Why not explore a mountain getaway as the weather heats up and families begin to plan summer mountain vacations? The weather is cooler in these places, and most of them feature outdoor activities for youngsters. Summer mountain getaways provide lots of opportunities to spend time in nature and provide unique experiences for everyone. We asked fellow travel writers to share some of their favorite mountain escapes, camping and firewood guides and they came up with some of the most unique destinations in the United States!
Summer Mountain Vacations Your Kids Will Enjoy
Bar Harbor, Maine Acadia National Park
We had a great time visiting Acadia National Park in the summer. The only national park in the northeastern United States offers an oasis for trekking and exploring, despite not being a classic mountain destination.
Acadia National Park, located just outside of Bar Harbor, is home to moderate ranges and hills that provide excellent climbing opportunities and breathtaking views. Because it is located on an island, getting to the top will provide spectacular views of the water. It’s not simply mountainous; there are various beach locations within the park for water lovers.
When you’ve had your fill of exploration, return to Bar Harbor for some excellent seafood and other cuisines. You’ll enjoy strolling through the charming town and getting a taste of New England! Local Passport Family‘s Preethi
Mountains of Adirondack, New York
Upstate New York is home to one of the best and lesser-known mountain retreats in the United States. The Adirondacks are a massive state park with thousands of mountains, lakes, and rivers to explore. The location is popular with families all year, but summer delivers the finest weather and outdoor activity choices.
Most visitors will agree that camping is the greatest way to truly experience the Adirondacks, although there are several incredible resorts in the Adirondacks, particularly in the Lake Placid area.
The Adirondacks provide a wide range of outdoor activities. Hiking, boating, kayaking, swimming, and rock climbing are just a few of the activities available to visitors. In addition to recreational activities, the Adirondacks are home to numerous museums and educational possibilities, including The Wild Center in Lake Placid and the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. This summer mountain getaway is ideal for families because it offers a diverse range of activities for all interests and is also one of the country’s most picturesque state parks. Patsey Family Travels’ Amanda
Your Aspen trip starts with a thrilling journey to town along Independence Pass. Before arriving in Aspen, this meandering, breath-taking route takes you above 12,000 feet in height.
Rental bikes for an easy ride along the Rio Grande, trekking to Crater Lake at the base of the Maroon Bells, and taking the Silver Queen Gondola up to the Aspen Summit for lunch, spectacular views, hiking, and disc golf are all popular summer activities in Aspen.
The Lost Forest adventure park in Snowmass, as well as nearby white-water rafting activities, are extremely popular. If you want to indulge, go to the end of Castle Creek Road, have a quiet trek, and then return to Pine Creek Cookhouse for a meal with spectacular views.
Consider taking a quick day drive to Glenwood Springs for a relaxing soak in the hot springs or a climb to Hanging Lake and Spouting Rock Falls (permits and reservations required for this popular summer hike).
In downtown Aspen, you’ll find a variety of stores and restaurants, as well as a grocery store to meet your every need. To make the most of your summer mountain getaway, consider renting a vacation house in nearby Snowmass Village. Colorado Hikes and Hops‘ Tanya
Barlett, New Hampshire, Attitash Mountain Resort
Attitash Mountain Resort is a prominent ski resort located in the picturesque White Mountains of New Hampshire. In the summer, though, it is transformed into a fun adventure park that is a great spot to take the kids. There’s a resort located on the mountain, or you may stay at one of the numerous neighboring hotels and resorts for an easy holiday.
Guests visiting Attitash over the summer will have a variety of activities to choose from. You can buy single-attraction tickets, full-day or half-day tickets that include everything except the zip line tour, or full-day or half-day tickets that include everything except the zip line tour (which must be reserved in advance and is a separate fee).
We prefer the whole day tickets as well as the zip line when we visit with our teenagers. Arrive early because lines can be long, especially on weekends. Water slides, a bungee trampoline, a rock wall, slacklines, chairlift rides, mountain biking, a gondola ride, alpine slides, and a mountain coaster are just a few of the activities available. Family Travel Magazine’s Jodi
Breaks of Cedar, Utah
The Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah is a great place to take the whole family for a mountain retreat. Hikes with stunning views of green mountains, red rock arches, and hoodoos may be found throughout the area. Volunteer rangers bring out telescopes twice a week to do some stargazing. The point on Jupiter and the rings around Saturn astonished us. It was enthralling for both children and adults.
