Posted by: bunnyfufu on Aug 12, 2013
We just got back from our trip to Big Sky Resort. And here is what you need to know about taking your family on an awesome local vacation. People spend their lives dreaming of taking a vacation to our lovely state, we get to live here so why not experience it fully! Plus I am going to give you a couple of special insider tips.
What you can expect.
Activities are generally scheduled from 9;00 AM to 6:00 PM. You could make it a day trip but I think that for kids, sleeping in a hotel room is a major part of the adventure. We stayed at the Huntley Lodge which is great because not only does it have a really nice pool and comfy rooms for a reasonable price, it is located right in the heart of all of the action. You can just check into your room and wander outside to the headquarters of thrills and fun. Personally, I love being able to park and be right in the center of things.
Wouldn't it be great if, smack-dab in the middle of the plaza, between the Mountain Mall and the Huntley Lodge, there was an easily findable small building where you could book all of your tickets for any of the adventures that are offered at Big Sky Resort?
Basecamp to Yellowstone is precisely that. You can arrange to participate in so many activities right there. From floating or fishing, paint ball or golfing, bungee trampoline to zipline adventures, plus a lot more.
The kids can enjoy a free round of mini golf while you check in at Basecamp.
And every year it just keeps getting better and better. Last year the Lone Peak Expedition - Tram to the Top launched. And this year they have extended to hours to include an Evening Expedition. So romantic! Ooh, La-la!
This year, I went to check out the Zipline Tours that they offer. Wowzers! Talk about a fun thing to do. I still have adrenaline squirting out of my ears just thinking about it. It was a 100% brand new experience for me, so I opted for the 3 pitch Nature Zipline tour instead of the screaming fast - up to 35 miles an hour - 4 pitch Adventure Zip that opened this year.
The group of 12 zippers (zipees, maybe? hmn. . .) met in the plaza, in front of Snow Crest Lodge a little before 9:30 am to gear up. Harnesses, helmets all explained, fit and double checked. Everyone, ranging in age from 5 to 75 was ready to go!
Our team was led up the mountain side by these strong and smiley guides. The three of them made me feel very confident and at ease. I suppose if my job was to swing through the mountain hollows like a flying squirrel, I might achieve that infectious and pervasive sense of confidence, too.
At the end of the 20 minute climb, it's time to check and recheck all the buckles and straps, helmets go on and we are set to go. The grandma in the group was so great. "That first step is a doozy! And there's not much you can do once you've taken it! BUT! I've got my bucket list." Truth. Ready, set, go!
The minimum weight that a zipline zipperooni (how's that?) can be is 45 pounds. That's not very big. Probably most 5 year olds are 45 pounds. In our group there were 3 kids under the age of 10. And the grandma I mentioned, well she was right.
It's quite a ride. And not just the thrill of it, but the participation and the cheering and the feeling of achievement for everyone in the group. On the first pitch, there was another mother who got stuck. She was on the platform and she made false start, after false start. All of our hearts were in our throats, waiting to see if she was going to step off.
I tell you, there was not a dry eye when she did. It was one of the best things I have been witness to in a long time. I needed the round of mini-golf at the end to actually land back in my body.
Big Sky is just so huge and there is so much to see and explore. Up at the resort and down in the meadow, the community has a lot to offer. Personally, finding the right restaurant, makes the vacation.
Here are the insider's-super-local tips:
By Word of Mouth is the most wonderful restaurant in the world! That might be a bit hyberbolic, but I really do love it. It began in 1995 as the bistro extension to the popular Big Sky Catering.
I love By Word of Mouth primarily because they know how to make food. The ingredients are locally sourced from vendors like Gallatin Valley Botanical. It was a real treat to experience some of their wonderful produce under someone-else's caring preparation. I swear every time I pick up my CSA box, it's like a mini Christmas.
They also know a thing or two about wine. And setting the right tone. It feels good, tastes good and is good. Wear your sundress and cowgirl kicks or the shorts and t-shirt you wore to hike Beehive Basin. If you are bringing the kids, make your reservation for 6-ish. You won't be alone. The kid's menu is sane, too. $6 for things that kids eat.
After taking two bites of the Idaho raised Rainbow trout, brushed with caper herb aioli then charbroiled & served with lemony quinoa and fresh sauteed vegetables, my hubby said, "Seriously, this is one of the best meals I have had out in two years."
This is where the residents of Big Sky go and where you want to take your foodie friends. Located in the Meadow village, near the Fire Dept.
Here is your other special in-the-know tip:
Lone Mountain Ranch, located halfway between the meadow village and Big Sky Resort, is a historical guest ranch. They offer all-inclusive week long stays, but they do have a couple of ways that you can visit and get a glimpse of the grand traditions of the Rocky Mountain West.
In the winter months, they are known for their Sleigh Ride Dinners, which is something I am really looking forward to doing this year, but here is the summertime scoop!
If you call 406-995-2782 and they have seating available, you can arrange to have breakfast lunch or dinner in their impressive dining hall. Again, our culinary socks were knocked off. This is pure western fare, served in pure western style.
All my best, BunnyFufu ~The Housewife and Zipline Enthusiast