6 Winter Destinations to Visit This Summer

Off-Season Travel

Conventional wisdom has it that mountain towns like Aspen and Telluride should be visited in the winter. Ski bums will hardly argue with that, since that’s when there’s usually plenty of fresh powder. But in the summer months, they boast great hiking, fishing, and white-water rafting, along with world-class dining and hotels (often at more affordable rates than the peak snow months), minus the massive crowds. Here, Melissa Biggs Bradley, CEO and founder of travel website Indagare, shares her expert tips on this summer’s best winter destinations around the globe to visit this summer and what to do while you’re there. Here, her insider picks.



“The charming French village of Megève, in the Haute-Savoie region, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful countryside destinations thanks to the remaining vestiges of its medieval roots. During warm months, going on hikes in the mountains around the town is made all the more fun with stops at family-run farms for lunch — La Ferme de Joseph, which makes its own yogurt and ice cream, is a particular favorite.” (259 Route du Coin; 33-450-343-687)

Where to Stay: Les Fermes de Marie

Indagare’s Megève destination report.

Photo by @maisonsethotelssibuet.



Photo by @maisonsethotelssibuet.



“Drawing everyone from movie stars to business titans to intellectuals year-round, this picturesque mountain town lies at the center of thousands of miles of wilderness complete with white-water rivers and streams. Favorite summer pastimes are hiking and biking, golfing, fishing and white-water rafting but thanks to the renowned Aspen Institute and rituals like the Ideas Festival, intellectual pursuits also get major summer billing. Plus, Aspen boasts some of the best al-fresco dining around: the Wild Fig (315 E. Hyman Ave.; 970-925-5160); Element 47 (675 E. Durant Ave.; 970-920-6330); Cache Cache (205 South Mill St.; 970-925-3835).”

Where to Stay: The Little Nell

Indagare’s Aspen destination report.

Photo by @thelittlenell.



Photo taken by @thelittlenell.


Jackson Hole

“The laid-back Wyoming resort town is surrounded by some of America’s most stunning landscapes, including thousands of acres of protected land, which draws wildlife and nature enthusiasts in the summer. Elk, moose and buffalo roam at the feet of majestic, jagged mountains from which waterfalls thunder down. The Tetons are ripe for hiking and mountain climbing opportunities, and there are some excellent opportunities to go fly-fishing, kayaking and canoeing in the Grand Teton National Park. Yellowstone National Park is just a one-and-a-half-hour drive north from Jackson.”

Where to Stay: Amangani

Indagare’s Jackson Hole destination report.

Photo by @bostondustin.


Jackson Hole

Photo courtesy Aman.



“The town of Zermatt, which lies beneath the iconic Matterhorn, is an unrivaled summer destination, drawing outdoor enthusiasts to more than 500 km of hiking, mountain biking and Nordic walking trails, including pistes that lead into Italy. Cars are not allowed in the town of Zermatt, and all transportation is via foot, electric taxis and horse-drawn carriages, so it retains an old-fashioned Alpine charm but with sophisticated hotels and dining. Summer skiing is sometimes possible on the Klein Matterhorn, which is open year-round.”

Where to Stay: The Mont Cervin Palace Hotel

Indagare’s Zermatt destination report.

Photo by @montcervinpalace.



“Telluride has been overshadowed by glitzy Aspen and active Vail, but the tiny former mining town that sits at an elevation of 8,050 feet has a passionate cult following. Outdoors enthusiasts love the wide range of extreme-adventure activities, while families enjoy the kid-friendly pursuits, unpretentious vibe and local charm. More than 30 festivals occur between May and Sept. the most famous ones being the bluegrass festival, international film festival and wine fete.”

Where to Stay: the brand new Dunton Town House plans to open by August

Indagare’s Telluride destination report.

Photo by @tellurideski.


Dolomites (Cortina)

“The glorious Italian Dolomites, a two-hour-drive from Venice, is blessed with incredible mountain ranges that offer stunning hiking and climbing during the summer. Nearly 11,000-ft. at its highest point, the mountain range was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 and is known for excellent hiking, base-jumping, paragliding, hang gliding, mountain biking, rock climbing and free climbing. Last summer, the fabulous Zaha Hadid-designed Messner Mountain Museum (MMM) opened here as the last of six museums in a network in the South Tyrol. The hotel Rosa Alpina, where alpine cozy meets Italian chic, is one of those wonderful hideaways that would be worth visiting no matter where in the world it is.”

Where to Stay: Rosa Alpina

Indagare’s Dolomitets destination report.

Photo courtesy Rosa Alpina.



Photo by @mrruffa.