- Great Smoky Mountains
- Sangre de Cristo Mountains
- La Sal Mountains
- Blue Ridge Mountains
- Sierra Nevada
- Alaska Range
- Mount Rainier
- Mount Hood
- Adirondack Mountains
- Catskill Mountains
- Aleutian Range
- Laguna Mountains
- San Francisco Peaks
- Ko'olau Range
- Olympic Mountains
- Mount Shasta
- Wichita Mountains
- Black Hills
- Guadalupe Mountains
- Pocono Mountains
- White Mountains
- Grand Tetons
- Uinta Mountains
- Bighorn Mountains
- Pine Valley Mountains
- Taconic Mountains
- San Gabriel Mountains
- Mount Waialeale
1. Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee)Second home buyers looking for a charming mountain town that has it all cannot afford to skip over Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Enjoy strolling Gatlinburg’s Parkway, riding the trolley or checking out the quaint shops and bustling nightlife amidst the Smokies.Where: This getaway is located in the mountainous regions of North Carolina and Tennessee. Gatlinburg is a tiny town with big views of the Smoky Mountains and has plenty of attractions to offer individuals, couples and families.When: If you’re hoping to spend the majority of your mountain getaway in the great outdoors, take a trip to the Smokies in autumn. Nature’s fall color palette will not disappoint, and the mild climate is irresistibleWhy: Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are the namesake of America’s most visited national park? Camping, hiking and firefly light shows are some of the many family-friendly attractions that keep this park firmly seated in the top spot.
2. Sangre de Cristo Mountains (New Mexico)Considering a second home in the mountains? Taos, New Mexico, offers optimal views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and everything that an art lover could desire: sculpting workshops, galleries and indigenous culture museums. Where: This subrange of the Rocky Mountains is located in Colorado and New Mexico, representing the southernmost tip of the Rockies.When: Summer is arguably the best season to enjoy Colorado mountain getaways, especially if you’re planning to hike or camp on the Colorado side of this range.Why: If the red hue these mountains give off in the morning sun isn’t enough to entice you, how do giant sand dunes and unbridled views of the Rio Grande sound? No wonder the Sangre de Cristo Mountains were declared a National Heritage Area (NHA) in 2009.
3. La Sal Mountains (Colorado)Grand Junction, Colorado, offers stunning views of this slice of the Rocky Mountains. Like Telluride and Aspen, this Colorado town is close to everything mountaineers love and offers proximity to an airport and national parks across the state border.Where: Head to Colorado or Utah to visit the Manti-La Sal National Forest where this range is located. Like most mountains that spill over the Colorado border, the La Sal Mountains are also a subsection of the Rockies.When: Spring and summer are great seasons to enjoy mountain getaways at high elevations. Aim for when the weather is just warm enough to venture out on a hike, yet cold enough to snuggle by the fire when the day’s adventures are over.Why: It’s not every day you have the opportunity to enjoy a natural wonder that is around 25 million years old. This is a must-see mountain getaway for geology fans and history buffs alike.
4. Blue Ridge Mountains (Georgia)Blue Ridge, Georgia, is perfect for second home seekers who want to stay close to the sunshine and warm winters of the South. If relaxation is a top priority for your next mountain getaway, this mountain town has some of the best wineries and breweries in the state. Where: The Blue Ridge Mountains can be accessed from Georgia, the Carolinas and even as far north as Pennsylvania and Maryland. As a physiographic region of the ever-popular Appalachian Mountains, every section of this range boasts views that never disappoint.When: Searching for the best mountain getaways in the winter? Look no further than Georgia's slice of the Blue Ridge. Winter in Georgia is full of sunshine and gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.Why: This Southern delight was named one of the top mountain destinations of 2022. Hop on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to marvel at the pristine views of the mountains and surrounding forests.
5. Sierra Nevada (California)Lake Tahoe is many second home seekers’ dream getaway — and for good reason. This adventurous destination is close to big cities yet tucked away in a serene mountain setting. Head to California to experience the magic for yourself.Where: The Sierra Nevada lines the eastern border of the state of California with a tail that spills into Nevada. It is home to the world-famous Lake Tahoe.When: Springtime in California can keep you away from summer tourists. Take advantage of the West’s mild climate by enjoying one of the most exclusive California mountain getaways in the months of April and May.Why: Hiking in one of the many stunning forests within the Sierra Nevada will be an adventure full of waterfalls, wildflowers and plenty of untouched nature.
