Celebs Livin' Large… In Montana?!
By Kari Friedlander
On-and-off again (and super-private!) celeb couple Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel recently became engaged, sparking loads of media attention when Biel took six weeks to show off her ring.
What gossip mags focused less on was the location where Timberlake finally popped the question – which was the kind of place one might expect from the hush hush pair.
Timberlake proposed to the actress, 31, in Big Sky Country on their annual vacation to Montana. (Yes, Montana! The same state that gave us Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams!)
The famous duo stayed at the members-only Yellowstone Club which has its own private ski, hiking and mountain bike trails right next to Big Sky Resort. But don’t fret, Average Joes! Yellowstone Club guests also ski and play outdoors at Big Sky… so, don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting next to one of them on the chairlift (open summer too) while skiing or hiking on the mountain. In fact, Big Sky in itself is a magnet for celebs, as not everyone can afford to join the Yellowstone Club.
The ultra-exclusive ski-and-golf resort, which originally opened in 2000, has come back after its 2008-2009 bankruptcy. And with the Discovery Land Company at the helm, it's quickly becoming a hot spot for Hollywood A-listers. In fact, Timberlake and Biel reportedly spent time with Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Leonardo DiCaprio and his model girlfriend Erin Heatherton during their recent stay. And just a few weeks after his divorce from Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and screenwriter Lorene Scafaria spent two days "snowboarding and playing shuffleboard" at the club.
With views of Lone Peak, the Crazy Mountains, Paradise Valley and the Rockies, it should come as no surprise that Big Sky country is attractive to younger and older stars alike.
Tiger Woods, Brooke Shields and Michael Keaton often stray from the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles and New York City to enjoy this type of low-key living.
And while skiing and snowboarding these massive mountains is the main draw of the winter, in summer, it's a fresh-air paradise with golf, white- water rafting, fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking mountain biking, rock climbing and...Yellowstone National Park is less than an hour away.
In August of 2009, Obama stayed at The Summit Hotel at Big Sky Resort with his entire family after a town hall meeting in Bozeman, Montana. The following summer, Vice President Joe Biden vacationed with his family and stayed at the same hotel, which has become a safe haven for prominent figures.
Interested in discovering for yourself what makes Montana so unique? Go ahead! It seems one can get lost exploring a state where Glenn Close opts to travel around on a mule at her farmhouse and Jane Fonda frolics with the buffalo.
PHOTOS: Top photo of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ©Ron Galella Collection-Getty Images; Photo of Michelle Williams by Jordan Strauss from WireImage, for Forevermark; hikers at Lone Peak by Chris Kamman courtesy of Big Sky Resort.
About Kari Friedlander: Lights, Camera, Travel columnist
Kari Friedlander serves as an online editor and publicist for In Touch Weekly magazine. A pop-culture pundit, Kari has a talent for providing an insider’s perspective on celebrity, from breaking news to breakups, and the latest hot spots where the trendsetters frequent. Her knack for exploration led to a job in British media in London for a summer and inspired her to circumnavigate the globe on a Semester at Sea voyage. Kari has written for InTouchWeekly.com, TVGuide.com and has interned at both People magazine and Teen Vogue.
Kari writes our Lights, Camera, Travel column, sharing insight on how to jet set like all your favorite stars.