Resorts Within Reach: Best of the U.S.

Forget everything you thought you knew about resorts. These 10 escapes deliver thrilling activities, plush amenities, and sweeping views, from $119 a night.

Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa
This 1,500-acre resort in Thompsonville, Mich.—about two and a half hours north of Grand Rapids and set amid two state forests—has 45 ski slopes, 25 miles of cross-country skiing trails, and a 20-person outdoor hot tub for post-skiing decompression. Crystal Mountain is ecofriendly too: It powers its main high-speed chairlift with wind energy tax credits, and the year-old Crystal Spa is the only spa in the Midwest with certified environmentally sustainable construction. There are more than 260 lodging options available, from standard hotel rooms to four- and five-bedroom mountain-view condos and cottages. Summer activities include two 18-hole golf courses and the 250-foot-high Crystal Coaster, basically a 1,500-foot-long slide.
All-inclusive? No.
On the beach? No.
Price From $119.
Contact 800-968-7686,

Canyon of the Eagles Lodge & Nature Park
The 940-acre Canyon of the Eagles Lodge, in the Texas Hill Country about 90 minutes northwest of Austin by car, is state certified as ecofriendly. Guests can hike among wildflowers, rare butterflies, and endangered birds like the golden-cheeked warbler on the nature park's 14 miles of trails. Walk the 80 yards to state-owned Lake Buchanan to play volleyball on the three-mile beach or to rent a kayak, a canoe, or a sailboat. The resort can arrange Vanishing Texas river cruises on the Colorado River, with spectacular views of Colorado River Canyon, waterfalls, and birds like bald eagles and falcons ($19 per person). The 62 rooms have rustic wooden headboards, corrugated metal roofs, and private or communal porches with rocking chairs.
All-inclusive? No.
On the beach? No.
Price From $124, including breakfast on weekdays.
Contact 800/977-0081,

Arizona Grand Resort
Located about 10 miles outside Phoenix in a secluded area near the base of South Mountain, the 640-suite Arizona Grand Resort completed a $52 million renovation this year. There's now an 18-hole golf course, a massive athletic club with more than 45 weekly classes, and the resort's main attraction: Oasis Water Park, organized around an eight-story tower with three water slides, a wave pool, river tubing, and a 25-person hot tub. There are more than 60 miles of trails in the adjacent 17,000-acre South Mountain Preserve for guided hikes and mountain biking (rent a bike at the resort starting at $25 for four hours). The spa and salon offers treatments like lavender milk and beeswax body massages, ideal for moisturizing skin dried by the desert. Each suite-style room has a private balcony or patio facing the Arizona sunset.
All-inclusive? No.
On the beach? No.
Price From $199.
Contact 602/438-9000,

Sunriver Resort
Located at the base of the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon, about 15 miles from Bend, Sunriver Resort offers year-round outdoor pursuits like skiing at Mount Bachelor, teeing off on the 63 holes at four golf courses, exploring the trails of the 2.5-million-acre Deschutes National Forest by horseback, and stargazing at the resort's observatory. The resort conducts 150 events between Thanksgiving and New Year's, including bonfires, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and tours by dogsled. Children can spend the day with the kids' club, visiting the nature center, the fish hatchery, and the stables. Choose a treatment from Sage Springs Spa, like the Oregon Hazelnut Scrub or an organic espresso rub. Each room has a gas fireplace and a private balcony with views of the resort's 3,300 wooded acres and the Deschutes River.
All-inclusive? No.
On the beach? No.
Price From $159.
Contact 800-801-8765,

Resort at Squaw Creek
Minutes from Lake Tahoe in California and just below the Squaw Valley mountains, this all-season 195-acre resort provides lift service to Squaw Valley USA, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Ski on 400 acres of cross-country terrain, enjoy a dogsled tour, ice-skate at the resort's rink, or relax in two heated pools and a full-service spa with a sauna, a steam room, and three all-season outdoor whirlpools. Summer activities include guided horseback rides through the Sierra Nevada, guided wildflower walks, and the 120-foot waterslide at the pool. The resort's 405 rooms feature slate and granite accents; some have gas fireplaces and kitchens.
All-inclusive? No.
On the beach? No.
Price From $179.
Contact 800/327-3353,


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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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