25 Best Family Vacation Ideas in the Southwest
Spring is the perfect time to explore the American Southwest, whether you are looking to visit famous attractions or check into a luxury resort with pools and activities for the whole family. Visit Lake Powell in Arizona, explore the town of Albuquerque in New Mexico, admire the unique desert landscape in Tucson, travel to a historic town in Colorado or relax with scenic views in Utah. Photo: The Inn at Entrada
»The Inn at Entrada, Utah
The Inn at Entrada is a luxury oasis at the mouth of the spectacular Snow Canyon State Park. This small but exquisite luxury resort is located within the gated golf community in Saint George, Utah. Guests stay in their private casitas with fantastic views of the famous vermilion cliffs. The design of the casitas is inspired by the ancient Anasazi dwellings. They blend perfectly with the surrounding majestic nature.
Casitas are very modern and well-appointed inside, with all contemporary amenities. Guests are offered complimentary breakfast in the Inn’s lobby. Delicious pastries and cinnamon rolls are freshly baked daily at the local bakery Grandma Tobler's. Guests have a huge range of options for outdoor recreation and entertainment, from playing golf at Entrada’s or other St. George’s great golf courses, enjoying Broadway in the Desert at local Tuacahn Outdoor Theatre to hiking through nearby Zion National Park.
Address: 2588 West Sinagua Trail, St. George, Utah, UT 84770, 435-634-7100
Next read: 23 Stunning Inns & Lodges in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Photo: The Inn at Entrada
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»Strater Hotel, Colorado
When it was built in 1887, Strater Hotel did not have indoor plumbing or electricity. Nevertheless, it was the center of Durango’s social and cultural life, and it continues to play the same role today. One of the West’s best-known hotels and Durango’s beloved landmark, this iconic hotel charms guests from the moment they enter its magnificent lobby, with its exquisite handcrafted woodwork, lovingly preserved period wallpaper, and original Victorian details.
The country’s biggest collection of American Victorian antique walnut furniture decorates the guestrooms and hotel common spaces. The hotel offers 93 beautifully appointed rooms, daily live entertainment at the Henry Strater Theater, live music at the hotel saloon and bar, and superb gourmet food at Mahogany Grille, the Diamond Belle Saloon and the elegant Victorian Office Spiritorium. a href="https://vacationidea.com/romance/strater-hotel.html">Read more
Address: 699 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, 970-247-4431
Fun things to do in: Arlington, Grand Rapids, North Carolina, Romantic Getaways in WV, Dallas Photo: Strater Hotel
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»Hotel Parq Central, New Mexico
On the outside, Hotel Parq Central in Albuquerque is an imposing edifice built in 1926 as a hospital for the Santa Fe Railroad. On the inside, it is a modern, bright, and luxurious hotel with a perfect combination of traditional elegance and modern comfort. This beautifully renovated historic building has 74 luxurious rooms with all amenities.
Features include a lovely cobblestoned dining plaza, a garden with a fountain, and a spectacular rooftop Apothecary Lounge where you can sip your cocktail and watch downtown Albuquerque and the mesmerizing New Mexico sunset. The hotel’s famous gourmet breakfast is served in the hotel parlor or on the terrace in the garden. Take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service and go to Old Town, Albuquerque Convention Center, Nob Hill and the University of New Mexico.
Address: 806 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505-242-0040
Top attractions in: Fort Collins, Boise, New Hampshire Getaways, Lafayette, Harrisburg Photo: Hotel Parq Central
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»Lake Powell Resort, Arizona
Relax on a comfortable lounge chair by the pool of Lake Powell Resort and enjoy the front row seat to the panoramic view of magnificent vermilion cliffs across Lake Powell. Besides lovely pool and spectacular views, Lake Powell Resort offers 345 rooms renovated in 2005 and provided with all modern amenities and contemporary comfort.
You can have a cup of coffee at the resort’s lounge bar, check your email at the business center, or pick a gift at the souvenir shop. Lake Powell will entice you with paddleboards, boat cruises, and waterskiing. You can explore the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument on foot or on a horseback. And when you come back to the resort, have a massage or relax in the Jacuzzi before heading to the resort’s Rainbow Room for a gourmet meal and more of the spectacular views.
