Last Updated on May 25, 2023
The US is filled with incredible vacation spots for outdoor lovers, and there’s no shortage of mountain getaways on the East Coast. If you are looking to spend your trip hiking, biking, skiing, or just enjoying stunning scenery and gorgeous landscapes, these mountain destinations are sure to please you.
Whether you want to relax surrounded by the wilderness, get your adrenaline pumping with fun outdoor activities, or anything in between, you’ll find the best destination for your next East Coast mountain vacation.
From kayaking in summer to skiing in winter to year-round hiking, these destinations have it all. Enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities while being surrounded by incredible vistas.
Keep on reading to discover all the top mountain vacation spots in the Eastern US!
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
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Helen is one of the cutest mountain towns in Georgia. Surrounded by the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s an ideal destination whether you like mountain hiking, biking, winter sports, or just want to relax and take in the stunning landscape.
The town is known for its Bavarian-style architecture and is the perfect place to go for a stroll, shop for local crafts, and enjoy a hearty meal. The area is worth seeing year-round, as you’ll find plenty of activities available no matter when you visit.
In winter, go for a winter hike, visit the town turned into a winter wonderland, or go snow tubing or ice skating at the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center.
In summer, tube down the Chattahoochee River, go zip lining, hike to a waterfall (Anna Ruby Falls is the most famous in the area), hit a few trails at Unicoi State Park, and visit a couple of vineyards.
Stowe is a popular mountain destination on the East Coast offering great winter activities, plenty of hiking trails, and stunning scenery, from crisp fall foilage to verdant mountain views. You can visit the mountain resort year-round.
In winter, you’ll find a plethora of activities available. Go on a guided winter hike or snowmobile tour, ski or snowboard down the resort’s many slopes, tube down the mountain, and ice skate for a bit.
Stowe village offers plenty of entertainment options, events, shopping opportunities, and a wide range of restaurants. Make sure to visit the Ben and Jerry Factory and plan a spa day between two outdoor adventures.
In summer, you’ll find endless miles of hiking and biking trails, a canopy and zip line park, and plenty of places to go on a kayak or canoe trip.
Book a stay at the comfortable and well-located Trapp Family Lodge with its Austrian-inspired architecture, mountain views, restaurant, and two pools. The Lodge at Spruce Peak is also a popular mountain resort with ski-to-door access.
You’ll also find plenty of vacation rentals, from condos with mountain views to luxurious chalets with a fire pit and hot tub.
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path small mountain town, then Weston in Vermont should make the list! With less than 1,000 inhabitants, the village is ideal if you are looking for some peace and quiet.
Nestled in the Green Mountains, Weston is surrounded by plenty of national forests, state parks, and mountain resorts to enjoy the great outdoors.
The town is super cute, as a matter of fact, the entire village is on the Historic Register. Don’t miss the Vermont Country Store, the Old Mill Museum, the Farrar-Mansur House, and the Craft Building. Shop for local products such as maple syrup, cheese, and pottery.
Fall is also a prime season to visit Weston to witness New England’s fall foliage at its best. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails nearby leading to waterfalls and scenic overlook. During summer, you can enjoy water activities at nearby Lowell Lake State Park.
Bryson City, North Carolina
The gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City is an ideal base to visit the nearby outdoor attractions. The mountain town features plenty of lodging options, restaurants, events, festivals, and cute shops.
The most popular time to visit is during summer, but you can actually come year-round and find great things to do. Spring is ideal to see the wildflowers in bloom and the waterfalls at full flow with fewer crowds. Falls see cooler climates and beautiful fall foliage. While winter turns the park into a snowy wonderland with frozen waterfalls and many winter trails open.
Apart from hiking and biking in the national park, you can go white water rafting during the warmer month as well as go on a kayak trip or river tubing. If you want to take a break from physical activities, you’ll find several scenic drives within the park as well as a scenic train line.
You can camp in the national park or book one of the lodges there, just plan ahead as they tend to get fully booked pretty quickly. You’ll also find plenty of cottages and cabins for rent near the park. If you’d rather stay at a hotel, check out the Folkestone Inn, a mountain farmhouse from the 1920s turned into a bed and breakfast.
Lake George, New York
Nestled in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York, Lake George is a peaceful mountain getaway that will please any type of traveler. From log cabins in the woods or camping under the stars to cozy inns and lake resorts, you’ll find the perfect fit for you.
