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America’s Best Summer Mountain Destinations

When it comes to summer travel, why not check out mountain destinations?

This time of year, most people are thinking beaches, amusement parks and cities. What that means for mountain locales is that the exorbitant pricing on everything melted away with the snow. Hotels can be up to 40 percent off and just think of the money you’ll save not having to rent crappy used ski equipment?

I really never understood why more people don’t head for mountain resorts in the warmer months. They are places of such incredible beauty, with their exalted landscapes of rock and forest, not to mention cooler temperatures.

Most mountain areas have lifts that run year round, so you can hike and bike through the trails as well as swim and kayak on the nearby lakes. I always find the best place to start looking for great package deals is on the state’s own visitor’s website.

Here are my two top picks.

White Mountains, New Hampshire

summer mountain destinations - samantha brown

Goldie Hawn and her famous kids don’t vacation here and there are no glitzy film festivals, but it does offer a vacation the way it used to be: family restaurants in Swiss Chalets, motor lodges and candy stores. I grew up in New Hampshire and probably went to the White Mountains twice. I returned last year after a 25-year hiatus and felt like an idiot. Here I am, a so-called “travel expert,” and I had no idea of the immense beauty of this area. It’s a majesty combined with a down to earthiness that I love about my home state.

Tip: Unless you are a motorcycle enthusiast, avoid Motorcycle Week in Laconia, NH. It’s a week where hundreds of thousands of bikers come to celebrate the marvel of the machine, its lifestyle of freedom and the leather bra.

For budget friendly travel packages start looking

Park City, Utah

It was a location for the 2002 Winter Olympics, but it Medals in the summer category as well.  There’s Park City, Canyons, Deer Valley and Olympic Par– all to keep you and everyone in the family either hiking, biking, swimming, and bobsledding. Yep, bobsledding.
Sundance Institute shows free Friday night films in City park and every Sunday is ParkSillyMarket, an open market and festival held on Main Street.
Tip: one of the big pluses about Park City is its proximity to the Salt Lake City airport. While most mountain areas have 2 to 3 hour drives from the airport, Park City is a painless 45 minutes
For budget friendly travel packages start looking here.

Where are your favorite mountain destinations? Do you like to go in the summer months?  Share your travels in the comments section.


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Dear Sam,
    You need to come home to the White Mountains and spend a few days hiking , biking and swimming. I fyou have time we can bring you out on our boat nothing that brings you back to your youth more than tubing and picnicking on a beautiful mountain lake , with views to take your breath away.

  2. Please go to the beautiful though small mountains in Arkansas. The state parks at Devils Den and Petit Jean are just two of many great choices

  3. My wife and I went on our honeymoon in the Smokey Mountains 48 years ago and have been going back most every year since. The Smokies are so beautiful.

  4. You needed to go to a Fort Payne Alabama and go to Desoto State Park. I’ve been everywhere on the East, ( including The White Mountains) Coast and have never seen nothing as BEAUTIFUL, I called it God’s country. I am actually going to my peace of Heaven next week.

  5. Ruidoso, NM. The climate of the high mountain desert in the Sierra Blanca mountains combined with the smell of piñon, and the NM cuisine, and hikes, and golf, and casinos, and space and space and space….

  6. I love Glacier NP in Montana and accept a long journey to reach Whitefish where I stay as a 2 day train ride helps me unwind on the way there and travel along part of the Corps of Discovery’s route. The park’s Red Bus tours are a fantastic way of getting some scenery overload as well as interesting factual details from the “Jammers”, some of whom rival the best of London’s Beefeaters who make the Tower Of London tours special. Letting someone else drive so you can swivel your head around or look up is the best way to see some of the park’s special vistas. Also, finding enough space in a roadside turnoff to take pictures is quite a chore and letting the park’s drivers take responsibility for parking allowed us to “just enjoy”.

  7. Your comments about the White Mountains made me laugh because I haven’t been there, either! What kind of NH girls are we?! 🙂 It’s been on our “bucket list” of places to visit for years, but every summer passes and we still don’t go – perhaps I’ll make a bit more of an effort after reading this.

    I agree about Park City, though – such an amazingly beautiful place, and while I don’t think I’ll ever get back there, I have the most wonderful memories of my visit in 1997.

  8. I’m from Concord, 82 yrs old living near Lake Tahoe. Before that near Lake Washington in Bellevue.. I have seen Glacier, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. I’ve been to
    Newcastle and Portsmouth . With all of that scenery and grandeur I still think
    N H is the best for all the right reasons. My grandchildren will summer on Squam Lake of On Golden Pond fame. They will visitLost River, the Flume, and Lake Winnapesaukee. They won’t go to Motorcycle Week in
    Laconia and Wiers Beach.
    I will visit a friend in Rye and we’ll dine at Wentworth-by-the-sea.
    Okay, now you can start singing –

    “Old New Hampshire, Old New Hampshire,
    Old New Hampshire grand and great,
    We will sing of Old New Hampshire,
    Our dear old granite state ……”….

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