If your friends and family are the type to hit the slopes but you can’t steady yourself on skis, where does that leave you? Most mountain towns are teeming with off-slope activities to enjoy. Whether you want some adventure yourself or an afternoon of peace and quiet, here are some of the best things to do in the mountains that don’t involve skiing or snowboarding:
Browse the galleries
Towns like Aspen, Colorado are just as much a haven for culture and the arts as they are for outdoor pursuits. Aspen is home to The Aspen Institute, an international non-profit organization dedicated to informed dialogue on global issues. You’ll also find the Aspen Art Museum, which displays the most important evolutions in contemporary art. Whether you join a cooking class, admire works of art or catch a performance, you’ll find plenty of ways to expand your horizons.
Strap on some skates
Just because you don’t want to head downhill doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some outdoor fun. Most ski resorts offer ice skating rinks, like Beaver Creek, Colorado. Keystone, Colorado is even home to a five-acre frozen lake maintained by Zambonis! Rent a pair of skates and enjoy gliding around the ice while you hold your little one’s hand. Then head back to your rental home to sip some hot cocoa around the fireplace.
Learn how to mush
If you’re up for winter adventure just not on skis, try your hand at dogsledding. Ride through open meadows on a sled pulled by a team of gorgeous Siberian Huskies. Good Times Adventures in Breckenridge, Colorado lets you run the dogs yourself for a true first-hand experience.
Shop and stroll downtown
Most ski towns out West have a storied past. Park City, Utah is home to a Historic District that showcases its beginnings as a mining town. Shop the one-of-a-kind boutiques and brush up on your history at the Park City Museum. Then grab some lunch at one of the award-winning restaurants downtown.
Enjoy a spa day
Stay back while the rest of the group hits the slopes, and treat yourself to a day of complete rejuvenation. Vacation rental properties like The Charter at Beaver Creek feature on-site spas so you can easily indulge. Book a massage followed by a mani/pedi, and use your vacation time to really relax. Then head back to your rental to catch up on a good book.
Visit the hot springs
Ski destinations like Steamboat Springs, Colorado are home to natural hot springs that are owed a visit while you’re in town. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is one of the most spectacular mineral springs in the world with 104-degree water surrounded by forests topped with Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder snow.
Start planning your winter mountain vacation now with these ski trip vacation ideas.