-turned-lodge and how the von Trapps fled Austria for the United States. Your family can stay active using the disc golf course on property or relax taking a yoga class or enjoying the setting from a horse-drawn carriage. In the winter, come for the resort’s extensive network of groomed cross country skiing trails (from beginner to advanced); lessons are available for those new to the sport.
8. Amara Resort and Spa
Stay on the edge of Oak Creek Canyon at Amara Resort and Spa, located just a few minutes from uptown Sedona and its stunning red-rock scenery. Each of the 100 guest rooms and suites honors the region’s Native American heritage, and some offer views of the famous rocks. Salt Rock Southwest Kitchen on property offers “valley to table” local fare in a casual setting and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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Book private hiking excursions or a Jeep tour through the red rocks, or borrow one of the complimentary bikes to explore the town and nearby nature. World class golfing and on-site yoga would make for a full day of experiencing the surrounding rock formations from differing perspectives. With various packages, you can bundle your stay with dining and activity options.
9. Sun Valley Lodge
Sun Valley, Idaho
There’s always something to do at Idaho’s Sun Valley Lodge. Summer concerts and performances bring locals and visitors together for warm evening cultural events outdoors, and bowling and movies are on tap for indoor fun. Golf, tennis, pickleball, biking, hiking, sport shooting, fly fishing, horseback riding, and outdoor fitness classes are also on tap when the days are long and the weather is pleasant at this mountain resort. A year-round ice rink offers lessons, free skate, and performances. Winter guests will find some of the best nordic skiing and snowshoeing in America along with easily accessible downhill skiing.
If you’re itching to leave the property, the nearby town of Ketchum is also delightful and full of delicious cafes and restaurants and unique boutiques. With condos, townhouses, an inn, cottages, and lodge on site, there are accommodations to suit any family size and range of budgets. And the resort’s 18 restaurants mean your family will have plenty of options, not least of which is the delightful Chocolate Foundry.
10. Edgewood Tahoe Resort
Situated between the awe-inspiring mountains and sandy shores of South Lake Tahoe, Edgewood Tahoe has everything a family could want in a mountain resort. You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, or MasterCraft boats to explore the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe on your own, or take advantage of kayak tours from the hotel. On Tuesdays, there are movie nights on the lawn; on Fridays, you can enjoy a two-hour cooking class.
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Throughout the summer, the hotel offers a wide variety of experiences such as the Archery Clinic, evening Star Tour, Short Game Golf Clinic, and Kids Beach Obstacle Course. All year long, guests can take advantage of yoga classes, s’more kits, and lawn games. With 154 rooms and suites, your family has options from standard guest rooms to 1,500-square-foot suites. A coffee shop, gastro pub, restaurant, and bar provide multiple options for dining with magnificent views.