Think your favorite ski spots or winter retreats have shut their doors for the season? Not always, and in fact many of the popular places to go during the cold months have significant summer appeal too, with top-rated sights, activities, and restaurants. Here are five U.S. destinations that will be sure to pique (or off-peak?) your interest:
Why: Lake Tahoe is known for being one of the biggest ski destinations in the U.S., but the lake itself really comes alive after all of the snow has melted. The largest alpine lake in the U.S. is afantastic spot for boating and water sports, with some postcard-perfect views. Tahoe is paradise for the outdoor types, as other popular activities include hiking and mountain biking. Of course, when evening rolls around, travelers can savor some fine dining and hit the casino before calling it a night.
TripAdvisor Forums to check out: this one for tips on bicycling around the area.
Why: Probably the most famed upscale ski destination in the U.S., Aspen is known as a favorite winter hot spot to the rich and famous. Like Tahoe, it offers an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and camping in popular places like Maroon Bells and Independence Pass – or if it’s more your speed, a leisurely trip to town for some shopping and dining or just relaxing in the hot tub at your vacation rental home.
TripAdvisor Forum to check out: this one for fishing enthusiasts.
Why: This one goes in the “well, duh!” category. Hawaii is always a top choice for those wanting to escape the cold of winter. Since it is Hawaii, the weather is pretty stellar all year long, but summer there is considered the dry season, so you won’t have as many mid-day downpours—translation, more time for you to play on the beach.
TripAdvisor Forum to check out: this one for snorkeling recommendations.
Why: This city is famed for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and that little yearly event called Sundance Film Festival. But locals know that it shines in the summer too, with events like the Park City Food & Wine Classic, happening this week (July 10-14).
TripAdvisor Forum to check out: this one for summer activities.
Why: Yes, Vermont is the only entire state on the list, but its small size makes it ideal for hitting up multiple destinations in one trip (and in some cases, driving is an attraction unto itself.) Stowe is known for its skiing in the winter, but many people know that summer offers top-rated hiking trails, biking paths, and golf courses. Burlington features the beautiful waterfront on beautiful Lake Champlain and lively town center with shops and eateries. And what’s summer without ice cream—in Waterbury, you can take a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s factory, complete with a tasting.
TripAdvisor Forum to check out: this one for a handy map of covered bridges.