Summer is just around the corner, and if you are still looking for that perfect vacation idea then consider heading out West. This area of the United States offers some truly breathtaking landscapes in which to take picturesque shots or go on an audacious trip. It truly is the perfect place for a bucket list adventure.

From hiking through spectacular scenery with amazing views all across our country’s landscape to gliding over serene lakes while watching birds soar overhead—there is no place like the mountains in the summer!

What are you waiting for? Get ready to make some memories among America’s majestic landscapes. Read on for our top destinations to visit this summer.

Looking up Park City's historic main street in Utah in autumn

Park City, Utah

Park City is a town that has something for everyone. For those looking to get away from it all, there are tons of hiking trails and fishing spots throughout the area. If you have a more creative mind, consider checking out the "Last Friday Gallery Stroll." Nearly 20 art galleries line Main Street and for one weekend a month, they showcase new works by local artists.

So whether your definition of fun includes nature or culture, Park City offers an array of opportunities that are equal parts charming yet modern. Sprinkle in some old-world charm and this little mountain community will not disappoint.

Fly Fishing

Take this opportunity to fall in love with fly-fishing on one of the premier blue-ribbon trout rivers that offer exceptional opportunities close to Utah's major cities. The Provo River, which flows through town before ending at the trout-filled Highland Lakes, is the ideal spot to try your hand at fly fishing. Brown and rainbow trout varieties are common here, so you'll be sure to not only catch them, but your fish could reach record size—averaging 18 inches or bigger. In some spots along the river, there are 3,000 trout per mile so you’ll never run out of places to try.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

There’s something about soaring high above the beautiful mountain communities below that makes you feel like all your dreams have come true—even if it's just for a few minutes before landing back on earth again. The Skywalker Balloon Company will take any thrill-seeker high into the sky on a hot air balloon ride where they'll see astounding shades of blue and fluffy white clouds below. The year-round sunshine makes this an incredible adventure for any season, but particularly summertime.


Yoga is a wonderful way to explore your surroundings. Park City Yoga Adventures has unparalleled experiences that blend yoga with adventure activities—including stand-up paddleboarding in a 10,000-year-old hot spring in a cave at Homestead Crater’s. According to their website, “The crater’s therapeutic 95-degree and 65-feet deep mineral water is warm and inviting, which is good because you’ll probably end up in it!” This is an opportunity you’ll never forget—time to make some memories.

State Park

A few miles outside Park City, Jordanelle State Park is a hidden gem of epic proportions. Whether you're looking to fish or hike, this park has it all! The beautiful views will take center stage while you and your family snack at an incredible picnic spot, take off on a boating excursion to see some of Utah’s stunning waterways, or simply set up a camp chair and fish next to the water. You won’t forget this popular summer spot.

Not done yet?This park is not far from the Rail Trail or Mid Mountain Trackway, which offers spectacular scenery depending on your hiking experience and fitness level. Take a leisurely stroll near waterfalls in the forest or take off into high mountains after sunrise, it’s all beautiful. Check out the Park City Hiking Trails website and remember to always bring plenty of food and water.

Drive Time

The Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway provides a phenomenal view of the mountains along a 14-mile road and is widely accessible to all who wish to drive through this fantastic site. The majestic mountains and wildflowers will leave you speechless in the summer (and let’s not forget the impressive Aspens in the fall). This inspiring destination has plenty of stops to take frame-worthy pictures so you can add them to your wall of memories at home.

Main Street Historic District

Take the kids on an ice cream tour of Park City's Main Street Historic District where they can watch ice cream being made right before their eyes. There's no better way to cool off in the summer heat than with a variety of delicious treats. Head over to Coffee Cow—they've got plenty of options available so everyone will be satisfied without feeling too guilty or heavy afterward. (Who doesn't love that?)


Horseback riding through the wildflowers in the Grand Teton Moutain range.

Breckenridge, Colorado

For families looking to have a great time this summer in Breckenridge, Colorado, there is no shortage of activities. Hiking, biking, and fly fishing all have their own unique benefits that make them perfect options to pick from, but there’s so much more. So get out there and enjoy all the things Breck has to offer so you and your family can be happy and healthy on your summer vacation.

White Water Rafting

May through September is the best time to go rafting in Colorado. The Arkansas River is often considered to be America’s most popular river for whitewater rafting, and it is just one hour from Breckenridge. (We know what you thinking…) Whitewater rafting isn’t just for daredevils, it's also an activity where everyone can have their own sense of adventure at an appropriate skill and comfort level with an expert guide. You'll create a lifetime of memories that you will cherish forever.

Besides, whitewater rafting is a summertime tradition for all ages.

The Breckenridge Rafting Company offers a wide range of child-friendly trips for those who want to enjoy the outdoors with their children. Launch off on short, beginner-level rapids without having any fear or anxiety about what lies ahead! These slower-paced rivers are perfect if you’re looking forward to engaging with nature while also spending quality time with family or friends.