Address: 100 Lake Shore Dr, Page, AZ 86040, 888-896-3829
More vacation ideas: Albuquerque, South Carolina destinations, Romantic Getaways in PA, Cancun, Branson, California vacation Photo: Lake Powell Resort
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»Sundance Resort, Utah
Floating above the Sundance Valley from which the lodging takes its name, the rooms at Sundance Resort are nestled into the encircling mountains and provide guests with rustic charm and home comforts. There are suites made from local materials that take their style inspiration from the natural environment and feature kitchen facilities and even lofts.
Outdoor activities abound for visitors to explore the area all year round depending on the season. Dining options are plentiful and include a restaurant, grill, bar, and deli and the food is made from organic ingredients.
Address: 8841 North Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, UT 84604, 800-892-1600 Photo: Sundance Resort
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»Rancho de los Caballeros, AZ
Rancho de los Caballeros will bring you back to the romantic times of the Wild West when the cowboys were roaming Arizona with their large sombreros and powerful horses. This historic Arizona dude ranch is a unique, wonderfully appointed resort located in historic Wickenburg, where you can forget all your daily worries and let the life take much slower pace.
All 65 spacious, tastefully decorated rooms and 12 luxurious suites have magnificent views of the vast Sonora Desert. From the beautiful Western décor of hand-woven woolen fabrics, hand-carved wood and antique period pieces, Rancho de los Caballeros will offer you quiet times of reflection and relaxation, or a full schedule of activities, from golfing, horseback riding, trap and skeet shooting, or breakneck ATV and Jeep tours. When you return, relax by the campfire and get to know your fellow travelers while sipping a cup of coffee or roasting marshmallows.
Address: 1551 S Vulture Mine Rd, Wickenburg, AZ 85390, 928-684-5484 Photo: Rancho de los Caballeros
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»Ben Lomond Suites, Utah
The beautiful Italian Renaissance Revival style building on the corner of Ogden’s Washington Boulevard and 25th Street started its life in 1891 as Reed Hotel. In 1927, it was completely rebuilt, eleven floors were added, and was reopened as the Bigelow Hotel. In the 1980s, the hotel was renovated again, converted to a condo-hotel with 120 suites, and named Ben Lomond Suites.
This last of the Utah grand hotels retained its original charm with antique crystal chandeliers, decorative ceilings, and marble floors, but its amenities and the comfort of its suites provide are completely 21st century. In its 11 floors, the hotel has 12 Short Stay Suites with Full Kitchens, 23 Corner Suites, six Two-Bedroom Two-Bath Suites, 58 Standard Suites, six Meeting Rooms and two popular restaurants - Restaurant 1107 and MacCool's Irish Pub. The hotel is listed on the National Historic Register.
Address: 2510 Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT 84401, 801-627-1900
Photo: Ben Lomond Suites
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»Sedona Summit Resort, Arizona
Located just a short drive from downtown Sedona, Sedona Summit Resort is a beautifully designed hotel that fits right between the surrounded hills. Spacious, modern room are decorated in Southwest-style and feature DVD players, cable TV, Wi-Fi, pull-out sofas, and beautiful private balconies overlooking Petrified Forest.
Suites have up to three rooms and include full kitchens, lovely fireplaces for those cool nights. Stroll around the hotel’s nicely landscaped grounds, and enjoy the picnic area and more magnificent views. The hotel also has a fitness center, four outdoor pools, six hot tubs, and a game room. Not far from the resort are Tuzigoot National Monument and Slide Rock State Park.
Address: 4055 Navoti Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336, 800-438-2929 Photo: Sedona Summit Resort
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»Grand Lodge at Brian Head, Utah
The charming ski resort town of Brian Head, Utah is famous for its wonderful slopes covered with fine white powder. However, once the snow melts, forests become full of life and meadows are covered with wildflowers. Brian Head is a great vacation destination whether you prefer to hit the mountain on your skis or to stroll through narrow trails and steep mountain paths. Whether you are a ski bunny, prefer to watch birds, or want to explore Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Lodge hotel makes for a perfect base.
With 100 modern, beautifully appointed rooms and 12 luxurious suites, you will find perfect comfort, lovely Mission-style furniture and all modern amenities such as private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Suites have stone fireplaces and queen sleeper sofas. Relax after the day of skiing or exploring at the hotel’s Red Leaf Spa, enjoy a gourmet meal at Leany’s Steakhouse or Lift Bar & Patio.
Address: 314 Hunter Ridge Dr, Brian Head, UT 84719, 435-677-9000 Photo: Grand Lodge
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»Capitol Reef Resort, UT
Stare out at the Red Cliff Rocks of Utah from the comfort of one of the recently renovated rooms at the Capitol Reef Resort. You may feel as if you are in the heart of the wilderness, but all your needs are catered for and amenities such as Internet access and cable television are all provided.
