Summer's Coolest Mountain Get-Aways
While the summer heat naturally woos beach goers, some savvy travelers plan to head for the hills for cooler summer fun. Summer is the time when many of the world’s ski resorts bloom. Mountain ranges turn green and refreshingly cold streams and rivers transverse the landscape. Most ski resorts take advantage of this natural bounty by providing a number of outdoor activities that last from morning until late evening. Here are several mountain destinations that promise comfortable weather and nearly limitless outdoor adventures.
#1 Vail, Colorado
Vail, Colorado is home to some truly multi-season resorts. Popular summer activities include golf, horseback riding, and fly-fishing. The town’s famed mountain trails that are perfect for skiing are also ideal for hiking. Ziplining through the area’s rugged terrain offers a heart-pounding experience for some thrill seekers, and other travelers take their adventures off-road with all-terrain vehicle tours of the mountains. The town hosts a number of outdoor fairs and events that include the Go Pro Summer Mountain Games and the Bravo! Vail classical music concerts. Visitors who miss winter’s ice and snow can cool off at one of the town’s ice-skating rinks that are open all year. Summer temperatures in Vail rarely rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and travelers are encouraged to pack layers to accommodate average nightly temperatures in the 40s.
#2 Whistler, British Columbia
Although Whistler, British Columbia is primarily known for its Olympic-class ski facilities, the city is a top vacation destination even after the snow melts. Whistler, which is located in Canada’s Coast Mountains, is particularly popular for its mountain biking and cross-country cycling trails. Other summer activities include bungee jumping, white water rafting and summer bobsledding. Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the mountain town, and some visitors choose to view the area’s wildlife up close through customized bear viewing tours. From the safety and comfort of guide-driven vehicles, tourists can glimpse black bears and their cute cubs snacking, playing and napping. Whistler also boasts some first-class spa amenities. After a day of outdoor adventures, area visitors can slip into one of Whistler’s open-air hot tubs for an evening of stargazing.
#3 Solang Nala, Himachal Pradesh
While exotic India is better known for its tropical rainforests, the country’s Himalayan mountains also provide access to some prime skiing adventures during the winter. Summer months in the mountains that surround Solang Nala in Himachal Pradesh bring lush vegetation and comfortable temperatures that make outdoor sports enjoyable. An activity that has gained popularity over the years is zorbing. Zorbing involves individuals hurtling themselves down grassy slopes while fully encased in huge rubber-like balls. Area visitors can also take cable car rides, paragliding flights and all-terrain vehicle tours.
#4 Perisher Valley, New South Wales
The summer months in the Northern Hemisphere mean intense heat for most people, but those who truly want to escape to much colder climes head to Australia. The months of June through August make up Australia’s prime winter ski season. The Perisher Ski Resort, which is the region’s largest ski destination, is located in the country’s Snowy Mountains near the city of Canberra. The ski facilities at Perisher’s four locations are state-of-the-art. Chairlifts come in various configurations to accommodate large groups as well as smaller parties. The slopes are also suitable for skiers of all skill levels; approximately 22 percent of the ski runs are for beginners and 18 percent of them are for advanced athletes.
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