In Cedar City, Utah, you can either camp or stay in a motel. Various enjoyable things near Cedar Breaks include Mammoth Caves (not the one in Tennessee), lakes, and other state parks. If cooking over a campfire isn’t your style, Cedar City features a variety of fast-food and sit-down restaurants. Carltonaut’s Travel Tips’s Jason
Mountain of Copper, Colorado
Copper Mountain is no exception to the rule that ski resorts can be just as enjoyable in the summer as they are in the winter. Renting a condo in Copper Mountain Village, located at the base of the mountain, provides ample space for families and convenient access to activities.
Copper Mountain offers mountain biking, hiking, disc golf, a mountain coaster, and even a snowboarding area, making it ideal for active families. Bumper boats, a rock climbing wall, go-karting, and even a zip line are among the village’s activities that even younger children will love. For those who enjoy a challenge, there was also a Ninja Warrior obstacle course when we were there.
During regular times, festivals ranging from burgers and beers to jazz music are held every weekend. Just bear in mind that the elevation may take some getting used to before you put in too much effort. We3Travel’s Tamara
Looking for more places to visit in Colorado? These Colorado alpine communities are not to be missed!
California Donner Lake
Donner Lake, located 20 miles from the much bigger Lake Tahoe, is the ideal summer alpine retreat for families looking for a more personal setting for their water sports. In the shadow of the neighboring mountains covered in lush pine trees, enjoy everything from water skiing and windsurfing to Stand-up-Paddle and jet skiing. When you stay at the Donner Lake Village Resort, you’ll not only be close to all the action, but you’ll also be right on the water!
At the Donner Lake Boat Ramp, you can launch your own boat or hire one at the nearby marina. The West End Beach is an excellent place to go if your crew is more interested in sandcastles than boat wakes. The beach provides a variety of services, including lifeguards.
Check out Truckee when you’re ready to venture a little further inland. Truckee’s historic center will transport you to the late 1840s when the town was famed for logging. Instead, visitors may now enjoy attractive stores and tacky restaurants. Trekaroo’s Kristine
Arkansas, Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs is a low-key place suited for a summer mountain retreat, nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas and encircled by gorgeous Beaver Lake.
Within the city limits of Eureka Springs, there are over 60 natural springs. Some of the springs are hidden inside small caves. Finding time to relax in a natural hot springs spa or visiting Bathhouse Row is a necessity when visiting.
The Palace Bath House, Basin Park Hotel, and Crescent Hotel are among the Victorian buildings in Eureka Springs Historic District.
The soaring Thorncrown Chapel in the neighboring hills is a stunning wood and glass church worth a visit, even if only for a few shots. The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, which is home to big cats and bears, is just south if you’re up for an adventure. 52 Perfect Days’ Alexa
California’s Fallen Leaf Lake
Camping at Fallen Leaf Lake is a great family holiday spot if you’re seeking a peaceful hideaway in the woods. This campground is surrounded by magnificent snow-capped mountains and lies close to a stunningly blue alpine lake. A 10-minute bike ride will take you to Lake Tahoe. After hiking the Rubicon Trail, dine at one of South Lake Tahoe’s restaurants. The family-friendly Sprouts Cafe, located just a block from the lakeshore, serves a California-inspired hodgepodge of burrito bowls, vegan sandwiches, and smoothies. This is My Happiness’ Jenna
Gatlinburg is located on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, providing an abundance of outdoor activities. Downtown Gatlinburg is packed with kid-friendly businesses and activities…a lot of them are a little cheesy, but I suppose that’s part of the fun. Ripley’s Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf, and other attractions are available. Hillbilly Golf is a great place to play mini-golf because you have to take a tram up into the mountains to get there. We thought the steep trip up and down was the most enjoyable.
