The Non-Skiers Guide to Ski Resorts

By user41563, 5 Nov '13 at 10:06

If the thought of attaching awkward skis to your feet and hurtling yourself down a snowy mountainside doesn’t appeal to you, you’re certainly not alone. While ski resorts cater partly to folks who either love skiing or want to learn, there are also plenty of activities to keep non-skiers entertained. If your family or friends are planning a ski vacation and you’re wondering what you’ll do to keep busy, rest assured that you can still have a great time with none of the bruises and humiliation that come with amateur skiing.

Hot Springs and Thermal Baths
You might not think of nature as being particularly pampering, but you’ll change your tune after visiting your first hot springs pool. The sensation of immersing yourself in warm, luxurious, hot springs waters while enjoying mountain scenery and cold fresh air is an experience of a lifetime, and several North American ski resorts have hot springs nearby. The Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado is an extremely popular getaway for vacationers with weary bodies and sore muscles, and the soothing waters remain at around 104 degrees no matter how cold the air temperature gets. Alternatively, the Banff Upper Hot Springs in the Canadian Rocky Mountains houses a man-made hot spring and bath house in a luxurious, spa-like setting.

Sleigh Rides

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A sleigh ride through a snowy winter wonderland will make you feel like you’re living in a Christmas carol, and both adults and young children will be enchanted by the old-fashioned, red sleighs at Colorado’s Breckenridge Sleigh Rides. Relax in a sleigh with a mug of hot chocolate, or even book one of their dinner rides for a truly unforgettable experience. At Canada’s scenic Lake Louise, Brewster Adventures offers sleigh tours around the lake’s many trails, which can be an incredibly cosy and romantic experience for couples. In Whistler, British Columbia, regal Percheron draft horses will pull your bob sleigh through the powdered snow while you soak in the mountain forest scenery.

Dog Sledding

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If you prefer dogs to horses, many ski resorts now offer guests a chance to experience a mountain tour on an authentic dog sled. Let a pack of beautiful Huskies or Malamutes be your guide through mountain hills and valleys, and get an up-close-and-personal look at how these athletic animals perform flawlessly as a running team. At Mammoth Mountain in California, Mammoth Dog Teams even organizes overnight camping trips, or you can enjoy a magical moonlight dog sled experience at Lake Tahoe’s Wilderness Adventures.


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Snowmobiling offers the same adrenaline rush as skiing with far less physical effort. Simply start your engine and prepare to feel like you’re on top of the world as you zip through manicured mountain trails lined with stately aspen and pine trees. If you’ve never been on a snowmobile before, expert guides at Trailblazer Snowmobile Tours in Winter Park, Colorado will teach you to become a pro in no time. In Lake Tahoe, Eagle Ridge Snowmobile offers outfitted wilderness tours through the stunning Tahoe National Forest. When choosing a snowmobile tour company, make sure that their policy is to avoid wildlife habitats and that they use snowmobiles with either four-stroke or electric engines for a safe and easy snowmobile experience.

Resort Spa and Shopping Activities

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If you are tired of the outdoors on your ski vacation and need a little total-body pampering, many ski resorts and lodges offer full-service spas to relax and rejuvenate their clients. Schedule a day at Lake Tahoe’s Montale Spa Resort and take advantage of a therapeutic massage or skin treatment, or relax in the sauna at Beaver Run in Breckenridge. Even if you’re not lodging at one of these ski resorts, they’ll still welcome you as a day visitor with the same spa amenities offered to guests.

What would a vacation be without a little retail therapy? Check out the charming, shop-lined Main Street in Breckenridge, where you can buy everything from boutique clothing to Navajo art. In Canadian ski resort towns like Tremblant and Whistler, take full advantage of the incredible number and variety of quaint shops catering to vacationers, or check out the artisan foods and locally crafted jewellery in Vermont’s pretty resort town of Stowe.

Whether you love or loathe skiing, skiing holiday providers offers holiday deals and packages to a wide variety of cities, and your group is sure to find a vacation destination with activities to delight and entertain everyone. If you prefer organising your own ski holiday then head over to Cheapflights and get a deal on your next flight to Canada or the USA and visit one of these amazing ski resorts.

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