When you close your eyes and think of escaping, where does your mind take you?
In my younger days, my parents used to bundle us four kids into the car, drive the 30 minutes to our local airport, and, in no less than three flights across the country, fly to what might as well be a completely different planet. Denver was usually the site of our third connection – the flight attendants would load us into a plane that held roughly 30 people, and proceed to distribute the passengers so the the weight would be even as we crossed the mountains to Sheridan, Wyoming. More often then not we would have to circle in the air upon arrival due to antelope on the runway.
These mountain vacations to a guest ranch in Buffalo, Wyoming were a staple of my childhood. Out there we would meet our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins for a week-long family reunion spent hiking, fly fishing and riding horses through the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains.
It’s been years now since we last headed out West. But the feeling of being out there in those mountains formed the ultimate definition of freedom in my mind. And I’ve been itching to get back out there.
While most people this winter were undoubtedly a tad jealous of our February weather in Florida, I found myself dreaming of a log cabin, a warm cup of tea in front of a cozy fire, and a window overlooking snow-capped mountains. A true “white winter” experience, for a little while anyways.
Resorts and luxury hotels are great, but for this fantasy I envision something a little more personal. An apartment, or a private residence… a log cabin to call my own for a weekend or so. Below are my picks for top mountain destinations, and a selection of my favorite AirBnB properties in each area. If you haven’t used AirBnB before, let me just start by saying I couldn’t possibly recommend them highly enough. I used them while in Auckland last October, and was hugely impressed by the entire experience.
But for now, get lost in these dream mountain vacations!
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Wyoming in the early summer is gorgeous – the snow is melting, the wildflowers are in bloom, and the air is still on the cooler side. But Wyoming in the winter, specifically Jackson Hole, is supposed to absolutely incredible.
Apartment in Jackson, United States. A careful blend between rustic elegance and mountain contemporary makes this penthouse suite the perfect retreat. Tucked into the base of Snow King Mtn, King Ridge offers adventure without sacrificing the sophisticated culture town living offers. View all listings in Jackson
Apartment in Jackson, United States. 3000 Square foot Luxury property with Hotel Amenities on-site including access to 24-Hour Fitness Center, Free Yoga Classes, discount Massages in Wellness Center, Prime Steakhouse & Bar, poker table, and much more! Nestled in downtown Jackson, th… View all listings in Jackson
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Where else would you find these stunning hues? It’s like a tropical island shoreline with snowy mountains in the distance… the best of both worlds. No one needs an explanation as to why Lake Tahoe is a desirable mountain escape – its reputation precedes it.
House in Tahoe City, United States. Conservancy land on three sides offers great privacy for you to experience the cedar-scented air, starry skies and views of the lake in the heart of Tahoe’s magical West Shore. On the main floor, in the living room, enjoy a crackling fire from th… View all listings in Tahoe City
House in Incline Village, United States. Welcome to my Romantic Artist’s Loft Lakeview home! Located in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in beautiful Lake Tahoe, the solitude of the Refugio is just minutes from beaches, live music, and an incredible panoramic neighborhood hike. … View all listings in Incline Village
Aspen is known for being a playground for the ultra-wealthy. It’s ritzy, it’s glamorous, but it’s also an ultimate outdoor adventure destination. And it’s close to the Maroon Bells mountain peaks in the Elk Mountains – great for hiking.
Mountain Valley Retreat is a spectacular 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom private home overlooking downtown Aspen from the east. This spacious mountain home features modern amenities encompassing approximately 5,000 square feet spread over 4 floors. This home offers fantastic views and natural lighting throughout. View all listings in Aspen
Cabin in Aspen, United States. The cabin has breathtaking views and is a great escape! It can be challenging in the winter due to snow storms and having to use the wood burning stove to heat the cabin. A 4WD vehicle is mandatory and it can be a two hour drive to Aspen in a stor… View all listings in Aspen
Whitefish is a small town, but ever since my cousin moved up that way with her husband it’s been on my radar. They can’t say enough good things about it there, and the quaint downtown looks ideal for a winter retreat.
Chalet in Whitefish, United States. Beautiful home located on chair 6, next to day lodge where you can enjoy espresso bar, food, outdoor fireplace, full bar, ski rental & lessons. Zip-line, hiking, biking & luge slide in summer. Come home & relax w/ gourmet kitchen, fireplace & spa. View all listings in Whitefish
Enjoy rustic mountain scenery and privacy in this comfortable cedar chalet. This home was recently decorated in a classic Montana style complete with all new furniture. Features 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large fully equipped open kitchen, vaulted ceilings, huge bright windows and a spacious living area with wood burning fireplace. View all listings in Whitefish