Shoulder-season ski town vacations

By Stef Zisovska
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Ski towns are incredibly packed during the winter when most skiers and snowboarders spend their winter holidays. But the same little towns change their looks and lower the prices in the shoulder-season when not too many people visit. These periods are perfect for you and your family to plan a vacation in one of the popular ski resorts without paying loads of cash. The settings are still gorgeous during the shoulder-season, the weather is moderate, and the costs of accommodation and dining are significantly lower.

Also, these towns are perfect for people who are not particularly interested in winter sports and prefer to go hiking, biking or even play a round of golf. Here are some suggestions on where to go when the snow melts.

Blue Mountain, Ontario

Weider Lodge village suite – Author: Chensiyuan – CC BY-SA 3.0

Blue Mountain is a popular ski resort during the winter months where people from the area enjoy their skiing sessions. It’s home to the highest vertical ski hill in Ontario. Besides the great winter sports opportunities in Blue Mountain, the area is equally beautiful when there’s no snow. Mountain biking, zip-lining, hiking, or exclusive spa experiences are just some of the things that you can do here during the shoulder season.

Vail, Colorado

Gore Creek Drive in Vail Village – Author: Nick Csakany

Vail is known for its off-peak discounts on accommodation in spring and fall. Also, the prices in the best restaurants in the area are lower in the off-season. After having the most delicious meal in Vail, don’t forget to work that food off on foot, bike, or on horseback while exploring the stunning surroundings of Vail Mountain. No matter if you choose to visit Vail in spring or fall, the nature in and around the town is always spectacular.

Breckenridge, Colorado

View of Breckenridge Ski Area from the west peak of Dercum Mountain – Author: Ahodges7 – CC BY-SA 3.0

Breckenridge is the largest historic district in Colorado. You can take one of the many historic hike tours and learn more about the “glittering” past of the area. Gold was discovered in the Blue River in 1859 and the town still remains an attraction for visitors who want to learn more about the old time gold prospectors. You can visit the Gold Pan Saloon that was established in 1879 and is still operating today. As for the accommodation, you can stay at one of the many ski lodges that have affordable prices during the off-season.

Sunshine Village, Banff, Alberta

A meadow in spring

The shoulder-season in Sunshine Village doesn’t last long, but it’s extremely beautiful. The village offers the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada that skiers from all across the region enjoy in the winter months. When the snow melts, White Mountain Adventures is there to take visitors on guided hikes through the Sunshine Meadows that have changed their appearance entirely and display their spring beauty. This is the favorite time for hikers who enjoy the incredible natural surroundings and spending some time in the lovely village.

Sunshine Village is a place with countless shops where you can purchase all the hiking gear you need, as well as dining options for any taste including the outdoor village barbecue that stays open until October if the weather is not too cold.

Stowe, Vermont

Trapp Family Lodge – Author: Royalbroil – CC BY-SA 4.0

The state of Vermont is well-known for its colorful changes during the spring and the fall. Therefore, it’s not a surprise at all that this place is on the list of the best shoulder-season spots. Biking, hiking, field games, disc golf and bird watching are always available in Stowe. It’s a perfect place for busy families that find it hard to get the time to relax in the city. What’s also attractive about the area is the incredible natural-colored setting that amateur and professional photographers adore. So, if you or someone close to you is a nature photography enthusiast, make a weekend trip to Stowe and explore its endless treasures. Good luck!

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