If you want something a little different however that will really help you commune with nature, then you can even choose to stay in your own teepee. If you get hungry, head to the Pioneer Kitchen Restaurant for delicious local dishes and classic comfort food.
Address: 2600 East Highway 24, Torrey, UT 84775, 435-425-3761 Photo: Capitol Reef Resort
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»Yavapai Lodge, Arizona
If you want to stay within walking distance of the iconic Grand Canyon, then consider Yavapai Lodge, which allows you easy access to the South Rim. The lodge is also close to all the amenities of the park area that surrounds the Grand Canyon, and features snug communal seating and a large patio area for guests to relax after a day exploring.
Dining options include all the local southwestern favorites, and you can discover a range of venues to get a drink, which include a cozy coffee shop and lively tavern. The Yavapai Lodge has a strong emphasis on family fun, so large groups and pets are welcome.
Address: 11 Yavapai Lodge Road, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023, 877-404-4611 Photo: Yavapai Lodge
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» Slot Canyons Inn
Nestled in the iconic Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area of the state of Utah, Slot Canyons Inn is set amidst a stunning landscape of mountains, creeks, and canyons, and offers visitors a cozy bed and breakfast experience under the crystal clear stars. There is onsite dining in the form of the North Creek Grill where you can dine in an outdoor setting and enjoy grass fed beef and brick oven pizza.
You will probably need a good dinner after an active day of exploring and trekking in the rugged but spectacular outdoor terrain. At night, relax in the cozy and homely guestrooms. Read more
Address: 3680 West State Highway 12, Escalante, UT 84726, 435-826-4901 Photo: Slot Canyons Inn
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»The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Arizona
Surrounded by the breathtaking Sonora Desert, Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain sits to the northwest of Tucson, Arizona and embraces the natural beauty of the surrounding flora and fauna against the backdrop of the Tortolita Mountains. Having won a whole host of accolades over the years, the hotel is nestled in the mystical lands of the Hohokam Indians, and even the food served is inspired by local cuisine and ingredients found in the region.
There are also spa treatments available that focus on rejuvenating and holistic practices inspired by the environment. If you want to explore the great outdoors, trekking and rambling activities are within easy reach.
Address: 15000 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana, AZ 85658, 520-572-3000
More great Arizona destinations: Mesa, Arizona, Flagstaff, Tempe, AZ
Photo: The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
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»Twin Lakes Inn
Come for some wintery fun at The Twin Lakes Inn at Mount Elbert and the famous icy lakes of Colorado where hiking, trekking, canoeing, and camping are all must-try activities. The inn is modeled to blend with the rustic style of the natural environment using locally sourced materials and period features, although all rooms have been restored to provide customers with a welcoming and comfortable experience.
If you are in need of some sustenance, the Dayton Room Restaurant serves local dishes from Colorado as well as other American classics. After a day communing with nature, you may want to try some of the local spirits at the Malamute Saloon.
Address: 6435 East State Highway 82, Twin Lakes, CO 81432, 719-486-7965 Photo: Twin Lakes Inn
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»Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, AZ
If you are traveling to Phoenix with the whole family, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort will give you all you need and more. Known as “all suites all fun”, the resort offers spacious accommodation perfect for families with kids. You can choose between large studios and three-bedroom Casitas that have their own car port, each with all modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, HDTV, and private bathrooms. This mountainside resort offers lots of opportunities for fun before you even leave the hotel grounds: you and the family can hang out by the pool, relax at the spa, or play a round of golf on the hotel’s world-class course.
And that is before you discover Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch, a kids’ paradise with four acres of large pools, waterslide, lazy river, mini golf, and four modern tennis courts. When you get hungry, grab a sandwich by the pool at Slim Picken's Café, have some nice dinner at Rico's American Grill, or enjoy a meal with the view of the waterpark at Hole-in-the-Wall.
Address: 7677 North 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020, 602-997-2626 Photo: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
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»Quail Park Lodge, UT
If you are on a road trip exploring the southwest in all its glory, you need a comfortable base. On your way, you will pass through the small town of Canab. The landscape around the town looks like a backdrop for old Hollywood Westerns. One of the city’s best hotels, Quail Park Lodge, also looks like it came from some movie typecasting, but from a very different movie.
