Seven Equally Fun Ski Resorts Without Snow
Marion McDonald, an independent travel consultant at Brownell Travel, said her clients 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 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 people often translate to cheaper accommodations (Pendry Park 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 such as Summit Where Tupelo.
Celebrating its 53rd year, the open air Kimball Arts Festival takes over Main Street for a few days in August, and it’s also where visitors can buy high-quality leather goods, such as cowboy boots at Burns Cowboy Shopor for a book of 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 one. 2-hour guided e-bike tour for $55 per person. (Runners must be 5 feet tall.) For more relaxed outdoor play, a disc golf course is an option, as is the scenic ride to the summit via the Great getaway 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 a dinner at bench of crowslocated at the new Humbird Hotel. autumn festival 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 dine on A Mano Trattoria terrace or lazing on the beach on the shores of Lake Tremblant, the city knows how to manage when it comes to summer shenanigans.
The resort’s must-do second-season activity, mountain biking, shines brightest in late August, when Iron Man descends on the city and participants travel 112 miles of challenging terrain. You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to enjoy Tonga Luminaan approximately one-mile illuminated night walk through a forest accessible by chairlift, or for an adrenaline-inducing zipline adventure at Ziptrek Ecotours. For a unique tour and stargazing, spend the night in Hotel Bel Air Tremblant glamping domes or small cottages.
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 catch one of Aspen Institute talks. (Recent speakers include author Jamaica Baldwin and New Yorker cartoon editor Emma Allen.) Aspen Theater features musicals and shows, 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 suspects (hiking, biking, running) and less ubiquitous ones (climbing, rafting, kayaking, flying – fishing). Sore muscles might find worse places to relax than at Viceroy Snowmass Spa, where CBD massage takes you from beat to zen in the blink of an eye. The artistic heritage of the city is fully exposed to the Aspen Saturday Market (mid-June to early October), where artisans and local farmers rub shoulders.
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 territory of British Columbia – with a local beer from Whistler or a margarita at Umbrella bar, located at 6,069 feet. A highlight of Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings is Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Summit Summer Partywhich includes live music and, as the name suggests, a feast – all at 6,000 feet.
Also on the culinary level, the dinner with a week ticket Alta and Audain. Considered a gastronomic artistic experience, the four-course dinner includes an intimate guided tour of Audain Art Museum and ends in early September. This summer marks the eighth Flag Stop Theater and Arts Festival, cook dinner, dance and comedy. Stay at Fairmont Chateau Whistler for a breathtaking view of the mountain or at the shop Nita Lake Lodge for vitreous lakes.
Stratton, home to the highest peak in southern Vermont, is downright lively in the summer with dog-friendly outdoor movie nights (free entry); live music along the brick-lined pedestrian streets of the village; mountain top yoga; 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.
The restaurants in the village offer a variety of options, such as classic pub fare at Bar 802 and brunch must-haves at Benedictsbut for a real treat, go nearby honey pie for the fast-casual restaurant riff on a banh mi. Whether you stay in one of Stratton Mountain Cabins or a self-catering vacation rental, a quintessential trip to Vermont requires a stop at a general store, where you can pick up local cheese and some of New England’s best IPAs.
The prime location of this picturesque Canadian ski resort in the Alberta region Banff National Park has summer activities such as exploring the trails of the park, guided or not, and a half-day tour of the lakes, where you can see a glacier and visit Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. The action outside the park takes place on Bear Street, where you can dine al fresco and soak up the Brasserie and restaurant of the three bears is as much a sport as stocking up on cold weather gear from Rocky Mountain Flannel Company.
Explore this stretch of the Rockies from a vintage-inspired automobile via Open-air tour, 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 and Sage Co. for a massage, or opt for R&R at the area’s first boutique motel, Dorotheawhere nature is the backdrop.
Prospective travelers should consider local and national public health guidelines regarding the pandemic before planning any travel. Information on travel health advice can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map showing travel recommendations by destination and the CDCs travel health advice web page.