A Non-Skier’s Guide to Ski Resort Towns
Maybe you don’t consider yourself a skier, or you’re just looking for a fresh adventure. No problem. These mountain resort towns offer so much more winter fun than you ever imagined. Skiing is optional, but a good time is mandatory.
1. Enjoy first-class dining
You don’t have to ski to enjoy the après-ski scene. Burlington offers the perfect foodie-obsessed base camp with access to nearby resorts. Take a gondola ride to Cliff House in Stowe for an elevated lunchtime experience on the shoulder of Mount Mansfield. Then hit up Switchback Brewing to sample local craft beer. For a farm-to-table dinner, dine at Burlington’s Hen of the Wood.
2. Trek through the forest on a snowshoe tour
Get in a good workout with a guided snowshoeing tour. Your naturalist guide will show you beautiful ridgeline vistas, all while teaching you about the delicate mountain ecology. Afterward, enjoy a gourmet lunch followed by a warming mug of cocoa or coffee at any of the Snowmass Village restaurants.
3. California: Hit the slopes in a snowmobile
Mammoth Lakes, California
The backcountry powder awaits. A guided snowmobile tour at Mammoth Mountain is perfect for couples, families with kids, or the girls or guys on a weekend getaway. Experienced riders can head out on their own to explore the trails. You can also let someone else do the driving by taking a snowcat tour, complete with wine and cheese or hot cocoa.
4. Take a dip in luxury baths
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Let the tension melt away at the Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant. Heat up in the eucalyptus steam bath and the Finnish dry sauna before taking a cold plunge in the Diable River. You can also indulge in a massage at this traditional Scandinavian bathhouse. Continue the bliss with a cuppa at Couleur Café.
5. Tube down the slopes
Whistler, British Columbia
If you’d like some downhill action, hit the slopes at Whistler’s Coca-Cola Tube Park. The park has seven tube lanes of varying length and speed, plus a kids lane for the little tykes. The tube conveyer lift makes it easy to take as many runs as you want.
6. Trade in the skis for a ski bike
Now you can ski sitting down. Ski Biking at Vail offers a ski option that’s easier to learn and easier on the body. Vail offers an exclusive two-hour night biking tour with a lighted helmet. You’ll balance better with the lower center of gravity plus endure less wear on your legs than with regular skiing. Warm up afterward in one of the three Hotel Talisa hot tubs.
7. Mush along Deer Valley in a dog sled
Park City, Utah
Let man’s best friend take you for a ride through the snow. People of all ages love dog sledding at Deer Valley. A team of beloved rescue huskies will eagerly haul you through the meadows. Your family or group will learn the basics of mushing and get to know the sweet pooches who pull you.