Driving in on Telluride’s single road framed by towering, snowcapped peaks, it feels as though you are being transported to another world. Offering diverse ski terrain, a charming ambiance and excellent dining, this captivating mountain town has something for everyone.
Telluride is known for its legendary skiing, accessible to novices and experts alike. You can count on an annual snowfall of some 300 inches and more than 2,000 skiable acres. Adrenaline junkies can conquer a multitude of blacks and double blacks, chutes, hike-to options, and plenty of mogul and steep runs. Others can enjoy the wide-open slopes of the beginner trails while taking in the jaw-dropping views.
A Little R & R
Auberge Residences at Element 52 is a ski-in/ski-out property offering one- to five-bedroom condos, making it feel more like a luxury vacation home than a hotel. Featuring contemporary décor with regional accents and fine finishes, each residence comes equipped with an outdoor terrace, a gas log fireplace, and a professional kitchen outfitted with Miele, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. After a long day on the slopes, the large soaking tub is the ideal place to soothe your tired muscles.
Serving elegant bistro fare, La Marmotte is located in one of the oldest buildings in the heart of downtown. The rustic Alpine atmosphere perfectly captures the essence of Telluride. The menu at this family-owned and -operated eatery changes nightly based on what’s in season. You can expect dishes like grilled beef tenderloin and coq au vin complemented by a bottle of vino from the expertly picked wine list.
Sleigh Bells Ring
The ultimate winter experience? Cozying up on the sleigh with warm hot chocolate and blankets as you are chauffeured to a heated tent at Aldasoro Ranch. Greeted with a friendly welcome, appetizers and libations, guests gather for a home-cooked dinner where plenty of stories about the ranch and the history of Telluride are shared. Before embarking on the ride back down the mountain, indulge in a slice of flan, an Aldasoro family recipe.
Park City, Utah
This historic ski town boasts two world-class resorts, luxury hotels, fine dining, deluxe spas and a bounty of activities. And with daily nonstop flights from the Twin Cities, you can ski, shop, spa and après all in a long weekend.
King of the Hill
The slopes of Deer Valley and Park City are enough to roust you from the comfort of your warm bed in the morning. The resorts have it all, from groomed corduroy runs to tree skiing to bumps and bowls to fantastic kids’ terrain. Ski-only Deer Valley features such posh amenities as ski valet, complimentary on-mountain tours, gourmet dining and — best of all — limited lift tickets so you never have to wait in line. On the other end of the spectrum, Park City is the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States, offering more than 7,300 acres, 300 trails and 41 lifts.
Surrounded by towering pines, Goldener Hirsch Inn sits just steps from the base of Deer Valley. Detailed woodwork and hand-painted furnishings carry the European influence throughout the hotel and its 20 guest rooms. Each is spacious, with a separate seating area that boasts a wood-burning fireplace and a balcony. Canopy beds outfitted with the finest linens are the perfect place to rest your head after an active day. At the onsite restaurant, Chef Ryan Burnham crafts fresh takes on traditional Alpine favorites. The cheese fondue alone could lure anyone off the slopes. And be sure to indulge your sweet tooth with the apple strudel.
For a thrill unlike any other, visit Utah Olympic Park. It’s open year-round as a U.S. Olympic training site where spectators can get a first look at athletes training for bobsled, freestyle, luge, skeleton and Nordic skiing. Also onsite are the interactive Alf Engen Ski Museum and the Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum. Feeling adventurous? Take the ride of your life on the comet bobsled.
With views of snow-covered mountains, Montage Deer Valley is a peaceful sanctuary offering an array of wellness treatments. Unwind in the relaxation room warmed by the crackling fire and enjoy the redwood saunas, jetted whirlpool and lap pool. For the ultimate indulgence, book the signature Elements of Wellness retreat, which is customized to your specific needs and desires.
The Resort at Paws Up
This 37,000-acre luxury ranch is nestled just outside Missoula. Offering a fully immersive experience, the resort provides an unparalleled opportunity to commune with nature.
