There’s no shortage of things to do in mountain markets during the summer and plenty of reasons to book a summer vacation in a ski area. Sports enthusiasts enjoy hiking, white water rafting, and mountain bike trails, while less outdoorsy folks witness charming mountain towns come alive once the snow melts.
Whether you’re interested in exploring nature or want to enjoy live music and art in town, travelers who visit the mountains during the summer will see why locals say they “come for the winters and stay for the summers.”
Turnkey Vacation Rentals Summit County Sales Director Alison Lindsey said travelers visit mountain towns like Winter Park and Frisco in Colorado to escape the heat, enjoy the sunny days without the humidity, and experience the cool, crisp evenings.
“Visitors can explore the mountains by hiking, biking, enjoying kids activities, and eating great food,” Lindsey said. “There’s also tons of live music and free concerts in the park in both Winter Park and Frisco.”
Here’s why you should book a mountain adventure this summer and what you can do while you take in the unbelievable views.
Enjoy the great outdoors without breaking a sweat
Typically, it’s rare for a mountain town to see temperatures higher than the 80s. In Winter Park and Frisco, for example, the average high throughout the summer months is an idyllic 73 degrees—perfect for strapping on your hiking boots and heading to the great outdoors. “In the broader scope of things, there’s a ton of stuff to do,” Lindsey said.
Folks who visit Colorado can count on clear skies and humid-free weather while they hike around favorite family spots, such as Mayflower Gulch and Rainbow Lake. Mountain bikers can zip along single-track and old dirt mining roads, or glide down the 55-mile recreation path that connects Frisco to Breckenridge. Visitors to the Big Bear resort in California during the summer can count on unforgettable hiking and biking experiences in the San Bernardino National Forest.
In mountain towns with a nearby lake, there’s plenty of water-related activities to enjoy, including boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Frisco Bay Marina, for example, is located off of Lake Dillon and spans 3,300 acres and 27 miles of shoreline. Dillon Reservoir is also known for sailing and regattas are regularly held on the reservoir. Visitors can even get the best of both worlds and enjoy the beach in a mountain town. In Big Bear, California, visitors can enjoy jaw-dropping lake views during the summer and world-class fishing.
Some mountain towns are known for their golf courses just as much as they’re known for their slopes. In Park City, Utah,for example, head to courses such as Canyons Golf or the Wasatch Mountain Golf Course to golf surrounded by the idyllic lakes and mountains.
Kids and adults alike can also enjoy summer activities at Copper Mountain, including disc golf, go karts, and the new Rocky Mountain Coaster. Or, stay in the village at Winter Park and enjoy it’s slopes during the summer. “Winter Park has become a favorite family ski resort,” Lindsey said. “There is so much to do from the outdoor activities to the amazing recreation center with a super kid-friendly pool, climbing walls, and more.”
Check out local events
In the winter, locals and travelers alike avoid going outside in mountain towns—unless, of course, they’re out on the slopes. During the summer, however, mountain towns come alive with local events, festivals, and concerts.
In Winter Park, for example, Rendezvous Park Event Center offers live music every Thursday and a multitude of music festivals, such as the Switchback Festival in June. Frisco also offers free live music every Thursday at the Frisco Historic Park gazebo and lawn. Colorado is home to a Blues Festival in June and a Jazz Festival in July, as well as the Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival.
Aside from live music, mountain towns often have art and culture events to enjoy. Frisco hosts an Annual Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival in August, which features over 80 national and regional artists displaying their work. Visitors can shop for sculptures, paintings, jewelry, and more at the fair. There’s also an art district in Breckenridge and great boutique shopping in all of the Colorado mountain towns, according to Lindsey. The art scene also thrives in downtown Taos, New Mexico, which boasts more than 80 art galleries and three major museums.
In California, mountain towns are popular locations for festivals, as well. Big Bear Lake International Film Festival occurs every September and showcases over 100 films from around the world throughout the city.
Eat your way through town
After you’ve hit the trails or spent a few hours shopping, you’ll probably have built up an appetite. On top of being known for skiing and hiking, many mountain towns have a reputation for a great culinary scene. Santa Fe, New Mexico, for example, offers over 400 local restaurants—including Geronimo, which was named one of the best restaurants in the United States by reviewers on Open Table. Aspen is home to just 130 restaurants—and 21% of them have a 5-star rating on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other review sites. 37.5% of restaurants in Logan, Utah—another burgeoning mountain town—have 4.5 stars or higher, as well.
Mountain towns also have a reputation for crisp, locally brewed beer. In Summit County alone, visitors have countless options, including Outer Range Brewing, Angry James Brewery, and Broken Compass Brewing. Big Bear and other California mountain towns are, of course, just a hop, skip, and a jump to the world renowned Napa Valley and Sonoma wineries.
Whether you’re athletically-inclined, a music and art lover, or a food enthusiast—there’s something for everyone in mountain markets during the summer.