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Mountain Towns to Visit this Summer

Michaela Atiae, Staff Writer

Forestis Living-Area Mountain View

We know many of you out there chase powder all ski season, and we admire you for it. But the mountains are not just for skiing and these aren’t fighting words. It’s just a fact that those same winter destinations that are the best in the world for skiing can also be just as compelling during the summer. Like, you can get an adrenaline rush mountain biking down those same slopes that were your favorite double blacks during the winter. So, these mountain towns that you may have originally weekend-ed at for the winters may now just be your go-to places for the summers.

The Town: Aspen, Colorado

The Country: United States

The Maroon Bells. Courtesy of The Little Nell on Facebook.

Summer Highlights:

When you think of Aspen you’re most likely dreaming of snowy peaks, but the summers are severely underrated. When the snow melts, from the Sawatch Mountains to the Maroon Bells, it’s hard not to be captivated by their beauty. Add in hot springs and wildflower blooms and you have an unmatched postcard-worthy backdrop. Striking views mean hikes, cycling, and mountain biking- if you’re brave enough. The trails range from all-day excursions, like the Maroon Bells (7 Miles) to leisurely walks like the Rio Grande Trail.

If you’re not the outdoorsy type, paddle boarding and fly fishing aside there are cultural events and destinations worthy of a trip. Check out the annual ArtCrush Gala for a live auction, or the Food & Wine Classic for tastings and seminars. Of course, the restaurants and designer shops don’t just disappear in the summertime either.

Where To Stay: The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection

The Town: Chamonix

The Country: France

Four Seasons Megève. Courtesy of Four Seasons Megève on Facebook.

Summer Highlights:

If you’re in France and want to have an adventure, Chamonix is where to go. You can’t beat the highest peak in Western Europe- Mont Blanc, for a hike. We should preface this by saying that, on average, it takes 11 days, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

The nearby lake is on a natural reserve and a cable car ensures you don’t miss any of the views. There are also ice caves and glaciers to tour. If you’d rather take in Chamonix from a less conventional lens, paragliding, white water rafting, and a roller coaster are also possibilities. As for food, you have to eat raclette in France. La Calèche is an upscale and cozy eatery specializing in the gooey delicacy.

Where To Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Megève

The Town: St. Moritz

The Country: Switzerland

Paragliding over St. Moritz. Photo Courtesy of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel on Facebook.

Summer Highlights:

We know we’re bringing up cheese a lot, but Alpine Towns’ reputable products make it necessary. Eating right from the source is a luxury, so if you have the opportunity, visit a dairy. The Morteratsch Alpine Cheese Dairy teaches you their cheese-making traditions and offers restaurant service too. A lot of St. Moritz’s beauty comes from hidden gems, like the Segantini Hut named after a painter who passed away completing his last piece there.

But, what attracts visitors most during the summer months are the festivals. There’s enough to have your pick, from The St. Moritz Art Film Festival to The Endigan Festival. The town is undoubtedly known for its high-profile visitors, but summer months mean cheaper reservations at sought-after hotels and a more serene experience overall.

Where To Stay: Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and Kulm Hotel 

The Town: Jackson, Wyoming

The Country: United States

The heated pool at The Lodge at Jackson Hole. Courtesy of The Lodge at Jackson Hole on Facebook.

Summer Highlights:

Jackson is a mid-western dream. The town has many activities to choose from come the summer. You can fly fish, hunt, horseback ride, and attend a rodeo. Sense a pattern? If you’re taking the theme full throttle shopping for an authentic cowboy has to make the itinerary. You can choose from luxury designs created from beaver fur to elk leather. Glamping for a night is also a great way to see the stars and peaks in the morning. If you’re looking for a less sedentary option, Grand Teton National Park is the go-to place for hiking and water sports. But, the wildlife reigns supreme in beauty or at least cuteness points. You can check out the National Elk Refuge or the National Museum of Wildlife Art to admire them.

Where to Stay: Four Seasons Jackson Hole, Amangani, Caldera House and The Lodge at Jackson Hole

The Town: Cortina d’Ampezzo

The Country: Italy

Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel. Courtesy of Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel***** Cortina on Facebook.

Summer Highlights:

What is Cortina known for? Luxury and skiing. What isn’t talked about enough, though, is its potential as a spot for summer vacations. Activities that would be considered dangerous in the colder months are more accessible. Rock climbing is a fun one in spots like Cinque Torri. If that sounds scary, guides, harnesses, and numerous climbing gyms are around for practice beforehand. Public tennis courts also open up and lakes that would otherwise be too cold become scenic lounge destinations. Biking is also popular with e-bikes available in town. If you’re more of a runner, joining the Cortina Dobbiaco Run is a bucket list activity. Run through tunnels, bridges, and the old railroad with 20,000 people for 18 miles in early June. And, it’s only a 2-hour drive from Venice.

Where to Stay: Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel, Hotel de LEN, and Forestis Dolomites

The Town: Berchtesgaden

The Country: Germany

Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden. Courtesy of Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden on Facebook.

Summer Highlights:

Cue The Sound of Music’s legendary entrance scene. Julia Andrews frolics through a meadow in the mountains and we’re all jealous. Well, that could be you in Berchtesgaden Germany. While the movie was filmed in Salzburg, Austria, the Untersberg Mountain seen behind Andrews is located in the Berchtesgaden Alps between Salzburg and Berchtesgaden.

The German town turns up its charm in the summertime by swimming in pools and lakes, rowing, biking, and golfing. Summer sledding is for all ages down a metal ramp built into the mountain scape 600 meters long. Lake Königssee is Germany’s cleanest and deepest and is ideal for boating. If picturesque Bavarian cottages, an underground lake, and a salt mine aren’t enough, a luxury spa or swimming at Watzmann Therme with a network of public pools should do the trick.

Where to Stay: Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden and Hotel EDELWEISS Berchtesgaden 

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