Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone National Park

Designed by Seattle architect Robert C Reamer and built in 1904, this is the only building in the park that looks as though it actually belongs here. The log rafters of its seven-story lobby rise nearly 80ft, and the chimney of the central fireplace (actually eight fireplaces combined) contains more than 500 tons of rhyolite rock. It’s definitely a worthwhile visit, even for non-guests.

The Crow’s Nest, a top-floor balcony where musicians once played for dancers in the lobby below, is wonderful (but unused since 1959). Look also for the huge popcorn popper and fire tools at the back of the fireplace. The 2nd-floor observation deck offers the chance to enjoy fine views of Old Faithful geyser over a drink, and the lobby hosts local artists and authors. Free 45-minute Historic Inn tours depart from the fireplace at 9:30am, 11am, 2pm and 3:30pm.

The inn's biggest secret? If you make a request when you book your room a year in advance, you just might be one of half a dozen people allowed up on the rooftop to watch the flags being lowered at around 6pm. The geyser-basin views are unparalleled.

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