Climb New Heights
During the summer, the world’s best ski destinations are looking up...
Whistler, British Columbia
Within two hours of Vancouver an impossibly well-rounded destination awaits. Winter skiing conditions in Whistler are amazing but summer rocks, too; you can ski until July, Mountain biking is king, and hiking, kayaking, fishing and black bear-viewing provide a few more ways to connect with nature. The man-made attractions of Whistler Blackcomb resort are tops as well, so make room in the schedule for a helicopter tour, play at the Adventure Zone (hooray for batting cages, luges, trampolines and mazes) and finally, visit the sophisticated yet approachable town for shopping, nightlife and apres-whatever you want.
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Woodsy, private, serene and packed with possibilities, New Hampshire’s White Mountains region has a little of everything. Attitash - an adventure resort that earns big fun points with an alpine slide, bike trails and climbing walls - mixes nature with amusement park frivolity while less structured hikes and rides are always possible along the Saco River. A two-mile walk through the Flume Gorge will get the blood pumping, as will a soaring trip on the Summit Skyride or an afternoon at Whale’s Tale Waterpark. Like every good alpine destination, there are mountains and so much more. Visit White Mountains to plan your itinerary.
Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, California
Scaling Lake Tahoe down to a manageable size is the perfect summer vacation experiment. Focus on Squaw Valley on the North side of Tahoe for a good representation of all things mountainous, summery and leisurely – even if it is known for professional-level ski facilities, Olympic Valley isn’t just for athletes. Families love High Camp Bath and Tennis Club, where hiking, swimming, ice skating and tennis are just a cable car ride away. It’s a lofty goal, but finding yourself at the top of the world during a summer vacation is entirely possible.
Don’t feel like a cheapskate for choosing to visit a ritzy region during what’s technically considered off-season. Hikes, horseback rides and river rafting excursions in a beautiful setting hardly qualify as second-rate activities. The arts scene is hopping during the summer months, Aspen and Snowmass both nurture an impressive culinary environment and shopping is always a tempting option (bargains aren’t unheard of). Well-fed, entertained and warmed by the summer Colorado sun, your overwhelming emotion will be self-satisfaction, not sheepishness.
Park City, Utah
In addition to many miles of primo hiking and biking trails, Park City offers an array of super-sized playthings that will melt the heart of even the most loyal skier. You’ll see that the summer side of this well-established winter retreat comes close to stealing the show; an alpine slide, zip rider, “legacy launcher” (trampolines and a bungee harness), human maze and all the usual stuff (mini golf, horseback riding, etc…) make Park City a dream come true for bored school kids, ADD-addled parents, or anyone who wants to see what Utah looks like drenched in sunshine rather than snow.