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The Best Eco-Lodges in America

While not always easy to find, the US offers an incredible range of eco-lodges, truly innovative green hotels, and dives in nature without harming the environment. So whether you are searching for a green hotel for your summer vacation, an eco-friendly resort of a corporate retreat, inspirational or romantic escape, or a learning adventure, explore these 10 top eco-lodges.

1. El Monte Sagrado, New Mexico
Ranked as one of the best Southwestern hotels the El Monte Sagrado eco-lodge offers class, rustic luxury, and sanctuary in harmony in with the earth. With organic spa treatments, regal conference rooms, and breathtaking interior design, and deals from just $149 a night this is a spectacular choice for environmentally friendly business retreats, honeymoons, and those that don’t want to sacrifice comfort to go green.

2. North Face Lodge, Alaska
This is one for those ready to push the boundaries of travel and ready to explore new frontiers. Camp Denali & North Face Lodge is almost 100 miles from the nearest grid. This lodge and cabin resort not only offers days of incredible outdoor exploration, but is built on sustainability. The staff takes eliminating waste seriously, run on solar power and natural spring water, and even rotate hiking paths to reduce impact on the land. Food is grown on-site and sourced from local organic farmers, while wild blueberry picking offers magical and delicious meanderings in the beautiful natural surroundings.

3. Element, Texas
Westin’s Element brand green hotels come as close to a true eco-lodge while balancing modern design and function as you can hope to find. While many ‘green hotels’ fall far short of true eco-friendliness don’t dismiss the element till you’ve experienced it. The Element by Westin Houston hotel has built health and sustainability into the fabric of every room with recycled flooring, low VOC paint, and even repurposed picture frames.

4. Hotel Terra, Wyoming
Located in prestigious Jackson Hole, WY the Hotel Terra AAA Four Diamond resort is LEED certified, and sits just one mile from the entrance to the grand Yellowstone National Park. Come here to ski, hike, and get away from it all in a resort with unique natural furnishings and art.

5. Crash Pad, Tennessee
Crash Pad brings affordability to eco-friendly lodging in exciting Chattanooga, TN. This is the only LEED certified hostel in the US. Experience an exciting combination of being on the doorstep of Chattanooga’s innovative and entrepreneurial startup grounds and the state’s amazing outdoors. Hike, climb, bike, kayak, sample local organic bakeries, and then crash in one of only four Platinum LEED certified accommodations, complete with handcrafted wooden beds.

6. Jules Undersea Lodge, Florida Keys
While some purists might question how eco-friendly this underwater lodge is, it will certainly put you in touch with nature in a whole new way. This undersea hotel will have you sleeping with the fish in a good way. This is a unique experience you’ll never forget, but you’ll have to be able to scuba dive to get into your accommodations. Dive training and visits to the history making marine lab are also available for day visitors.

7. Venice Beach Eco-Cottages, California
Travelers desiring a more authentic local living experience can try out several eco-friendly rental homes in Venice Beach, CA. These private rental homes often include non-VOC paint, organic linens, use green cleaning supplies, beach cruiser bikes, and put guests within easy reach of both the beach and local farmer’s markets.

8. Collier-Seminole State Park, Florida
Camping in this magnificent state park on the edge of the Florida Everglades puts travelers right in the heart of nature. Explore historic sites, canoe alongside alligators, fish, spot birds, bobcats and Florida Panthers, and picnic by the water. Don’t miss visiting the Ten Thousand Islands where sea turtles, manatees, eagles, and peregrine falcons can be found, as well as the futuristic dome homes which are some of the best evidence of rising sea levels. While in this area of SW Florida many may want to tour the local Portable Farms Aquaponics System educational and research center.

9. Hampton Inn & Suites, Florida
The Hampton Inn & Suites in Miami’s Downtown-Brickell area is a LEED certified green hotel putting South Florida business travelers in the heart of the financial district in eco-friendly accommodations, and close to world famous beaches. This hotel truly goes the extra mile in sustainability. It’s also close enough to use as a base to go check out the model of the innovative 100% sustainable hybrid shipping container home built by Mesocore in case you’d like to build your own eco-friendly home or resort.

10. Collision Works, Michigan
While this innovative shipping container hotel in Detroit wasn’t yet open at the time of printing this review it already has advanced bookings. Staying here will put guests inside one of the most innovative eco-hotels ever built, and in the center of Detroit’s new entrepreneurial revolution and urban farming community.

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North Face Lodge @ Camp Denali, Credits: fodors