Destinations
20 Ski Towns That Are Just as Spectacular in the Summer
There is no such thing as "off-season."
IMAGE ASPEN MOUNTAIN
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There is a familiar story you hear from the locals in every ski town you visit: "I came to work for the winter, stayed for the summer, then I stayed for the winter, repeat, and here I am 10 years later.”

The draw of the mountains and legendary powder turns might hook you initially then thaw revealing a limitless summer splendor. Trails transform from black diamond carving to mountain-bike byways while weekly events and festivals fill the social calendar.

Here are 20 ski towns and their experiences that will have you rethinking your summer plans.

Mammoth Mountain


Can’t Miss:

When it opens later this summer, the Mammoth Mountain Zip Line will be the tallest top-to-bottom zip line in North America. The thrill-inducing ride will take those adventurous enough from the summit to the base.

The Calendar:

The Mammoth Festival of Beers & Bluseapalooza, from August 2 to 5, features more than 60 craft breweries and cideries pouring their finest offerings.

Where to Stay:

Westin Monache Resort BOOK NOW

Aspen/Snowmass


Can’t Miss:

The multi-year Hotel Jerome expansion project reopens the once legendary pool, adds two new categories of rooms (Poolside Junior Suite and two new Executive Suites), as well as the new underground bar Bad Harriet and a new three-bedroom residential suite.

The Calendar:

The Aspen Ideas Festival, from June 21 to 30, is the nation’s premier gathering of global thought-leaders.

In its 14th year, ArtCrush is the Aspen Art Museum’s annual three-day summer fundraiser, which this year honors contemporary artist Rashid Johnson as the recipient of the 2018 Aspen Award for Art.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection BOOK NOWThe Little Nell (Aspen) BOOK NOWThe Viceroy Snowmass BOOK NOW

Beaver Creek


Can’t Miss:

Beaver Creek’s Wine Excursions involve just you, your guide, and a 4x4. It's a tour like no other through wildflower meadows that culminates in a wine and cheese pairing at world-renowned Beano’s Cabin.

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The Calendar:

The Beaver Creek Rodeo is held every Thursday from June 21 through August 9. Break out your Stetson and head down to the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa for summer family fun. New this summer, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek will turn up the heat on grilling with its Cooking with Fire series, a 6-week program starting on Saturday, July 7. Classes will be held outdoors at the Crooked Hearth Patio where chefs showcase different techniques ranging from Caja China, to Charcoal Fired Wooden Roasting Boxes, BBQ Smoker Pit style and more.

Local culinary talent combining the abundance of the Vail Valley with top wine and spirits producers from around the world set the stage for four days of fun and feasting at the 2018 Wine & Spirits Festival (August 9 to 12).

Where to Stay:

Park Hyatt BOOK NOW

Telluride


Can't Miss:

Every week Telluride brings out too many incredible performers to list for its summer concerts. To highlight just a few: The 45th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 21 to 24), The Wailers (July 7), and DeVotchKa (July 28).

The Calendar:

From July 19 to 22, the Telluride Yoga Festival includes 100 transcendental offering, from hiking to SUP yoga to music and meditation.

The Telluride Film Festival (August 31 to September 3) is a buzz machine that helped launched films like Shape of WaterBrokeback Mountain, and Slumdog Millionaire.

Where to Stay:

Madeline Hotel and Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection BOOK NOW
New Sheridan Hotel BOOK NOW

Vail


Can’t Miss:

The Vail Marriott Mountain Resort is launching a Mountain Mindfulness program, which will include outdoor spin classes facing Vail mountain, meditation classes, mountain top yoga, guided hikes, and more.

The Calendar:

The Vail Craft Beer Classic, from June 15 to 17, is Colorado’s highest-altitude beer tasting; the festival features dozens of the nation's top breweries.

Vail Dance Festival, July 28-August 11The 30th anniversary season assembles the best of international dance and ballet for two weeks in the heart of the Rockies.

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Where to Stay:

The Collective BOOK NOW
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail BOOK NOW

Breckenridge


Can’t Miss:

For those up to the challenge, Breckenridge has added zip lines, rock climbing walls, alpine coasters, and wildlife trails to fit the needs of any adventure-seeker as part of the new Epic Discovery program.

The Calendar:

The 13th Annual Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival, on July 7, assembles more than 40 breweries for tastings, live music, and delectable mountain cuisine.

Held from August 10 to 19, the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts brings together a mix of music, dance, visual arts, and family entertainment.

Where to Stay:

One Ski Hill Place BOOK NOW

Keystone


Can’t Miss:

Ski Tip Lodge, one of the most historical buildings in the ski industry, recently underwent a renovation and has transformed into a charming B&B. With interior refreshes to elevate the guest experience and match the level of service and quality of the restaurant's AAA Four Diamond chef, the lodge has kept both its charm and history intact.

