8 Family-Friendly Mountain Resorts in the U.S. for Summer Fun

Whether you’re looking for hiking trails or a place to relax with the kids, these mountain resorts belong at the top of your list.
Whiteface Lodge is tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid (Photo: Whiteface Lodge)
Whiteface Lodge is tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid (Photo: Whiteface Lodge)

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.

The Best Mountain Resorts in the U.S. for Summer Getaways

Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking, or simply want a place to relax and unwind with (or without) the kids, put these mountain resorts at the top of your family vacation ideas wishlist.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole – Teton Village, Wyoming

Head to the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole for rooms with sweeping mountain views (or, for larger families looking for a more private vacation, the option to rent an entire home in the mountains).

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In the summer months, the resort offers fly-fishing excursions with expert guides who’ll show you how to cast the perfect line along the Snake River. And when the sun sets, make your way to Grand Teton National Park for an evening of stargazing with the resort astronomer.

Massanutten Resort – Massanutten, Virginia

Zip line at Massanutten Resort (Photo: Massanutten)
Zip line at Massanutten Resort (Photo: Massanutten)

Open year round and set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, family-friendly Massanutten Resort boasts an onsite water park that has indoor and outdoor slides and pools to relax in no matter the weather. 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.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina

Visiting the Biltmore Estate is one of the top things to do in Asheville (Photo: ExploreAsheville.com)
Biltmore Estate in Asheville (Photo: ExploreAsheville.com)

Summer at The Inn on Biltmore Estate is like nowhere else in the U.S. The historic inn is set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has 8,000 acres of land to explore. Tour the nearby Biltmore House to soak up all the gilded age grandeur. Guests also enjoy the estate’s hiking trails, complimentary wine tastings, and dining at the charming Antler Hill Village.

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The Whiteface Lodge – Lake Placid, New York

Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, New York, an ideal spot for family vacations
Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid (Photo: @RogueTeacher via Twenty20)

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. In summer, kids love the nightly campfires where they can make classic s’mores.

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When the weather is bad, head inside to the onsite movie theater for guests only, where movies are shown three times a day and you’re given complimentary popcorn to munch on while watching. Hiking, canoeing, and kayaking options abound nearby for families as well.

The Ahwahnee – Yosemite Valley, California

Exterior view of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park (Photo: NPS:Aramark)
Exterior view of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park (Photo: NPS:Aramark)

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 best national park lodges. Situated on the east end of Yosemite Valley, the hotel’s grounds offer glimpses of iconic natural wonders like Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point.

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A shuttle bus connects the lodge to Yosemite’s many natural attractions. Standard hotel rooms, suites, junior suites, and cottages are available for groups and families of all sizes.

Vail Marriott Mountain Resort – Vail, Colorado

Situated at the base of Vail Mountain, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort is a great base of operations for Jeep tours, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, and other summer outdoors activities in the Rocky Mountain state.

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The resort has more than 300 rooms that range in size from four-bedroom penthouses to standard two-queen guest rooms. When it’s time to unwind, make a spa appointment at Well and Being Spa, where the services include body wraps, facials, and massages.

Trapp Family Lodge – Stowe, Vermont

The Austria-inspired Trapp Family Lodge wows families with its mountain views, farm-to-table dining, onsite brewery, and sprawling 2,500-acre grounds. Outside 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.

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Amara Resort and Spa – Sedona, Arizona

Hot air ballooning in Sedona (Photo: @jpphotogrrl via Twenty20)
Hot air ballooning in Sedona (Photo: @jpphotogrrl via Twenty20)

Stay on the banks of Oak Creek Canyon at Amara Resort and Spa, located just a few minutes from uptown Sedona and its stunning red-rock scenery. Book private hiking excursions or a Jeep tour through the red rocks; or for something a little more relaxed, take out one of the complimentary bikes to explore the town and nearby nature. Each of the 100 guest rooms honors the region’s Native American heritage.

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Megan duBois is a freelance writer who covers theme parks, cruising, food and drink, and family travel. Her work has appeared on Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Insider, Orbitz, The Daily Meal, Family Vacation Critic, TravelPulse, and more. Megan has been quoted as an expert and thought leader on theme parks for Forbes and other outlets. Follow her on Instagram @MinglingwithMickey and Twitter @Megand513 for theme park travel tips and tricks, and email her at megand513 [at] gmail [dot] com for story ideas.

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