By Stefanie Michaels
Whether love is lifting you higher this month, or you need a galentines getaway, nothing beats a breath of fresh mountain air. In fact, mountain air contains fewer toxins making it easier for even those who suffer from asthma to breathe. So, what better way to love on yourself this Valentine’s Day than to take a breather from everyday life. If indeed the mountains are calling, you just gotta answer with one of these three destinations.
Cody Yellowstone, Wyoming
Averaging 8,000 feet in elevation, Yellowstone National Park boasts a winter wonderland. Through the first of March, Gary Fales Outfitting offers guided snowmobile tours through the east entrance into Yellowstone National Park to include daily or overnight tours. The all-day tour includes Old Faithful, the Geyser Basin areas, Yellowstone Falls and Yellowstone Lake. The Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park is located just 22 miles southwest of Meeteetse and offers over 25k of groomed trails, ranging from the scenic and gentle South Fork Trail to the thrilling Brown Creek Trail. The ski touring park is open for use seven days a week. There is no fee. Skiing Wood River Valley affords unique opportunities to photograph and view wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. There is also a cabin for lodging on the South Fork Trail. Or, opt to stay at the Best Western Premier Ivy Inn and Suites located in Cody.
If Virginia is for lovers, you’ll see stars in Roanoke with the Blue Ridge Mountains your majesty. Explore downtown shops such as Crafteria, She’s International, and Chocolatepaper. But, don’t miss a trip to Black Dog Salvage as seen on the Discovery Channel’s popular tv show, Salvage Dawgs for that one of a kind piece you never knew you needed. Roanoke Mountain Adventures can hook you up with bike rentals to ride the popular Roanoke River Greenway, or for the more adventurous cyclist, the Blue Ridge Parkway boasts numerous mountain trails. If you’re feeling the spirit, head to Brady’s distillery for a taste of Virginia’s finest, or grab a pint at Golden Cactus Brewing. The food scene plays a starring role as well with top choices like Lucky’s and newcomer, The Vault located within downtown’s latest boutique property, The Liberty Trust. An art deco bank turned luxury hotel you’ll rest in style.
Who could miss Oregon’s highest peak, Mount Hood, as you fly into The Rose City? There’s actually a range of mountains to climb there if you fancy. Though, Portland can lead you to new heights without ever leaving the city. Shop Make and Mary for vegan, organic CBD beauty and wellness products, or pursue the world’s largest independent bookstore – Powell’s Books. Take a breather at the Portland Japanese Garden with the International Rose Test Garden just across Kingston Avenue where more than 10,000 rose bushes bloom during season. Raise a pint at one of the roughly 70 craft breweries, or grab a G and T at Freeland Spirits – a woman-owned distillery featured on cocktail lists all over town which is brimming with cuisines from around the world. Try traditional Thai cuisine at Phuket Cafe, the chef’s tasting menu at Repúplica paired with wines from Latinx winemakers, or Filipino fare at Magna Kusina. And, whether you’re vegan or not, Mama Dut is a must. And, for a Portland original, Hotel Lucia serves as a homebase for you to explore the many downtown hotspots within walking distance from your room.