The snow season is great but some say the summers are even better. Resorts are now doing heavy marketing and event planning to get you to visit during the warm summer months.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho is a perfect example, according to Haley Sorbel. "There is a reason our high-speed quad chairlift is called the ‘Great Escape.' It's only a nine-mile drive from the charming town of Sandpoint, Idaho, and a five-minute chairlift ride to the summit of Schweitzer Mountain, but the 2,000 foot vertical lift can take one to a place where time is completely irrelevant.
"With limitless views of the Selkirk, Cabinet, and Bitterroot mountain ranges, and the pristine waters of Lake Pend Oreille, an entire family could reach the top and do absolutely nothing but breathe. But why, when the activities in the summer at Shcweitzer are nearly as limitless as the views? Offering everything from mountain top Frisbee and huckleberry picking to horseback riding and mountain-bike trails, including its new family-friendly trail, stretching six mile from the summit. And the village is always bustling with live music and festivals," said Sorbel.
Bill Quigley with Gunstock in New Hampshire says ski areas are a wonderful place to explore in the summer. "Lift rides are different, the mountain feels calm, with serene, tall grass blowing in the summer breeze. At Gunstock we have over 300 campsites. A short hike to the top of the mountain in late July/August puts you in acres and acres of wild blueberry fields, with spectacular views of Lake Winnipesaukee. For the family that skis all winter, it is a quiet time on the hill, with hawks overhead, and boats playing on the lake."
Around the corner is Mount Sunapee Resort (90 minutes from Boston) where Bruce McCloy says summers are a bigger attraction than winters. "There is a huge state beach right by the entrance to the ski resort that is very popular. There is great hiking in the area, pontoon boat rentals on Lake Sunapee, boat cruises and a dinner boat on Lake Sunapee, golf courses, summer stock theater for adults and children."
Barbara Thomke from Smugglers' Notch in Vermont says you might not recognize the area in the summer, which is actually their prime season. "The whole resort turns into a summer paradise that kids adore - four water facilities with eight pools and a fresh water pond for swimming, boating, watersliding and jumping on that aqua trampoline. Camp for the kiddies keeps them happy in nature, games, music, hiking, and other programs all day long. That gives mom and dad a chance to do their own thing - loafing, kayaking, hiking over Vermont's green mountains with a guide, playing tennis, geocaching, riding a segway personal transporter, chasing that white ball with a club on the driving range. It's just a very green and entertaining place. "
Big Sky Resort, Montana's Chad Jones says the best things about summer are the open spaces, and the uncrowded and laid back atmosphere. "You can come to Big Sky and truly relax, you return home well rested and refreshed, not frazzled from your vacation. The proximity to Yellowstone National Park makes it a wonderful base camp for all the area has to offer. Nine miles away you can whitewater raft or fly fish in the Gallatin River, a blue ribbon trout stream. If you are a lover of the outdoors you can just hike somewhere, sit down and soak it all up or read and take pictures."
Then there's Colorado and Utah, with so many of the major resorts like Park City, Breckenridge, and Winter Park offering base area activities such as Bungee Jumping, alpine slides, miniature golf, and air jumps.
Loryn Kasten in Steamboat describes it perfectly. "It's not what you can do in the summer, it's what you can fit in. Between hot air ballooning, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, playing on the river, hiking, the rodeo, plus all the summer events, there's just not enough time in one trip to see all of Steamboat. And top that off with cool temperatures that are just right- Steamboat might be Goldilocks' answer to the perfect summer."
That's where I'll be.