When Sherry Farny first discovered Colorado's Skyline Guest Ranch in 1968, she declared it the most beautiful place she'd ever been. Trusting that judgment, her husband, Dave, purchased the whole kit-and-caboodle sight unseen. Today, Skyline is run by the Farnys' children, and even if it's your first time checking in, you'll be welcomed as if you're part of the family. Tucked amid the high meadows of the San Juan Mountains, Skyline is an outdoorsman's paradise. Take a self-guided hike along Turkey Creek Trail (or go with a guide to Tomboy Mine); cast your fly on the San Miguel River; or explore the local terrain on horseback with one of Skyline's horsemen.
For a change of pace, head to Telluride, just 8 miles down the road, and grab a bite at one of two tony restaurants, Cosmopolitan or Rustico, or browse high-style shops and galleries such as Dakota and North Moon. Accommodations include 10 cozy guest rooms in the main lodge and six family-friendly cabins (Mike's Cabin, with its tiny loft bedroom, is a favorite). Be sure to add your photo to the albums in the library.
Summer rates are $1,400 for a Sunday-to-Sunday stay; $700 for kids age 3-5. All meals and activities are included.
Contact: (970) 728-3757; ranchweb.com/skyline.