The Calendar:

Enjoy free music from national Jazz musicians, including Will Donato, Gregory Goodloe, Tony Exum Jr., JJ Sansaverino, and Althea Rene Band, at the Wine & Jazz Festival on July 14 and 15. You can also sample more than 300 varieties of wine—red, white, bubbly and everything in between.

Celebrate the waning of summer by squeezing in one last mountain adventure and topping it off with the Mountain Town Music Festival on August 17 and 18, a weekend of live music, local food vendors, and signature fireworks.

Where to Stay:

Ski Tip Lodge BOOK NOW

Big Sky


Can’t Miss:

An 18-hole, par-72 Jack Nicklaus-designed "Signature" course, "The Reserve" at Moonlight Basin could possibly be the Pebble Beach of the Rockies. The massive, 8,000-yard course is as much a nature preserve as it is golfer’s paradise. Carved and crafted into the countryside the elevation can vary up to 1,000 feet from tee box to pin, averaging out at 7,500 feet above sea level. Although it opened in 2015, it remains one of the best-kept secrets in golf, catering only to a few dozen members and guests each day.

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The Calendar:

The annual showcase of some of classical music’s top talent assemble at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center for the Big Sky Classical Music Festival from August 10 to 12. Epicurean delights from regional and national talent gather at the fifth annual Vine and Dine festival from August 15 to 19.

Where to Stay:

The Silvertip Cabins BOOK NOW

Deer Valley


Can't Miss:

As close to skiing as you can get in warm weather, mountain biking in Deer Valley is an adrenaline-pumping adventure. Having joined forces with Whistler-based terrain experts, Gravity Logic, 3,000 vertical feet across six mountains have transformed 70 miles of the country’s most pristine ski facility into biking nirvana. For experts, take on the Tsunami, an expert-level flow trail with large 10-foot berms, jumps, and 25-foot table tops that will leave your heart racing. Better yet, become an expert with the guides from White Pine Touring, who can set up guided day trips to explore beyond Deer Valley into Park City’s 450-mile trail system.

The Calendar:

Always attracting top talent, this year’s lineup for the Summer Concerts at Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater includes everyone from Rick Springfield (July 20), The Decemberists (August 2), Gavin DeGraw (August 9), and Jason Mraz (September 3).

Where to Stay:

Stein Ericksen Lodge BOOK NOW

Jackson Hole


Can’t Miss:

Enjoy 800 unspoiled acres on a trip along the banks of the Snake River, adjacent to Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Every reason for you and your family to leave your phones behind has been accounted for—from six miles of private fly-fishing access and a world-class equestrian center to a Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, archery, and sporting clays.

The Calendar:

Après-ski (summer-style) begins with BBQ, BlueGrass & Bourbon at The Handle Bar in Teton Village every other Friday. With a strong emphasis on local distillers and bands, the bi-weekly festival will highlight a new bourbon distillery and bluegrass band every time.

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Where to Stay:

Four Seasons BOOK NOW
Hotel Jackson BOOK NOW
The Anvil Hotel BOOK NOW

Park City


Can’t Miss:

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, from August 10 to 11, is known as the top international cycling event after the Tour de France.

The Calendar:

Enjoy an intimate gathering of just 2,500 of your nearest and dearest friends at Park City’s largest outdoor dinner party, Savor the Summit, on June 16.

Celebrating its 49th year this August, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival supports arts access, education, and engagement. 225 artists from 34 states and Canada put their craft on display.

Where to Stay:

Waldorf Astoria Park City BOOK NOW

Denali National Park, Alaska


Can’t Miss:

Getting to Sheldon Chalet is just the start of the adventure in Denali National Park. The 45-minute helicopter ride from Talkeetna through Denali National Park takes guests over lowland rivers, lakes and forests of the valley before crossing onto the winding Ruth Glacier. Passengers get a bird's eye view of ice fields where they’ll see some of the deepest shades of blue before flying to the south face of Denali. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by the welcoming staff and a sampler of fresh Alaskan seafood delicacies and champagne.

The Calendar:

Every Friday evening through August 31, enjoy a free concert in Talkeetna Village Park while relaxing under Alaska’s midnight sun. The concerts are located in the heart of downtown and situated nearby the historic Fairview Inn where attendees can head to afterward for a drink.

The Northern Lights, in September
Experience the highlight of aurora season by witnessing the spectacular northern lights from the comfort of your own bed in the Chalet, with wall-to-wall windows providing a stellar view of the epic light show.

