In Crested Butte, Bill Ronai starts his day in a 5,000-square-foot dream home with breakfast and some work–a phone call and e-mail. Maybe the 62-year-old financial consultant will ski in the afternoon. He’s part of a new group of professionals around the nation who are escaping smallish apartments in places like Manhattan to foster a career in a vacation home, be it a mountain abode or a beachside condo, writes The New York Times, which references the wonders of the fiber-optic lines that make the Internet zippy, even in remote towns. If you can’t live like Ronai, perhaps you can get away to places like Vail’s Mountain Lodge & Spa, which is now accommodating shorter visits as consumers worry about spending too much time away from the office, according to The Wall Street Journal. Americans have been shrinking their vacations for decades–to 3.3 nights on average. For those in the mood to get out, 5280 managing editor Lindsey B. Koehler recommends five top outdoor spots for lovers (or simply lovers of the outdoors).