Summer on the Slopes
If you think all the ski resorts close shop when summer hits and the snow melts, think again. These winter wonderlands transform during the summer months into havens for mountain-biking schools and family golf camps, water parks, arts festivals, and more.
Families come in record numbers, and at many resorts, off-season visitors now rival the ski crowds. Resorts are catering to them with an avalanche of diversions. For younger kids, assorted adventure programs aim to deliver the joys of summer camp without the homesickness, with a whirl of crafts, hiking, and games. For teens, there are variations of extreme sports at many resorts, such as dirt biking, mountain biking, or rock climbing. Grown-ups aren't forgotten either: Many resorts offer lavish spas, summer festivals, and concerts.
Now that they're so popular, these mountain destinations aren't the rock-bottom summer bargains they used to be. But there are still good package deals to be found, especially early and late in the season -- in the months of June and September -- when the mountain scenery is splendid and the weather is still temperate.
After the white stuff fades from Vermont's Green Mountains, some ski resorts barely slow down. Mount Snow, about 30 miles east of Bennington, stages family golf weeks and opens a mountain-biking school; Killington, about 72 miles north of Mount Snow, offers outstanding hiking, scenic gondola rides, and an adventure park with go-carts and water slides.