The recently opened SkyLift Park is my “don’t miss it” in Gatlinburg recommendation. This is a really cool site to hang out in the summer, featuring a ski lift trip up, a thrilling suspension bridge with spectacular views, an observation deck, and a gift shop/refreshment area.
You can also visit the Dollywood theme parks in nearby Pigeon Forge. Pancake Pantry (DO.NOT.MISS.) and Landshark Bar and Grill (part of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg) are two of our favorite restaurants. There are many other places to eat pancakes, as well as several franchise restaurants if you prefer something more familiar. Ripped Jeans and Bifocals’ Jill
In the summer, one of our favorite mountain getaways is Jackson, Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park is only a few miles away, and there are so many fantastic things to do and see right there. Our favorite thing to do there as a family is go rafting, and I love that the river offers both whitewater and picturesque float tours, so it caters to people of all ages.
We also enjoy hiking in the Tetons since there are so many trails to choose from. The majority of the area’s nicest paths lead to lakes and waterfalls, which are always refreshing on a hot summer day. Our kids really enjoy hiking between String Lake and Leigh Lake since the majority of the trail follows the lakeshore and the water is so clear that you can see fish swimming as you trek by. A trip to Granite Hot Springs for a swim and then staying up late to gaze at the stars together is our favorite way to conclude the day. Bring the Kids’ Jessica
California Mammoth Mountain
Summer days at Mammoth Mountain in California are filled with activities and excursions. Gemstone mining, rock climbing, zip-lining, bungee trampolines, and ropes courses are all available at the Adventure Center. A picturesque gondola trip to the 11,000-foot top is available to visitors. Families can take self-guided tours of the summit region, stopping at many learning sites along the way.
Mammoth includes a bike park with over 80 miles of singletrack for downhill and cross-country mountain biking, as well as a beginner’s Discovery Zone. The guided Via Ferrata climbing excursion will give you a surge of adrenaline. Steel cables and iron rungs are fastened to the cliff’s rocks in this network of six paths. This may be a fun task for the whole family.
Shuttles transport visitors to Devils Postpile National Monument, which is nearby. There are multiple 60-foot hexagonal basalt columns in this natural wonder. There are approximately eight miles of gorgeous hiking routes, one of which leads to the lovely Rainbow Falls, which offers excellent picnic areas. Hiking, fishing, kayaking, and boating are all available nearby at Mammoth Lakes. The World’s Mary is a Book
The Massanutten Resort in Virginia is a short drive from Washington, DC, and offers fantastic amenities and local activities. Swimming, golfing, hiking, and horseback riding are all available to resort guests.
A mountain bike park, an indoor/outdoor water park, and an adventure park with a zip line, ropes courses, and tubing are all available on the grounds. The resort’s action, as well as its tasty restaurants and luxurious rooms, will appeal to families. Spend a day touring Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns, which are both nearby. Kirsten
Washington, Mount Rainier
If you climb Mount Rainier, you’ll be able to brag to your friends about climbing an active volcano. The travel from Seattle or Portland to Mount Rainier National Park is well worth it. There are many family-friendly walks to choose from, but our favorite is located near the Paradise Lodge. You might get lodging at the Paradise Lodge and have many days to explore the park if you’re lucky. If you wish to dine, there is a cafe and restaurant on the premises, but check the hours of operation. Although the lodge is seasonal, you should be safe in the summer.
Wander through the visitor’s center or begin hiking up one of the many trails that lead out of Paradise. The Glacier Vista hike, which offers stunning views of the peak, is one of our favorites. The sight of snowboarders and skiers hiking up to Mt. Rainier’s bowl, which has snow all year, is the most magnificent of all. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. You’ll almost certainly see tiny animals and hear a marmot, but bears frequently frequent the area. Keep in mind that the animals came first, so keep your distance! Walking On Travels’ Keryn
Farmington, Pennsylvania Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
From afar, the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania (just outside of Pittsburgh) is setting a new bar for five-star service. Nemacolin is a 2,000-acre resort in rural Pennsylvania that offers a variety of activities for families staying at the resort, including a private movie theater, shooting academy, fly-fishing experience, private safari tour, miles of hiking trails, and miniature golf. It’s the ideal spot for a family vacation or a getaway with friends.
