Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Coming out of a year + of not being able to really leave the country safely, and being an avid traveler, 2020 and 2021 was a year of US travel for us. The US has some stunning places, and a variety of destinations ranging from deserts, to beaches, to mountains. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all the possible states and cities there are to visit, but I was able to hit 4 spots that were on my travel wishlist over the course of the past year, and wanted to share the areas and experiences with you since a majority of you who follow along are on the same page of being travel lovers.
This list is broken down by two categories: mountain and beach. Scroll through and take your pick!
Big Sky, MT
I'm starting off with this trip since it was my absolute favorite spot we visited.
Where to fly into: Bozeman, MT
Where to spend the night: RSVP Motel
The RSVSP Motel is a newly renovated cutie hotel right in the heart of Bozeman. The rooms are decked out with velvet headboards, wall scones, terrazzo bathroom countertops, and a cute little breakfast cafe. They also have a pool and bikes as part of their amentities.
The town has a main street with some breweries, restaurants, and shops that are all great to explore. We ate tacos, went to a wine bar, and did some souvineer shopping.
From Bozeman, we rented a car and drove about an hour to Big Sky. The drive has lots of great views, and is quick enough that it doesn't waste much time.
This is where to real beauty started. We stayed at Rainbow Ranch Lodge and had an amazing stay. Top highlights of the hotel were:
Spacious rustic rooms with an in-room fireplace
On-site restaurant with great views
Hot tub overlooking lots of land
Boutique feel with rustic charm
One of the best restaurants we ate at was at another hotel that is probably the most popular in the area - Lone Mountain Ranch. This hotel is pretty pricey which is why we chose Rainbow Ranch instead (much more in our budget and still amazing), but Lone Moutain is truly top notch and has everything you could ever want - insane views as far as the eye can see, an entire horse farm where you can ride horses, great cabin-style rooms, and a highly rated restaurant (Horn & Cantle). We came here almost every day to pet the horses. Be sure to make a reservation if you plan to eat here!
Other activities we did were rent ATVs, took a day trip to Yellowstone (about 2 hours from Big Sky), drove around and stopped at side-of-the-road lakes and hiking spots, and visited breweries and BBQ spots. It's truly such a stunning area, and there were times I couldn't believe how beautiful and peaceful everything was. I highly highly recommend visiting this area!
Hunter Mountain is just a few short hours north of the NYC area. We drove from Delaware and it took us about 4 hours. Hunter holds a pleace near and dear to my heart since that is where Dylan and I got engaged a few years ago! However, recently we stayed at the Hunter Barnhouse - you can check the full blog post about our stay here, but here are some photos of our stay. The house slept 8 with plenty of additional couch space. The inside is stunning, with the outside just as beautiful, with string lights, a firepit, hot tub, and lots space for any fur babies to run around (yup, dog friendly!).
We went skiiing at Hunter Mountain one day which was just down the road from our house. Aside from that, we mostly stayed inside playing games and drinking cocktails, but you can also visit the town of Tannersville which is nearby and has some shops and restaurants.
You can also hike the Kaaterskill Falls, visit Woodstock, or visit some other fun nearby spots.
MIAMI + KEY WEST, FL
For this trip, we flew into Miami because it was way less expensive than flying directly into Key West. Plus, we knew we wanted to rent a convertible and take the 3 hour drive down to the Keys - highly recommend!
The hotel we stayed at in Miami was boutique, super cute, priced right, and conveniently located to all of downtown South Beach - Urbanica. I will say South Beach in general was a bit outside of our normal scene, and next time we might stay in Downtown over South Beach for a bit more of an upscale experience and not as party (although basically all of Miami is a party!).
We only stayed one night in South Beach, so just grabbed a quick bite at a taco and tequila spot, and did some bar hopping. Then off to Key West in the AM where we met up with my girlfriend and stayed at The Kimpton which was just so dreamy.
We brunched at a few spots, but Bagatelle was our favorite spots. Try to get a reserveation on the rooptop terrace. Great food and delish cocktails.
For bars, you really don't need advice here since the entire street of Duval is packed with bars and live music, but one of our favorites was Hog's Breath!
SAN JUAN + RIO GRANDE, PR
Puerto Rico is in the US but completely feels like you're in another country. The regulations to get into PR are a bit more strict (you need a negative covid test and have to fill out some paperwork), but still easily doable, and you don't need a passport. We stayed in San Juan and Rio Grande, and split our trip into two hotels - one boutique and one resort. It was the perfect combination of getting an authentic experience while also getting pampered.
The Dreamcatcher was our boutique hotel stay and is just so perfect if you are into that vibe. Tucked in a neighborhood right off of the beach and walking distance to the little town, with adorable rooms, a community kitchen/hangout area, and adorable rooms with outdoor showers. The only downside is that there is no pool, but you are only about a 5 minute walk from the beach.
For part 2, we went to the Hyatt Regency in Rio Grande, which was about a 45 minute uber ride from San Juan. They have a huge pool, swim up bar, multiple restaurants/bars, and are right on the beach. It was amazing and the perfctw ay to wrap up our trip for a few days.
Next time we go to PR, we will be going to Rincon, but due to Covid, the Rincon airport was closed when we went, so we kept it simple this time around and stayed around the San Juan area.
Rincon is known to be a small but beautiful surfer beach town, but I really don't think you can go wrong with any part of PR - it's very pretty!
And there you have it - our US mountain and beach recap! For more recommendations and ideas, follow along with us on Instagram @rootshome_ or reach out to us directly :)
WILD ABOUT YOU,