Located in the Yampa Valley three hours west of Denver, Steamboat Springs is your perfect Colorado mountain destination for summer. From unique outdoor activities to festivals galore, Steamboat Springs offers something for everyone. Historic Downtown Steamboat Springs — Photo courtesy of Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association & Visit Colorado
Start with a view of Steamboat by riding to the top on the Gondola, or for yet another unique view; opt for a hot air balloon ride. Choose a hike to scenic Fish Creek Falls or the surrounding parks and forests. Sit astride a horse for a scenic ride along the Yampi River, or get your feet wet by tubing down the river. Endless bicyle trails include over 500 miles of cross country single track, the new Steamboat Bike Park, or downhill trails on Mt. Werner. Get your adrenaline rush with a 2,400 descent on the Howler Alpine Slide. Finish the day soaking in the hot springs of Strawberry Park, located seven miles from downtown.
Steamboat Springs celebrates its Western heritage with a more than century-old weekly Pro rodeo. Other summer events include Hot Air Balloon Rodeo & Art in the Park, the Steamboat Wine Festival, Steamboat All Arts Festival, and Wild West Air Fest-Labor Day Weekend.
Lake Tahoe not only has some of the best mountain hikes in the Sierra Nevada range, but it probably has the most beautiful alpine lake in the country. One of the best ways to see the entire lake is to climb one of the highest mountains in the area: Mount Tallac. This 9,735 foot peak on the south shore of the lake has a 11.6 mile round trip trail to the top that is both beautiful and challenging. Along the way you will pass by several smaller lakes and you'll have amazing views of Desolation Wilderness, Fallen Leaf Lake and, of course, Lake Tahoe. When you come back down, be sure to stop at the fun and lively Brewery at Lake Tahoe for a pizza and their beer sampler.
Looking down at Lake Tahoe from the top of Mount Tallac — Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann
Telluride, Colorado — Photo courtesy of Rob Lee
Telluride, Colorado, is the summer festival capital, covering a wide cultural array for lovers of blues, art, plays and jazz. This historic silver mining mountain town of just over 2,000 attracts those in the know, including many celebrities for its posh restaurants, eclectic shopping and just plain beauty. Up in the Mountain Village, catch a movie outside on Wednesday nights at dusk and don't miss the themed Dance Party nights on Thursdays at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon. Typically known as a ski resort town, this village sitting in a box canyon, is a nature lover's dream, offering beautiful waterfalls and hiking. Locals love the Duck Race and probably the state's fest Farmers' Market, but tourists come especially for the Bluegrass Festival in early June and the Jazz Festival, which draws in the biggest names in the biz, happening in early August this year.
Just because it's the middle of summer in Durango, Colorado, doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the ski runs at Durango Mountain Resort. Soar down the slopes on a mountain bike, or channel your inner Batman with the Purg Plunge Zipline that has you sliding down a cable from Durango's highest tower for more than 100 yards at 35 mph. The Alpine Slide shoots you down the mountain for a half mile, and there's also the bungee trampoline, climbing wall and Diggler Mountain Scooters, a contraption that rides like a mountain bike but carves like a snowboard down the slopes.
Rafting the Animas in Durango, Colorado. — Photo courtesy of Steve Larese
In town, there's the classic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, an 1880s-era steam locomotive that travels the scenic mountains between Durango and Silverton, 50 miles north. Several outfitters will get you on the roaring Animas River in a raft or kayak. There's always fly fishing, hiking and mountain biking on your own in the San Juan Mountains. When the family has had enough adventure for the day, check out the local shops and restaurants in Durango's downtown, which still retains its Victorian mining architecture and Old West vibe.
August in the Adirondacks — Photo courtesy of Jen's Art & Soul
It's common for New Yorkers to escape the hustle and the heat of the City for the tranquility and respite of the Adirondacks during the summer months. As such, cabins, hunting lodges, world class resorts, and villas are common sights in this region, though the real draw for most is the wild scenery in and around the many lakes of the Adirondacks.
The extreme variance of birdlife attracts birdwatchers, while canoeing and kayaking are equally popular activities.
Keene Valley is arguably the most picturesque region, while Indian Pass makes for a truly excellent hike. Visit the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks to learn about the natural history of the region.
Labor Day on Mt. Washington — Photo courtesy of stannate
Located in the heart of the eponymous Mount Washington State Park, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Far and away the most popular destination on Mount Washington is the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, which is one of the most sought-after hiking trails in the Northeast.
Boyne, Michigan (alternately known as Boyne Falls) is arguably one of the best mountain destinations in America for cooling off. If you fancy yourself an active person who sometimes gets discouraged by the sweltering heat, head to Boyne, which is heavily populated during the summer by vacationers who mountain bike, hike, and paddle endlessly.
Summer Gondola Rides in Stowe, VT — Photo courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort
One of Vermont's more popular tourist destinations, Stowe, Vermont is perhaps best known for its ski slopes, but during the off-season it has no shortage of attractions. The surrounding hillsides and mountain ranges are well-suited to horseback riding and hiking, and there's an array of streams, lakes, and rivers that are highly popular with anglers.