6. Alaska Range (Alaska)Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, with plenty of attractions for second home buyers who want to invest in a snowy retreat for the whole family to enjoy.Where: The Alaska Range lines the southeastern edge of Alaska, and the summits provide peak views of the Gulf of Alaska.When: Summer is when tourists arrive in Alaska. After a long, dark winter, conditions are not considered favorable for mountain getaways until the peak season — primarily June through August.Why: The end of peak season awards patient mountain-goers the chance of a lifetime: a glimpse at the northern lights. Also known as aurora borealis, this natural phenomenon is said to be one of the most enchanting experiences on Earth.
7. Mount Rainier (Washington)When the mountain is “out,” it’s cause for celebration all around the Seattle-Tacoma area. Mount Rainier is an active volcano, but the last major eruption was in 1894. The mountain boasts wildflower meadows and ancient forests. Where: Mount Rainier (also called Tahoma) is the highest peak in Washington State and the Cascade Range, coming at 14,410 feet above sea level. When: Given its snow-capped peaks, summer is the best time to visit the Pacific Northwest if hiking and mountain trekking are high on your list.Why: If scaling an active volcano is not really your thing, there’s still plenty to do at the foot of the mountain. Mount Rainier has inspired a wave of breweries and restaurants to create gourmet treats for all to enjoy on their mountain getaways.
8. Mount Hood (Oregon)Hood River and Sandy, Oregon, are considered the gateway to Mount Hood. Although Portland makes venturing to the mountains an easy day trip, the smaller mountain towns near Mount Hood have a magical vibe that’s perfect for a mountain vacation home.Where: Located in the state of Oregon, Mount Hood is another beloved icon of the Pacific Northwest. Only 90 minutes away from Portland, a visit to Mount Hood is considered one of the city’s best day trips.When: Late spring is a wonderful time to take in the sights and sounds of Oregon’s natural parks. It’s still cold enough to enjoy winter sports like skiing, but warm enough to try your hand at hiking and fishing.Why: Mount Hood is the perfect complement to the eclectic city life of Portland and surrounding towns. The mountain, =accessible via public transportation, is the perfect place for romantic mountain getaways.
9. Adirondack Mountains (New York)Visitors and second home buyers with kids will fall in love with the weeklong winter festivals in the Adirondacks. The area’s best known city, Lake Placid, hosted two Winter Olympic Games and is a hub for winter sports of all sorts. Where: The Adirondack (ADK) Mountains are the jewel of Upstate New York. Leaving from New York City? Expect to drive roughly five to six hours before reaching the serenity of the ADKs. When: This mountain range has been the site of winter carnivals for over a century, making a trip to the Adirondack Mountains one of the best weekend mountain getaways for New Yorkers to enjoy in the wintertime.Why: The ADKs offer the ultimate mountain getaways for couples and families from New York and New Jersey who are in need of a refresh away from city life.
10. Catskill Mountains (New York)Those hailing from the New York and New Jersey area can breathe easy in the fresh air of the Catskill Mountains. Owning a second home here means having the ultimate outdoor playground at your front door.Where: In contrast to the jagged peaks of the ADK, Catskill summits are less steep, making this range ideal for beginner climbers and families.When: Fall is when you’ll be able to enjoy the full spectrum of autumn colors and cool climate of the Catskill Mountains.Why: Fishing enthusiasts will be overjoyed to learn that the Catskill Mountains are known as the birthplace of fly fishing in America. Plus, the dome-shaped peaks of the Catskills make for a great training ground for taller summits around the country.
11. Aleutian Range (Alaska)Having a second home near the Aleutian Range means being surrounded by snow-capped mountains and sparkling ocean views. It’s the perfect place to feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere with the benefit of having nearby towns like Akutan and King Cove.Where: This breathtaking mountain range is located in the southwestern region of Alaska and extends all the way to the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, helping to form the Aleutian Islands.When: Summer is the best time to island-hop. Take advantage of the ferries that operate during this season to get the most out of your mountain getaway. Why: Island-hopping, gazing at the northern lights and retiring to cozy mountain cabin getaways are all waiting for you in the rugged Aleutian Range.