This charming, colorful mid-century modern lodge is a popular spot for those who are on the way to explore the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell and Zion National Park. This beautifully restored and maintained place has spacious, bright rooms with superbly comfortable beds, pleasant décor, and private bathrooms. The hotel has everything you need to rest, relax and recharge your batteries for the road ahead.
Address: 125 North 300 West Kanab, Utah, UT 84741, 435-215-1447 Photo:
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»Hyatt Tamaya Regency Resort and Spa, NM
Located in Santa Fe, Hyatt Tamaya Regency Resort and Spa is a place for relaxation set amidst the magical landscape of Santa Ana Pueblo. Discover the Southwest region as you laze by the limpid pools or fit in a round of golf at the premium course. There are multiple guestrooms to choose from that feature stunning views of the dusky mountains, and you can indulge your culinary senses with a huge choice of dining options from award winning chefs.
For a truly unforgettable end to your trip, explore the region via hot air balloon and drift in serenity over this spectacular part of the United States.
Address: 1300 Tuyuna Trail, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004, 505-867-1234
More New Mexico vacations: Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Photo: Hyatt Tamaya Regency Resort and Spa
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»Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, CO
If you are looking for something a little different, then check out this boutique hotel that is modeled on a traditional inn and aims to provide guests with a typical homey bed and breakfast atmosphere. The charm is definitely in the details at Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, which include hot tubs, roaring log fires, spas, and saunas.
There are also signature salt water pools heated using environmentally friendly solar power to soothe tired guests and the focus is on relaxation with yoga classes also provided. The resort has a cafe and a bar on site, and condominiums with private kitchens are also available.
Address: 304 South Lena, Ridgway, CO 81432, 800-633-5868 Photo: Chipeta Solar Springs Resort
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»Jeremiah Inn Bed and Breakfast, Arizona
There are not too many luxury inns that not only allow kids, but also provide them with games and toy closets with stuffed coyotes, bears, mountain lions and quails, a kids’ library, and pancakes with ears for breakfast. Jeremiah Inn Bed and Breakfast is a family-friendly desert retreat snuggled under the slopes of the Catalina Mountains that provides luxury accommodation and the base for all your desert exploration.
Spacious rooms have wonderful views of the sparse desert environment and the starry sky. All rooms have private bathrooms and modern amenities. Breakfast is served in the dining room, on a lovely outdoor patio or in your own room, and it includes homemade baked goodies, prickly pear cactus and lemon syrup over your pancakes, and ‘deep-pocket’ waffles with ham and ginger-peach glaze. After you come back from hiking, biking, bird-watching or strolling through Tucson, relax by the large swimming pool in the garden and breathe the clean fresh desert air.
Address: 10921 E Snyder Rd, Tucson, AZ 85749, 520-749-3072 Photo: Jeremiah Inn Bed and Breakfast
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»Lodge on the Desert, AZ
What started as a private four-bedroom home built in 1931, quickly turned into a legendary desert lodge that went on to evolve into a premier destination for the Hollywood greats and a discrete getaway for the movie stars filming nearby. The lodge’s quaint rooms have seen John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Newman, and many others.
You can stay in these same rooms, a bit updated and modernized but with the same allure. You can only wish that the walls could talk. The charming pueblo-style dwelling now has 100 luxurious rooms that range from the historic private Casitas to modern Deluxe rooms with Southwest décor, surrounded by swimming pools and a cactus garden.
Address: 306 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711, 520-320-2000 Photo: Lodge on the Desert
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»Far View Lodge, CO
If you want to stay in a hotel located inside a national park, look no further than Far View Lodge. This hotel is found in the Mesa Verde National Park and amenities such as televisions and telephones have been eschewed here in order for guests to fully relax and make the most of their trip by hiking in the local area and marveling at the abundance of local flora and fauna.
Rooms feature balconies in order for guests to get unparalleled views of the glittering night sky, and Wi-Fi is available in communal areas so that you can still stay connected if needed.
Address: Mesa Verde National Park, P.O Box 277, Mancos, CO 81328, 800-449-2288
Vacation Ideas: Jersey City, Austin, Olympia, Mendocino, NC Lighthouses, New Braunfels Photo: Far View Lodge
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»Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa, UT
Explore the famous red rocks of Utah in this spectacular hideaway set in a canyon. Based around the original farm that is still found on the property, Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa is perfect for guests looking for a taste of the outdoors. This is also provided in the form of their farm-to-table approach to cuisine, and many of the ingredients served at the ranch are grown in their very own gardens.
