Last year was brutal for second homes in the nation’s most affluent areas. But the market is firming up again. Here’s Barron’s list, expanded to 20 sites, for those seeking top-tier refuges.
Number 16. SUN VALLEY, IDAHO
In June, Sun Valley and Ketchum are overrun with media moguls, bankers, Internet whizzes and traditional publishers during Allen & Co.’s annual media conference. But normally Sun Valley is just another star-studded, out-of-the-way ski town.
This area, America’s first destination ski resort, was made famous by Ernest Hemingway, who spent his final years here. “Papa” used to throw back a few at Whiskey Jacques’, a Ketchum saloon that retains its country charm and following.
The Casino Club is still a favorite haunt even though the slots have long been banished.
Sun Valley has a ski-circuit rep as a hard-partying town after an equally busy day on Bald Mountain (known as Baldy).
The new kid on the block is the Cellar Club, where actor Bruce Willis has been spotted toward closing time.
Median Price 2010: $1 million
Median Price 2011: $875,000