While ski resorts during the summer don’t quite have the hustle and bustle of winter, there’s still a lot of great events and festivals that make for a fun weekend getaway. Ski resorts throughout North America host amazing festivals all summer long. Below you’ll find our picks of some of the great summer festivals and events at ski resorts across North America.
Summer festivals at North America ski resorts
Blues, Jazz and Funk Festival, Palisades Tahoe, California
It’s no secret that Lake Tahoe is an incredible summer destination, and there are tons of great events all summer long. Come August, check out The Village at Palisades Tahoe for two weekend days of the Blues, Jazz and Funk Festival. Past festivals have brought in Grammy Award-winning musicians for a fun weekend of music to the beautiful backdrop of Palisades Tahoe. Enjoy a wide array of tasty beers while taking in the lineup of live music on two stages. All proceeds from the event benefit the local Humane Society.
Aspen Music Festival, Aspen, Colorado
If you love classical music, plan to enjoy as much of it as your ears can take in at the world-famous Aspen Music Festival, which is as famous for its concert programming as it is for its music school that trains young musicians. Aspen Music Festival features 400 events spread from June into August, including concerts by several different orchestras, chamber music performances, fully staged operas, lectures and shows for kids. More than 100,000 audience members enjoy it. Tickets for some weekend performances can start as low as $45.
Among Aspen Music Festival’s most unique events is Aspen Music on the Mountain, taking place weekly during the summer. Students play chamber music atop Aspen Mountain to the backdrop of the Elk Mountain Range. A gondola ticket, or strenuous hike is required, but the experience and views are worth it.
Vail Dance Festival, Vail, Colorado
Vail Dance Festival began in 1988 and since has become one of the finest dance events in the country. Two weeks of performance are held in mid-summer at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater along with special events across the Vail Valley. Regulars include the Martha Graham Dance Company, LA Dance Project, DanceAspen and all-star artists from The Royal Danish Ballet, New York City Ballet and more. Tickets go for a low of $10 on the back lawn, while premium tickets and packages are also available for those who want to take in more than one performance.
Sun Valley on Ice, Sun Valley, Idaho
While the snow has dissipated at Sun Valley come summer, the winter theme continues with Sun Valley on Ice, which has become a summer staple at one of America’s classiest resorts. Shows features medal-winning skaters and the very talented Sun Valley on Ice cast. Get close to the ice with grandstand seating, or relax and enjoy the uniqueness of the terrace’s premiere seating, which comes with a buffet and bar service.
Snoqualmie Days, Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington
Snoqualmie Days (formerly known as Snoqualmie Railroad Days), happening in August, has been an annual summer festival at Snoqaualmie since volunteer firefighters began organizing it in 1939 to celebrate the arrival of the town’s first fire truck. Today, the Northwest Railway Museum’s passenger rail program operates on the same rail line that brought the first regional tourists to the Falls on July 4, 1889. Events include a grand parade, Fields of Fun for kids, a music crawl, 5K run, train rides, and more.
Tremblant International Blues Festival, Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
Tremblant International Blues Festival isn’t just one of the best ski resort events, but one of the best and largest music events in all of Canada. Blues music is everywhere at the Tremblant International Blues Festival, from the historic cobblestone streets to wilderness stages and much more. More than 100 free shows, street music and family activities take over Tremblant for several days in July for this extraordinary celebration of blues music.
Canada Day, Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
There are so many great places to celebrate Canada Day (July 1). However, few ski resort villages can compare to the vibe and atmosphere of Olympic Plaza in Whistler. Canada Day in Whistler includes a parade through the main village, a free outdoor concert and mini-events, including art demos, music performances and a First Nations welcome and drum circle. Turn it into a getaway over several days, as Whistler offers so much during the summer.
Savor Big Sky, Big Sky, Montana
Savor Big Sky, happening early in summer, is a celebration of food, wine and spirits amidst Big Sky’s beautiful setting. This long weekend festival invites foodies to expand their palate courtesy of world-renowned chefs, wineries, breweries and spirit purveyors. Events include farm-to-table dinners, wine seminars, and live music. Savor Big Sky culminates with a Grand Tasting event featuring more than 100 wineries from the most renowned regions. Come hungry.
4848 Festival, Snowshoe, West Virginia
They call the 4848 Festival a festivacation, which is fitting for this fun-filled event at Snowshoe. The 3-day mid-July event features craft beer, plenty of food, lake activities, scenic lift rides, and live music from popular bluegrass and country music performers. A 3-day adult general admission ticket runs in the $300 range, but includes access to all music, the 4848 mountaintop village experience, Shavers Lake beach and activities including paddle boarding, kayaking, scenic lift rides, euro bungee, a climbing wall and more. Pair your festival ticket with lodging for the best rates.
Arts Jubilee, Cranmore, New Hampshire
The annual Arts Jubilee is a five-concert series spread throughout the summer at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway. The series began in 1983 with a mission of bringing world-class music to the valley, and it does just that. Bring your family and spread out your blankets at the base of the North Slope to enjoy the shows in this relaxing outdoor setting. Tickets at the gate are under $20. Make a weekend of it by enjoying Cranmore’s Adventure Park.
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride, Colorado
Blues & Brews is a multi-stage eclectic mix of blues, indie, funk, rock, jam band, gospel and soul music that takes over Telluride at the end of every summer. Music is just half of it though, as the festival features great craft breweries from all over the country. The Brewers Showcase features events spanning the festival weekend that include tasting sessions with 21 breweries pouring unlimited samples for attendees. Events for kids, late-night club shows, morning yoga and plenty of food and craft vendors all combine to make this a very special three-day event each September. A 3-day pass runs around $300.
Fourth of July Celebrations
Let’s not forget Fourth of July celebrations, as there are a lot of them happening at ski resorts across North America. Below are a few to check out.
Park City’s Fourth isn’t just one day of celebrations, but several. The celebrations include the Deer Valley Music Festival, Utah Symphony Pops Concert, 5k fun run and Main Street Parade. Mammoth Mountain, California cranks up the celebration early with a pancake breakfast, followed by the Footloose Freedom Mile run, a parade on Old Main Street, a pops concert, art show, and a gorgeous fire display at Crowley Lake ($25 per car).
Vermont is the place to be in New England for fun mountain town events over Fourth of July weekend. Stratton hosts tons of live music, a laser and fireworks show and lodging specials. Stowe’s Fourth of July celebrations are listed as some of the best by Fodor’s. Stowe’s celebrations include parades in the hamlet of Moscow and Stowe Village, an old-fashioned village festival, the world’s shortest marathon run and a fireworks show in the Mayo Event Fields.
We’d be remiss not to mention the Midwest. Harbor Springs, where you’ll find Boyne Mountain, has a big day lined up with the Paul Revere 5k and 10 mile runs, Art in the Park, Main Street Parade and Fireworks at dusk over the harbor.
Header image ©Aspen Music Festival