With plenty of water activities to be had during summer as well as hiking and biking, and snow sports during winter, Lake George will make a great year-round mountain vacation spot.
You’ll find hundreds of hiking and snowshoe trails in the area, from leisurely strolls to strenuous day-long hikes. At nearby Gore Mountain, you’ll find a couple of fun mountain biking trails.
During winter you’ll be spoiled with a plethora of winter sports and activities, with slopes for all levels and ages.
If you need a break from all those outdoor activities, take a road trip through one of the area’s many scenic drives stopping by old Adirondack towns and stunning lookouts.
Asheville, North Carolina
For a blend of outdoor and cultural activities, Asheville will make a perfect mountain getaway on the East Coast. Surrounded by North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll be spoiled by stunning scenery, lush landscape, and plenty of ways to explore the mountainside.
You can visit Asheville year-round and will always find outdoor activities. If you intend to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, note that winter often sees road closures because of the weather.
Nearby, you’ll find plenty of hiking and biking trails, many still open in winter. The Pisgah National Forest is a must-see area for outdoor lovers. During the warmer months, you can go whitewater rafting, paddling, kayaking, or try your hand at canyoneering.
And of course, don’t miss driving part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping along the way to hike and take in the majestic scenery.
In Asheville, you’ll find many chain hotels. The Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown, in the heart of the River Arts District, is a good option. If you don’t want to stay in the city but still be near everything, consider the well-rated North Lodge on Oakland Bed and Breakfast or the Reynolds Mansion.
You can also book a vacation rental, from condos in the downtown area to cottages offering stunning views of the mountains.
Wintergreen Resort, Virginia
A year-round mountain resort, Wintergreen is a popular place to ski during winter, hike all year, and enjoy water activities during summer, making it one of the best mountain resorts on the East Coast.
In winter, you’ll find 26 slopes and trails with terrain for first-timers to advanced skiers and riders and Virginia’s largest tubing hill as well as a good kids’ program. The village provides plenty of entertainment, restaurants, and events when you’re done skiing for the day.
During the warmer month, head to lake Monocan where you can enjoy the beach, rent a paddle board or a kayak, and plan a picnic. You’ll also find 30 miles of hiking trails from an easy stroll to a difficult mountain hike.
The resort is great to visit with kids as they offer plenty of activities and parks catering to kids of all ages.
In the area, you’ll find plenty of vacation homes with fantastic views over the mountains.
Davis, West Virginia
Outdoor lovers looking for a mountain getaway on the East Coast will fall in love with Davis. The best time to visit is during summer when you can really enjoy most of the activities available in the area.
The town of Davis is pretty small but still offers travelers everything they need, with a couple of charming inns, small shops, and tasty restaurants.
Hike to Blackwater Falls, explore some of the trails in the Dolly Sods Wilderness area, go whitewater rafting on the Cheat River, and mountain bike in Canaan Valley State Park. There’s enough around Davis to keep you busy for a while!
You can still visit during winter, especially if you’re into winter sports. Head to the nearby Canaan Valley Ski Resort or Timberline Mountain for downhill skiing and to White Grass Ski Touring Center for cross-country skiing. You’ll find a sled park at Blackwater Falls State Park.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park should be on any mountain lover’s bucket list. Featuring jaw-dropping scenery, incredible hiking opportunities for hikers of all levels, historic sights, and scenic drives, Acadia has it all.
You can choose to camp at the park or book a lodge there or you can stay in the nearby quaint town of Bar Harbor, a great base to explore the park. Acadia Inn is a great option with direct access to the park. You’ll also find plenty of vacation rentals in the area, from secluded cabins in the woods to ocean-front cottages.
Don’t miss hiking or driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard of the U.S.
During summer there are plenty of places where you can swim, paddle, or kayak. You can choose from miles and miles of biking and hiking trails, go bird watching, or find the best spot for star gazing.
During winter, cross-country skiers and snowshoers can enjoy the 45 miles of carriage roads and unplowed park roads while climbers can challenge themselves by trying to climb a frozen waterfall.
North Conway, New Hampshire
Located in Mount Washington Valley and surrounded by the White Mountains, North Conway is one of the best year-round mountain vacation spots on the East Coast. No matter the season, you’ll find plenty of fun activities and beautiful scenery.
