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.


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 …



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?


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…)

Photo: Shane Aspen Real Estate

Photo: Shane Aspen Real Estate

Ah, Aspen, a paradise of stunning ski homes owned by some of the world’s wealthiest and most glamorous travelers who desire the pleasure of a winter retreat in the snow.

This dramatic vacation home was previously owned by newscaster Paula Zahn and real estate magnate Richard Cohen who sold in 2007 for $14.5 million as part of their divorce but bought the property for just $3.8 million in 2000. The transaction was one of the 10 biggest deals in Aspen in 2007.


I had no idea that Asheville, N.C., was a popular vacation spot until I spent a little over a week in the area last summer. I fell in love with the place and all of its quirks pretty much instantly. Located in the Smoky Mountains, this thriving mountain metropolis has some great attractions — galleries, restaurants, shopping, and the famous vision of George Vanderbilt, the Biltmore house. There’s also tons of outdoors activities, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and pretty much anything else you can do on a mountain or in a river.

Instead of surfing MLS for opulent settings and lavish interiors, I wanted to find unique cabins that would make for the perfect Smoky Mountain retreat. Here’s what we found for Top-5 Friday in the Smoky Mountains:

1) 1384 Old Fort Road

I love the interesting architecture of this very angular lodge. It’s located on more than 60 acres in Fairview, N.C., and has four bedrooms and five bathrooms. There’s a separate three-car garage, and the raised porch overlooks a small pond. It’s priced at just $975,000 — a bargain considering the lot size and the home’s mammoth 4,774 square feet. (Re/Max All Stars Realty)

2) 270 Starling Gentry Road

When I think of a cabin in the woods, this is pretty much the vision that comes to mind. This home is set on 50 acres in Marshall, N.C., and totals only 1,800 square feet. This is a place for solitude, with only two bedrooms and one bath. The porch overlooks the large wooded surroundings, and it’s priced at just $799,000. (French Broad Real Estate Company)

3) 436 Bull Creek Road

This is where you want to be in the fall. That wrap-around porch gives you an incredible mountain view, surely unrivaled in the area. This home is much more updated and modernized. It’s really a great place to store all of your books and comfy chairs, giving you a quiet escape from the last throes of a Southern summer. Built in 2004, this home has four bedrooms, four baths, and almost 7 acres inside the Asheville city limits for just $774,000. (Beverly Hanks & Associates)

4) 0 Pearson Falls

This home was built at the spot where two creeks meet. Can you get any more picturesque than that? This home, located in Saluda, N.C., has excellent views and is close to fishing, mountain climbing, kayaking, and plenty of other outdoor activities. There’s plenty of room for your family and friends to stick around for a while, too. There are three bedrooms, three baths, and 1,800 square feet listed for just $615,000. (Cathy Jackson Realty)

5) 479 Red Bird Road 

Doesn’t this one just look like Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house? This cute red cabin in the woods isn’t quaint, though, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,600 square feet. I love how cozy everything is, though, and the kitchen is just adorable. This Spruce Pine, N.C., mountain home is listed for just $295,000. (Foxfire Real Estate)