12. Laguna Mountains (California)Not ready to say goodbye to city comforts? Then you’ll like the close proximity of the Laguna Mountains to urban hubs like San Diego, California. Couples will especially enjoy the wide range of activities to choose from in SoCal, including some of the best nightlife scenes in the country.Where: The Laguna Mountains are the pride and joy of San Diego County in Southern California. Prepare to be surrounded by thick patches of chaparral and wildflowers when you traverse this semi-desert landscape. When: Although Southern California is graced with a warm climate year-round, fall is perhaps the best time to head up to the mountains. Summer may be too warm to hike, but autumn offers the perfect amount of sunshine and cool breezes. Why: Follow the Laguna Creek hiking trails for a relaxing stroll by the water or trek to the gorge for enchanting waterfall views.
13. San Francisco Mountains (Arizona)Flagstaff, Arizona, is the perfect jumping off point to enjoy the San Francisco Mountains. You’ll be surrounded by lush forests, and you'll get experience all four seasons.Where: You may be surprised to learn that the San Francisco Mountains are actually located in Arizona, far from the California city that shares its name.When: Fall means you’ll miss the summer tourists but it’s still be warm enough to enjoy a day full of family-friendly activities.Why: Arizona has a magical vibe of its own that is only heightened by natural wonders like the San Francisco Mountains and the Grand Canyon. Enjoy the best of both worlds — lush forests and sprawling deserts — when you stay in this mountain destination.
14. Ko’olau Range (O’ahu, Hawai’i)The east side of the island of O’ahu is home to some of the most exclusive luxury real estate on the market. The Ko’olau Mountains are responsible for the near-perfect climate and lush flora. Exquisite beaches keep second home buyers drooling for a chance to call the nearby communities of Kailua and Lanikai their home away from home. Where: O’ahu’s east side is blessed with some of the best weather in the country, thanks to the Ko’olau Mountain Range.When: Winter is probably the best time to visit the Hawaiian island of O’ahu if you’re hoping to encounter the least amount of tourists possible.Why: Due to its white sandy beaches, the cosmopolitan capital city of Honolulu and its melting pot of culinary cultures, O’ahu is home to some of the most luxurious mountain getaways for couples to enjoy all year round.
15. Olympic Mountains (Washington)Families will revel in the abundance of adventures on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, a half-day of travel from the hubs of Tacoma and Seattle.Where: This snow-capped ridge is located in Washington State and is home to iconic mountain peaks like Mount Olympus.When: Summer is when all the park facilities are open and operating at full capacity. The local flora and fauna are at their best during this season, so make sure to pack your camera to capture the breathtaking views.Why: Olympic National Park protects nearly 1 million acres of land comprised of old-growth forests, Pacific coastlines and majestic mountain ridges. Bring your raincoat and explore four stunning rainforests.
16. Mount Shasta (California)Mt. Shasta is a tiny town at the foot of majestic Mount Shasta, a potentially active volcano in the southern end of the Cascade Range. It tops out at 14,179 feet. Where: Located in Northern California, Mount Shasta is the epitome of majestic mountain getaways. Luxury is never far from this volcanic summit, which is well known for its spiritual essence that keeps visitors coming back for more.When: If flower-filled meadows and picturesque natural landscapes are why you love mountain getaways, then spring is one of the best seasons to visit Mount Shasta.Why: Charming Mt. Shasta offers all the artisanal eateries, art markets and local breweries you could want.
17. Wichita Mountains (Oklahoma)Oklahoma City, Lawton and even Dallas, Texas, are ideal locations for a second home if you want to be within driving distance of the Wichita Mountains. Where: Head to southern Oklahoma if you want to behold the beauty of this mountain range and enjoy the biodiversity of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.When: Spring is a great time to hike, fish or simply watch local wildlife in action. The prairie at the foot of the mountain range offers stunning views of the peaks above.Why: One of America’s most iconic animals, the buffalo, can be seen roaming the protected lands of this wildlife refuge. Birdwatchers will also be delighted to know that there are nearly 300 bird species that stop here during their annual migrations.
