Executive Editor Joanna England, Founder and Publisher Candace Evans, and Columnist Jon Anderson

When searching for a ranch property as a second home, there’s often a laundry list of “must haves” that buyers prioritize. While they may rank in different order, they usually include luxury amenities, nearby recreation, and incredible views. As attendees at the recent SecondShelters.com preview of Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club found out, this fantastic development in Colorado has everything — and then some!

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Our Splurge: 2201 Daybreak Ridge, Beaver Creek, Colorado, is currently listed by Ed Swinford of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate for $12,650,000.

With autumn just around the corner, everyone has pumpkins, fall hikes, and vibrant fall foliage on the brain. What better way to experience the unrivaled beauty of fall with a getaway to Colorado’s own Beaver Creek – an exclusive enclave located in the Vail Valley that offers four seasons of nature-filled recreation. Don’t believe us?

Just ask Kameron Westcott of the Real Housewives of Dallas who recently took her castmates on a snow-filled getaway to her family’s sprawling vacation home in Beaver Creek. You may have already heard of this charming ski town from your friends, read about it in a post from SecondShelters.com, or visited during ski season to enjoy a weekend on the slopes.

For second home buyers who want luxury, convenience, and world-class recreation all rolled into one, this mountain hotspot can’t be beat! Check out what’s currently on the market in our latest Splurge vs. Steal and tell us which one you’d rather buy – the ski-in/ski-out splurge or the woodland oasis steal?

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Stowell Ranch, 3133 County Road 518 Fraser, CO – Photo Credit LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

Few mountain retreats compare to the stunningly crafted, third-generation log builder’s estate at Stowell Ranch, currently listed for $2.295 million. Nestled on 20 pristine acres in the lush and mountainous valley of Fraser, Colo., this log-built beauty is ideally situated between two sparkling ponds – with water rights – surrounded by towering Aspen and Colorado Pine trees with views that go on for miles.

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Mountainside at Northstar is an exclusive ski-in, ski-out residential community perched aside Northstar California Resort near Lake Tahoe. At this location, over 40 miles of trails spread through 3,000 acres await resident skiers, hikers, and bikers just steps out the door. The Truckee, Calif., project is 15 minutes away from the famed lake, which affords boating and water sports. There’s plenty of golf in the area, too. And Mountainside at Northstar homeowners have nearby access to the amenities of the local Ritz-Carlton hotel, such as its spa and fine restaurants.

It’s amazing to see the facilities luxury developers come up with to make the most of environs. Mountainside at Northstar caters to outdoor adventure and nature lovers. Posh huts for campers join the standard pool, lounge, and workout facilities you’d expect to find at any luxury spot. Yoga and meditation enthusiasts will find dedicated buildings for indoor activities and outdoor platforms to practice asanas and reflection out of doors. Borrowing from collaborative business work spaces, a “Zen Cube” is in the works, a place where groups can gather to brainstorm collective ideas. The aesthetic of the project is alpine-village-gone-thoroughly-modern, incorporating natural wood and stone elements in contemporary industrial design that suits the setting with aplomb.

Whether you’re in the market for a new vacation home or remodeling one you already own, you’ll find inspiration in photos of a luxe home for sale which showcases outstanding modern mountain design. More here:  (more…)

montana landscape

Texans love the fierce, independent spirit, wide-open spaces, and natural beauty of Montana. The fourth-largest state has long been a favored vacation home setting for folks from North Texas, made even better last summer when American Airlines instituted daily nonstop seasonal flights to Bozeman Yellowstone Airport, the gateway to the area known as “Big Sky,” from May through September — prime time to get away from triple-digit heat.

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Christy Rost

Swan’s Nest in Summer. All photos courtesy of Christy Rost.

If you follow television and radio chefs and cooking teachers, you’re likely to be familiar with Christy Rost, who hosted the Texas-based television cooking and lifestyle show Just Like Home for 12 years, and a PBS special in 2009 that has become a Thanksgiving tradition, re-airing nationally every November since. Rost and her husband, Randy, maintain a home in DallChristy Rostas where they live for much of the year, but bought a second home in Colorado in 2006, which they have renovated to applause. The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance recently honored the Rosts with the Theobald Award for historic preservation and advocacy for their outstanding remodel and preservation of Swan’s Nest, a house built in 1898 by Colorado gold baron Benjamin Stanley Revett for his bride.

Christy and Randy purchased the property in August 2006 and spent years restoring the home, preserving practical historic detail, but bringing its infrastructure up to modern standards. A registered nurse by training, Rost has authored 3 cookbooks, is a regular on the cooking TV and radio circuit, and does all her own home design. Here’s more on this lovely lady, her top-caliber mountain home renovation, the Thanksgiving show that presents highlights of the project and inspiration for holiday meals …

 

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Photo courtesy of Telluride Tourism Board

Photo: courtesy of Telluride Tourism Board

As Candy Evans reported last week,  the consensus of vacation housing  experts speaking at the NAREE (National Association of Real Estate Editors) Conference which took place in New Orleans in June is clear — these days vacation housing is all about the family.

Children are accompanying parents on vacations and second home buyers are looking for properties that are comfortable for all ages. Among the most family-friendly mountain destinations in the U.S. is the southwestern Colorado city of Telluride, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its free public gondola system this year.  

What’s the big deal about this unique coach in the sky?

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Telluride snow

Maybe you’ve just returned from a holiday escape to the hills. Or maybe you are planning a ski outing in a month or two. We all know how much North Texans love to head to the mountains of Colorado to get their downhill fix. One of the top destinations for Dallasites is Telluride, Colorado. The town happens to be the county seat of San Miguel County in southwest Colorado, a former mining town in the San Juan Mountains. But ever since skiers discovered its steep mountains and fabulous snow in about 1972, Telluride has become known as the pinnacle of Colorado mountain living, both in summer and winter.

Telluride is a laid-back Aspen: no Prada store, no Louis Vuitton.  Rumor has it that even Starbucks must get permission to move to Telluride, and thus far that permission has not been granted.  There is a Starbucks in Mountain Village in Hotel Madeleine, about as close as a Skinny Vanilla Latte will ever get to this place. (more…)