Utah, park town
Park City is the ideal summer destination for people of all ages. Adventure activities, weekly concerts, unique stores and restaurants, and even luxury spas are all available in the area. Families should visit Utah Olympic Park, where they can zip line, go extreme tubing, or ride the summer bobsled. Take a stroll down historic Main Street, where you may shop, visit art galleries, go to the movies, or have a bite to eat at Wasatch Brew Pub (excellent burgers) and finish with Java Cow ice cream.
Concerts at the Canyons, the monthly farmers market, mountain biking, golfing, fly fishing, and river rafting on the Weber River are all fun activities. If you stay at the Hyatt Centric resort, you’ll have access to all of the resort’s amenities while still being in the middle of it all. It’s A Trip Having Finn of Kids
Are you planning a trip to Park City? Take a look at these suggestions for how to spend a weekend in Park City, Utah!
Idaho’s Sun Valley
Sun Valley, Idaho, is ideal for families who enjoy outdoor activities. Sun Valley and the Sawtooth Mountains have it all, from Idaho hot springs and mountain biking to fly fishing and white river rafting, horseback riding and hiking to golfing and skeet shooting. The best part is that you may get as dirty as you want throughout the day and then return to the Sun Valley Lodge for a luxurious stay, equipped with a 20,000-square-foot spa!
Stop by the farmers market during the summer for delicious sweets, fruits, and pieces of bread. Order the lamb or the bass at the Ram, the original Sun Valley eatery. Before you go, take in the sunset from White Clouds golf course Hole 5. Vagabond’s Jade3
A trip to Telluride with children is sure to be exciting. You have the option of staying in Telluride Mountain Village, which is only a 13-mile free gondola ride away or staying in Telluride for the duration.
Along the main street in town, a stop at the site of Butch Cassidy’s first bank robbery is a must, as is a quick visit to the Telluride Historical Museum, where your kids may literally pan for hidden jewels. Families return to Telluride year after year and rave about the breakfast, lunch, and dinner options at “Baked in Telluride.”
The kids will, of course, enjoy the ride up to Mountain Village, where they may shop at Dylan’s Candy Bar and participate in outdoor activities such as s’mores and lawn chess. Check out the Via Ferrata for older kids and parents looking for a little more adventure. Finding Debra’s Debra
In the summer, Whitefish, Montana is a fantastic spot to visit. It is ideal for mountain activities because it is located in the foothills of a ski mountain on the west side of Glacier National Park.
Take the ski lifts to Whitefish Mountain Resort for some thrilling mountain thrills. On top of the mountain, there are zip lines, alpine slides, hiking routes, and an aerial adventure park. Soaring high over the ski slopes and through the trees on Montana’s longest zip line trip was my personal favorite. On six separate lines, you fly 300 feet above the forest floor, with some spanning nearly 2000 feet. The best experience I’ve ever had!
During the summer and fall seasons, bike racks are installed on chairlifts and gondolas, allowing you to ride your mountain bike down the ski lines. Lunch can be had at the Summit House, which is Montana’s only mountain top restaurant. Don’t miss the opportunity to ride the alpine slides at the mountain’s foot.
Stay at the Kandahar Lodge near Whitefish Mountain Resort if you enjoy mountain vistas and cozying up to a crackling fire in the evenings. Driving the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, which is regarded as one of the top ten national park experiences, is an exciting experience. Glacier National Park has so much to offer, and it’s only 35 miles from Whitefish.
Colorado Winter Park
There is so much for families to do in Winter Park and the surrounding area, including Tabernash, Granby, and Grand Lake, that it isn’t only for the winter!
Summer is the finest time to go hiking and biking in the Rocky Mountains. This is the time to go if you want to see some gorgeous countryside.
Now, if you’re looking for something a little different, you may go downhill sledding, yes, you read that correctly! It’s a lot of fun and you have complete control over it, so you can go as slow or as fast as you like. Miniature golf, a climbing wall, ropes courses, and tubing are also available. Cassie of Cool Breezes and White Sands
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