Why You Should Visit These Iconic Ski Resorts in Summer
Receive our free newsletters
Why You Should Visit these Iconic Ski Resorts in Summer
Yes, we know: A ski resort isn’t the first thing you think of when considering where to vacation this summer. But when you consider the setting alone, it makes sense that a ski resort would be an ideal summer destination.
Underneath all that snow is mountainous terrain where you can hike, trail run, enjoy hilltop yoga, and even swim. Plus, amid that wilderness are luxury hotels and noteworthy restaurants (both of which are almost impossible to get into during winter) and accessible airports. And these ski resorts more than make up for the lack of snow with festivals, outdoor concerts, and summer celebrations. You may find that vacationing at a ski resort is even better during the off-season. Here’s when to visit several ski resorts to get the best of what summer offers.
When to go: First weekend of July for the Wanderlust Festival; Labor Day weekend for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival
As the snow melts away, so does Aspen’s notoriously flashy scene. Finally, you can get that sought-after hotel or restaurant reservation without having to pretend you’re a Kardashian. In the summertime, Aspen becomes a playground for everyone—not just the ultra-luxe—so you won’t have to worry about wearing cutesy fur hats or boots that match your beanie. Instead, trade in that quilted vest for a hemp caftan and head to Aspen’s Wanderlust Festival, a four-day festival celebrating yoga, eating, hiking, and music. And for music fans of any genre—from Stevie Wonder to The Killers—the Jazz Aspen Snowmass is a summer highlight.
Unparalleled ski conditions and the annual Sundance Festival may have put Park City on the map, but snow sports and celebrity aside, it is also home to a notable food scene (surely you wouldn’t expect Robert Redford to eat at McDonald’s). Food lovers flock to the city during the Park City Food and Wine Classic, when the town offers a host of tastings, toasts, and luncheons in a magnificent setting.
Innsbruck is the gateway to Austria’s best ski spots, which means it’s also the gateway to some of that nation’s prettiest summer destinations. From July 4th to July 31st, the town leaps to life with the Innsbruck Promenade Concerts, a variety of music concerts which take place in the courtyard of the Innsbruck Imperial Palace. The shows are free, which means you can save your cash for a hotel room upgrade or—even better—extra apple strudel. If you go during late July, you’ll also catch the beginning of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, celebrating composers such as Mozart and Bach.
Turns out, holiday-goers have been traveling to Switzerland in the summer for fresh mountain air and scenery long before it became a ski-holiday destination. In 2016, because we’ve turned healthy living into almost an obsession, it’s more apropos to visit Switzerland in the summer than ever. Gstaad, in particular, is so much more than a ski town with a unpronounceable name. Here, you can do yoga in the mountains at the Gstaad Palace, which offers a six-day yoga retreat, or plan your trip for mid-July when you can catch the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad—an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournament.
Arosa is a lovely, low-key town in the Swiss Alps, featuring everything you could ask for from a Swiss village, including mountains, chalets, and fondue. Getting there is half the reason you should go: The iconic red Swiss train travels high up into the Alps, past small towns and grazing sheep. In fact, we love this place so much, we’ve written about it before. In the summertime, Arosa turns into a dreamy escape. There are hiking and festivals, of course, but the highlight of the trip is the opportunity to stay in a tepee. The Tschuggen Grand Hotel offers a mountain adventure where you can live out your own version of A River Runs Through It: Travel on horseback, eat farm-style breakfasts, spend your afternoon fly-fishing, and then retire to your tepee. Hot hotels to book:Tschuggen Grand Hotel Impossible reservations to snag:Alpenblick Photo by Majida Tufail Hanel
When to go: 22 and 23rd of July
Japan isn’t the first country that comes to mind for stargazing—or for ski resorts, for that matter—but then again, you also didn’t know you could see wild zebras in California, right? During the summer, the delightful ski town of Niseko, which is home to things that you do travel to Japan for (like sushi and hot springs), also plays host to Star Fes. The unusual but intriguing festival includes a professional stargazing workshop and space photography lessons and is all the more enjoyable for the mild summer weather.