Where to enjoy the luxury of personal space, less people and fresh air
While the year of 2020 restricted much travel, and the new year even off to a rocky start – there is hope that more freedom will come this 2021. Even still, with so much to be explored right here in the United States that most people haven’t even scratched the surface of… why bother looking to leave this beautiful country we call America.
Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky is located in southwest Montana – the 4th largest state in the USA, yet is home to only 1.05 million people. Big Sky is located about 40 miles south of Bozeman, Montana and about 15 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.
Big Sky’s 5,800 acres of skiable terrain makes it a fan favorite for crowd-free skiing in the Rocky Mountains. Of course there is a lot more to do here than ski in this region. Beautiful golf courses such as a thousand-acre high-elevation Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Fly-fishing rivers, hiking and mountain biking trails, and minutes away from Yellowstone National Park.
A recent investment in the area will be bringing some new hospitality. The $400 million ultra-luxury Montage Big Sky, will welcome guests for the 2021-22 ski season within Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, a 3,500-acre private golf and ski community.
The Black Hills of South Dakota
Home to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, this welcoming outdoorsy state has something for everyone. The Black Hills of South Dakota is considered a top ranked snowmobiling destination – and the Black Hills National Forest is covered with grassland prairie.
The region is full of wide-open spaces that include the historic town of Deadwood, and several national monuments and parks. If cycling is your thing, you must check out Adventure Cycling’s new Parks, Peaks, and Prairies cycling route, which connects trails winding from Yellowstone to Minneapolis.
They say Wyoming is the perfect state for social distancing. The country’s least-populated state has only six people per square mile, meaning it’s naturally easy to stay safely apart.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton are the two most popular of the 12 beautiful Wyoming state parks. If you want to get the most out of your time spent there, check out itineraries from ToursByLocals, including a full-day adventure in Grand Teton National park, or book the new winter experience with wolves from Scott Dunn.
In south central Wyoming, stay on a real Wyoming ranch, where cattle has been raised and grains grown since the early 1900s. The Relais & Chateaux Magee Homestead reopens to leisure travelers and relaunches its popular culinary events. And in Jackson, the first hotel on the historic town square, the 100-room Cloudveil, is set to open in spring with a huge rooftop terrace overlooking Snow King Mountain.
While you’re enjoying the state, might I suggest a visit to what I consider to be one of my all time favorite craft distilleries – Wyoming Whiskey. There are currently no tours due to COVID-19 concerns, however the whiskey shop is open and offering tastings.