There is also a focus on serenity at Sorrel River, and visitors can relax under the stars and enjoy the view after a day of outdoor activities such as horse riding and hiking. There are rooms with both river and mountain views and suites to accommodate families.
Address: HC 64 Box 4002, Mile 17 Highway 128, Moab, UT 84532, 877-317-8244
Where to Go Next: Connecticut, Idaho, Georgia, Washington State Photo: Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
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»Hotel Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town is a landmark hotel located near the Albuquerque’s Historic Old Town Plaza. It is an excellent representative of the unique Albuquerque style - a blend of Spanish, Western, and New Mexico’s Pueblo - in art, design, and decor in the guest rooms and throughout the entire hotel. All 188 rooms, including 20 junior suites, have a range of amenities and private bathrooms.
Many have private balconies overlooking downtown Albuquerque and the hotel’s beautifully landscaped gardens. The hotel is famous for its convention facilities with 62,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Its lovely pavilion gardens and a wedding chapel make it a popular wedding destination. The hotel has three excellent restaurants, a large swimming pool, a fitness room, and business spaces.
Address: 800 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, 505-843-6300
Travel ideas: Claremont, Frankfort, Winnipeg, Franklin, Jefferson, Cheyenne, Provincetown Photo: Hotel Albuquerque, New Mexico
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»Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, UT
Zion Ponderosa is a 4,000-acre ranch resort on the edge of Zion National Park. Whether you are staying a few days or a few weeks, there is a lodging option that will fit your needs. You can choose between mountain-style cabins and lodges, cabin suites and cowboy cabins, stay in your tent, or park your RV and enjoy the resort’s facilities.
And there is so much to enjoy: Gravity Edge Swimming Pool, two Jacuzzis, basketball, tennis, volleyball, water slides, and great food at Blue Belly Grill or Narrows Cafe. You can use the resort as your base for adventures in the surrounding national parks, or you can let the hotel organize them for you.
Address: Zion Ponderosa Twin Knolls Road, Mt Carmel, UT 84755, 800-293-5444
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Photo: Zion Ponderosa
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»Three Rivers Resort, Colorado
On the lovely spot where the Taylor River meets the East Rivers to form the Gunnison River, you can see endless blue skies, imposing mountains, and clear river waters filled with plump trout. You will also find Three River Resort, a unique getaway with cabins that were built in 1800’s, modern rooms at the main lodge or modern vacation homes in nearby Almont.
All rooms are comfortable and equipped with all modern facilities. Cabins also have porches, kitchens and grills. Relax in your comfortable lodging, then go catch some trout, enjoy horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, zip lining. or hiking through the nearby Gunnison National Forest.
Address: Almont, CO 81210, 970-641-1303
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25 Best Family Vacation Ideas in the Southwest
- The Inn at Entrada, Utah, Photo: The Inn at Entrada
- Strater Hotel, Colorado, Photo: Strater Hotel
- Hotel Parq Central, New Mexico, Photo: Hotel Parq Central
- Lake Powell Resort, Arizona, Photo: Lake Powell Resort
- Sundance Resort, Utah, Photo: Sundance Resort
- Rancho de los Caballeros, AZ, Photo: Rancho de los Caballeros
- Ben Lomond Suites, Utah, Photo: Ben Lomond Suites
- Sedona Summit Resort, Arizona, Photo: Sedona Summit Resort
- Grand Lodge at Brian Head, Utah, Photo: Grand Lodge
- Capitol Reef Resort, UT, Photo: Capitol Reef Resort
- Yavapai Lodge, Arizona, Photo: Yavapai Lodge
- Slot Canyons Inn, Photo: Slot Canyons Inn
- The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Arizona, Photo: The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
- Twin Lakes Inn, Photo: Twin Lakes Inn
- Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, AZ, Photo: Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
- Quail Park Lodge, UT
- Hyatt Tamaya Regency Resort and Spa, NM, Photo: Hyatt Tamaya Regency Resort and Spa
- Chipeta Solar Springs Resort, CO, Photo: Chipeta Solar Springs Resort
- Jeremiah Inn Bed and Breakfast, Arizona, Photo: Jeremiah Inn Bed and Breakfast
- Lodge on the Desert, AZ, Photo: Lodge on the Desert
- Far View Lodge, CO, Photo: Far View Lodge
- Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa, UT, Photo: Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
- Hotel Albuquerque, New Mexico, Photo: Hotel Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, UT, Photo: Zion Ponderosa
- Three Rivers Resort, Colorado, Photo: Three Rivers Resort
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of The Inn at Entrada
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