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Top 10 Mountain Escapes
1. Estes Park, Colorado
Featured B&B: Romantic RiverSong Bed & Breakfast Inn
This verdant mountain town has enough activities to prevent you from ever being bored, but is small enough to be charming and quiet. Located on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, the town is home to plentiful wildlife; don’t be surprised if you have to stop your car while a family of elk cross the road. Activities here include hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and birding. The town has many cute restaurants, art galleries, and independent boutiques. With an elevation of over 7,500 feet, spectacular mountain views can be seen from all over town. At Romantic RiverSong Bed & Breakfast Inn, you can get a couples massage on the banks of their rushing mountain stream. The fresh, crisp mountain air in Estes Park makes it hard to go back to sea level!
2.Chamonix Mont Blanc, France
Featured B&B: The Guest House Chamonix
Located in the French Alps of southeastern France, this mountain town is right at the foot of Mont Blanc and was home to the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Chamonix offers plentiful extreme sports year-round, such as rafting, rock climbing, ice climbing, extreme skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and more. You can take a gorgeous cable car ride up the Aiguille du Midi, a mountain the French Alps, to get great views from above. It’s one of the highest cable cars in the world. You can also take the Montblanc Tramway to see more of the area.
3. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Featured B&B: Whistler Alpine Chalet Retreat & Wellness
This small mountain town is a stunning two-hour drive from Vancouver and is a former host of the Winter Olympics. It’s an incredibly popular ski resort in the winter, but it’s just as lively in the summer with hiking, river rafting, zip lining, biking, and dozens of other outdoor activities. Whistler is a small resort town that was built in the 1960s, so it doesn’t have the historic charm that some mountain towns do. However, it has many fantastic restaurants, fun bars, and cute shops. There are several great B&Bs just outside of the main village, keeping you close to the action but away from the noisy late-night revelers.
4. Mount Hood area, Oregon
Featured B&B: Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge
Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest point and can be seen up to 100 miles away. The surrounding area has many charming towns with amazing views of mountains, waterfalls, and a river. Outdoor lovers will be in heaven here; there is plentiful hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, mountain biking, and skiing. In fact, it has the country’s only year-round skiing and snowboarding! Nearby is the Columbia River Gorge, a canyon that is popular for kiteboarding and windsurfing due to its wind tunnel effect. The area also has many fantastic museums.
5. Jackson, New Hampshire
Featured B&B: Inn at Ellis River
Jackson sits in the White Mountain National Forest, and there are endless activities here all year long. Summer is the perfect time to go fly fishing, cycling, seeing free outdoor concerts, visiting historic covered bridges, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. In the winter, go cross-country skiing, or go downhill skiing on one of over 250 trails. You can also go snow tubing and ice skating. If you enjoy leaf peeping, be sure to come in the fall, when the leaves here turn vivid shades of yellow, red, and orange. There is also great shopping in the Jackson area, with many outlet stores and antique shops.
6. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Featured B&B: Painted Rock Lodge
Lake Tahoe, a beautiful bright blue lake amongst mountain peaks, spans from California to Nevada. The area provides fun things to do in all seasons. In the summer, it’s the perfect time to go boating on the lake, ride a horse, play a round of golf, mountain bike, or hike the trails. In the winter, hit the slopes for skiing, ride snow mobiles, or go ice skating. The Lake Tahoe area has excellent restaurants and shops. Gambling is available year-round if you’re feeling lucky!
7. Waynesville, North Carolina
Featured B&B: The Swag Country Inn
Asheville is lovely, but if you want to explore another city in the mountains of North Carolina, come to Waynesville. The town is only 30 miles from Asheville and surrounded by natural beauty. It sits in a valley among 6,000-foot Appalachian mountains and is just outside of the Pisgah National Forest. It is also close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Harmen Den Wildlife Refuge, and Nantahala National Forest. Downtown Waynesville features many great shops, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries. Be sure to take a ride along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and dine on famous Southern cuisine.
8. Verbania area, Italy
Featured B&B: Villa Pepa B&B
Situated in the Dolomite Mountains and on the Borromean Gulf (part of Lake Maggiore), the area around the city of Verbania has jaw-dropping vistas. Inns such as Villa Pepa B&B, only a few miles from Verbania, have sweeping views of the green hills and sparkling water. The area has numerous gardens and parks, which are popular with travelers. The beautiful Borromean Islands are scattered throughout the gulf, and you can take a boat to explore their gardens. The hills around Verbania have many quaint towns, such as Baveno and Stresa.
9. Jackson, Wyoming
Featured B&B: Rancho Alegre Lodge
Located in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole valley, this town offers gorgeous mountain views and plentiful outdoor activities. It’s the perfect gateway to nearby Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. In the winter, it’s a popular ski area. In the warm weather, you can hike on numerous trails, go whitewater rafting, or take a horse ride where you can see some of Lewis and Clark’s trail. Other popular attractions here include the Grand Teton Music Festival, National Museum of Wildlife Art, and the Center for the Art. Several celebrities own homes in this popular city.
10. Yellowstone Country, Montana
Featured B&B: Yellowstone Valley Lodge
This stunning region in south central Montana includes the cities of Livingston and Bozeman. You can explore the area by hiking, biking, riding a horse, or renting an ATV. Yellowstone Country has three entrances to Yellowstone Park in addition to four ski resorts. Known for its wide open spaces, you can soak in the mountain views from all over this scenic area. Yellowstone Country is also perfect for fishing, whitewater rafting, wildlife viewing, golfing, and more.
By Emily Starbuck Crone