AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch (Bretton Woods, NH)

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Highland Center at Crawford Notch is exactly what most of us are looking for in a wilderness lodge: a simple place to rest up after big days in the backcountry. Eight trailheads fan out into the rugged White Mountain National Forest, and every guest has access to the well-stocked L.L. Bean gear room. Plus, you can learn some skills while you're there: Staff teaches year-round outdoor courses, from map and compass to "mountain leadership" [from $80; outdoors.org].