18. Black Hills (South Dakota)Nature lovers and history buffs searching for a second home won’t want to miss Keystone, South Dakota. It’s full of historic charm and is dotted with wood sculptures of Bigfoot, Smokey Bear and other whimsical creatures that kids will love. Where: South Dakota is home to the Black Hills mountain range and many other noteworthy attractions like the Badlands and Custer State Park.When: Autumn is the perfect time to embark on an adventure to one or all of the natural attractions that the Black Hills area has to offer.Why: The Black Hills boasts more than 5 million acres of protected land that’s home to Mount Rushmore, American buffalo and a spring-fed water park.
19. Haleakalā (Maui, Hawai’i)Maui is home to some of the most beautiful beach houses imaginable. The island is the perfect romantic getaway for couples who want a second home in paradise. Where: Haleakalā National Park calls the island of Maui home. Haleakalā volcano is an active shield volcano that rests on the east side of the island.When: Winter is one of the better seasons to escape the tourists. When you visit any Hawaiian island, however, popular spots like this will always attract crowds.Why: The summit of Haleakalā is one of the only accessible places in the world where you can view the sun rising over the clouds. Reservations are required, but it’s worth it for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
20. Guadalupe Mountains (Texas)El Paso, Texas, is the ideal setting for second home seekers who want the beauty of Mexico at their fingertips without having to cross country borders.Where: The Guadalupe Mountains are the focal point of the Chihuahuan desert in West Texas. There, you can find sand dunes, reef fossils and the highest peaks in the state.When: Although West Texas is fairly warm year-round, visiting the Guadalupe Mountains in the spring means optimal conditions for hiking, camping and backpacking.Why: This mountain getaway is set in the Wild West. Take cowboy vibes to the next level by booking a horseback trail ride through the heart of the desert.
21. Pocono Mountains (Pennsylvania)Residents of Philadelphia and New York City can enjoy owning a second home near the Pocono Mountains. Perfect for a fall getaway, the Poconos area is dotted with tiny towns that make for charming day trips.Where: The Pocono Mountains can be found in the northern region of Pennsylvania, with its lush forests and serene water-lined hiking trails. When: Autumn is, without question, the best time to venture into the Pocono Mountains. In fact, there are over 20 ways visitors can experience the vast array of autumn hues in the Poconos.Why: The striking colors exhibited from the area’s 127 tree and plant species make the Poconos one of the most majestic mountain getaways around. Ziplining, train rides and lakefront beaches also await adventure seekers.
22. White Mountains (New Hampshire)Consider opting for a second home in coastal Maine if you want to enjoy the splendor of the White Mountains in nearby New Hampshire.Where: This mountain range is a subsection of the Northern Appalachian Mountains and is located within the state of New Hampshire.When: Spring in New England can create the perfect conditions for a luxurious mountain getaway in the White Mountains, even though this range is host to popular attractions year-round.Why: This mountain getaway has it all — caves to explore, horses to ride and nearly a dozen 100-foot waterfalls to enjoy as you hike one of the many well-preserved trails.
23. Grand Tetons (Wyoming)Teton Village and Jackson, Wyoming, offer stunning views of the Grand Tetons and nearby Yellowstone National Park, making this second home mountain getaway ideal for any nature lover.Where: Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming. The valley at the foot of the mountain range is home to the highly sought-after Jackson Hole area.When: Visitors may be surprised to learn that Grand Teton National Park is open to the public 24/7 every day of the year. Summer, however, is the most popular time of year to explore the Grand Tetons.Why: The snow-covered peaks of the Grand Tetons offer a variety of climbing options for experienced mountaineers looking for their next challenge. There are also plenty of cycling trails and scenic drives to take around the park for those hoping for a relaxing mountain getaway.
