Ski Towns in the Summer
Enjoy the picturesque views of mountains without having to pack the winter gear.
Ski towns aren’t just good for skiing. During the summer months, many of these towns offer outdoor activities ranging from biking and hiking to white water rafting. If you’re looking to plan a summer vacation, whether you want to get away with friends or take the kids on a family adventure, add these great towns to your list of possibilities.
Park City, Utah
Take advantage of Winter Olympic sites without the snow in Park City. Check out the Comet Bobsled facility where you can take a test run on the track used for bobsled, luge and skeleton at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. The sled is piloted by a professional and can seat up to three spectators. Once you’re strapped in, hold on because the sled will reach 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds! The Olympic park also offers extreme ziplining for those wanting to take their adventure up a notch, reaching 50 miles per hour on one of the steepest ziplines in the world.
If that doesn’t sound action-packed enough, Park City has plenty of trails for hiking and biking, museums, tours, golf courses, hot air ballooning and horseback riding. Learn about the town’s historic gold rush heritage at Park City Museum or feel the spirits with a Park City Ghost Tour.
Satisfy your outdoor adventurer with a tip to Vail. Whether mountain biking, hiking, ziplining or taking a 4x4 off-road tour, there’s plenty to keep you busy on land. And, if water sports are more your thing, Vail has plenty of outfitters to get you on the water with kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, tubing and rafting.
Want a little more relaxation and a little less get-up-and-go? Check out Vines at Vail Vinery for handcrafted, small-lot wines or cruise through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens – the world’s highest botanical garden – with breathtaking wildflowers in the summer. To wind down even further, book a spa day at one of the RockResort Spas for manicures, pedicures, massages, facials and other treatments to relax your mind, body and spirit.
Lake Placid, New York
Another former Olympic host, Lake Placid has not only turned its event venues into fun tourist attractions, it also welcomes many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls for training. Whiteface Lake Placid offers a bobsled experience as well as the Summer Jumping Series where visitors can watch ski jumpers make training runs into a deep pool of water. These showcases happen sporadically, so check ahead before booking a trip with these spectacles in mind.
Tours of the Olympic jumping complex are open to the public. Ride the chairlift to the base of the towers and take an elevator up to the observation deck of the K-120-meter jump. Not only can you check out the ski jumpers’ preparation room and get birds-eye view of what jumpers see as they accelerate toward the edge of the ramp, but the observation deck also offers an unparalleled view of the Adirondack High Peaks. The Lake Placid Olympic Museum offers another fascinating tour that pays tribute to the Games. Housed in the same building as the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey game, the museum also is home to Team USA Olympic artifacts.
If the thought of skiing and cold weather activities has kept you away from these popular destinations, take a second look at the summertime lineups in these mountain towns.