July 14th, 2015

Summer Ski Towns: Top Adventures On and Off the Slopes

Ski towns don't go quiet when the snow disappears. Some of the best resorts around the world offer outdoor adventures and cultural events during the summer months.


When the sun comes out and temperatures heat up, the action doesn't have to stop at ski resorts around the world. Several ski towns offer summer activities such as cultural and artistic events, and outdoor adventures. These five ski areas offer some of the best year-round recreation in the world.

Squaw Valley, California

The Lake Tahoe region is known for having some of the best skiing in the world, especially at the Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows resort, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. The fun continues all year in the European-style village with dozens of restaurants and shops, plus activities like free blues concerts, outdoor summer movies, and yoga and art festivals. Ride the popular aerial tram to High Camp at 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) and enjoy the views, and then hike or swim, visit the Olympic Museum, or try out something called sky jumping. Sky jumping is where you hook bungees to your harness and then jump onto a trampoline. You can bounce as high as 25 feet (7.6 meters) into the air while doing somersaults and flips.

Whistler, British Columbia

While most of the ski towns on this list are known for their off-slope activities during the summer months, there is one North American location where you can ski into late July. In Whistler, Blackcomb resort's Summer Glacier Ski & Ride option gives visitors a chance to ski and snowboard at Horstman Glacier, which has ski lanes and a terrain park designed for intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. Serious riders can sign up for one of the resort's June or July glacier camps, which feature advanced coaching from ski and snowboard professionals.

Park City, Utah

Only an hour outside Salt Lake City, Park City is home to three major ski resorts and a historic Main Street featuring both modern boutique shops and more than 60 Victorian buildings. In addition to hosting the usual summer mountain activities like hiking and rafting, the region also offers the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, which attracts nearly 60,000 guests in early August. Another great draw is the Deer Valley Music Festival, which, for six weeks, presents live classic music and concerts from acts like Smokey Robinson, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Diana Krall.

Courchevel, France

One of the top European ski towns in summer is Courchevel, which attracts a large number of international visitors who are eager to take part in outdoor activities like white water rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, and glacier hiking. Aerial adventure opportunities include paragliding, riding in hot air balloons, and taking helicopter tours of the mountains. Visiting Courchevel, which is located in the French Alps, is not cheap, but those who can splurge for a luxury summer getaway will enjoy its five-star hotels, spas, and upscale merchants.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Aspen, Vail, Telluride...Colorado has no shortage of popular ski resorts. When the snow disappears, one resort town that stands out is Breckenridge, which comes alive with its summer Fun Park that features activities for guests of all ages. Adults can ride the alpine coaster (which is 2,500 feet or 762 meters long), swing down the flyer zip line, or take part in a 4x4 off-road tour. Guests can also ride a scenic chairlift to the top of the mountain to dine in one of several gourmet restaurants or go mountain biking on established trails.

What are your favorite summer ski towns? Share your thoughts in the comments, below!

Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, offbeat destinations, urban adventures, and everything in between. He blogs about his travels at http://quirkytravelguy.com.

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by Scott Shetler

Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, offbeat destinations, urban adventures, and everything in between. He blogs about his travels at http://quirkytravelguy.com.

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