Al Fresco Summer

What's in the Outdoor Issue + a few of our Editor's favorite things

Is there anything better after a day hiking the Maroon Bells or wading in the Clarks Fork than grilling outdoors? My favorite menu is simple: bison burgers and sweet corn with ambience provided by a roaring river. 

Anyone living in the mountains knows that each minute of summer is precious, and to maximize our time outdoors, we’ve extended our living areas. In Where the Livin’ Is Easy, we spotlight beautiful spaces in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Whitefish, Montana; and Aspen, Colorado, with everything from pools to putting greens.

In Sierra Splendor, we visit a Martis Camp home with lift-and-slide doors creating a great room that overflows into an expansive patio. A Bozeman, Montana, couple creates an al fresco dining area with views of Mount Ellis, complete with a handcrafted wood table and benches, in Upcycle Chic. Homeowners in a sophisticated Whitefish, Montana, home enjoy hours on the rustic porch off the kitchen with the sound of a rushing spring in Building Bridges. Located on a bluff at the confluence of two waterways also near Whitefish, this home extends to the outdoors with ample viewing terraces—where the couple sit and watch moose swim— in Down by the River.

Sitting in a forest, inhaling pine-scented air is good for our souls. Last year, I had the opportunity to do just that during a magical dinner in Yosemite at the Tenaya Lodge. Each August the lodge hosts “Wine in the Woods” with local winemakers and farm-to-table fare in a fairy-tale setting amid sugar pines and incense cedars. I was reminded of the recipe for a perfect mountain evening: good food, good wine, but most of all, good friends (and a sweater).


A perfect outdoor serving tray by Nina Sidley, contrado/

Grilled lamb chops, one of the scrumptious recipes from Katie Mitzel's new Rocky Mountain Cooking (Penguin) with excellent instructions for high-altitude cooking. Find more recipes here

Dinner with friends at "Wine in the Woods" at Tenaya Lodge.

Categories: On Location