The snow may have melted, but ski resorts still offer mountains of fun during warm weather—with fewer crowds and deeper discounts than in winter. Golfers, hikers, bungee-jumpers and zip liners: Get ready to hit the summertime slopes.
Take a hike. Skiing gets all the attention, but let’s face it, mountains are also great for hiking, which requires no beginner lessons, no pricey lift tickets and no extra equipment other than a sturdy pair of walking boots. A room in midsummer can cost hundreds of dollars less per night than the same one during Christmas break.
Fly away. The ski lift carries you into the clouds in the winter. Now imagine how it feels to fly through a mountain valley! Zip tours are a popular offering at ski resorts. At New Hampshire’s Attitash Mountain Resort, for example, participants speed above the treetops, starting at the summit of Bear Peak all the way to the base of Attitash Mountain for nearly 5,000 feet . It is said to be the longest single zip line in the Lower 48. You can ride alone or side by side with another adventurer, hitting speeds up to 65 miles per hour. And good news for your wallet—rates dip by more than half in the summer months.
Get wet. Not into heights? No problem. Trade the aerial view for some waterworks. Many mountains, such as at Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, are surrounded by lakes and rivers. That means you can take a tour in a sedate pontoon boat, fly-fish in a breathtakingly beautiful lake or brave the rapids in a whitewater rafting course. Or take a refreshing break in an old-fashioned swimming hole—the most classic summer activity of all! Even more refreshing for your budget: Room rates are about 50 percent lower in July.
Hit the links. When the snow melts and reveals green grass, some people focus totally on golf courses. If that’s you, you’ll be happy to learn that come spring, many ski resorts manicure their grounds for a few rounds—including Tahoe’s Northstar California Resort, whose courses are well known for being both beautiful and challenging. There’s mini golf for the kids, too. Don’t wear yourself out on the golf course, though. You may want to save energy for the Wine Walk, when you can tour the village and sample local wines. Feel free to do some shopping with the money you’ll save over a winter vacation here. Off-season lodging can be had for half price or less.
Indulge your inner daredevil. Make time for the giant swing or bungee trampoline like the one at Big Sky Resort in Montana. Both are designed to satisfy thrill seekers until the slopes are snowy once more. You can book a room in summer for significantly less than what it costs during the holiday season.