Horseback Riding

You’ll never forget your first horseback ride in Breck when you experience the breathtaking views and exciting adventures that await at Breckenridge Stables. With over 100 acres (about half of which are off-grid), there's plenty to discover. While hiking is a great way to get a glimpse of nature, a guided trail ride can take sightseers beyond what they could see on their feet. Riders will experience river crossings, beaver ponds, and panoramic views of the Continental Divide. Breckenridge Stables has over 100 horses and can match each rider to a horse based on the rider’s ability and age.

A Hike Through History

Hiking through Breckenridge is a great way to enjoy some time outside and get in touch with nature. The trails aren't too difficult, so even beginners can go on them. Plus there are plenty of hiking opportunities that don’t require long-distance driving or crowded parks—take advantage of the nearby nature walks at Lake Michael Bishop Park.

For history buffs who are curious about what makes Colorado so unique, consider going to a ghost town. Climax, Colorado is a former mining village with current operations still existing. It's located at a whopping 11,360 feet above sea level in Lake County, 38 minutes southwest of Breckenridge. Located along the top of the Rockies Scenic Byway, this town was the highest human settlement in the United States, holding the record for the highest railroad station and second-highest post office.


Colorful Grand Prismatic Spring sending hot steam skyward with a passing bison herd in the Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.

Big Sky, Montana

When you want to get away from it all, look no further than Big Sky. The proximity of this Montana town makes it an excellent choice for families who are traveling near Yellowstone National Park. With everything from fishing trips on trails leading into canyons to relaxing spa treatments dotting mountain passes throughout our area—you may never want to leave. This gorgeous destination is only 50 minutes from Bozeman International Airport with flights available to and from 14 major cities, including San Francisco and Phoenix.

Big Sky Professional Bull Riders

Live music, exciting events, and Western hospitality await you at the Big Sky PBR (Professional Bull Riders). “Big Sky’s Biggest Week" is the place to be in July with three nights full of action, fundraiser events, and vendor village visits—there's something in store at every turn. Whether it’s bull riding or whiskey tasting courses, or even pinot pairings, everyone will be fully entertained by sunset. Learn more about this event or buy tickets at

Yellowstone Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Though this park has an array of small animals, it’s also known for its predator-prey complex of large mammals, including bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, and, mule deer as well as large predators like black bears, Canada lynx, coyotes, and more.

Both kids and adults love Yellowstone Park because 97% of its 2 million acres (about twice the area of Rhode Island) is untouched wilderness. You can spend weeks exploring this park and never see it all. However, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a look at the Old Faithful geyser, which erupts like clockwork every 35 to 120 minutes, and the Grand Prismatic hot springs that display a brightly-colored landscape that is the most photographed thermal feature in Yellowstone.

Fishing, hiking, and boating are some of the most popular activities in Yellowstone, which are perfect for all ages. If you’re looking for a summer vacation that will please both young and old, look no further than Yellowstone National Park.

Bozeman Hot Springs

Visitors to the Bozeman Hot Springs are searching for ways to relax and enjoy their time away. There is no better solution than soaking in one of their 12 natural hot springs, all while basking in the fresh air of the beautiful outdoors. For more than 100 years now, these serene pools have been providing locals an opportunity to escape into nature’s beauty without any worries at hand, and visitors continue to travel near and far to do the exact same thing. As they say, this will be your new favorite place to be.


Beautiful landscape of Mammoth Lakes in California.

Mammoth Lakes, California

Surrounded by a sweeping mountainscape and crystal-clear lakes, Mammoth Lakes promises endless variety and adventures for all. What's more perfect than an afternoon spent with your family exploring the great outdoors? From gemstone mining and rock wall climbing to zip lining or trampolines, there are so many fun things that you can do at Mammoth Mountain.

The Adventure Center

The perfect day at the Adventure Center at Mammoth Mountain is a planned event. With over 20 different activities, your kids can take on the rock climbing wall, endure the ropes course, or enjoy the bungee trampoline while you take in scenic views and relax for an hour or two. The best part? There are great “Adventure Pass Perks” that offer discounts for even more activities. That’s a lot of fun in one convenient location.

Wolly’s Mining Company

Get ready for treasure hunting! Also at Mammoth Mountain, families can strike it rich at Woolly’s mining Co., where pint-sized prospectors can use screen trays and water to find their fortune. Sift through the sand together as a family to uncover rare finds like gemstones and arrowheads that will make any kid a collector. Make this an educational opportunity that’s exciting too.

Movie Time

Do you need a break from adventuring? Want to get out of the heat? Order a bucket of buttery-salty goodness and catch a flick at Minaret Cinemas in the heart of Mammoth Lakes. This retro-styled movie theater has comfortable seating and digital surround sound to give you the full effect from a variety of new releases. Remember, it’s a great way to get the family together for an entire evening without running all over town. So, take a nap, watch a movie, it’s your choice—enjoy!

For summer vacation destinations that will please the entire family, consider heading to the mountains. There are plenty of activities to keep mountain climbers, hikers, and fishing enthusiasts busy while also providing leisurely activities like horseback riding for sightseers who prefer a more relaxed pace.

After a day of adventuring, find comfort at one of Natural Retreats' luxurious vacation properties—perfect for families of all shapes and sizes. And don’t forget to tag us on social media at @NaturalRetreats and use the hashtag #TravelOn. We want to see those family photos!