As you plan travel for the new year, consider these three Western destinations where history, character and adventure combine for family fun.
1. Telluride, Colo.: This National Historic Landmark district, tucked within a box canyon and protected by towering, 14,000-foot peaks, provides a breathtaking setting for a family getaway any time of year. Top-ranked alpine skiing gives way to fly-fishing, hiking and biking amid wildflowers come summer. It’s also a cultural haven, with year-round festivals celebrating film, music and art. At 9,500 feet, the enclave is home to the Telluride Ski Resort.
2. Red Lodge, Mont.: Sample authentic Western hospitality when you spend time in this historic community best known as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Set out for the spectacular Beartooth Highway, a winding, cliff-hugging 68-mile stretch that delivers on its promise to provide some of the most stunning vistas in America. In addition to several local galleries, the town hosts a skijouring competition in winter and pig races during the summer.
Contact: 406-446-4402; redlodge.com.
3. Cody, Wyo.: Summer means nightly calf-roping and bronc-riding at this small town’s popular rodeo. Offering outdoor adventures including hiking, biking, horseback riding and blue-ribbon trout fishing, Cody is also home to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, where five museums provide plenty to interest every family member. Spend the night at the Irma, a colorful inn on the main drag, built by Buffalo Bill himself and named for his daughter.
Contact: 1-800-393-2639; yellowstonecountry.org.