Ideas for the best mountain vacations around the USA

For nature lovers, there's nothing quite like a serene mountain vacation. Whether you're looking to explore the hiking trails of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, hit the slopes in a world-class ski spot, or snuggle up with that special someone for a romantic apres-ski cocktail in a hidden mountain cottage, you won't have any trouble finding great vacation home rentals and getaway cabins for all kinds of mountain vacations. Read on for inspiration and tips and start planning your next mountain retreat today.

Hot tips for summer mountain getaways

When the weather heats up, outdoor enthusiasts start brushing off their hiking boots and take to the hills for some much-needed immersion in the country's most pristine natural scenery. In Utah's Park City, you'll find plenty of charming log cabins for rent, as well as apartments close to restaurants, entertainment, and activities galore. In Aspen, Colorado you can book a modern home that offers easy access to the town's many summertime music festivals, speaker series, and plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails in the surrounding Rocky Mountains. And if the east coast is calling your name, consider heading to Stowe, Vermont. This mountain village boasts a performing arts center, zipline tours, and a quaint downtown that oozes New England charm.

Four-season mountain vacations in the southeast

Packed with charming towns and laid-back villages, the mountains of the southeastern US offer plenty to do all throughout the year. Tucked away in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a perennial summertime favorite, when you can admire the art deco architecture of the city's downtown, sip locally made wines, and sample local takes on international and vegetarian cuisine. For a wintertime retreat, Virginia's Wintergreen Resort features 26 ski runs on 129 skiable mountaintop acres. Vacation rentals here will also put you close to the so-called "Brew Ridge Trail," a collection of independent breweries and taprooms offering unique local beers.

Top spots for romantic mountain retreats

There's no shortage of great getaway cabins and vacation homes that have everything you need for a cozy 2-person escape. Just a few hours by car from the art museums, farm-to-table restaurants, and hip cocktail bars of San Francisco, Jenner is a laid-back mountain town high above California's Pacific coast. Book a snug cabin rental here for a quiet weekend of hiking, biking, and beach bombing—or look for a rental with a hot tub and enjoy long soaks. Meanwhile, Colorado's Manitou Springs boasts plenty of cozy cottages with decks overlooking the surrounding mountains. Spend a day exploring the town's mineral springs and preserved Anasazi cliffside dwellings or take in the sweeping views from the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

Saving some green with cheap mountain getaways

If you're looking for a great mountain vacation that doesn't break the bank, you can find all sorts of killer cabin rentals that don't cost an arm and a leg. Nestled amid the Ozark Mountains, Branson is a great hidden mountain gem in Missouri. The bustling 76 Country Boulevard is lined with entertainment venues and eateries, but you'll also find plenty of great hiking and mountain biking trails on the surrounding slopes. Or you can book a low-cost log cabin in West Virginia's Davis, where you can admire the cascading waterfall in Blackwater Falls State Park. Properties here often include full kitchens, so you can save even more by prepping meals in the comfort of your own cabin.

Mountain retreats offering fun for the whole family

The only national park on the east coast, Maine's Acadia National Park is a popular destination for families seeking the perfect summertime getaway. Enjoy hiking—or driving—to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, where you can admire spectacular views of the park's 47,000 acres of wilderness, as well as the massive cruise ships that anchor in the bay below. In the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Adirondack Park is yet another well-loved spot. Throughout the area, you can find plenty of spacious vacation rentals that offer amenities like game rooms, BBQ grills, and bunk beds. Many are well placed for access to the park's ample outdoor activities, including hiking and canoeing in the summer, and skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in the winter.