Marion McDonald, independent travel consultant at Brownell Travel, said her customers are increasingly interested in trips to ski resorts outside of winter. “They offer so much more in the summer,” McDonald said, adding that mountainous areas are great options for multi-generational travelers because “there’s something for everyone.”
For a fun alternative to the classic beach vacation — and traditional ski trip — consider one of these American or Canadian ski resorts.
Utah has long been on the bucket list of many summer travelers, thanks to a stellar lineup of national parks, such as Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Zion, but travelers looking for a more comprehensive experience will find it in Park City. Perhaps Utah’s best-known ski resort, Park City is arguably a nicer place to visit outside of winter, when fewer crowds often translate to cheaper accommodations (Pendry Park City is the newest game in town, but Deer Valley’s Stein Eriksen has kitchen-equipped suites) and the ability to get restaurant reservations before 9:30 p.m. at popular locations like Apex or Tupelo.
Celebrating its 53rd year, the outdoor Kimball Arts Festival takes over Main Street for a few days in August, and it’s also where visitors can shop for high-quality leather goods, such as cowboy boots -boy at Burns Cowboy Shop, or for a book from Dolly’s Bookstore to take on a mountainside picnic – accessible by bike or on foot.
Idaho’s largest ski resort offers a full range of summer activities, but probably the biggest draw is the area’s more than 40 miles of mountain biking trails. Three new trails have been added recently, and if you’re new to mountain biking or just new to the area itself, you can opt for a two-hour guided e-bike tour for $55 per person. (Riders must be 5 feet tall.) For more relaxed outdoor play, a disc golf course is an option, as is the scenic ride to the top via the Great Escape Quad.
Blueberry picking – the berry is the official state fruit – usually begins in July and continues through September, and the leisure activity can be part of a day of hiking or horseback riding, followed by dinner at Crow’s Bench, located in the new Humbird Hotel. Fall Fest is a bit of a misnomer, as the four-day beer tasting and live music event actually takes place in early September; the last day bids farewell to the summer of Schweitzer.
Montreal often steals the show in Quebec, but Mont-Tremblant also deserves attention, particularly in the summer, when milder temperatures entice visitors to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re dining on the patio at A Mano Trattoria or relaxing on the beach at Lake Tremblant, the town can handle its summer shenanigans.
The ski resort activity required for the second season, mountain biking, shines brightest in late August, when Ironman descends on town and participants ride 112 miles of challenging terrain. You don’t have to be a consummate athlete to enjoy Tonga Lumina, a roughly one-mile illuminated nighttime ride through a chairlift-accessible forest, or an adrenaline-inducing zipline adventure at Ziptrek Ecotours. For a unique tour and stargazing, spend the night in the glamping domes or tiny chalets of Hotel Bel Air Tremblant.
Come to this part of Colorado for the Aspen Music Festival (its run of over 400 concerts begins in June and ends in late August) and stay long enough to visit the Aspen Art Museum or attend one of the Aspen’s lectures. Institute. (Recent speakers include author Jamaica Baldwin and New York cartoonist Emma Allen.) The Aspen Theater offers musicals and performances, some of which take place outdoors.
In addition to the variety of culture on display in the summer, there are, of course, plenty of opportunities to sweat via the usual (hiking, biking, running) and less ubiquitous suspects (climbing, rafting, kayaking, flying – fishing). Sore muscles could find worse places to relax than at the Viceroy Snowmass spa, where the CBD massage takes you from rhythm to zen in the blink of an eye. The city’s artistic heritage is on full display at the Aspen Saturday Market (mid-June to early October), where local artisans and farmers come together.
It’s no surprise that Canada’s largest ski resort is packed with appealing options for summer visitors. Soak up the sun — and the vast terrain of British Columbia — with a local Whistler beer or margarita at the Umbrella Bar, located at 6,069 feet. A highlight of Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights is Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Top Summer Feast, which features live music and, as the name suggests, a feast – all at 6,000 feet.
Also on the culinary front is the week-long Alta and Audain dinner event. Billed as a fine dining art experience, the four-course dinner includes an intimate guided tour of the Audain Art Museum and runs until early September. This summer marks the eighth Flag Stop Theater and Arts Festival, featuring dinner, dance and comedy. Stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for stunning mountain views or the boutique Nita Lake Lodge for glassy lakes.
Stratton, home to southern Vermont’s highest peak, is downright lively in the summer with dog-friendly outdoor movie nights (admission is free); live music along the brick-lined pedestrian streets of the village; yoga in the mountains; and junior tennis camps. Take a scenic gondola ride (also dog-friendly) or get your blood pumping with an uphill hike, followed by a free gondola ride to the base.
Restaurants in the village area offer a variety of options, such as classic pub fare at Bar 802 and brunch staples at Benedicts, but for a real treat head to nearby Honeypie for the restaurant riff fast and relaxed on a banh mi. Whether you’re staying at one of Stratton’s mountain lodges or a self-catering vacation rental, a quintessential Vermont trip requires a stop at a general store, where you can pick up local cheese and some of the best IPAs in town. New England.
The prime location of this scenic Canadian ski resort in Banff National Park, Alberta, offers summer activities such as exploring the park’s trails, guided or self-guided, and a half-day excursion on the lakes, where you can see a glacier and visit Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. The action outside the park is on Bear Street, where dining on the patio and soaking up the Three Bears Brewery and Restaurant is as much a sport as stocking up on cold weather gear from the Rocky Mountain Flannel Company .
Explore this stretch of the Rockies from a vintage-inspired automobile via Open Top Touring, but ditch the vehicle for a bike anytime in September, when about 10 miles of the Bow Valley Parkway is closed to public traffic. And if your quads are screaming after conquering the rolling hills of the road, head to Cedar & Sage Co. for a massage, or opt for R&R at the area’s first boutique motel, the Dorothy, where nature is your canvas. bottom.
Lastoe is a Brooklyn-based writer. His website is staceylastoe.com. Find her on Twitter: @stacespeaks.
Prospective travelers should consider local and national public health guidelines regarding the pandemic before planning any travel. Information on travel health advisories can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and on the CDC’s travel health advisories webpage.