In a world saturated with “Best Of” lists and the need to find the biggest, baddest spot for your next vacation, some resorts dubbed best-in-class were chosen by people who have nothing in common with you. If you live and breathe for the great outdoors, adventure around every corner, and the ability to make your next vacation truly one of your dreams — including private hunting access and a top-notch whiskey selection — then this is the list for you.
Singletree Gun & Plough
Located on 1,000 private acres with more than five miles of riverfront access, North Carolina’s Singletree Gun & Plough is a wilderness resort comprised of an eight-bedroom lodge and secluded rental cabins. With a game room stocked with billiards, poker, chess, a big screen HD TV, oversized fireplace, and full bar, this is man-cave living at its finest.
Specializing in outdoor adventure, the property offers fly-fishing, canoeing, zip lining, rock climbing, and mountain biking packages. The elegantly rustic inn offers the best in local brandy and whiskey, and only Singletree guests are allowed behind the gates.
If you’re passionate about your two-pedaled hunk of metal, Hotel Domestique is the place to indulge your every desire before, and after, hitting the pavement. The 13-room boutique hotel is owned by 17-time Tour de France cyclist, George Hincapie, and perfectly situated in South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
The hotel uniquely caters to two-wheel aficionados with their bike valet and the option to rent a Trek bike from their high-end rental fleet, as well as bike maintenance services, complimentary nutrition bars and hydration mixes, and group rides.
Surrounding the hotel, guests will find endless miles of country roads for cycling and running, as well as plenty of nearby opportunities to hike, rock climb, whitewater kayak, golf, fly-fish, waterfall rappel, standup paddle board, and zip line. For other wheeled adventures, guests enjoy Jeep tours and the BMW Driving Experience.
Ah, Jackson, Wyoming, where expert skiers go to shred some of the toughest terrain in the country, and hopefuls’ skills are put to the test. Serving as your launching pad for all things outdoors, Hotel Jackson is the perfect luxury basecamp for guys looking to take advantage of everything the renowned Jackson area has to offer.
The hotel is minutes from Grand Teton National Park and a short drive from Yellowstone National Park; both offer premier wildlife viewing and unrivaled access to outdoor adventures, including whitewater rafting, zip lining, hiking, and fly-fishing. And to boot, the famous Cowboy Bar is a mere 80 steps from the hotel’s front door.
The Lodge at Glendorn
Situated on more than 1,500 acres along Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, The Lodge at Glendorn is a unique destination for a guy’s weekend, with a mix of relaxation and exciting activities. Glendorn offers a newly renovated skeet shooting and trapshooting facility, as well as fly-fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, and off-road Jeep tours.
No matter your age or level of experience, the on-site activities director can tailor the experience to individuals, and guests can work with the executive chef to learn how to prepare their catch for a delicious meal — paired with wine, beer, or your favorite cocktail, of course.
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa
Looking to combine your love for the outdoors with the ultimate in upscale luxury? Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, located in the spectacular red rock canyons of western Colorado, is the place for you. Attracting the most discerning travelers from near and far, guests can take in the idyllic scenery and explore the storybook setting in a variety of ways.
Fly high above the dramatic canyons in a state-of-the-art helicopter during the Gateway Canyons Air Tour or rent an ultra-luxurious automobile for the day and traverse the heart of the terrain with one of the Driven Experiences. Once you’ve gotten your fill of shiny choppers and fast cars, guests can explore the Uncompahgre Plateau on horseback or cast a fly-fishing line at Don’s Lake in the La Sal Mountains. With unparalleled red rock scenery as the backdrop, Gateway Canyons is truly an unforgettable, outdoorsman’s playground.
Canyon River Ranch
A perfect Washington oasis for fly-fishermen, Canyon River Ranch is an upscale, rustic lodge that offers 10 two-bedroom, 880-square-foot condos with fully appointed kitchens and private patios. Adjacent to Red’s Fly Shop, which offers various fly-fishing services, Canyon River Ranch’s prime location within the Yakima Valley affords city-dwellers an easy three-hour commute from Seattle or two-and-a-half-hour drive from Portland.
Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hualālai Resort features two amazing golf courses, as well as several — you guessed it — water activities. In addition to surfing, standup paddle boarding, and outrigger canoeing, guests can also go on excursions with Alaka’i Nalu, the local “ambassadors of the ocean,” to discover secluded beaches, search for dolphins, and snorkel.
Pine Ridge Inn
Greeting guests with craft beer upon arrival, Pine Ridge Inn in Bend, Oregon offers guests exciting packages including skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. With riverfront access, the property is an oyster for all things recreational, from standup paddle boarding and rock climbing to cyclocross.
Need a break from activities and ready to whet your whistle? Simply book a brewery tour, or better yet, surprise your significant other with a special delivery. Forget the flowers, it’s all about beer bouquets at the Pine Ridge Inn.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado
Nestled in the mountains and seemingly a world away, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado is just minutes north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a lovely retreat at any time of year. An award-winning spa, sensational restaurant, fire pit, and fireplace butler service are just a few of the special elements that complement the Four Seasons experience.
Opened in late 2014, the Adventure Center provides an on-site destination for guests to learn about the many adventures that “The City Different” has to offer, with private guides — who are also local experts — helping to distill centuries of Santa Fe history and outdoor knowledge into a day, half-day, or just a few hours.
The Cliff Lodge and Spa
The Cliff Lodge and Spa in Snowbird, Utah not only boasts access to superb, world-class skiing, but guests can actually ascend the building via the multistory, exterior rock climbing wall. Recreational opportunities available directly on Cliff Lodge’s exclusive, smoke-free grounds include a state-of-the-art fitness center, solarium with slope-facing chaise lounges, and a year-round heated outdoor pool with three spa tubs and poolside bar.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
A luxury guest ranch in Montana, The Ranch at Rock Creek is located on 10 square miles of rugged American wilderness. Guys can unleash their energy with multiple daily activities, including horseback riding, hiking, shooting, archery, fly-fishing, and hiking. The Ranch’s Silver Dollar Saloon offers bowling and billiards to keep guests entertained once the sun goes down. Delivering an all-inclusive experience, guests can refuel on locally-sourced gourmet cowboy cuisine, such as bison, elk and fresh trout.
Located on Monuments Beach, one of the region’s most sought after surf breaks, The Cape is a new luxury boutique hotel that opened in Los Cabos, Mexico, this summer. In a setting that attracts the most seasoned surfers from around the world, the property’s guest rooms offer views of the Sea of Cortez, direct access to the beach, and a luxurious infinity pool.
The concierge is available to assist in arranging surf lessons or recommending stops around Cabo to hit the waves. One-, two-, and three-bedroom Suites or Villas are available, including four, two-story Penthouse Suites with private rooftops and plunge pools. The “Surfer Villa,” a two-story luxury suite, is ideal for a luxe vacation or private event. Bachelor party, anyone?