Where to Stay:

Sheldon Chalet in Denali National Park BOOK NOW

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Lake Louise Ski Resort, Alberta


Can’t Miss:

For one of the best chances to see grizzly bears in their native environment (from the safety of the Grizzly Express chairlift), Lake Louise Ski Area is the place. Dine at the new and improved mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro, with epic views of the Bow Valley.

The Calendar:

Throughout the summer, Banff Centre puts on a series of musical and theater performances at its Shaw Amphitheatre—undoubtably among the highlights of summer in Lake Louise.

Where to Stay:

The Post Hotel & Spa BOOK NOW

Portillo, Chile

Can't Miss:

Summer skiing high in the Andes. Carve alongside some of the top ski teams in the world as they train, and new for 2018 is the 1000+ vertical-foot El Gaucho run.

The Calendar:

Chilean Wine Week, from July 28 to August 4, features different Chilean vineyards every day, each of which will be personally presented by the winemakers. Special events throughout the week also include a Peruvian afternoon at world famous Tio Bob’s mountain restaurant and a special Sol de Portillo ski race.

Friends Week, from August 11 to 18, includes cocktail parties, a black and white party, afternoon events at Tio Bob’s, movie selections from the Telluride MountainFilm festival, wine tastings, a visiting master chef, and a guest ski race.

Valle Nevado, Chile


Can’t Miss:

The resort is celebrating its 30th anniversary, with the 2018 season opening on June 22. Skiers and snowboarders can expect a season filled with events, live music, and wine events, all oreganized to celebrate Valle Nevado's major milestone.

The Calendar:

In honor of Calle Nevado's turning 30, the town will celebrate with the Fire & Ice Show on July 28. During Foodie's Week, from August 3 to 10, guests can spectacular wine and food from top Santiago chefs who will also host seminars, cooking classes, and other food-related events.

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Where to Stay:

Hotel Valle Nevado BOOK NOW

Hokkaido, Japan


Can’t Miss:

Stay off the grid by relishing one of Hokkaido's best-kept secrets. Yubari, an all-season mountain destination has dozens of any festivals throughout the year, as well as traditional hot springs in the Hotel Mount Racey, waterfalls, mountain hikes, and curry soba noodles. If you can get your hands on a car, a two-hour drive northeast toward the center of Hokkaido is Furano. Known for legendary powder skiing in winter, summer brings breathtaking fields of lavender to the region. The nearby cable car at Mt. Asahidakealso offers spectacular alpine hikes set against active geothermal steam vents. Trust Snow Locals to guide the way in any season.

The Calendar:

Visit the Hokkaido’s beer garden in Odori Park for the Sapporo Summer Festival, which over the span of a month beginnign July 20 includes Hokkai Bon Odori dance, the Sapporo Bazaar antique fair, the Tanuki Festival, and the Tanukikoji shopping street.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Mount Racey BOOK NOW

Courchevel, France


Can’t Miss:

Spend a night in the smallest refuge in Vanoise National Park. With only 14 beds, the Lacs Merlet Mountain Refuge is off the beaten path and lets you spend a night in the heart of the French Alps at an altitude of 2,417 meters.

The Calendar:

Well-Being Fortnight, from July 21 to August 4During two weeks dedicated to relaxation and mindfulness in the Courchevel La Tania, guests experience everything from yoga to Ayurvedic massage to Brazilian dance.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Les Airelles BOOK NOW

Cortina, Italy


Can’t Miss:

Hike and climb the legendary massifs and spires that made this region famous worldwide.

The Calendar:

Every Tuesday and Thursday starting July 5, begin your day with Surya Namaskar sun-salutations at Yoga at Altitude. The free yoga and pilates lessons take place at Ra Valles in all weather conditions. Be sure not to miss breakfast at the refuge afterward.

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Where to Stay:

Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina d’Ampezzo. BOOK NOW

St. Moritz, Switzerland


Can’t Miss:

The month-long Jazz Festival, which runs from July 5 to August 5, welcomes a variety of international acts including Kennedy Administration on opening night, and appearances from Stanley Clarke, Kyle Eastwood, The Royal Rhythms, and many more.

The Calendar:

The Passione Caracciola classic car rally, named after the German driver Rudolf Caracciola, ends in St. Moritz this year. Up to 58 teams are expected to compete in the four-day rally, which starts in Geneva.

Where to Stay:

Badrutt's Palace BOOK NOW
Kulm Hotel BOOK NOW

Tirol, Austria

Can’t Miss:

More than three thousand meters above sea level, a 1,300-square-meter building was built within the mountain to create 007 ELEMENTS, a new James Bond cinematic installation celebrating the character and the fact some of the recent Bond film Spectre was filmed here. The exhibit reflects the visitor’s journey through a series of galleries, each defining a Bond film.

Where to Stay:

PURE Resort Pitztal BOOK NOW

Brandon Perlman is the creator of Mr. Luxury Ski

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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