24. Uinta Mountains (Utah)Park City is the place to be if day trips to the Uinta Mountains are high on your second home wish list. Enjoy all the amenities of big city living while being close to Ashley National Forest and Great Salt Lake.Where: The Uinta Mountains are situated in northern Utah. Unlike the rest of the state’s topography, this area is home to green valleys and lush forests. When: Summer creates great conditions for extended stays in the mountains for those interested in camping or backpacking through the rugged range.Why: Thrill seekers can enjoy white water river rafting and 2,800 miles of off-road ATV trails. The nearby spas and amusement parks are Uinta Mountain getaway itinerary options as well.
25. Bighorn Mountains (Wyoming)Sheridan, Wyoming, is the ultimate in quaint mountain towns, rich in history and charm. Families and friends can relax in the great outdoors when they call the Bighorn region their home away from home.Where: Visit southern Montana or northern Wyoming to catch a glimpse of what is considered to be the Rocky Mountain’s sister range.When: Springtime is when Bighorn National Forest is in full bloom. Enjoy hiking among fragrant patches of alpine meadows on this majestic mountain getaway. Why: This protected national forest offers not one but three scenic byways that culminate in over 100 miles of beautiful views. The Cloud Peak Wilderness is another highlight of the protected area, and offers unspoiled alpine nature at its best.
26. Pine Valley Mountains (Utah)St. George, Utah, is a mountain town full of old-world charm. A second home in the Pine Valley area will award you plenty of space to get away from it all.Where: Enjoy Utah’s dramatic desert scenery whenever you visit the Pine Valley Mountains. This mountain range is also home to one of the largest mountain laccoliths (dome-shaped rock formations) in the world.When: The Pine Valley Mountains can be enjoyed in every season, but winter in this arid desert offers some of the best snowboarding and skiing opportunities in Utah.Why: Enjoy a unique ecosystem full of outdoor activities like boating, bouldering and backpacking through the striking landscape of the Dixie National Forest with the Pine Valley Mountains as the ultimate backdrop.
27. Taconic Mountains (New York)Residents of Albany, New York City and even Boston, Massachusetts, can enjoy the year-round splendor of the Taconic Mountains when they purchase a luxury second home in the area.Where: You can find this subrange of the Appalachian Mountains in the states of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont.When: Summer is when outdoor activities like waterfall trekking and lake fishing abound in the Taconic Mountains. Check the region’s website for more information about the official swimming season.Why: Take a carriage ride next to the Hudson River or backpack through charming woodlands whenever you stay in a luxurious mountain getaway home in the Taconic Mountains.
28. San Gabriel Mountains (California)Los Angeles is the perfect place to call your second home if being close to the stunning San Gabriel Mountains is your top priority. Where: This mountain range lies on the edge of SoCal’s most dynamic city. Locals and tourists alike flock to the San Gabriel Mountains for the impressive scenery and abundant biodiversity.When: Fall in Southern California offers an unbeatable climate for hiking, bouldering and trekking to the world-famous observatory at the summit of Mount Wilson.Why: A San Gabriel Mountain adventure is the perfect way to balance out a Los Angeles getaway. After you enjoy all the city has to offer, head to the mountains for some peace, quiet and spectacular skylines.
29. Mount Waialeale (Kaua’i, Hawai’i)The island of Kaua’i — also called the Garden Isle — may be small, but it is full to the brim with breathtaking views of Mount Waialeale, the Pacific Ocean and thick groves of tropical forests. Families, couples and solo travelers will definitely be caught daydreaming about their vacation home in paradise.Where: Mount Waialeale, in the heart of Kauaʻi in the state of Hawai’i, is widely considered to be one of the wettest places on the planet.When: Winter can be one of the best times to visit the Garden Isle due to a lower number of tourists. This time of year can also yield impeccable views of the Pacific Ocean while you scale the mountain.Why: Apart from the island’s beautiful sandy beaches, Mount Waialeale is also home to 800-foot waterfalls and Waimea Canyon on its western edge. If you’re looking for a mountain getaway that offers it all, this is the place for you.
How to pack for a mountain getawayBefore you head up the mountain, double-check that you’ve packed these mountain getaway essentials:
- Thermal layers
- Hiking boots
- Bear spray and insect repellent
- First-aid kit
- Water bottle
- Hydrating snacks