If you don’t know about Red Lodge’s skiing and snowboarding scene, here’s what you’ve been missing: affordable prices, heart-stopping vistas and plenty of fresh powder (around 250 inches of snow each year). Two hours north of Anchorage, small-town Talkeetna thrives in the shadow of North America’s tallest peak. In northeastern California, where the Cascades and Sierra Nevadas meet, Lake Almanor offers swimming, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and 52 miles of forested shoreline. In Red Lodge’s historic downtown, you’ll find plenty of unique local spots to shop, eat and enjoy a pint. This popular mountain vacation destination is surrounded by natural attractions including three lakes, two rivers and a number of public caves, so canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hiking abound. But this scenic community in the Adirondack Mountains is also one of the country’s oldest mountain vacation destinations, in part because of its four-season appeal. Visit Big Bear Lake, and you’re in for an adventurous vacation—there’s no question about that. It’s a regional hub for whitewater rafting, horseback riding, ziplining and a long list of other popular outdoor activities; visit in the winter, and you can even fly down the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort. The adventure paradise edged out second-place finisher Gatlinburg, Tennessee and third-place finisher Red Lodge, Montana to take the crown. Aside from the region’s legendary whitewater rafting, Fayetteville is also known for rock climbing, llama treks(!) Rent a ski-in, ski-out chalet or a rustic cabin on the river and kick back for a secluded getaway. Snowmass Village offers skiers and snowboarders easy access to four mountains during the winter; after the snow melts, hikers and bikers arrive to tackle more than 50 miles of winding alpine trails. From world-class distilleries, farm to fork restaurants, and the big sky this rocky mountain state is known for, there’s nothing in Bozeman that is lacking. With more than 100 miles of coastline, the lake has two marinas and multiple public boat ramps along with a swimming beach and campground. Ely is a small town that’s easy to overlook: northern Minnesota, population 3,460, set against the stunning backdrop of the Shagawa Lake. You can sample it here. And Ashland is also home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which produces top-notch performances throughout the spring, summer and fall. Public boat ramps, a swimming beach, playgrounds, and picnic areas are all within the recreation area. After the decline of the area’s railway and timber industries in the 1960s, the former logging town remodeled its buildings to create a Bavarian-style alpine village. While you’re in town, take a riverboat tour, book a fishing charter, try the canopy zipline course or hop on a “flightseeing” tour for an up-close look at Denali National Park. Lavonia and Royston have plentiful places to stay, including chains like Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lavonia. Reserve a cabin rental or luxury lodge and prepare for an epic outdoor adventure. Branson is one of our favorite American lake towns, and an ideal destination for family vacationers. Visit in the mid-to-late summer, and you can pick your own. Don’t miss the chance to hike the half-mile trail to the 100-foot-high Minnehaha Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in North Georgia. Of course, if you prefer to stay on dry land, you can always browse the handcrafted items on display in the area’s artisan-run shops. Popular with fishermen, Lake Hartwell sits on the Georgia and South Carolina state line. Paradise Hills Winery Resort & Spa also has a spa and a tasting room steps away from the accommodations. And while we’re crunching the numbers, here are five reasons—music festivals, mountain climbing, biking, hiking and golf—to visit after the snow melts. Vermilion has long been one of the most beloved beach towns on the south shore of Lake Erie. Escape to these thriving communities, where the scenery stuns and the culture flourishes. This Sawtooth mountain town is nothing short of magical with it’s ice sculptures, natural hot springs, and snowy adventures. But the fun doesn’t stop after summer ends; nearby spas and outstanding exhibits at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art make Eureka Springs an enchanting winter escape. Copyright 2013 Extremis Premium Magazine Theme, cabins and rustic ski lodges available for rent on TripAdvisor Rentals, you can book all your tours, activities, and attractions right on TripAdvisor, too, book yourself a moonshine and wine tasting tour, book a six-hour grizzly bear-spotting tour, Small Group Tour – Hidden West Oahu With Snorkeling, Performance Ski Rental Package from Park City, Pre-book your place on a seven-hour rafting experience on the San Miguel River, 14 Best Places To Travel In October (And Affordable), PYOP: 17 Fun-Filled Pumpkin Picking Experiences Across The Country, 15 Rocky Mountain Towns With Breathtaking Scenery And World-Class Outdoor Activities, 12 Charming Small Towns In The South With Warm Hospitality & Abundant Natural Beauty, 15 Pretty New England Coastal Towns Full Of Small-Town Charm, 15 Sparkling Seaside Towns In The USA, From California To The Carolinas, 15 Scenic & Historic Weekend Getaways In New England, From Lively Cities To Charming Small Towns, 14 Scenic Island Vacations In The US Oozing With Charm, 13 Wildly Romantic Getaways In Colorado For All Types Of Couples, 18 Incredibly Charming Small Towns In California For Both Beach & Land Lovers, 16 Incredibly Romantic Getaways In The Midwest, From Major Cities To Hidden Gems. 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