5 Trips You Should Take This Summer and Fall

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From a cruise around Iceland to a surf retreat in Costa Rica, these are our top picks for summer and fall getaways in 2024.

 

Adventure in Jackson Hole

 

You already know Jackson Hole for its world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter. But this destination should also be on your radar for summer, when the Tetons come alive with colorful wildflowers and wildlife are out and about taking advantage of the season’s bounty.

 

Head to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to hike, scale the via ferrata, mountain bike, navigate the ropes course and soak up the 360-degree views from the aerial tram. Here, you can also play disc golf, dine al fresco on The Deck, bounce around on a bungee trampoline and soar through the air while paragliding.

 

Courtesy of Aman Resorts

 

No matter how you choose to adventure, make Amangani your home base. This intimate, upscale hotel is perched on East Gros Ventre Butte just outside of downtown Jackson, so it’s centrally located for exploring the entire region—including Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the National Elk Refuge. And, the property itself is a stunning retreat, with Pacific redwood paneling, Oklahoma sandstone columns, floor-to-ceiling windows, tall ceilings and a large infinity pool overlooking the Snake River valley below.

 

The hotel also offers a wide range of summer experiences, including wildlife tours, float trips down the Snake River, photography workshops, hot air balloon rides and more. Choose between 40 spacious suites, or book one of Amangani’s three free-standing homes for even more room to spread out. After exploring all day, treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa treatment so you’ll feel refreshed and ready to do it all over again the next morning.

 

Cruise Around Iceland

 

It’s time to start checking destinations off your bucket list—like Iceland, the ruggedly beautiful Nordic island nation situated between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Since Iceland is surrounded by water, one of the best ways to experience it is on a small ship, like Windstar’s 312-guest Star Pride.

 

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

 

For a comprehensive Iceland experience, book Windstar’s 7-day “Around Iceland” itinerary, which lets you circumnavigate the island in total comfort. The trip starts and ends in Reykjavik—which has daily nonstop flights from Denver—and includes stops at destinations like Surtsey Island, Seydisfjordur and Akureyri. Immerse yourself in this otherworldly landscape while horseback riding, river rafting, hiking, ATVing, kayaking or just strolling around on a guided tour.

 

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

 

When you’re not out adventuring, relax in the comfort of your newly renovated suite, take a dip in the whirlpool at the ship’s bow or book a soothing treatment in the spa. And as you dine onboard the ship, you’ll get to savor the culinary creations of James Beard Foundation chefs—including Denver’s Jennifer Jasinski, who, along with other award-winning chefs, developed recipes for the cruise line.

 

Learn to Surf in Costa Rica

 

Courtesy of Surf Synergy

 

If you’ve been feeling burned out lately, take yourself on a tropical, wellness-focused getaway to Jacó, Costa Rica. Book an immersive 7-day “surf week” at Surf Synergy, which includes daily surf lessons, breathwork training, massages, nutrition, daily yoga and other offerings that are designed to provide a transformative, holistic experience.

 

And you don’t need to have any previous surfing experience, either. Surf Synergy’s coaches will tailor and personalize your lessons, depending on your skill level and your goals. The resort itself is gorgeous, with six light-filled bungalows with hammocks, garden rain showers, lounge seating and lush gardens. If you’re traveling with a group, you can also book an equally stunning 11,000-square-foot villa called Casa del Cielo.

 

Courtesy of Surf Synergy

 

Though WiFi is available, Surf Synergy is a digital-free zone, so you won’t find any distracting TVs in your bungalow. The resort encourages guests to really unplug and disconnect, to reap the mental health benefits of being totally offline for a while. Surf Synergy is just two hours from San Jose, which has direct flights from Denver, and the property will take care of door-to-door transfers so you don’t have to stress about logistics.

 

Ski the Peaks of Chile

Courtesy of Ski Portillo

 

It may be warm and sunny here in Colorado—but it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere. If you didn’t get enough skiing in this winter, extend the season by venturing to South America. For the ultimate “ski-in-summer” vacation, head to Ski Portillo, a timeless ski resort located in the Andes mountains two hours northeast of Santiago, Chile.

 

Ski Portillo is iconic: It was the first ski resort in South America, and the only South American resort ever to host the World Ski Championships. And this season is extra special, as it marks Ski Portillo’s 75th anniversary. To celebrate, the resort is hosting special festivities and events all season long, from wine dinners on the mountain to new stargazing experiences.

 

Courtesy of Ski Portillo

 

Prepare to be dazzled by the views: Ski Portillo is situated on the banks of the deep-blue Lake of the Inca, which is surrounded by towering, snow-covered peaks. You won’t find crowded runs or long lift lines here because, at most, Ski Portillo hosts just 450 guests at a time. This intimate environment creates a unique social scene where you’re likely to become friends with skiers from all over the world. While day skiing is available, most people spend a full week or a four-night “mini week” here, which includes lodging, lift tickets and hotel activities. While you’re here, also enjoy Chilean wine tastings, yoga classes, heli-skiing and more.

 

Stargaze in Southern Idaho

 

Courtesy of Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service

 

Stay up late and marvel at the cosmos at Craters of the Moon National Monument, a 750,000-acre geological wonderland in southern Idaho. As the name suggests, the rocky landscape looks like something you’d find on the moon: The park was formed by more than 60 lava flows that erupted between 15,000 and 2,100 years ago. And while the park’s caves and trails are definitely worth exploring during the day, Craters of the Moon is even more magical after sundown. Thanks to the lack of light pollution here, Craters of the Moon has been an International Dark Sky Park since 2017. Book a campsite at the Lava Flow Campground, then ponder the mysteries of the universe while gazing up at the star-speckled sky.

 

Even more reason to visit this summer? The park is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2024, which means it’s hosting a season of celebratory events—like ranger-led full moon hikes and “star parties” hosted by astronomers. Plan a road trip from Colorado, or fly into Boise and rent a custom camper van from Wandervans.

 

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