For some road trip adventure, plan to drive the iconic Kancamagus Scenic Highway or the Mt. Washington Auto Road. You can also ride the Conway Scenic Railroad train that will take you through Mount Washington Valley and Crawford Notch.
During summer, spend some time hiking and swimming at Echo Lake State Park, hike the Mt Chocorua Champney Falls Trail, or climb Cathedral Ledge or Whitehorse Ledges. You’ll also find kayaking, rafting, and tubing activities nearby.
If you like riding ATVs or UTVs, explore the extensive OHRV trail system found in the area. Jericho Mountain State Park offers more than eighty miles of trails for riders.
In winter, you’ll find a plethora of outdoor activities and winter sports available around town. Resorts such as Mount Cranmore, Attitash Mountain Resort, and King Pine Ski Area are popular in the area.
Surrounded by the White Mountain, Cranmore Inn is a nice place to stay for families and couples alike. The location is ideal, they have a seasonal pool, and offer free breakfast. You can also book a mountain cabin or chalet for something more private and practical.
Located in the Berkshires, in western Massachusetts, Stockbridge’s scenery has inspired many artists and you’ll understand why exploring the area. With rolling hills, endless mountain views, and lush vegetation, the region is filled with scenic trails, outdoor activities options, and incredible landscapes.
Visit Monument Mountain, one of the highest points in the Housatonic River Valley, hike to Ice Glen, where you’ll find ice even during summer, and check out October Mountain State Park where you can hike, kayak, mountain bike, ride a snowmobile, or cross-country ski.
In summer, you can go on a kayak trip along the Housatonic River, or swim at Stockbridge Bowl.
Nearby, you can hike at Olivia’s Overlook, where you’ll find trails accessible year-round.
In town, don’t miss the Norman Rockwell Museum, showcasing some of his work and his studio, the Naumkeag Estate, built in 1886, Chesterwood, the home of Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French, and the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
The Red Lion Inn is a popular place to stay, set in a historic house with a decor to match. For a mountain resort with river views, the Black Swan Lee is ideal. Otherwise, book a vacation rental – you’ll find plenty of cute cottages and cabins in and around town.
Nestled in the heart of the Litchfield Hills, the charming town of Salisbury offers year-round outdoor activities making it one of the best mountain getaways on the East Coast.
During summer, you can enjoy water activities at Lake Wononscopomuc or Twin Lakes, while in winter, you’ll find plenty of areas for winter sports.
Nearby, don’t miss Mount Riga State Park, where you’ll find hiking trails, Bear Mountain, the highest peak in Connecticut, and Mount Frissel. The Appalachian Trail passes nearby, so you could hike part of it as well.
In town, you’ll find plenty of cute cafes, stores, cozy inns, and restaurants serving hearty meals. Salisbury is an ideal small-town mountain vacation spot for outdoor lovers looking to spend some time surrounded by nature with many hiking, biking, and skiing options nearby.
Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland
The Catoctin Mountains are a must-see in Maryland and will make a perfect mountain vacation spot. You can plan to camp there or stay at one of the cabins within the park. If you want something more comfortable, you can stay in the nearby town of Frederick (check out 10 Clarke), or book a vacation rental.
In the park, you’ll find 25 miles of hiking trails from easy to strenuous. For the best views, hike to Chimney Rock, Hog Rock, Thurmont Vista, and to the Blue Ridge Summit Overlook. In winter, you can also do cross-country skiing.
Bouldering and climbing are also possible in several areas across the park.
If you have extra time, you can visit nearby Cunningham Falls State Park and South Mountain State Park.
Greenville, South Carolina
A hub of cultural and outdoor activities, Greenville, South Carolina, is surrounded by gorgeous state parks and mountain scenery. It will make a perfect destination if you are looking for a city break from which you can easily go hiking, biking, kayaking, and so on.
The city is often ranked as one of the top travel destinations in the US and you’ll understand why once you get there.
From downtown, you can hike all or part of the 22-mile Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail, set on a historic rail bed along the Reedy River. If you like ziplining head to Treetop Quest Greenville where you’ll find plenty of challenges even for adults with 6 different courses.
In Paris Mountain State Park, you’ll find hiking and biking trails, four lakes with a swimming area where you can kayak as well, and a campground.
