Five American Ski Towns For Those Who Don’t Like To Ski
Not everyone is comfortable on two skis, but for anyone who enjoys the ski resort vibe without the effort, these are the best places to be.
Not everyone enjoys skiing. Some aren’t comfortable navigating on two skis and find the idea of zooming down a slope terrifying. Their partners might be into the whole ski experience, but they aren’t. For anyone who enjoys the undeniably great vibe of a ski resort, but doesn’t actually want to ski, there are many ski towns in America, with other activities on offer. The following five resorts have plenty of experiences and activities besides skiing to make them a worthwhile visit.
1. Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado
Aspen/Snowmass is set in the towering Rocky Mountains in Colorado. While the resort is great for skiing, those not into the sport can enjoy it too. Visitors can take the Elk Camp Gondola to the top of Snowmass, and climb onto the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster. It is a breathtaking ride indeed, as the coaster soars through the Snowmass wilderness, passing over the ski runs at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour.
On certain Friday nights in Aspen/Snowmass, visitors can enjoy the coaster rides, as well as tubing, music, dinner, and more. For a quieter experience, take the Aspen Mountain gondola up to the sundeck to enjoy lunch. Alternatively, free ice skating is on offer in the Snowmass Base Village. Meanwhile, the Snowmass Limelight hotel has a fun climbing wall.
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
This popular retreat definitely isn’t just for skiers. There are a number of activities on and off the mountains. In the Teton Village, plenty of shopping is available and a public bus into historic Jackson offers even more. For those who enjoy a beautiful view, the legendary Jackson Hole Aerial Tram takes 12 minutes to climb 4,139 vertical feet. At the top, panoramic views are available of the Jackson Hole valley, the Tetons, and the surrounding mountain ranges. Enjoy a waffle or two at Corbet’s at the top.
Different winter adventures here include dog sledding, a sleigh ride, a snow coach tour through the National Wildlife Elk Refuge, and snowmobiling. Warm-up in the winter months at Astoria Hot Springs Park close by.
3. Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah has so much more to offer than just skiing. History lovers will enjoy the town’s Main Street, with its 47 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Along the way, explore the many art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants. Outdoor fun can be enjoyed at the Escape Room Park City, with its outdoor scavenger hunt.
Meanwhile, a new type of yoga is available at Park City Yoga Adventures, in the form of paddleboard yoga in a geothermal crater. Visitors can try their hand at snow-season fly fishing in the riverways with Park City Fly Fishing Guides. For those feeling a little more adventurous, try out the bobsled course at the Utah Olympic Park.
4. Stowe, Vermont
This beautiful New England destination is scenic all year round and a friendly, inviting place to be. The dining scene in Stowe offers the taste of locally sourced ingredients served with a creative twist. Alternatively, head on the Mansfield Gondola to enjoy a farm-to-table lunch at Cliff House, located on the top of the highest peak in Vermont. Shopaholics can enjoy the 50 unique boutiques, galleries, country stores, sporting goods stores, and specialty markets of this lovely town.
For those interested in skiing, the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum offers exhibits relating to the history of the sport. Active folks can also enjoy the outdoor skating rink at Spruce Peak, in the shadow of Mt. Mansfield.
5. Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley Nordic Center does offer cross-country ski trails. However, those who prefer not to ski can enjoy snowshoeing and fat biking here. Meanwhile, a guided tour at Smiley Creek Lodge in Sawtooth City is always a worthwhile option. Sun Valley also offers groomed trails for snowmobiling, while sports lovers will enjoy watching the Sun Valley Suns hockey team showing off their skills.
The town itself is one of the top towns for art in the US with local galleries exhibiting contemporary, modern, and western art. For relaxation, visitors can chill out with a massage or Ayurvedic balancing treatments at the Spa at Sun Valley Lodge.
So, if you prefer the après-ski experience to the actual skiing this year, any one of these destinations is ideal this winter.