Five National Park Lodges for People Who Hate Roughing It
Look, there’s no reason you need to experience the majesty of our National Parks from an RV. Or a tent. You’re amongst nature’s most majestic wonders. Go big.
From Yosemite’s cascading waterfalls to the rugged shores of Acadia, we’ve compiled five amazing resorts within and abutting the parks, each one ensuring that the splendor of your accommodations matches the splendor you’ll find surrounding them.
(And remember: It’s National Parks Week, which means free admission. Put that saved $ towards a nice room.)
Photo by Mark James Miller
Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Nestled at the base of the sheer cliffs of the North Valley wall, the stone, concrete and wooden facade of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly known as The Ahwahnee) blends in seamlessly with its rugged surroundings. The six-story edifice features a massive lobby with Native American art and tapestries, and rooms overlooking Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. Hike the Nevada Fall trails and relax by nightfall in the Great Lounge as embers from the massive fireplaces warm you. Socialize at tea time in the same room where Ansel Adams played the famed Steinway piano.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
The Rockies’ most riveting range is best experienced from Amangani, situated atop East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson Hole. Listen to the call of the elk as masses migrate from the high country while you chill in the outdoor heated pool. Be awed by the scenery from wall-length windows and fine dining at The Grill. Savor cocktails and views of the Snake River Range in the two-story high lounge. Go cross-country skiing or brush up on the region’s flora and fauna in the hotel library.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Perched on the gorge’s Southern Rim, the European villa-inspired El Tovar is a designated historic landmark that was built in 1905. The wooden exterior, the lobby’s dark tones, log beams, mounted moose heads and rustic furniture give it an upscale hunting lodge ambience. Cozy up on a balcony rocking chair to savor the mighty reds, browns and yellows of the Southwest, or be humbled by the sun setting over the deep Canyon.
Dancing Bear Lodge
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
With ridge upon ridge of endless trees, this haven is begging to be explored. Dancing Bear, a luxury cabin lodge located five minutes from the park in Townsend, is ideal for a rustic getaway. Take a wildflower walk or go biking on the nearby trails. Savor hot cocoa on a porch swing with your significant other and let the tranquil burbles of nearby streams soothe you. In particular, the Sugarlands and Clingman’s Dome Villas feature king-size beds, full kitchens and privacy from the other villas.
Mountains, rocky coastlines and abundant wildlife make Acadia one of the most enchanting places on the East Coast. Much of the action is centered in Bar Harbor, a coastal town where Harborside Hotel resides only moments away from the Park. The hotel boasts oceanside suites (complete with Jacuzzis and six-person private dining rooms) along with mouthwatering fare at La Bella Vita, making this destination reminiscent of Italian harbor towns. Go paddling in the Atlantic or take a bike ride around the 27-mile scenic loop, then end the day listening to live jazz at nearby Lompoc Café.
Main image via Amangani
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