To the East, Croft State Park offers 12 miles of hiking trails and 2 lakes. To the west, Table Rock State Park has canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats available for rent, swimming areas, plenty of bird-watching opportunities, and an extensive trail system, passing by streams and waterfalls, to the top of Table Rock and Pinnacle mountains.
In town, check out the Greenville County Museum of Art, showcasing art pieces by Southern artists spanning over several centuries, and the Upcountry History Museum to learn more about upstate South Carolina’s history. Don’t miss strolling through the downtown area, window shopping, and sampling some local food.
You’ll find all the basic chain hotels in Greenville. For something a bit nicer, consider booking a vacation rental either in town or outside for something more secluded. There are plenty of options featuring stunning views of the mountains.
Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey / Pennsylvania
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is one of the top mountain getaways in Eastern USA. It’s filled with forested mountains and grassy beaches and includes the Delaware Water Gap, part of the Pocono mountains, and the Kittatinny Ridge.
It’s great if you are looking to take a road trip, stopping along the way to hike and take in the scenery. With over 100 miles of trails, many waterfalls, beaches, and boating/kayaking areas, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Don’t miss hiking the section of the Appalachian Trail that passes through the area and the Dingmans Creek Trail that will lead you through a hemlock ravine to the impressive Dingmans Falls.
If you are looking for scenic drives, drive one of the US oldest roads, Old Mine Road, from the mid-1600s. You’ll find plenty of historic places to visit along the way, stunning scenery, and a couple of trails.
For places to stay, you’ll find plenty of cabins in the woods some near the river, others offering spectacular views over the mountains. You’ll also find several campgrounds offering different levels of comfort.
Couples looking for a romantic mountain resort can book a stay at the Pocono Palace Resort offering standard and fantasy rooms, some with a fireplace or indoor pool.
No matter when you visit Woodstock, VT, you’ll find plenty of things to do, making it one of the top mountain getaways on the East Coast.
In town, don’t miss touring some of the historic buildings like the 19th-century Norman Williams Public Library. Nearby, the Billings Farm & Museum offers tours of an 1890 farmhouse and exhibits re-creating 19th-century farm life. Year-round you’ll find many events and festivals going on in town.
Head to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park where you’ll find trails shaded by sugar maple trees and 400-year-old hemlocks, passing through covered bridges and rambling stone walls. You’ll also find an 1800s Queen Anne–style mansion there. In winter, you can snowshoe and cross-country ski, the trails are part of the larger Woodstock Resort Corporation’s Nordic Center.
In summer, you’ll find plenty of areas to practice water sports (check out Silver Lake State Park), while you can ski, snowboard, or go on a snowmobile ride in winter at nearby Suicide Six Resort.
You’ll also find year-round trails for hiking and biking (try fat biking in winter for something fun!) many starting from Woodstock.
The Woodstocker B&B is one of the best places to stay in town, especially for couples looking for a romantic mountain getaway.
You’ll find plenty of amazing vacation rentals in and around Woodstock, from restored historic farms to modern condos, to secluded properties, to homes in the heart of downtown.
Surrounded by mountain trails, ski resorts, and state parks, Bethel, Maine, is an ideal vacation spot for outdoors lovers. Take the time to enjoy the fresh air and the scenery, hike to impressive lookouts, kayak on a peaceful river, or ski down some of the area’s many slopes.
For hiking head to Grafton Notch State Park where you’ll find easy and short trails to trails that take a couple of days to finish through gorges and peaks. The Mount Will Walking Trail is an easy hike near town leading to stunning views of the valley and the town.
For something more challenging, hike to the top of Goose Eye Mountain passing by waterfalls, rivers, and pools. Make sure to start early.
For winter sports, head to Sunday River Ski Resort where you can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, ski-bike, ice skate, and cross-country ski in some of their 135 trails and glades. Some of the rides are open during summer, so you can take them to the top of the mountains for some incredible panoramic views.
On the Androscoggin River, you can go kayaking or rafting. You’ll also find a couple of beaches on the river’s banks near Bethel.
If you want to stay in town, the Holidae House Bed & Breakfast is one of the best-rated accommodation options. It’s ideal for couples and families alike, with rooms for up to 6 people (4 adults maximum). Breakfast is included and the location is ideal.
You’ll find plenty of vacation rentals in and around town. For something quite unique book a house in the woods with lake and mountain views, like this one with a hot tub, fire pit, and floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of Mount Washington.