It’s not often that you hear someone say they’re headed to Sunshine Village or Mont-Tremblant for their summer vacation. But those smart enough to leave their skis at home and pack their sense of adventure are into some of the best activities that ski resorts have to offer.
Here are five ski destinations that make for the perfect summer destination.
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Located next to two national parks, Revelstoke has everything you’d expect of a mountain locale, including dirt biking trails, hiking and white water rafting.
“Essentially, there is just so much more to do in Revelstoke in the summer than the winter. This is true for any ski resort town in B.C.,” says Sarah Peterson, marketing coordinator for Tourism Revelstoke.
She says that the downtown core is worth exploring as well. Every July, the “Garden and Art” event pairs local gardeners with local artists. Visitors can grab a map at the farmers’ market, then hop on a rental bike to explore. “You get to know the locals along the way and get a real intimate look into the lives that we live here,” says Peterson.
Golden, British Columbia
Known as the home of Kicking Horse Ski Resort, Golden is starting to earn a reputation as a premier destination for another outdoor activity.
“Golden has always had amazing access to fly fishing, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that our first tour operator opened,” says Andy Brown, communications coordinator for Tourism Golden.
With countless lakes, rivers and streams — all of which are pristine, as Golden is surrounded by six national parks — the season typically begins in mid-March and runs until November. The emerging fishing destination is also one of the only places in Canada that you can catch bull trout, weighing up to nine kilograms.
“We want all of our guests to enjoy the mountainside culture and ‘après’ vibe all year long,” says Tara Lovell, public relations manager for Blue Mountain Resort.
That’s why every single weekend of the summer, the village hosts events ranging from country music and opera performances under the stars, to indigenous cultural festivals. Weekday visitors won’t be disappointed, though — outdoor movies and scavenger hunts are regularly on the schedule, as well.
For those skiers looking for an off-season adrenaline rush, the chairlift offers mountain bikers a ride to the top of Blue and access to Ontario’s largest bike park.
The Laurentians, Quebec
It might just be the best free show of the season: in 2018, the ski village of Mont-Tremblant will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its International Blues Festival. Over 10 days, more than 70 performers from across the globe will play in Tremblant’s pedestrian village.
If that’s no reason enough to head to the Laurentians, consider this — the only thing more fun that rushing down a hill through the snow might just be whitewater rafting down a mountainside “river.” Ski hill Sommet Saint-Sauveur is also home to the Les Sommets, the biggest aquatic park built in a mountain setting.
Lake Louise, Alberta
Showcasing all the superlatives that Banff National Park is known for, Lake Louise is far from a “hidden gem.” Chances are you (and everyone else) already know that it’s a prime summer spot.
But rather than just stopping for a brief “P and P” (pee break and photo), there are plenty of reasons to spend a night or two in the area. One of our favourites is the Fairmont Resorts’ new wellness, mindfulness and yoga retreats. Launched in 2017, the programs provide ample opportunity to “remember to breath” — the official slogan of Tourism Alberta.