Published April 13, 2012
Although the snow is melting, ski destinations can be just as pleasurable when the weather heats up — and they’ve got the serious scenery to back it. And even if you’re not into a rugged vacay, there are still plenty of spots for you to chill out with incredible mountain views. Check out our ten favorite views.
The Lotus at Diamond Head, Diamond Head, Honolulu, Oahu
The Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the island of Oahu. It got its name from the calcite crystals found on its sides, which British sailors in the 19th century mistook for diamonds. The fairly easy hiking trails that lead to the crater rim, and the stunning views it offers have made it one of the top tourist attractions on the island.
Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa, La Fortuna/Arenal, Costa Rica
The conically-shaped Arenal is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with ash columns, rumbling and lava flows happening almost on a daily basis. It was thought to be dormant for a long time, but it completely wiped off the map the village of Tabacon in the summer of 1968, and has remained very active since. However, seismologists say it’s unlikely to cause large damage in the next couple of decades as its activity appears to be decreasing.
Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Tetons is a mountain range part of the Rocky Mountains formed six to eight million years ago by the shifting of the Earth crust along the Teton fault. The area has been the setting for several movies, including a number of westerns, and is now a major ski destination.
Resort at Squaw Creek, Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, California
Squaw Valley is one of the largest ski resorts in the U.S., attracting some 600,000 skiers every year. However, it’s not only a winter destination: the Valley is home to a number of summer festivals and a top destination for hiking and stargazing.
Doral Desert Princess Resort, Palm Springs, California, United States
San Jacinto is a mountain range and a National Monument in Southern California partly owned by the Cahuilla Indians, who use the land for hunting and foraging. The natural and cultural resources of the eastern side are protected by the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy.
Auberge Du Soleil, Rutherford, Napa County, California
Tiny Rutherford is surrounded by wonderful wineries sprawling over rolling hills. The beauty of Napa Valley, one of the world’s best wine-growing regions, is striking at any time of the year, but especially during the harvest season (September and October) and spring.
Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, Breckenridge, Colorado, United States
Breckenridge Ski Resort was founded in late 1961, and is now one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. It features 30 lifts covering over 2,300 skiable acres and 155 runs, over a third of which are tagged as “expert” level. The area gets an average of 300 inches of snow per year.
The St. Regis Deer Valley, Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
Deer Valley is annually ranked among the best alpine ski resorts in North America, with 21 lifts, 113 runs, and a skiable area of over 2,000 acres. It was a venue site during the 2002 Winter Olympics and hosts many ski competitions throughout the winter, but the area is also popular among hikers, bikers and families during the warmer months.
L'Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, Arizona, United States
The Red Rocks are some of the most spectacular rock formations in the South, with impressive buttes and desert cliffs. The Red Rock State Park has a network of trails totaling 5 miles, year-round exhibits, a movie theater and picnic areas, and has become the main attraction in Sedona.
Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
Soufriere Bay and the Pitons. The small fishing village of Soufriere and its beautiful bay are dominated by the Petit Piton, one of the two impressive volcanic plugs covered in vegetation that have become the symbol of St. Lucia. The lava necks, both of which can be seen on the photo, are located in a World Heritage Site and are separated by the Piton Mitan ridge.