10 Mountain Resorts for a Cool Summer Getaway
Soak up dramatic backdrops, lively festivals and quality time in the great outdoors.
Trade crowded sands for the chance to hike, bike, raft and enjoy other outdoor adventures.
Mountain Chalet Aspen
Aspen sits at the pinnacle of western mountain resorts, with a sophisticated arts scene and world-class recreational activities. In summer, the Aspen Music Festival presents more than 300 classical music events, and Anderson Ranch art workshops attract all ages and skill levels. Outdoor cafes, European-style boutiques and the weekly farmers market are part of its allure. Plus, the free bus service to Snowmass makes another 90 miles of hiking and biking trails, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting and kayaking accessible. Best of all, local lodges charge about 50 percent less in summer than in the height of winter, and inns at Snowmass and outside Aspen village are even more reasonable.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge is an authentic mountain town with world-class slopes, casual bars, farm-to-table dining spots and a vibrant nightlife. There's hiking, fly-fishing, cooking classes and a Summer Fun Park with zip lines, Segway tours and camp for ages 5 to 13. Plus, summer entertainment options include the Light + Sound + Water multimedia festival, Bike Week and the famously eclectic Breckenridge International Festival of Arts.
Omni Mount Washington Resort
Tucked into the dense Bretton Woods forest at the foot of Mt. Washington, the Omni Mount Washington Resort delivers the same superior service that Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt enjoyed during their 1944 visit. Here, you can hike, fish, mountain bike, join a ranger-led tour or golf on the original Donald Ross-designed course. Afterward, relax and indulge in a treatment at the spa or partake of afternoon tea. What's more, nearby Lincoln, New Hampshire, is filled with water parks, mini golf courses and ice cream shops.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
For more than 50 years, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's red gondola has beckoned to powder enthusiasts seeking some of the best skiing in the world. In summer, the same aerial tram takes paragliders, rock climbers and hikers up to The Deck for unforgettable views of the Jackson Hole valley, Teton Mountains, Snake River, Grand Teton National Park and Teton Village. Make a daytrip to Yellowstone, or check out the galleries, saloons, National Elk Refuge and log cabin lodges around sleepy Jackson Hole to discover the area's authentic Wild West feel. This is one of the few mountain resorts where summer is busier than winter, so expect high crowds – and prices.
Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort
Though Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980, summer is when Mirror Lake best showcases the bustling commercial village, which is surrounded by the lush evergreens of Adirondack Park. Get out of town to explore hundreds of hiking trails, tackle some of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks or climb granite walls. There's also opportunities for canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, whitewater rafting, golf and fly-fishing on the famous Ausable River. Plus, Cycle Adirondacks, a weeklong, fully supported bike tour, offers a great way to see everything the area has to offer.
Resort at Squaw Creek
North Lake Tahoe, which is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains on the California-Nevada border, boasts 12 mountain resorts, 24 beaches and 126 miles of single-track biking trails. Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is home to the Resort at Squaw Creek, a convenient base for weekend athletics and festivals, including Tough Mudder (a strenuous obstacle race) and Wanderlust, a festival filled with yoga and music. Soak up the California-style vibes with stand-up paddleboarding yoga, aerial fabrics classes, a swim in the crystal green waters, kayaking or fly-fishing. There's also a kids club for guests ages 5 to 13, plus family yoga and blues concerts, among many free events.
The Waldorf Astoria Park City or Deer Valley Resort
This resort town may be home to the largest skiable acreage in the U.S., but it's summer that transforms historic Main Street into an al fresco dining room during the annual Savor the Summit event. Park City maintains 400 miles of trails for hiking, championship mountain biking and use by National Ability Center clients and volunteers. And thrill-seekers can enjoy a curved mountain track on Utah Olympic Park's signature feature, the Comet Bobsled ride. Don't miss the weekly open-air Park Silly Sunday Market, where live bands and costumed street buskers entertain farmers, craftsmen and tourists, or enjoy a picnic at the concert series at Deer Valley Resort's amphitheater.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe's hip New England town offers a top-notch ski resort blanketing the highest peak in the Green Mountains. Hike up to spectacular views off the unpaved Mount Mansfield Toll Road, or hike, bike and skate the scenic 5.3-mile Stowe Recreation Path. With successful ski, snowboard and leaf-peeping seasons, the Stowe Mountain Resort has invested $80 million in a summer adventure center and gym. You'll also find a ZipTour Adventure (served by the Gondola Skyride) and a TreeTop Adventure course, along with activities for kids ages 3 to 12. Around town, there's the lavish Spa at Stoweflake, artisanal pizza parlors, pubs, golf, tennis and the scenic Vermont Route 100. What's more, nearby Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory offers tours and tastings.
Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort
May is the start of summer at Tremblant, the stylish French-Canadian resort in the Laurentian Mountains, which offers a car-free base village filled with low-rise condos, bistros and an indoor pool complex and casino. Outdoor barbecues, live music and friendly bilingual counselors toting campers to the lake complete a typical summer scene. On a rainy day, head to the arcade shop or Mission Liberte, an adventure game complex with three themed rooms. The busy events calendar includes a gourmand food and wine celebration, Wanderlust concerts, Tremblant's International Blues Festival and Les Rythmes Tremblant, which includes live rock, country and Latino music. What's more, resort guests can observe the Perseid meteor shower Aug. 12-13 from the village gondola.
A condo or chalet in Whistler
Whistler provides athletes with plenty of hiking, mountain biking, zip lining and canoeing opportunities, plus the chance to bungee jump or embark on a fishing trip or golf game on four championship courses. Whistler also boasts a pedestrian-friendly village packed with condos and luxury hotels, along with a vibrant nightlife. Families will love the safety of the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, as well as its sweeping views of wildlife and the resort's lakes and sandy beaches. Plus, you can count on live music nightly and plenty of events, ranging from Tough Mudder to Ironman Canada and Crankworx (world-renowned biking).
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