7 Ski Resort Towns That Are Even Better in the Summer
Listen up, snow bunnies: you don’t have to leave your favorite mountain town when ski season ends. In these seven incredible resort towns, you’ll find plenty to do during the summer season, be it a well-deserved wellness escape at a slope-side spa or—yes—even more adventure.
Banff’s towering mountains shine all winter long, solidifying their place as one of the top ski spots in Canada, but the region’s lakes steal the spotlight when summer rolls around. At the heart of Banff National Park, you'll find picture-perfect Lake Louise, where crowds from all over come to canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddle board on its turquoise waters. The sunny season is also prime time for al fresco dining with a view. Through September, pick up fruits, veggies, and artisan goods at local-favorite Banff Mountain Market before crossing Bow River to the flower-filled Cascade of Time Garden, a hidden gem for picnics with Rocky Mountain vistas. If you book a stay at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, Banff’s only mountain-top hotel, you’ll also have access to high alpine meadows and the Sunshine Gondola and Chairlift, which can bring you to the highest lift-accessible point in the area for unbeatable 360-degree views.
The Dolomites, in the Italian Alps, are home to the Dolomiti Superski—the world’s largest network of lifts and slopes in one pass—and make for a skier’s dream vacation. The region has much more to offer than just snow, though. Come summertime, adventure-seekers and outdoorsy types gather to hike and climb the majestic Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Three Peaks), a UNESCO World Heritage site best experienced in the warm months when the hills are dotted with wildflowers. From here, it's just an hour’s drive to Mirabell, a five-star wellness retreat with a 15,000-square-foot spa perfect for soaking, sauna-ing, and steaming away those post-hike aches.
Stowe is truly an all-season destination—home to breathtaking foliage in the fall, plenty of ski trails (including Vermont’s highest peak) in the winter, and beloved maple sugaring season in spring. If we had to pick a favorite time to visit, though, we’d choose summer, when you can swim in Bingham Falls or spend a day on the water at the Waterbury Reservoir (kayak and paddle board rentals are available on-site). Stowe is also great for bikers and hikers with its 50-plus miles of world-class mountain trails and plenty of peaks and pinnacles suited for every skill level. For a quick and easy waltz to great views, follow Sunset Rock’s trail to the Upper Overlook; for something more challenging, Mt. Mansfield is the summit to conquer. When you’re all worn out, Topnotch Resort awaits with its fresh farm-to-table restaurants, 30-room spa, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, and country-chic guest rooms.
Jackson Hole, WY
Adjacent to Grand Teton National Park and just south of Yellowstone, Jackson Hole remains a nature lover’s mecca long after ski season ends. Aside from the obvious park tours, there's also horseback riding, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, stargazing, and even hot air ballooning and hang gliding for more adventurous travelers. If you want to stay in the heart of the action, make The Lodge at Jackson Hole your home base. The hotel is mere minutes away from the entrance to Grand Teton and just down the road from Jackson’s Town Square, which is full of shops, restaurants, and Old West history.
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A jet-set clientele and lively après-ski scene lend Verbier its renowned, ultra-glamorous vibe, but all that eases up in the summer, when days on the slopes and late nights by the fireplace come to an end. That’s not to say you’d be missing out by planning a warm-weather getaway—Verbier’s mountains are top-tier for biking, hiking, climbing, and paragliding, too. The best part? Verbier’s tourism department offers a special summer-only VIP pass for free to all guests staying in the region, granting discounts and sometimes waived admission fees to nearly everything in the area. Plus, lodges and hotels often drop their rates during summer, so you may even find ritzy chalets like Sir Richard Branson’s Verbier Lodge within your budget from June through September.
Vail will always be one of Colorado's trendiest winter getaway towns, but signature summer programming and activities give travelers plenty of reason to visit during the off-season, too. In addition to typical outdoor thrills (hiking, biking, rafting), Vail hosts summer events like the free Bluegrass Series in Vail Square and the annual Jazz Festival (June through September) and Dance Festival (July through August). There’s also the enormous Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show, which sets up every Sunday from June through October with over 135 tents and 40 food vendors. Check in at Vail Mountain Lodge and you’ll be just a walk away from Bridge Street for even more shopping and nightlife.
Lake Tahoe, CA
When summer hits, visitors to Lake Tahoe swap snowsuits for swimsuits and spending their days boating and beaching. For a stress-free day on the water, book a chartered tour with Lake Tahoe Boat Rides, where you can choose between sightseeing cruises and water sports like tubing, wake boarding, and waterskiing. Once you reach land, grab your favorite BBQ fixings and head to El Dorado Beach to grill and watch the sun set over the Sierra Nevada mountains. Back at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, you’ll find a slope-side pool and spa offering CBD wraps, massages, and pedicures designed to rejuvenate you after long days in the great outdoors.
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