Posted March 25, 2010 by Jamie Moore
You could shuffle past the wonders of Yellowstone with the rest of the crowd, but then you'd end up with the same geyser story as everyone else. Instead, take a private tour, pick up an exclusive piece of "Yellowstone Collection" furniture, or get serenaded by a string quartet at sundown. You'll feel like an A-lister without spending like one.
Yellowstone Association Tours: Thanks to Yellowstone Association naturalists, you can leave your field guide in the car. These local experts will take you and your family or friends on a private eight-hour jaunt through the park. See the geysers, mud pots, and hot springs, and find out why they do what they do. Or learn about the historic reintroduction of wolves in the park and, with any luck, see them. Daily group rates are $495 for up to five participants.
Old Hickory Furniture's Yellowstone Collection: Go ahead and fall in love with the lamp, nightstand, mirror, or dining room chair at Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn. Now you can take home a replica piece of this 1904 hotel and National Historic Landmark. Yellowstone gift shops have teamed up with Old Hickory Furniture Company (building pieces for the lodge since it opened) to sell a new "Yellowstone Collection" of furniture. Lamps go for $199, chairs for $475—a bargain when you consider sentimental value and the fact that the original dining room chairs are still in use today.
Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins: The apres-hiking scene at this historic lakeside hotel is something right out of The Great Gatsby. In the lobby, guests sip whites and reds as they watch the sinking sun and daydream to the sounds of a string quartet. The premium rooms restored to 1920s decor are a bit on the pricey side, but you can stay for less in the hotel's adjacent annex rooms ($145 per night) or in your own cabin ($130/night).
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(Photo: iStockphoto/Sascha Burkard)
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