The question is not what to do at Paws Up but rather how much you can pack into your stay here. Guests can saddle up for a trail ride or cattle drive, get revved-up on an ATV tour, aim for the bull’s-eye at the archery course, and try their hand at fly-fishing in the crystal-clear rivers. With 120 miles of designated outdoor recreational area, the resort also offers boating, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, rafting, rappelling and more. Unwind at Spa Town, which has 11 spa tents, a fitness center and outdoor yoga.
After a day of outdoor adventures, retreat to one of Paws Up’s unique guest accommodations: safari-style tents or spacious vacation homes. The tents boast en-suite bathrooms, cozy reading nooks, rustic furnishings, art-adorned walls, heated wood floors, plush beds and the finest linens. Book a stay in the new North Bank Camp that rests high on a rocky bluff overlooking the Blackfoot River. Your camping butler will start a fire, prepare scrumptious s’mores and schedule your daily itinerary. A private chef is also on hand to prepare gourmet dishes like huckleberry pancakes and made-to-order omelets. Perfect for families, the two- to four-bedroom vacation homes are equally well-appointed, with full kitchens, large living spaces, and outdoor decks with whirlpools surrounded by towering conifer forests. Can’t decide between glamping or enjoying one of the luxe log homes? You don’t have to: Split your time for the ultimate Paws Up experience.
Paws Up offers two rustic ranch-style restaurants, camp dining and authentic chuck-wagon dinners. Drawing from the diverse landscape, the seasonal menus feature mouthwatering dishes like bison tenderloin and mushroom risotto. The full bar serves fine wines, craft and local beers, and such specialty cocktails as huckleberry mojitos. Slowing down to savor a delicious meal with a glass of wine is the ideal complement to a day spent in the Montana wilderness.
Steamboat Bay Fishing Club
Noyes Island, Alaska
You haven’t fished until you’ve salmon fished at stately Steamboat Bay, located on a prime perch on the otherwise uninhabited Noyes Island. With opulent accommodations, premium amenities and unparalleled personalized service, this is Alaska at its finest.
Steamboat Bay is a short, scenic floatplane ride from nearby Ketchikan, where you’ll spend an evening letting your body and mind adjust to Alaska time. Rest up at Cape Fox Lodge, which is situated in Tongass National Forest (the world’s second largest rainforest) and has spectacular mountain, water and wildlife views. Feast on locally harvested oysters, king crab and the freshest fish, from salmon to halibut to cod. If you feel like exploring, visit the shops along historic Creek Street and learn about Alaska Native culture from the local artists. Bright and early the next morning, you’ll hop a flight to Steamboat Bay, along the way taking in incredible naturescapes found only in this part of the world.
Heaven on Earth
An exclusive experience, Steamboat Bay accommodates just 24 anglers at its Lodge and nearby Residence. Book the intimate, newly opened Residence, which offers a great room with fireplace, a full kitchen, a dining room (complete with a transparent floor showcasing the stream waters — and sometimes running salmon — underfoot), a clubroom, a hot tub, and a sauna. The commanding structure features local timbers and décor made by Alaska Native artists, including lead fishing guide Everett Athorp. The Lodge and the Residence both come with their own dedicated chef, staff and fleet. The incredible cuisine invokes the flavors of the surrounding wilderness, and guests get to mingle with the affable chefs as they cook. Pacific Coast wines, regional craft beers and top-shelf spirits are available gratis throughout your stay. At Steamboat Bay, truly no request is too large or detail too small.
Of course, the main attraction here is the unparalleled sport fishing. Each premium cabin cruiser is helmed by an expert guide and holds just four anglers. Steamboat Bay is ideally located with easy access to prime spots and the Pacific Ocean. And unlike at most sport-fishing lodges, you set the pace: opting for a later start, returning to shore for a chef-prepared lunch or selecting the specific fish you’re after that day. The guides are simply exceptional in terms of their expertise and over-the-top customer service. The wildlife, meanwhile, is on full display, from regal bald eagles to playful otters to breaching humpback whales. Upon your return to land, your daily catch is processed, packaged and prepared for you to take home.
Read this article as it appears in the magazine.